Beading: Trying to Learn By Doing!

I ran across some beautifully hand beaded works recently and of course, I want to try and do it too. I always seem to take the jump-in-with-both-feet-and-wallet approach. Most of the time it works pretty well.

And I think it did this time too. Maybe?

So, I went out and bought about a million dollars worth of beading supplies. Well, not quite, but I did buy a LOT for such a little project. And I say that because I am thinking that the bead work is way more of a hassle than it was worth!

I’ll just dive right into the final product:

DSCN3678photo 7It is actually a felt jacket for a notebook… I use them (the notebooks) ALL the time when I am working and also when I am playing! First, I cut the large deep blue felt that would serve as the cover. It was enough to provide for four inches of overlap on each end, used to be able to create pockets that the covers would go into. Next, found the paisley design online, printed it and the starting with the teal, just cut out the shapes and using embroidery thread, stitched each one in ascending order.

I actually cut out some of the overlapping layers as I went, so that the dark green center wouldn’t be 6 layers deep!

Next came the beading. Actually first came finding needles that would fit through seed beads with thread! On the plus size, I know have about 156 new sewing needles, but on the other hand only about 6 of them worked. And they are so tiny and fragile, I managed to break one trying to force too much thread through the needle threader!

Okay, now back to beading! In the supplies I bought were lots of sequins – of all colors, shapes and sizes. (Of course my OCD required me to sit and sort it all!!) This helped get an idea of what I wanted to use and where.

I started with the dark green. One of the boxes of beads I bought had tubular beads and matching beads. The dark green was completed with the tubular beads across the color (rather than along with it). I thought about going back and adding seed beads between, but I think that would have been too much.

I then went back to the turquoise, those cute little ‘snowflake-ish’ designs with a bed atop into each one of the ‘loops’. Next came the lime green (I know it looks yellowish in the photo) where I sewed a little flower space with three matching green beads.

photo 4Then I went onto the purple.. this was pretty straightforward also, as the only real purple sequins were these little round ones, so I topped them off with a little larger purple bead.

And then I went back to the dark blue! I started beading this like outlining the shape but I was having a hard time controlling my spacing and the beads didn’t want to line up. About half way up the side of this and I was ready to call it quits. But then, I thought I’ll just fill it in!

Yeah. These are the things you don’t read about when trying to get information about how to do this. As you can see, I think I sewed on about 600 of these little blue seed beads (and I know because I accidentally knocked the paper plate on the floor and had to pick them all up!). Those alone took me about the time it took to watch 8 movies to sew on! Once I got to a certain point and thought “oh hell, no” I was past the point of no return! I had already spent a considerable time beading, but I did like the way it looked. So, I soldiered on.

DSCN3676I am actually still looking for the perfect ‘thing’ do place in the middle of the smallest and also dark green center. I originally had a large oval shaped button with its own beading, but being oval it didn’t look right in the teardrop/paisley shape.

I ran up to my sewing machine, sewed the little sleeve/pockets and slid the book into the cover.

DSCN3678Violå! It was done. Like I said, I have about a million bucks tied up in all of these beads, sequins, plastic flowers and needles that I may have to do more just to help offset the costs! After all, I can just get the basic piece done and work on the beading whenever I don’t have anything else to do.

Yeah, right!?!?

About MacCupcake

Obviously, a big Mac fan (my first Mac was the first Mac) and mother to the most awesome kid in the world. A techno-junkie and self-proclaimed geek... I love anything and everything relating to computers. Also love making things and figuring out how to make or adapt existing stuff into something new! Always ready to try something new!

2 responses to “Beading: Trying to Learn By Doing!

  1. STH

    That turned out so pretty! I really love all the color and texture there.

    I’m trying to remember a method I saw somewhere a while ago (how’s that for precise) for getting small beads to line up. I think you bring your beading needle up through the fabric at the start of the line, then put three seed beads on it and push it back down into the fabric, leaving just enough space for the beads. Then bring the needle back up between the first and second bead (counting from the beginning of your line) and put it back through the second and third beads. Put three more beads on your needle and repeat. I’ve found that to be pretty helpful in getting a nice line.

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