How to Bead a Native American Rosette

Written by jacky gamble
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How to Bead a Native American Rosette
Native American beaded rosettes are often attached to clothing to wear as jewellery. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Beaded rosettes are often circular, sometimes oval, decorative pieces made by the crafting technique of couching beads, which is stringing them and then attaching them to a backing. Rosettes can be a variety of sizes and are typically made using colours and designs that represent something of spiritual or personal significance to the wearer. Native Americans attach rosettes to ceremonial and dance clothing to use as jewellery. They also may wear them as hair pieces.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Leather or deer-hide
  • Paper
  • Seed beads
  • Thread
  • Beading needle
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Draw or trace your desired design onto a sheet of paper. If your design requires many colours, colour in the drawn design to make the following steps simpler. Once the design is drawn or traced, cut it out.

  2. 2

    Lay the paper on top of a piece of leather or deer-hide, design-side up. Cut the leather or deer-hide to the same size as the paper.

  3. 3

    String your first bead by first threading the needle with a long piece of thread, about two arm lengths in size. Tie a knot at the end of the thread and, starting at the back of the leather or deer-hide, bring the needle up through the centre of the design. String a bead over the needle and string, and put the needle back through the centre of the design.

  4. 4

    String the first row of beads by bringing the needle back up through the design, just to the side of the first bead, and positioning as many beads as will fit to form a circle around the first bead. This will typically require seven or eight beads. Put the needle back through the design.

  5. 5

    Tack the first row of beads in place. Put the needle up next to one of the beads, over the thread, and back down. Repeat this process for every three or four beads.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps four and five, using additional quantities of beads to form each circle, until your design is complete. Tie off the thread and trim with a pair of scissors.

Tips and warnings

  • Use beads that are uniform in size. The best sizes for beaded rosettes are 11, 12 and 13.

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