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Janie's Embellished Beads - A Tutorial

Here's a basic bead for you to embellish in countless ways. (You'll find instructions for these beads on the other pages of this site. Links are at the bottom of the pages.) You can vary the basic bead by changing the size of the main color and/or contrast beads. Instead of Delicas and Triangles, try 11/0 seed beads and 8/0s or Triangles and 6/0s. Substitute Twisted Hex for the Triangles. Vary the count: Instead of starting with 8 beads, begin with 12; instead of beading 18 rows, bead 22 or 24. Once you have created the basic bead, begin embellishing the bead by adding short fringe, teardrops, large beads. But, before you start...

A New Beginning

I was thinking...I hate the usual start: "string on the first two rows of beads and tie in a circle." So, here's a new way to begin either even or odd-count circular peyote cord.

1. String the number of beads needed for two rows, an 8 count for the basic bead. (I'm working in one color, but I did a sample using a contrast bead to better illustrate the process.)

2. Bring the needle around and enter the first bead.

3. Skip every other bead, placing the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th beads on the needle.

4. Pull the working thread until the beads form a circle.

5. Put the needle through the next bead and snug the circle. If you're making an odd-count spiral, you will come around and through the next bead. Then proceed by placing on a bead which is the same as the bead which the needle has come out of.

TIP: A toothpick makes a handy mandrel to bead around. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and allows you to firmly hold the beaded portion as you add rows.

The Basic Bead

Delicas (MC=main color), #10 Triangle Beads (CC=Contrast color), Silamide or Nymo

Rows 1,2 & 3: String 8 Delicas (MC) and work as described above (or tie in circle). Slip on toothpick. Work 1 row peyote with Delicas (4 beads).

Row 4: Work 1 row peyote with Triangle beads (CC)(4 beads).

Row 5: Work 1 row peyote with MC, adding 2 Delicas in each space (2-drop peyote)(8 beads).

*Rows 6&7: Work 1 row peyote with Triangle beads (4 beads). Work 1 row of 2-drop peyote with MC.**

Repeat from * to ** until you have 6 Triangle beads in a row down the bead.

End with 3 rows of 1-drop peyote in Delicas.

The Porcupines

When you have finished the basic bead, take your needle through the beads to one side of a Triangle bead in row 4. Add a spine (3 seed beads, 1 Triangle, 1 seed bead, 1 Triangle, and back through the 3 seed beads) to where your thread emerged from the bead.

Take the needle through the Triangle to the other side. Add a spine and take the needle through the two Delicas to the right of the next Triangle. Repeat this to each side of every Triangle in the basic bead. The larger bead in the photo has two spines at each side of the triangle beads. It also has 24 rows instead of 18.

TIP: Using Delicas for the three beads will create stiffer spines. For floppier spines, use 15/0 or 11/0 round seed beads.

Click here to go to instructions for the Flutterby and Butterfly beads.

New Embellished Beads, including "Flower Power," "Cross Stitch Ball," and "DiskO,"

"More Basic Beads"

"The Mighty Melon"

"Green, Green Leaves" and the NEW spiral bead

"The Spiral Cookbook"

"How Does Your Garden Grow?" made with variations of the Flutterby Bead

NEW Beads! The Chrysanthemum, Jaunty Jonquil, Bell, and Basic Variation #1! All in "The Bronze Age" necklace

"Topaz Medley"

Site Updated September 4, 2006. Copyright © Janie Warnick 2006. All rights reserved.