Recognize this photo? I re-vamped an old beaded bead tutorial for the middle bead in the “stack”. Today, I’m going to share a totally original tutorial for the bead in the bottom of the “stack”, the largest one.
This tutorial uses four different sizes of beads and what is basically a circular peyote stitch (or a netted stitch, if you prefer). A quick run down of your supplies in relation to a 4mm round as the largest in the bead: 4 4mm round spacer beads, 8 3mm spacer beads (in this a size 8/0 seed bead), 4 size 10/0 or 11/0 seed beads, and some size 11/0 seed beads all in complementary colors (plus the requisite needle, thread, and beeswax).
We start with alternating four of your 3mm beads with four of your smallest 11/0 beads. [Sidenote: I refer to small and large 11/0 beads in this tutorial mostly because I used both Japanese Delicas and Czech seed beads for this project, and the Japanese were smaller than the Czech beads. You do want two sizes for this project, and just because they’re both classified as 11/0 doesn’t mean they’re the same exact size. I’ve written more extensively about bead sizes, if you’re interested in a long winded explanation.]
Tie these eight beads in a circle. Knots are fine here, they’ll soon hide themselves.
Make sure your thread is exiting through one of the 11/0’s and thread 5 more 11/0’s onto your needle. Then, pick up the next 11/0 in your circle, skipping the 8/0 bead.
Continue this pattern all the way around your circle. Each time you exit an 11/0 bead from your circle, add five more, and go to the next 11/0.
When you finish your circle, thread your needle through your first loop of 11/0’s, as if you were going to continue your pattern. Exit through the third 11/0, or the one at the middle of your loop.
At this point you’ve got a florette looking thing going on, with the thread exiting out of the top of the piece.
String one of your 4mm spacers and then pick up the next “point” bead in the circle. This is the 3rd bead in the loop of 11/0’s.
Continue this all the way around the circle- you’ll now have used up your 4 4mm spacers. Do you see a pattern? It’s the same pick-up-a-bead, skip-a-bead pattern of the circular peyote stitch, or a netted stitch, just using different sizes of bead in order to create a nice concise round bead.
When you pull the bead taut, you’ll get this sort of effect. You could easily stop here and use it as a bead cap.
Looking at it from the top you’ll see that there are some rather large gaps between the 4mm spacers.
With your thread exiting a spacer bead, add one of your 4 larger seed beads and go through the next spacer bead in the circle. Continue this pattern all the way around.
Do the same exact thing with 4 more of your smaller 11/0’s to create a base for the finishing loops.
At this point you’re repeating the same steps as you did before, going through an 11/0 from your circle, adding 5 11/0 seed beads, and going through the next 11/0 in the circle to create loops.
Again, you need to finish with your thread coming out of the peak bead of one of your loops. Basically, we’re creating the first half of the bead backwards in order to close it off.
In order to finally close the bead, pick up one of your 3mm beads (or 8/0 beads) and then go through the next “peak” bead.
Repeat to finish your circle.
Tie off your thread however you prefer.
Sometimes this leaves a rather cylindrical final product. If you’re looking for a rounder effect, you can stitch back and forth through the bead connecting the 3mm beads (or 8/0 beads).
With a little bit of tension in your stitches, a rounder final product is totally feasible.
You can also work this technique around a cord or a larger wire. Usually I recommend not trying to force a cord through the bead in order to save the cord the added stress. Working around the cord from the beginning is a good way to save the stress.
You can also alter the technique by adding more “sections” to your circle to create a differently shaped bead, in this case a saucer shaped bead. These make great pendants, hoop earrings, whatever you can think of!
As you can probably tell beaded beads are some of my favorites. I love these especially well and would love to see what you make with them!