Beaded headpieces have been making a fashion statement for centuries. Throughout history, beading has played a roll from the ornate and bejeweled crowns and bead strands of the English Tudor period, to the bands of beaded ribbon women wore in the roaring twenties, to today's more simple beaded headbands. It's easy to make your own beaded headpiece by sewing beads randomly or in a pattern onto ribbon, or by stringing crystal beads together to drape across your brow. Select beads for your headpiece in colors that compliment the color palate of your wardrobe and you'll be able to wear the bands or strands more often. Design a wide headband to hold back your hair or bead a thin ribbon for decorative purposes.
Crystal beads and stringing wire are available at bead supply stores online or at your local craft stores. Smaller seed beads are used for stitching, while larger beads are strung together and then stitched onto the ribbon for a headband. Swarovski crystal beads are beautifully cut from high quality crystals in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Small to medium sized beads work best for a headband, while you can select larger sizes for a draped strand. Any ribbon will work for beading, but wire ribbon is less flexible for a headband than ribbon you can tie easily. You will need enough beading to cover the portion of the ribbon that is visible. If you are beading a pattern onto the ribbon, you will need a template and a washable marker in addition to the beads, stringing wire or beading needle and thread.
For stitched beaded ribbon, cut a strip of ribbon that will surround your head with enough left to use as a tie. Draw a pattern onto the ribbon and stitch the seed beads on with a beading needle and thread. Insert your needle from the back to the front of the ribbon, add your bead then insert the needle from back to front. Continue stitching the seed beads along the lines of your pattern. For a headband with larger beads, first string the beads together on beading wire and secure both ends with crimping beads. Stitch the strand onto the ribbon with thread between every two or three beads. You can make several strands and sew them side by side on the ribbon to make a wider headpiece. For draped strands, string the beads on beading wire long enough to drape along your brow, creating a small loop at both ends with wire before adding a crimping bead. The loops fit under your hair and are secured with hairpins.