The Napoleonic era is filled with gorgeous golden diadems, studded with coral, pearls, gemstones, or lovely cameos. What court outfit is complete without a tiara?
This garnet diadem was sold on Ruby Lane.This coral diadem made from gilded brass from A. Brandt is very elegant.
Here is a beautiful cameo tiara sold by Sotheby’s that inspired me to want my own.
This parure (matching set) that belonged to Caroline Bonaparte is stunning!
Last month, I hosted a group of friends and we decided to try our hand at making our own, using this great tutorial from the Mistress of Disguise, for a Regency Tiara Making Day! Behold, crafting chaos.
We bought materials from a variety of places, including Michael’s, Joann’s, and eBay for beads and wire; Hobby Lobby or Amazon for brass sheets and metal combs; and Whittemore-Durgin, Etsy, and Ebay for our brass lamp banding. It’s hard to say how much it cost to make each one, since some things were bought in bulk and we did a lot of sharing. Here are our tiaras!
There was some trial and error, and things we learned during the process:
- Soldering looks better but hot glue is much faster than soldering, especially when you have a group.
- High-temp hot glue is required; the mini glue guns used for crafting don’t stick as well.
- Big tin snips instead of small jewelry snips are better for cutting through the brass banding. (Regular scissors can cut through the brass sheets).
- If you have tarnish on your brass, use Simichrome polish.
- Wiring metal combs to the diadem is more sturdy than gluing metal or plastic combs.
Here are my “practice tiaras.” They are not perfectly straight and there are some little issues I’d like to work on (such as the thickness of the brass, the overall proportions, and remembering to push the head pins down before the glue set!) but they were really fun to make and I want to make more! I’d like a thinner, more delicate pearl one, and a pink coral one to go with my court gown.
That sounds like a fun evening! Hopefully the glue gun burns were kept to a minimum (no matter how careful I am, I rarely escape unscathed!)
A few people might have gotten nicked by the brass but I don’t think anyone got burned by glue!
Yay! I was waiting for this post. I noticed the link to Mistress of Disguise’s tutorial leads to Ruby Lane. Is that correct?
Oops thanks for catching that! I pasted the wrong link; it’s fixed now!
Looking great, and thanks for hosting!
I later found that gluing the beads in place on the head pins first was best, as it kept the beads from sliding around while I glued the head pin to the tiara.
Thanks for coming! The diadems you made after the party are stunning! Thanks for the extra tip.
A Regency tiara-making party sounds like my kind of party! 🙂
The best kind of party is where everyone goes home with a prize!
Oh, the Tiaras turned out beautiful!
Thank you. They were a lot of fun to make too!
Do you think it would be possible to replicate one of these somehow?
I used this tutorial and recommend it. It was my first time making these diadems, and although they were not perfect they were wearable.
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These look so fabulous! You all did an amazing job, I’m so glad the tutorial has proved useful! 😀
Yes we had such a great time making them! Your tutorial helped us a lot!
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Ultra cool. Very inspiring
Glad you think so!