Having Fun with Dodecahedron Beaded Beads

Ever since I learned how to make a dodecahedron beaded bead using right-angle weave, I've been fascinated with the many possibilities for stitching and embellishing them. Once you learn the basic thread path, a simple dodecahedron beaded bead can be stitched up in just a few minutes, making them a great option for beaded necklaces and bracelet-making projects. Beaded dodecahedrons are great for those of us who have a huge collection of round druks and Czech fire polished beads in our stash — what a fun way to use your favorite beads!

Basic Beaded Dodecahedron

The beaded bead on the left has a little bit of thread exposed  at the corners. The beaded bead on the right has size 15 beads covering thread at each corner.

If you're new to making beaded beads using the dodecahedron, try working them up using 4mm round or Czech fire-polished beads at first. You can find a free pattern for a basic dodecahedron on Cindy Holsclaw's Bead Origami website, and simply substitute your favorite bead for the bicones shown in the pattern.

Stitching up the basic dodecahedron will help you learn the right-angle weave thread path for this beaded bead. Once you're comfortable making them, you might find that you want to add smaller beads (like size 15 seed beads) between each larger bead that you use for your dodecahedron base to cover up the thread that sometimes shows between beads. I love this idea, for many reasons.

Because I'm someone who doesn't like seeing thread between my beads, using size 15 seed beads to cover up the thread that shows at each corner of my dodecahedron beaded beads is a no-brainer. But it also tests my knowledge of the right-angle weave thread path used to create the beaded bead: I have to know exactly where my needle is going next, which beads to skip, and which beads to pass through on my way to completing each unit.

Those little size 15 seed beads between each larger bead also give me another opportunity to get creative when I'm embellishing my beaded beads. You can use them to add strands of seed beads across and around the bead, nestle tiny crystals in each corner of your seed bead, or add tiny fringes in each corner.

When you're stitching up your basic dodecahedron beaded beads using 3mm, 4mm, or larger round or shaped beads, you most likely won't need to use a core bead for shape and support. Repeating your thread path several times and using a heavy weight beading thread will help give your dodecahedrons more structure.

Dodecahedron Beaded Beads Using Seed Beads

Dodecahedron beaded bead with core bead for support, made with seed bead base

Once you've mastered the basic dodecahedron beaded bead, try using seed beads for your base. Instead of picking up one bead per side of each 5-sided unit, you'll pick up a set of beads (2 or more), and stitch those following the right-angle weave thread path. While this might be a little more complicated than using a single bead per side for each right-angle weave unit you stitch, you'll find that the possibilities for embellishing dodecahedron beaded beads using this method are endless!

Depending on what kind of beaded embellishment you're planning on using for your finished beaded bead, you may or may not need to use a core bead for support. Some of the dodecahedron beaded beads that I've made using peyote stitch to fill in each little right-angle weave unit don't necessarily need a core bead for support, but finding the right way to hold these beads while I'm stitching them can be tricky. It all depends on your personal preference.

This dodecahedron beaded bead uses lots of beaded embellishment to give it structure.

Remember that if you're going to use your seed bead units to create bezels for things like gemstones, chatons, rivolis, or cabochons, you might not need to use a core bead in your finished beaded bead. Again, holding your dodecahedron beaded bead made with seed beads might be tricky, but the final results are well worth it.

Don't forget that whenever you're using a core bead for your dodecahedron beaded beads, the color of that core might peek through, depending on what kinds of embellishments you choose to add (or don't add). You can paint your wood core beads using regular acrylic paint and seal them with any kind of spray seal (usually acrylic, as well), or you can just let the natural wood peek through. It's entirely up to you! Just remember to have fun when you're playing with your options for making these beaded beads.

Want expert instruction and inspiration for creating beautiful and easy beaded beads for your jewelry-making projects? Check out Beadwork Presents: Beaded Spacers with Melinda Barta, now available as an instant download in the Beading Daily Shop! You'll learn step-by-step how to create 3 different beaded bead spacers, along with inspiration and ideas for customizing them. When you download your copy of Beaded Spacers with Melinda Barta, you'll also receive a PDF of the thread paths and instructions.

Have you tried exploring the world of dodecahedron beaded beads yet? Leave a comment with your dodecahedron beaded bead questions, or tell us your favorite techniques for embellishing these fun beaded beads here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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