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Bead embroidery pendant with blue pearls tutorial - part one

Gimme the Blues!!
A piece of bead embroidery like this might look complicated, but it's really pretty easy when you break it down.  And that's exactly what I'm going to do today and next week!  So grab your seed beads, a pretty focal, some foundation fabric, and join me in this project.

Focal mix, magnesite

Pearl mix, cultured freshwater

Size 8/0 seed beads (I used Dyna-Mites)
Color-lined aqua blue

Size 11/0 seed beads (I used Preciosa and Dyna-Mites)
Opaque blue
Opaque sea blue
Iris blue

Size 15/0 seed beads (I used Dyna-Mites)


Nymo, black, size O
Beading needles
Foundation fabric, like ultra-suede

Double sided tape

1. Stick your stone down with a small piece of double sided tape, or glue it if you prefer.  Back stitch around the stone, stitching size 11/0 seed beads in groups of four.  If you absolutely can't make it work out to be divisible by four, you can add a second row of beads outside of this one later and try again.  I usually find that if I cull my beads properly and find some smaller and some larger, I can make it work.  Run your thread through all the beads again and cinch it up by taking a few stitches in the back of the fabric.

2. Add a row of peyote stitch to the foundation row, and step up at the end.  

3. Add as many more rows of peyote as necessary to reach the top of the stone.  Add one more row of either slightly smaller size 11/0s or add size 15/0 seed beads to cinch in the top and keep the stone secure.  My stone was curved in such a way that I could stick with 11/0s...this is not always the case!

4. I decided to add an African helix stitch pattern to the bezel.  The first row stitches through every fourth bead in the foundation row (this is why you need to stitch it in multiples of four, although you could choose other multiples and adjust accordingly).  Each stitch consists of two size 15/0s, three size 11/0s in one color, and two size 11/0s in a second color.

5. The second row of African helix also starts with two size 15/0s, and increases the first color of 11/0s to four.  The thread loops between the two size 11/0 colors in the first row, and that point is also tacked down to the fabric by stitching through.  Now the embellishing fun really begins!!

Part two will be posted next week

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.  If you need more help with African helix or other stitches, my e-book Bored By Back Stitch has instructions for twelve different motifs that you can stitch around your bezeled stones.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

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.


Mia said…
What a beautiful pendant! I can't waiting for the part 2! Kisses, my friend.
Cyndi L said…
I hope you are having a wonderful summer, Mia!!
Robbie said…
You always make the 'project' look so easy...and your instructions are easy to follow...lovely piece!
Cyndi L said…
You're very kind! The projects ARE easy as long as you take your time and don't stress about perfection. I don't aim for perfection :-)