Shaped Beads Primer: 2-Hole Seed Beads
There are so many new shaped beads out there! Lentils. Tiles. Triangles… How can you resist them? They are so pretty in all their colors and finishes. And each one offers its own unique design possibility.
One must focus (or try to focus) to appreciate them individually, as each one has its own beauty, variety, and potential. In order to do that, I’m starting a primer for myself to help keep track of all the bead choices (and so I remember which ones I have and which ones I need to buy!). My list starts with 2-hole seed beads and the options available in just this one shape.
First on the list is the SuperDuo. From the front, this bead appears to have an even width the length of the bead and has rounded ends–like 2 size 8 seed beads stuck together. From the side, you can see that it’s thicker in the middle with a little bump right in the center between the two holes.
Second, and similar to the SuperDuo, is the Twin. Front facing, this bead is a more true oval, being wider in the middle and narrow and rounded at the ends. From the side, this bead is a little thicker in the middle than the SuperDuo with tapered ends. This bead looks a lot like a SuperDuo, but it’s got slightly different measurements, so they aren’t quite compatible.
Third in the two-hole seed bead category is the Bar. These beads are thinner in width than Twins and SuperDuos. From the front, the width is consistent the entire length of the bead with rounded ends; from the side, this bead is consistent in thickness the entire length of the bead. (In this picture there is a rogue 1-hole bar – can you spot it?)
The Rula and Brick are good alternative options to the Bar. Both are uniform the entire length and width, but their ends are not quite as rounded as the others.
These beads each create a different look when used in a design, so again, the options expand from just this one shape. So fun! Here are a few examples:
This bracelet was made using a herringbone stitch variation and rope edging. See how the Twins create a dramatic pattern with their oval shape?
In this design, made using right-angle weave, the taper in the SuperDuos works with the size 11 seed beads, and the bump in the center of the SuperDuos creates a design element that plays nicely with the curve in the picot edging.
In these beautiful earrings, you can see how the SuperDuos stack neatly along their tapered ends.
Complete instructions for the designs shown, as well as 7 others that were made using SuperDuos can be found in this e-book, Stitching with Shaped Beads: 10 More Beaded Projects to Make with SuperDuos.
I’m going to keep working on my shaped beads primer. I have a feeling once I get the list complete there will be even more new beads to add. That’s not such a bad thing, though, is it? 🙂