Bead Embroidered Cabochons: Finishing Techniques for Bead Embroidered Cabochons

Mar 11, 2012

Once you have bezeled your cabochon using peyote stitch, you can continue to work bead embroidery around it. Or, if you want a quick and easy focal piece for a beaded necklace or bracelet that combines bead embroidery and beadweaving techniques, you can add a backing of faux leather or suede and a brick stitch edge to finish your little beaded cabochon.

Materials:

  • Cabochon, bezeled on a piece of bead embroidery medium or backing
  • Large seed beads (size 8 or 6) or round beads in sizes 3mm or 4mm: enough to surround your cabochon
  • Size 11 seed beads in color to match or contrast with your cabochon
  • Piece of faux suede or leather in color to match or contrast with your cabochon
  • Beading thread in color to match your beads
  • Adhesive or glue similar to E6000

Tools:

  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors for cutting leather or faux suede
  • Thread cutters
  • Toothpick
  • Chain nose pliers (optional, but useful for pulling a needle through a tight space)

 

Step 1: Using backstitch, surround your bezeled cabochon with either the large seed beads or the larger round beads. After you've completed your round, run your thread through all the beads again three or four more times to strengthen and stabilize them. You'll also notice them line up straighter.
Step 2: Trim the excess bead embroidery backing away from the cabochon using a pair of good, sharp embroidery scissors. Be careful not to cut any of the threads on the back side of your cabochon!
Step 3: Place the cabochon on a small piece of leather or faux suede and trace around it. Trim the leather or faux suede to about 1/8" on the outside of your cabochon. Use a toothpick to spread a thin layer of glue on the back of your cabochon, and press the leather onto the cabochon. Allow at least an hour for the glue to cure and dry.
Step 4: Cut a comfortable length of thread (no more than 5') and pick up a size 11 seed bead. Working from the back of your cabochon, pass through the leather and up through the bead embroidery medium, exiting the edge just under the outer round of beads.
Step 5: Push the seed bead down against the cabochon, leaving about a 6" tail on your beading thread. Pass back through the seed bead and pull so that it lies flat along the edge of the cabochon. (The seed bead should be perpendicular to the top surface of the cabochon.)
Step 6: Pick up another seed bead and continue to add beads along the edge of your cabochon by stitching through the leather and up through the bead embroidery backing.
Step 7: When you have added the last seed bead around the edge of your cabochon, pass down through the first bead you added, then back up through the last bead you added along the edge. You should have a thread bridge between the first and last seed beads around the edge of your cabochon.
Step 8: Stitch down through a seed bead along the outer edge of your cabochon, and then into the row of beads surrounding your cabochon. Tie a half-hitch knot (or two), add a drop of glue if desired, and weave the thread into the beads surrounding the edge of the cabochon. Trim the thread close to the beadwork. Repeat with the thread tail.
Congratulations! You've finished beading your cabochon!

These little beaded cabochons are great for making beaded necklaces and bracelets, or you can use smaller cabochons to make rings and beaded earrings.

 

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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