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Monday, May 9, 2011

Marie Antoinette Beaded Guillotine Choker

I love costumes and dressing up whether for stage, holidays (like Halloween), for costume parties, or just for fun. Like with most things, a lot can be found in the details. A friend of mine had a Marie Antoinette costume, complete with a bloody line drawn on from Marie's visit with the guillotine. The costume was great, but make up and fake blood can be messy, smear, and fade, especially over an evening of wear. There has to be a better (and cleaner) option for the same (or better) effect. This inspired a blood red beaded choker.

I was able to use all things I had on hand to create this choker, including the tiny beads and wire that I have from the rings I made recently mixed with some jewelry making items I had on hand from other projects. This is what I used, but it doesn't mean it's the only way to make a choker like this. (Use your imagination!)

I started with cutting one piece of wire and a small piece of chain. The chain was for the closure to make it more flexible for sizing whether for me or for someone else. (With my collection of costumes and costume pieces that often happens.) I attached the chain to one end of the end, using pliers to secure it and to make sure the pointy end of the wire was tucked in so not to scratch flesh. (No need for jewelry to hurt.) This kept the beads from falling off the opposite end while I worked.

Starting on the other end, I started to bead the thin jewelry wire with the tiny blood red beads a few at a time, pushing them all the way to the end. (It took me longer to sort the red beads out of the mixture than it took to actually bead the choker.)

Making a 'blood drop'
After a few inches, I added a few beaded 'blood drops' I made by taking a small piece of wire with the seed beads and creating a blood drop shape, then securing each 'drop' to the main piece securely twisting with needle nose pliers. I made sure to wrap the end of the wire in and then tucking inside a bead to again keep the sharp edges away from delicate neck flesh. I then added a few beads between the 'blood drops,' making the drops different sizes.

HINT: The beads are tiny, so working on a tray with a small edge to keep the beads from rolling away from you is a great idea in creating your work space. The beads are tiny and I was able to press a number of them into the tip of my finger, then beading them onto the wire from my finger tip.

 I finished beading the length of the wire with the red beads, leaving enough on the end to attach the enclosure. Using the pliers, I secured the closure to the end of the wire, cutting off the access, then again tucking the sharp end safely from scrapping skin.

It's now ready to wear. I think I want to try some tear shaped red beads next time for the blood drops.

For more information, inspiration, and ideas on Marie Antoinette check out Marie Antoinette at Wikipedia or Marie-Antoinette.org. Enjoy, explore, create, and don't be afraid to play dress up!

And remember you are only limited by your imagination.

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