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Learn How to Do Bead Embroidery - How to Use Brass Bead Embroidery Blanks

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Brass bead embroidery blanks are a great way to give form and shape to your bead embroidery pieces. Learn how to trace around a brass embroidery blank to create a piece of bead embroidery that will fit it perfectly for a professional look.

1. Covering the Form With Paper

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Take a regular piece of printer paper and wrap it around the front of the brass bead embroidery bracelet cuff.  Use adhesive tape on the backside of the paper and cuff to tape the paper to the cuff form.

If you are using a smaller sized brass embroidery blank like a cuff or pendant shape, you can cut down the paper to a smaller size to make it easier to handle.

2. Trace the Embroidery Blank Form on the Paper

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Using a permanent marker, trace the brass embroidery blank on the outside of the paper. 

The front and back sides of the curved cuff and collar forms are slightly different in length, so make sure that you are tracing the correct side.  Don't assume that you can use the same tracing for both the front and back sides of the brass embroidery blank.

 

3. Cut Out the Shape

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Cut out the shape that you have traced with the marker.  Make sure to cut it out on the outside of the lines that you have drawn.  It is okay if the shape is slightly bigger than the brass embroidery blank - you want a little extra space around the edges to make sure you have room to stitch the brick stitch edging later on.

If you cut the form too small, you won't have enough space between the material and the brass embroidery blank to stitch the edging without ruining your beading thread.  Slightly bigger is always better in this case.

After you have cut out the shape, you can lay it on your leather, suede or bead embroidery foundation and trace around it with the permanent marker, making it slightly larger than the paper shape.

4. Ready to Start Bead Embroidery

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Cut out the shape on the bead embroidery foundation, leaving at least an extra 1/2 inch around the shape.  If you are gluing any cabochons onto your embroidery foundation, glue them on the opposite side of the lines so that the color of the marker doesn't show through between your beads.

 

5. Tips for Using Brass Bead Embroidery Blanks

When working with curved brass embroidery blanks like cuffs and collars, make a new paper template each time you use one.  According to Diane Hyde of Designer's Findings, there are slight variations between each lot of brass embroidery blanks.  Making a new template each time will make sure that you have the perfect fit for your project.

You should always give each brass embroidery blank a gentle cleaning before use.  A piece of steel wool in warm, mild soapy water will do the trick.

Raw (unplated) brass embroidery blanks are not meant to be worn directly against the skin.  Take into account that the metal may oxidize, tarnish or cause a reaction if left uncovered in your design.

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