Make Beaded Flowers: Melinda Barta’s Custom Cool Spring Blossoms
Melinda Barta is a talented artist and well versed in many skills. Bead weaving is one place where her creativity sings with a clear pitch, and never falls flat. It’s springtime, and my mind is wandering and looking for the first sign of flowers. The beaded flowers in this Custom Cool bead weaving project by Melinda will help satisfy my needs, for now. I hope it will spark your creativity or possibly bring flowers to your jewelry designs, too.
ABOVE: Charm, earring, pin, pendant, or clasp—these sweet flower-and-leaf components are remarkably versatile; shown below, joining components together to create a springy necklace design.
Custom Cool Beaded Flowers: Spring Blossoms
By Melinda Barta
size 14° seed beads for flower (A)
size 14° seed beads for leaf (B)
4x3mm potato pearls
nylon beading thread in color to match beads
size 10 beading needle
curved floral 38x12mm brass connectors (optional)
Finished size: 3⁄8” x 5⁄8″ (one flower with leaf)
Making Beaded Flowers
Working with tight tension so the beadwork cups, use circular peyote stitch, right-angle weave, and picots to form the beaded flower:
Round 1: Use 18″ of conditioned thread to string 3A. Pass through the first bead strung.
Round 2: Work 1A in each stitch using peyote stitch. Step up for the next and subsequent rounds by passing through the first bead added in the current round.
Round 3: Work 2A in each stitch using peyote stitch (Fig. 1).
Round 4: Work 1A in each stitch using peyote stitch, splitting the pairs of the previous round (Fig. 2).
Round 5: String 3A; pass through the last A exited and the first A just added to create the first right-angle-weave unit. String 2A; pass back through the next A of Round 4 and pass through the side A of the previous unit, the 2A just added, and the next A of Round 4. String 2A, pass through the side A of the previous unit, the last A exited in Round 4, and the first A just added. Repeat around to add a total of 5 units.
To form the last unit, string 1A, pass through the side A of the first unit, back through the next A of Round 4, and through the side A of the previous unit and the A just added (Fig. 3).
Round 6: String 3A and pass through the top A of the next unit in Round 5 to form a picot; repeat around for a total of 6 picots (Fig. 4). Weave through beads to exit from Round 4 on the back of the cupped beadwork.
Making a Beaded Leaf
Working with tight tension so the beadwork cups, use flat peyote stitch to form a small leaf:
Rows 1 and 2: String 5B.
Row 3 (leaf top): Work 2 stitches with 1B in each. String 1B and pass through the last A exited in the flower’s Round 4 and the first B of Row 1.
Row 4 (leaf bottom and tip): Work 2 stitches with 1B in each stitch. String 1B and pass through the first B of Row 3 (Fig. 5).
Row 5 (leaf top): Work 2 stitches with 1B in each stitch. Weave through beads to exit the first bead of Row 4.
Row 6 (leaf bottom): Work 1 stitch with 1B. Weave through beads to exit the first bead of Row 5.
Row 7 (leaf top): Work 1 stitch with 1B (Fig. 6). Weave through beads to exit the last A exited in Round 4 and several beads of the flower to exit 1A of Round 1 toward the center of the flower.
Finishing the Beaded Flowers
Add 1 pearl to the center of 1 beaded flower and connect it to 2 brass links (or finish as desired):
Pearl: String 1 pearl and 1A; pass back through the pearl and 1A of Round 1 or Round 3. Repeat thread path several times to secure and center the pearl inside the flower.
Connectors: Weave through beads to exit 1A of Round 2. String one end of 1 connector (front to back) and 1A.
Pass back through the connector and through the last A exited in Round 2. Repeat thread path several times to secure, but do not use tension that is too tight as it may prevent the connector from lying flat when worn. Weave through beads to exit 1A of Round 2 on the opposite side of the flower and repeat as before using a second connector. Continue adding pearls and joining connectors in the same manner until the desired necklace length is achieved (the sample shown uses 11 connectors to form a 17″ necklace).
Clasp: Use 8″ of conditioned thread to string 34A, pass through the free end of 1 final connector, and pass back through the seventh-to-last bead strung to form a small loop around the connector. Pass through the first 27 beads strung to form the clasp loop. Repeat thread path several times; secure the thread and trim. Connect a final beaded flower to the free end of the other final connector and, to wear, slip the clasp loop over the flower.
Personalize Your Jewelry Components
Dress up and customize brass findings by adding color with Gilders Paste: Use a paintbrush to apply the color(s) of your choice (Patina and German Silver were used here) and wipe away any excess paste with a soft cloth. Allow 12 hours for the paste to completely dry and set. Clean your paintbrush with mineral spirits or, for easy cleanup, use an inexpensive brush and simply discard it after use.
Brand New to Beading?
Melinda shares 5 Basic Beading Terms in this quick video.
MELINDA BARTA is a former editor of Beadwork magazine and the author of six books published by Interweave. She has filmed many instructional videos on bead-weaving techniques, taught at craft schools and bead shows nationwide, and shared her love of crafting on DIY, PBS, HGTV, Style, and local television networks. Melinda is a consultant for Starman, Inc., and a Starman TrendSetter. Visit www.melindabarta.com and www.melindabartastudio.etsy.com.