1. Home

Tila Bead Square Earrings and Bracelet

By

This pattern uses a single row of stitched Tila and seed bead squares to make earrings and a bracelet band. Once you master the basic technique, you can experiment with adding embellishments or varying the numbers and sizes of beads.

1. Gather Your Materials

The completed bracelet and earrings
The completed bracelet and earrings.

You'll need the following beads and supplies to make one pair of earrings and a matching bracelet. Please note that all of the beads are manufactured by Miyuki.

Beads for the Earrings

The color names in the list below link to the web pages where I purchased my beads. These links are never intended to be endorsements, and I always encourage you to shop around. If you have trouble finding a color, I recommend swapping it for something similar that you know is currently available.

(Please email beadwork@aboutguide.com to report any broken links.)

*For help finding Tilas, visit the Tila Bead Supplier Directory.

Learn more about bead key letters and other annotations used in beading patterns.

Beads for the Bracelet

The following quantities are per inch of bracelet band, and the letters are the corresponding bead key letters from the list above.

  • About 6A
  • About 5B
  • About 22C
  • About 8D

Supplies

2. Get Started

The first few beads stitched
The first few beads stitched.

Use side cutters or kids' craft scissors to cut about 2.5 or 3 feet of FireLine. Thread the needle for single-strand beadweaving.

String 1A, and slide it down to about 10 inches from the end of the thread. (We'll come back and use the 10-inch thread tail later.)

Please click on any image in this tutorial for a full-size view.

Pick up 1B with your needle, and pass the needle through the empty hole in the 1A. Hold the beads between your fingers, and pull the thread taut.

Pick up another 1B and pass through the first hole in the 1A again. Pull the thread taut again.

3. Stich the First Square of Beads

The first square of beads
Making the first square of beads.

Pick up the following series of beads and slide them down against the first beads that you stitched:

1C, 1D, 1C, 1A, 1C, 1D, 1C, 1A, 1C, 1D, 1C, 1A, 1C, 1D, 1C

Pass down (again) through the nearest hole in the initial 1A from the previous step, and pull the thread gently taut.

4. Fill In the First Square

Filling in the first square
Filling in the first square.

Note: From this point forward, hold the beads between your fingers and pull the thread gently taut after making each stitch.

Pick up 1C. Flip the bottom A in the square so that its empty hole is on the inside of the square. Pass the needle through that empty hole. Make sure that your thread does not loop around or snag any of the previously stitched seed beads.

Pick up another 1C. Pass through the same hole in the rightmost A in the square. Be careful not to pass through any of the existing round seed beads; nudge them out of the way so that the needle only passes through the Tila bead (A).

Tip: Proper thread tension can take a little practice. You want to hide as much of the thread as possible within the beads, while avoiding overly tight tension that can cause the square to curl or lose its shape.

Pick up another 1C. Flip the top A in the square, and then pass through the empty hole in that A.

Pick up a final 1C and pass down through the nearest hole in the initial A in the square.

5. Stitch the Next Transition

Diagrams for stitching the transition between squares
Diagrams for stitching the transition between squares.

Each "transition" is made up of the A that is shared between two squares and the Bs that you stitch on either end of that A. (Recall the first two Bs that you stitched in Step 1 above.)

Pick up 1B and pass down through the empty hole in the A.

Pick up another 1B and pass up through the first hole in the A.

Pass through the first 1B and down through the second hole in the A again to position your thread for the next square.

6. Stitch and Fill In the Next Square

A second square completed
A second square completed.

Stitch the next square the same way you stitched the first square (Steps 3 and 4 above).

7. Stitch the Next Transition

The next transition completed
The next transition completed.

Stitch the next transition the same way you stitched the first one (Step 5 above).

Note: In this tutorial, we're making the earrings before the bracelet. If you're skipping the earrings and just making the bracelet, continue stitching squares to your desired length of bracelet band.

8. Make an End Loop

A completed end loop
A completed end loop.

Refer to this tutorial to make an end loop.

Tip: If the bottom loop on your earring finding does not open (i.e., if it is not split), string it on after picking up one half of the total number of size 15/0 beads in your loop.

Weave-in to end this thread, making half-hitch knots along existing thread along the way. Use side cutters, kids' craft scissors, or a thread burner to cut the thread close the beadwork.

9. Stitch the Bottom Fringe

How to make the bottom fringe piece
How to make the bottom fringe piece.

(If you're just making the bracelet, skip the fringe and make a second end loop for your band instead.)

Thread the needle on the 10-inch thread tail at the other end of your beadwork. Reposition the thread by passing through the nearest 1B and the outer hole in the first 1A.

Pick up 7C, 1B, 1C, and 3D, and slide them down against the beadwork. Pass the needle back through the 1C and 1B. Hold the beads between your fingers and pull the thread taut. Adjust the tension so that as little thread as possible remains exposed between beads.

Pick up another set of 7C and pass into the A again. Weave into the beadwork and end this thread the same way you ended the first thread.

10. Complete the Earrings

The completed earrings
The completed earrings.

Use two pairs of chain nose pliers (or one chain nose and one flat nose pair) to attach the metal loop on one of your ear wires to the end loop on your beadwork. Use the same technique you would use to attach a clasp with a jump ring.

Make a second earring for your pair.

11. Make a Matching Bracelet

The completed bracelet
The completed bracelet.

To make a matching bracelet, use the techniques from Steps 1-7 to stitch a band of beadwork to your desired length. (This is the desired total length of your bracelet less one half inch for the end loops and less the length of your clasp.)

Example:

Total desired bracelet length: 7 inches

Length taken up by loops: 0.5 inch

Length taken up by clasp: 0.5 inch

Length of band: 7 - 0.5 - 0.5 = 6 inches*

*This measurement is always approximate, because you will not want to stop stitching mid-square.

Make end loops (Step 8) at both ends of your band, and use jump rings to attach a clasp. The clasp in the example bracelet is a silver-tone lobster clasp.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.