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The Complete Photo Guide to

BEADING

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The Complete Photo Guide to

BEADING

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Contents

IntroductIon
The Magic of Beads 7
The Saga of Beads 8
All about Beads 10
Basic Beading Kit 20

Bead-StrIngIng 28
Bead-Stringing Tools and Supplies 29
Basic Techniques of Bead Stringing 30
Design and Variations 31
Stringing Beads on Elastic 32
Star Bracelet 33
Stringing Beads on Stranded Wire 36
Tide Pool Necklace 36
Stringing Beads on Thread and Knotting 40
Hand Knotting 41
Vintage Blue Necklace 44
Jasper Necklace 48
Stringing Beads on Wire 52
Vintage Blue Earrings 53
African Links Key Chain 57
Heather Spirals Necklace 62

Bead WeavIng 70
The Delight of Bead Weaving 70
Tools and Supplies 71
Techniques for Bead Weaving 72
Design and Variations 76
Peyote Stitch 76
Rainbow Bracelet 77
Stocking Ornament 83
Miniature Basket 87
Barnacle Brooch 90
Right-Angle Weave 97
Autumn Crystals Belt 97
Brick Stitch 101
Vermillion Heart Pin 101
Fan Earrings 104

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Bead Netting 110
Summer Breeze Bracelet 111
Lattice Collar 115
Saraguro Lace Necklace 119
Crochet with Beads 122
Polka-Dot Bracelet 123
Knitting with Beads 128
Zigzag Scarf 129

Bead emBroIdery 132


Sewing with Beads 131
Tools and Supplies 134
Techniques for Bead Embroidery 136
Design and Variations 142
A Sampler of Bead Embroidery Stitches 145
Seed Stitch 146
Lazy Stitch 151
Backstitch 156
Couching Stitch 161
Fancy Stitches 166
Bezels 172
Edge Stitches 176
Fringes 179
Creative Spirit ATC 185
Raven Moon ATC 189
Embellishing with Beads 192
Five Cats in the Yard 192
Little Me 200
Beaded Greeting Card 204
Mixed Methods 208
Serenity 209
Summer Rain, A Story Cloth 213

contributor List 218


resource List 220
acknowledgments 221
about the author 221
Index 222

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Introduction
the magIc of BeadS

Have you ever held a few beads in your hands and won-
dered at the magic and mystery of their journey, about
who made them, and where they came from? Small,
beautiful, intriguing, and infinitely varied, beads are so
compelling that people sometimes buy them without a
clue about what to do with them.

Whether you already own a stash of beads or possess


none at all, this book will teach—and show—you many
different ways to use beads without having to acquire
expensive equipment or materials. Those with no bead-
ing experience will find everything they need to begin
learning techniques and creating bead jewelry and other
beaded objects. Those with experience in one or more
types of beading will find areas where they can expand
and enhance their skills.

At the most fundamental level, there are three types of


things you can do with beads: string, weave, or embroi-
der. This book covers all three categories. Within each
category, you will find a variety of techniques shown
through a broad range of projects. You’ll learn all the
basics, including design ideas, techniques, and tips for
creating various objects with beads—some to wear,
some to give away, some to decorate your home, and
some just for fun.

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the Saga of BeadS

Some anthropologists believe that beads are human’s


earliest artifacts, predating tools and vessels. Whatever
the exact time line, we know that early humans pierced
natural materials like bone and shell, stringing them on
grass or reeds to make personal adornments.

In nearly every culture and every land since the very begin-
ning, people have found ways to make and use beads.
From primitive cultures to the ruling classes, from earliest
humans to modern times, beads are nearly ubiquitous.

In the past few centuries, beading was considered a craft. the art world. However, in recent years, many people
Although some types of beading required great skill, such have begun to view beading as an art as well as a craft.
as the beaded handbags created by Victorian women, Increasing numbers of beaders are considered artists,
and some crafters of beaded jewelry attained position their beadwork recognized by collectors, museums, and
and status, beads and beading were largely ignored in galleries as an important art form.

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Small, easily portable, often used in barter or trade, of years, passing from hand to hand, being repurposed
beads are given value based on their age, uniqueness, and relocated by each owner. The history and future of
and the material from which they are made. Since most beads (and beaded objects) are two of the things we find
types of beads are durable, they can last for hundreds so compelling about beads. And the future is changing.

A beading renaissance began in the late 1980s, and


included all types of beading. In addition to beading
itself, artisans took up bead making, creating lampwork,
blown glass, and polymer clay beads. As beading and
bead making gained popularity and markets, the need
for gatherings, such as international bead conferences,
also expanded.

Soon bead collectors, makers, and artists developed an


Internet presence, developing websites, creating blogs,
and forming interest groups. Today, a strong sense
of being connected around the world can be gained
through beads and beading. Picture a string of beads
wrapped around the earth many times in every direction,
including people in every country, all of them united by
their common affection for beads and the art and craft of
beading, all of them experiencing a passion that returns
them to the very roots of humankind’s earliest and most
consistent form of adornment. Welcome to the wonderful
world of beads!

INTRODUCTION 9

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aLL aBout BeadS
glass Beads
The variety of beads available to a beader is astonishing! Glass is so versatile and is available in so many colors
that it has long been a favorite material for making beads.
Ranging in size from itty-bitty, like a grain of salt, to Researchers believe the earliest glass beads were made in
as big is your fist, beads are created from hundreds of Egypt and Mesopotamia and may be dated as early as
different materials, such as glass, stones, metal, plas- 3500 BCE.
tic, porcelain, bone, felted wool, and even crushed
rose petals. The texture or finish can range from rough Today glass beads are classified by the method used to
to smooth, frosted to glossy, soft to hard, transparent make them. Manufactured worldwide, glass beads are
to opaque. Common shapes of beads include round, made by huge companies, small businesses, and by art-
oval, cubes, tubular, bicone, and disks. Beads are ists working in home-based studios.
also formed in special shapes such as hearts, flowers,
and leaves.
Lampwork Beads
For a reasonable cost, you can quickly acquire quite Lampwork beads (also called flame-worked or wound
a stash, stimulating and exciting, calling you to create beads) are made by holding a slender rod of glass in
beaded objects, partly just for the pleasure of doing it. the flame of a torch until the glass at the tip of the rod
Bead shops are found in most towns and cities; plus there becomes molten. The lampworker holds a metal rod in
are countless online sources for new and vintage beads. the other hand, winding the molten glass around it to
Some resources are listed on page 220. create each bead. Beads may be shaped in half-molds or
with paddles. When complete, beads are cooled slowly
(annealed) to prevent cracks from developing.

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Blown Glass Beads

To create blown glass beads, the maker takes a gather of


molten glass from a furnace on the end of a long metal
pipe and then blows into the pipe to force air into the
glass at the other end, forming a bubble. The glass
blower then reheats the glass, attaches a second pipe Pressed glass beads may be round, oval, bicone, disk,
to the other side of the bubble, and pulls the pipes in or other standard shapes or special shapes such as
opposite directions to create a tube. When the tube is hearts, flowers, leaves, drops, or lentils. Pressed glass
the desired diameter, the glass is cooled, eventually cut methods are also used to make faceted beads (not as
into tubular beads, and polished to smooth the cut ends. sharp-edged as crystal beads) and specialty forms such
These types of beads are also called cane glass beads. as cats, elephants, and butterflies.

Grinding certain areas of the tube produces faceted Crystals


blown glass beads. Cutting the tubes into thin slices Crystal can be a confusing term, because the original
produces disks. Layering different colors of glass over meaning of it refers to a naturally occurring rock forma-
the original gather before pulling the tube yields multi- tion with flat surfaces and defined edges. Transparent
colored beads. Blowing the molten glass into a mold glass with lead added to it, used to make fine stemware,
creates hollow, shaped beads. glassware, and beads, is also referred to as crystal.

Pressed Glass Beads


Today, simple shapes of pressed glass beads are ground
Pressed glass beads are made by heating a thick rod to create facets (flat, reflective, sharp-edged areas) on
of glass in a furnace until it is almost molten and then the surface of the bead. The resulting beads are called
pressing beads with a two-part steel mold that is held in crystals. Swarovski in Austria is the best-known manu-
a tong with a retracting pin that makes the hole. Larger facturer of crystal beads, offering them in a variety of
beads are pressed one at a time; smaller beads may be shapes, colors, and finishes.
pressed in multiples. The beads are annealed, cut apart,
ground or tumbled to remove flack around the connection
between the two parts of the mold, and then polished.
As with seed beads, (page 12), various treatments to the
surface of the basic bead extend the range of colors,
textures, and finishes available.

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SIze 11
meaSurement or WeIght SIze 15 SIze 11* SIze 8 SIze 6
deLIcaS

Number of beads per inch (2.5 cm) when strung 24 18 13 10 19

Number of beads per gram 260 110 38 15 190

Number of beads per ounce 7,300 3,100 1,075 425 5,350

Number of beads per 6” (15 cm) tube (+/-30 g) 7,800 3,300 1,140 450 5,700

Number of beads per 3” (7.5 cm) tube (+/-15 g) 3,900 1,650 570 225 2,850

Seed Beads
Small, like the plant seeds for which they are named, glass
seed beads are manufactured in the Czech Republic,
Japan, China, and India. Seed beads are sold packaged
loose in containers or stranded in hanks.

Seed beads are available in a variety of sizes. The number


designating the size originates from the approximate num-
ber of beads it takes to equal 1" (2.5 cm) when they are
strung on thread. Many bead shops offer size 15 (small),
11 (most common), and 8 (large). A few shops sell seed
beads as small as size 24 (like a grain of sand) or as large
as 3 (the size of a pea).

*All seed beads vary greatly in size depending on paints or glazes. Some of these coatings are relatively
where they are made, the style of the bead, and the stable, whereas others will quickly fade in sunlight or
finish on the bead. Size-11 beads, the most commonly rub off with use.
available, seem to vary more than other sizes. For
example, measured by the length of the hole, Japanese
size-11 seed beads can be nearly twice the size of Color-Fast Test
Czech-manufactured size 11s. The quantities specified
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in the chart above correspond more closely to seed
When making a significant project with seed beads, it is wise
beads made in Japan.
to test them for color fastness.

Seed beads come in a remarkable range of colors and 1. Set a few beads of each color in direct sunlight for three days.
Check if the color fades by comparing them to originals.
finishes. They may be transparent, semi-opaque, or
opaque. The color of seed beads is permanent when it’s 2. Take a nail file or emery board and gently file the surface of
derived from an ingredient in the glass formula. a bead. If a surface coating flakes off, this bead will lose its
However, to meet the demands of beaders desiring a color from friction.

wider variety of colors, manufactures also make seed 3. Soak a few beads of each color in water to which you’ve
beads that are coated on the outside or inside with added a little detergent and bleach, and allow to soak for
twenty-four hours. Then compare these to the originals.

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Rounded Seed Beads Delica Beads Bugle Beads

By far the most commonly available Delica beads are cylindrical in shape Bugle beads are longer than they
seed beads have rounded edges and have very thin walls, as opposed are thick, creating a tubular shape.
and are slightly wider (diameter, to the thicker walls of rounded seed The diameter of most bugle beads is
measured across the hole) than they beads, and comparatively large equivalent to the diameter of a size-12
are long (measured by the length of holes. They are generally about the seed bead. The length may be des-
the hole). Rounded seed beads are same height as width, making them ignated in millimeters (mm) or by a
available in sizes 16 through 3 in a an excellent choice for many bead number (#2 is 3/16" [4.8 mm] long;
wide range of colors and finishes. weaving projects. #3 is 1/4" [6 mm] long; #5 is 1/2"
[1.3 cm] long). Like other seed beads,
Made in Japan, Delica beads may bugle beads are available in a variety
be identified by the manufacturer’s of lengths, colors, and finishes.
name, such as Toho or Miyuki. They
are made in four sizes: 15, 11 (most
commonly available), 10, and 8.
Size 11 is available in a broad range
of colors and finishes, with over 800
to choose from.

Tip
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Many bugle beads are sharp on the


ends where the glass tubes have been
cut to create designated lengths. Be
Cut Seed Beads Shaped Seed Beads aware that these sharp edges can cut
beading thread, even beading wire.
Sometimes called charlottes, cut In recent years, seed bead manufac- When possible, bracket bugle beads
seed beads have faceted sides, like turers have starting offering shaped with rounded seed beads to lessen the
miniature crystals. The cut surfaces seed beads including triangular, danger (see page 75). Also, though it
reflect light, adding a bit of sparkle cube, drop (with off-center hole), takes some time, you can gently file or
sand the sharp ends of bugle beads to
to beadwork. Cut seed beads are hex, and twisted hex. Shaped seed
smooth and round them.
available in sizes 15, 13, and 11 in beads are generally available in
a wide range of colors and finishes. sizes 11 and 8, with a few in larger
or smaller sizes. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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metal Beads
There is a huge variety of metal beads, some made of
precious metals like silver and gold; others of more com-
mon metals such as brass, bronze, copper, or pewter;
and still others from less expensive or even base metals.
Most metal beads are machine made, and so are uniform
from bead to bead.

Beautiful sterling-silver beads are handmade in northern


Thailand, Bali, and India. Some Native Americans still
Tip
make sterling beads using traditional metalsmithing tech- ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

niques. Contemporary metalsmiths around the world cast Quality sterling silver and gold-filled beads are the most
and fabricate silver and other metal beads. expensive choices. Sterling plated and gold-plated (also
called vermeil) metal beads are much less costly, but the
plating wears off with frequent use. Gold- and silver-colored
metals are the least costly and generally retain their finish
well, but don’t have a high-quality look.

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Stone Beads
Nearly every type of stone can be carved either by hand
or by machine, drilled, and polished to make beads of
different sizes and shapes. The color of some types of
stones can be altered or enhanced by heat-treating or
dyeing. Stones may be natural or man made (synthetic).

Glass, Plastic, or Stone?


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Say there are three similar-looking beads in a bowl. One is


glass, one stone, and one plastic. Can you tell which is which?
The plastic bead will feel warm to the touch compared to the
other two. If you hold the non-plastic beads, one in each hand,
the glass bead will warm up more rapidly than the stone bead.

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Taking Care of Pearls
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Do not store pearls in plastic bags. The bags release chemicals


that cause the pearls to lose their luster and sometimes to blister.
Store pearls in soft cloth bags or glass jars.

Pearls are sensitive to all types of chemicals. It’s best not to


wear perfumes on skin that will be touched by pearls. When
necessary, clean pearls gently with an unscented, mild soap
and allow them to dry completely before putting them away.

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Pearls
Whether alone or added to a design made with other
types of beads, pearls hold a special attraction for most
people. The higher the quality of the pearls, the more
lustrous and uniformly shaped they are. Faux pearls are
also widely used by beaders.
Real or Fake?
Natural and Cultured Pearls ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Most natural and cultured (induced) pearls are formed Here are two ways to tell the difference between genuine and
either in freshwater mussels or saltwater oysters. They imitation pearls. When viewed under bright light, real pearls will
have slight variations in color and iridescence, whereas faux
can be perfectly round or irregularly shaped. The outside
pearls will all look identical. When you view them under magni-
layer of pearls, called nacre—whether smooth or lumpy, fication, the characteristic ridges and irregularities of real pearls
perfectly white, or tinted—has a characteristic lustrous are distinguishable from the grainy smoothness of imitations.
glow. Because nacre is quite porous, it readily accepts
dyes without substantially affecting the luminous quality
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of the surface. Pearls may be dyed to provide a wide
range of available colors.

Imitation Pearls

Very realistic-looking pearls are made from glass beads


coated with a pearlescent paint that is baked on the
glass to make the finish last. High-quality imitation
pearls are available in many bead shops. Plastic pearls
are also available.

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Polymer clay Beads
Ever since polymer clay became a
popular craft medium in the 1980s,
artists have created beads, charms,
buttons, and embellishments from it.
Polymer clay comes in many colors,
which can be blended to create a full
spectrum of colors. It can be sculpted
into any shape and be formed to imi-
tate more expensive or antique glass,
stone, and ivory beads. Once baked
(cured), polymer clay beads are
durable, holding both their shape
and color over time.

Plastic, resin, and Lucite Beads


Many types of plastics are used to make beads. Lucite
beads, made with an acrylic plastic similar to Plexiglas,
and beads made from liquid resin in Indonesia are popu-
lar because of the available colors and light weight.

ceramic Beads
Porcelain, stoneware, and earthenware clays of all types
can be used to create beads by molding, sculpting, and
turning methods. Ceramicists may apply various glazes
to the beads, after which the beads are hardened by
bringing them to a specific temperature in a kiln.

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Bone, horn, amber, coral,
and Shell Beads
A wide variety of natural materials
may be carved and drilled to create
beads. The most commonly available
beads of this type are made from
bone. The term “heishi beads”, origi-
nally referring to small, disk-shaped
bits of shell that were drilled, now
refers to any beads of this shape,
including those made from stones.

Beads made from


other materials
Just about any firm material can be
used to create beads. Examples of a
few oddities include petals of fragrant
flowers such as roses (compressed,
formed, and dried), wool or animal
fur (felted and pierced), teeth (drilled),
paper (rolled and glued), pencil stubs
(drilled), and vinyl records (punched
and drilled.

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trade Beads
The term “trade beads” refers to
beads that are made in one place,
and then traded for money, goods
or services in a distant location. The
term “African trade beads” generally
refers to beads made in Europe and
traded in Africa between 1800 and
1950 by various trading companies.
Also, during the same era, beads
made in China were traded in vari-
ous countries, including the United
States. The study and collecting of
trade beads is a whole other field
within beading.

Trade beads, generally being more


than 25 years old and repurposed
several times during their journey,
carry a patina of mystery and charm
that some beaders find irresistible.

vintage and
antique Beads
Bead collectors may define antique
beads as being more than 100 years
old, and preferably much older than
that. But contemporary beaders are
intrigued by any beads that are rare
and not currently being made. These
are usually called vintage beads.
Estate sales can be a good source
for vintage beads as well as certain
vendors at bead conferences and
trade shows.

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charms, Buttons, and cabochons
Charms with a loop or hole for attaching them are fre-
quently used by beaders as embellishments in their
designs. Most charms are metal, including sterling silver,
gold, plated metals, bronze, and brass. Buttons can be used as jewelry clasps and also as deco-
rative elements. Buttons are made from many of the same
materials as beads.

Special objects
Many beaders have a special fondness for domed, Hoping to find a way to use them, beaders always seem
flat-bottomed cabochons. Whether carved or plain, a to collect special objects that aren’t beads, buttons, or
cabochon is often used as a focal point in beadwork. charms. And this is good, since anything alluring and
Cabochons are made from many different materials, unique can turn into just the needed pizzazz for a future
including stone, glass, bone, and metal. beading project.

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BaSIc BeadIng KIt

Most beaders have a modest kit of basic tools and


supplies always at hand. The exact contents of
the kit will vary depending on personal prefer-
ences for certain brands and types of beading.

To get started, a beginner can assemble a kit


of basic supplies for a very reasonable cost
compared to other crafts. For many of the
beading techniques and projects included in
this book, good lighting, scissors, thread, and needles
are all that is needed. However, experienced beaders
are likely to have most (or even all) of the following items
in their bead kit.

Beading cloth
A shallow tray lined with an off-white linen napkin makes
a good surface on which to lay out piles of beads for
a project. It can easily be moved to a different location
or covered during beading breaks. Runaway beads are
caught by the edge of the tray. Some beaders prefer to
line the tray with a thick, acrylic beading mat or a piece
of Ultrasuede. When working with white or transparent
beads, it helps to have a dark-colored beading cloth.

Scissors and rulers


Fine, sharp sewing scissors for cutting thread and other
fibers is needed for bead weaving, embroidery, and
some stringing projects.

For measuring, you will need a standard ruler, marked


on one side with inches and the other with millimeters.
A tape measure or yardstick (meterstick) is also helpful.
Less used, but handy, is a gauge with notched jaws for
measuring the diameter of beads, wire, or other objects.
It should measure both in inches and millimeters.

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Lighting
Good lighting is very important for working with beads,
especially seed beads. To be able to distinguish colors,
see the thread path, follow charted designs, and avoid eye
strain, use a task lamp with a full-spectrum bulb. Beaders
with prescription glasses can ask their optometrist for extra
magnification for the working distance between hands and
eyes. For those who don’t normally wear glasses, quality
reading glasses may be useful at times.

Bead containers
To organize a bead stash, get an adequate number of
small containers that are all the same size, for example
2" x 3" (5.1 x 7.6 cm) heavy-duty (4 mil) plastic resealable
bags. Transfer beads from their original tubes or bags to
the new containers. Group them by color and/or type of
bead in larger containers.

Beading needles
Having a variety of needles on
hand will allow you to choose the
most appropriate size for a given
project. The following sizes are use-
ful: 10, 11, 12, and 13 in both long
and short types. Optional: Glover’s
needles (for beading on leather) in
sizes 10 or 11, big eye needles, and
twisted-wire needles.

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Beading thread and Wire thread conditioner
For bead stringing, a much larger
For sewing or weaving with beads, variety of threads, wires, and cords Microcrystalline wax (also called
use nylon beading thread. Keep a are appropriate, depending on the synthetic beeswax) and Thread
selection of Nymo or Silamide, size project. Staples include the following: Heaven are two thread conditioners
D, in black, white, and a variety of Soft Touch stranded beading wire that are commonly used, especially
others colors on hand. A bobbin of (clear, medium size), Stretch Magic for bead weaving. Thread condi-
size A or 00 in white is useful when elastic cord (clear, 1 mm diameter), tioner makes the thread more man-
working with very small seed beads a few feet (meters) of sterling silver- ageable, prevents tangling, and
or pearls. Fireline, a braided poly- and/or gold-filled wire (size 20 and extends the life of the thread.
ethylene thread, average weight of 18 gauge), and nylon upholstery-
about 10-lb. test, is recommended weight thread in two or three neutral
for some types of bead weaving, colors. Certain projects may call for
especially if the project includes other threads, cords, or wire, which
crystals or bugle beads. can be acquired as needed.

Bead Shovel crimping tool cement


To return remaining beads to their A quality crimping tool is required The most useful cement to have on
containers after beading, use a small for attaching crimp beads at either hand is Hypo-Tube Cement (also
spoon or bead shovel. Make an ends of bracelets or necklaces strung called bead-tip or watch-case
excellent bead shovel by sawing off on stranded beading wire. Get one cement). The fine-tip applicator
the tip of a metal spoon, filing the that has two wells in the jaws, one allows precision gluing of even the
cut edges smooth, and tapping with with a little notch in it, and another smallest knot. White craft glue is
a hammer to flatten at the cut edge. that is rounded and smooth. also useful.

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Wire-Working tools
It’s worthwhile to invest in a few quality tools that can of the jaw by gently tweaking the handles side to side in
be used for many years. Trying to work with inexpen- opposite directions; less flex signals better quality.
sive pliers and nippers can be frustrating, as their jaws
quickly get out of alignment. If possible, take some scrap Some pliers and nippers have a spring mechanism that
wire with you while you shop. Try bending and cutting keeps the jaws open until the handles are squeezed. The
wire with the available tools to see which feel the most springs in such tools require effort of the hand to keep
comfortable in your hand. Look for pliers with relatively them closed in addition to the motion of bending or cut-
short jaws. The closer your hand is to the working end of ting. Over time, this extra effort is hard on the hand,
the tool, the more control you will have. Test the firmness possibly contributing to medical problems.

Chain-Nose Pliers Round-Nose Pliers Wire Nipper

Chain-nose pliers have pointed jaws, Round-nose pliers have round, Wire nippers are used to cut wire.
with a flat surface where the jaws tapered jaws. They have only one Jewelers use several types of wire
meet. They are used for holding, purpose: to make round bends or nippers. For beaders, a small pair of
bending, and twisting wire. They loops in wire. They are essential for side-cut nippers is sufficient.
are also useful for pulling a needle making ear wires, clasps, eye pins,
through a tight spot, breaking seed links and for wire wrapping.
beads off a strand, and closing crimp
bead covers.

Needle Files

Needle files are small files useful for filing wire, metal
components, and bone or wood components. Two shapes
are most handy for beaders: barrette and round. Use the
barrette file for smoothing the sharp tips of cut wire, to
round sharp edges, and to remove dents in wire made
by pliers. Use the round file for cleaning, smoothing, or
enlarging holes in beads.

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findings
Findings are clasps, ear wires, and other components Less costly bronze, brass, copper, and pewter findings
used in jewelry making. Beaders who are making jew- may be appropriate for some jewelry designs. Inexpensive
elry tend to accumulate a stash of findings over time. gold- and silver-colored metal findings are also available.

Clasps
Findings are available in various metals. The highest
quality findings are 14-karat gold, gold-filled, and ster- There are many types of clasps to choose from, includ-
ling silver. Using findings made of quality metals gives a ing spring, toggle, pearl, magnetic, hook, box, and
professional look to jewelry. The finish on gold- or silver- multi-strand clasps. Each type is available in various
plated findings tends to wear off quickly, exposing the sizes and metals to accommodate the style and weight
unattractive, base-metal core. of your jewelry design.

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make a clasp
Construct your own S-shaped clasps by bending wire
with round-nose pliers.

1 3

2 4

1 Use 20-gauge round wire for small, delicate clasps, 18- or 3 Use a flat needle file to file both ends of the wire flat. Then
16-gauge wire for larger, sturdier clasps. Measure 2" file the ends at an angle to round them slightly.
(5.1 cm) and mark wire with a felt-tip pen.
4 Hold the wire about a fourth of the way from one end with
2 Use a wire nipper to cut the wire at the mark. a round-nose pliers at the widest part of the jaws.

(continued)

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5 Bend the short end of the wire around the jaw of the pliers 7 Lightly grip one end of the wire with the tip of the round-
until the tip is parallel to the midpoint of the long end of nose pliers and turn it outward. This bent tip will make
the wire. it easier to catch the clasp in a jump ring. Repeat on the
other end.
6 Repeat step 2 on the other end of the wire, forming an
S shape. 8 Squeeze the ends with your fingers to close the loops.

5 7

6 8

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Earring Findings

Ear wires, head pins, and eye pins are the staple find-
ings for making earrings. These findings can be con-
structed with wire, although often the cost in time and
materials is greater than the cost of buying ready-made
earring findings.

Crimp Beads and Covers

Crimp beads, available in several sizes, are little tubes


of metal used to crimp stranded beading wire around
clasp attachment rings at the ends of necklaces and
bracelets. The most commonly used size is 2 mm long
by 2 mm diameter. Select smaller crimp beads for fine-
gauge wire and jumbo crimp beads for heavy-gauge
wire. Optional: Close a cover over each crimp bead to
disguise it, making it look like a round bead.

Jump Rings

Jump rings, circles or ovals made of wire, are used to


connect components of jewelry, such as a clasp to a neck-
lace. They may also be linked to each other, forming a
chain. Use a soldered jump ring as the matching half of
a clasp or hook. Use unsoldered jump rings to connect
components. Use split jump rings (like a key ring) when a
firm yet unsoldered connector is required.

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Bead stringing

B ead stringing is the customary entry into beading. the techniques are easy to learn,

yet fun and challenging because of the infinite variety of beads available. the process of

arranging beads to create pleasing combinations of color and pattern is a good way to

learn principles of design. Because bead stringing takes relatively little time and requires

minimal expense, strung beads can be worn a few times, cut apart, redesigned, and worn

again. Look in bead shops, jewelry departments, and fashion magazines for appealing

design ideas.

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Bead-Stringing
toolS and SupplieS

You can string beads in lots of different ways, each


requiring a few different tools and supplies. For any
given design, several stringing methods will work equally
well. Beginners generally start with one stringing method,
acquiring only the tools and supplies needed for that
technique. Later, as they learn about other methods, they
begin to build a stringing kit that allows them to select the
best method for each project.

in addition to a basic beading kit (see page 20), the


following items will prove useful for most methods of
stringing beads.

design Board
a design board, either U-shaped or straight, is useful for
laying out the beads in a pleasing design and estimating
the finished length of the project. arrange and rearrange
the beads in the groove on the board without concern
for the beads rolling out of place or off the table. some
beaders simply use a large, smooth white fabric, such as
a tea towel, folded in half or thirds lengthwise as a work
surface for spreading out and arranging their beads.

Make Your Own design Board


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if you’re handy with wood, make your own design board. Chisel the grooves. Use a permanent marker to draw a line across the
parallel, U-shaped grooves of different widths lengthwise in a width of the board at the center (18" [45.7 cm] from the end).
1" x 4" x 36" (2.5 x 10.2 x 91.4 cm) board. Use spray adhe- Make small marks across the top at 1" (2.5 cm) intervals from
sive to attach a thin layer of felt to the board, smoothing it into the center outward. nail a stopper board on each end.

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thread, Cord, and Wire
the techniques and projects in this section are intended
to introduce you to several different methods and materi-
als for stringing beads. stranded wire, elastic cord, and
#18 beading cord are the staples of bead stringing.
Leather, hemp, linen, artificial sinew, and nylon uphol-
stery thread may be used for some projects. silk cord,
available in many colors and thicknesses, is suitable
for hand knotting, especially with quality pearls. nylon
beading threads like nymo and silamide, suitable for
bead weaving and embroidery, are not strong or thick
enough for most stringing projects.

if you don’t have a needle with a big enough eye, add a


needles
harness to a small-eye needle. thread the needle with about
some bead-stringing materials do not require the use 8" (20.3 cm) of fine beading thread (nymo, size a or 00).
of needles. stranded wire, for example, is stiff enough Bring the two thread ends together, tie an overhand knot,
that the end of the wire is used in the same way as a and clip the ends 1/2" (1.3 cm) from the knot.
needle. When thread, elastic, or cording is too limp to
use as a needle, it’s sometimes possible to coat the end
with nail polish or Fray Check (a plasticizer, available at
fabric shops) to make it stiff enough. if that doesn’t work, a
needle will be required. Big-eye and twisted-wire needles
allow threading larger cords. thread the stringing material through the resulting harness,
or loop.

BaSiC teChniqueS of Bead Stringing

the projects in the following chapters introduce you to of the bead holes, and consider the frequency of use. are
different bead-stringing techniques and finishing meth- you making a bracelet that will be worn day after day,
ods. the techniques include stringing on elastic, stranded while sleeping and in the shower? Or are you making
wire, knotted thread, and wire. they are progressive, one that may only be worn for special occasions? are
building in complexity within each chapter. you making a necklace that needs to look fluid, moving
and draping over the body? Or are you making a choker
that needs to be a little more rigid? Based on these con-
Selecting the “right” Stringing siderations, choose a stringing method and material that
Material and Method
matches the beads and the needs of the piece.
When planning a bead-stringing project, keep in mind
the value, size, and weight of the beads. also check the
sharpness of the edges of the bead holes and the diameter

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d e S i g n a n d Va r i at i o n S

designing beaded jewelry is both challenging and excit- Other critical factors in your design include interest and
ing because of the endless possibilities offered by differ- variety, which may be achieved by providing contrasts in
ent types and combinations of beads. every style can be certain variables, such as texture, color, size, value (light-
achieved: contemporary, classic, funky, and everything ness/darkness), and shape. too much variety or contrast
in between. it’s fun to experiment, tweaking the designs in too many variables, and your project will look spotty
in the following projects and those seen in other books, or busy; too little, and it will seem dull. asymmetry of the
magazines, and shops to fit your own personal taste. bead arrangement will also contribute to the interest and
variety of your work.

a few general principles of design


Unity is also important. When a project possesses unity,
Whatever design you choose, it must please you, the the eyes travel around it and don’t want to leave it—all
designer. Learn to recognize, understand, and please the contrasting elements are tied together. sometimes
your own aesthetic taste. When you try to please some- unity is provided by a theme, concept, or “story” that
one else (your family, your friends, or current fashion’s is told by several elements around the piece. symmetry
concept of beauty) but don’t also please yourself, you’ll and repeating elements will give a sense of unity to
never be totally satisfied with your project. your work.

Your design should be appropriate for its purpose. Once the beads are arranged, and before stringing,
Consider who will wear your project. if it is a necklace, ask, “What gives this arrangement unity? and what
for example, can the person get it on over her head? gives it variety? is there a pleasing balance? how do i
does she have enough dexterity to fasten the clasp? feel about it? is it exciting or a little blah?” Your answers
Can she carry its weight on her neck? Will it be appro- to these questions may lead to a few changes in the
priate for the type of clothing she wears? arrangement and, ultimately, to a really special design.

rule of thumb
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select the strongest and thickest stringing material you can,


given the hole size of the beads you wish to string.

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Stringing BeadS
on elaStiC

stringing relatively lightweight beads on stretchy, elastic the beads more securely on stranded wire or knotted
jewelry cord is a quick, fun way to make a bracelet, cord. stringing on elastic is easy for children, who will
anklet, or necklace. Or, using this method, make a set of enjoy an immediate reward as they slip a completed
napkin rings in less than an hour. bracelet over their hand.

Using elastic for jewelry projects offers several benefits, One drawback to stringing on elastic cord is that eventu-
but the main advantage is that the finished piece is easy ally it will lose its ability to stretch. if it breaks or the knot
to put on and take off. Because stringing beads on elastic fails, the beads will scatter quickly. For these reasons, it
requires no special tools or findings, it’s an appealing is generally not an appropriate method for stringing rare,
way for beginners to experience arranging beads. it’s valuable beads or beads that have sharp edges, such as
also a useful way to test a jewelry design before stringing crystals and some metal beads.

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Star Bracelet You Will need

Stringing Beads on elastic Cord • 6" to 9" (15.2 to 22.9 cm)


of assorted beads, may
elastic cord is commonly used for making bead bracelets and anklets.
include seed beads
relatively strong and flexible, this stringing material does not require the use (see step 1 on page 34)
of crimps or clasps to close and secure the piece. however, properly tying
• one charm, with soldered
and gluing the knot in the elastic cord after the beads are strung is important.
jump ring (or split ring)

as a rule of thumb, select the largest diameter elastic cord that can be • 14" (35.6 cm) stretch
strung through the holes of the beads in your design. although a commonly beading cord (stretch Magic
used size is 0.7 mm in diameter, it’s also available in other sizes, such as or equivalent),
0.5 mm and 1 mm, in either clear or black. We use black for this project, 0.7 mm diameter (see step 2)
as it is easier to see than clear in the photos. however, clear works well for • measuring tape or ruler
nearly every design.
• jeweler’s glue (Hypo-Tube
Cement, superglue, or
equivalent)

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1 Measure the length of a bracelet that fits well. the average beads may be any style or material, avoid beads that have
or standard length is 71/2" (19.1 cm). For larger diameter sharp edges at the hole, such as crystals and some metal
beads, add an extra 1/2" (1.3 cm). Lay out the measuring beads. select at least one bead that has a hole with a
tape on a beading cloth. arrange the beads and charm slightly larger diameter. arrange the beads so the one with
along the measuring tape to the desired length. although the larger hole is the first bead.

2 test the hole size of the beads on a piece of 0.7 mm elastic 3 Unwind about 1' (30.5 cm) of elastic cord from the spool.
cord. if it passes easily through all of the beads, consider do not cut it yet. Use the tip of the cord as a needle, and
using a larger diameter elastic. if it won’t pass through cer- string the bead arrangement from step 1, starting with the
tain beads, consider substituting beads with larger holes. bead with the largest hole.
if there are no appropriate substitutions, try 0.5 mm elastic
cord. if the elastic still doesn’t fit through the bead holes,
consider a different stringing material and method, such as
stranded wire (see page 36). Variations
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to make an anklet, increase the cord length and number of


beads to fit around the ankle. generally the measurement will be
10" to 11" (25.4 to 27.9 cm) for a comfortably loose fit. to make
a set of napkin rings (see page 32), measure around a folded
napkin. generally the measurement will be about 51/2"(14 cm),
unless the napkins are extra large or made of heavy fabric.

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4 6

5 7

4 pull the elastic cord through the beads until there is about 6 place a small dab of glue on the knot allow the glue to dry
3" (7.6 cm) extending beyond the first bead strung. snug thoroughly.
the beads together, and cut the cord from the spool 3"
(7.6 cm) beyond the last strung bead. 7 When the knot is dry to the touch, thread the adjacent cord
end through the large-hole bead. snip the other end of the
5 depending on the diameter of the elastic, tie the two ends elastic about 1/8" (3 mm) from the knot. apply more glue to
together using either a square knot or a surgeon’s knot both sides of the knot. While the glue is still wet, pull on
(which is a square knot with an extra twist, also called a the cord end that exits the large-hole bead and slide the
double square knot). For 0.5 mm cord, tie a surgeon’s knot. beads around so that the knot is inside the bead with the
For 1-mm cord, tie a square knot. For mid-range cords, large hole.
try tying a surgeon’s knot, but if it seems too large, use a
square knot. if the cord end will not fit through the large-hole bead, snip
both ends about 1/8" (3 mm) from the knot, apply glue, and
to tie a square knot, place the right end of the cord over wiggle the large-hole bead gently to slide it over the knot.
the left. Bring the right end around and under the left. pull
the two ends tight, stretching the elastic through the beads if the knot will not fit inside the large-hole bead, either allow
slightly. then repeat in the opposite direction, placing the knot to show or conceal it with a crimp bead cover.
the left end of the cord over the right. Wind the left end
around and under the right, and pull tight. to tie a sur- allow the glue to dry thoroughly before slipping the
geon’s knot, wind the right end over, around, and under bracelet over your hand.
the left twice, making a double twist. repeat the double
twist in the opposite direction.

do not cut off the cord ends yet.

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Stringing BeadS also fold the wire in half and squeeze gently. after you
on Stranded Wire unwind and unfold it, the wire should not have any kinks.
Use the heaviest weight of wire possible, given the diam-
Once the beads are arranged, stringing them on flexible eter of the holes of the beads for each project.
stranded wire and attaching a clasp with crimp beads
takes only a few minutes. For this reason, it is a widely stranded wire jewelry can break due to poor crimping
used method of bead stringing. or sharp beads cutting the wire. When that happens, the
beads quickly slide off the wire. thus, for precious or rare
Choose a stringing wire that has a fluid feel. test the wire beads, such as genuine pearls, it’s better to use thread and
by unrolling a length and winding it into a fairly tight loop. knot between the beads, as introduced in the next chapter.

tide Pool Necklace

Stringing Beads on Stranded Wire


this theme necklace is fun to design because you can use
many different pressed glass beads, one to six of each
type, in all different sizes and shapes. the different shapes
provide interest and variety in the design, while the analo-
gous colors and theme-related choices provide unity. to
add tactile and visual delight as well, use a few drops and
daggers, pointed beads with the hole at one end so they
stick out. select one unifying color of size-8 seed beads to
intersperse among the larger beads, particularly next to
dagger and drop beads.

the example is 26" (66 cm) long. adjust the quantity


of beads and wire to make a longer or shorter strand.
Look for a clasp that complements the theme of your
necklace. this type of design will also work with other
themes such as spring flowers, fall leaves, babbling
brook, and any holiday.

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You Will need

• 1–2 gram size-8 rounded


seed beads
• approximately 100 pressed
glass beads in a variety of
shapes and sizes
• clasp
• two crimp beads, thick wall,
1 arrange the beads along a folded cloth towel or design board. place larger 2 x 2 mm
beads toward the center. select a unique, larger bead for the center bead and
build outward, toward the ends, from there. the beads do not have to be placed • 30" (76.2 cm) stranded
in exact order. For each type of bead, place about the same number on each bead-stringing wire,
side of the center. they do not have to be the same distance from the center on medium weight
each side. a little asymmetry works well for this style of necklace.
• crimping pliers

2 notice how the arrangement features smaller beads toward the ends and larger
beads toward the center. the change is gradual.

3 Cut a 30" (76 cm) length of stranded wire. string a crimp bead on the end of the
wire, leaving a short tail of about 11/2" (3.8 cm).

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4 string the tail end of the wire through the clasp and then 5 holding the crimp bead in the back notch of the crimping
back through the crimp bead. pull the wire end until the tool, squeeze gently. examine the crimp. if the spacing
loop is almost snug around the clasp, but still loose enough looks right and the wires are not crossed, hold the crimp
for the clasp to move freely. again in the back notch and squeeze firmly.

the wire will want to twist, crossing over itself inside the
crimp bead. this should be corrected. to make a secure
crimp, hold the clasp and the wire so that the wires are
parallel, not crossed.

6 the crimp should look like this. 7 turn the crimp bead and wire so that 8 select a few beads at the end of
the two wires are each cased now the U-shaped dip faces away from the necklace arrangement that have
by the crimp bead in a U shape. the jaws of the crimping tool and holes large enough to accommodate
place it in the front notch. squeeze both wires. string them on the long
gently to fold the two sides of the end of the wire, and push them over
U together. turn the crimp a few the tail end and against the crimp
degrees and gently squeeze again. bead. Cover the tail with beads
the resulting crimp will look rounded rather than cutting it for a more
and tubular—like an unused crimp secure clasp attachment.
bead only slightly smaller.

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9 string the beads, rearranging slightly if necessary for 10 Continue stringing until the two sides are of equal length
a more pleasing look. intersperse size-8 seed beads, from the center bead. the last four or five beads should
especially next to dagger and drop beads with pointed have holes large enough to accommodate two wires. hold-
ends. When you reach the designated center bead, bring ing the two ends, place the necklace around your neck to
the necklace around in the opposite direction so you can test for length and pleasing arrangement of beads. adjust,
see how the second side looks in relation to the first side, if needed.
choosing beads that look pleasing but are not exactly like
those opposite them on the first side. notice, for example,
that the two turtle beads are not symmetrically placed.

11 Follow the same procedure as the other end for attaching 12 place the smooth face of the wire cutters next to the bead
the second half of the clasp, sliding the short end of the where the wire exits, and cut off the wire tail. pulling
wire down through the last four or five beads on the neck- slightly on the wire before cutting will ensure a flush cut.
lace before crimping.

13 the resulting clasp attachment should be secure. to test, should hold. if not, the crimp beads may not have been
grasp a few inches (centimeters) on either side of the squeezed tight enough or the wires may have crossed
clasp and pull gently in opposite directions. the crimps inside the crimp bead.

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Stringing BeadS on
thread and Knotting

Knotted strands of beads always have a graceful appear- • Most stringing materials stretch over time, especially
ance when worn, because the knots between the beads when supporting heavier beads. Knotting spreads
allow the strand to flex and move with the body. placing the stretch over the entire length, whereas unknotted
knots between beads in strung jewelry offers several jewelry may show long gaps of exposed thread.
other advantages as well.
• Knots add a pleasing design element from the color
• The most obvious benefit is that if a strand breaks, the of the thread and for the way they space the beads
beads will not scatter and be lost. apart, which allows each bead to be better viewed
and appreciated.
• The knots prevent the beads from rubbing against
each other, protecting them from deterioration over • The knots take up space, sometimes adding 2" or
time, which is especially important for pearls and 3" (5.1 or 7.6 cm) to the length of a necklace. this
softer stones such as turquoise. means that, when stringing expensive beads (such as
pearls), the knots provide a savings.

although there are several methods and tools for knot-


ting, the technique used by Japanese pearl stringers for
many decades is very easy and requires no tools. Once
you master this technique, you can do it while you’re
relaxing—almost without looking—even while watching
a favorite movie.

a beader skilled at knotting strands of beads can always


find work restringing precious beads for others. some
jewelry stores even hire beaders to string and restring
knotted strands for their customers.

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You Will need hand Knotting
• 35 practice beads, glass, practice this time-honored Method
round, 6–8 mm
Used for centuries by Japanese pearl stringers, this hand knotting method may
• 3 yards (2.7 m) beading
seem a little slow at first. But once the movements become fluid, it goes very
cord, size FF (or diameter
quickly and easily. Because it’s easier to hand knot between small beads than
such that an overhand knot
larger ones, choose 6–8 mm round beads for learning this technique. To prac-
in a doubled thread will not
pull through the holes of the
tice, string one bead at a time, knotting after each bead. Later, to knot a neck-
beads) lace or bracelet, it is more efficient to string all the beads before starting to knot.

• beading needle
While learning, if the knot slips a short distance away from the bead, either
• 5" (12.7 cm) fine beading leave it and go on to the next bead, or split the strands and pull gently in
thread (nymo a, 0, 00, opposite directions to move the knot toward the bead. When the steps are
or equivalent) done correctly, you will rarely need to move a knot.

Most students of hand knotting begin to feel comfortable with the technique
after tying eight to twelve knots. By the time you’ve tied thirty knots, you’ll be
ready to knot your first necklace or bracelet.

to prepare for knotting, thread a beading needle with a short length of


fine beading thread and tie the two ends together to make a harness (see
page 30.) thread the beading cord through the harness, bring the two ends
together, and tie them in an overhand knot. string five beads and pull them
down to the knot. these beads, for this practice strand only, will provide
something to grab while tying the first knot. For knotting an actual necklace
or bracelet, begin knotting after the first bead or bead unit.

1 hold the cord with your dominant hand, dangling the beads 2 extend the third and fourth fingers of your nondominant
a few inches (centimeters) away. grab the top bead between hand. Wrap the beading cord around these fingers.
the thumb and forefinger of your nondominant hand.
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3 Bring the cord around the index finger to the top of the 4 reach the index finger of your dominant finger into the
bead, cross the wrapped cord right at the top of the bead, loop, grab the laid-back beading cord, and pull it all the
and lay it back, across the two extended fingers. this way through the loop. this forms the knot. the remaining
forms a loop. securing the end of the cord between your steps tighten the knot next to the bead.
extended fingers and little finger helps to keep it in place
for the next step.

5 the key to tightening the knot, without allowing it to slip 6 stabilize the chain of beads by holding it between the
up the cord (away from the bead), is tension. While still thumb and index finger of your dominant hand. Be sure to
holding the loop open with the extended fingers of the maintain the tension in opposite directions with both hands
nondominant hand, wrap the beading cord once or twice or the knot will slip away from the bead. remove the thumb
around the third finger of your dominant hand a little less of your nondominant hand from the knot.
than 2" (5.1 cm) from where the knot will be.

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7 Leaving the index and next two fin- 8 remove the second and third fingers 9 still maintaining tension, put the
gers in the loop, turn your nondomi- from the loop, leaving only the index fleshy part of the index finger of your
nant hand, palm toward you. again, finger in the loop. Maintain tension. nondominant hand under the knot
maintain a little tension in opposite and the bead. the knot and bead
directions with both hands. should sit right on the pad rather
than the edge of your finger. Check
to be sure the knot is still touching
the bead.

10 still maintaining tension, put the 11 Let go of the bead with your domi- 12 as the loop begins to get smaller,
fleshy pad of the nondominant thumb nant hand and begin to pull the cord slip the index finger of the non-
over the knot and the bead, making slowly and steadily in a downward dominant hand out of the loop.
a bead-knot sandwich held firmly direction. if the cord will not pull, Continue pulling slowly in a down-
between your finger and thumb. release a very small amount of the ward direction while maintaining
pressure between the finger and pressure between your finger and
thumb holding the knot and bead. thumb on the knot and the bead.
if it still won’t pull, use the index pull until the knot is snug on top of
finger of your dominant hand to push the bead.
against the other hand. this step
takes a little practice, because too string another bead and repeat steps
much pressure and the cord won’t 1–12. Continue stringing and knotting
pull, too little and the knot will slip. until all the beads are knotted. to cut
Begin pulling, but do not pull the the practice strand apart (or any previ-
loop tight around your index finger. ously knotted strand), use a single-
edge razor blade to slice between the
beads on a cutting mat or board.

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ViNtage Blue Necklace
Stringing with hand Knotting
a hand-knotted necklace will always have a beautiful, fluid drape to it,
because the knots make it more flexible than other types of stringing. Knotting
is especially important when the beads are special or susceptible to damage
from rubbing against one another. as a design element, knots set the beads
apart, adding subtle texture and color.

since the knots take up space, it is difficult to predict how long a knotted
necklace will be unless you first string and knot a sample. as a rule of thumb,
knots will add 2" to 3" (5.1 to 7.6 cm) to the length of a strand without knots.

Vintage Blue features lapidary-cut, glass beads from the Chinese Qing
dynasty (early 1900s), blue-opal glass beads from germany (1940s),
and spacer beads arranged in a repeating, symmetrical pattern. it
is strung on deep-blue silk thread (size FFF), which provides a
noticeable design element. You can use several methods for
attaching a clasp to a knotted strand. this project uses a
clamshell bead tip, which closes to hide the knot.

plan your own necklace, playing with possibili-


ties on a design board (or beading cloth) until
a pleasing arrangement is found. if pos-
sible, select beads that all have about
the same hole size.

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the beading cord will be used doubled. silk cord is available precut and You Will need
packaged with a needle. this type is intended to be used as a single strand
• 18"–20" (45.7 to 50.8 cm)
(not doubled). a doubled cord is preferable because if a knot slips a little,
of beads, any material, all
the strands can be separated and the knot pulled down to the bead. test the
the same or mixed types,
beads by stringing them on a doubled strand with a knot at the end. the including spacer beads
beads should not pull over the knot. if they do, select a heavier beading cord
• 5 yards (4.5 m) beading
or bracket the larger-hole beads with smaller-hole beads, treating the three
cord in a size appropriate
beads as a single unit.
for the holes in the beads
• 5" (12.7 cm) fine beading
thread (nymo a, 0,00,
or equivalent)
• two clamshell bead tips
(or regular bead tips)
• clasp with small, soldered
1 determine the approximate length of the necklace, including 2" to 3" (5.1 to 7.6 cm) attachment rings
for the knots. Larger diameter thread will make bigger knots. Knotting after every • craft glue
bead will add more length than knotting between groups of beads. Multiply the
estimated necklace length times six, and cut a piece of cord that long. prepare a • toothpick (applicator for glue)
harness with the nymo thread and beading needle (see page 30). put one end
• chain-nose pliers
of the beading cord through the harness; double it back on itself, and with both
ends together, tie an overhand knot. stitch through one of the bead tips from the
inside. pull the bead tip down the cord to the knot. Check to be sure the knot rests
inside the cup of the bead tip and can’t be pulled through the hole.

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2 string all of the beads. Check the strand carefully to be 3 Move one bead (or bead unit) down the beading cord
certain they are strung in the correct order. add a stop until it rests against the bead tip. Using the hand-knotting
bead about 3" (7.6 cm) from the loop end of the beading method shown on page 41, tie the first knot. When making
cord (see page 73), stitching through it enough time so that the knot, it is necessary to pull the entire length of the cord
it won’t slip. temporarily remove the harness. slide all the and the loose strung beads through the loop. tip your
beads to the stop bead end. nondominant hand downward to make it easier to pull the
beads through the loop.

4 Continue knotting between each bead (or bead unit), 5 do not knot after the last bead. it looks better when there
stopping just before the last bead. Check each knot to be is no knot between the bead tip and the last bead on a
sure it rests snugly next to the bead. if a knot has slipped strand. slide the last bead in place next to the others.
away from the bead a little bit, split the two cords. hold- Unfasten the stop bead at the loop end and retie the
ing them about 1" (2.5 cm) from the knot, gently pull them harness thread through the loop. stitch through the second
in opposite directions. the knot should move down to the bead tip toward the hook.
bead. it is better to leave a knot that is a very slight dis-
tance (less than 2 mm) from the bead than to pull the knot
too tight. if a knot slips more than 5 mm, try to pick the knot
with your fingernails to untie it.

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6 slide the bead tip to rest against the last bead in the knot- 7 Using your fingers, close the clam shell over the knot on
ted strand. Using the same hand-knotting method, tie a one end of the necklace. if necessary, use a pair of chain-
knot in the cup of the bead tip. Use a toothpick to apply nose pliers to squeeze the clam shell fully closed.
glue to the knot in the bead tip. glue all around the knot.
When the glue is dry, cut the thread next to the knot. re-
glue the knot, saturating the cut end. allow the knot to dry
thoroughly before attaching the clasp.

practice Makes perfect


8 place the hook of the bead tip in the loop of the clasp,
and gently close it with the chain-nose pliers. rather than ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

squeezing both sides of the hook, hold its tip in the tip of restringing and knotting the family pearls makes excellent knot-
the pliers and turn it inward to the other side, maintain- ting practice. the more practice you have, the easier it is to do.
ing the roundness of the hook. repeat for the other half of after knotting several strands, try holding the work in your lap,
the clasp on the other end of the necklace. if the necklace and knot while watching television.
seems a little stiff or kinky, gently stretch it to tighten the
knots a bit. this increases the space between the beads ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

and adds an easy, fluid motion to the strand.

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You Will need

• sixty assorted stone beads


7–13 mm, jasper and smoky
quartz (or equivalent)
• one stone focal bead,
approximately 25 x 30 mm,
hole diameter of 2 mm,
jasper (or equivalent)
• fifteen to twenty small
pendants or charms, bronze
or other metal
• ten to twenty bronze (or other
metal) beads, 5 mm
• twenty to thirty bronze
(or other metal) spacer
beads, 4 mm
• three bronze (or other metal)
cones for tassels
• one bronze (or other metal)
clasp, must have soldered
attachment rings
• 10 g seed beads,
size 11, matching or
complementary color
• 10 g seed beads,
size 8, matching or
complementary color
JaSPer Necklace
• 10 g seed beads,
hand-Knotted, Multiple Strands with tassel size 6, matching or
complementary color
accent a special-occasion outfit with this necklace may be made with
this fancy, multiple-strand necklace glass beads and feature a lampwork • 3 g seed beads,
that features faceted jasper and focal bead rather than stone beads. size 15, matching or
smoky quartz beads, an asymmetri- silver or other metal may be substi- complementary color
(optional)
cal, carved jasper focal-bead, and tuted for the bronze beads, cones,
three tassels. the three strands are and clasp. this stringing method
netted together during the stringing can be modified for any number of
process and knotted for security and strands as long as the hole size in the
quality. the “no-findings” method for focal bead will accommodate twice
attaching the clasp is useful for single- the number of the threads.
as well as multiple-strand jewelry.

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• upholstery thread, #69 1 2
bonded nylon or equivalent,
matching or neutral color
• three beading needles, long,
size 10 or 11
• fine nylon thread, Nymo, size
a, 0, or 00 (or equivalent)
• glue with toothpick applicator
size-15 seed beads are only
needed if the charms or metal
beads have extra-large holes.
string a few size-15 beads, 1 Lay out the beads on a beading cloth. Make a tentative arrangement for the
tassels. Cut three lengths of upholstery thread, 3 yards (2.7 m) each. Make a
and then slide the large-hole
harness (see page 30) for each needle. thread the harnesses with upholstery
element over them. in this
thread, double it, putting the two ends together. tie an overhand knot with the
way, the large-hole element
ends, leaving a 10" (25.5 cm) tail.
is supported and centered on
the beading thread. 2 divide the stone beads and metal elements into three groups, one for the tassels
and one for each side of the necklace. string size-11 beads, adding larger seed
beads, stone, and metal elements spaced about 1/2" to 3/4" (1.3 to 1.9 cm) apart.
Use smaller elements at the start of the strand. gradually increase the size of the
elements and frequency of spacing. Knot the strand (see page 41) between two
size-11 beads, about every 3" (7.6 cm). Make the strand 12" (30.5 cm) long, or
longer or shorter for personal preferences, keeping in mind that the clasp, tassels,
and focal bead will add length to the necklace. Knot at the end of the strand. do
not cut the thread or remove the needle.

3 With the second needle, begin a


new strand. Lay the new strand
beside the completed strand, stag-
gering the placement of the elements
in a pleasing way. When the new
strand is about 2" (5 cm) long, join
the two strands by stitching through
one of the larger elements
in the first strand. Knot the new
strand between size-11 beads
approximately every 3" (7 cm).

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4 7

4 Continue stringing and knotting the second strand for an 7 string the beads for each of the three tassels, ending with
additional 2" to 4" (5 to 10 cm). Join it to the first strand, a cone. adjust the tassel lengths and placement of elements
as in step 3. as needed to achieve the desired arrangement.

5 Continue the second strand, joining it to the first a total 8 string an ending for each of the tassels, which in this case
of four to six times, until it is the same length as the first is a loop of size-15 beads with one of the charms centered.
strand. Knot the end of the strand. stitch back up through the beads of the tassel and through
the focal bead.
6 Make a third strand joined at 2" to 4" (5 to 10 cm)
intervals to one of the previous strands. Knot the third 9 Using any one of the needles, string a 12" (30.5 cm)
strand approximately every 3” (7.5 cm) and at the end. strand for the other half of the necklace. Use larger ele-
One needle at a time, stitch all three strands through the ments spaced closer together at the focal-bead end of the
focal bead. strand. tie a knot about every 3" (7.5 cm). Make two more
strands, joining them together in the same ways as the
other side of the necklace. Knot about every 3" (7.5 cm)
and at the end of each strand. test the necklace for length,
adding beads evenly to all strands if it needs to be longer.

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13
10

14

11

15

12

16

10 attaching the Clasp 13 glue all around the knot and under the tails.
Cut all tail threads to a 9" (23 cm) length. thread the six
tail threads from one side of the necklace in a harness. 14 rethread the tails through the harness, stitch through the
string three size-6 beads and one end of the clasp. stitch middle bead, tie an overhand knot between the first and
back through the last size-6 bead. the middle bead, and pull the threads to tighten the knot
as in step 12.
11 pull the tails through. if all of the threads won’t pull through,
work with four threads first. then thread the harness with 15 glue the second knot. rethread the tails through the
the remaining two threads and pull them through. remove harness, and stitch through the first size-6 bead. pull each
the harness. pull each of the threads, so that all the strands thread, making sure there is no loop of thread between
are snug against the first size-6 bead. push the last size-6 the beads. Cut the tails next to the first size-6 bead.
bead 1/8" (3 mm) away from the others to make room for
a knot. 16 Repeat steps 10–15 to attach the other half of the clasp
to the other side of the necklace.
12 With all six threads, tie an overhand knot between the last
and the middle size-6 beads. gently pull each thread to
tighten the knot. pull each thread again, firmly, to make the
knot as tight as possible.

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Stringing BeadS on Wire

earrings are the most obvious example of beads strung


on wire. Other possibilities include chokers, linked ele-
ments, wire-wrapped beads, shaped wire brooches, rings,
charms, pendants, dangles, and sculptural art. Once you
learn a few basic methods of working with wire, you can
incorporate wire elements and beads strung on wire into
many projects.

the way any given type of wire handles depends on


how hard (tempered) it is to start with and what type
of metal it is (silver, gold, copper, brass, or other). One
property of all wire is that it hardens and becomes more
brittle as it is worked, hammered, bent, or even cut. the
tempering effect travels from the worked area along the
whole length of the wire as the molecules are realigned.
thus, when you work wire on one end, the other end
will become less malleable, stiffer, and harder to work.
eventually, wire hardened by working becomes so brittle
that it will break easily.

as with most beading skills, practice makes perfect. it


takes some time to feel comfortable using the tools, learn-
ing how to hold them correctly, and how tightly to grip
the wire with them. When possible, bend wire with your
fingers, while using the tool to hold or position it.

the three projects in this chapter are intended to give you


experience with basic wire-working techniques, enough
to get you started and give you some idea of what you
can do with the concept of stringing beads on wire.
When buying wire, be sure it is fully soft (annealed).
these projects build on each other in complexity, each
Cleaning tarnished Wire
using some of the methods from the previous project. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

also, see the instructions for making an s-shaped wire One of the best ways to clean tarnished wire is to rub it with
clasp on page 25. cream-type toothpaste between your fingers. the same goes for
tarnished jewelry; use an old toothbrush to clean cracks and
crevices. For major tarnish, rub with ultrafine steel wool and then
bring the item to full polish with toothpaste. Finish by buffing with
a soft cloth.

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ViNtage Blue earriNgS You Will need

Wire-Working Basics • two sets of beads in size


appropriate for earrings.
stringing beads on commercially available head pins to make earrings is select beads with small holes.
very satisfying. You can use almost any beads and be wearing a new pair of
• two head pins, 11/2"–2"
earrings or have a lovely gift made in just minutes. this example uses beads
(4 x 5 cm) long
that match the Vintage Blue necklace (see page 44). however, any beads that
fit onto the head pins will work. • two ear wires
• two round metal beads,
Choosing and arranging the beads often takes longer than making the ear- 1–1.5 mm, for tops of
rings. the possibilities are as numerous as the beads—a nearly infinite number. earrings
this makes it both fun and challenging to design each pair.
• needle file, barrette-shaped
or any shape with a flat filing
surface (or an emery board)
• wire nippers
important safety tip
• round-nose pliers
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• chain-nose pliers
nipping wire can be dangerous. Frequently, the small piece of wire that is cut off shoots
away in an unpredictable direction and with considerable force. to avoid injury, nip • flat-nose pliers (optional)
downward, close to a folded towel, so the loose piece goes right into the towel. Wear
glasses or safety goggles. • fine-tip marker
• ruler
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1 arrange the beads on head pins in


a pleasing design. the hole in the
bottom bead must be small enough
so that the bead cannot be pulled off
the head pin. Use a very small round
bead as the top bead in the stack.
this makes it easier to bend the wire
loop at the top. if some of the beads
in the design have large holes, put
seed beads on the headpin wire,
and then slip the large-hole bead
over the seed beads. this keeps the
head-pin wire centered within the
large-hole bead.

(continued)

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2 With beads loaded on the head 3 Measure 3/8" (1 cm) from the bend 4 Use the flat surface of a needle file
pin, bend a right angle in the wire in the wire and mark the spot with (or an emery board) to smooth the
immediately above the top bead. a a permanent marker. With a pair cut end of the wire. First file it flat
small, flat-nose pliers is the best tool of wire nippers, clip the wire at this by filing perpendicular to the wire.
for this job. Or, use the tip of the spot. Face the smooth side of the Filing only happens as the file is
chain-nose pliers, or simply bend nippers toward the right-angle bend; pushed away. since pulling the file
the wire against the top bead with face the V side toward the part to be across the metal toward you clogs
your finger. nipped off. the smooth side of the the teeth, lift the file after each push
nippers makes a smoother cut. and reposition it near the tip of the
file to start the next push. after filing
the end of the wire flat, gently file at
an angle all around the circumfer-
ence of the wire to slightly round the
end and remove bits of metal filings.

5 grasp the filed tip of the wire in the jaw of the round-nose 6 The loop should be round, as shown. Repeat steps 2–5
pliers, positioned so that the resulting loop will be large for the other earring.
enough to swing freely on the ear wire, but not so big that
it looks out of proportion. twist the pliers away from you
to begin forming the loop. When the loop is about half
closed, reposition the pliers to grip the wire further back on
the loop. this will help you to see when the loop is closed.
Continue twisting the pliers until the loop is closed.

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Variations
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design earrings with theme-based components. Make a pair of


beaded beads, and use them for the focal beads in earrings.
For something a little different, design a nonmatching pair.

7 hold an ear wire close to the hanging loop with one


hand, and position a chain-nose or flat-nose pliers over
the outside half of the loop. twist this portion of the loop
downward and away from you, as you would open the
lid of a jar.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

8 put the loop of the earring into the loop of the ear wire.
grasp the outside half of the ear-wire loop with the pliers
and twist toward you to re-close the loop. Wiggle the pli-
ers away and toward you while at the same time pushing
toward the base of the ear wire to close the gap, if neces-
sary. Repeat steps 7–8 for the other earring.

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africaN liNkS key chaiN You Will need

Wire Working with linked units • One bead, approximately


1" (2.5 cm) in length
this sturdy key chain features beads that are linked together with wire. the
• One bead unit (a large bead
loops are wrapped, ensuring that the links will not pull apart. the technique of
and two disk-shaped beads),
securing the loops by wrapping or coiling the ends of the wire is particularly
total length approximately
useful for making bracelets and key chains, which need to withstand wear
1" (2.5 cm)
and tear. it can also be used for linked necklaces.
• One bell or charm,
the african trade beads chosen for this project include a red glass bead, a approximately 1" (2.5 cm)
in length
dyed bone bead, two glass disks, and a bronze bell. however, any large
beads with holes large enough for 16-gauge wire are acceptable, including • 15" (38 cm) round wire,
metal beads. a large charm may be substituted for the bell. 16 gauge, copper or other
• One heavy-duty split ring
for keys
• needle file, barrette-shaped
important notes or any shape with a flat
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
filing surface

every loop begins with a right-angle bend in the wire. • wire nipper
• round-nose pliers
remember to snap the chain into each new link before coiling the end of the wire
around the stem wire. • chain-nose pliers
• flat-nose pliers (optional)
For most of the steps in making linked units, use the pliers to hold the wire and your
fingers to do the bending. Use wire that is fully soft (annealed). if the wire is too difficult • fine-tip marker
to bend with your fingers, either it’s not fully soft or you may need to make a smaller • ruler
key chain using smaller beads and 18- or 19-gauge wire.

it is much easier to coil a longer tail than one that is exactly the right length for the
desired number of wraps. although this will result in some wasted wire, the coil will be
tighter to the stem and much easier to wrap. the length of wire needed for one link is
generally the length of the bead unit plus 6" (15 cm). slightly less is needed for links
made with lighter gauges of wire.

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1 select beads for two segments or links in the key chain. 3 to form a loop, hold the short end of the wire just beyond
each segment can be a single bead or a combination of the right-angle bend. grasp the wire with the pliers tilted at
two or more beads. the length of each segment should be a slight angle toward the right angle, rather than straight
about 1" (2.5 cm). up and down parallel to the long end. position the wire
toward the joint of the pliers, rather than at the tip, so that
Cut a 15" (38 cm) piece of wire. if it is from a coil or spool, the loop will be about 1/4" (6 mm) in diameter.
straighten it with your fingers, holding the tip in the chain-
nose pliers. Measure and mark the middle point of the 4 Using your thumb positioned close to the nose of the pliers,
wire. Use a nipper to cut the wire in half at the mark. bend the short end of the wire up and over the nose of the
pliers. stop bending when the short end is about three-
2 On one of the pieces of wire, measure and mark 3" fourths of the way around.
(7.5 cm) from one end. hold the wire with the chain-nose
pliers just below the mark. Use your fingers to bend a right
angle in the wire at this point.

1 3

2 4

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5 7 9

6 8 10

5 remove the pliers and reposition 7 turn the loop away from you with the 9 put the top bead (or bead unit) on
them, inserting the lower nose of the pliers while at the same time pushing the wire. With the bead tight against
pliers into the partially formed loop. the short end with your thumb. Con- the coil, grasp the wire midway into
With your finger held close to the tinue in this way to coil the short end the jaw of the chain-nose pliers. the
nose of the pliers, continue bending around the long end until you have pliers should rest snuggly against the
the short end all the way around, made two complete wraps. top of the bead. hold the wire with
crossing the long end of the wire at the pliers, and use your fingers to
the right-angle bend. the loop is now 8 Use the nipper to cut off the remain- make a right-angle bend at the top
complete with the short end of the ing wire, flush with the coil. the edge of the pliers. the short length
wire pointing in the same direction small piece of wire that is cut off is of wire between the bead and the
from which it came. sharp and can shoot away in an right angle will be where the coil
unpredictable direction with con- wraps around the stem after the loop
6 to secure the loop, coil the short end siderable force. to avoid injury, nip is made.
around the long end of the wire. downward, close to a folded towel,
hold the entire loop deep in the jaws so that the loose piece goes right 10 Repeat steps 3–8 to make a loop,
of the chain-nose pliers. With your into the towel. secured by a wrapped coil. the
finger and thumb, hold the short end wrap should cover the wire between
of the wire close to the right-angle Use a needle file to file the cut end of the loop and the bead.
bend. exerting pressure with your the wire next to the coil, smoothing
thumb, begin to push the short end any rough or sharp edges. (continued)
against the long end, creating a coil
of wire wound tightly around the
long end.

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11 Look at the loops on either end of the bead. the coils 12 With the second piece of wire, repeat steps 2–5 to form a
should rest snugly against the bead and the two loops complete loop. do not wind the coil yet. snap the loop at
should be in the same plane. if they are not, grasp one one end of the first segment into the just made loop, so the
loop in the jaws of the chain-nose pliers and the other loop wire is linked to the completed top bead segment.
in the jaws of a flat-nose pliers or your fingers. twist in op-
posite directions until the loops are in the same plane. the
first segment of the key chain is complete.

13 hold the new loop with the chain-nose pliers, and use your 14 put the second bead or bead unit on the wire. With the
thumb and finger to push the short end of the wire around bead tight against the coil, grasp the wire midway into the
the stem, forming a coil, as in steps 6–7. Cut off the excess jaw of the chain-nose pliers. hold the wire with the pliers,
wire and file the end smooth, as in step 8. and use your fingers to make a right-angle bend at the top
edge of the pliers, as in step 9.

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Variations
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Use the same method to make smaller key chains and zipper
pulls with 18- or 20-gauge wire.

15 Repeat steps 2–5 to form a complete loop. Do not coil


the tail yet. snap the loop of the bell (or charm) into the
just made loop so all the segments of the key chain are
linked together.

Repeat steps 5–8 to make the final coil between the loop
and the bottom of the second bead unit. insert one end of
the split ring into the loop at the top of the first bead unit
and twist it into place to complete the key chain.

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You Will need for the neck Strap tools

for the pendant • Two metal cones • needle file, barrette-shaped


or any shape with a flat filing
• Eight to fourteen beads in • Two round metal beads,
surface
graduated sizes with holes 2 mm diameter
approximately 2 mm in • wire nipper
• Two jump rings with inside
diameter, total length of diameter about 3 mm • round-nose pliers
31/2" to 4" (9 to 10 cm) (not shown in picture)
• chain-nose pliers
• Two metal beads, • Two coordinating beads
• flat-nose pliers (optional)
approximately 4 mm, with holes big enough to fit
one for each end over cord • chasing hammer with
domed face
• 22" (56 cm) round wire, • 24" (61 cm) cord, waxed
16 gauge, fully soft cotton or equivalent, 3 mm • jeweler’s anvil or bench block
in diameter, black with smooth surface

• 10" (25.5 cm) round wire, • piece of 1/4" (6 mm)


18 gauge, fully soft wooden dowel, 4" to 6"
(10 to 15 cm) long
• fine-tip marker

heather SPiralS • ruler


neCKlaCe
Complex Wire Working
this necklace is a show-stopper!
striking, yet tasteful, it features spe-
cial, large beads, and can be made
in just a few hours. Lampwork beads
are especially suited to this necklace,
which is easy to market, with appeal
to a wide variety of women.

the new techniques featured in


heather spirals involve making tex-
tured loops and spirals in metal.
here you will also learn how to use
a domed chasing hammer and your
fingers to change the appearance
of the loops and spirals from flat to
three-dimensional, creating a more
dramatic look.

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Making the pendant
this pendant, designed to be attached through one of the don’t wish to invest in these tools just yet, ask to borrow
loops or the spiral at either end, is an excellent showcase them from a metalsmithing classroom or a local jeweler
for lampwork or other quality beads. to make the pen- for the hour or two it will take to complete the project. the
dant, you’ll need a chasing hammer and anvil, two rela- chasing hammer must have a slightly domed (or rounded)
tively expensive tools. if you are new to wire working and head, rather than a flat hammering surface.

1 Using a piece of scrap wire, play with the arrangement


of beads to achieve a pleasing curved line, with bigger
beads in the center and smaller beads toward the ends.
the beads must have large enough holes to accommodate
curved, 16-gauge wire, and together they should span
about 31/2" to 4" (9 to 10 cm). generally, round, bicone,
disk, and squished-round beads are appropriate for this
design, whereas tubular beads are not. place a metal bead
(3 to 5 mm diameter) as the last bead on each end.

2 Measure and mark the 16-gauge wire 10" (25.5 cm)


from one end. hold the wire so it crosses the dowel at the
marked spot. Use your fingers, pushing the wire against
the dowel, to bend the wire around the dowel.

3 Continue bending the wire around the dowel, forming


a coil that goes around the dowel one and a half times.
remove the dowel from the coil. string the beads on the
longer end of the wire in the proper order. place the dowel
across the wire at the other end of the beads. Use your
fingers to bend the wire around the dowel, forming a coil
that goes around the dowel one and a half times. Check
both ends, and adjust the coils with the round-nose pliers,
if necessary, so they are in the same plane, about the same
size, and supporting the beads snugly between them.

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4 holding the coils, one in each hand, 5 loops and Spirals 6 reposition your fingertip and bend
bring the coils toward each other to hold the pendant as shown, and the wire around it, a little below the
make a smooth, smile-shaped curve bend the wire around the tip of your coil. end with the wire pointing up-
in the wire holding the beads. finger, about 1" (2.5 cm) above ward. this makes the second loop.
the coil. end with the wire pointing
downward. this makes the first loop.

7 reposition your fingertip and bend the wire, slightly below 8 Measure 4" (10 cm) down from the top of the third loop
the first loop. end with the wire pointing downward. this and make a mark. Cut off the excess wire at this mark.
makes the third loop. File the cut end of the wire to smooth and round it slightly.

(continued)

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9 11

10 12

9 grasp the tip of the filed wire with the tips of the round- 11 Continue with this process until the spiral is centered along
nose pliers. Begin turning the spiral, rolling the pliers the loops (see step 16 photo). Repeat steps 5–11 for the
toward the loops. after making half a turn, remove the other end of the pendant, keeping the loops as similar as
pliers and check to be sure the bend is inward, toward possible in size and shape to the ones on the opposite end.
the loops, toward the top of the pendant. Continue to turn
the spiral until the tip of the wire goes all the way around 12 harden Wire by pounding
the nose of the pliers. remove the pliers. there should be grip the chasing hammer toward the end of the handle,
a small circle of wire at the end. this will be rolled up to rather than near the head. Letting it swing downward with
form the spiral in the next step. its own weight, tap the palm of your hand a few times to
get the feel of hammering. Keep the hammer head straight
10 grasp the circle of wire in the jaws of the chain-nose up and down, not tilted, to avoid the edge of the hammer
pliers. Use your fingers to continue bending the wire face making dents in the wire.
around the circle, forming a loose spiral. reposition the
pliers as necessary to grasp more of the spiral. position the first loop on the rectangular surface of the
anvil. Lightly tap the arc of the loop with the domed face of
the hammer. aim for the center of the arc. do only a few
taps at a time; then check to see how it looks. notice that
the wire is beginning to cup a little. increase the cupping
slightly by lifting the pendant away from the anvil about
1/2" (1 cm). this will be the back of the pendant.

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13 Making sure you are still working on the back of the pen- 15 holding the pendant with the front facing you (loops cup-
dant, continue hammering the other loops on both ends, as ping away from you), insert one nose of the round-nose
in step 12. do not hammer the midpoints of the loops, just pliers into the center circle of the spiral from the back. push
the arcs. after completing the six loops, hammer the spirals the pliers upward, to raise the center of the spiral. repeat
on both ends. allow the hammering to be a little uneven, so this step on the other spiral.
some parts of the wire are more flattened than others. Flip
the pendant over and look at the front side. Check that the 16 place the pendant on a flat surface and note if the loops,
wire looks hammered about the same on both ends. Flip it spirals, and beads are all in the same plane and follow
back over and touch up any spots that need it. a gentle arc from side to side. Use your fingers to make
adjustments, if needed.
14 With the front facing you (loops cupping downward),
grasp the first two loops on one end and bend them
downward slightly over your fingers. repeat for the third
loop. repeat on the other end. this shapes the loops
toward the wearer’s body and gives them dimension like
that of the beads.

13 15

14 16

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finishing the necklace
now that the pendant part of the necklace is complete, hook is concealed inside a metal cone. the hooks have
there are several possibilities for making it into a necklace. pounded loops like the pendant so that the overall design
the method shown uses a heavy cord, embellished with is consistent. another possibility is to string one or more
a bead at each end. the attachment of the cord to the strands of beads and attach a hook and cone at each end.

1 holding the pendant against your chest where you’d like it 3 insert the wire into the wide end of the cone. if necessary
to rest, measure how much cord it takes to reach from one for a good fit, trim the tail of the cord slightly. add a 2-mm
end of the pendant, around your neck, to the other end. metal bead. pull on the wire to squeeze the cord connec-
Cut the cord 2" (5 cm) less than this measurement. string a tion down into the cone. Use flat-nose pliers or your fingers
jump ring and one of the coordinating beads on the cord. to make a right-angle bend right next to the 2-mm bead.

Measure, mark, and cut a 5" (12.5 cm) piece of 18-gauge 4 Using the same method as in steps 5 and 6 for the pendant,
wire. Coil one end of the wire around the cord 1/2" (1 cm) make a loop about 3/4" (2 cm) out from the right-angle
from the end. Coil the wire as tightly as possible. squeeze bend. Make a second loop in the opposite direction. Use
tight with the chain-nose pliers. the chain-nose pliers to hold the wire and your fingers to
make a second right-angle bend in line with the cone.
2 pull the wire and the cord hard in opposite directions to test
that the coil will not slip off the cord.

1 3

2 4

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5 You should have two loops with the end of the wire 6 grasp the tip of the wire just below the hammered area
pointing in the same direction as the cone. Measure with the tip of the round-nose pliers, and twist outward to
11/2" (4 cm) down from the second right-angle bend, mark, round the tip up and away from the hook.
and cut at this spot. File the end of the wire, rounding the
edges slightly. hammer the tip of the wire lightly. position
the round-nose pliers with the jaws open, as shown. Make
the hook by twisting the pliers toward you to bend the wire
upward.

7 Lightly hammer the arc of the hook. 8 Working on the back, hammer the 9 string a jump ring and coordinating
this will temper the wire, hardening arcs of both loops. Flip the hook bead on the other end of the cord.
it so that the hook can’t pull open. to the front and use your fingers to attach a 5" (12.5 cm) wire to that
bend the loops slightly downward. end of the cord as you did on the
slide the bead and jump ring down other end. Repeat steps 2–8 so both
the cord to rest snuggly against the ends of the cord have a bead, cone,
top of the cone. this side of the strap loops, and a hook. hook the cord
is complete. to one of the loops or the spiral on
each end of the pendant.

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B e a d W e av I n g

T h e D e l i g h T o f B e a D W e av i n g

Bead weaving produces a “fabric” of beads and thread. When you hold a large, woven piece of
beadwork, you will feel it drape and flex like cloth—heavy in weight, yet delightfully supple in your
hands. This fabric like quality makes bead-woven jewelry attractive on the body and comfortable to
wear. It also affords the possibility of creating rounded, tubular, shaped, and three-dimensional or
sculptural objects.

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Bead weaving gets its name from beading done on a
loom. However, there are many techniques for weaving
beads together without using a loom, such as peyote
stitch and brick stitch. although they do not involve inter-
twining “warp and weft” threads as in traditional cloth
weaving, off-loom techniques are also referred to as
bead weaving.
findings
There are many books, workshops, and study groups You may need clasps, earring findings, and so on when
dedicated to the techniques shown here, as well as to you use bead-weaving techniques to make jewelry.
loom weaving and other less common bead-weaving although the beads used in bead weaving tend to be
methods. The possibilities for complex and dimensional relatively inexpensive, weaving does take considerable
projects are unlimited. time. Select high-quality findings.

Because most bead weaving is made with seed beads, needles and Thread
you may think it will require a lot of patience to do.
However, accomplished bead weavers declare that once Some beaders prefer longer, more flexible beading nee-
a technique is learned, practicing it is very satisfying, dles; others like the shorter, stiffer variety. either way, choose
even calming and meditative. a needle that has an eye big enough for the chosen thread,
yet small enough to pass through the beads the required
number of times. Size-11 needles work well with delica
Tools anD supplies beads, most beading threads, and most seed beads.

seed Beads
For most bead-weaving projects, any one of several
almost all bead-weaving projects require seed beads, types of thread will work fine. Often it’s a matter of
often in several colors, sometimes in several different what is available and which threads a beader has on
sizes. Rounded seed beads work well for most weaving hand or has a personal preference for using. nymo and
techniques. delica seed beads work especially well for Silamide are standards used by many beaders. Fireline
projects made with peyote stitch. is a good choice when the project includes crystals or
bugle beads. Choose the heaviest thread possible that
will still allow the required number of passes through
Crystals
the beads.
Many bead-weaving projects require crystals, especially
round and bicone-shaped crystals. Beaders who enjoy a Conditioning the thread is optional. applied to the
lot of sparkle tend to develop a stash of crystals in vari- beading thread, microcrystalline wax may make it more
ous sizes and colors. However, for the beginner, it makes manageable. Beeswax is not as good a choice because
sense to acquire crystals only as needed. its stickiness attracts dirt.

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T e C h n i q u e s f o r B e a D W e av i n g
Bead weaving is a wide and diverse field. The projects in this book are
intended to get you started—to introduce you to some of the more widely
used techniques, including peyote stitch, right-angle weave, brick stitch, net-
ting, crocheting with beads, and knitting with beads. By completing the fol-
lowing projects, you will learn basic skills, certainly enough to evaluate if you
enjoy the process of bead weaving.

needle and Thread


Unwind about 1 yard (0.9 m) of thread from the bobbin and stretch it by pull-
ing hard and steadily in opposite directions. This will remove the curl from the
thread, making it less likely to tangle as you stitch or weave.

Shorter beading threads tangle less. Longer beading threads don’t leave so
many bothersome ends to be stitched into the weaving. The optimum length to
prevent shoulder and arm fatigue (or repetitive-motion injury) is about an 18"
(46 cm) working length, about 1 yard (0.9 m) of cut length.

The eye of a needle is slightly larger on one side than the other due to the
manufacturing process. If the needle is difficult to thread, try turning it over.
Cut the thread at a slight angle with sharp scissors. Using thread conditioner
on the end of the thread may help. Moistening the eye of the needle may help
to wick the tip of the thread through the hole.

single or Double Thread?


Because bead weaving often requires multiple passes of the thread through
the beads, it is generally best to use a single thread. For some steps, such as
weaving a closure loop or attaching charms or a button clasp, it makes sense
to use a double thread for extra security.

picking up Beads on the needle


To begin beading, spread out a beading cloth and pour a small pile of each
type of bead you’ll be using in the project on the cloth. To pick up a seed bead
or other small bead, touch the edge of the hole with the tip of the needle. The
bead will pop onto the needle. Use your forefinger to scoop the bead further
up the needle. Using this method, you can pick up several beads in a row.

To pick up a needle full of seed beads, scoop the needle through the pile of
beads, holding it parallel to the beading cloth. Repeat the scooping motion
until the required number of beads is on the needle.

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attaching a stop Bead
The stop bead (also called stopper, anchor, or waste
bead), like a knot at the end of the beading thread, keeps
the beads from sliding off the end. attach a stop bead
when you begin a new project. Once the bead weaving
begins to take shape, the stop bead can be removed.

To attach a stop bead, string one bead (preferably of a dif-


ferent color than the project beads). Slide it to the end of
the thread, leaving a tail of 8" to 10" (20 to 25 cm). Stitch
through the bead a second time. Pull tight. notice there
is a loop of thread around the outside edge of the bead.

If the bead slips easily along the thread, stitch through it


a second time, leaving a second loop of thread around
the outside edge. do not count this bead in the number of
beads needed for the project.

Tension Control
Hold the work in your nondominant hand between your Secure the tension by pressing the thread between your
thumb and index finger. Slip the thread just past where first and second fingers. This practice keeps the recently
you last added beads over the first finger. Tighten the woven work firm.
beadwork by pulling on the thread.

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1 attaching a new Thread
1 Stop weaving when the thread is about 8" (20 cm) long.
Prepare a new thread. Cross the new thread over the old
thread and tie a square knot right next to where the old
thread exits the beadwork.

2 If the knot is too far out, pull on the end of the original
thread and slide the knot down the thread to the beadwork.

3 The knot is now in place. Continue beading with the new


thread, leaving the tails to be buried later.
2

Burying the Tails


Some beaders wait until they finish the weaving to bury
the tails; others prefer to take care of this job as they go
along. If you find the tails are getting caught in the bead-
ing thread, stop weaving and bury the tails.

4 Thread one of the tails, and stitch back through the


weaving until you have used about 3" (8 cm) of thread.
If possible, stitch in a circular path. Stitch through the first
few beads in the circle a second time. Stitch away from
3 that circle, and repeat in a new location. Cut the remaining
thread flush with the beadwork. Repeat these steps for the
other tails.

Culling odd-sized Beads


Most bead weaving requires uniformly sized beads.
Reject beads within each type that are larger, smaller,
or misshaped. Set them aside to use in fringes, free-form
bead weaving, or other types of beading.

4 Take advantage of
Beads with Larger Holes
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

thread When weaving the first and last inch (2.5 cm) of a bracelet
path or necklace, select and use seed beads with larger holes so
you can stitch through them numerous times when attaching
the clasp. To see the differences in hole size, shine light on the
beads and turn them hole side up.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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risky safer risky safer

Bracketing Crystals and Bugle Beads


Most crystals and bugle bead have holes that are a bit Other than substituting other types of beads, the only
sharp at the edges. This sharp edge can cut thread and thing you can do to help prevent cut threads is to bracket
even stranded wire, especially if the path of the beading problem beads with rounded seed beads.
thread is angled rather than straight through the bead.

1 2 3

attaching a Clasp
as with attaching clasps to any With all types of clasps, including 1 If possible, end by sewing through
type of beading, it’s important to bead loop and button clasps, it is the woven beads to meet an
consider how often the piece will very important to sew the attachment unburied tail.
be worn, the amount of weight the ring, button shank, or loop to the
2 Tie a square knot with the beading
clasp supports, and the tension pull- body of the weaving as many times thread and tail. Bury both ends.
ing against the clasp. as possible, each time stitching back
into the body following a different 3 If you’ve already buried the nearby
pathway 1" (2.5 cm) or more away tails, tie two half-hitches around an
from the clasp. interior thread between two beads
and then bury the tail.

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D es i g n a n D va r i aTi o n s
Bead weaving is a wide and diverse form of beading.
Beyond the scope presented here, there are many books,
workshops and study groups dedicated not only to the
techniques shown here but to other less common bead-
weaving methods as well. The possibilities for complex
and dimensional projects are endless.

project variations
In some of the following projects, you will see a photo
showing one or more variations on the basic design. If
you are a beginner, following the steps as described is
the best way to understand the technique. However, once
you learn the technique, have fun changing the colors
and experimenting with the suggested variations.

Charted Bead Weaving


Some bead-weaving designs can be charted on graph
paper or with computer software, such as BeadCreator.
For example, you can chart a favorite photograph or
drawing, and then work the design in one of the tech-
niques such as flat peyote stitch. Special charting paper
for drawing and coloring designs is available for differ-
ent types of beads and techniques.

peyoTe sTiTCh
Peyote stitch, sometimes called gourd stitch, is seen in The projects in this chapter will introduce you to basic
many cultures, and samples of it have been found from peyote-stitch techniques including flat, circular, increase,
ancient egypt. The use of it today is highly influenced by and decrease. With this foundation, you can quickly
Huichol peoples in Mexico, who have used it to decorate develop your skills.
gourds and ceremonial objects since the mid-1800s. It
is also found in Indonesian, Chinese, african, european,
and native american cultures.

The stitch can be worked flat, round, or in cylindrical


form. It’s easy to increase and decrease, making it possi-
ble to make shaped pieces and to cover irregular objects
with beading. Contemporary beaders have taken to this
stitch more than any other.

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Rainbow bRacelet you Will neeD

flat peyote stitch • 1/2 g size-11 Delica beads,


black (border color)
Super comfortable to wear, this pleasing bracelet makes a wonderful gift for a
• 1/4 g size-11 Delica beads,
special friend. You can choose a range of neutral colors or change the palette
for each main color (opaque
to bright, saturated colors. either way, the woven beads make it unique and
lavender, purple, bluish
attractive. The bead-weaving technique used for the woven beads is peyote
purple, denim blue, teal blue,
stitch. The last step, after weaving a small, flat rectangle of beads, is to roll it
and aqua)
into a tube and stitch the “seam.” Completing the bracelet takes about twenty-
five minutes per bead, or about four hours total. • twelve spacer beads,
gold color, 5 mm
• fourteen bicone crystals,
black, 4 mm
• seven round metal beads,
gold color, 4 mm
• one clasp, gold color
• two crimp beads, gold color
• 12" (30.5 cm) stranded
bead-stringing wire,
medium weight
• beading thread, Nymo or
equivalent, size d, black
• beading needle, size 11
or 12

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1 Using about 2' (61 cm) of thread, single strand, stitch 2 Stitch back through bead 9, sewing toward the stop bead.
through one colored bead. Leaving a 5" (13 cm) tail, loop This begins the next row.
around this bead, and sew through it again to make a
temporary stop bead. String 1 black, 8 lavender, and
2 black beads, for a total of 11 beads after the stop bead.

3 String one lavender bead. Stitch through bead 7, sewing 4 String one lavender bead. Stitch through bead 5, sewing
toward the stop bead. toward the stop bead. Continue adding one bead at a time
and stitching through every other bead of the first eleven
beads, until you finish the row by sewing through bead 1.
Pull gently on the needle thread to adjust the tension so the
beads fit together. The two black beads opposite the stop
bead should be parallel.

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5 To begin the next row, string one black bead. Stitch through 6 String one lavender bead. Stitch through bead 14, sewing
bead 15, sewing away from the stop bead. away from the stop bead.

7 Continue to add one bead at a time, skipping every other 8 The beads now have a brick-like appearance, making it
bead. at the end of this row, string one lavender bead and easy to see which beads to sew through and where each
stitch through the black border bead. Pull gently on the added bead fits into the pattern. Continue adding rows
needle and thread to adjust the tension so the beads working back and forth until there are five black border
fit together. beads on each end, for a total of ten rows.

(continued)

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9 Roll the square patch of beads between your fingers to 10 Remove the stop bead. gently pull both threads to adjust
form a tube, with the black beads on each end. Join the the tension so the tube is round and firm. Tie a square
sides of the tube by stitching through bead 10 from the knot with the tail and the needle thread. With the needle
first row, then diagonally across to the last bead of row thread, stitch down through the beads to the other end,
10, then diagonally across to the next bead in row 1. making one or two squares along the way. To make a
Continue joining the sides, diagonally from side to side, square, stitch down one bead, up the bead next to it,
until the thread exits the black border bead across from back down the first bead (see page 74). Cut the thread
the stop bead. flush with the end of the tube. Thread the tail on the
needle and repeat.

11 Make five more woven beads, each in a different main


color. Lay out a pattern of spacers, round beads, crystals,
and the woven beads to form the desired bracelet length.
Following the directions on page 36, string the beads
on stranded beading wire, and attach the clasp using
crimp beads.

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variations
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

To make tube beads with transparent or semi-transparent


delicas, match the thread color to the bead color as closely
as possible or use a transparent thread, such as Fireline. If
these beads have black borders, color the threads at the
ends of the beads with a black permanent marker..

To make beads without the black borders, disregard the color


directions. For step 1, string eleven beads in one color and con-
tinue to work with that color for the remaining steps.

although tube beads woven from these directions will be about


1/2" (1 cm) long and 3/16" (4.5 mm) in diameter, they can be made
any diameter or length you wish. always begin with an odd
number of beads, weaving until the work rolls into the desired
diameter tube and the weaving thread exits opposite the stop
bead. To ensure that wider diameter tubes hold their shape, it
may help to insert an appropriately sized plastic straw.

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Stocking oRnament you Will neeD

shaped flat peyote stitch • 2 g Delica beads, size 11,


white (W)
decorate a tabletop holiday tree with this cute beaded stocking, stitch it on
to cardstock as a greeting card for a friend, or make a whole string of them • 2 g Delica beads, size-11,
to festoon a fireplace mantel. red (R)
• two pearls, 4 mm, imitation
The basic technique is flat peyote stitch, but you will need to increase for the or genuine (for pompoms)
toe and decrease for both the tip of the toe and the heel. Once the methods • 1/2 g round seed beads,
for increasing and decreasing are learned, you can create any shape with size 15 (OK to substitute
peyote stitch. although delica beads are recommended for this project, it size-11 or delicas), red
could be made with round seed beads. The finished stocking measures 13/4"
• beading thread, Nymo or
high by 13/8" wide (4.4 x 3.5 cm), and takes about two hours to complete.
equivalent, size d, white
• beading needle, size 12
or 11

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1 On about 3' (91 cm) of thread, string and secure a 2 flat peyote edge increase
stop bead, leaving a 10" (25 cm) tail to be used later Weave rows 37 and 38 with white beads. at the end of
for beading the hanging loop and pompoms. String row 38, string three beads (W, W, R). Stitch back through
twenty-one W beads. Stitch back through the third to the first bead added of the three. This two-bead increase
the last bead added. begins to shape the toe.

Weave in flat peyote stitch, as shown on pages 78–79. Continue to weave row 39 in R. There will be eleven red
String one W bead and stitch through the second bead beads in the row. Weave row 40 in R. at the end of row
from where the thread exits. Continue adding beads, one 40, check to be sure the two-bead increase in row 38 is
at a time, stitching through every other bead in the row. at situated correctly. Make a second two-bead increase
the end of the row, flip the work over, add a W bead and (R, R, W) at the end of row 40.
stitch through the next bead that sticks out. Continue for a
total of ten rows of white beads. There will be five beads Continue to weave row 41 in W. There will be twelve
on each edge. white beads in the row. Weave row 42 in W. at the end
of row 42, check to be sure the two-bead increase in row
Begin alternating two rows of red beads with two rows of 40 is situated correctly. Make a third two-bead increase
white beads, for twenty-six rows, ending with two red rows. (W, W, R) at the end of row 42. This is the final increase
There will be seven red stripes and a total of thirty-six rows. for the toe.
note that odd-numbered rows are always woven toward
the stop bead. Continue to weave row 43 in R. There will be thirteen
red beads in the row. Weave row 44 in R. Weave
row 45 in W.

(continued)

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3 flat peyote edge Decrease
Position thread for the first heel decrease so that it exits toward the toe from the
last W bead in row 45. To do this, stitch a zigzag pattern (with no added bead)
through four beads: toward the toe through the R bead above, toward the toe
through the W bead diagonally above, toward the heel through the R bead
below, and toward the toe through the W bead below.

Continue row 46 in W. There will be twelve beads in the row. Weave row 47 in
R. decrease again at the start of row 48 and continue the row in R. There will be
eleven beads in the row.

at the start of row 49 in W, begin decreasing for the bottom of the toe. Use a
zigzag stitching pattern to position the thread so it exits toward the heel from the
last R bead in row 48. Complete the row in W. There will be a total of ten beads
in the row.

at the start of row 50 in W, decrease at the heel. Complete the row in W. There
will be nine beads in the row. This is the final row of the stocking.

4 smooth the increase rows


Stitch (with no added bead) from the bottom of the toe to the top, positioning
the thread so that it exits toward the heel facing the place where there is a bead
“missing” in row 42. Weave in the three missing beads: W (row 42), R (row 40),
and W (row 38).

Bury the tail in the interior of the stocking (see page 74).

5 add loop and pompoms


Remove the stop bead and thread the original tail at the top of stocking. Position
the thread to exit the end bead in the top row. String seventeen red beads (size
15). Stitch back through the same bead. Position the thread correctly, and stitch
through the loop a second time.

From the loop, zigzag across the cuff, positioning the thread to exit at row 9 or
10 on the toe side of the stocking. String nine red beads (size 15), one pearl,
and one red bead. Stitch back through the pearl, the nine red beads, and into the
same delica bead at the end of the row. Stitch through adjacent beads to position
the thread correctly, exit the same delica bead, and stitch through the first red
pompom bead. String five red beads, one pearl, and one red bead. Stitch back
through the pearl, the five red beads, the first red pompom bead, and into the
same delica bead at the end of the row. Bury the tail in the interior of the stocking
(see page 74).

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variations
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Work the pattern in the opposite colors, making a stocking


with a red cuff. Rather than alternating colors every two rows,
try alternating three red rows with one white row. Make an
enlarged black and white pattern of your first stocking on a
copy machine. Use markers to color over the beads, creating
a charted pattern for an original design.

embellish the cuff with size-15 seed beads. Using a new piece
of thread, zigzag through several beads to position the thread
at the top corner bead. String two beads and stitch through
the next bead that sticks out. Repeat across the entire row. at
the end of the row, stitch the thread down one bead. For the
remainder of the cuff, add two beads in a diagonal stitch and
repeat to the end. Continue adding two-bead units, working
back and forth along the rows, until the entire cuff is covered.

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you Will neeD miniatuRe baSket
• 5 g round seed beads, Circular peyote stitch and ruffle
size 11, color a
• 5 g round seed beads,
The diameter of this adorable little basket is about 1" (2.5 cm), perfect for
size 11, color B
holding a ring or two while doing chores. Make one in size-15 seed beads
• 5 g round seed beads, for a dollhouse-size basket.
size 11, color C
• beading thread, Nymo or This basket is worked in rounds of circular peyote stitch, beginning in the cen-
equivalent, size d, ter of the bottom. The number of beads in some rounds will be increased to
neutral color keep the bottom flat while at the same time increasing its diameter. The sides
are woven in tubular peyote stitch, which is the same as circular peyote stitch
• beading needle, size 12
except the number of beads in each round is kept constant. drastic increasing
• 24" (61 cm) wire, 28 to 30 produces the ruffle at the top. The design uses three colors of beads, which
gauge (for the handle)
makes it easy to tell which round you are weaving and when to step up to the
• wooden toothpick (or piece next round. Complete a basket in about two hours.
of 16-gauge wire)

round 1 round 2 round 3


String six color-A beads on 11/2 Stitch one color-B bead between Stitch two color-C beads between
yards (1.35 m) of beading thread, each bead in round 1. When add- each bead in round 2 for a total of
leaving a 6" (15 cm) tail. Make a ing the sixth bead, stitch through twelve color-C beads in the round.
circle by stitching through all the the next two beads (the last color-a Step up by stitching through two
beads, starting with the first bead bead and the first color-B bead). beads (colors B and C). note that
strung. at the end of the circle, stitch This is called a “step up” to the the needle exits between two
through the first bead again. Keep next round. color-C beads.
the tension loose for rounds 1–9.
(continued)

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4 6 8

5 7 9

round 4 round 6 10 – 21
Stitch one color-a bead between Using color C, alternate stitching one
each bead in round 3 for a total of bead, then two, then one, then two
twelve color-a beads in the round. between each bead in round 5 for a
Step up by stitching through two total of eighteen color-C beads in the
beads (colors C and a). When round. Step up.
adding a bead between sets of two
beads, give a slight tug to “click” the round 7
middle bead into place. Stitch one color-a bead between
each bead in round 6 for a total of
round 5 eighteen color-a beads in the round.
Stitch one color-B bead between Step up.
each bead in round 4 for a total of rounds 10–21
twelve color-B beads in the round. round 8 The next twelve rounds are worked
Step up by stitching through two Stitch one color-B bead between in tubular peyote stitch, which is the
beads (colors a and B). each bead in round 7 for a total of same as circular, except there are
eighteen color-B beads in the round. no increases. Tighten the tension for
Step up. these rounds. alternating the colors
(a, B, and C) in the same order as
round 9 rounds 1–9, stitch one bead between
Using color C, alternate stitching one each bead of the previous round.
bead, then two, then one, then two Step up at the end of each round by
between each bead in round 8 for a stitching through two beads. There
total of twenty-seven color-C beads in should be a total of twenty-seven
the round. Step up. beads in each round. In rounds
11–13 the edges of the circle will
become wavy. By round 14, there
will be a definite bowl shape. Round
21 will be in color-C beads.

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rounds 22–24
The final three rounds form the ruffle at the top of the
basket. For round 22, stitch two color-a beads between 22 – 24
each bead in round 21 for a total of fifty-four color-a beads
in the round. Step up by stitching through three beads (one
color-C and two color-a). For round 23, stitch two color-B a toothpick. gently pull out the toothpick. Stick the wires
beads in each gap; then stitch through the pair of beads through two beads directly across the basket in the same
in the previous row, keeping the total at fifty-four beads for round as the other end. Twist the wires together and snip.
the round. Step up, passing through three beads as in the
previous round. For round 24, repeat round 23 in color-C If the wires will not go through the beads in the basket,
beads. Bury the tail and any thread ends (see page 74). cut the wire in half, string 6" (15 cm) of beads over both
pieces of wire, and with the beads centered on the wires,
spiral handle wind them around a toothpick to make a spiral handle.
Stick the wire through two beads in round 20, 21, or 22 Poke the wires on one side of the spiral through the basket
(whichever accepts the wire most easily) on the inside of (just below the ruffle) to the outside. String a few beads on
the basket. With the beads in the center of the wire, fold it each wire, wind each around a toothpick to make a curl,
in half so the two ends are alongside each other. Holding snip the wires about 1/4" (6 mm) from the end bead, and
the two wires together, string 6" (15 cm) of beads, alternat- bend the wire back around the end bead to secure the
ing colors a, B, and C. Wrap the beaded wires around basket handle. Repeat for the other side of the basket.

variations
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In addition to color variations, there are several possible ways ruffle all one color. Make the basket taller and insert a glass vial
to make the handle, including a double wire joined at the top to use as a bud vase. Use size-15 seed beads to make a smaller
through a single bead or a few flower beads. Leave the top or size-8 for a bigger version of the basket.
plain, without the ruffle, for a more basic look. Or make the

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baRnacle bRooch
sculptural peyote stitch
Once the basics of flat, circular, and tubular peyote stitch
are learned, many beaders enjoy the freedom of expres-
sion found with sculptural or free-form peyote stitch. For
some, it is an intuitive extension that develops easily.
For others, a project such as the Barnacle Brooch gives
needed directions for learning to weave sculptural pieces.
Making this brooch will certainly provide enough experi-
ence to know if weaving free form is enjoyable for you.

The barnacle, a marine crustacean with an external


shell that attaches itself permanently to rocks and other
surfaces in the sea, is the inspiration for this sculptural
peyote project. Tubular and circular peyote stitches are
used to weave a barnacle. The brooch is built by com-
bining a group of barnacles. It is then completed by
adding surface embellishments. The finished piece can
be worn as a pin or pendant.

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you Will neeD 1 2

• 5 g seed beads, size 11, any


desired main color
• 2 g seed beads, size 15,
accent color
• five to ten embellishment
beads, stone chips
(or equivalent), small
• five beads for barnacle
centers, potato pearls
(or equivalent), 6–10 mm
• beading thread (6-lb. Fireline
recommended, or equivalent)
• beading needle, size 11
or 12
• pin back with attached
converter bail (optional, plain
pin back)
• mandrel, 1/2" (1.3 cm)
diameter (wooden dowel, 1 Construct a Barnacle 2 Begin weaving the barnacle using
plastic tube, pen, or other) Thread the needle with about 3' peyote stitch. Stitch through the first
(91.5 cm) of beading thread. To form bead of the foundation row. String
the foundation row of beads for the a size-11 bead, and slide the bead
barnacle, string a sufficient number down the thread to the foundation
of size-11 seed beads to circle the row. Skip one bead in the founda-
mandrel. Use an even number of tion row, and stitch through the next
beads. Secure the circle of beads bead in the row. Continue to peyote
with a square knot. Leave a 6" to 8" stitch all the way around the founda-
(15 to 20 cm) tail to be woven into tion row with size-11 beads.
the barnacle later.
(continued)

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3 Complete the row by stitching through two beads: the last 4 Complete two more rows using size-11 beads. at the end
bead in the foundation row and through the adjacent bead of each row, step up to begin the next row.
in the row just completed. This is called a “step up”.

5 Slip the beadwork off the mandrel and switch to size-15 6 Begin to weave the base of the barnacle outward using
beads. Hold the ring of beads in your fingers, and add two size-11 beads. String two beads and stitch through the
more rows. Using size-15 beads for these two rows will nearest up-bead (the one that sticks out) in the foundation
automatically close the top of the barnacle inward. When row. String one bead and stitch through the next up-bead
the two rows are complete, sew diagonally downward in the foundation row. Repeat this alternating pattern all the
through the beads to position the thread in the foundation way around the ring thus increasing the diameter for the
row of the barnacle. base. Step up for the next row.

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7 For the next row on the base, add one bead per stitch. Be 8 add More Barnacles
sure to add one bead between each pair of beads used to The brooch shape is built by adding a barnacle to the first
increase the diameter of the base in the previous row. The one, and then another to that group. To begin the next
first barnacle is now complete. barnacle, string nineteen beads (size-11). attach this string
of beads to the barnacle by sewing through the bead in
the last row, which is three up-beads away from where
the thread exits the base of the barnacle. This forms the
foundation row of the new barnacle.

stitch around the base rows of finished barnacles in order


9 Following steps 2–7, weave the second barnacle. note to build the desired shape or to position the needle for add-
that the first two beads added will be part of the base of ing a new barnacle. also, sometimes you’ll need to attach
the first barnacle. the foundation row of a new barnacle to two of the already
woven barnacles in order to form a cohesive shape.
Continue adding barnacles until the shape is pleasing and
the brooch is the desired size. The barnacles can be made When the barnacles are complete, check the outside bor-
any diameter (by varying the number of beads in the foun- der of the brooch to see if another row or rows, or partial
dation row) or any height (by varying the number of rows). rows, of peyote stitch would add a pleasing touch to the
overall shape.
Sometimes it’s necessary to add another row of peyote
(continued)

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10 filling the Barnacles
Filling the barnacles is optional. In this example, potato
pearls are used to fill the barnacles. Beads of other materi-
als, such as glass or stone, may be substituted for the
pearls. See the variations opposite.

To fill the barnacle, place the bead in the barnacle “shell”


from the underside, positioning it as desired. Stitch through
the base and barnacle beads to position the needle cor-
rectly, and stitch through the filler bead to the other side of
the barnacle. Stitch through a seed bead on the other side
and then back through the filler bead. Repeat one more
time if possible to firmly secure the filler bead. If needed,
add another row or rows of seed beads (size 15) at the top
of the barnacle to further close it over the filler bead. Select
extra-thin beads for this. When the filler bead rests nicely
in the barnacle, stitch through beads in the barnacle and
base to position the thread for the next
filler bead.

11 adding embellishments
attach semiprecious stone chips and/or other assorted
small beads randomly to the surface around and between
the barnacles. Sew through beads in the base to position
the needle for adding an embellishment bead. String the
embellishment bead and a seed bead, and then go back
through the embellishment bead to the base of the brooch.
Repeat.

note that the above attachment method works well for


stone chips and disk-shaped beads. But for some embel-
lishments (such as small drop beads), it’s not necessary to
add a seed bead and stitch again through the embellish-
ment bead. They can be sewn in place with only one stitch
through the hole.

12 attaching the pin Back


Sew a pin back to the underside of the brooch. Check
the placement of the pin back to make sure the brooch
will hang properly. Stitch through beads in the brooch to
position the thread to exit under one of the holes in the pin
back, and stitch to the surface through that hole. String
enough size-15 seed beads to extend to the edge of the
pin back, and stitch through a bead in the brooch. Repeat
this sequence twice for each hole in the pin back. Bury this
thread and any other remaining tails.

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variations
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To create barnacles with an organic look, experiment with using


multiple colors and finishes of seed beads. add further visual
interest and texture by using a few triangle seed beads (size 11)
in the borders of the barnacles.

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r i g h T- a n g l e W e av e

Right-angle weave, often abbreviated as RaW, is characterized by small,


interconnected squares of beads. When done with a single bead for each
side of the square, the resulting woven piece is like fabric, dense and
fluid. In fact, historical examples of this technique include clothing made
entirely of woven beads in this stitch. There are several variations in the
way the stitch is done. Some older versions, like those practiced in Russia
a century ago, use two needles.

The project in this chapter is a contemporary version, woven with one


needle. although it may take a few tries to completely understand the
thread path and be able to weave without referring to the instructions,
once mastered, right-angle weave has many possibilities for both
jewelry and three-dimensional objects.

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autumn cRyStalS belt you Will neeD

right-angle Weave • 21 g seed beads, size 11,


color a
depending on the beads used to make this belt, it can look casual to classy.
• 840 beads, 3 mm, faceted,
The belt looks great whether it’s worn with jeans, tunics, skirts, or dress slacks.
color B
Once the method of right-angle weave is mastered, it will take four to six
hours to complete a belt. • 14 g seed beads, size 6,
color C
In right-angle weave, it is important to understand that the stitch is made up • 2 g seed beads, size 15,
of connecting squares. The sides of the squares can each have one bead or color d
several beads. after making the first full square, each added square will then
• one three-strand, magnetic,
utilize the sides of the adjacent square or squares plus two or three new sides
tubular bar-clasp (or similar)
to complete a new square. In this pattern, each side consists of three beads.
The sides are noted as n, S, e, and W. In the pictures, the tail is always exit- • beading thread (Nymo D,
6-lb Fireline or equivalent)
ing the nW (top left) corner.
• beading needle, size11
To master right-angle weave and learn the thread path, it is important to fol-
low both the pictures and the written instructions at first. after a few rows, The quantities listed are for
the weaving process will become intuitive—easy to do without referring to a 27" (68.6 cm) belt. adjust
the instructions. the amounts up or down to
change the length.

1 String twelve beads: a B a, a B a, a B a, a B a. Slide In the following pictures, the orientation of the beadwork
the beads down the thread and leave an 8" (20 cm) tail. never changes. n is always at the top and W is always to
Make a square with the beads by bringing the needle up the left.
through the bottom (closest to the tail) and through all the
beads in the string. Stitch around the first square clockwise 2 String nine beads: a C a, a B a, a C a. Stitch down
through the next a B a, a B a. The tail exits the nW (top through the e side of square 1 and pull tight. This forms the
left) corner and the needle end of the thread exits at the second square.
Se (lower right) corner.
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3 4 5

6 7 8

3 Stitch counterclockwise around the S 6 Stitch clockwise around the n, e, 8 Stitch clockwise through the e,
and e sides of square 2. exit at the and S sides of square 5. exit at the S, and W sides of square 7 and
ne corner of square 2. SW corner of square 5. counterclockwise through the S side
of square 3 in the row above. exit
String nine beads: a B a, a B a, a String nine beads: a B a, a B a, at the SW corner of square 3 in the
B a. Stitch up through the e side of a B a. Stitch through the S side of row above.
square 2 and pull tight. This forms square 5 in the previous row and
the third square. pull tight. This forms square 6, the String six beads: a B a, a B a.
first square in the row 2. Stitch up the W side of square 7 and
4 Stitch clockwise around the n and pull tight. This forms square 8, the
e sides of square 3. exit at the Se 7 Stitch clockwise down the W side of third square in the row 2.
corner of square 3. square 6. exit at the SW corner of
square 6.
String nine beads: a C a, a B a, a
C a. Stitch down through the e side String 6 beads: a C a, a B a.
of square 3 and pull tight. This forms Stitch through the S side of square 4
the fourth square. in the row above and pull tight. This
forms square 7, the second square in
5 Stitch counterclockwise around the S the row 2.
and e sides of square 4. exit at the
ne corner of square 4. variation
String nine beads: a B a, a B a, a •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

B a. Stitch up through the e side of To create a beautiful bracelet, stop


square 4 and pull tight. This forms beading when the weaving is about 7"
the fifth and last square of row 1 of (18 cm) long, and add the clasp.
the design.
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9 Stitch counterclockwise through the n and W sides of square 8. 9

String six beads: a C a, a B a. Stitch through the S side of square 2 in the


row above and pull tight. This forms square 9, the fourth square in row 2.

10 Stitch clockwise around the e, S, and W sides of square 9 and counterclockwise


through the S side of square 1 in the row above.

String six beads a B a, a B a. Stitch through the W side of square 9 and pull
tight. This forms square 10, the last square in row 2.

Important: Before beginning row 3, look closely at all the intersections between
10
the squares. You should see how the thread creates a little hole at each intersec-
tion and does not cross through it diagonally. If the thread goes around the
intersections, you have successfully completed two rows of RaW bead weaving.
If the thread crosses any of the intersections, you may want to cut the weaving
apart and try again.

11 To prepare for the first square of row 3, stitch counterclockwise through the n, W,
and S sides of square 10. String a B a, a B a, a B a. Stitch through S of square
10. This forms square 11. To continue row 3, repeat steps 7–10, stitching in the
opposite direction. always position the thread for a new square so that it can be
made without a vertical or horizontal thread path through the corner.

Continue making rows of five squares each, until the belt is the desired length. all
11
even rows will be the same as row 2 (steps 6–10); all odd rows will be the same
as row 2, but stitched in the opposite direction.

When the belt is the desired length, add one side of the clasp to the end. Center
the clasp. Stitch through the last row of beads, catching the clasp loops as you
go. Stitch around a square and back to the last row of beads. Stitch along the
row again, catching the clasp loops as you go. Repeat as many times as possible.

12 To strengthen the belt and square up the weaving, stitch back through all the
weaving, filling the small hole at the intersections between each of the squares
with a size-15 bead. Position the needle at the corner of the last row of beads. 12
add a size-15 seed bead and stitch through the next three beads. add another
size-15 seed bead and stitch through the next three beads. Continue this step up
and down each row to the other end of the belt.

attach the other half of clasp on the opposite end of the belt. If the clasp you
chose will only close when oriented one way, put the clasp together when
stitching it to the second end. This will ensure you have both sides of the clasp
positioned in the right direction.

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BriCk sTiTCh you Will neeD

• 2 g seed beads, size 11


Brick stitch, named because it looks like a brick wall when worked flat, is also
called Comanche stitch because it has been widely used by the Comanche • 2 yards (1.8 m) beading
tribe of native americans for two centuries. The earliest examples—from thread, nymo or equivalent,
size d
before glass seed beads were available—are made with shell wampum. The
Cheyenne and Iroquois tribes also use this stitch now and historically. Some • one pin back, 3/4" (1.9 cm)
older bead weaving done in brick stitch, dating back to the 1700s, comes • beading needle, size 11
from guatemala, africa, and the Middle east. or 12

Turned on its side, a piece of brick-stitch weaving will look exactly like a piece
of peyote stitch weaving. The only way to tell the difference is to pull the work
apart enough to determine the thread path. Both stitches provide the beader
with the flexibility to create shaped and dimensional objects. Beaders tend to
develop a preference for one or the other.

The characteristic technique of brick stitch involves looping over the thread
going between beads in the previous row to attach each bead or group of
beads in the new row. By completing the Vermillion Heart Pin project, you
will learn the fundamental methods of flat brick stitch, along with increasing
and decreasing methods to create a shaped piece. The Fan earrings project
(page 104) introduces techniques of circular brick stitch.

VeRmillion
heaRt Pin

shaped Brick stitch


This sweet little heart pin takes only
an hour or so to make. Brick stitch
is an intuitive technique, one that is
well suited to designing variations,
especially for color combinations.
after completing one pin in a solid
color, creating variations will be
1 String eight beads on 2 yards 2 Stitch back through the first four
easier than you might think. (1.8 m) of thread, and slip the beads (toward the center), and align
beads to the approximate center of the second four beads beside the first
the thread. four beads. Then stitch through the
remaining four beads to make two
columns. Both threads exit from the
same side of the column.

(continued)

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3 4 5

6 7 8

3 String four beads and stitch through is anchored to the previous row by 7 For the second hump, rethread the
the previous four beads and then the stitching under a thread between two needle with the other end of the
four beads just added. now there beads in the previous row and then thread. Repeat steps 5–6 to com-
are three columns. up through the newly added bead. plete the second hump. Like the
Continue in brick stitch until six other hump, rather than stitching up
4 Continue adding four-bead columns beads have been added. through the last bead added, stitch
until there are fourteen columns. down through the edge beads, exit-
6 Flip the work. as in the previous ing at the base of the column.
5 Flip the work, string two beads and step, start the row by stringing two
stitch under the thread joining the beads. Continue the row, adding 8 Turn the heart upside down. It should
second and third columns. Then stitch one bead at a time for a total of five look like the picture above. Work
up through the second bead added beads. Repeat this process, adding the point in the same manner as
from the underside where it touches one bead fewer for each row until the humps. Begin each row with
the column. the top is only three beads wide. This two beads; stitch under the thread
is the final row of one of the humps between the second and third beads
String one bead and stitch under at the top of the heart. at the end of below and up through the second
the next visible thread joining the this row, rather than stitching back bead added. Then add one bead
columns of beads. Then stitch up up through the last bead, stitch down and anchor it with a brick stitch.
through the new bead. This is a brick through the edge beads and exit at Continue adding beads across the
stitch. each bead in the new row the base of the column. row for a total of thirteen beads.
each successive row will have one
fewer bead. Continue until you reach
the two-bead row.

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9 When adding the last bead of the two-bead row, rather than stitching up through 9
the last bead added, stitch through the outside edge of the beads, exiting at the
base of the column, as shown right. Stitch up and down through adjacent beads,
positioning the thread so it exits somewhere in the middle of the heart. Rethread
the needle with the other thread and stitch through the outside edge of the beads,
exiting at the point. Then stitch through beads, positioning the thread so that it
exits next to the other end of the thread. Tie a square knot and bury one tail by
stitching up and down through about eight beads.

10 Rethread the needle on the other tail and stitch through beads as needed to
position the thread for attaching the pin back. Stitch up through one of the holes
of the pin back. Crossing to the outside edge of the pin back, stitch through the
heart to the front. Stitch through the closest bead toward the hole. Then stitch to
the back through the hole. Repeat two or three times on each side of the hole. 10
Stitch up and down through adjacent beads to position the thread at the next
hole and repeat. after the pin back is firmly attached, make several half-hitches,
and bury the tail by stitching up and down through about eight beads.

variations
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Make a grayscale scan or copy of a completed pin, enlarged to about 300 percent. Use
colored pencils or markers to chart a multicolor design, such as the two shown below.

Use size-15 seed beads to add a picot edge (page 177) around the entire heart, as
shown in the third example below.

To make a larger heart, begin with more center columns and readjust the width of
the humps accordingly. a larger heart may need some support on the back. Cut the
shape out of rigid plastic, and stitch the pin back to the plastic. Cut the shape out of
nonwoven fabric, cut holes for the pin back, and place it over the pin back. With the
plastic sandwiched between the beaded heart and the fabric, whip stitch around the
edges or join them using a picot-edge stitch.

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Fan eaRRingS
Circular Brick stitch
These fan-shaped earrings are fun to wear and can be The technique—circular brick stitch—is intuitive and easy
made in many different color combinations to suit any to learn. The second earring will only take about one
occasion. Use bright colors for a casual look, metallic hour to complete. The basic design and color pattern can
beads for a dressier look. be modified to create many unique variations.

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1 1 Prestretch the beading thread. Cut a you Will neeD
piece 31/2' (1 m) long and thread the
needle. String one color-a bead (size • 5 g seed beads, size 15,
15), leaving an 8" (20 cm) tail. With color a
the bead and tail on the outside of
• 5 g seed beads, size 11,
the ring, stitch through the ring and
color B
then back through the bead so the
working thread and the tail both exit • 5 g seed beads, size 11,
the top of the bead. Pull the bead color C
tight against the ring, keeping it on
the outside edge. • beading thread, Nymo or
equivalent, size B
2 String another color-a bead. Stitch
2 • beading needle, size 12
through the ring and back through
the same bead from the underside. • two metal rings, 12 mm
Pull the thread tight. Make sure the diameter, 18–20 gauge
second bead sits right next to the first round or half-round wire,
on the outer edge of the ring and the must be soldered closed
thread exits outward.
• two earring hooks
3 Continue adding color-a beads one
at a time in the same way until the
beads extend all the way around
the ring. It is better to end with a
small gap, using the tread tension to
3 tighten the space, than to force an
extra bead into an area too small for
it to fit. The beadwork needs to lie
flat. Forcing too many beads into a Supply notes
round will cause the work to ripple.
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

4 To close round 1, insert the needle in Because the hole sizes in different beads
the top hole of the first bead of the vary slightly, a size-15 beading needle
round. Stitch through the bead and might come in handy. a size-12 needle
pull the thread to even out the bead will work with most beads. The quanti-
spacing and close any gap between ties listed for beads are approximate, but
the first and last bead of the round. should be sufficient to make at least two
earrings. Select beads that are uniform in
4 (continued)
size, both in diameter and hole height.

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5 Stitch up through the second bead 6 Begin round 2 by stringing two 7 Working in the same direction
in round 1 from the underside of color-a beads. (counterclockwise) around the ring,
the bead, exiting outward. Tighten stitch under the thread between
the tension to even out the beads beads 3 and 4 of the first round.
around the ring. Ignore the tail. It will
be used later, when the earring is
complete, to smooth the edge of the
fan. Round 1 is complete.

8 Stitch up through the second bead 9 String another color-a bead. To increase, add two beads (one
in round 2 and pull the thread snug. Stitch under the thread between at a time), stitching twice under the
The first bead of round 2 will tip beads 4 and 5 in round 1. Stitch thread going between two beads in
slightly. This will be corrected at the back up through the bead just the previous round.
end of the round. added to anchor it in place. This
is brick stitch. Complete round 2 by stitching
down through the first bead and
Continue working in brick stitch all back up from the underside of the
the way around the ring, anchor- second bead of round 2, as in steps
ing at least one bead to the thread 4 and 5. Pull the thread snug and
between each of the beads in use your fingers to even out the
round 1. Because round 2 is larger bead spacing in the round.
in diameter than round 1, it will
take more beads to go around the
circle. Increase four times on round
2 at even intervals.

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10 To begin round 3, string two color-B beads. Working in the 11 Using size-15 beads, make a loop for attaching the ear
same direction (counterclockwise) around the ring, stitch wire. String five color-a beads. Stitch down through bead
under the thread between beads 3 and 4 of round 2. 3 of round 3.

Stitch up through the second bead in round 3 and pull Stitch back up through bead 2 of round 3 and a second
the thread snug. Continue working in brick stitch all the time through the five beads of the loop. Stitch down
way around the ring, anchoring one bead to the thread through bead 3 of round 3 again. Repeat one or two more
between each of the beads in round 2. although round 3 is times to reinforce the loop. The last time, after stitching
larger in diameter than round 3, it also uses bigger beads. down through bead 3 of round 3, stitch back up through
Round 3 will take fewer beads to go around the circle. bead 4 of round 3, exiting beyond the loop.
decrease about three times on round 3 at even intervals.
Since beads vary in size, you may need to decrease more (continued)
or fewer times.

To decrease, skip one thread going between two beads in


the previous round, anchoring the new bead between the
next two beads.

Complete round 3 by stitching down through the first


bead and back up from the underside of the second
bead of round 3, as in steps 4 and 5 above. Pull the
thread snug, and use your fingers to even out the bead
spacing in the round.

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12 To position the thread to begin making the fan, stitch down
through bead 5 of round 3 and up through bead 6 of
round 3. Continue weaving the thread up and down, from
bead to bead, in a counterclockwise direction until the
thread exits from the top of bead 10 of round 3 (about
one-third of the way around the circle). String two color-C
beads. anchor the second bead to the thread between
beads 10 and 11 of round 3.

Continue in brick stitch, working counterclockwise, about


one-third of the way around, until the round is evenly
spaced across from the loop. Increase if necessary. end
with the thread exiting the last bead of this round. In this
example, there are twelve beads in the first row of the fan.

13 Flip the work and string two color-B beads.

Brick stitch row 2 of the fan, anchoring to the threads


between the beads in row 1. To complete row 2 of the fan,
anchor a bead to the stitch between the first two beads of
row 1.

Flip the work and brick stitch row 3 of the fan using color-a
beads. You will need to make several increases in this row.

In the same way, complete row 4 (color-a beads), row 5


(color-B beads), and row 6 (color-C beads). each new row
begins with two beads, the first of which will always tip a
little. While working these rows, keep the tension snug, so
that the fan has a somewhat stiff feel to it.

14 at the end of row 6 of the fan, insert the needle into the
end bead of the previous row.

Stitch down through the other ending beads of all the rows
on this side of the fan and pull tight. This will keep the edge
of the fan looking tidy. Stitch up and down, weaving the
thread along round 3 toward a point opposite the loop.
Snip the thread, leaving a 5" (12 cm) tail.

Thread the original tail, and stitch up to round 3. Stitch up


and down, weaving the thread along round 3 beads to
position the thread at the other side of the fan. Stitch up
through the edge beads in all the rows of the fan and pull
tight. Stitch, zigzagging downward, through the rows of
the fan, to round 3. Stitch up and down through the beads
of round 3 toward the other tail.

When the two tails meet, tie them in a square knot and
bury each end separately in the beads of the fan.

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variations
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Begin the fan earlier on round 3 for a wider flare. add a picot
edging to the bottom of the fan. Make a dangle of small, spe-
cial beads inside the metal ring for added interest. Start with a
larger or smaller ring to make larger or smaller earrings. also,
changing the color sequence or using beads of varying sizes
will result in different looks.

If the color of thread used to weave the earrings is not pleasing


on the bottom of the fan or along the edges, use a fine-tip perma-
nent marker to “paint” the thread in a more appropriate color.

15 To finish, using a chain-nose pliers, open the loop of an ear


wire, insert it into the loop of the earring, and close. Repeat
steps 1–15 to make the second earring.

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BeaD neTTing

Bead netting is a generic term for bead weaving that pearls, coral, shell, or very small stone beads. The ear-
has open spaces between the beads. Many different liest known bead netting is traced to egyptian artifacts
netting methods exist today, some specific to a certain from around 600–500 BCe.
object, others adapted and used for a variety of different
objects. note that the right-angle weave stitch (see page necklaces and collars made with netted beads are partic-
97), when done with three or more beads in the sides of ularly ubiquitous, found in most indigenous cultures around
the squares, produces an open netted look, and thus is the world. Collars may be woven back and forth, starting
sometimes called RaW netting. with a neck band, then adding row after row expanding
outward. Or, they may be woven up and down, starting
Collars, purses, shoulder ornaments, headdresses, capes, at the neck edge and weaving to the outside edge, build-
aprons, even whole garments made with bead netting ing on that column to weave back to the neck, and then
are found in many cultures, including those in the Middle back out again, repeating until the necklace is the desired
east, europe, africa, and the americas. Some of these, length. The two collars in this chapter exemplify these two
created long before glass seed beads, were made with different approaches to weaving a netted necklace.

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you Will neeD SummeR bReeze bRacelet
• 5 g seed beads, size 11, netted oglala Butterfly stitch
color a
This netting technique is derived from the Oglala butterfly stitch, created by
• 3 g seed beads, size 11, the Lakota Sioux. In this variation there are two layers of ruffles in hot, vibrant
color B colors to set the mood for a tropical summer day. For an evening look, con-
• 6 g seed beads, size 11, sider making this project in black, silver, and gray metallic beads. You can
color C also substitute a metal clasp for the button and loop closure, attaching it in
• 3 g seed beads, size 6, the same way.
core color
although it looks fancy and complex, it’s easy to learn how to make this
• one clasp or button
bracelet and it takes less than two hours from start to finish. This bracelet is a
• beading thread, Nymo D, good choice for a first netting project.
6 lb. Fireline, or equivalent
• beading needle, size 10
or 11

1 String and secure a stop bead on 2 String five a beads. Stitch through 3 Periodically tighten the core beads
2 yards (1.9 m) of beading thread, the second bead of the first a group by holding the tail in one hand while
leaving a 10" (25.5 cm) tail. String of row 1. String five a beads. Stitch pressing the core beads toward the
an even number of core beads to a through the second bead of the other end of the bracelet with the
length of about 7" (18 cm) or (1" to second a group of row 1. Repeat this other hand.
11/2" [2.5 to 3.8 cm] less than the pattern for the length of the bracelet.
desired length of finished bracelet). Row 2 is complete. The stop bead in String two a, three B, and two
this example is a dark green color. a beads. Stitch through the third
String three a beads. Skip the first bead in row 2. String two a, three
core bead and stitch through the B, and two a. Stitch through the
second. String three a beads, skip the third bead of the next group of five
third core bead, and stitch through the beads in row 2. Repeat this pattern
fourth. Repeat, adding three a beads for the length of the bracelet. Row 3
to every other core bead for the length is complete
of the core. do not stitch through the
stop bead. Row 1 is complete. (continued)

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4 String three B, three C, and three B. 5 String thirteen C beads. Stitch 6 Stitch up through the end beads
Stitch through the second B bead in through the second C bead in row of the ruffle to position the needle
row 3. String three B, three C, and 4. String thirteen C. Stitch through between the first core bead and
three B. Stitch through the second the second C bead in the next the stop bead.
B bead in the next group in row 3. group in row 4. Repeat this pattern
Repeat this pattern for the length of for the length of the bracelet. Ruffle
the bracelet. Row 4 is complete. 1 is complete.

7 Begin ruffle 2. String three B beads. 8 String five C beads. Stitch through 9 String seven a beads. Stitch through
Skip the first core bead and stitch the second bead in row 1, ruffle 2. the third bead in row 2, ruffle 2.
through the second. String three String five C beads. Stitch through String seven a beads. Stitch through
B beads. Skip the third core bead the second bead of the next group the third bead of the next group in
and stitch through the fourth. Repeat, in row 1, ruffle 2. Repeat this pattern row 2, ruffle 2. Repeat this pattern
adding three B beads to every other for the length of the bracelet. Row 2 for the length of the bracelet. Ruffle 2
core bead for the length of the core. of ruffle 2 is complete. is complete.
Row 1 of ruffle 2 is complete.

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10 Stitch up through the end beads of slide easily over the button. Stitch 11 Remove the stop bead. Thread the tail
the ruffle to position the needle exit- through the beads to position the on the needle. String five beads more
ing from the last core bead. String a needle so it exits the last core bead. than half the diameter of the button.
sufficient number of a, B, or C beads Tie several half-hitch knots along String the button. String the same num-
to make a closure loop for the but- the path. Stitch through the beads ber of beads, less three. Stitch back
ton. Stitch back through the first three of the loop again. Repeat several through the first three beads strung,
strung beads. times, taking a different path and a few of the core beads, and then
making a couple half-hitch knots through some of the beads in ruffle 1.
Stitch through a few core beads and each time. When it’s not possible to as in step 10, stitch through the button
then through some of the beads in stitch through the loop another time, attachment as many times as possible,
ruffle 1. Tie a half-hitch knot. Test stitch into one of the ruffles, and stitching into different parts of the
that the loop is large enough to snip the thread. ruffles and making half-hitches along
the path. Stitch into one of the ruffles
and snip the thread.

variations
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To make a matching necklace with


three ruffles, first string core beads for
the appropriate length. Follow steps
2–5 for ruffle 1. Begin the second ruffle
3" (7.5 cm) from the end of the core
and stop 3" (7.5 cm) from the other
end. Follow steps 7–9 for the second
ruffle. Begin a third ruffle 5" (10 cm)
from the end of the core and stop 5"
(10 cm) from the other end. The third
ruffle is a repeat of ruffle 1, steps 2–5.

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lattice collaR you Will neeD

netting Worked up and Down • 10 g of seed beads,


size 11 or 10, color a
The village women of Transylvania, in northwest Romania, have created and
• 45 g bugle beads,
worn many types of beaded adornments for more than 200 years. The Lattice
3 or 6 mm, color B
Collar is one example of the beadwork from this area.
• beading needle, size 10
Worked up and down in columns, rather than in rows, the pattern is repeated or 11
until the strip of netting is about 26" (66 cm) long, at which point the two ends • beading thread, Nymo D,
are woven together. The collar slips over the head, draping beautifully on the Fireline, or equivalent
chest. It can have a very elegant or more casual look, depending on your
• jeweler’s glue
choice of beads. Relatively easy to learn, the Lattice Collar takes less than a
day to make. It is important to select bugle
beads that are uniform, both
in length and diameter.
avoid choosing bugle beads
that have noticeably sharp or
jagged edges.

1 Working with about 5' (1.5 m) of thread, secure a stop bead, leaving an
8" (20.3 cm) tail. String five beads: aBaBa.

2 Stitch through the first a bead toward the tail, forming a triangle. This triangle,
at the top of the woven strip, will be at the neck edge of the necklace.

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3 String seventeen beads: Ba Ba Ba 4 To begin the upward weave, stitch 5 String three beads: BaB. Skip two
Ba Ba Ba Baaaa. The last four up through the fourth seed bead bugle beads and stitch up through
seed beads will be formed into a from the bottom. Pull upward on the next seed bead.
diamond. This diamond, at the bot- the thread to shape the beads into
tom of the woven strip, will be at the a diamond.
outside edge of the necklace.

6 Repeat step 5 three times. The last 7 Begin the downward weave by 8 String three beads: BaB. Skip two
BaB combination of the column stringing three beads: BaB. Stitch bugle beads and stitch down through
attaches to the seed bead at the downward through the first seed the next seed bead.
top of the triangle that was formed bead, forming a second triangle at
in step 2. This completes the up- the top. Tighten the thread a little to
ward weave. make sure all the beads are touch-
ing each other with no loose thread
between them.

adding new Thread


•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

When the weaving thread is 6" to 8" (15 to 20 cm) long, stop weaving at the top of
the strip, just below the triangle, and tie on a new thread using a double square knot.
after the necklace is finished, apply glue to the knots and then bury the tails by stitching
through the beads to the outside edge of the necklace. 9 Repeat step 8 two times. Then string
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• five beads: Baaaa. This completes
the downward weave.

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variations
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Two or three bead colors may be used, changing the color at the
same place in each upward and downward weave, to create a
gradual color shift. Small bugle beads (3 mm) and seed beads
(size 15) make a narrow strip with an elegant, more tightly wo-
ven appearance. To make a shorter necklace, end the strip with
an upward weave and attach a clasp.

10 Continue to stitch up (steps 4–6) and down (steps 7–9). at


the top and bottom of each weave, check the tension, pull-
ing any loose thread snug between the beads. However,
since the collar should drape in a fluid manner, don’t pull
the thread so tight that the weaving becomes stiff.

Weave until the strip measures the desired length. It must


be long enough to fit easily over your head, as it is a con-
tinuous collar-type necklace with no clasp. For most people,
26" (66 cm) is a comfortable length. end the strip with a
diamond at the bottom.

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a Little extra Security


11 Form a circle with the strip, bringing the end around to
meet the beginning. Be sure there are no twists in the strip. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Stringing one bugle bead for each stitch, lace the end to Because bugles beads have sharp edges and the thread passes
the beginning, weaving back and forth from side to side. through them at an angle, there is a risk that one of them could
Remove the stop bead and tie the beginning tail to the end- cut the thread, especially at the top (neck edge) of the collar. For
ing thread with a double square knot. a little added security, stitch through the top bugle beads all the
way around the neck edge. Using a doubled thread, knot and
bury the tails.

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you Will neeD SaRaguRo lace necklace
• 20–30 g seed beads, size-11 netting Worked side to side
or 10, single color
The Saraguro people, an indigenous culture in ecuador, have made and
• seventy accent beads, 3 or
worn seed bead necklaces like this for more than 100 years. Their stunning
4 mm: crystals, glass pearls,
beadwork includes a variety of designs and patterns for netted collars.
shaped beads, or other
• beading thread, Nymo D, This version is woven from end to end, back and forth in rows. The first row
6# Fireline, or equivalent forms the top band of the necklace. The remaining five rows form a series of
• beading needles: size 11 loops, giving the work its graceful, lacey appearance. as beads are added,
and 12 each new loop is secured to the row above it. In a manner similar to brick
stitch (page 101), the needle goes under the thread between two beads in the
• clasp (or small button)
row above, and then back through the last bead strung. This anchors each of
the loops to the row above. The choice of beads makes it casual or dressy.
Use a size-11 needle for the
majority of the weaving.
Switch to a size 12 for going
through beads that have lots
of thread in them, such as
when attaching the clasp.
Tension
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Check the tension frequently. Tight tension


is very important for steps 1–4, which
form row 1—the top band of the neck-
lace. If the stitches loosen, it’s possible
to tighten the last two-stitch unit without
much difficulty. If stitches farther back are
Step Pictures loose, unravel the weaving back to the

for This Project loose section and reweave it.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
To avoid loose stitches, hold your work
The step pictures for this project show the so your thumb and index finger cover
necklace in “teaching form,” condensed the last completed stitch. Pull the thread
so that both ends are visible in the picture. and hold it tightly over your index finger.
The color of the beads indicates which If you look at the tips of your finger and
steps are complete (rose) and which step thumb, you should be able to see only a 1 String and secure a stop bead,
is currently active (purple). The stop bead small bit of the last four beads. generally leaving an 8" (20 cm) tail. To begin
is shown in each picture as reference to it is possible to see which bead is needed row 1, string six seed beads and
the starting point of the necklace and the for the next stitch. This tip refers only to stitch back through the first bead
direction of weaving in the current row. row 1, steps 1–4. with the needle pointing toward the
stop bead. Pull the thread through,
and tie the beading thread to the tail
with a square knot. The stop bead is
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• beyond the knot (not included with
the other beads).

(continued)

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Tension Change
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Beginning with step 5, loosen the tension.


Pull the thread enough so that the new
bead sits next to the one above it, but is
not so tight that a bead is forced between
the beads of that row. after finishing a
row, flip the work so you are always
working left to right.
2 Hold your work with the tail thread 3 String four beads and go up through
Reminder: Purple beads indicate the at the top of your work. String three the bead on top of the bead where
current step, and rose beads indicate beads, skip the first bead, and go the previous stitch exits. Continue to
completed steps. The photos show a down through the next bead. hold your work with the tail exiting
short version of the necklace so that the Pull tightly so there is little or no the top left of your work.
transitions at both ends are visible. thread showing.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

4 String three beads, skip the exit 5 To begin row 2, string eight beads. 6 To begin row 3, string one accent
bead and the next bead, and Stitch under the thread between the bead, eight seed beads, and one
go down through the third bead. two bottom beads of the third two- accent bead. Skip three beads in the
Repeat steps 3–4 until the band is bead unit and then down through second loop in row 2 (not counting
about the right length. Count the the last bead strung. This bead will the anchor bead), sew under the
number of two-bead units at the secure the loop. It will be called thread between beads 3 and 4, and
top of the band by sevens. add or the “anchor bead” for the rest of then go back through the accent
remove the appropriate number of the project. For the remainder of bead and the next seed bead. In this
two-bead units so that the finished the row, string seven beads for row, the accent bead and one seed
row is a multiple of seven units. On each loop. Continue to the end of bead together form each anchor. For
the last two-bead unit, sew through the band to complete row 2. after the rest of row 3, string seven seed
one extra bead so the thread exits anchoring the last seven beads in the beads and one accent bead and
between the bottom two beads of row, stitch back through three more attach. Continue to the end of the
this unit. beads, exiting in the center of the row. In the last loop of row 3, go
last loop in row 2. back through the last accent bead
and two seed beads.

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variations
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a wide variety of beads can be used for


the accent beads as long as the diameter
is between 3 mm and 5 mm. Fire-polished
beads are one way to add sparkle, or use
Swarovski crystals for even more bling.
Pearls add a feminine touch. Shaped
beads like hearts, leaves, or flowers (with
7 To begin row 4, string six beads. 8 In row 5, each loop of beads will vertical holes) result in a less formal look.
Skip four beads on the first loop of be attached between the middle two
row 3 and attach through the anchor beads in the row 4 loops. To begin This necklace is also pretty made in two
bead. String five beads and attach row 5, string twelve beads and (or more) colors such as pink for row 1,
after the first bead of the second attach them in the middle of the sec- purple for rows 2 and 3, and pink for the
row 3 loop (not counting the anchor ond loop of row 4. String five beads remaining rows.
bead). String five more beads; and attach them in the middle of the
skip four beads and attach the third loop. String five more beads Rather than attaching a metal clasp, use a
same way. each loop in row 3 will and attach them to the fourth loop. glass button with a beaded-loop closure.
have two loops anchored to it in String eleven beads and attach them
row 4, doubling the total number to the fifth loop. Continue to the end
of loops. Continue to string five of the row, repeating a pattern of
beads for each loop and repeat 5-5-11 beads. at the end of the row,
to the end of the row. To anchor exit only the anchor bead. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
the last loop in this row, go back
through two beads.

Bracketing Crystals units, but use only seventeen beads


for the rest of the big loops. For the
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• last loop, do not go back through the
The method shown here is the way last bead. Sew up through the end of
the Saraguro women make this neck- each row, following along the outer
edge to row 1.
lace. If you are using crystals for
the accent beads, consider bracket-
9 To begin row 6, string eighteen 10 To finish the necklace, use the thread
ing the accent beads (crystals) with beads and attach them between the from step 9 to attach one part of the
seed beads, as shown on page two middle beads of the second loop clasp. Be sure to sew through several
75. Bracketing crystals lessens the in row 5. String two seed beads, one beads and knot securely. Repeat this
chance that their sharp edges will cut accent bead, and three seed beads. step at least once more. For the other
the thread. Skip the last three beads and go end of the necklace, you will need
back up the accent bead. String three to add thread to attach the other half
more beads and anchor to the third of the clasp. (For clasp attachment
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• loop. Continue making these two instructions, see page 75.)

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CroCheT WiTh BeaDs
Bead crochet first gained popularity in the mid-1800s, all bead crochet involves stringing beads onto the cro-
when extremely small beads were strung in a charted chet thread first, either randomly or according to a
pattern on fine threads and then crocheted into fashion- charted pattern. Then, as the project is crocheted, a bead
able handbags. It took many thousands of beads and is slipped up the crochet thread next to the last stitch and
countless hours of work to make a single bag. Some fine held in place by the next stitch. When a bead is slipped
examples can be seen in museums and private collec- forward with every stitch, the surface of the work will be
tions. Intricate beaded patterns were also crocheted into covered with beads and the thread will be barely visible.
bonnets, gloves, and other apparel.

Contemporary beaders make small crocheted amulet


bags, such as the one pictured here. In addition beaded Warning: Memory Wire and Tools
ropes, crocheted in a circular manner, as in the following ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
project, are a popular core technique for making rope Memory wire is hardened steel and therefore hard on tools.
necklaces and lariats. Using regular jewelry-making nippers and pliers on memory
wire is likely to ruin the tools, causing nicks and dents in the
working surfaces. Inexpensive tools from a thrift store can be
used without worrying about damaging them.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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Polka-Dot bRacelet you Will neeD

Bead Crocheted rope • 15 g seed beads, size 11

among the many weaving stitches used to create beaded ropes, bead cro- • fifty-five glass pearls,
chet is one of the sturdiest. Yet at the same time, a crocheted rope is both size 3 mm (or substitute
supple and sensuous. It holds its round, tubular shape, making it especially size-8 seed beads)
well suited for bracelets. It can be worked in many pattern variations, with • one spool thread, polyester
any size beads, in any length. top stitch, heavy duty
(gutermann recommended)
as with bead crochet purses, this technique requires prestringing all the beads • crochet hook, size 1 mm
on the crochet thread. Once the beads are strung and the foundation circle is (US #12 steel hook)
chain stitched, one bead is added with each single crochet stitch, resulting in
• beading needle, size 11
a solidly beaded rope, the thread barely visible. The stitches are worked in a
continuous round, causing the beads to spiral up the rope. • 8" (20 cm) fine beading
thread, size OO, O, or a
The diameter of the rope for this project, crocheted with top stitching thread • sewing needle with eye
and size-11 seed beads, is about 3/8" (1 cm), making a slim bracelet that is suitable for crochet thread
both elegant and comfortable to wear. Because of its small size, good light-
• two sets ending beads
ing, light-colored thread, and matte beads are recommended when learning (two end caps and two glass
the technique. getting started may take several tries. However, it becomes beads or metal beads)
easier as the rope lengthens, providing something substantial to hold as each
• 14" (36 cm) memory wire
stitch is hooked. If working small is uncomfortable, it may be prudent to switch
to size-8 seed beads and pearl cotton thread (size 5), resulting in a larger • masking tape
diameter rope. • heavy-duty wire cutter
(see warning on page 122)
In addition to the cheerful polka-dot pattern, a special feature of this bracelet
• chain-nose pliers
is the insertion of memory wire (hardened wire that holds its coiled shape)
(see warning on page 122)
after completing the rope, making it smart looking yet very easy to put on
and take off.

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1 Unwind 2 yards (1.8 m) of thread, without cutting it from 2 Leaving a 10" (25 cm) tail, make a slip knot and insert the
the spool. Thread the end through a bead harness (see hook into the loop.
page 30) made with fine beading thread. String the beads
in the following pattern: 60 seed beads, *1 pearl, 4 seed
beads, 1 pearl, 53 seed beads*. Repeat from * to * for
a total of twenty-seven repeats. end by stringing 60 seed
beads. Count carefully because adding or skipping a bead
changes the regularity of the pattern. Later if a mistake is
found, cut the thread, add or remove a bead, knot the two
ends together and resume crocheting. Reject odd-shaped,
extra-small, and extra-large beads.

3 Hook and pull one stitch through the slip knot loop, result-
ing in a new loop. Hook and pull one stitch through the
new loop. Continue for a total of six stitches, counting the
original slip knot. This forms a six-stitch chain.

4 Join the working end of the chain to the beginning slip knot 5 Insert the hook in the center of the ring, hook one stitch,
with a slip stitch. Insert the hook through the loop of the slip and pull it through the chained ring. Hook another stitch
knot, hook one stitch, and pull it through both loops on the and pull it through both loops on the hook. Repeat nine
hook. This forms a ring of chained stitches. times, for a total of ten single crochet stitches through the
hole of the chained ring.

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6 Begin adding one seed bead with each stitch. Insert the 7 Repeat step six times, making one single crochet in each of
hook under the top strand and back ridge of the nearest the stitches from step 5. Check that the crown of your work
stitch. There will be one loop and two threads on the hook. has ten beads. This completes the first bead round.
Move one seed bead up the thread, positioning it close to
the stitch. Hook the thread on the other side of the bead,
and pull it through the two threads. There will be two loops
on the hook. Hook another stitch, pulling it through both
loops to complete a single crochet stitch.

8 after the first beaded round, continue making single 9 as the rope grows in length, providing something to hold,
crochet stitches as in step 6, adding one bead per stitch. the stitching will become rhythmical and smooth, and the
except, from now on, insert the hook only under the top progress will be faster. after every three to four rows, check
strand of each stitch. that there are ten beads in the crown. Continue making
single-crochet stitches, adding one bead per stitch, until
all the beads are used or the desired length is achieved.
depending on the beads, the strung pattern should make
about 12" (30.5 cm) of rope.

(continued)

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10 When the rope is the desired length (about 12" [30.5 cm]), 11 Cover one end of the memory wire with masking tape to
work one final round in single crochet without beads. To fin- prevent it from poking through the walls of the rope during
ish, cut the thread from the spool leaving a 10" (25.4 cm) insertion. do not straighten the wire. Carefully slip the wire
tail, pass the tail through the loop, and pull tight. into the rope, curving the rope as you go in the shape of
the wire.

12 Using the tail, reinforce the end of the rope by stitching 13 Remove the tape from the end of the memory wire. Select a
around the last row of beads through the wall of the rope. bead or combination of beads for the end. String the beads
exit at the end next to the memory wire. Repeat all around on the memory wire. If necessary, use chain-nose pliers to
the end. (To illustrate this step, a dark thread has been used straighten the end of the wire. Use the pliers to bend the
rather than the actual tail.) Stitch around a single thread, memory wire around the ending bead. Bend the tip of the
pull to form a small loop, stitch through the loop, and pull wire so it fits into the second to the last bead, providing a
tight to make a half-hitch knot. Repeat. Stitch down into the secure finish that won’t catch on clothing. note the length
rope as far as possible, exiting through the wall. Pull tight of wire needed to finish the first end. Scrunch the beaded
and snip the thread next to the beads. Repeat this step for rope slightly and measure the same amount of wire from
the other end of the rope. the end of the rope. Mark and clip the wire. add the end-
ing beads, bend the wire, and secure.

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variations
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

alternate the bead pattern (three color a with two color B) and omit the pearls to create
a spiraling striped pattern. Crochet a shorter rope, attach a clasp to the ends, and omit
the memory wire for a more flexible bracelet. Fancy charted patterns can be found
online or in books.

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ending Bead
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The example is shown with a glass ending bead, which can be


chipped or broken when bending the wire around it. a metal
ending bead is a safer choice.
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kniTTing WiTh BeaDs

although the earliest knitted fabrics and garments date There are several methods for adding beads during knit-
back about 1,000 years, humans apparently did not think ting. Most of them require prestringing the beads on the
to combine beads and knitting until more than 800 years knitting yarn or on a thread that is carried along with the
later. early examples of beads worked into knitting include knitting yarn.
fancy, victorian beaded handbags, bonnets, and gloves.
One method, however, does not require prestringing the
The handbags were made using very fine yarn, almost beads. In this method, called hooking, a bead may be
as thin as thread. after carefully following a charted added to any stitch using a crochet hook to pull the yarn
design to string the beads, the bag was knitted on steel through the bead. This technique requires the right com-
needles that were about the diameter of a toothpick. With bination of hook, bead hole, and yarn size. Sock or lace
each stitch a bead was carried forward. It takes close yarns, a size-13 or -14 crochet hook and size-6 beads
examination of the inside of the handbag to tell if it was (and even some size-8 beads) work well together.
crocheted or knitted, as both methods result in a solidly
beaded appearance.

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zigzag ScaRF you Will neeD
knitting with Beads • sock yarn, approximately
100 g (425 yards [382.5 m])
If you are already a knitter, learning
to hook beads will be a fun addi- • knitting needles, straight or
tion to your knitting skills. If you are circular, size 3
new to knitting, this scarf pattern is a • crochet hook, size 13
good place to start because it uses (0.85 mm) or 14 (0.75 mm)
only knit and pearl stitches. Most
• thirty-six seed beads,
yarn shop clerks will teach custom- size 6, green
ers knitting basics for free when they
buy yarn and needles. • thirty-six seed beads,
size 6, aqua

although this scarf takes some time to • thirty-six seed beads,


make because of the fine yarn used, size 6, blue
the result will be remarkable as well • thirty-six seed beads,
as warm. Using silver-lined seed size 6, purple
beads adds a nice sparkle and
• eighteen seed beads,
contrast to the soft gray, wool
size 6, red
yarn. Follow the knitting pattern
and the step instructions for hook-
ing the beads. To highlight the beads,
choose a solid, pale color of
yarn, such as the light gray
in this example. For a more
subtle look, choose heather,
dark, or multicolor yarn.

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knitting pattern for Zigzag scarf

Cast on forty-nine stitches. Continue repeating rows 49–62 until the scarf is about
5" (13 cm) shorter than the desired length. Finish the last
rows 1–4: *K1, p1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
5" (13 cm) of the scarf, hooking the beads in the opposite
row 5: K1, p1, k1, p1, k11, p l, k1, p1, k1, k11, k1, order.
p1, k1, p1, k11, p1, k1, p1, k1.

row 6: K1, p1, k1, p1, p11, p1, k1, p1, k1, p11, k1,
end rows 1–4: Repeat rows 1–4 above.
p1, k1, p1, p11, p1, k1, p1, k1.
end row 5: Repeat row 5 above.
row 7 (hook green beads): K1, p1, k1, p1, k1, h1, k7,
h1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, k1, h1, k7, h1, k1, k1, p1, k1, end row 6: Repeat row 6 above.
p1, k1, h1, k7, h1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1.
end row 7: Repeat row 15 above, hook red beads.
row 8: Repeat row 6.
end row 8: Repeat row 6 above.
row 9 (hook aqua beads): K1, p1, k1, p1, k2, h1, k5,
end row 9: Repeat row 13 above, hook purple beads.
h1, k2, p1, k1, p1, k1, k2, h1, k5, h1, k2, k1, p1, k1,
p1 k2, h1, k5, h1, k2, p1, k1, p1, k1. end row 10: Repeat row 6 above.

row 10: Repeat row 6. end row 11: Repeat row 11 above, hook blue beads.

row 11 (hook blue beads): K1, p1, k1, p1, k3, h1, k3, end row 12: Repeat row 6 above.
h1, k3, p1, k1, p1, k1, k3, h1, k3, h1, k3, k1, p1, k1,
p1, k3, h1, k3, h1, k3, p1, k1, p1, k1. end row 13: Repeat row 9 above, hook aqua beads.

row 12: Repeat row 6. end row 14: Repeat row 6 above.

row 13 (hook purple beads): K1, p1, k1, p1, k4, h1, k1, end row 15: Repeat row 7 above, hook green beads.
h1, k4, p1, k1, p1, k1, k4, h1, k1, h1, k4, p1, k1, p1,
end row 16: Repeat row 6 above.
k1, k4, h1, k1, h1, k4, p1, k1, p1, k1.
end rows 17–48: Repeat end rows 1–16 two times.
row 14: Repeat row 6.
end rows 49–52: Repeat rows 1–4 above.
row 15 (hook red beads): K1, p1, k1, p1, k5, h1, k5,
p1, k1, p1, k1, k5, h1, k5, k1, p1, k1, p1, k5, h1, k5,
p1, k1, p1, k1. Bind off the end, weave in the tails, and block the scarf.

row 16: Repeat row 6.

rows 17–48: Repeat rows 1–16 two times.

rows 49–52: Repeat rows 1–4.

rows 53–62: Repeat rows 5–6 five times.

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hooking the Beads
1 Knit rows 1–6 following the 2 With the bead on the hook, insert 3 Pull the stitch through the bead. If it
pattern. Knit the first five stitches of the hook through the sixth stitch while doesn’t pull through easily, try hold-
row 7. Leave the sixth stitch on the it’s still on the left needle. Catch the ing the hook steady while wiggling
left needle. Pick up a bead on the stitch with the hook, slipping it off the bead over the hook and stitch.
crochet hook. Select beads that are the needle.
uniform in size, rejecting extra-wide
or very thin beads.

4 With the bead in place, slip the stitch 5 Continue following the pattern, hook- 6 Hooked beads “sit” on top of the
on to the right needle. The knitting ing beads as indicated. always slip knitting. They hardly show at all on
yarn will skip this slipped stitch, the hooked stitch without knitting it. the back side.
crossing behind it as you knit the at the end of row 52, the scarf will
next stitch. be about 5" (13 cm) long and have Continue following the pattern for
nine “windows” each with a zigzag the middle of the scarf, repeating the
of hooked beads. “windows” design but without any
beads until the scarf is 5" (13 cm)
variations shorter than the desired length. Work
end rows 1–52, and bind off. Block
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the scarf by wetting or steaming it.
Use only one color of beads for a more subtle version of this scarf. allow it to dry on a flat surface.

Bead the entire length of the scarf, changing the direction of the zigzags at the
midpoint of the scarf.

To make a diamond pattern with the hooked beads, knit four sixteen-row units on each
end, alternating the direction of the hooked beads for each unit.
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Bead emBroidery

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Sewing with Beads
Bead embroidery is the process of sewing beads onto fabric or other surfaces. as with all types of bead-

ing, the possibilities for bead embroidery are endless. embellish clothing, hats and shoes, buttons, purses,

masks, quilts, and dolls with beads. Create beaded jewelry, sculptures, wall art, books, boxes, and more.

your imagination is the only limit.

Bead embroiderers say that sewing beads on fabric is a in addition to bead embroidery, there are other ways to
highly pleasing and meditative process, one that tends attach beads to a surface, particularly one that is rigid,
to calm and soothe. Bead embroidery differs a little from such as wood, papier-mâché, or metal. These methods,
bead weaving because it does not require the same level called bead appliqué, include gluing beads on to a sur-
of precision to look good. face and embedding beads in mud, wax, grout, clay, or
other substances. The beaded animals and bowls made
To introduce the techniques of bead embroidery, the first by the indigenous Huichol peoples of central mexico are
project in this section is a techniques sampler. making examples of the process of embedding beads in bees-
this sampler will give you the opportunity to learn and wax. a few contemporary artists, such as Tom Wegman
practice all the basic techniques of bead embroidery, and Sherry markowitz, are well known for making sculp-
as well as many variations and textural stitches. From tural pieces by gluing strands of beads to shaped forms.
there, the remaining projects will build your skills and
give you some idea of the broad scope of possibilities
for bead embroidery.

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Tools and supplies
seed Beads needles and Thread
Seed beads—of all types and sizes—are the staple of Short beading needles in a size appropriate for the
bead embroidery. designs frequently require many dif- beads in the project work well for bead embroidery.
ferent colors and sizes. Unlike bead weaving, there Long beading needles can be used; however, they tend
is generally a place and use for nonuniform beads in to bend easily when pushed through the fabric. For bead-
bead embroidery. ing on leather, use Glover’s needles, which are triangular
in shape and sharpened to facilitate piercing the leather
with each stitch.
Beads, Buttons, Cabochons,
and other elements
For most bead-embroidery projects, use a fine yet strong
depending on the design, an extensive variety of elements nylon thread such as Nymo (size d) or Silamide. regular
may be sewn or otherwise secured onto bead-embroidery sewing threads, whether cotton or polyester, may be used
pieces. Commonly used items include cabochons, buttons, but are not as strong as nylon beading threads.
shaped glass beads, sequins, charms, and found objects.

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Beading Surfaces Stabilizer
Quilting-weight cottons in either solids or prints are a good Use acid-free paper, the thickness of lightweight com-
choice for many bead-embroidery projects. Heavier-weight puter paper, basted to the wrong side of fabric to stabi-
fabrics, such as denim, cotton velveteen, satin brocade, or lize bead embroidery and keep it from puckering as you
upholstery fabrics can be a little challenging to use, but are stitch. The paper is not removed after beading, except
appropriate for some types of projects. in areas where there is no beading. It remains under the
stitches. Acid-free paper is available from art, archival,
Some beaders like to bead on stiffened felt, such as Lacy’s or scrapbooking suppliers. Interleaving paper, which is a
Stiff Stuff, which is suitable for projects that will be entirely little heavier than tissue and used for archival storage of
covered with beads and do not need to be flexible. Designs textiles, is an excellent stabilizer.
can be painted or drawn on such materials. These bead-
ing surfaces can be cut flush with the edge of the beading. Some beaders prefer to use sewing stabilizers or inter-
The edges do not fray. facing rather than paper. Use heavier-weight interfacing
with lighter-weight fabrics.
Another popular beading surface is synthetic leather. It’s
thinner and not as rigid as stiffened felt, but it does have When beading on ready-made items, such as garments
a fairly firm hand and can be beaded without a stabilizer. and accessories, it may be inappropriate to use a stabi-
It’s available in many colors and is frequently used as a lizer because it remains under the stitches. To bead on
backing material. clothing, try using a standard embroidery hoop to keep
the work from puckering.
Anything that can be pierced with a needle can be used
for bead embroidery. In addition to fabric, try beading
Findings
on paper, leather, and felt.
Purse clasps and handles, metal cuff forms, button forms,
barrette backs, pin backs, or other jewelry findings may
be needed to complete a bead embroidery project.
Select findings that complement the beadwork in style,
size, and quality.

BEAD EMBROIDERY 135


TeChniques For
Bead emBroidery

prepare the Beading surface

Make a Paper Pattern

make a pattern by drawing the shape of the finished


project on heavy paper. Cut out the shape. if the shape is
symmetrical, fold the paper in half, draw one side, and
cut the shape with the paper folded.

it is easiest to do bead embroidery on a surface that is


less than 8" (20 cm) square. if a larger piece is desired,
consider beading it in segments that can be sewn together
later. make a paper pattern for each segment. Heavy paper pattern

Select a Stabilizer

if the beading surface is medium- or lightweight fabric, 3. Use an embroidery hoop. There are two common
it will need to be stabilized so the stitch tension doesn’t problems with hoops. The beading thread gets caught
cause the fabric to pucker. Here are the three most com- in the tightening mechanism, causing some frustration,
mon stabilizers used for bead embroidery: and sometimes the stretched fabric will pucker when
removed from the hoop. Generally, choose the hoop
1. Use a piece of lightweight (20 lb. or less) paper only when beading on clothing, where paper or fiber
basted to the back of the fabric. Choose acid-free stabilizers may be inappropriate.
paper, such as archival interleaving paper, to ensure
that chemicals in the paper won’t destroy the fabric Heavier fabrics, such as denim, velvet, and upholstery
over time. When the beading is relatively solid, the fabrics, may not require additional stabilization. Try
paper will soften as the stitching progresses until it is beading a small area on the fabric to see if a stabilizer
just as flexible as the fabric. is needed.

2. Some beaders prefer to use a fiber stiffener, such


as nonwoven interfacing, rather than paper. do
not use iron-on interfacing, as the glue will gum the
needle and it is difficult to stitch through by hand.
Water-soluble interfacing will work if your hands are
not too moist. if the finished beadwork needs to be
flexible, experiment with various fiber stiffeners to see
which will give the desired results while still providing
enough stiffness to prevent puckering.

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Cut Fabric and Stabilizer
To bead on fabric, trace the paper pattern on acid-free
stabilizer or interfacing. Draw a square or rectangle
around the pattern, leaving a ¾" (2 cm) margin. Cut
both the stabilizer and the fabric to the larger shape. The
¾" (2 cm) margin of fabric, which is later turned under
or used to finish the piece, is more than a normal seam
allowance because working with the fabric may cause it
to fray. It also allows some flexibility in finishing the piece
or extending the design.

Transfer the Pattern and/or


Design to the Beading Surface

For many bead-embroidery projects, a known finished


shape and sometimes design elements need to be trans-
ferred to the beading surface. These may be drawn on the
surface using a pencil, marker, water-erase quilting pen,
or transfer paper. The lines are then covered with beads.

Here is another recommendation when using paper


or interfacing as the stabilizer, a method that makes it
easy to change the shape or design as the beading pro-
gresses. First, draw the design on the stabilizer. Then pin
the stabilizer to the back of the fabric and baste along the
lines of the design. Use an uneven running stitch, a long
stitch on the fabric side and a short stitch on the stabilizer
side, in a thread color that is easily seen on the fabric
front. These stitches become the beading guide. They can
be removed when the beading is complete if they show.

BEAD EMBROIDERY 137


When beading on stiffened felt, leather, or other non-
woven surfaces, draw around the paper pattern on the
right side of the surface with a fine-tip marker or sharp
Choosing the Thread Color
pencil. even when the pattern represents the finished
shape of the piece, cut the nonwoven surface about The thread color doesn’t show very much in bead embroi-
1/4" (6 mm) larger than the marked outline. Later, after dery. as a rule of thumb, choose a color that matches
the beading is complete, the extra margin may be cut the fabric if you want the thread to be less noticeable.
away. Be careful not to clip any of the beading thread. Sometimes it’s fun to bead with a brightly contrasting
Sometimes the surface shows a little between rows of thread color, allowing it to show as a design element.
beads, especially when the surface is white. if this is
undesirable, use colored pencils, permanent markers,
Thread preparation
fabric paint sticks, or fluid fabric paint to color the bead-
ing surface before starting to bead. Unwind thread from the spool or bobbin, and stretch it by
pulling hard and steadily in opposite directions. This will
Delicate Fabrics remove the curl from the thread, making it less likely to
if the fabric frays easily, turn the margin under about 1/4" tangle as you stitch. Because changing from one thread
(6 mm) all the way around as a temporary hem. machine- to the next is easy in bead embroidery, it’s comfortable to
or hand-baste in place. Then apply the stabilizer, or place work with a relatively short length of about 30" (76 cm).
the fabric in a hoop. if the fabric is very thin or delicate,
consider backing it with muslin or cotton fabric, treating Some beaders like to coat the stretched thread with wax
the two fabrics as one. or thread conditioner. However, be aware that the coat-
ing gets on the fabric as the thread is pulled through it.
This coating attracts dust and dirt particles to your work.

Stitch with a single thread. Use a doubled thread to attach


heavier elements, such as charms or buttons.

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Thread the needle 1
The eye of a needle is slightly larger on one side than
the other due to the manufacturing process. if the needle
is difficult to thread, try turning it over. Cut the thread at
a slight angle with a sharp scissors. Thread conditioner
on the end of the thread may help. moistening the eye of
the needle may help to wick the tip of the thread through
the hole.

Knotting the Thread


Tie a sturdy knot big enough so it won’t easily pull through
the fabric at the end of the beading thread. Here is a
quick and reliable method to make a knot at the end of
the thread:
2
1 Hold the needle in your dominant hand, pointing upward.
With your other hand, pass the end of the thread (where
the knot will be) under the needle. Be sure that the needle
tip is pointing upward and the end of the thread is pointing
downward. Pinch the needle and thread together with your
dominant hand.

2 With your nondominant hand, grasp the thread about 2"


(5 cm) beyond the needle and wind it around the needle
three or four times. This knotting method is useful because
you can control the size of the knot. The more times you
wind the thread, the bigger the knot will be.

3 Gently pinch the wound thread on the needle with your


dominant hand. Grab the tip of the needle with your
nondominant hand and pull upward, sewing through the
wound thread, pulling it away from the needle, until it 3
forms a knot at the end of the thread.

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Lay Out the Beads
Lay out the beads you will be using at the beginning of
the project on a bead cloth. Some beaders make a “bead
stew” by mixing many different colors and types of beads
together. Others prefer to make a small, distinct pile of
each of the different beads. Either way works.

To pick up a seed bead on the needle, lightly touch the


edge of the bead with the tip of the needle. Use your
index finger to pull the bead farther up the needle. Using
this method, you can pick up several beads in a row
before sliding them down the beading thread.

Begin Beading
The four basic stitches are seed stitch, lazy stitch, back-
stitch, and couching. Each of these stitches has several
variations. Fancy stitches, edge stitches, bezels, and
fringing methods complete the list of techniques used
in bead embroidery. Learn all of these techniques in
the next chapter and practice them by making a small
stitch sampler.

1
Changing Beading Threads
Knot the thread on the back of the bead embroidery
when there is about 6" (15 cm) of remaining thread.

1 Take a small stitch on the back side of the beadwork next


to where the thread exits from the previous stitch. Be sure to
catch the fabric.

2 Pull the thread until the last bit of thread forms a small loop. 2

140 THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO BEADING


3 Stitch through the loop once, and then stitch through it
again. Slowly pull the thread tight, closing the knot. 3

To bury the tail, sew under a few nearby stitches and snip
the thread.

Changing Beading Location


When finishing one area of beading and changing to a
new location, a rule of thumb is to carry the thread no
more than 1" (2.5 cm) on the back side of the work, even
when you slip the needle under existing stitches between
the old and new location. If the distance to the new loca-
tion is more than 1" (2.5 cm), knot off the beading thread.
Make a new knot at the end of the thread and begin
beading in the new location.
Finishing
As with any beading project, quality finishing is impor-
Fixing Mistakes
tant. With careful selection of materials and good crafts-
Sometimes the spacing doesn’t look right, or part of the manship, bead-embroidery can last a long time, even
beading is unsatisfactory. Generally, it does not work to try centuries. Keep the probable longevity of your work in
to back the needle out. If just a few stitches are involved, mind when finishing it. The construction of the garment
remove the needle and use the blunt end of it to lift out or purse, the attachment of the findings for jewelry, or
the thread from the offending stitches. Rethread the needle the framing of the piece should reflect the quality of the
and try again. bead-embroidery.

If a larger area of stitching is involved, the most time- The bead-embroidery projects in the following chapters
efficient way to repair the damage is to remove the are designed to show appropriate finishing methods for
beads by cutting the threads in several locations. Keep several different beaded items. Use these methods as
the last of the thread intact, so that you can knot it on guides for finishing your original projects.
the back side.

Attaching Heavy Elements


Keep in mind the intended use for your bead embroidery.
Will it be protected by a frame? Is it a purse that will
be used a lot? When you expect heavy use, take extra
precautions to attach larger or heavier beads, charms, or
other elements securely by stitching through them several
times and/or by using a doubled thread.

BEAD EMBROIDERY 141


d es i g n a n d Va r i aTi o n s
project Variations
Bead embroidery is a classical and diverse field of bead- depending on the beads you use, the spacing and design
ing. The projects in this book are intended to get you elements of the project may shift slightly. Because bead
started—to introduce you to the basic stitches and many embroidery is an art, not a science, feel free to change
variations. after completing the sampler in the next chap- colors and alter the designs in the following projects in any
ter, you will have the skills needed to design your own way you please. if you don’t have certain beads in the mate-
beaded objects, finding your own pathway among the rials list for a project, simply substitute something close.
countless possibilities for complex and creative bead-
embroidery projects.
Beading a drawing
versus drawing with Beads
Working with itty-Bitty Beads
There are two very different approaches to bead embroi-
as beaders gain experience with bead embroidery, dery. one is to draw or chart a design and then embroi-
many of them gravitate toward using size-15 seed beads. der with beads, following the lines and colors of the
Because they are so small, these beads provide oppor- design. The other method is to bead improvisationally,
tunity to bead very detailed designs. When working without a plan, sewing on any beads that seem compel-
on such projects, it helps to have good lighting and, if ling in any place that seems right with any stitch that
needed, extra magnification. strikes your fancy.

When they first see size-15 seed beads, some say they Try both methods to see which is more appealing to you.
cannot work with anything so small. But, once they give it Some of the projects in this section are predesigned,
a try, most find it’s not so difficult. in fact, with a little prac- providing an opportunity to experience the “beading a
tice, it often becomes meditative and calming to stitch drawing” approach. others suggest methods for working
with these precious little beads. improvisationally.

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The two approaches to bead embroidery may also be
combined. For example, draw and plan colors for broad
design areas, but bead improvisationally within these
areas. For another mixed approach, develop a plan in
your mind, but do not transfer the design to the beading
surface. Allow the plan to shift however your mood and
the beads suggest.

Scrutinizing Your
Bead Embroidery
Often beaders become discouraged when they examine
their bead embroidery stitches too closely. The lines aren’t
perfectly straight. The beads are uneven and may be turned
on the side so the hole is up. There are places where the
background surface shows between the beads. The beads
look crowded in places, jumbled together.

All of these things are normal. Look at any bead embroi-


dery in a gallery or museum and the beading will appear
fine, maybe even perfect from a short distance away.
Above, for example, is one of the author’s pieces.

Look at it again, at closer range, checking for jumbled,


bumpy, or crowded beads, and you will notice the same
“imperfections” seen in your own work.

Of course, practice does help. As skill develops, you will


have fewer and less obvious irregularities in your beading.

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a sampler oF you Will need
Bead-emBroidery sTiTChes
• 15 g seed beads, size 15,
g each of three colors
The good news about learning bead embroidery is that there are only four
basic stitches, all of which are easily learned. To complete the available • 30 g seed beads, size 11,
palette, there are variations on the basic stitches and a few fancy stitches, 10 g each of three colors (oK
fringes, bezels, and edge stitches. to substitute size-10 beads)
• 10 g seed beads, size 8,
To learn and practice the stitches, create a sampler—a single piece with all of 5 g each of two colors
the stitches available to you for reference. Gather a few beads and a favorite • 5 g seed beads, size 6,
fabric. Give yourself a day or two to work through all the stitches. even if you one color
already know some of them, it’s a good idea to include them on your sampler.
• 5 g bugle beads, size 3
a finished sampler is pictured to the left.
(short), one color

For ease of working with small beads, select colors that are matte and/or • six sequins, any size
opaque rather than shiny and transparent. For a few of the stitches, it’s nice to and color
have the same color in different sizes. Choose medium- or light-value beads, • four glass beads, one each:
rather than black or very dark beads. The beads will show better on a lighter leaf, drop, donut or ring,
value fabric in a solid or a subtle print than on a dark or bold print fabric. disk or roundel (oK to
substitute stone beads)
draw a 5" (13 cm) square centered on the stabilizer. Pin the stabilizer, with • one cabochon, stone or
the drawn square facing out, to the wrong side of the fabric. Using a thread glass, approximately
color that can be seen easily on the fabric, baste along the outline of the 8 x 12 mm
square to prepare the sampler for beading (see page 137).
• 6" (15 cm) square cotton
fabric, quilting weight, print
Unless directed otherwise, practice the stitches anywhere on the sampler. or solid
Some people like to keep the stitches separate and write on the fabric to
• 6" (15 cm) square of
indicate what they are. Some enjoy playing with design as they practice,
stabilizer paper, acid-free
creating an artful piece. For a few of the stitch variations, there will be sug-
gestions about where to place them. • beading needles, size 10, 11,
and 12
• beading thread, Nymo or
equivalent, size d

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seed sTiTCh
Bead-embroidery sampler
The seed stitch is the simplest stitch of the four, yet has bead in short and tall stacks, which in turn can be used
many useful variations. it is used to attach sequins and to make textural forms such as barnacles, ruffles, and
other shaped beads such as disks. it becomes the top beaded bezels, shown later in this chapter.

2 4

1 3 5

Basic seed stitch


The most basic form of seed stitch 2 Stitch to the back about one bead’s 4 Notice that the bead is turned now
involves sewing one bead at a time, width away from where the thread so that both the hole and the thread
making a cluster of dots on the bead- exits on the surface. are visible. This is an optional way
to do seed stitch.
ing surface, much like French knots in
3 repeat steps 1–2 several times, mak-
thread embroidery. ing a cluster of beads. Use beads 5 Using size-15 beads make a dotted
of varying sizes. Try a different ver- line of seed stitch beads in the
1 Stitch to the surface. Pick up one sion of the same stitch. rather than shape of an “S.” Leave a space of
bead and slide it down the thread to sewing to the back a bead’s width about a bead’s width between each
the surface. away, sew to the back in the same of the beads. Turn the sampler,
place where the thread exits. orienting it as needed for ease of
stitching the design.

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2 4

1 3 5

short stacks
a cluster of short stacks makes a 2 With the hole of the size-6 bead 4 if you notice the stack is not quite
lovely textural surface. also, this facing upward, stitch down through touching the one next to it or is not
stitch is excellent for making curved it to the back, making an upright properly in line with the other stacks,
stack on the surface with the smaller slant the needle on the return stitch
or straight well-defined, raised lines
bead on top. through the size-6 beads in a way
in bead embroidery designs. that will move the stack into the
3 repeat steps 1–2 to make a straight correct position.
1 Stitch to the surface. Pick up one line of sort stacks. it should be a
size-6 bead and one size-11 bead, solid line, each stack touching the 5 repeat steps 1–4 to make a curved
and slide them down to the surface. one before it. line of short stacks with size-8 beads
on the bottom, size 15s on top.

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2

1 3

Tall stacks
Tall stacks, also called surface fringe, give an appealing 2 Skipping the top bead, sew down through all five of the
texture to bead embroidery. They are also the basis of size-11 beads to the back. if needed, pull up on the top
several of the fancy stitches shown later in this chapter. bead and down on the needle to fit the beads tight to the
surface and make the stack stand upright.
altering the tension can make them either stiff and spiky
or more floppy. 3 repeat steps 1–2, making a cluster of tall stacks. make
them different heights by increasing or decreasing the
1 Stitch to the surface. Pick up five size-11 beads and one number of beads in the trunk.
size-15 bead, and slide them down to the surface.

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4 add some stacks around the cluster 5 Tall stacks with 6 Skipping the top three size-15 beads,
that point outward rather than a diamond point sew down through the remaining
straight up. To do this, stitch to the This variation of the tall stack changes size-15 bead and five size-11 beads
surface at a slant, almost parallel the top of the stack, making it look to the back.
to the fabric. Load the beads, and like a leaf or flower, depending on
return the needle at the same slant to the color of beads used. Stitch to the
the back. surface. String five size-11 beads and
four size-15 beads, and slide them
down to the surface.

4 5 6

7 8

7 To properly shape the diamond top, grasp the third size-15 8 make a cluster of diamond-top stacks. Use a second color
bead and pull upward, while at the same time pulling of size-15 beads when stringing the third of four small
downward on the needle. beads at the top of the stack. angle some of the stacks
outward. it should look like a little stand of wildflowers.
(See example, top left, on previous page.)

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2 4

1 3 5

sequins and disks


as with short stacks, the seed stitch 2 With the hole of the sequin facing 4 make a knot on the back of the
is used to attach sequins, disc- upward, stitch down through it to the sampler (see page 140). re-knot the
back, making a stack on the surface thread and come to the surface in
shaped beads, any bead with a top-
with the bead on top of the sequin, a new, unbeaded area. Sew on a
to-bottom hole, and ribbon or other
holding it in place. disk bead following steps 1–2, but
pierceable material to the surface. substitute a glass or stone disk for
if the hole in the sequin is quite the sequin.
1 Stitch to the surface from the back. small, the top bead will tip so that
Pick up one sequin and one size-11 the thread and bead hole show. This a lot of bead embroidery is com-
bead, and slide them down to is unavoidable, but less noticeable mon sense. if this piece were to be
the surface. when the top bead is very small framed, one stitch through the top
and thin. bead would be enough to secure the
disk. But if this piece were to become
3 repeat steps 1–2, attaching a well-used cell-phone case, it might
several sequins. Try using various be prudent to secure the disk with
beads for the top bead, to see the more than one stitch.
different results.
isolate the disk! 5 Firmly attach the disc by repeating
steps 1–2 two more times. Knot off
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• the thread on the back.
Leave the area around the disc unbeaded
until later, when it will be used to practice
the couching stitch (see page 160).

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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lazy sTiTCh
Bead-embroidery sampler Basic lazy stitch
The lazy stitch is a short, straight line of beads sewn on in its basic form, this stitch is worked in a column, from
as a single unit with one stitch. it is the characteristic stitch side to side, designated a for the start and B for the end
used by some Native american tribes, see the picture to of each row.
the right. it is especially useful for making patterned bor-
ders and for filling small spaces.

1 Stitch to the surface in a new area. 3 at the end of the column, insert the 4 Stitch to the surface on the a side
String four size-11 beads. determine needle into the fabric, straight down, about a bead’s width away from the
the direction of the column’s rows perpendicular to the fabric. The start of row 1. repeat steps 2 and
and lay the thread against the fabric beads should lie flat on the fabric. 3 for the second row in the column.
in this direction. Hold the thread in if there is a small hump, the beads The two rows should be parallel and
place with your nondominant hand. are too crowded on the thread, touching each other with no gap
which could be caused either by between the rows.
2 Using the needle as a pusher, gently inserting the needle at a slant toward
scoot the beads along the thread the a side or by pushing the beads 5 repeat step 4 several more times.
toward the a side. too hard against the a side in step 2. Finding the correct place to come
to the surface on the a side and
keeping the rows flat takes a little
practice. Keep adding rows to the
column until it looks satisfactory.

1 3 4

B
B a
a a

2 5

a a

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lazy-stitch Borders
Use lazy stitch to create a border design around a piece a side of the column. The pattern shown below is quite
of beadwork. Practice it along one edge of the sampler. simple. Feel free to substitute any bead loom or cross-
designate the basted line around the sampler as the stitch pattern (up to six beads wide).

1 Stitch to the surface anywhere along 3 Stitch to the surface on the a side 5 repeat step 1.
the basted guide on one edge of about a bead’s width away from the
the sampler. Work with two colors previous stitch. String 1P, 3G, and 6 repeat steps 2–5 several times,
of size-11 beads, P (purple) and G 1P, and stitch to the back on making a patterned border along the
(green). String 5P, and stitch to the the B side. edge of the sampler.
back on side B.
4 repeat step 2.
2 Stitch to the surface on the a side
about a bead’s width away from the
previous stitch. String 2P, 1G, and
2P, and stitch to the back on
the B side.

1 3 5

B
B
B
a
a a

2 4 6

B B
B

a a a

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lazy-stitch patchwork
This variation of lazy stitch creates an interesting back-
ground and subtle texture. When worked in a single
color, it looks like a basket weave. When worked in mul-
tiple colors, it looks like patchwork

1 3

a B a

2 4

B a B

1 Following the steps for basic lazy stitch, make three horizon- 3 Use the same color of size-11 beads, and make a third
tal rows of size-11 beads. each row will be three beads long. square of beads under the first square, with the beads lying
it should look like a small square of beads in a single color. along a vertical axis.

2 Using a different color of size-11 beads, and changing the 4 Complete the patchwork block by making a fourth square
a and B sides to top and bottom, make three vertical rows next to the third with the original color of beads lying along
of three beads each. This makes a second square of beads a horizontal axis.
next to the first, with the beads lying along a vertical rather
than horizontal axis.

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2 4

a
a
B
B

1 3 5

a
B a
a
B
B

lazy-stitch pathway
This ribbon-like variation of the lazy 2 The new a point will be slightly 4 Shift the a point upward again, string
stitch can be made with beads of higher than the previous a point, but five beads, lay them against the
mixed sizes. Unlike the regular rows still a bead’s width away from the previous row, and stitch to the back.
previous row. String three beads, lay
starting in a straight column on the
them against the previous row, and 5 Begin now to move the a point
a side, both the a and B points shift stitch to the back. downward. Stitch several more
to create irregular rows of different rows parallel to the previous rows,
lengths. To practice this variation, make 3 Shift the a point upward again, string changing the number of beads and
both a jagged and a looped pathway. four beads, lay them against the lowering the a point for each row.
previous row, and stitch to the back. repeat steps 1–5, changing the
1 Jagged lazy-stitch pathway number of beads in the rows
To make the jagged pathway, use to create an irregular pathway.
up to six beads for each row. mix
the sizes and colors if you like.
Keep the rows parallel and touch-
ing each other, as in the basic
lazy stitch. Stitch to the surface
anywhere on the fabric. String two
beads. determine the direction of
the pathway and the B point perpen-
dicular to the path. Stitch to the back.

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6 looped lazy-stitch pathway 8 Continue making rows, fanning the B point outward until
The looped lazy-stitch pathway is made in a method similar the row is horizontal, and a few rows later, vertical. Turn
to steps 1–5 at left, except that the rows are not parallel. the fabric as you work.
They are fanned, spread apart at one end, to make the
pathway curve. Begin a new pathway (or continue the one 9 Continue making rows, fanning the B point outward until
above). make four downward sloping rows. the loop is complete. Gradually decrease the number of
beads in the row until there is only one bead at the point
7 Begin shifting the a point upward and fan the B point where the loop crosses itself. Skip the cross point, and sew
outward slightly to start the loop. a single bead on the other side of it. Continue the pathway.

6 8

a
B a
B

7 9

a
B

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BaCKsTiTCh
Bead-embroidery sampler
The backstitch is used to make long lines of beads, either
straight or curved. Use this stitch to outline design ele-
ments and to fill large areas of background.

straight Backstitch
To practice the backstitch, bead two straight lines that inter-
sect in an unbeaded corner of the sampler. This corner will
be used later for the fan pattern stitch (see page 162).

1 2 4

1 Stitch to the surface along the


3 5
basted guide 2" (5 cm) from an
unbeaded corner. Work with one
color of size-11 beads. String five
beads. in the same way as the lazy
stitch above, lay the thread against
the fabric along the basted line
toward the corner. Hold the thread
in place with your nondominant
hand. Scoot the beads toward the
starting point with the needle, and
stitch to the back at the end of the
fifth bead. 2 Position the needle to come straight 4 String five more beads. Hold the
up through the fabric between the thread in place, and stitch to the
third and fourth beads in the line. back at the end of the fifth bead.

3 Pull the thread all the way through. 5 repeat steps 2–3.
Stitch toward the corner through the
fourth and fifth beads again. This is
a backstitch.

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6 Continue backstitching the line, add-
6 7
ing five beads each time until you
reach the corner. The last stitch may
have fewer than five beads.

7 Stitch to the surface in the corner


next to the last bead in step 6. String
five beads, hold the thread in place
at a right angle to the beaded line,
and stitch to the back at the end of
the fifth bead.

Continue backstitching, five beads at


a time, for about 2" (5 cm). Knot on
the back.

magic Trick for 1 2


smoothing Backstitch
Use this trick to smooth and straighten
any backstitched line of beads,
whether straight or curved.

1 Stitch to the surface at the end of the


line of backstitched beads.

2 Stitch through about ten to


twelve beads.
3 4
3 Pull the thread through. reinsert the
needle between the same two beads
where the thread exits, and stitch
through ten to twelve more beads.
Continue to stitch through the entire
line of beads.

4 at the corner, continue stitching


through the right angle to make a
rounded corner. or, to make an an-
gular corner, stitch to the back at the
corner, and knot. Then stitch to the
5
surface and through the other line of
beads (steps 1–3).

5 if the lines are not straight, repeat


these steps in the opposite direction.

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Curved Backstitch
Practice this stitch on two shapes: a spiral and a heart,
each about 1" (2.5 cm) tall. There are two ways to
transfer the shapes to the fabric: (1) draw them on the
paper stabilizer and baste along the lines, as shown
in the example or (2) draw them directly on the fabric.
or they can be embroidered free form. Choose one of
these options.

1 3

2 4

1 First bead the spiral. Stitch to the surface at the widest part 3 While holding the beads in the proper curve, position the
of the spiral, because wide curves are easier to stitch than needle to come straight up through the fabric between the
tight curves. third and fourth beads in the line.

2 String five beads. Lay the thread in a slight arc, matching 4 Stitch through the fourth and fifth beads in the line.
the curve of the spiral. adjust the five beads so they follow
the curve correctly. Use the thumb of your nondominant
hand to push the beads into the correct curve. Stitch to the
back at the end of the fifth bead.

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5 String five more beads, and repeat 6 Use the “magic trick” (see page 7 Follow steps 2–6 to bead the outline
steps 2–4. Continue backstitching to- 157) to smooth the line of the of the heart, starting at the lower
ward the center of the spiral. When spiral, stitching through all of the point. For the backstitch just before
the spiral is tight, string fewer beads beads in the line. the center top of the heart, select
with each stitch until at the center of narrower or wider beads so the line
the spiral you may need to make the will end just before the center point.
stitch with only two or three beads. Stitch to the back and knot.
Knot on the back.

5 6 7

8 9

8 Stitch to the surface right at the center point, and begin 9 Use the “magic trick” to smooth the heart shape. Stitch to
beading the other side of the heart shape following steps the surface and then through all of the beads on one side
3–4. Knot on the back. of the heart. Stitch to the back and knot. repeat for the
other side of the heart.

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CouChing sTiTCh
Bead-embroidery sampler
The couching stitch is used to tack a long line of beads
around a disc or cabochon, to make minor adjustments
to lines of backstitched beads, and to tack down lines of
lazy stitched beads.

Couching Beads around a disk


To practice couching a line of beads around a rounded
element, use the disk that was attached previously with
the seed stitch (see page 150).

1 3

2 4

1 Stitch to the surface next to the disk. String on as many 3 Between the second and third bead, stitch straight down to
beads as it takes to circle the disk. the back.

2 Stitch through the first two beads again. 4 Stitch to the surface, positioning the needle so it comes up
between the disc and the line of beads about four beads
farther around the line.

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5 Pass the needle and thread over the top of the line of beads. 7 Continue couching around the circle, spacing the couching
Stitch to the back so that the thread crosses over the thread stitches evenly.
between the two closest beads in the line. This is a couching
stitch. allow couching stitches to be loose. if they are pulled 8 For practice, couch a second line of beads around the first
too tight, the couched line of beads will not be smooth. one, following steps 1–7.

6 Stitch to the surface about four beads farther around the


line, positioning the needle so it comes up between the disk
and the line of beads. repeat step 5.

5 7

6 8

The “magic trick” (see page 157) may help to smooth a third line of beads around the first two, backstitching
the line of beads. Note that the more beads in the line, the line, rather than couching it, will produce more
the more difficult it is to keep the line smooth. To make satisfactory results.

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Couching Beads in a Fan pattern
Practice the fan pattern in the corner bordered by lines of
backstitched beads.

1 3

2 4

1 Stitch to the surface in the corner. Use the seed stitch (see 3 Stitch to the surface between the size-6 bead and the arc
page 146) to sew a single, size-6 bead in the corner. of beads around it at about the midpoint of the arc. Cross
over the arc of size-11 beads, and stitch to the back. This
2 Stitch to the surface where the size-6 bead and the line of couches the arc in place.
beads meet. String enough size-11 beads to fit around the
size-6 bead to the adjacent line of beads. Stitch straight 4 Stitch to the surface next to the last bead of the arc.
down to the back.

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5 String enough size-15 beads to fit around the first arc. 7 Stitch to the surface at one of the corners formed by the
Stitch to the back at the end of the second arc. Couch the arc and the border line. repeat steps 1–7 to make a
second arc in two evenly spaced places. second fan.

6 Couch a third arc of beads around the first two. Use any 8 Stitch to the surface in any of the corners formed by a
size beads. This completes the first fan. fan-to-fan or fan-to-border intersection. repeat steps 1–7
to make a third fan. Continue making fans to fill the corner.

5 7

6 8

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Couching Beads to Fill spaces
The most common use of the couching stitch in bead beaded outline of a heart (see page 159) using a combi-
embroidery is to fill small spaces. To practice this, fill the nation of lazy stitch and couching.

1 Stitch to the surface inside the heart 3 Stitch to the surface on the right 5 Continue couching rows of beads
slightly to the right of the lower point. side, next to the row below. String to fill the heart outline, until the top
Use seed stitch (see page 146) to three to six beads, enough to cross center point is reached.
sew one bead in the point. to the left side, and stitch straight
down to the back. This is the second 6 Use lazy stitch to fill each of the top
2 Stitch to the surface on the right side, row of lazy stitch. bumps of the heart shape.
next to the bead in the point. String
two or three beads, enough to cross 4 Continue making rows of lazy stitch
to the left side, and stitch straight until the number of beads in the row
down to the back. This is lazy stitch is seven or more. at this point, couch
(see page 151). the row of beads in the center.

1 3 5

2 4 6

Filling Large areas


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When filling areas larger than 2" (5 cm) across, it gives a smoother
appearance to backstitch the rows of beads rather than couch them.

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Raven Moon (page 188) Creative Spirit (page 184)

What makes the difference between one piece of bead For example, take a look at these two aTC projects.
embroidery and another (for example, between a Native Raven Moon is solidly beaded, representational, and
american dress and a beaded wedding gown) isn’t the worked primarily in backstitch. on the other hand,
technique so much as other factors. These include the Creative Spirit is partially beaded, abstract, and worked
predominance of one stitch over the others, the amount in a variety of stitches. The effects they create are quite
of beading surface covered, the design, and the spe- different.
cific beads used. For this reason, once the basic stitches
are learned, anything is possible; any desired style may
be achieved!

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FanCy sTiTChes
Bead-embroidery sampler
you have completed the four basic stitches and a num- there are four fancy stitches that may be fun to add to
ber of variations. With just these stitches you can create your sampler. They are bumps, bugle-bead pathways,
many different styles of bead embroidery. in addition, ruffles, and barnacles.

Bumps
Tall, short, and overlapping bead
bumps add texture to bead embroi-
dery. They can be used to simulate
flowing water, vegetation, bark, flower
petals, fur, and other textured surfaces
when beading a realistic picture.

1 a bump is like a lazy stitch (see page


151), except that it does not lie flat
against the fabric. in an unbeaded
area of the sampler, stitch to the sur-
face, string five size-11 beads, and
stitch to the back about one bead’s
width away. This is a tall bump.

2 Close by, repeat step 1, except stitch


to the back about four bead’s width
away. This is a flat bump.

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3 repeat step 1, positioning the tall bump so it crosses over
the flat bump. a series of crossing bumps can be made to
look like tree bark or flowing water.

4 Stitch to the surface, string three size-11 beads, and stitch


to the back about one bead’s width away. This is a small
bump. orienting them in different directions, make a cluster
of small bumps, grouped together.

5 Use bumps to make a realistic-looking flower. make a short


stack for the center (see page 147). Couch a ring of beads
around the center stack (see page 160). make a series of
tall, five-bead bumps around the ring to look like petals.

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Bugle-Bead pathways
Similar to lazy-stitch pathways (see page 154), this stitch lines in a design. Bracketing bugle beads on each end
produces a wide, flowing line of beads. Use it to divide with a seed bead provides a relatively safe way to use
the beading surface into small areas or to create obvious bugle beads, which often have sharp, thread-cutting ends.

1 3 4

2 5

1 staggered Bugle-Bead
pathway
Stitch to the surface in an unbeaded
area. To practice this stitch, use size-15
beads and bugle beads. String one 3 String one seed bead, one bugle 5 String one seed bead, one bugle
seed bead, one bugle bead, and one bead, and one seed bead. Scoot the bead, and one seed bead. Scoot
seed bead for each stitch. Lay the beads toward the starting point, and the beads toward the starting point,
thread on the fabric perpendicular to stitch straight downward to the back and stitch straight downward to the
the direction of the pathway. Scoot the at the end of the row. Keep the rows back at the end of the row. make
beads toward the starting point, and parallel and touching each other. several more rows, each starting a
stitch straight downward to the back at repeat steps 2–3 several times. little lower than the previous row.
the end of the row. repeat steps 2–3 several more times.
4 Stitch to the surface about a bead’s Notice that the rows of beads touch
2 Stitch to the surface about a bead’s width from the start of the previous each other and that no fabric shows
width from the start of the previous row and about a bead’s width lower. between them. Continue making
row and about a bead’s width higher. staggered rows of beads, raising or
lowering the starting point of each
row to shape the pathway.

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6 8 10

7 9 11

6 Fanned Bugle-Bead pathways 8 To fan the rows in the opposite direc- 12


Continue with the same pathway or tion, begin the next row about one
start the fanned method in a new bead’s width from the previous row.
location. Follow step 1 to make the
first row of the fanned pathway. 9 String the beads for the row. Lay
Stitch to the surface about two the thread on the fabric so that it is
beads’ width from the start of the about two beads’ width from the end
previous row. of the previous row. Scoot the beads
toward toward the starting point,
7 String one seed bead, one bugle and stitch straight downward to the
bead, and one seed bead. Lay the back at the end of the row.
thread on the fabric so that it is 10 repeat steps 8–9 several times.
about a bead’s width from the end
of the previous row. Scoot the beads 11 Continue making rows, fanning
toward the starting point, and stitch either the top or bottom of each row
straight downward to the back at the to shape the pathway.
end of the row.
12 a fanned bugle-bead pathway
make several more fanned rows. makes an attractive row in the
Notice that the beads fan outward couched fan pattern (see page
from the ending points of the rows and 162). add one to the corner section
that the fabric shows between them. already completed.

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ruffles
ruffles add both texture and a sense of movement to bead
embroidery. Like many stitch variations, ruffles begin with
lines of short and tall stacks (see pages 147 and 148).

1 3 5

2 4 6

1 in an unbeaded area, make a 3 Stitch to the surface just beyond the 5 repeat step 4 along the whole line
straight or curved line of stacks. final two-bead stack. String four of stacks, adding either two or three
Use size-11 beads for the trunk and size-15 seed beads, and stitch beads between each of the stacks.
a size-15 bead for the top bead of through the top bead of the The more beads added between top
each stack. Begin the line by using end stack. beads, the more fluffy the ruffle will
only two beads in the stack (includ- become. as a rule of thumb, add
ing the top bead). For the next two 4 String three size-15 beads, and fewer beads than the number of
stacks, use three beads. stitch through the top bead of the beads in the stacks.
next stack.
2 Continue making stacks, gradually 6 at the end of the line, after joining
increasing the height to six beads the top bead of the last stack, string
tall (including the top bead). after four beads, and stitch to the back
making several six-bead stacks, just beyond the first stack. Pull the
gradually decrease the height of thread snug and knot.
the stacks, back to two beads. after
completing the final two-bead stack,
knot on the back.

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Barnacles
Like the shells of the small crustaceans for which they are
named, beaded barnacles make an intriguing raised
surface element that can suggest a volcano, the center
of a flower, or a cityscape. Use a barnacle as a cage to
hold a special little bead. depending on the beads used
and the spacing, it can taper inward drastically or be
more straight-sided, like a tower.

1 3 5

5 repeat steps 1–4 to make a second


2 4
barnacle. This time, use four size-11
beads topped by a size-15 bead for
each stack. make the stacks right
next to each other, with no space
between them. Notice how changing
the spacing and bead size alters the
look of the barnacle.

1 make a small circle of tall stacks (see 3 Join the top beads of all the stacks all
page 148), with the unbeaded fabric the way around.
in the center measuring about 1/2"
(1.3 cm) in diameter. For each stack, 4 Stitch through the top bead of the
use one size-8 bead, three size-11 first and second stack a second time.
beads, and one size-15 bead. The Stitch downward through the second
top bead of each stack is size 15. stack to the back. Pull the thread
Space the stacks a short distance snug and knot.
apart around the ring.

2 after completing the final stack, knot


on the back. Stitch through the fabric
and the beads in the first stack.

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Bezels
Bead-embroidery sampler
a bezel is a thin, slanted “wall” used to enclose a cabo-
chon and hold it in place on a surface. a cabochon is a
flat-bottomed, dome-topped piece of stone, glass, or other
material. in a ring, for example, a stone cabochon would
be held in place with a metal bezel. in bead embroidery,
there are many cabochons or cabochon-like elements
that may be attached with a beaded bezel.

The method for beading a bezel shown below is quite


flexible, allowing the bezel to be any shape (round, oval,
angular), any height, and even variable height to accom-
modate a cabochon that is higher on one side than the
other. Similar to making barnacles (see page 171), it
1
requires circling the cabochon with tall stacks and then
joining the top beads of the stacks to gather them together.
This makes the stacks slant inward around the cabochon,
which holds it in place on the beading surface.

1 preparing the Cabochon


Temporarily stitch the cabochon in place using a new
thread. Hold the cabochon in position with your nondomi-
nant hand, and stitch to the surface next to it.

2 Cross over the top of the cabochon, and stitch to the back. 2

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3 5

4 6

3 Stitch to the surface one-fourth of the way around the cabo- 5 Pull snug, and stitch to the back on the opposite side of
chon. Cross over the top of it, and stitch to the back. the cabochon.

4 Stitch to the surface midway between two threads. With the 6 Repeat steps 4–5 around the cabochon until it is securely
needle pointing to where the thread exits, stitch under the fastened to the beading surface. Knot on the back, and
two crossed threads on top of the cabochon. snip the thread. These stitches are temporary. They will be
removed after the bezel is complete.

BEAD EMBROIDERY 173


7 Beading the Bezel 9 after completing the stacks, knot on the back. Stitch to the
Start with a new thread about 3' (91.4 cm) long. Stitch to surface, passing through the beads in the first stack and
the surface next to the cabochon. make a tall stack (see exiting at the top of the stack.
page 148) using size-11 beads for the trunk and a size-15
bead at the top. 10 Stitch through the top bead of the next stack. Stitch through
the top bead of every stack, all the way around, joining
The height of the stack is important. if the stacks are too high, them together in a ring of beads.
they will cover too much of the cabochon. if they are too
low, the cabochon might slip out of the bezel. Looking at the often it is necessary to add an extra size-15 bead between
cabochon in profile, the stacks should be one bead taller top beads in several places, especially along straighter
than where the cabochon slants noticeably inward. most sides of the cabochon. Periodically, while stitching through
cabochons require stacks that are three to five beads high. the top beads, pull the thread snug and check to see if the
stacks are starting to tip to the side. if they are, add extra
8 repeating step 7, make adjacent tall stacks all the way beads, distributed evenly along the ring of top beads.
around the cabochon.

if the cabochon is uneven, one part higher than another,


adjust the height of the stacks gradually to accommodate
the unevenness.

7 9

8 10

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11 13

13 Snip and remove the temporary stitches holding the cabochon.


12

Completing the surface stitches


Practice and play with all the stitches to fill the surface of
the sampler evenly. Some samplers are quite attractive
and look good when framed.

alternate method for


making a Beaded Bezel
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11 after stitching all of the way around, stitch through the top
bead of the first stack a second time. Bezels can also be made using tubular peyote stitch. First
backstitch a line of size-11 beads around the perimeter of the
Stitch down through all the beads of the second stack to cabochon. Then work tubular peyote stitch the same way as
the back. Pull the thread snug from the back. Check to see for the Barnacle Brooch (see page 90).
if there is thread showing in the line of beads joining all of
the stacks. if there is, estimate the number of beads width of
thread showing and note the locations. Unthread the needle
and back the thread out so that none of the stacks are
joined at the top. rejoin the top beads of the stacks, adding
the estimated number of beads in the noted locations. also
check to see if the bezel seems tall enough to secure the
cabochon. if not, take it out and make taller stacks.

12 When the line of beads at the top of the stacks looks right,
with no thread visible, and the cabochon seems secure, knot
on the back. Stitch to the surface, through one of the stacks,
and sew through all of the top beads one or more times.

Sew through one of the stacks to the back, and knot.

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edge sTiTChes
Bead-embroidery sampler
edge stitches are used to decorate the edges of things,
such as purse flaps, pendants, collars, and quilts. They
are also used to embellish flat seams, to attach one piece
to another, and to fasten a lining to a beaded piece.
While there are many possible types of edge stitches, the
three most commonly used are single bead, picot, and
whipped edge stitch.

1 3 5

2 4 6

1 To practice edge stitches, fold the 3 Stitch through the second bead 5 Stitch through the bead just added
seam allowance at the top of the from the underside, close to the from the underside, close to the
sampler to the back along the basted fabric, upward. fabric, upward.
line. Work with size-11 beads. Stitch
to the surface at the top left corner of 4 String one bead. Stitch across the repeat steps 4–5 several times.
the sampler. fold line from back to front, one Note that the beads touch each other
bead’s width away from the and that the thread shows along the
2 single-Bead edge stitch previous stitch. top edge.
String two beads. Stitch across the
fold line from back to front, one 6 To end, after step 5, stitch back
bead’s width away from the down through the second to the last
starting point. bead to the underside of the fold,
and knot.

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7 picot edge stitch 8 Stitch through the third bead 9 String two beads. Stitch across the
Stitch to the surface along the fold from the underside, close to the fold line from back to front, about
line, 1/4" (6 mm) to the right of the fabric, upward. two bead’s width away from the
last single bead edge stitch. String previous stitch.
three beads. Stitch across the fold line
from back to front, about two bead’s
width away from the starting point.

7 8 9

10 11

10 Stitch through the second of the beads just added from the 11 repeat steps 9–10 several times. There should be a definite
underside, close to the fabric, upward. point for each stitch. if the work looks flat, sew across the
fold line closer to the previous stitch. if the work looks like a
solid wall, sew across the fold line a little farther away from
the previous stitch. To end, after step 11, stitch backward
through the second and third to the last bead. Stitch to the
underside of the fold, and knot.

(continued)

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12 Whipped edge stitch
Stitch to a starting point which is 1/4"
14 repeat step 13 several times. The
whipped lines of beads should touch
edge-Stitch Tips
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edge stitch, and about 1/4" (6 cm) fold line. The beads should wrap rounding the arc of a corner with edge
lower than the fold. over the fold without a gap between stitches generally requires tighter spac-
the middle bead and the fold. if it ing. To round an inside corner, spread
13 String seven beads. Stitch across the looks too loose or tight, try adjust- the stitches apart a little.
fold, back to front, about one bead’s ing the number of the beads in each
width beyond the starting point and stitch or moving the starting point up
Join two pieces, such as the front and
1/4" (6 mm) lower than the fold. or down a slight distance. To end,
back of a pouch, together with an edge
stitch to inside of the fold from the
stitch. When stitching across the fold, be
back and knot.
sure to catch the edge of both pieces. in
15 Continue making edge stitches the same way, stitch a lining or backing
12 to a piece of bead embroidery using an
along the fold line. Try other sizes
of beads and color combinations. edge stitch. When a section of edging is
complete, make a small knot under the
last bead, stitch between the layers for
about 1" (2.5 cm), exit on the surface,
pull slightly, and cut the thread.

Use an edge stitch to decorate a flat


seam, for example in a quilt block. Fold
the piece along the seam, work the edge
stitch along the fold, and then open the
piece out flat. The edge stitch will be a
13 14 straight, raised line.

When a paper stabilizer is used, it can


be torn away at the basting line before
working the edge stitches. “Press” the
fold by pinching tightly with your fingers.
optional: remove the basted stitch guide
prior to working the edge stitches.

15

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Fringes
Bead-embroidery sampler
Fringes add movement and texture
to bead embroidery. They offer a
great opportunity to feature special or
unique beads. Some designs call for
a symmetrical, repeating pattern of
fringes. at other times it may be fun to 2 4
mix a variety of fringe techniques in
an asymmetrical arrangement.

any of the following fringes may be


made short and used as surface fringe
or surface texture. Fringes may also be
couched to the beading surface.

among many fringe methods, these


represent the most commonly used 3 5
types: basic, diamond-point, loop,
drop-bead, branch, and twisted fringe.

2 Basic Fringe while maintaining slight downward


String about 11/2" (4 cm) of beads tension on the anchor bead. This
for the trunk of the fringe. String one should pull the fringe snug to the
size-15 bead for the anchor bead. beading surface. it’s the beader’s
Skip the anchor bead, and stitch choice about how tight to pull the
through the trunk to the back. fringe. Flexible fringes look good;
1 you can choose where to place the yet the stretch factor should also be
fringes on the sampler. either put them 3 Tension a consideration.
along the bottom edge with the seam Keep in mind that thread always
allowance folded to the back at the stretches a little over time, especially 4 if placing the fringe along the fold,
basting line. or put them anywhere when there is weight on it. The knot inside the fold. if placing the
on the surface of the beaded sampler. heavier the fringe, the more the fringe on the surface, stitch to the
Because fringes are vulnerable to get- thread will stretch. Grasp the anchor back and knot.
ting caught, make a knot on the back bead in one hand and the needle in
after each fringe. Use any beads, the other. Pull upward on the needle, 5 Position the needle for the next fringe.
including mixed sizes if you wish,
except where directed otherwise. (continued)
make a knot at the end of a single
thread, and stitch to the surface where
the first fringe will be placed.

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6 diamond-point Fringe 8 loop Fringe
String beads for the trunk. String four size-11 beads for String four size-11 beads and one size-6 bead for the trunk.
the diamond point. Skip the last three beads, and stitch String about 2" (5 cm) of size-15 beads. Stitch through
through the remainder of the beads to the inside of the fold. the center of the ring. With the ring positioned along the
size-15 beads, stitch through the trunk to the inside of
7 To adjust the tension, grasp the middle of the three beads the fold.
at the end of the fringe in one hand and pull upward with
the needle in the other hand (as in step 3). adjust the bot- 9 adjust the tension, knot, and position the needle for the
tom four beads as needed to form a diamond shape. Knot next fringe as in steps 3–5. Note: The ring is optional.
inside the fold and position the needle for the next fringe. The loop fringe can be used to hang a charm from the end
of a fringe.

6 8

7 9

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10 12 14

11 13 15

10 drop-Bead Fringe 12 adjust the tension, knot, and position 14 To make the first branch, string four
any bead with a hole across the top, the needle for the next fringe as in beads. Skip the last bead, and stitch
such as a drop, leaf, lentil, or flower steps 3–5. Note: The drop bead back through the other three beads
may be used at the end of a fringe. fringe can be used to hang a charm and upward into the trunk. exit about
String beads for the trunk. from the end of a fringe. depending three beads beyond the branch.
on the length of the hole at the top of
11 String six size-15 beads, the drop the drop bead, increase or decrease 15 adjust the tension to ensure the trunk
bead, and six more size-15 beads. the number of size-15 beads on and the branch are snug. repeat
Stitch through the trunk to the back. either side so that it hangs freely. step 14 to make a second branch.

13 Branch Fringe (continued)


also called “kinky fringe,” this fringe
can have many branches, twigs, and
twigs-on-twigs. a very full branch fringe
may be couched to the surface to
resemble bushes or thick vegetation.

Practice this fringe using size-11


beads only. String a sufficient
number of beads for the desired
length of the fringe (the trunk).
String one anchor bead. Slide all
the beads snug against the beading
surface. Stitch back through
five beads of the trunk and exit.

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16 17

18 19 20

16 make a Branch with a Twig 20 Let go of the midpoint to see if it twists into a rope. if it
String six beads, skip the last bead, stitch back through does not, twist the thread more times and try again. When
three beads, and exit. adjust the tension. To make a twig, the strands twist, keep holding the thread at the end of the
string three beads, skip the last bead, stitch back through beads, and at the same time stitch to the back. Pull snug
the branch and upward into the trunk. exit about three and knot.
beads beyond the branch and twig. Pull the fringe snug
and adjust the tension.

17 Continue to work up the trunk, making several branches


Fringes Getting in the Way?
with twigs along the way. Stitch to the back and knot. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Note: each branch and twig on this fringe could have a When beading on the surface after completing fringes, the
diamond, loop, or other fancy ending. beading thread gets caught and tangled in the fringes. an easy
fix for this problem is to wrap the fringes in a scrap of fabric
18 Twisted Fringe
and baste it closed, as shown below. another fix is to wrap the
The beads in the trunk of this fringe twist around on them-
fringes in tinfoil, scrunching it tight.
selves to make a rope-like fringe. The most important re-
quirement is that the thread must fill the holes of the beads.

Use a doubled thread for this fringe and size-15 beads.


String about 4” (10 cm) of beads. Slide the beads snug
against the beading surface. Grasp the doubled thread just
beyond the last bead, and twist it repeatedly in one direc-
tion. dampen your fingers if necessary.

19 To test the twist, hold the midpoint of the strung beads with
one hand, and place the needle end of the beads next to
the start of the fringe.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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Tips for making Fringes
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

“Press” the fold by pinching tightly with your fingers. optional:


remove the basted stitch guide and the margin of paper stabi-
lizer prior to working the fringes.
21

For an evenly spaced line of fringes, use a ruler and fine-tip pen
to mark a dot on the starting point for each fringe.

To place fringes along the finished edge of a piece, string the


trunk and anchor of the fringe, stitch back up through the trunk,
and stitch through the edge of the piece at the top of the fringe.
Secure each fringe by making a knot at the top of the fringe.
To make the knot, take another small stitch through the finished
edge of the piece, pull the thread until there is a little loop
showing, stitch through the loop two times, and slowly pull the
knot tight. Stitch between the layers of the piece to position the
needle for the next fringe.

22 Bugle beads, crystals, or other beads with sharp edges around


the hole may be used in fringes. However, it is best to bracket
these types of beads with a seed bead on either side (see
page 75).

Use these same fringe designs and methods on woven or strung


bead projects. The only difference is how the fringe is attached
to the project. in woven projects, it is wise to secure the thread
back into the body of weaving between each fringe.

23 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

21 Practice making fringes along the bottom edge of the sam-


pler. Use various bead sizes and color combinations.

22 make several short loop fringes on the surface of the sam-


pler (see steps 8–9).

23 make a twisted fringe on the surface of the sampler, and


couch it in place. Couch over the curves of the twisted line
of beads where they touch the beading surface. Twisted
fringe may be couched to a doll’s head to represent curls
or a braid.

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Creative Spirit atC
Improvisational Bead Embroidery on Fabric

Pick a theme and play with the concept of beading impro- place, or an enjoyable activity. The theme underlying the
visationally! Make an artist trading card (ATC) to trade example here is “the creative spirit” or muse. Choose
with another artist or to display on a mini-easel. The idea your own theme, tuck the thought of it in the back of your
here is to practice working without a plan, to select fabric mind, and start beading. It’s better not to think about how
and beads without knowing in advance how, or even if, exactly you can illustrate the theme. Let it come forward
you will use them. from your subconscious. This will happen quite naturally
as you let go of the need to control and plan the piece.
Some possible themes are friendship, family, marriage,
spirituality, one of the seasons of the year, a favorite

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You WIll NEEd

• 41/2" x 51/2" (11.4 x 14 cm)


quilting-weight fabric, print
or solid
• acid-free paper stabilizer, cut
to 41/2" x 51/2" (11.4 x 14 cm)
• assorted seed beads in
sizes 15, 11, and 8
• bugle beads, small, one color
1 In the center of the paper stabilizer, measure and draw a rectangle 21/2" x 31/2" • assorted shaped beads,
(6.4 x 8.9 cm), the standard ATC size. With the drawing side up, place this charms, buttons,
paper stabilizer on the wrong side of your fabric and baste along the drawn line. found objects
Use a contrasting color of thread and make the stitches long on the fabric side
and short on the paper side, so you can easily see this basted guide on the fabric • beading thread, Nymo
side. If the fabric frays easily, turn under 1/4" (6 mm) along the edges and baste. or equivalent, size d
• beading needle, size 11
or 12
• heavy cardstock, cut to
21/2" x 31/2" (6.4 x 8.9 cm)
(or blank ATC card)
• synthetic suede (Ultrasuede
Light or equivalent), cut to
21/2" x 31/2" (6.4 x 8.9 cm),
for backing

2 Select a variety of beads, buttons, 3 The thought of sewing beads on a


and charms that you might want to blank fabric with no plan may seem
use for this project. Store them in a daunting. A good way to get over
bag or box for the duration of the that hurdle is to divide the fabric into
project. Since you will actually use smaller sections. Use bugle bead
only a small percentage of the items, pathways, lines of short stacks, or
there is no need to be concerned if backstitching for this purpose. The
these items are right for the theme lines can be straight or curved.
of the project, if they match the
fabric, or if they go with each other. (continued)
Keeping the subject of the ATC in
the back of your mind, simply pick
beads that seem attractive or compel-
ling to you.

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4 Play with the lines a little, adding more beads along them. 5 When beading along the lines begins to seem uninterest-
In this example, a line of backstitched beads, a ruffle, and ing, choose one of the areas created by the lines and find
some flower beads accentuate the line formed by the bugle something in your project box to put there. Stitch it on.
bead pathway. Play with it a little, adding beads around or near it.

6 If you begin to feel stuck, not knowing what to add next, 7 Sometimes, it feels right to define the ATC borders with a
move to one of the unbeaded areas, and add something line of backstitched beads, as in this example. other
there. or, further divide one of the areas with another methods for defining the borders include using a line of
bugle-bead pathway. short stacks or a narrow border made with lazy stitch. Let
some of the interior beading extend to the edge, so the
border line is broken in a few places.

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8 Looking at the beads gathered in step 2, ask yourself, 9 repeat the process and the question in step 8 until all of the
“What if I wanted to put something in one of the blank areas are pleasing to your eye and complete. often there
areas? What might it be?” As soon as your attention are certain motifs, such as the burgundy flowers or the little
settles on something, pick it up and sew it on your piece. pink-centered scallops, that are fun to do. repeating those
Play with the area around it, adding more beads, perhaps motifs in different areas provides a sense of balance and
beading the background around it, or perhaps allowing unity to the piece.
the fabric to show.

10 To finish the ATC, remove the basting stitches from around 11 Cut a piece of heavy card stock to 21/2" x 31/2"
the edge, tear away the stabilizing paper around the (6.4 x 8.9 cm) or use a commercial blank ATC. Cut a piece
border, and trim off the excess fabric leaving about of synthetic suede the same size for the backing. Slip the
1/2" (1.3 cm) margin outside the border. Fold under the card inside the folded edges of the beaded fabric. Cover
edges at the borders, miter the corners, and finger press or with the backing. Use any edge stitch to sew the backing
baste in place. to the beaded fabric. Use a permanent ink pen to write the
name of the ATC, your name, and the date on the backing.

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r av e n M o o n at C
Preplanned Bead Embroidery on Stiffened Felt
This project is another beaded artist trading card, in the standard size of
21/2" x 31/2"(6.4 x 8.9 cm). It may be traded for one by another artist. The
same techniques can be used to make larger or smaller pieces. This is a
particularly good method for making brooches and pendants.

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You WIll NEEd Raven Moon illustrates how to bead a preplanned design. Copy and enlarge
the design shown, or use any design that is not too detailed. It can be
• 21/2" x 31/2" stiffened felt
representational, like the raven, geometrical or abstract. The more details,
• Soft lead pencil (#2) in the design, the smaller the beads need to be. Raven Moon, for example,
or drawing pencil is entirely embroidered with size-15 seed beads, except for the raven’s eye,
• Small sheet of tracing paper which is a size-10 bead.

• markers, colored pencils,


Unlike the Sampler and the Creative Spirit ATC, this project is beaded on
fabric paint, or other medium
for coloring felt stiffened felt, which does not require a stabilizer. The design is transferred to
the felt, colored, and then beaded. The bead embroidery progresses from the
• 10–15 g rounded
foreground figure to the background in order to give the figure precise edges.
seed beads, assorted colors
as needed for design,
size-15 (larger sizes optional,
depending on the design)
• beading thread, Nymo
(or equivalent), size d
• beading needle, size 11
or 12
• synthetic leather, cut to
21/2" x 31/2" (6.4 x 8.9 cm),
for backing
• glue stick, compatible
with fabrics

1 draw the design on tracing paper. Turn the paper over and retrace the design on
the back using a pencil with soft lead. Place the drawing, faceup, on the stiffened
felt, and retrace the drawing. The pencil lead on the back of the tracing paper
will transfer to and be visible on the stiffened felt. retrace over the pencil lines on
the stiffened felt with a marker. or skip the tracing paper and draw the design
freehand on the stiffened felt with a marker.

(continued)

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2 Color the design. In this case, colored pencils and markers 3 determine which part of the design is “forward,” or in
were used. Coloring will help conceal background areas front of other parts. In this design, it’s the raven. outline the
that show between rows of beads. The raven is not colored forward figure using backstitch (see page 156). Take care
yet, because the black color would obscure the internal to make the outline as precise as possible. Also bead the
lines around the wing, beak, and tail. internal lines of the raven. After beading the internal lines,
use a marker to color the design.

4 Notice that the tail of the raven is behind the branch. It 5 Fill in the foreground figure with beads using backstitched
will make the lines of the design look sharp to outline the lines that flow in a direction suited to the subject. In this
branch first, and then add the lines for the raven’s tail. design, the beads are stitched along the natural lines of the
Think of the design in terms of what is close to the viewer. wing, tail, and body feathers of the raven. For some
bead the closest element first, then the next element behind designs, using other stitches, such as lazy stitch or seed
that, and so on to the background. In this design, the sky stitch, may be more appropriate.
is the background and will be beaded last.

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6 After finishing the raven, bead the branches. Use a lighter 7 bead the background, row by row, parallel to the top and
color of beads along the tops of the branches to suggest bottom edge. Use the “magic trick” to straighten the first
moonlight and a darker color on the undersides to suggest two rows. Use a combination of back, seed, and lazy
shadows. After the branches are beaded, the next layer is stitches as needed to fit around the branches, raven, and
the moon. It works well, when beading this circle, to begin moon. It is better to allow a little of the stiffened felt to show
at the outer edge. Using backstitch, bead all of the sections than to crowd the beads. While loading the needle for
of the outer edge. Use the “magic trick” (see page 157) to backstitching, cull any beads that are extra small or large.
smooth the arcs before beginning the next rows. bead each examine these beads, like puzzle pieces, and use them
row in each section before starting the next row. eventually, to fit into oddly shaped spaces. Leave a very slight (1/16"
the rows will join and form a continuous arc. [1.6 mm]) unbeaded margin all the way around the edge,
which will be used later when adding the edge stitch.

8 Finishing 9 Use the single-bead edge stitch (see page 176) to make
Name, sign, and date the synthetic leather backing, a small, neat border around the piece while at the same
if desired. Check for fit, and trim if necessary. Use a time attaching the backing to the beadwork. To begin, fold
marker (in a color that matches the beads chosen for the a corner of the backing out of the way, and make a small
edge stitch) to color the edge of the beadwork on the stitch in the felt about 1/2" (1.3 cm) from the edge. Then
front, back, and edge. stitch through the felt, positioning the needle for the first
edge stitch. As you progress, be sure to catch a bit of
Swipe the backing on the wrong side with a glue stick, backing and a bit of the stiffened felt with every stitch.
making a very thin coating of glue in the central area.
Leave an unglued margin of 1/2" (1.3 cm) all the way To finish, make a small knot in the synthetic leather close to
around. Glue the backing to the beadwork, making sure the last bead of the edge stitch. Take a long stitch between
all the edges line up correctly. the backing and beadwork, exiting through the synthetic
leather. Pull the thread snug and snip it next to the backing.

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EmBEllIShINg WIth BEadS
beads are used to add sparkle, texture—pizzazz— Stitch Sampler, with only a few slight modifications. The
to quilts, dolls, greeting cards, mixed-media art, cloth- following projects introduce methods for beading quilts,
ing, and just about anything else. The basic bead- paper, and dolls.
embroidery stitches are the same as already seen in the

F i v e C a t S i n t h e Ya r d

Quilting with Beads


Increasingly, quilters are adapting bead embroidery quilted creations. It can be as simple as adding a bead
techniques to add sparkle, texture, and detail to their to each stitch when hand quilting.

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Those who enjoy crazy quilting adapt
a broad range of thread embroidery
stitches to include beads, substituting,
for example, seed-stitched beads for
French knots.

Some quilters embroider with beads


on any of the typical beading surfaces
and then appliqué their work to the
surface of the quilt. Or, they use log-
cabin-piecing techniques to build a
quilt block around an inner square of
bead embroidery.

BEAD EMBROIDERY 193


194 The compleTe phoTo gUIde To beadINg

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The method illustrated in Five Cats in the Yard uses beads to provide design You WIll NEEd
enhancements and at the same time to quilt the piece. It is different than
• one premade quilt top,
previously shown bead-embroidery projects, because the appearance of
approximately 13" x 15"
the back of the work and the effects of the quilting stitches are of concern.
(33 x 38.1 cm), with a center
This method works equally well for beading a center panel and for “whole panel to be enhanced with
cloth” quilts. bead embroidery
• one piece of quilt batting,
each stitch not only joins the three layers of the quilt but also pulls the bead or
slightly larger than the
beads down into the surface of the quilt, causing it to pucker slightly. When
quilt top
the beading is dense, it will noticeably shrink the dimensions of the quilt.
Therefore, when beading in an isolated area of the quilt, rather than the entire • one piece of fabric for the
surface, as in this project, it is advisable to prequilt the nonbeaded areas back, 1" (2.5 cm) larger than
the quilt top on each side
either by machine or by hand.
• short beading needle, size
11 or 10 (or straw needle in
size 11 or 10)
• beading thread, Nymo or
equivalent, size d, color:
neutral or same as
backing fabric
• 15–20 g assorted seed
beads, various colors
and sizes
• 5 g short bugle beads,
3 mm, one color (optional,
for border)
• assorted accent beads,
buttons, charms (optional)
1 Preparation 2 Within the center panel, if there are • binding fabric, cut on bias,
Stitch the quilt top together, either any long curved or straight lines, 21/2" (6.4 cm) wide, long
by hand or machine. Make a machine stitch along the lines before enough to go around the
“sandwich” with the backing fabric, starting to bead; then “bead in the
piece plus 10" (25.4 cm)
right side down, on the bottom; the ditch.” This allows a line of beads to
quilt batting in the middle; and the lie smoothly along the line.
quilt top, right side up, on the top. To achieve the required detail,
Pin the layers together. baste with (continued)
Five Cats in the Yard is
long running stitches from corner primarily beaded with
to corner and side to side. baste size-15 seed beads; less
around the outside edge. Machine
intricate designs can be
or hand quilt the areas that will not
worked in larger seed beads.
be beaded (or beaded very lightly),
For the back of the quilt, select
including the borders.
fabric with a small, busy
pattern in colors that match
the beading thread.

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3 5

4 6

3 Waste Knot 5 Pull gently on the original knot (called a waste knot), and
Use a single thread, knotted at the end. From the surface, snip it off close to the fabric. If the tail shows slightly, pull
insert the needle about 1" (2.5 cm) from where the first gently on the fabric until it disappears between the layers.
bead will be added. Stitch between the layers (along the
batting), and exit at the point where the beading will start. 6 Bead Embroidery
Using any of the bead-embroidery stitches (see pages
4 Take a tiny stitch at the exit point. Pull the thread until there 146–175), begin to stitch beads on the quilt. place the first
is a small loop showing. Stitch through the loop twice. bead or beads added to cover the knot made in step 4.
Slowly pull the knot tight.
be sure to catch the top, batting, and back fabric in each
stitch. examine the back frequently at first to ensure that
the stitches are going all the way through the layers. Also
check that the lengths of thread showing are small and
inconspicuous.

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7 Changing Beading Locations 9 Changing Threads
There are three methods commonly used to travel from one The third method to change beading locations is to knot off
beading area to another some distance away (more than the thread and begin with a waste knot in the new loca-
¼" [6 mm]). If both locations are near a line of beads, tion. To knot off the thread, sew to the back. Take a small
stitch through the line of beads, exiting at the point closest stitch where the thread exits, catching only a few fabric
to where the next bead is to be added. Stitch to the back. threads in the stitch. Pull the thread until a small loop
Stitch to the front at the new beading point. becomes visible. Sew through the loop one time to make
an overhand knot. Optional: Sew through the loop twice
8 The second method for changing beading locations is to to make a double knot.
sew between the layers of fabric (along the batting), exiting
so the needle is positioned for the next stitch. Before add- 10 Sew into the fabric next to the knot, and run the needle
ing beads, sew to the back and return to the surface, thus between the layers (through the batting) for about
quilting the layers together. 1" (2.5 cm). Sew to the surface on the back, pull the
thread slightly, and snip the thread next to the fabric.

(continued)

7 9

8 10

BEAD EMBROIDERY 197


11 Finish Beading the Center Panel
Continue beading to complete the center panel of the
piece. Work in one area at a time, switching colors of
beads as required by the design. To keep the quilted
surface even, space the beading evenly across the center
panel of the quilt. If the design requires more beading in
one area, there can be noticeable shrinkage in that area.
To resolve this issue, add extra hand- or machine-quilting
stitches to the other areas of the center panel.

12 13

12 Beading the Inside Border 13 edge stitches worked along the seam will tend to “stand
For some designs, it looks good to bead only the center upright.” To make the points lie flat, quilt through all layers
panel. For others, beaded borders make an attractive along the edge about 1/4" (6 mm) from the seam. Catch the
“frame” around the center panel and tie the whole piece center bead of a point with each stitch.
together. For Five Cats in the Yard, a picot-edge stitch is
added around the center panel to quilt the seam and to
pull the white color outward. This picot stitch is worked the
same way as shown on page 177, except that it begins
with five beads, and four beads are added with each stitch
afterward. The spacing between each stitch is about three
bead’s width.

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14 16

15 17

14 Beading the outer Border 16 Sew back through the size-11 bead toward the outside
Quilt in the ditch along the seam line around the outer edge of the quilt. Pull it snug. This completes one point.
border. Add a bead to each stitch, spacing the beads at Continue all the way around the border, repeating steps
1/4" (6 mm) intervals. This provides seam quilting as well as 14–16. String one unit for each step.
a spacing guide for the bugle-bead edge stitch.
17 To make the edging lie flat, quilt along the edge about 3/8"
For the bugle-bead edge stitch, one unit = one bugle bead, (1 cm) from the seam. Catch the center bead of a point with
one size-11 seed bead, and one size-15 seed bead, strung each stitch. optional: embellish the corners with flower and
in that order. Starting in one corner, string one size-15 leaf beads.
bead, one size-11 bead, and one unit. Slide the beads to
the quilt surface. Skipping the last bead, sew back through Finishing: remove the basting stitches. Trim the batting and
the size-11 bead toward the seam. Pull it snug. back flush with the top, squaring up the sides if necessary.
Use standard quilting methods to attach the binding. If
15 String one unit. Stitch through the edge of the seam about desired, add a sleeved hanging-dowel and signature patch
1/4" (6 mm) from the starting point, midway between two of to the back of the quilt.
the spacer beads. do not sew to the back of the quilt with
this stitch. Catch only a few threads in the outside border,
exiting at the seam.

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LittLe Me
Beaded doll
Make a beaded cloth doll or embel-
lish a stuffed animal with beads as a
special keepsake or gift.

Use any of the bead-embroidery


stitches and techniques, especially
seed, fringing, and edge stitches. The
only limitation with this project is that
it’s not possible to sew to the back of
the fabric once the doll is made. For
that reason, a few different stitching
methods are shown.

This doll needs a face, which can


be either a carved cabochon (bone,
polymer clay, or other material) or
a picture printed on fabric. When
selecting fabric, beads, and ephem-
era for the Little Me doll, choose
items that have special meaning.

200

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You WIll NEEd

• one piece of fabric for


front of doll, approximately
8" (20.3 cm) square
• one piece of fabric for
back of doll, approximately
8" (20.3 cm) square (can be
same fabric as front)
• one face image on inkjet
printable fabric (or a face
cabochon, or a face cut from
commercial fabric)
• one wad of stuffing
(for pillows, toys, dolls),
1 making the doll
cotton, polyester, or wool
Make a paper pattern for an original doll shape, or enlarge and trace a pattern
from the photograph above. Layer the two pieces of fabric, right sides together, • short beading needle, size
and pin the pattern to the fabric. Cut out the doll. Using a very small running 11 or 10
stitch, hand sew around the doll about 1/8" (3 mm) from the edge. Leave a 2"
(5 cm) opening along one side. Clip the curves. Turn the doll right side out. Using • beading thread, Nymo
very small puffs of stuffing, stuff the head first, then the arms, and finally the body. or equivalent, size d, color:
The doll should feel firm, but not rigid. Whip stitch the opening closed. neutral or same as
backing fabric
Print the image of a face, perhaps a childhood picture, following the instructions
on a package of inkjet-printable fabric. Cut out the face leaving a 1/4" (6 mm)
• 5–15 g assorted seed beads,
margin. Turn under the margin, and finger press. Use the picot edge stitch various colors and sizes
(see page 177) to bead around the face. • assorted embellishments
(continued) (accent beads, charms,
feather, key, lace,
ribbons, etc.)
• 16" (40.6 cm) ribbon,
narrow (for ties, optional)

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2 Waste Knot 3 Knotting off
To begin beading on the doll, make a waste knot. Use a Finish by making a small stitch next to or under the last
single thread, knotted at the end. Insert the needle about bead. Pull the thread until a small loop appears. Sew
1" (2.5 cm) from where the first bead will be added. through the loop twice, and slowly pull the knot tight. Insert
Stitch through the doll’s body, and exit at the point where the needle into the doll’s body right next to the knot, and
the beading will start. Take a tiny stitch at the exit point. exit about 1" (2.5 cm) away. Snip the thread.
Pull the thread until a small loop appears. Stitch through
the loop twice. Slowly pull the knot tight. Pull the original
(waste) knot away from the doll’s body, and snip it off.

To conceal and reinforce the seam, make a picot edge


stitch around the doll. To avoid a crowded look at the neck
and arm curves, increase the spacing between stitches
slightly in these areas. Leave a small open space at the
bottom of the doll, where fringes will be attached later.

4 attach the Face 5 Use ribbon scraps, lace, and beads 6 decorate the body of the doll with
Pin the face in place. Make a waste to make a head ornament. Stitch it beads and other ephemera. For
knot (step 2), and prepare to sew in place. each beaded area, begin with a
at one of the points in the edge waste knot, and bury the tail after
stitch around the face. Sew around knotting off. Travel from one bead-
the face with a small running stitch, ing area to an adjacent area by
catching a point in each stitch. stitching through the doll’s body to
Knot off (step 3). If the face is a the new area.
cabochon, attach it using a beaded
bezel (see page 172).

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7 add a Pocket 8 attach an Item with No hole
one way to add items that have no hole is to make a pock- Attach an item with no hole, such as the hand, by couching
et for them. double a scrap of ribbon, tucking in the ends, over the top of it with thread. Then hide the stitches with
and sew it to the doll’s body as a pocket. This doll’s ribbon beaded lazy stitch (see page 151).
pocket, decorated with rubber stamping, holds rolled-up
postage stamps, each symbolizing something significant.

9 attach a Feather 10 Add fringes (see page 179) to the arm and bottom of
To attach a feather, first snip away the downy barbs from the doll. This is also a good way to add charms and
the lower quill. Couch the feather to the doll by stitching special beads.
over the stripped part of the quill. When the feather is
secure, hide the stitches with beaded lazy stich as in step 8. optional: To display the doll suspended from a cupboard
knob, mirror, or lamp, sew the middle of a 16" (40.5 cm)
length of ribbon to the top of the doll’s head.

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Beaded GreetinG Card
accurate fastening method than glue. Unlike beading
Beading on Paper
on cloth, the holes for the beads must be pierced before
enjoy an hour or two embellishing a mixed-media collage sewing on the beads.
on paper with sparkling, three-dimensional bead embroi-
dery. This is a lovely way to feature special or vintage While the illustrated project is a greeting card, the
beads, highlight a collage or photograph, add three- same methods apply to beading any heavy, stiff paper
dimensional elements to artwork, or enhance a purchased to create art of any size. High-quality cotton or linen rag
greeting card. paper is recommended for strong paper structure and
longevity of the work. Suggested papers include 140-lb.
Sewing beads on paper enables you to attach them to 300-lb. watercolor paper, handmade papers, card-
invisibly and neatly, providing a stronger and more stock, and purchased artist trading cards.

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You WIll NEEd

• blank greeting card of heavy,


stiff paper or cardstock
• glue stick, permanent bond
• tracing vellum (thick, smooth
tracing paper)
• push pin, T-pin or
bookbinder’s needle tool
• 1/4" (6 mm) foam core
board or heavy corrugated
1 Choose a commercial, blank card or make one from stiff, heavy cardstock.
cardboard, a few inches
deckle edges or decorative inclusions in the paper add to the overall design.
(centimeters) larger Select and arrange collage elements on the front of the card in a pleasing design.
than project Plan the arrangement of beads, where they will go in the design, and how they
• mat board or cutting mat will relate to the collage.
to protect the table while
beads of different sizes and shapes will orient themselves differently on the paper.
piercing holes
To see what various beads and pattern arrangements will look like, sew a variety
• assorted collage elements of beads on an extra piece of paper as a sampler.
such as postage stamps,
decorative papers, ribbon,
fabric scraps
• assorted seed beads,
any size
• optional: sequins, buttons,
charms (lightweight,
flat elements work well)
• beading needle, size 10
or 11
• beading thread, Nymo
or equivalent, size d

2 Piercing holes is a commitment because they can’t be undone. The only way to
hide a hole in paper is to sew a bead there. To embroider a planned arrange-
ment or repeating pattern of beads on the card, first create a template by
drawing or tracing a pattern of dots on smooth vellum tracing paper. To make
an evenly spaced pattern, mark intersections on graph paper with dots. Then
place vellum over the graph paper and use a fine-tip pen with permanent, non-
smearing ink to trace the dot pattern on the vellum. The dots should be placed
at least 1/16" (1.6 mm) apart.

(continued)

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3 5

4 6

3 Use a glue stick to tack the collage elements on the front 5 To sew seed beads on the card, use a single thread.
of the card, which will hold them in place while beading. Although the thread will be barely visible, choose a color
only a minimal amount of glue is needed, because the to match the beads or perhaps one to provide a little
beads sewn through the collage elements will further fasten contrast. Tie a knot at the end that is large enough to avoid
them to the paper. do not use rubber cement, double-stick slipping through the hole in the paper.
tape, or plastic adhesives, as these will gum up the pierc-
ing pin, beading needle, and thread. If the collage begins
to buckle slightly, use a book or other weight to press the 6 Starting on the back, push the needle up through the first
collage while the glue dries. Allow the glue to dry fully hole at one edge of the design. Tug gently on the thread
before beginning the next step. to be sure the knot on the back holds. Pick up a bead on
the needle and slide it down almost to the paper. Put the
4 Make a layered stack on the worktable with the mat board needle back into the same hole. Pull the thread from below
on the bottom, the foam core in the middle, and the card, to attach the bead snugly against the paper.
faceup, on top. Align the vellum template over the col-
lage. Use a push-pin, T-pin, or needle tool to pierce holes
through the card at each spot where you plan to place a
bead. To pierce a large or complex design, it will help to
temporarily fasten the card and template to the foam core
with removable tape.

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7 9 10

9 If needed, pierce additional holes to 10 When the beading is finished, pro-


8
add more beads to the design or to tect and hide the threads by gluing
add stabilizing stitches to a larger a piece of lightweight decorative
element. buttons and/or larger paper to the inside of the card. or,
beads may be added after sewing it may be fun to see the patterns
the seed beads in place. Some larg- made by the thread on the inside. If
er buttons may require larger holes so, protect the threads with a piece
in the paper and thicker thread. of tracing vellum. To send the card
Place larger holes at least 1/8" (3 mm) through the postal system, shield the
apart. To support heavier elements, beads with a double layer of tissue
choose extra-heavyweight paper in or a piece of thin mailing foam.
the design stage.
7 From the back, put the needle up
through the next hole, pick up a
bead, slide it down, put the needle
back through the same hole, and
pull the thread from below to set
the bead tight. Continue working Variations
your way through the design from
one hole to the next hole until •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

every hole is filled or until the Use these same methods to create wall art. To make a piece larger than 4" x 5"
thread gets short. (10 x 13 cm), 300-lb. paper is recommended. For pieces larger than 12" (30.5 cm),
precut artist’s stretcher bars can be used as a temporary frame to support the edges of
8 To tie off a thread on the back of the paper while working. If you frame the work behind glass, use a mat or spacers to
the paper, make several half-hitches keep the beads from touching the glass.
around the thread between the last
two holes. Cut the remaining thread,
leaving a 1/2" (1.3 cm) tail.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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mIxEd mEthodS

So far in this book, each project features a single tech- bead embroidery also lends itself to a mixed-method
nique. However, beaders often combine two or more approach. Serenity is one of many ways to combine
techniques to create complex projects. For example, it bead embroidery with bead weaving. Summer Rain
is common for bead weavers to combine several meth- illustrates a method for working bead embroidery into
ods of bead weaving, especially when creating three- a fiber-art wall hanging. As beaders experiment more
dimensional pieces. and more with mixed methods of beading, the creative
scope of beadwork expands significantly.

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You WIll NEEd
SErENItY
• 15 g delicas (or rounded
seed beads), color A (green) Bead Embroidery and Peyote Stitch
for background
evoking the calm of Asian mysticism, Serenity is a design that seems simple
• 7 g delicas (or rounded seed yet also deeply compelling. Stitching the background square and the circle
beads), color b (aqua) for with seed stitch is a meditative practice in itself. The work combines a bead-
inside circle embroidered background with surface embellishment made by using flat
• 2 g delicas (or rounded seed peyote stitch. The techniques are shown in previous sections of this book, as
beads), color C (orange) for noted in the instructions.
long tubes
• 1 g delicas (or rounded seed This work is designed to be framed, but it can be displayed as is by adding
beads), color d (pink) for eye hooks and picture wire to the back of the canvas frame.
tube wrapper
• 3" (7.5 cm) square
stiffened felt
• beading thread, Nymo or
equivalent, size d, colors to
match the beads (or white)
• beading needle, size 10
or 11
• one commercial stretcher
canvas, 6" (15 cm) square
• one piece decorative paper,
5" (13 cm) square,
light aqua or other
coordinating color
• acrylic craft paint, white
• small paintbrush
• double-stick tape 1 Print the shapes above, enlarged so 2 Trace around the square on stiffened
• craft glue the rounded-corner square measures felt. Center the circle on the square
3" (7.6 cm) across. Cut out both the and trace around it. Cut out the
center circle and the square to make square along the pencil line.
paper patterns.
(continued)

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3 Use backstitch (see page 156) and 4 Use seed stitch (see page 146) and 5 When the square is beaded, turn the
color-b beads to bead the penciled color-b beads to fill the entire area of piece so the edge is facing you, and
outline of the circle. the circle. Vary the direction of the bead the edge using backstitch. For
bead hole randomly with each stitch. each stitch, put the needle through
Switch to color-A beads and fill the the felt at an angle from the edge to
square around the circle using the about 1/8" (3 mm) in from the edge
same technique. (The picture shows on the back side.
this step half completed.)

6 Continue backstitching beads all the 7 Use flat peyote stitch (see page 77) 8 Use flat peyote stitch and color-d
way around the edge. This will cover and color-C beads to make two beads to make the wrapper for the
the edge with beads, making a neat, tubes. String forty-three beads and two tubes. String fifteen beads and
finished rounded edge. work peyote stitch for six rows. Align work peyote stitch for twenty-six
the long edges and stitch back and rows. Wrap the woven rectangle
forth between the protruding beads around the tube beads and check
from each edge to close the tube. for fit. Add two more rows if it is
Knot and bury the tails. repeat for too small; remove two rows if it is
the second tube. too large.

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9 Align the edges of the wrapper and 10 Position the tubes in the center of 11 Paint the canvas white, and allow
stitch back and forth between the the circle. Using a double thread, it to dry. Attach a few small strips
protruding beads from each edge to stitch from the back side of the bead of double-stick tape to the wrong
close it around the two long tubes. embroidery up through the bead side of the decorative paper. Cen-
embroidery, through the underside ter the paper on the canvas and
of the wrapper, and back down stick in place.
through the beadwork. repeat a
few times to secure the tubes and
wrapper to the bead embroidery.
Check to be sure these stitches are
not visible from the front.

12 Attach a few small strips of double- the beadwork about 1/4" (6 mm) in
Variations
stick tape to the back side of the from an edge. Take a small stitch to •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
beadwork toward the middle (not the back of the canvas. Continue experiment with different color combina-
along the edge). Center and stick making stitches about 1" (2.5 cm) tions and bead finishes. Using rounded
the beadwork on the paper. The apart around the perimeter of the seed beads for the bead embroidery, add
tape holds the beadwork in place square. When you get back to the patterned stitching, such as spirals, fans,
while it is stitched to the canvas. starting point, remove the needle, or concentric circles.
Thread the needle and, with the and tie the original tail and the end
thread doubled, tie a knot leaving together with a double square knot. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
an 8" (20 cm) tail. Stitch through the Glue the knot and trim the ends
back of the canvas and out through about 1" (2.5 cm) from the knot.

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SuMMer rain, a StorY Cloth You WIll NEEd

Bead Embroidery and Fiber arts Assorted fabric scraps: torn


remnants with frayed edges,
Create a bead-embroidered story cloth and discover a meaningful way to
odd and irregular shapes
tell a personal story by combining the colors and textures of recycled fabrics including leftover pieces
with the beauty of beads. The story can record a memory or capture a feel- from previous projects, all
ing. It can be autobiographical—depicting a special life moment, perhaps work well. Mixing fabrics
even a dream—or loosely interpret the essence of a season, or the depth of with different textures (such
an emotion. While the example is all about “summer rain,” you are encour- as linen, silk, velvet, and
aged to tell your own story using the combined methods of fiber arts and cottons) adds interest.
bead embroidery.
• assorted embroidery threads
The story begins with recycled scraps of fabric, woven together to form a • embroidery needle
base cloth for beadwork and other embellishments. repurposing fabric in this
• small sharp scissors
way can be integral to the story itself. For example, using a piece of lace from
your grandmother’s hankie or remnants from a loved one’s old, worn work • assorted beads: seed beads
shirt can bring special meaning to a story cloth about a particular person. (size 8, 11, 13 charlottes,
Similarly, a piece of vintage velvet can contribute to a mood or feeling, and and 15), bugle beads, and
shaped glass beads (such as
torn bits from a well-used linen hand towel might evoke a history of purpose
leaves and squares)
and intention. Consider the previous life of various textiles. Choose the fab-
rics, beads, and embellishments with these thoughts in mind. • beading needles appropriate
for the sizes of beads you
This kind of storytelling is an excellent way to experiment with new tech- are using
niques and materials since there are no hard and fast rules. Improvisation • beading thread: Nymo or
is the compass. equivalent, size d

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1 2

1 Choose an overall size and a color 2 To prepare the base cloth foundation,
3
palette for the story, and then gather pin two pieces of fabric together, the
a pile of fabric scraps in various smaller piece on top. With a single
shapes and sizes. Having more strand of embroidery floss in a match-
fabric on hand than needed makes ing color, sew them together. Use an
assembling the base cloth easier. invisible basting stitch, making a
different textures (such as linen, silk, large stitch on the back side and a
and velvet), prints, and patterns add very tiny stitch on the front. It is
visual interest. essential that these two fabrics are
securely fastened together.
deliberately fray the edges by tear-
ing the fabrics or pulling threads on 3 Lay various scraps on the base cloth
cut edges. Tear some narrow strips. and move them around until you
Then wash all the fabrics in the achieve a pleasing arrangement. Pin
washing machine and dry them in a them in place. begin weaving some
hot dryer. This will further fray and pieces together (smaller scraps are
fluff the edges. Plus, more important, good for this). Tear larger scraps to
after machine washing, the edges form “fingers” to weave through.
will be stabilized, not fraying further.
Hand washing may be necessary
for very delicate materials. Iron each
scrap. Flat pieces are easier to layer
and hand stitch.

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4 Continue weaving the scraps until
4 5
the surface is covered. Longer pieces
can extend over the edge. Vary the
weaving to add interest, allowing
some edges to show, some to disap-
pear. Also, stack fabric (thin over
thick) to add variation. Some fabrics
fray beautifully and make excellent
borders or fringes for the bottom
edge of the piece.

5 Use invisible basting stitches to sew


the woven strips to the base cloth.
In areas where the fabric is stacked,
be sure to baste securely around the
edges of the top fabric as well. Cut
off any “tails” that extend past the
base cloth, fray the new edges, and
baste in place.

6 Using two strands of embroidery


floss, add decorative embroidery
stitches. A simple wrap stitch (or
satin stitch) gives a highly visual 6 7
effect. There are countless other
embroidery stitches that might be fun
as well. Variegated embroidery floss
offers more visual dimension than
monocolored floss.

7 Choose narrow fabric strips and


fold and/or twist them into lines. Pin
them on the base cloth. Use a double
strand of embroidery floss and wrap
the line with stitches, couching them
in place. The wrapping threads can
be evenly spaced or varied.

(continued)

bead embroidery 215

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8 10

8 Use two strands of embroidery floss and add irregular 10 bead two ruffles (page 170), side by side, using size-11
running stitches. Vary the floss colors and the sewing direc- seed beads. Choose a dark color for the stacks and top
tions. Sew past the ends of some of the fabric strips for each stack with a lighter color bead. Join the top beads by
visual interest. Leave some strips unstitched, if you prefer. using a mix of beads within the same lighter color range.
This is a good time to add bits of fabric to areas that
need it.

9 begin beading by attaching the larger beads first. This


helps to set the overall balance of the piece. Secure
larger beads by going back and forth through the bead
at least twice.

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11

11 Feel your way through the process


of surface embellishment, alternat-
ing stitching with beading to keep
the work both pleasing and true
to the story. Beads have a strong
visual impact. Thus, as more beads
are added, other areas may require
more embroidery detail. Work with
these areas until they feel balanced.

12 13

12 Add motion to vertical spaces by beading wavy lines. In 13 Attach shaped beads, such as the square beads on the ex-
this example, lines of long, twisted bugle beads mixed ample. Bead around each shaped bead twice with size-15
with short bugle beads and seed beads create the sense seed beads.
of rain. And short stacks made with size-6 seed beads
topped with size-13 faceted seed beads create the impres- Continue adding beads and thread embroidery, until you
sion of raindrops. sense that the story cloth is complete.

BEAD EMBROIDERY 217


Contributor List

Carol berry Christi Carter Clarissa Ceruti


bellingham, WA Lopez island, WA thousand oaks, CA
www.BrowerandBerry.com http://sweetpeapath.blogspot.com www.etsy.com/shop/Clarissa68
Carol makes paper, weaves cloth, and Christi began beading on cloth during http://1000quercenews.wordpress.com
collects lost gloves, rusted metal, bottle the Bead Journal Project, 2007. Since Clarissa, a scientist during the day and
caps, buttons, cloth fragments, beads, then, telling stories with bead embroi- an artist at night, became intrigued by
stamps, and pieces of string. Her assem- dery and layered fabrics has become her crocheting with beads in 2004 after
bled collages are pierced and embroi- passion. Her pieces are all hand stitched, seeing another artist’s work. She enjoys
dered with hundreds of minute glass using reclaimed textiles. Christi is also making necklaces, bracelets, and small
beads. She has been sewing and bead- a photographer and a member of the accessories, such as phone charms and
ing for over fifty years. Project by Carol Surface Design Association. Project by key chains. She sells her beadwork
Berry: Beaded Greeting Card (page 204). Christi Carter: Summer Rain Story Cloth through Etsy and consignment stores.
(page 212). Project by Clarissa Ceruti: Polka-Dot
Bracelet (page 123).

Lisa Criswell
scottsdale, AZ
indigosbeads@live.com
Lisa’s bead journey began in 2006
with designing tapestry pieces, which
she wove on a loom or with square
stitch. She developed and sold pat-
terns for her tapestries. Two years later,
a new world of beading opened to
Lisa as she began experimenting with
bead embroidery. Her active mind and
skilled hands are always seeking new
ways to create with beads. Projects
by Lisa Criswell: Autumn Crystals Belt
(page 96) and Summer Breeze Bracelet
(page 110).

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Denise Dineen Ann severine Marcie stone
GA and ME santa Fe, nM Portland, or
www.estsy.com/shop/atlanticneedlearts www.annseverine.com www.hanson-stone.com
www.atlanticneedlearts.wordpress.com www.hansonstonehandmade.etsy.com
After her first beading class in 1991,
Denise began beading in 1994. Prior Ann felt like Alice falling down the rabbit Marcie's passion for beading began in
to the Bead Journal Project, her primary hole. From childhood, she knitted, cro- the early 1980s when she used beads to
focus was designing holiday ornaments cheted, embroidered, and sewed, always embellish her pine-needle baskets. This
worked in peyote stitch. Since then, using patterns. With beads she is now evolved into sculptural seed-bead work,
journaling through bead embroidery free of this dependence on the work of which is central to her creative process.
has become her passion. Denise is others, experiencing the joy of creativity Fascinated by the way the different beads
also a calligrapher and a juried mem- and teaching. Project by Ann Severine: play against each other, Marcie cre-
ber of the League of New Hampshire Saraguro Lace Collar (page 118). ates jeweled encrustations influenced by
Craftsmen. Projects by Denise Dineen: organic forms. Project by Marcie Stone:
Vermillion Heart Pin (page 100) and Barnacle Brooch (page 90).
Serenity (page 208).

sylvia Windhurst rochelle Zawisza


richmond, ri Henderson, nV
www.windyriver.etsy.com www.justbeads.wordpress.com
http://windyriver.blogspot.com www.flickr.com/photos/justbeads
justbeads@ymail.com
After years of working as a graphic artist,
Sylvia reconnected with handwork, revisit- Rochelle’s fascination with beading began
ing her previous passions for beading and with a Mill Hill Christmas Ornament kit
embroidery. She particularly enjoys bead in 1990. Although she has since learned
embroidery and off-loom bead weaving. many complex techniques and projects, her
Many of her pieces combine those two passion centers around making holiday-
techniques, along with surface or crewel themed items using peyote stitch with
embroidery. Project by Sylvia Windhurst: Delicas and Swarovski crystals. Projects
Fan Earrings (page 104). by Rochelle Zawisza: Stocking Ornament
(page 82) and Miniature Basket (page 86).

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rEsourCE List

The sources listed below are recommended by the author and a wide selection of quality beads and beading supplies. Each
contributors to this book as friendly, reliable retailers that offer of them accepts major credit cards and overseas orders.

Fusion beads storm Cloud trading


Seattle, WA St. Paul, MN
store: 206-782-4595 651-645-0343
online: 888-781-3559 www.beadstorm.com
FusionBeads.com BeadStorm1@aol.com
info@fusionbeads.com
Twenty-five years in business! Great selection of seed beads,
Excellent online source for all beading needs; inspiring selec- Swarovski crystal elements, pressed glass, stone beads, leather,
tion of seed beads with color-accurate pictures and sort-by- and beading supplies. If it’s not on the website, call or email—
color feature; quality tools and supplies; volume discounts; they probably