We kick off the new year with a cheap-yet-beautiful project: Crystal Stems.A few tucked in amongst your flowers can be quite lovely; making an entire bouquet of crystal stems is a bold, beautiful statement. Instructions for making these affordable beauties can be found in our Downloads area, under Project Sheets —> Bouquets & Flowers.
• 26 gauge or 28 gauge craft wire
• Wire cutters
• Crystals, 6mm – 8 mm
• Variable speed drill
• Needle-nose pliers (optional)
• A vise or stand for your drill (optional)
1. Cut wire to double the desired finished length. (Ex: Cut to 24” if you want a 12”
2. Thread the wire through the crystal, bring ends together, centering the crystal on
the length of the wire.
3. Holding the crystal in one hand, pinch the wires together under the crystal and give
it a twist. [Image 1] This secures the crystal and readies it for the next step.
4. Open the chuck of your drill and remove the drill bit (if there’s one in it).
5. Insert your crystal into the drill’s chuck and secure it in place as you would a drill bit.
[Image 2] Be very careful! Glass crystals will break, crack, or shatter if you close the
chuck too tightly.
6. Hold the loose end of your wires tightly in one hand (or hold them with a pair of
needle nose pliers). Pull the wires taught.
7. Turn on your drill to the lowest speed and, voila!, you have a tightly twisted stem in
less than 5 seconds.
Crystal stems are commonly used as a simple way to add sparkle to your bouquet OR stunning as a bouquet themselves. Retail for these guys run
around $1.00 – $2.50 PER STEM on the internet. We made ours for under $0.45 each.
8 mm Czech crystals 0.32 each
24” of 28 g. gold wire 0.09 each (wire comes in 40 yd. spools – you’ll get several stems per spool.)
TOTAL 0.41 each
• Use needle nose pliers to hold the loose wire ends while twisting with the drill.
• Use the slowest possible speed for the best control. Twisting too fast will weaken and break the wire very quickly.
• Try to position the crystal so that the holes are side-to-side instead of up and down. It’s just prettier because you’ll see only the crystals and
not the wires.
• It’s best to either have a friend help hold the drill or set up a stand/vise to hold the drill while you twist. It’s not impossible to do it alone,
• Wrap the ends of the wire stems with florist tape to keep it from snagging your clothes or poking you. Those ends can be a little sharp.
• Pearls can easily be substituted for crystals.
• Any color of wire can be used. Gold and silver look best.
• Shop around the for the best price on crystals. Many places will offer you bulk discounts.
• 6 mm crystals are generally much less expensive then 8mm. 4 mm tend to be way to small.
• For a whole bridal bouquet, we recommend using 300+ stems.