My first successful beaded bead

Many years ago (back in the 1990s) Michael’s was selling bags of assorted jewelry making supplies for a discount, so my mom bought a bag. In it were these 12mm wooden beads. I had no idea what to do with them, so I left them alone and forgot about them until last year.

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I still wasn’t sure what to do with those pesky wooden beads until I came across tutorials for covering them with seed beads. Ah, so that’s what they’re used for!

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Last September, I tried making my own beaded bead by following a tutorial, but it wasn’t clear. I found another tutorial that was more complicated. I tried again, integrating what I had understood from the two tutorials. Unfortunately, I ran out of thread and couldn’t finish it. Those of you who follow my personal blog may have seen these pictures before.

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From left to right: top view, side view, bottom view. I wasn’t happy with what I had done, so I took it apart to reuse the beads.

Last October, I came across this picture of a beaded bead on Pinterest. Unfortunately, the link was dead. Although I tried to find the original source using reverse image searches, I was unable to locate it. After studying it carefully, I was able to figure out how many beads of each color were added each layer. Last week I decided to give it a try.

It was rather time consuming, but after I got the first half done, it became easier because I could see what comes next in the pattern. Since the photo only showed one half of the ball, I wasn’t sure what to do for the other half. I decided to go with a reflection of the top half.

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All seemed fine until I came to the points of the star. I had to get the point bead in between the two beads of the point in the layer above, but also connect it with the point bead of the previous layer, or else it’ll stick out. That requires looping the thread back around through the point bead in the previous layer, and as you can see in the picture below, it didn’t work out that nicely. I decided to scrap that idea.

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It would be easier for me to make the other half separately, and stitch the two halves together at the middle. I had seen some images showing that. It didn’t take me as long to make the second half, and I didn’t need to consult the image. The challenge now was figuring out how big to make each half.

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I was able to get it closed all the way around the wooden bead, but it got tight towards the end and the beads weren’t fitting snugly together. I wondered if it needed another layer, so I took it apart. Adding another layer actually requires adding three layers, because both halves need to be symmetrical, and then there’s the layer that connects the two halves.

Later I found this tutorial, and although it looks similar to what I made, I think that it’s done better. I’d like to give it a try.

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These Valentine’s Day colors were part of an Artbeads Designer Blend. I had only wanted three of the colors in the blend, but since they didn’t sell them separately, I bought the blend. After I sorted out the colors that I wanted, these were the ones that remained. I’m glad to have found a use for them.

I used size D Nymo for this project. I’m not sure why I did. Probably because this was a test piece and Nymo is relatively cheap. It’s not that difficult to work with after I ran it though beeswax, but the beeswax clogged the eye of my beading needle. I might use FireLine next time because it’s finer and doesn’t fray.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with this beaded bead. I might hook together a bunch of them to make a bracelet, or maybe make another one for a pair of earrings.

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4 thoughts on “My first successful beaded bead

  1. Your finished product looks good. I have always liked making beaded beads. Have you seen Carol Wilcox Wells’ cage (or caged maybe) beads? They are fun to make.

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