Create a Necklace from a Gorgeous Beaded Butterfly
Now that Karen Parker’s second beaded butterfly eBook is available, I’m sure you’re eager to stitch a whole new group of butterflies. Brick-Stitch Beaded Butterflies: 12 Patterns Inspired by Nature includes the well-known African Monarch Butterfly, the unique Glasswing Butterfly, and the colorful Marcella Pansy Daggerwing Butterfly, among others. All the butterflies are available in a butterfly-of-the-month kit.
These butterflies would be beautiful hung in a kitchen window or combined into a mobile. But why leave such gorgeous creatures at home? Wouldn’t you rather show them off?
Karen likes to create necklaces from her stitched butterflies. She recently shared a quick technique with us for adding straps to a beaded butterfly.
To learn more about Karen and her beaded butterflies, see “Learn How to Brick Stitch an Easy Beaded Butterfly” and “Get Inspired by Nature and Brick Stitch a Gorgeous Butterfly.”
Creating a Necklace
I usually like to make my butterflies into necklaces. My favorite technique is making spiral rope straps* using size 11 seed beads that coordinate with the colors of the Delica beads in the butterfly. However, sometimes I don’t feel that I have the right seed beads in my stash to really complement the butterfly. I could use the same Delica beads as in the butterfly for the spiral rope straps, but I find Delicas to be uncomfortably prickly to wear.
[*Find this technique in both of Karen’s butterfly eBooks: Brick-Stitching Nature: Charts for Beaded Butterflies, Dragonflies, and a Honeybee and Brick-Stitch Beaded Butterflies: 12 Patterns Inspired by Nature.]
An easy alternative is to string Delicas with either SuperDuos or Twins. This method allows you to use the same Delica beads that are in the butterfly, and it’s faster than creating a spiral rope. I used this technique to turn my Western Blue Charaxes butterfly into a necklace. I used blue iris SuperDuos and two colors of Delicas (DB0696 — silver-lined translucent frosted cobalt and DB2054 — transparent luminous color-lined neon teal blue) with a silver toggle clasp.
Stitching the Straps
Using a size 10 beading needle and a comfortable length of FireLine braided beading thread, string a Delica to use as a stop bead. It doesn’t matter what color bead you use, because you’ll remove it later. Leave a 6″ tail. String 3 Delicas (1 frosted cobalt, 1 teal blue, 1 frosted cobalt) and 1 SuperDuo. Repeat this pattern to the desired strap length.
End with a SuperDuo, then string a wire guard and one half of the toggle clasp. Pass back through the other hole of the SuperDuo.
Complete the other edge of the strap by stringing 3 new Delicas (1 frosted cobalt, 1 teal blue, 1 frosted cobalt) and passing back through the open hole of the next SuperDuo; repeat to the end of the strap. End with three Delica beads.
Repeat all these steps for a second strap, using the other half of the toggle clasp.
Attaching the Straps
Remove the stop bead and add another needle to the tail thread. You now have two needles, one on each end of the thread. Use each needle and thread to stitch into the tips of the butterfly’s wings at the outermost bead of the last two rows.
If the stitching is too tight, switch to a size 12 needle. You don’t want to break any of the beads along the edge of the butterfly wings!
Pull firmly on both ends of the thread to nestle the Delica beads against the edge of the wings. Stitch tightly enough that no thread shows but not so tight that the necklace straps bunch up.
Weave through several rows of the butterfly along the outside edges of the wings, making a series of half-hitch knots as you go. Trim the threads.
Repeat all these steps to attach the second strap to the other butterfly wing.
This quick method of creating a necklace from a beaded butterfly will allow you to turn all your winged creatures into wearable art!
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine
Discover plenty of butterfly projects in the Interweave Store!