Beaded Bags

Sep 23, 2007

I love bags. There's something that's just so appealing about having a pretty bag that you can tote your stuff in, whether a lipstick or a laptop. Other women may fuss about shoes, but for me, it's all about the bag!

Over the weekend I worked on my beaded bag. To the untrained eye, it may look like a weaving loom and yarn, but trust me, when I'm finished, beads will definitely be involved! I haven't decided whether to make a beaded closure (maybe a beaded button?) or a beaded strap, or to bead embroider some designs on the cloth. Or maybe I'll do it all! I know I'm going to felt it when I'm finished weaving, but everything else is still to be decided. I'm hoping to have it finished this fall, so I can use it. There's nothing worse than finishing a wool project just in time for summer!


This week's featured project is a bead crochet amulet bag from the book, Crochet Jewelry by Waejong Kim and Anna Pulvermakher. Bead crochet is one option for creating beaded bags, but certainly not the only one. I've seen beaded bags created on looms, cloth bags covered with bead embroidery, peyote stitch bags . . . almost anything goes.

Note:  The Amulet Bag was free for a limited time to Beading Daily members.  This free preview period has ended.  You may now find the instructions inside the book, Crochet Jewelry.

Here are just a few places to look for inspiration:

  • Louise Hill Designs took on the challenge of using size 24 beads to try and replicate the look of antique beaded bags. And I thought size 15 beads were small!  
  • The Beaded Bags finalists in the last Beadwork competition will show you just how diverse the beaded bag can be.  
  • A brief history of beaded bags includes some photos of antique beaded bags.  
  • The Purse Project is worth checking out to see a wide range of bags of all types. Plus they are having an amulet bag challenge which ends September 30th. 

 Peyote? Easy? Are You Kidding Me??
If you haven't weighed in on results of the easiest bead stitch poll, you might take a look at some of the comments from last Friday's post. One anonymous reader mentioned that there is a difference between odd-count and even-count peyote as far as easiness. Good point! There was also a suggestion that the easiest stitch for beginners to learn might not be what you'd personally consider the easiest stitch. True? If you still think peyote is the easiest stitch, please share your best tips! (If you want to have a name next to your comments, make sure you login, go to "Manage Account", and choose your username first.) 


Coming This Week: Bead crochet tips, the story behind bead sizes, an interview with lampwork artist Ralph McCaskey (one of his monster beads is pictured at left), a bonus wire crochet project, and more!

I'm currently compiling a list of bead-related charity events—from the donation of handmade beads to handmade jewelry being auctioned for charity. I'll share the list in a future newsletter. Thank you!


Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She'll be posting from the road again this week, once she decides which of her beaded necklaces she is packing for this trip!


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PatS@97 wrote
on Sep 24, 2007 2:32 PM
I love beading vintage style evening bags, but I do them in peyote stitch. There are so many beautiful patterns for knit and crocheted bags but so few in peyote.I,d like to find some more or at least a good actual size pattern of graph paper to design more of my own.
SaraJ wrote
on Sep 24, 2007 3:44 PM
Sweet; both Beading Daily & Knitting Daily are about bags today!

A felted woven bead-embroidered (maybe on that last) bag, cool!!! I love combining different skills/arts/crafts/materials/techniques/methods etc.

This isn't a bag, although if I left one end open it certainly could be! I just finished knitting the second side of a pillow in Patons SWS. I'm going to seam most of the way up, felt, and bead embroider the outline of a dolphin near the corner on one, and the outline of a lighthouse near the corner of the second pillow I make later on. Then, of course, stuff and close. This will be my first bead embroidery, but I used to cross-stitch alot so it's not an entirely unfamiliar type of thing.

I'm looking forward to the bead crochet info! That's something on my list of things to learn in the near future.
on Sep 24, 2007 4:07 PM
Hi Sara, Believe it or not, Sandi and I didn't even know that we were both writing about bags today! What are the chances of that?
BonnieO@7 wrote
on Sep 25, 2007 10:21 AM
Re Netted Bottle pattern download: Looks pretty on screen but when printed out, the colored ink is very hard to read. Printer-friendly and screen-beauty are two different looks. This pattern is worthless for my eyes. Hopefully future downloads will be more user-friendly. Thanking you in advance for considering my suggestion.