Unlock the Potential of New Shaped Beads

Gone are the days when the only shapes of beads we had to choose from were cylinder or round. In the last two years, designers of glass beads have created innovative and exciting shapes of glass beads that have unlimited potential in your own beaded jewelry designs!

I have to admit, though, that as excited as I was to get my hands on a bunch of these cool new shapes of glass beads, I had absolutely no idea how to use them in my beaded jewelry designs. Particularly perplexing to me were the two-holed seed beads, the Twins and the Super Duos — the only two-holed beads that I had ever used before were some vintage German glass beads that I found at an antique store in Texas.

But after I added a nice collection of Czech farfalle beads to my stash last summer, I decided that the best way to learn how to use these beads was to, well, just use them!

Need some ideas for incorporating the Twins, Super Duos, gumdrops, spikes, and studs into your beaded jewelry designs? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Bezels. Gumdrops and spike beads are just begging to have little peyote stitch bezels worked around them! Whether you use cylinder beads or seed beads, stitching bezels around a spike bead or a gumdrop bead is the first easy step to including these shaped beads in a beaded jewelry design of your own creation.
3-D Components. Once you've made a bezel around your spike or gumdrop bead, you can use that bead to create a whole range of three-dimensional components. Great for earrings and bracelets when you have just a few spikes or gumdrop beads, you can also create fabulous and intricate beaded necklace designs with these bezeled beads!
Flat Motifs. One of the first things that I experimented with when I started playing with my two-holed Twin seed beads was stitching them together using circular, flat peyote stitch. With the addition of a few round druk beads and some seed beads, I found that they made beautiful little "snowflakes", which I joined together to create a beautiful necklace focal.
Chains and Ropes. Another easy way to get comfortable with the two-holed seed beads is to use them to stitch up chains and beaded ropes! I followed a tutorial from the Member Free Beading Projects Gallery here on Beading Daily to create a fun twisted herringbone rope using springtime colors and a beautiful handmade lampwork glass bead from Evolving Creations.

Feeling inspired yet? There's a lot more to learn about these great shaped glass beads and how to incorporate them into your beaded jewelry designs. If you're ready to learn more, check out Beading with Shaped Beads with Beadwork magazine editor Melinda Barta. Melinda shows you the ins and outs of working with all kinds of these great shaped glass beads, along with basic instructions for stitching them together using your favorite bead-weaving stitches like peyote, brick, herringbone, and square stitch. Pre-order your copy of Beading with Shaped Beads on DVD and find out how you can unlock the design potential of these gorgeous, exciting new shaped beads!

(If you really can't wait to get started, Beading with Shaped Beads is also available as an instant download — you can be watching and learning about these fabulous shaped glass beads in just minutes!)

Now it's your turn — tell us which of these new glass bead shapes is your favorite and why! Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and let's talk about shaped beads!

Bead Happy,


Post a Comment