Reader Gallery: Beadweaving + Stringing Projects

Combining Techniques

I love combining bits of beadweaving with small bits of stringing or wirework. Check out my Lazy-B Ranch (ladder stitch and stringing) or Love Birds Necklace (daisy chain and wirework) as examples.  Lynn Davy's The Big Apple necklace on the cover of the August/September issue of Beadwork is another good example.  She created the leaves out of peyote stitch and added some wireworked dangles and chain.  Or take a look at the Carnelian bracelet in the new book, Create Jewelry:  Stones by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett.  Jamie added square stitched rings to a strung bracelet, adding texture and interest to the piece.

Why am I fascinated by this?  I think it's my "opposites attract" design philosophy–I love combining things that don't seem to go together, including adding bits of stringing or wirework to my beadweaving projects.  Even in my straightforward stringing projects, I combine opposites–rough stones with smooth ones, silver with gold, and expensive crystals with bargain-basement beads.  If all this contrast is too much for you, just be glad I never went into the matchmaking business!

Instructor Tip:  Combining "Big" Beads and Seed Beads

I asked Bead Fest instructor Phyllis Dintenfass if she had any tips about combining beadweaving and stringing.  She said, "My son Nathan often sends me lampwork beads for  special occasions and of course I cannot resist buying some of my own at bead shows.  In addition, I have a life-long love of 'big' beads, so combining those beads with my own seed bead work is a frequent challenge for me. 

I apply the same principles I used during the decades when stringing ethnic beads was my focus.  In order to feature the 'special' beads, surround them with beads that complement or contrast: change size, shapes, and colors, vary the types of beads you string next to each other, and consider the length and weight of the finished piece.  In order to enhance the larger beads, I now choose from the many colors of seed beads that are available and weave beaded beads with them to incorporate into the necklace.  Both my Empire Beads and Carnival Beads lend themselves to this, as they can be made in different sizes and lengths, using a variety of embellishment beads and easily strung along with any other beads."  Learn more about Phyllis and her upcoming Bead Fest Philadelphia classes.

Ideas from Readers

  • Feature a beadwoven pendant on a simple chain or a strand of beads
  • String beaded beads on a simple strung necklace
  • Use wire inside a beadwoven tube for support
  • Add fringe to a simple strung bracelet
  • Create beadwoven charms or pendants
  • Use wireworking to add a clasp or earring findings to a beadwoven piece
  • View the new Reader Gallery for lots of beautiful inspiration like this freeform peyote bracelet with simple strung embellishment by Paula Huckabay. 


Free eBook
Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Create 6 stunning wire jewelry projects (2 wire necklaces, a wire bracelet, 2 pairs of wire earrings, and a wire ring) with this free eBook that contains step by step wire jewelry instructions for each project.  Jewelry designs range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and use a variety of wire work techniques, including spirals, coiling, wirewrapping, hammering, and twisting wire.  Download Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.

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Bead Stringing, Beading Daily Blog
Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  You can also follow me on Twitter at: Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

6 thoughts on “Reader Gallery: Beadweaving + Stringing Projects

  1. What happened to the text portion of 7/21 “Beading Daily”???
    The type size is smaller, blurry, and over-printed in places — totally unreadable. I hope this was a one-time occurance.

  2. It looks fine on my machine – hopefully just a temporary blip, Ed!
    Thanks Michelle for including my seashell necklace in the gallery – and today’s post has a great theme, I am another beader who loves to put things together that don’t really ‘go’ and then see what happens! I enjoyed Phyllis’ tips too, I am a fellow lampwork addict and love to take really big beads and put them with really small ones (the Big Apple is one of the biggest beads I’ve yet tackled – it was a challenge, I must admit!). Sometimes beaded beads are the ideal solution, you can add lots of detail and contrast without adding tons to the weight of the finished piece.

  3. This article has very good timing for me~ I’ve been leafing through all of my bead magazines looking for seed bead and beaded bead projects to try out. The suggestions and ideas in todays article really helps spurn the ol’ creativity!

    Thanks for yet another great Beading Daily!!!

  4. I may be the only one who still uses dial up, and that may be the reason that the photos in the email newsletter are barely identifyable. They seem to be black and white but I cannot tell what they are.
    But, some of the photos are in color and really beautiful.
    Could you stop using that form of communication?

  5. Thanks for including my beaded bead necklace as well. I made the beaded bead just for fun and it sat around for at least a year because I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I was looking through my stash one day trying to decide what to do with some wire lace and just stumbled upon the different items. It was a bit of an experiment but I was happy with the way it turned out.

  6. There is a nasty rumor flying around beaders in North Idaho that Swarovski’s Cantelope colored crystals are being discontinued. Can anyone confirm or dispell this rumor?