Top 20 Beadwork Patterns of All Time

Beadwork Celebrates 20 Years of Publication with Editors’ Choice of Patterns from the First 20 Years

When the Beadwork team first started pulling together fun facts and interesting images from the past twenty years to include in the 20th Anniversary Issue, I tasked each of my teammates with combing through 7 or 8 years’ worth of back issues and selecting projects they’d love to make themselves! What follows is the list of projects that we came up with, from the very first special issue in 1996 through the 2017 issues. We’ve given you a bit of insight into why we love these patterns, plus a link to the project or issue download in the Interweave Store so you can make them for yourself!

We hope you have as much fun perusing the following projects as we had collecting them! Enjoy!

by Megan Lenhausen, former Project Editor

1996: Newsstand-only Special Issue, Bead Dreams, Heather Ahlstrom
Simple peyote stitch patterns are still the apple of many beaders’ eyes! I love these sweet designs featuring bananas, apples, and lemons. Check it out inside the first ever issue of Beadwork!
Bead Dreams by Heather Ahlstrom

1997: Fall Issue, Delicate Freeform Butterflies, Sylvia Becker
We recently published an eBook full of beaded butterfly and other insect patterns, and our readers went crazy over it! I was thrilled when I came across these additional freeform beaded butterflies made by Sylvia Becker. See this design on the cover and the instructions in the download of this issue, Fall 1997 Beadwork.
Delicate Freeform Butterflies by Sylvia Becker

1998: Winter Issue, Mandala Earrings, Jean Cox Campbell
Jean Cox Campbell was not only one of my beading mentors but she’s also one of my favorite designers! Jean has a fun personality that translates into her often free-spirited pieces like these mandala earrings. See more from the Beadwork 1998 collection.

1999: Summer Issue, Hummingbirds & Trumpet Vine Cuff Bracelet, Mary J. Tafoya
Mary J. Tafoya designed a gorgeous flower and hummingbird peyote pattern and stitched it to ultrasuede around a wearable cuff. See more about the pattern.
Hummingbirds and Trumpet Vine Cuff Bracelet by Mary J. Tafoya

2000: Nov/Dec, Elegant Egyptian Collar, Julia Pretl
One of the earliest forms of bead weaving, netted collars are still adored by many beaders—and rightfully so! This design by Julia Pretl is just gorgeous! See more from the Beadwork 2000 collection.
Elegant Egyptian Collar by Julia Pretl

2001: Aug/Sept, Reversible Chinese Lantern Bracelet, Mary Lynn Wilkie
This clever reversible bracelet is formed by connecting ladder stitch strips with two layers of chevron stitches at the center using different colored beads. See more from the Beadwork 2001 collection.
Reversible Chinese Lantern Bracelet by Mary Lynn Wilkie

2002: Feb/March, Right-angle weave layers, Judi Wood
A simple base layer of right-angle weave is embellished with another layer of right-angle weave and silver spacer beads for a dimensional, eye-catching design! See more about the pattern.
Right-angle weave layers by Judi Wood

2003: Oct/Nov, Woven Star Clusters, Lisa Norris
Nets stitched around large round beads create the look of pearly stars and make a gorgeous necklace focal. See more from the Beadwork 2003 collection.
Woven Star Clusters by Lisa Norris

To see the rest of our selections, click here for a PDF of the complete list!

And select patterns from the collection are available in the eBook, Beadwork Editors’ Choice: Peyote Stitch, Picot, Netting, Herringbone Stitch & Other Favorite Patterns.  And be sure to visit our 20th Anniversary Page for a fun collection of covers, facts and figures, and more from the first twenty years of Beadwork! Plus a contest you won’t want to miss!

Debbie Blair, Editor

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