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Jewelry for your Feet
Beautiful Beaded Barefoot Sandals

There is something very appealing about wearing beads on your feet, well, to me anyway! It makes me feel like a princess or a tzarina or something. :-) Anklets are all very well and good, but I thought I'd like to try making something just a little bit more elaborate. Not too elaborate, this "footlet" (trust me there is no good name for these) is quite easy to make.

You'll want to use a heavy thread for this, Synbond or Silimide or at least doubled Nymo. As for beads, all you need is a hank of size 11 seeds and about 20 5 to 6mm round beads. Begin by stringing enough seeds to fit comfortably around your second toe (the one next to your big toe :-)). Go back through the first bead you added and tie a square knot. Make sure to leave a generous tail to weave in later.

Now string 4 seed beads. Then add sets of one big bead and 5 seed beads to reach from your toe to the front of your ankle. It took 7 sets to fit my foot. Now work back toward the toe loop adding sets of 9 seeds between each large bead. PIck up 9 beads go through the first large bead, pick up 9 more seeds , go through the second large bead, and so on.

Now thread through the toe loop and up through the first 5 beads of the last set of nine you added. Pick up 9 more seeds and go through the fifth bead of the next set of 9 in the previous row. Continue adding sets of 9 beads until you reach the top again. Now work down the other side of the central line to match the first half. When you are done it should look like a series of interlocking circles with a large bead in the center of each.

When you get back to the top, thread down through the center line through the first two sets of five beads. Then thread up through the second set of nine and up through the big bead and the top set of five once again. Now go through the first two beads of the first set of nine. Pick up 8 beads and go through the first two beads in the set of nine again and continue through the first 3 beads of the set of 8 you just added. This forms the first link of the chain that goes around the ankle.

Continue the chain by picking up 9 beads, going through the back of the bead your thread is coming out of and through the first 5 beads in the set of nine you just added. Continue adding sets of nine beads in this manner until the chain is long enough to reach the back of your ankle.

Now you can either thread back through the chain for extra reinforcement, or tie off your thread and begin a new one. Either way, your thread should be coming out of the side bead on the left of the first link of your chain. Go through the first two beads on the other side of the circle and pick up 7 more. Go through the back of the bead your thread is coming out of and continue through the two beads again and the first three of the 7 you added. Continue the chain until it reaches the back of your ankle and add a hook, or lobster claw clasp large enough for the loop on the other end of the chain to fit through it.

Now let's decorate the chain. Start a new thread from the middle front of the chain. Thread through the first link and the first half of the second link so that your thread is coming out from the second bead in the group of four at the bottom of the second link. Pick up 27 beads. Skip two links. Thread through the hole in the 3rd link and secure your thread over the thread between the second and third beads by going down through the last of the 27 beads. Each subsequent loop will only need 26 beads because they begin with the last bead of the previous loop. So pick up 26 beads, skip two links and loop around the thread between the second and third beads of the third link down. Keep adding loops this way until you get to the end of the chain, or there isn't room for another.

Now work your way back through the chain using the thread path shown. Add dangles in each loop by going down through the bead that links the two links in the center of each loop and picking up 3 seeds, 1 big bead and one seed. Skip the final seed, go back up through the big bead and the 3 seeds and re-enter the chain. When you get back to the middle go ahead and add loops and dangles to the other side of the chain and you are done! :-)

If you have any questions or comments about this feature, please post them on the Beadwork bulletin board so everyone can benefit from the answers, thanks!

All text and graphics © Emily Hackbarth 1999

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