Native Americans have created beautiful decorative clothing and objects with woven coloured beads for many years. Today's seed beads, available in a wide range of colours and sizes, can be used to reproduce some of the elements of the Indian culture in jewellery. By weaving seed beads with fine gauge wire, you can make replicas of bird feathers, a familiar motif referencing the soaring spirit of the Indian culture, and turquoise, an earth element.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 36-gauge silver wire
- Tape measure
- Wire nippers
- 50 silver seed beads
- 2 turquoise beads
- 2 silver eye pins
- Needle-nose pliers
- 2 fishhook earring wires
Cut a 24-inch length of wire with the wire nippers.
Thread three silver seed beads on the wire and push them to the centre. Press down the wires at a right angle at the edge of the beads.
Thread five more beads on the wire. Push them into position directly under the first three beads. Thread the opposite end of the wire through the five beads.
Attach six more rows of five beads each in the same manner. Decrease the number of beads in every other subsequent row by one, until the row has just one bead. Twist the wire ends over the last bead together to secure them. Cut off the excess wire with the wire nippers to complete the seed bead feather.
Insert a 6-inch length of wire through the three beads of the top row of the seed bead feather. Insert a silver jump ring and twist the ends of the wire to secure the jump ring to the top of the feather.
Insert an eye pin in a turquoise bead. Bend the straight end of the eye pin to a right angle at the top of the bead with your fingers. Cut the eye pin end to 1/2 inch.
Grasp the tip of the eye pin end with the tip of the needle-nose pliers and turn the eye pin wire to create a circle.
Open the eye pin circle slightly and insert the jump ring at the top of the feather. Close the ring. Open the circle at the top of the turquoise bead slightly and insert the fishhook earring wire to complete one earring. Repeat all steps to create a second earring.
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