Beaded Jewelry Design Tips from a Beadwork Magazine Designer Of the Year


From Jennifer: Ever wonder how some of your favorite bead artists come up with ideas for new beaded jewelry designs? Today’s blog on Beading Daily comes from Beadwork magazine Designer Of the Year, Christina Neit. Read on to find out how Christina turns beading into play — with some great results for those of us who love her beading patterns!

One of the questions asked most often is: how do you come up with a design? Most of the time, I am designing with a specific bead in mind. I will take that bead and gather seed beads and potential other beads I want to use and lay them out on my table. I will dump out small piles and literally, start playing with them to see if I can make something work. Sometimes, this is a simple process and other times, not. I think if I have a general idea beforehand, this is usually done up easily, if not, then I can plan on some serious time involved to come up with anything.

I also enjoy designing bead embroidery as a tutorial, not just bead weaving. Some of my embroidery tutorials have bead weaving on them as well as embroidery, the best of both worlds.

My advice on designing is to do what feels most comfortable to you and when you are in a mentally ‘happy place’. Some like to draw designs, some just drop the beads down and ‘play’, whatever works for you is the right way. Be aware of how the seed beads work in the overall design. Can you swap out brand names? If not, then you need to be specific when you write the tutorial. All beads are not created equal. Use colors that work nicely together. If you are not color inclined, than there are plenty of color palettes available that you can search for. Make several color option samples. I usually make my first one; then on the second, I make the tutorial; then on the third, I double check the tutorial to make sure everything is right.

You can see some of the results of Christina’s “play time” with her beads in her gorgeous Designer Of the Year patterns and projects, including the Line ‘Em Up bracelet. This fun and funky bracelet uses two different types of 2-hole beads, seed beads, peyote stitch, netting, and right-angle weave to create a cool textured piece of beaded jewelry. If you want to make this cool cover project from the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Beadwork magazine, we’ve got you covered: check out the Line ‘Em Up Bracelet kit, and the Beadwork Project workshop video to go along with it.

Melinda Barta takes you each step of the way as you stitch this innovative bracelet, covering everything you need to know. The complete bead kit includes everything you need to make your bracelet — all you have to supply are your favorite needles and beading thread.

For a limited time, you can get the Beadwork Project workshop video for no additional charge when you buy the kit. Just add both to your shopping cart, and the discount will be automatically applied at checkout! So go ahead and take advantage of this special offer, and make something special for yourself!

Do you design your own beaded jewelry? What advice would you have to someone who is looking for ways to come up with new designs? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your ideas and tips with us!

Bead Happy,


P.S. You can read more about Christina and her beadwork on her blog and website.

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