Match Pantone's Spring Colors to Your Bead Stash

Feb 23, 2011

I always get excited when Pantone releases their fashion color reports. These color-splot lists feature the shades top fashion designers are using on the runways for any given season. Spring 2011's report has an "exotic journey" theme, with the designers citing their color influences as anywhere from New Wave French electronica (Honeysuckle) to Peruvian textiles (Regatta) to a 1950s garden party (Lavender). The great thing for us jewelry designers is that these reports can give us a leg up on one area of design that many of us struggle with: color. Why not rely on the pros to help us be fashion forward?

Beader and color expert Margie Deeb compiles a beautiful report each season based on the new Pantone color list, giving examples of how to incorporate the hottest colors into beadwork. So today I've taken Margie's lead and done my best to match five of the hottest colors to beads in my stash; I've also given some suggestions of seed bead, cylinder bead, crystal, and stone types that come close to the colors featured here:

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Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120)

Honeysuckle is a beautiful bright rosy color that looks great with taupe, jade, or grape. You might find this color in your bead stash with these supplies:

Round seed beads: Transparent fuchsia luster (Miyuki #SB3256) or hot-pink-lined crystal (Toho #350)

Cylinder beads: Color-lined clear reddish pink (Delica #DB0914) or hot-pink-lined crystal rainbow (Aiko #785)

Crystals: Indian Pink (Swarovski #289)

Stones: Rose quartz, stichtite, rhodochrosite

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Russett (Pantone 18-1235)

Russet is like a dark sepia, a rich light brown that reminds one of old travel trunks or leather bags. It pairs nicely with navy, blue, and black.

Seed beads: Copper-lined transparent light amber (Miyuki #SB3166) or light brick-red-lined topaz (Toho #951)

Cylinder beads: Matte metallic copper-plated (Delica #DB0340) or cranberry iris (Toho #454)

Crystals: Light smoked topaz (Swarovski #221)

Stones: Agate or petrified wood

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Regatta (Pantone 18-4039)

This shocking blue evokes the rich blues found in Latin American artworks. Pair it with bright oranges, yellows, and pinks to keep the intensity or a blue gray to tone it down.

Seed beads: Transparent deep sky blue (Miyuki #SB3387) or dark aqua transparent (Toho #3C)

Cylinder beads: Transparent aqua (Delica #DB0079) or medium blue opaque (Aiko #43D)

Crystals: Capri blue (Swarovski #243)

Stones: Lapis lazuli or aquamarine



Beeswax (Pantone 14-0941)

This happy color is slightly mustard, kind of ocher, and a little bit tawny. Pair it with black, white, brown, or purple.

Seed beads: Mustard-lined transparent light amber (Miyuki #1872) or squash-lined topaz (Toho #950)

Cylinder beads: Semi-matte transparent silver-lined butterscotch (Delica #DB0621) or butterscotch opaque luster (Aiko #124B)

Crystals: Sunflower (Swarovski #292)

Stones: Citrine or yellow jade



Lavender (Pantone 15-3817)

This classic blue/purple color is soft and light and a great complement to cream, yellow, and pink

Seed beads: Violet-lined transparent palest amber (Miyuki #SB3309) or pink-lined dark aqua (Toho #938)

Cylinder beads: Transparent lavender cloud (Delica #1407) or lavender blue gold luster (Aiko #327)

Crystals: Provence lavender (Swarovski #283)

Stones: Light amethyst or tanzanite

Maybe this list will help you launch yourself into more fashion-forward beading? Or maybe you're looking for even more beading advice? Then check out all the great tips and techniques you'll find about color, design, and beading in every issue of Beadwork, a magazine near and dear to my heart.

Happy beading-

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peanutsings wrote
on Feb 23, 2011 4:39 AM

This is really exciting - a clear color to work with as a starting point for those of us who think in black and white - graphic nature rather than the full color palette.  Thank you for this inspiration!

CharA3 wrote
on Feb 23, 2011 6:05 AM

Thanks so much for these lists and MORE please!  As a resident of a rural area, I must order beads online and it is very hard to make decisions based on monitor color.

Charlene Abel

on Feb 23, 2011 8:16 AM

Thank you so much for this information. I had a hard time with Beeswax.


Jewels for Hope..

doodles312 wrote
on Feb 23, 2011 9:05 AM

I agree with CharA3 we are in a rural area and also RV'rs so we move around a lot so mail order is about the only way  for me.

The #'s you posted for the beads themselves those aren't the same #'s at the various bead suppliers is it..  

I sure hope you do this more often as it is quite helpful.

raggydaggydo wrote
on Feb 23, 2011 10:34 AM

As a subscriber to Beadwork how do i download the 9 Quick & Easy Projects offered to new subscribers?  


on Feb 23, 2011 12:20 PM

Dear raggydaggydo,

In your Feb/Mar issue on page 6 there is a section that introduces the new Quick+Easy download. You will find the web address in the first paragraph. That will take you to the download. Have fun!

Barbara Naslund

Circulation Manager

LeslieR3 wrote
on Feb 24, 2011 10:36 AM

Lovely hues, but honeysuckle... pink? I always think yellow or white. Is it just me?

becky72 wrote
on Feb 25, 2011 10:03 AM

I want to know where to purchase the beads you have listed for the Pantone colors.  I have been searching without any luck


doodles312 wrote
on Feb 27, 2011 8:31 PM

being new to this site I am quite hungry for information and tips.  I even love any criticism.  

What I don't quite understand  is when the writers write these great articles and us information hungry beaders clamor to the article, leave kind words and always a question or two. We the hungry questioners await your answers.

Please don't think I'm being critical I just would love to know how to order/locate those fabulous colors you posted.

on Feb 28, 2011 3:25 PM

Becky and Doodles-

I'd suggest you contact your local bead shop to get matches for the bead numbers I list above. There are many great online suppliers that can help, too.

To learn more about the manufacturer's bead colors, check out for the Miyuki seed bead colors; for the Toho seed bead colors; and for the Swarovski colors.

Good luck!


doodles312 wrote
on Feb 28, 2011 9:24 PM

Jean thank you so much for pointing us in the right direction. Very much appreciated.