5 Beaded Jewelry Components You Need in Your Arsenal
The Beaded Jewelry Components
Experimentation is the heart of creating, and while there is a certain satisfaction in following patterns, it will never be as fulfilling as designing something of your own. Unfortunately, what is fulfilling is also always difficult, annoying, and time consuming. Luckily, in beading, there’s a convenient middle ground: components. Having an extensive mental catalog of beaded components can enhance your agility and creative potential as a designer. Learning to use a single component in several different ways will train your brain to think in the abstract and innovate more easily. Read on to get to know some of our favorite components and discover how to flex your design muscles without having to start from scratch. Because the path of mild resistance is a perfectly fine place to be.
Melinda Barta, beadweaving expert and former editor of Beadwork magazine, has designed a versatile and pretty component. This component can be easily modified and combined with other components. It’s also incredibly simple to stitch. We particularly like how it’s used in this pair of earrings which combines two trefoils of different sizes: one with three melon rounds and one with four. Melons are a great way to add texture to your piece, but any round bead will work. Use a pearl for a soft, feminine look or a silver-plated round for sleek, modern feel. The trefoil is also easy and fun to embellish. Use netting and seed beads to adorn the tops of the melon rounds, as seen in the earrings, or add another layer of brick stitch and picots to the outside edge.
Add the Trefoil to your component bank with the Trefoil Earrings Collection, which includes all the materials to make them in a lovely blue and soft pink palette along with patterns for a bracelet and button clasp. We also threw in Melinda’s video where she’ll show you, in person, how to make the Trefoil component as well as two others: Duo Donuts and Duo Tubes.
Four-hole beads are a natural choice when creating ring-shaped beaded components. They’re ideal for forming sturdy structures and offer expansive design possibilities. The versatility of this component shines in the Rings of Unity Bracelet. This design features the QuadraRing in four iterations of increasing sizes to create a graduated look. The smallest component uses 4-hole lentils for a smaller, rounder ring. The next uses 4-hole tiles which creates an angular texture and adds surface area. The third component adds a row of O beads and seed beads. The final ring adds two sets of picots to create a dramatic focal. The QuadraRing is truly a workhorse of a component and an essential to have on hand. You can also easily throw it on an ear wire or piece of chain.
While a beaded flower component is every beader’s Achilles heel, this rosette is particularly irresistible. It’s not as simple as the Trefoil or QuadraRing but it’s a worthwhile challenge, especially if you like circular peyote and CRAW. Designed by the always impressive Cindy Holsclaw, this component will, without fail, make anything look prettier. For example, the Wild Roses Bracelet is made entirely of them and it’s gorgeous! The rosette is stitched with pressed-glass petals, rivolis, and seed beads but you could easily replace the petals with similarly-shaped beads from your stash. Or, for a more dimensional look, use different colors for the first and second row of petals.
The RounDuo Medallion
We love this component because it’s super easy to stitch and extremely customizable. Because the RounDuo is available in so many great colors, it’s also a fun way to play with color combinations and finishes. If you don’t have all these beads in your stash, like any good recipe, substitutions are welcome and even encouraged. For example, replace the 3mm fire-polished rounds with 4mm fire-polished rounds or Swarovski crystals for added bulk or sparkle. Learn to make the component by stitching the fun Aesop’s Nest Bracelet in a pretty green and gold palette.
The Tube Bead
A beaded bead is, of course, the ultimate beaded component. Of all the beaded beads we’ve come across over the years, this tube is one of the more unique designs and one of our favorites. It can be strung, as it is in the Carousel Bracelet, on a beaded strand, but wire or a store-bought cuff would look great as well. Use an interesting square-stitch/right-angle weave variation to form these sturdy beads in any color combination you can imagine.
The next time you’re at a loss about how to add depth, texture, or a floral feel to your beadwork, call upon these components and you may find that they have something to offer. And if not, push through and design your very own!
Get this product today in our shop!