Beadlepoint, Beadlepoint, Beadlepoint

Feb 13, 2013

Does this blog's title make you think, "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice"? Wondering what this has to do with beads? Well, for starters, Beadwork Senior Editor Jean Campbell and Editorial Director Danielle Fox brought me a few Beadlepoint Stitchable Phone Cases from the Tucson bead shows. Secondly, the technique that the cases require gets me thinking about old times (hence the reference to the 1980s movie).

Many of you might already know that I started at Interweave working for one of our sister publications, PieceWork magazine. In short, PieceWork exposes readers to the rich history behind needlecrafts, plus features many contemporary projects inspired by historical items.

Though I love many of the needlepoint pieces we've featured in PieceWork, I've never really spent much time needlepointing. As a child, I cross-stitched dozens of tree ornaments and presents for my grandparents, but needlepoint was never part of the mix. One of my grandmas had several stitched-plastic-canvas tissue-box covers (you know the kind I'm talking about), so looking back I'm surprised she didn't teach me.

So now that needlepoint's on my mind, what could be better than combining it with beads? The Beadlepoint cases, from The BeadSmith, inspired me to give the combination a try.

Here are a few tips I came across while working the first few rows of my design:

--Don't start your thread with a knot at the end, as you might pull it up through the holes in the back of the case. Instead, pass the needle up through the case from the back leaving a short tail, string 1 bead, pass back down through the case in an adjacent hole that's diagonal to the one just exited, and then knot the tail and working threads.

--To avoid gaps in the design and achieve the diagonal look that's signature of needlepoint, always stitch in the same direction, diagonally from one hole to the next. All of the bead holes will point the same direction.


--Chevron patterns are so popular right now, so I gave one a go here. However, the case comes with 2 cute designs: one with hearts and one with an owl. When working your own design on a lighter-colored case, I assume you could color it in using washable markers.

--I used permanent galvanized seed beads, thinking they might hold up better than unfinished glass beads in case the phone is dropped. The beads are from the "carnival multi perm. galvanized" mix from Beyond Beadery.

--You may have to occasionally flip the case over in order to find the correct hole to pass back up through. The holes on the back of the case are smaller than the holes on the front.

--A bead needs to sit over each crosshair of the grid, which takes a little time getting used to, so be patient with your first few rows. Also, these crosshairs can be hard to see, so be sure to have good lighting.

--If you need to travel from one side of the case to the next, pass under the threads on the back to avoid long thread loops. Also do this when trying off threads.

--The package says to use size 15° seed beads, but here I used size 11°s.

--When the beads fall out of line of the pattern, simply push them into shape. The following rows will hold them in place.

Now I have to confess that this case won't even fit my phone, but it's never too early to get started on a holiday gift!

Have fun,


Melinda Barta

Editor, Beadwork

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ctutt wrote
on Feb 16, 2013 3:04 PM

OMFG I have got to try this! I did embroidery as a kid, and crewel & macrame in the 70s… but cross stitch was one thing I never did master…even with a pattern...I did one piece and it came out so bad I had to touch up with black marker where the little X's didn't quite meet, LOL… But needlepoint was a piece of cake!  This will be fun.

k8edid2000 wrote
on Feb 23, 2013 5:03 AM

So the website in this article for BeadSmith takes you to a wholesale only website.  Where can beaders find the Beadlepoint cases if they are not able to buy wholesale?

pamriker wrote
on Feb 23, 2013 8:40 AM

I like these cases.  It is taking my craft one step further.  To see what I mean check out my beaded cards at

I get great enjoyment making them.

magpiet wrote
on Feb 23, 2013 11:11 AM

I started doing beadpoint about 10 years ago, and have periodically done projects in this technique, often combining it with counted thread cross stitch for jewelry bags or clutch purses.  I've used a tear-away canvas on these projects available at some needlework stores in a size that works easily with size 11 sead beads. And there's another canvas which accommodates size 15 beads, if, like me, you're a real masochist.  Once you've stitched the design, you pull out the threads of the canvas, leaving just the beads.  You have to be very careful to stitch in the holes of the canvas because if you catch a thread of the canvas, it's tough to remove without also hurting your pattern.  But the end product looks amazing.  I love the idea that someone is finally making kits for things like cell phones.  Thanks for this blog!

Magpie in Barrow, Alaska

dendennz wrote
on Feb 23, 2013 9:26 PM

I've noticed that there are available thru another website, but it's pre-order only... argh... want want want... !!!  fantastic, tho :)  

on Feb 24, 2013 9:59 AM

Where can I order one online?

samjar wrote
on Feb 25, 2013 8:02 AM

I researched this process a year ago. I am a use to be cross stitcher and now I am a beader and wire wrapper. I wanted to not waste or get rid of all my cross stitch books. So....In my research I found that bead daily has a conversion chart for DMC threads to Delica beads. Now I can bead my project books or turn my original photos into original beading projects. You have to love technology; there is software for all sorts of creative things to do. The software to change your original photos into stitching project even gives you a trial version to try.

Sheila from Chesapeake, Virginia

3xBlessed02 wrote
on Feb 25, 2013 9:38 AM

Sheila...what is the name of that software?  I'd love to convert some cross-stitch patterns to beading or photos to cross-stitch, etc.  

on Feb 25, 2013 10:36 AM

What a cute idea!

BeadPassions wrote
on Feb 25, 2013 4:48 PM

I did a Beadlepoint project many years ago, and it was very different and a lot of fun.  I remember thinking that if I ever did it again I would use smaller beads (than 11s).  There is also a book with Beadlepoint in the title, which is what inspired me in the first place.  Nice to see there is a kit available -- I was totally "winging it."

samjar wrote
on Feb 27, 2013 1:44 AM

Hi guys,

For changing your photo's into stitch graphs is called Stitch Creator 3.0. I enjoyed this software. I printed all my graphs so I have them on hand. I as a stitcher highlight my graphs as I do the rows.

Check Stitch Creator 3.0 out and try it. You get to see your photos change to an art form.