Beaded Home Decor and More!

My fair Jean CampbellMy Fair Beader
I attended the 20th anniversary celebration of the Upper Midwest Bead Society last weekend. The event was a proper high tea, complete with sandwiches and cakes, lacy tablecloths, and flowers everywhere. You know, I tend to get a little bawdy when I’m around a group of fun girls, so for this event I had to channel Eliza Doolittle (“I washed my face and hands before I come, I did.”) in order to remember my manners. I mean really, there were even a few women with gloves on! Anyway, the event was simply lovely—a beautiful expression of how volunteer organizations like bead societies can create the most fabulous events.




I could have beaded all night
The tea party invitation requested that we wear our Sunday best (yes, lots of “beaders’ handshakes” going on), but also to decorate and wear a bonnet to be judged during the event. You should have seen the entries! Everything from a straw hat with brooches pinned on to a fully-beaded flapper-style cloche. What struck me while watching all the ladies strolling around in their bead-decorated hats was how jewelry-centric I am when I sit down to design something. I automatically go to necklace, bracelet, or earrings—the “jeweler’s troika.” But I have an inkling I’m not alone in this habit, right?



beaded scarf edging

Wouldn't it be 'loverly'
We all know there are many other ways to express yourself in beads. A quick visit to the Beading Daily store’s Home Decor and Gifts section should be inspiration enough. One project catching my eye today is Sandie Abel’s embroidered Beaded Butterfly––a great addition to a tea hat, don't you think?  And while I'm thinking about it, next time I host a high tea I could sew rich-looking trim to my table linens using the edging technique in my Beaded Scarf project. 




Show me
So in my never-ending effort to expand my thinking about the possibilities of beads, I’ve done a quick brainstorm of non-troika designs. Things that aren’t too over the top, you know? Things I’d definitely like to have around, but don’t scream, “You’re a freaky bead lady!”

  • Scarf, sweater, purse edgings
  • Furniture “jewelry” like tassels and chains
  • Shower curtain slides
  • Letter openers
  • Belts
  • Fan pulls
  • Serving utensils

What would you add to this list? Do you get stuck inside the jewelry troika like me, or do you find it easy to design other types of beadworked pieces? And most importantly, does Professor Higgins really think I can ever become a lady? Please share your thoughts below and on the Beading Daily forums!


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