The holiday decorations may all be packed up and put away, but it's still winter here in upstate New York, and that means I'll be busy making bead crafts
like beaded snowflakes and beaded stars to get me through the next big snowstorm or the next full moon ski party.
Stitching beaded snowflakes are great bead crafts for when you want to get in a little beading time without worrying too much about the finished project. Just pick up your beads and go! And you can use any seed beads or shaped beads that you have handy -- seed beads of all sizes, drop beads, peanuts, pearls, gemstones, crystals, even two-holed seed beads!
Did you know that you can start designing your very own beadwork right now by trying to design a simple beaded snowflake? The basic technique is simple, but you have to approach it with kindness: don't fret about making a mistake or having to tear out your beading. Just do what my six-year-old tells me to do, and let the beads do what they want!
1. Start with a ring of beads. You can start with a small ring of seed beads, or try small fire polished beads, tiny crystal bicones, pearls, or even a ring of two-holed seed beads. Play with spacing, adding smaller beads in between the larger beads. Experiment with tension in your base ring and see what kind of results you get with different bead-weaving stitches
2. Pick a bead-weaving stitch. There are a few obvious beading stitch choices for making a beaded snowflake or beaded star. If you have a smaller ring, peyote stitch is a good way to start. For larger rings or larger beads, try netting. And those who are feeling adventurous will want to try working some kind of flat, circular right-angle weave off of their base ring. After a round or two in one beading stitch, switch it up and try using herringbone stitch to add "arms" to your beaded snowflake.
3. Embellish with beaded picots. Once you've playing around with a couple of different stitches and thread paths, it's time to end your beaded snowflake with a little bit of beaded embellishment. Add some picots, or maybe even a couple of little clusters of seed beads using right-angle weave. Tiny seed beads work very well for these beaded embellishments, but you can think about using small crystals or pearls.
4. For a beaded star, make sure you end up with five points. You can work any number of beading stitches to create these five points or arms. Herringbone and netting work particularly well for this type of bead craft, so play with your favorite beading stitch.
If you're anything like me, you'll find that once you've found the perfect thread path and the perfect bead combination, you'll want to make dozens of these little beaded snowflakes and stars, which leads you to the "now, what?" stage in beaded jewelry design. A bead mat covered with a whole mess of beaded snowflakes is the perfect inspiration for playing with different ways of joining the components. Make sure you leave thread tails that are long enough to weave through at least one component when you're playing with joins.
Another trick that I learned from Melinda Barta is to make multiple photocopies of one component, then spend some time arranging the paper copies before you decide on a final design. It'll save you time, energy, and beading thread!
Just like real snowflakes, there seems to be an infinite number of ways in which you can create a beaded snowflake using your favorite seed beads and shaped beads. Check out some of the beautiful beaded snowflake beading projects in the Beading Daily Shop! For a limited time, all beading projects are on sale, so you can scoop up a handful of these fun bead crafts and adorn yourself with handmade beaded snowflakes all year long!
Do you have a favorite pattern or technique for creating beaded snowflakes or beaded stars? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your favorite beads, materials, and beading stitches for making beaded snowflakes with us!
Filed under: Peyote stitch, Pearls, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Herringbone Stitch, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Beading Tools, Bead Crafts, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making, Beading Daily