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Jewel bead embroidery pendants - a tutorial

A couple of years ago, while visiting my daughter, I found an interesting necklace during one of our vintage and junk shop forays.  My best guess is that the necklace is from the 1980s...big, sparkly, and slightly over-the-top!  The resin "gems" are supposed to look like opals.  Sort of.  It was only $20 for all those potential cabochons!

The gems were all linked together, and it was extremely easy to unattach a few of them with a simple pair of pliers.  After stitching them down (around the prongs) to a piece of foundation material, I added a few rows of back stitch with size 11/0 seed beads, used edging brick stitch to attach a backing (as shown below), and added picots in size 15/0 seed beads around the raw edges.  The final step was to add a square stitch bail to the back so that they could be worn as pendants.

Each one took only an afternoon or an evening to complete!

Step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel, and Chapter three teaches the square stitch bail.

Another of my e-books, Arm Candy, goes into a lot of detail about how to attach just about any type of vintage jewelry piece into your mixed media bead embroidery.  Although the projects in it focus on bracelets, the general information is applicable to making pendants, necklaces, and earrings as well.

Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Robbie said…
Talk about 'repurposing'!! Your find was turned into something really beautiful!!! And you know I have 2 or your ebooks! Maybe more! HA Thanks for sharing and inspiring as, as always!!
Cyndi L said…
Thanks Robbie! The prongs on these pieces made them super easy to stitch down to the foundation. I'm planning on making a larger piece with a bunch of them :-)
Bobbie said…
What a great idea! It's good to be reminded to go through antique and junk shops with an eye for the "what if?" possibilities.
Cyndi L said…
Thanks Bobbie! I've made it a practice over the years to the point that I'm *swimming* in great finds :-)