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?
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.