Who doesn’t love the intricate detailing of a vintage beaded purse? Frankly, we can’t get enough of the look, so we decided to indulge ourselves by beading a birdhouse we found at the flea market. While we were there, we hunted around for old trims and appliqués to add authentic vintage flair. And we discovered a gypsy goldmine!
Flea Market Materials:
1 Unfinished wooden birdhouse
1 Vintage beaded brooch
2 7½ in. x 3 in. Embroidered flower appliqués
4 3 in. x 1¾ in. Embroidered flower appliqués
12 in. 1¼ in. wide Beaded trim—black
1 yd. 1½ in. wide Beaded fringe—black
24 in. ½ in. wide Embroidered metallic ribbon—black and multi
11 15mm Briolettes—peach
1 RIT dye package—Denim Blue
4 14mm Filigree rounds—gold
8 14mm Filigree rounds—silver
4 22mm Filigree rounds—silver
1 tube 5mm Metallic glass bugle beads—lime (~250 beads)
1 tube 5mm Metallic glass bugle beads—copper (~250 beads)
2 tubes 5mm Metallic glass bugle beads—turquoise (~1200 beads)
1 tube size 10/0 Seed beads—black (~800 beads)
1 tube size 10/0 Seed beads—lime (~500 beads)
6 4mm Jolee’s Jewels flat back rhinestones—Blue Zircon
6 4mm Jolee’s Jewels flat back rhinestones—Light Siam Red
4 4mm Jolee’s Jewels flat back rhinestones—Light Colorado Topaz
32 Assorted sequins
21 E beads—turquoise
11 E beads—copper
22 E beads—silver
26-ga. Beading wire—copper
20-ga. Beading wire—copper
Beacon Adhesives Crafter’s 3-in-1
Plastic disposable bowl
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Flush wire cutters
Dimensions: 5¼ in. x 4¾ in. x 8 3/5 in.
1. Start by dying the birdhouse blue. To do this, mix 1 cup hot water with about half a teaspoon RIT dye in a plastic disposable bowl. Paint the dye onto the birdhouse with a sponge paintbrush and let dry.
2. To decorate the roof, arrange one large and two small appliqués on one side of the roof. Glue them in place with Crafters 3-in-1. Outline the appliqués by gluing on a border of copper and lime bugle beads. Fill in the open areas with turquoise bugle beads. Repeat with the rest of the appliqués and bugle beads to cover the other side of the roof. String black seed beads onto beading thread to create two 22 in. lengths. Glue the strung beads around the edges of the roofs. Glue beaded fringe around the eaves.
3. To adorn the door opening, create a ruffled frame using the black beaded trim. Sew the 26 gauge copper wire in and out of one edge of the beaded trim, sliding a turquoise E bead on every time the copper wire is in on top of the trim. Cinch the trim into a circle, twist the ends together to secure, and snip off the ends. Glue the cinched edge onto the front of the birdhouse around the door opening.
4. To make the beaded door frame, twist a loop into the end of the 20-gauge wire with the round-nose pliers. Slide a peach briolette into the loop, then slide on three E beads, silver-copper-silver. Repeat to make 11 beaded loops total. Bend into a circle and twist the wire ends together to secure. Snip off the ends. Glue the beaded frame onto the ruffled frame surrounding the door opening.
5. To make the flowers, hammer the filigree rounds flat on a jeweler’s block. Glue a small sequin onto a large sequin, then glue onto filigree round. Top with a rhinestone. Glue the filigree flowers onto the sides of the birdhouse. Make the long stem by cutting a 4 in. length of 26 gauge copper wire. Curl the end three times around the tip of the round-nose pliers. Load with green seed beads and pinch the end. Twist loops into the beaded wire to form leaves. Curl the loose end of the wire to finish off. Make four 4-inch stems, each with two leaves to go with the large flowers. Make twelve 2-inch stems, each with one leaf to go with the small flowers. Glue the flowers and stems to the sides of the birdhouse.
6. Decorate the base by gluing the embroidered metallic ribbon along the edges. Finish by gluing a beaded brooch to the peak of the roof. Boho chic!
Econo-tip: Harvest beads from beat up old throw pillows. You can get them for a song at garage sales!