Craft a Beaded Box for Someone Special
Yep, beads make fabulous jewelry, but there are so many great ways to use beads in crafts. Beadwork magazine editor Melinda Barta created this sweet little beaded box using seed beads and a large polymer clay focal bead, showing everyone just how versatile beads can be when you think outside the box.
Stitch up a couple of these lovely little beaded boxes to use this holiday season, or for a special birthday. I love the way little beaded boxes like these make me think differently about bead crafts!
Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was said to have kept a pet dove. Ever since, the dove has symbolized love. It's fitting, then, that I topped the little box that holds my wedding rings with a handmade polymer clay bead depicting a dove and a tree.
- 5 grams size 15 seed beads (mix of teal, matte teal, amber green AB, and white-lined teal)
- 2 grams white-lined mauve matte size 15 seed beads
- 58 turquoise 4mm fire-polished rounds
- 59 turquoise 3mm fire-polished rounds
- 1 dove-and-tree 42mm polymer clay bead with loop
- 1 spool of golden yellow Nymo size B beading thread
- 2 yellow 1 5/8" felt circles
- 1 clear 1 5/8" circle of quilter's template plastic
- Size 12 beading needle
Step 1: Make the band. Use the mix of green seed beads to peyote-stitch a strip 26 beads wide and 87 rows long. Zip the fist and last rows together to form a cylinder.
Step 2: Top edge. exit from an edge bead and string one 4mm round; skip 1 edge bead and pass down through the next edge bead and up through the following edge bead (Figure 1). Repeat twenty-seven times, or 1 bead short of reaching the first bead worked in this round.
Step 3: Weave through beads to pass through the last 4mm again. String 1 mauve seed bead and pass back through the 4mm round; repeat around to add 1 mauve bead between each 4mm. After passing back through the first 4mm, string 1 mauve and pass through the 4mm again (Figure 2). Secure the thread and trim.
Step 4: Bottom edge. Secure a new thread at the other side of the cylinder and exit from an edge bead. String 1 mauve, *one 4mm round, and 1 mauve; skip 1 edge bead and pass down through the next edge bead, up through the following edge bead, and back through the mauve (Figure 3). Repeat from * twenty-seven times. String one 4mm round and pass down through the first mauve.
Step 5: Weave through beads to pass through a 4mm round. String 1 mauve and pass through the next 4mm round twenty-nine times. Secure the thread and trim.
Step 6: Bottom lip. Working on the inside of the circle in the same edge beads worked in Step 4, add a ring of 3mm rounds (this will strengthen the base of the ring and hold the box floor): Exit from one of the edge beads skipped in Step 4, string one 3mm round, skip 2 edge beads, and pass up through the next edge bead (Figure 4); repeat all around twenty-eight times. Pass through the first 3mm round to add 1 mauve between each round as in Step 3.
Step 7: Upper lip. Working on the inside of the circle 3 beads down from the top edge, add a ring of 3mm rounds (this will support the clay bead lid): String one 3mm round, skip 2 beads of the band, and pass up through the next band bead (Figure 5) twenty-nine times. Pass through the first 3mm round to add 1 mauve between each round as in Step 3.
Step 8: Layer the plastic between the circles of felt and press into the box, creating a floor that rests on the bottom lip.
Step 9: Use 2' of thread to square-stitch a 3 bead x 3 bead square of mauve beads. Exiting from one corner, pass through the loop of the clay bead and down through the beads on the opposite side of the square. String one 3mm round, 12 mauve, one 4mm round, and 12 mauve; pass back through the 3mm round and the other side of the square (Figure 6). Pass through the beads twice more to reinforce, secure the thread, and trim.
Want to see more great bead craft projects and get more instruction from Melinda Barta? Check out Melinda's videos on Craft Daily! For the price of just one online class elsewhere, you can have access to some of Melinda's best beading videos like How to Stitch Custom Clasps and Finishing Touches for Beadwork. Subscribe to Craft Daily and get unlimited access to instruction from some of your favorite bead artists.