Designing Jewelry for a Bridesmaid Dress

As part of our Here Comes the Brides series this month, we decided to demonstrate how to design jewelry for a bridesmaid dress.   We figured what better color to use than the color of the year, radiant orchid?  Three Auntie’s Beads designers, Shanna, Karla and Kelly chose a bridesmaids dress in this hue and designed a piece of jewelry specifically for it.  Below, we’ll show you the dresses and the designs they made for to go with them!  Click the jewelry photos to see complete instructions and materials list to make the piece.

Bridesmaids Jewelry

Three designs for Bridesmaids

Karla:

“The dress I chose has a beautiful lace inlay neckline in black and the dress is a wonderful orchid shade.  With so much detail at the neck I feel a simple earring and no necklace was the way to go, but a statement piece for a bracelet was in order!  I chose these great antique silver connectors that mimic the lace.  I used some Mystic Black Swarovski Pearls to pick up the black lace and to add to the sparkle factor Chinese Crystal squares and bicones, in crystal vitrail.  I decided that the bracelet needed structure so I used memory wire to construct the bracelet strands, which was so much easier than I thought it would be and the result is exactly what I wanted!”

Orchid Dress

“After 6 Bridesmaids Dress” from weddingtonway.com

Beaded Cuff

A beaded cuff bracelet made with structured memory wire

Click here to make this bracelet project.

Shanna:

“I chose this dress because of the lace overlay.  I have always been a fan of lace and love how it adds a romantic, vintage feel to almost anything.  Because the neckline on this dress is very intricate with scalloped edging and floral detail, I opted not to do a necklace.  Her arms looked pretty bare to me, so I thought a wide woven bracelet using pearls was in order.  At first, I wanted to do a sort of ombre fade effect, but after playing with color a bit, I realized it was just too much.  Knowing I wanted to do either a flat spiral or a right angle weave technique using beading wire to make a wide vintage inspired bracelet, I decided to create a piece that was heavy on design but light on color.  To achieve this look, I opted for a simple off-white pearl with a seed bead color that coordinated with the dress.  While I think the color combination turned out perfectly for this dress, I really like that the design is versatile enough to be matched to any dress.  The best part, though?  The materials are very affordable; all you need are 8mm and 6mm glass pearls in cream or white and size 8/0 seed beads in a color that matches the bridesmaids dresses.  And while the technique used is a bit more intermediate – advanced, you will find that once you get the hang of doing a flat spiral, it is really fun, pretty repetitive and quite addictive!”

Bridesmaid Dress

Shanna’s radiant orchid bridesmaid dress choice

Woven Bracelet

Beautiful pearl and seed bead woven bracelet

Click here to make this bracelet. To see a video demonstration of the flat spiral weaving technique she used, click here.

Kelly:

“I chose this dress because of the pretty ruffled halter top.  It is so simple and feminine.  Because of the ruffled detail towards the top, I felt a very simple earring was in order.  Rather than try to match the shade of orchid, I decided for me it made more sense to construct an earring that goes with anything.  And what is more appropriate for that than a Swarovski Crystal AB rondelle?  Paired with some nice silver filled chain, the result is a very dainty dangled earring that would look great on bride or bridesmaid alike.”

Orchid Bridesmaid Dress

Kelly’s choice of bridesmaid dress in radiant orchid

Swarovski crystal and silver filled components make for a classic set of earrings

Swarovski crystal and silver filled components make for a classic set of earrings

Click here to make these earrings.

So, what do you think?  Do you like to design for specific garments?  Have you ever been tasked with designing for a bridal party?

Susie Henderson

Susie is co-founder of Auntie's Beads and has been working in the jewelry and beads industry for over 20 years. When she's not playing in beads, you can find her snuggling with her grandson or enjoying her beautiful backyard with a cup of coffee and a book.

2 Comments

  • […] Designing Jewelry for a Bridesmaid Dress […]

  • Very interesting design ideas… I design and create bridal jewelry in my Etsy shop, http://www.AWRdesigns.Etsy.com and love to work with brides to create custom handmade wedding jewelry sets for their special day for themselves, their bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers of the bride and groom, and others in the bridal party. I find it so heartwarming to receive touching emails back from the customers about how much they love their handmade wedding jewelry. I work very closely with brides, and I find out their wedding colors, I ask them for pictures of the bridesmaids dresses, the bride’s dress, flower girls dresses, etc. or a color swatch of the colors, so that I can get an exact match with Swarvoski crystals and pearls. In some cases, where the colors are not available in Swarovski, I will use glass pearls. I will put together several designs, take tons of pictures, and then edit the pictures and send them back to the bride to find out which designs she likes best. That is just the beginning of the process. I always remain in close contact, making sure I know ahead of time when their wedding date is, along with other important info, such as lengths of necklaces and bracelets, if anyone needs clip-on earrings, etc. It is a long and often tedious process, but I love every minute of it!! :-)
    Anyway, thanks so much for adding an article that is close to my niche!! :-)

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