Seed beads are small, cylindrical or circular glass beads that are inexpensive and available in an array of colours. The smallest seed beads available for beading projects are size 15. The seed beads most commonly used to create beadwork stitches and jewellery designs are sizes 11 and 10. Sizing roughly relates to the amount of beads that equal an inch. For example, it takes approximately 10 size 10 seed beads to equal 1 inch.
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Make a cuff bracelet using size 10 or 11 seed beads and an even count peyote beading stitch. Select quality seed beads so the sizes will be uniform and the project will not have spaces between any of the beads. The peyote stitch is one of the best ways to add imaging and patterns to your jewellery designs. Place different colours of seed beads within each row to create the images. Patterns for peyote stitch seed bead projects are available in beading magazines and from online sources.
Spiral Strand Jewelry
Seed beads are also the primary bead for creating spiral strand jewellery designs. The DNA strand uses two different sizes of seed beads, the Russian spiral technique uses one size of seed bead and small crystal beads and the Cellini spiral incorporates three different seed bead sizes within the jewellery strand design. Each beading technique is repetitive for the length of the strand; once you learn the basic steps you can make necklaces or bracelets to any length.
Rivoli stones are large, faceted gems used to create jewellery designs. Bead artists use precisely cut seed beads to encircle the stone in a beaded pattern using a bead weaving stitch such as tubular peyote. The seed beads hug the perimeter of the rivoli and allow jewellery artists to incorporate the stone as a necklace pendant.
Picots are three-bead borders for tatting designs, beaded jewellery and home décor beadwork. Seed beads are commonly used to make up the three-bead picot triangle around the edge of existing projects. The seed bead triangle is shaped with two beads stitched to the base of the existing work and one bead added in the centre of the first two. Picot beading adds emphasis to the edges of bracelet or necklace designs, adds decoration to the tips of beaded flowers and creates a finishing touch to a variety of hand stitched fabric art.
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