How to Prepare a Rivoli for Bead Embroidery

I was just paging through Csilla Pap’s new book, Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making. And I’ll have to say, it’s fantastic! It’s filled with beautiful projects, but also with tips and techniques that any beader would love to have in their arsenal of tricks.

For instance, anyone who’s tried bead embroidery knows  it’s a challenge to secure anything but a flat-backed stone onto your beading foundation. It’s especially difficult if what you’re working with has a pointed back, like these Swarovski crystal rivolis and fancy stones:


Csilla shows a great trick that remedies this. It’s a technique that works perfectly for soutache pieces, but really, it would work well for any type of bead embroidery. Here’s a sneak peek directly from her book, showing clearly how to prepare a rivoli for bead embroidery or soutache:

backing rivoli

Isn’t that cool? It’s like she’s creating a little life preserver for her fancy stone! Once she’s trimmed this shape, she glues it to the back of her crystal and can move forward with her beading. Isn’t that brilliant?

I like it because you don’t have to worry about a bunch of oozing glue squishing out the sides of your crystal (which can happen when you try to glue something pointy to something flat) and then you end up doing beading somersaults to try to cover up your sloppy mess.

Another idea: You could make this little donut/life preserver, glue it to the back of your pointed-back crystal, and then glue that whole contraption to another layer of beading foundation to completely cover the back of the crystal. This way, you’re completely covered!

You’ll want to see the rest of the book, believe me. Check out this great new book and so many other knowledge-packed must-haves on

Happy beading!


Jean Cox, Beading editorial director

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