Ideas for Using Fringe, Plus Free Fringed Necklace Project


On the Fringe

Fringe is a fun way to add a little pizzazz to a project. At least, that's what I've been told. I'm not much into fringe myself–it feels too fussy for my designs. But a recent discovery has had me thinking about fringe a lot lately. I'd love to say it was because I've seen the light and been converted to a fringe-lovin' fool, but in truth, it's all because of the color brown.

When organizing my box of seed beads recently, I discovered that I had no less than 10 tubes of brown seed beads. If you have a huge seed bead collection, that's not a big deal. But for me, that's maybe 20% of my little collection. (I actually wrote on my last bead shopping list "NO BROWN BEADS" just in case I had a sudden case of amnesia once I entered the bead shop.) How can I start using these brown beads up and making room for some other colors? My logical brain came up with: brown = tree branches = branch fringe. Yes, not the most creative leap of beading genius that I've ever had, but there you go.

This Week's Free Project


The Beader's Companion lists six different types of fringe: plain knotted fringe, simple fringe, branch fringe, looped fringed, netted fringe, and twisted fringe. Simple fringe and branch fringe seem to be used the most often. This week's free project, Dragonfly's Garden by Julia Watt, uses simple fringe near the pendant as well as to embellish some flowers. You can see an illustration of simple fringe in the techniques section of Beading Daily.

Download This Free Project: Dragonfly's Garden by Julia Watt

This free project is courtesy Beadwork magazine. Check out the preview of the June/July 2008 issue!

More Projects with Fringe

Here are a few more fringed projects to inspire you. Of course, using pink or blue beads is not a requirement for fringe! It just happened that all the examples I pulled were in those two colors. Isn't that odd?

 Plus de Rouge
Merle Berelowitz
   Fringed Peyote Bottle
Jean Campbell

Cherry Blossom Earrings (free)
JoAnn Allard


Twigs and Branches (free)
Pat Wexelblat

Instructor Tip: Creative Uses for Fringe

Beading Instructor Perie Brown has used fringe in a number of her designs. I asked Perie for some creative ideas on how to use fringe and she had these great suggestions:

  • Use fringe selectively on your design. "I have used fringe on a bracelet with a colorblock design, placing fringe only in selected blocks, rather than all over. This adds interest and texture."
  • Use fringe in a different color than the background. "This makes the fringe less dense, so that the background color shows too. Beautiful effect."

Perie will be teaching at Bead Expo Phoenix this weekend and Bead Expo Philadelphia in August.

What do you think?

What types of fringe do you like best? Or you an anti-fringe person? I have heard that fringe takes a long time–and may or may not be worth the effort. What do you think? Share your thoughts on the website.

Michelle Mach shares free beading projects and tips every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have questions or comments for Michelle (including suggestions for future free projects), please post them here on the website. Thanks!


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