5 Simply Seeds Projects: Gorgeous Bead Weaving Using Only Seed Beads
You’ll find Simply Seeds projects in many issues of Beadwork magazine. These are projects that are “strictly seed beads”—and other beads that you may have in your stash (crystals, fire-polished rounds, bugles)—without any of the multi-hole shaped beads. We get a lot of requests for more projects like these, so I pawed through some recent back issues and found a plethora of tempting projects that you probably have the materials for already.
Dear reader, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got more seed beads than any one person has a right to have. I find them everywhere. Whole stashes of beads, often sorted by project, often “sorted” by never even being taken out of the local bead store shopping bag. The editors of Beadwork magazine hear you when you say you want more seed bead projects. We, too, hear the muffled pleas of our seed beads from inside zippered plastic bags, pop-top tubes, and tackle boxes. Please, use us!
Here are my five favorite Simply Seeds projects from recent issues of Beadwork magazine.
Mystical Portal Pendant
The Mystical Portal Pendant by Marianna Zukowsky is an intriguing take on a geometric peyote stitch and herringbone triangle. Using herringbone stitch to make peyote stitch turn corners opens up a whole world of geometric and sculptural beading that, lately, has me reaching for my cylinder beads. With just two different colors of Delica beads and a cocktail straw for reinforcing the structure, you can be whipping up some triangles in no time.
Materials (copper triangle):
2 g semi-matte champagne galvanized size 11° cylinder beads (A)
4 g copper galvanized size 11° cylinder beads (B)
1 copper 12×16mm Eye of Horus charm
1 antiqued copper-plated 6mm jump ring
1 plastic cocktail straw; 1⁄8″ diameter
Black 4 lb FireLine braided beading thread
Pop! Goes the Needle
Take your boring wooden needle cases to the next level with Kimberly Costello’s Pop! Goes the Needle project. Sand and paint a needle case, then bead a soda bottle themed sleeve to go around it. It’s just enough pattern-work to make you feel accomplished, without being too overwhelmingly large of a project. The addition of the little chrome mini bottle-caps to the lid is such a cute touch. I love beading things other than jewelry; this Simply Seeds project would make a great gift.
Materials (blue bottle):
1 g nickel finish size 15° cylinder beads
4 g rainbow royal blue opaque size 11° cylinder beads
1 g transparent lemonade rainbow size 11° cylinder beads
0.5 g yellow rainbow opaque size 11° cylinder beads
0.5 g black opaque size 11° cylinder beads
0.5 g brick red opaque size 11° cylinder beads
1 g matte mandarin orange size 11° cylinder beads
0.5 g dark red rainbow opaque size 11° cylinder beads
0.5 g dark red opaque size 11° cylinder beads
1 chrome 17x4mm mini bottle cap
1 Collins brand 2 1/4″; wooden needle case
Dark blue size A Silamide waxed nylon beading thread
Acrylic craft paint to match bead color B
Sanding paper, coarse- and fine-grit
Shae Wilhite’s Chapel Windows bangle bracelets look just like bead crochet, but they are made with the much-easier-to-do tubular brick stitch. The design was inspired by the quatrefoil windows of Gothic architecture and the beads line up perfectly to create a lovely geometric pattern. There are boundless color options in size 8° seed beads and you only need three colors for a bangle. This would be a great stash-buster for the little dregs of seed beads leftover from previous projects!
Materials (turquoise bangle):
4 g turquoise Picasso size 8° seed beads
10 g metallic bronze size 8° seed beads
4 g matte cream opaque size 8° seed beads
Smoke 6 lb FireLine braided beading thread
Royal Countess Cuff
The base structure of Regina Payne’s enchanting Royal Countess Cuff uses a variation of peyote stitch and is then embellished with crystals and seed beads. The sparkly crystals and rich metallic seed beads will surely hold your interest as you stitch up this beauty. With pointy picots and embellishment on top of beadwork to add depth, this gorgeous bracelet will make you feel like royalty.
5 g metallic light gold bronze iris size 15° Japanese seed beads
0.5 g gilt-lined white opal size 11° Japanese seed beads
2 g higher metallic amethyst size 11° Japanese cylinder beads
2 g 24k gold-plated rainbow rose size 11° Japanese cylinder beads
66 crystal purple haze 3mm crystal bicones
34 amethyst 3mm crystal bicones
1 golden shadow 8mm crystal marguerite lochrose flower
Smoke 6 lb FireLine braided beading thread
Forget Me Not Hoops
Estelita Chiles combines peyote stitch and cubic right-angle weave to create these Forget Me Not Hoops. She’s added dimensional golden centers to the embellished flower designs for an unforgettable pair of earrings. Made from size 15° and size 11° seed beads, these earrings—like the forget-me-not flower—would be a lovely symbol of a connection that lasts through time.
Materials (lavender hoops):
3 g gold galvanized size 15° Japanese seed beads
2 g silver-lined lavender size 15° Japanese seed beads
2 g silver-lined emerald AB size 15° Japanese seed beads
2 g lavender luster opaque size 11° Japanese seed beads
3 g jade AB opaque size 11° Japanese seed beads
2 gold-plated 5mm jump rings
1 pair of gold-plated 20×18mm ear wires
Green One-G nylon beading thread
While I am a huge fan of shaped beads and all of the bead weaving possibilities they create, seed beads alone are the foundation upon which my love for bead weaving was created. When I first picked up a needle and thread with the intention of sticking some beads together, it was some size 8° seed beads and circular peyote stitch. Nowadays my preference is more elaborate, intricate beadwork that’ll knock your socks off—but I will never lose that sense of awe that you could use tiny beads to create something more.
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine