When I first discovered the incredible world of making my own jewellery, I spent hours scouring the net for new techniques to try out and discovered seed beads. I immediately decided this was what I wanted to do and bought everything I could lay my hands on... quite a few years later and the majority of them are still sitting in a box untouched. I sometimes add to them with some pretty new colours that I won't use either, but ultimately, I don't have the patience to spend hours creating a whole design in them.
During the few months that I did attempt to create something with them, I became obsessed with beaded beads, and spent many a happy hour tying myself up in knots. I did manage to create one design for a simple bead though, so I thought I'd share it with you today.
They're really simple and quick to make up, but I've never written a pattern before, so I hope I haven't over complicated it and you can follow along...
12 x 4mm beads. (anything will do as long as you can pass the thread through 2 or 3 times)
12 x drops. (Mine were made with miyuki 3.4mm drops)
40 x size 15 seed beads.
Nymo or similar thread
2 x beading needles
To start, take a 3 foot length of nymo and thread a needle on to each end.
Pick up 3 x 4mm beads and let them drop to the middle of your thread so you have an equal tail on each side. Pick up one more 4mm bead, thread the right needle through right to left and the left needle left to right to make a ring.
Pick up one 4mm bead with each needle, then one more and thread right needle right to left and left needle left to right to make a loop above the first.
Repeat again, to make 3 loops.
Add one bead on each needle, and pass the right needle from right to left on the bottom bead and the left from left to right through the bottom bead. This should form a cube. Pass around the beads until the two threads are opposite and keeping your tension tight, tie a knot to keep the shape. There are usually a couple of spots where the beads aren't connected to 3 others, so weave around until you have a nice solid cube. Try not to go through too many times though as you need to leave space to get the needle and thread through again later on.
Next pick up a drop, thread through to the next 4mm bead, pick up a drop and thread through... keep going until you have 4 drops as in the picture and exit through a drop. (the pink is what will be the centre hole in the finished bead)
Pick up 5 size 15 seeds and thread through the next drop. Pick up 5 and thread through the next drop, continue until your bead looks like the picture below.
Flip the bead, threading through so that you exit on a 4mm bead, and repeat starting with the 4 drops and then 4 sets of size 15's until the bottom is the same as the top.
Pass through 3 size 15's, pick up a drop, pass through the 3rd size 15 on the bottom from right to left, back up through the drop, through the 3rd seed on the left hand side, through the size 15's on the right and through the drop. Pull tight so that the size 15's are drawn in to the centre making an 'X' with the drop in the middle. I've spread this picture out a bit so you can see the thread path, but yours should be nice and tight!
Repeat 3 more times, until there is a drop in the centre of each side of the bead.
To finish, tie a knot, add a drop of glue and weave the tail through a couple more beads and snip.
Phew... I hope you managed to understand all that! I don't envy those of you who write patterns regularly!
These are really addictive to make, I loved them with semi precious round stones, such as moonstone and garnets and pretty AB coated drops, and they make great bracelets with a whole stack of them strung together.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and that you'll have a go... I bet you can't make just one!