Creating a Beaded Bead from Scratch

The theme of the February/March 2020 issue of Beadwork magazine is beaded beads. I was so inspired by all of the beaded bead projects, that I wanted to try my hand at designing and creating one of my own. I’ve been making jewelry professionally since 2004, but I am just a newbie when it comes to having my designs published. (My first published bead weaving project was on the cover of December 2019/January 2020 Beadwork!)

I am intrigued by the geometrical challenge provided by beaded objects and sculptural beadwork. I have fallen in love with the new Ginko 2-hole beads and wanted to see how they played in three dimensions. So, I started laying beads out on my mat and started figuring it out!

Everything you need to make a beaded bead just like Meredith’s

Everything you need to make a beaded bead just like Meredith’s

Designing a Beaded Bead

The beginning of my design process is always messy. I must have had a thousand bags of beads out all over my desk. Trying this, trying that, lots of stitching and unstitching. I settled on a design and whittled the mess on my desk down to just the components I needed.

Here’s a designing tip: keep track of the steps you take along the way, or you’ll go from start to finish and have no clue how you got there! Being a visual person, I snapped pictures at every round to show myself what I did. If you’re less technologically-inclined, a notepad with some scribbled illustrations or text would be very useful, too. Following my own photo notes made it much easier when it came time to replicate.

Meredith takes photos of each step through the designing process.

Meredith takes photos of each step through the designing process.

Before finishing the beaded bead, I inserted a large metallic gold bead to help keep the structure sound. I finished the ends with some Cymbals Mitakas side beads, and I created a loop at the top so it can be hung as a pendant or ornament. I love my beaded bead, and I’m very happy with how it turned out!

The final beaded bead!

The final beaded bead!

Have you ever designed a beaded bead? Let us know in the comments!

Meredith Steele
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine


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