Bead embroidery is a wonderfully creative and fun way to make wearable art. Your imagination is your only limitation!
In this post we will go over the ground level technique known as back stitch bead embroidery, and from there we will go over a simple finishing technique. You’ll need a glue on cabochon, some 15/o seed beads, 11/o seed beads, beading foundation, Nymo beading thread, jewelry adhesive and Ultrasuede to create a component that you could use as a pendant or brooch.
Color over a square of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff with the marker, or dye it to match the main color of your palette. This will disguise any gaps in your work and is totally optional. Apply jewelry adhesive to the back of the Cabochon close to, but not covering the edges and press it onto the Lacy’s Stiff Stuff in the center. Wait 20 minutes to dry. Thread a comfortable length of Nymo onto a needle and tie a knot in the tail. Push the needle through the foundation from the backside close to the Cabochon and pull through until the knot stops you.
Pick up 2 11/o seed beads (A’s) and pull them close to the cabochon. Push the needle through the foundation at the edge of the second bead added. Sew up through the foundation at the starting point of the first bead added in this step and pass through the 2 A’s.
Pick up 2 A’s and pull them close to the cabochon as you did in step 2. Sew down through the foundation. Pull the needle up through the foundation just behind the last bead added in the previous step and sew through the next 3 A’s. Work around the cabochon in this manner. When the round has been completed sew up through the foundation just next to this round.
Work a round using 15/o seed beads (B’s), using the same technique as the previous round. Keep the B’s close to the A’s and mind spacing. Tie a knot off of a stitch on the backside of the foundation and trim the thread.
Carefully cut out the beadwork, avoiding cutting through the stitching.
Apply the adhesive onto the backside of the beadwork and press onto the inside facing of the Ultrasuede. Let dry for 20 minutes and cut around the beadwork, sandwiching the foundation and Ultrasuede.
Thread the needle with 1 1/2 yards of Fireline. DO NOT tie a knot at the end this time. Pull the needle and thread through the back of the project under the row of B’s until you have an 8 inch tail. Pick up 2 B’s and pull them toward the beadwork. Push the needle through the front of the project about a beads width away from where the needle is at this point and pull through. Make sure the beads are sitting side by side and sew up through the last B added. Pull gently but firmly. Thread the needle on the tail and sew up through the other B. Pull gently. Thread the needle back onto the working thread. Work around the piece in this manner, adding one B at a time. When you get to the first B added in the edging, tie the two threads in a knot and weave them both into the beadwork before trimming.
You can use this technique to create custom components. Try adding crystals or other small beads to the work and see what you can create!