Beadweaving with Lentil Beads: 10 Beading Projects to Make with Lentils
Two-hole lentil beads remind me of buttons and 1-hole lentils make me think of candy. Don’t ask me why – I have no idea. Either way, I love working lentils into designs. Playing off the button idea, I see I’ve used lentil beads most in designs made with fabric and kept the design simple to allow the lentils (mini-buttons!) to shine through.
In 10 Beading Projects to Make with Lentils, the designs are anything but simple and both two-hole, one-hole, and four-hole lentil beads are used to create all sorts of beautiful jewelry.
To kick off some lentil bead fun, I’m happy to share my more simple fabric project with you, making use of one of my favorite studio tools, the Sizzix Big Shot Jewelry Studio and some really great fabric.
- Cotton or other fabric (fabric used is by Kaffe Fassett)
- Fusible web
- 2-hole lentil beads
- 1-hole lentil beads
- Size 11/0 seed beads
- Size 15/0 seed beads
- Size 10 beading needle
- Beading thread
- Snap-setting tool
- Snap setting dies
- Sizzix Big Shot Jewelry Studio
- Movers & Shapers Shuttle
- Cutting Pad
- Movers & Shapers 2” bracelet die
Step 1. Choose fabric! This could be of the hardest parts of this project.
Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse two pieces of fabric together. You can join two pieces of the same fabric or mix things up!
Cutting Out the Fabric Bracelet
Step 2. Use scissors to cut your bracelet shape. Or you can use the Sizzix Big Shot and dies.
To use the machine and dies, place the 2” cuff die (or die of your choice) on to the Movers & Shapers Shuttle.
Place the fabric onto the die then place a cutting pad on top of the fabric.
Run through the die-cutting machine.
Adding the Snap Closure
Step 3. Set up the snap-setting tool then place the fabric into place.
Compress the handles to set the front-half of the snap.
Repeat to set both front-halves of the snaps.
Repeat to add the back half of the snaps on the other end of the bracelet.
Seed Bead Edging
Step 4. Cut a length of thread and add a needle to one end. Place a knot on the other end of the thread. Working with a single thread, bring the needle through the edging so you can hide the knot. Pick up a size 11, size 15, and size 11 seed bead. Pass the needle into the edge of the fabric, just about 2 size 11 bead’s width over and 1/8” down from the edge. Pass the needle up through the 2nd size 11 seed bead stitched into place.
Thread on a size 15 and size 11 seed bead. Pass the needle into the fabric about one size 11 seed bead’s width over.
Pass the needle up through the size 11 just stitched into place.
Repeat all the way around the perimeter of the fabric until you reach the first size 11 seed bead. Pick up a size 15 then pass down through the first size 11.
Pass the needle through the fabric then back up through the same size 11, the 15 and the last size 11, locking all the beads into place.
Stitching Lentils in Place
Step 5. Start a new thread. Pass the needle through the fabric in the bracelet from the back side, where you want to place your first two-hole lentil bead. Thread on a lentil bead then pass the needle through the other hole and to the other side of the fabric. Thread on a 2-hole lentil on the other side of the fabric.
Pass through the other hole of the lentil, the fabric then back up through the lentil bead on the front. Work the thread path two or three times to secure the lentils in place.
As you work toward the back of the fabric, exit the needle to the side of the lentil (not through the hole).
Pass the needle through the fabric, just about 1/4″ over from where the needle exited, working toward the front of the fabric.
Repeat securing a second lentil on the front and back side of the fabric.
Note: Stitching the lentil beads on in this fashion will allow you to stitch beads to the front without your stitches in between lentils showing. Working the lentils closely together minimizes the stitches seen on the back side.
Repeat across the fabric in a pattern of your choice.
Step 6. Start a new thread. Enter the fabric from the back side until it exits the front. Pick up a size 11 seed bead then pass through the fabric to the back side. Repeat adding five or six size 11 seed beads in a circular pattern.
Work the thread up through to the front and through one size 11. Pick up a size 15 seed bead, a one-hole lentil bead, and a size 15 seed bead. Pass the needle through the next size 11 in your circular pattern, locking the 3 new beads into place.
Repeat all the way around the size 11 seed beads.
Step 7. Add in more lentil bead as your pattern dictates to finish the beading. Secure the thread and trim the ends close.
After exploring the amazing designs shared by the gathered group of talented artists in this great eBook, 10 Beading Projects to Make with Lentils, I’ll now take the lentil beyond the button! First on my list is this design, Sweet Pea Earrings by Agnieszka Watts. This design is just so sweet and would make a great accessory in any colorway.
Have a favorite lentil bead design? Please share it with us in the comments.
Yours in creativity,