This past Christmas I made a special beaded gift for one of my sisters. She had just moved into a new apartment, so, being the practical girl I am, I wanted to make something that she could display in her home that would also be useful. During the fall, I had purchased a wooden box with a recessed area on the top that I thought would be perfect for a small beaded panel. I had been doing a lot of loomwork because I was working on Naomi Sakuma's Pattern Play purse at the time, so I decided to make my beaded panel on the loom. I measured the size of the recessed area on the box, and figured out how many rows of loomwork I would need to make. Too bad Anna Draeger's handy guides weren't ready yet – I had to figure it out myself!
Now came the fun part – designing the panel. I don't have any bead pattern software at home, so I sketched out the design on graph paper. Then, I selected my colors and filled in the details with colored pencils. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, even with all the editing I did along the way.
Once the design was done, I loomed the panel, cut the piece from the loom, and attached an Ultrasuede backing. I was so happy when I popped the piece into place in the top of the box and it fit perfectly!
If you like beading from patterns but aren't quite ready to design your own, check out our online patterns. The bracelet shown at left was made following Pascale Guichaova-Mikovic's gorgeous Tamzara pattern. If you design your own patterns and would like to share them with other Bead&Button readers, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We pay for the patterns we publish!
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