This little circle pendant is thick with layered beadwork. It makes an elegant statement during the holidays or any time of year. You can also make two to use as fancy earring drops.
Please click on any image in this tutorial for a full-size view.
1. Gather Your Materials
You'll need the following beads to stitch one pendant, including the bail:
- Ten 4mm round Czech glass fire polished beads in your choice of color and finish (the example uses "copper olivine") (A)
- Five 3.4mm Miyuki drop beads in gold-lined crystal; I.D. number DP-378 (B)
- About a half gram of size 11/0 Miyuki round seed beads in sparkling metallic gold-lined crystal; 11-0234 (C)
- Five 6mm Czech fire polished beads in matte flax gold (D)
Note: The bold capital letters above are the bead key identifiers. They're used throughout this tutorial to identify particular beads.
You'll also need the following tools and supplies:
- Size D nylon beading thread in cream or white (I used Nymo)
- A size 10 English beading needle (or other beading needle of your choice)
- Beading or embroidery scissors
- Thread conditioner or beeswax for coating the thread (I used Thread Heaven)
- A finished necklace chain or beaded rope of your choice (for hanging your pendant)
2. String the Base Ring
This circular pendant begins with a base ring of five beads.
Pick up 5A and slide them down to about six to eight inches from the end of the thread. Bring the thread together and use a square knot to tie the beads into a taut ring.
3. Stitch In Some Drop Beads
Pass through the next A in the ring, and pull the thread taut.
Pick 1B, pass through the next A in the ring, and pull the thread taut. Repeat this all the way around the base ring (for a total of 5B). At the end of this round, pass through the first A again, and pull the thread taut once more.
4. Stitch Sets of Seed Beads
Pick up 3C and pass through the next B from the previous round. Pull the thread taut.
Repeat this all the way around the beadwork. At the end of this round, pass through the first 3C that you stitched, and through the nearest B. Pull the thread taut again.
5. Stitch Some Bead Loops
For this round, you'll stitch five small loops of three beads each. Be sure to click the image on the left for a clearer view of this step in progress.
Start by passing through the next two C from the previous round, and pulling the thread taut. Then pick up 1C, 1A, and 1C. Loop back and pass through the C that your thread exits. (Be careful not to split the thread.) Pull the thread taut.
Pass through the next 1C, 1B, and 2C. Pick up another set of 1C, 1A, and 1C, and loop back to pass through the bottom C again. Continue this all the way around the circle. You may be able to pass your needle through the base 1C and the next 1C, 1B, and 2C in one pass, as shown in the second from bottom photo on the left.
To complete the last stitch in this round, pass through the beadwork and bring your needle out through the first 1C that you picked up in this round (see the bottom photo on the left).
6. Stitch In the Fire Polished Beads
Change direction by passing back through the adjacent A (see the top photo on the left). Pick up 1C, 1D, and 1C, and pass back through the next A in the circle. Pull the thread gently taut; the beadwork should be floppy at this stage.
Use the same process to continue stitching sets of 1C, 1D, and 1C, all the way around the beadwork. At the end of this round, pass through the beadwork and bring the needle out through a D bead.
7. Stitch In More Seed Beads
Tie another half hitch knot over the existing thread between beads. Then pick up 6C, and pass through the next D in the circle. Pull the thread gently taut.
Continue this process all the way around the circle.
8. Stitch a "V" of Seed Beads Below a Fire Polished Bead
Make sure that all five B (the drop beads) in your beadwork are facing down. That is, the widest part of each drop should hang down toward what is currently the back of the beadwork (ultimately, that side will be the front of the pendant). If any are pointing upward, use your fingers to push them down.
Pick up 3C, reverse direction again, and pass through the B that's stitched below it in the beadwork. Pull the thread gently taut.
Pick up another 3C, and pass through the D that your thread last exited. Pull the thread taut to complete this "V" of seed beads below the fire polished bead.
9. Stitch "V"s of Seed Beads All the Way Around the Circle
Pass through the next 6C from the previous round and through the next D. Then repeat Step 8 to stitch another V of seed beads. Repeat this all the way around the beadwork (for a total of five Vs). After the last V, pass through the next 6C and 1D again, and bring the needle out through that D.
10. Stitch "V"s On the Other Side of the Beadwork
Flip the beadwork over, and use the same technique to stitch "V"s of seed beads below the fire polished beads on that side. You'll be stitching in the opposite direction that you stitched on the first side. Keep the thread tension relatively tight.