How do I string the perfect necklace? What do I do if a bead breaks? Find out here. Bead&Button Associate Editor Anna Elizabeth Draeger answers your questions about beading techniques - stitches, tools, design, and more - in this monthly column.
1

Beaded clasps

Posted 2 years ago by Anna Draeger
Q: How do you decide what clasp to use when you are designing a piece of jewelry? Do you think of it at the same time as the design? Is it an afterthought? Do you get to the end and think, "Now what am I going to do?" So really — to buy a clasp or to make a clasp — that is the question.   A: Luckily, I've got some answers. Sometimes it's difficult to finish off a design with a clasp worthy of being included in our beadwork. Many times I'll come up with a really good idea fo...
1

Branched fringe techniques

Posted 2 years ago by Anna Draeger
In the February issue of Bead&Button magazine, I covered some beaded edging techniques in Bead Soup, p. 11. The techniques described in the magazine were very basic, but there are many variations that can be created after learning those basics. One of my favorite variations of simple fringe technique is branched fringe, which provides a full edge of beadwork using the simplest form and seed beads, a look of foliage if you incorporate seed bead leaves, or a glamorous lush piece if you include...
4

Free candy cane charm

Posted 2 years ago by Anna Draeger
  Q: I would like to make Christmas earrings that look like candy canes. Not a flat design but tubular peyote.I can't figure out how to make the bend for the top of the cane. I've tried using 15/0s to make the curve (I am using Delica cylinder beads), but that doesn't seem to work. Using decreases doesn't seem to work either. Do you have any ideas? – Linda Chambers A: That is a good question, Linda, and after thinking about it for awhile, I think tubular herringbone stitch would wor...
2

Bonus project from the October issue: Flower ring

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
In the Bead Soup section of the December 2011 issue of Bead&Button, I wrote about using individual components from jewelry designs to suit your personal taste, then I made a ring using the techniques from two different articles to illustrate. This flower ring is the result of combining the diagonal peyote stitch technique used in Carole Horn's "Neptune's garden" bracelet (p. 48) and variations of the bezeled rivoli and peyote leaves from Lauren Miller's "Fire flo...
6

10 tips for terrific tension

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
I receive a lot of questions through Ask Anna about stitching tension, so I've compiled a list of the most common problems people have encountered and posted some of the advice I've given. Take a look to see if any of them sound familiar, and hopefully they will help you get the desired stitching tension as you work. 1. Get a grip! Literally. Picking up your beadwork can greatly improve your stitching tension. Holding the beads in the stitch you just added and the working thread where i...
4

Free instructions: Two stitched beaded end caps

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
The October 2011 issue of Bead&Button magazine gives six great tips for finishing the ends of a beaded rope in the Bead Soup section on p. 10. One of the tips mentions beaded end caps, which are an excellent way to cover up an unattractive end of a stitched tube or create a neat termination to a multistrand necklace or bracelet. I came up with these beaded end caps just playing around with some leftover beads. One is worked predominantly in tubular herringbone stitch, while the other is all ...
3

How can I include buttons with shanks in my embroidery designs?

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
I have some spectacular buttons I'd love to peyote stitch around to make a beaded bezel. I then want to incorporate them into bead embroidery on Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. But how would I accommodate the button shank? It protrudes so far out the back that it’s hard to get the button to lie flat on my backing! Thanks for your help! – Melissa Phillips, New Mexico Thanks for your question, Melissa. I know lots of people who want to include buttons in their beadwork but don't w...
2

More Honeycomb Bangle tips

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
I saw lots of ladies walking around the 2011 Bead&Button Show wearing Cynthia Rutledge's Honeycomb Bangle, a project we featured in the April 2011 issue of Bead&Button. I also saw several ladies wearing a whole stack of bangles, and even a ring! This is such a stunning piece, everyone who sees the ones I made can't help but to pick them up. Cynthia Rutledge, several readers, and our staff have come up with several places to purchase the rondelles used in this design, along wit...
1

What can I do with leftover wire and beading wire?

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
Recycle, recycle, recycle... I was making some earrings for a class last week when I realized that I was being so wasteful! I have been saving bits of beading wire for a very long time now: Whenever I was left with a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of beading wire at the end of a spool, or overestimated how much I'd need for a project, I'd make a  loop with the wire and wrap one end around the other a few times to hold it in place. Then, I'd throw it in a little bag with about 25 other ring...
0

How do I graph an increasing and decreasing flat peyote stitch pattern?

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
In the June 2011 issue of Bead&Button magazine, I did a Stitch Workshop (p. 22) that included how to make a butterfly using increasing and decreasing rows of odd- and even-count peyote stitch. After making the butterfly, you may want to make your own shaped pattern, but where do you begin? Follow these steps to get started:• Practice the basics: The best way to get going is by graphing a basic shape. Once you get the hang of graphing simple shapes, more complicated designs or even photos can...
0

How do I incorporate a metal clasp into my beaded design?

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
There are many choices when it comes to clasps, but really nice clasps usually carry a really nice price tag, so base-metal clasps may be your only alternative. But slapping an inexpensive metal clasp on a bracelet that took 30 hours to stitch just doesn't make any sense, and it also diminishes the look of the quality of your work.Although I like to make beaded clasps to tie in the colors, extend the design of the piece, and give it a more finished look, sometimes it is necessary to use a me...
0

How do I design a leaf using peyote stitch?

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
The actual question I received from Lynne Irelan was about designing a holly leaf, but this technique should work with any type of leaf. Some shapes will lend themselves better to flat peyote stitch and others may work better with square stitch or brick stitch. If a shape just won't work in a particular stitch, give a different stitch a try!• First, go to our website home page and download some free peyote stitch graph paper. • Next, find a photo of your desired leaf, place it on the graph p...
2

How do I add a clasp to a St. Petersburg chain?

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
You may have seen the St. Petersburg chain in the June 2009 issue of Bead&Button or in the Beader's Handbook 2. Either way, many of you have asked this question over and over. Here are a few ways to add a clasp to a St. Petersburg chain. If you are not familiar with this technique, order either magazines listed above, or check out our video. The Beader's Handbook 2 is now available as a digital version as well!I recommend using 8/0 seed beads for the body of the chain and 11/0 seed b...
3

Tips and tricks for odd-count peyote

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
Some stitches have the ability to scare people away; maybe all of them do under some circumstances. I've seen people who have stitched in even-count peyote stitch for years unravel over odd-count peyote stitch. On the other hand, I've seen people who have never done any peyote stitching understand odd-count right away. Nonetheless, the first few rows of peyote stitch are tricky. The beads twist around and don't stay where you want them to. When you add an odd-count turn at the end of...
1

Holiday cheer!

Posted 3 years ago by Anna Draeger
There are so many great projects for the holidays, so why not check out the patterns available like the Stitched stocking by Collette Hunt, our free online project for December. Interested in more holiday projects? Just go to the Projects tab above and search "holiday." A whole bunch of patterns come up that would make great gifts. As a thank you to all our readers, I'm sharing these two patterns with you. Go to Online Basics to learn about Brick stitch and Square stitch, or go to ...
3

Measuring ornaments for "Haul out the holly" and "Heirloom treasures"

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
I've gotten several questions about the ornaments featured in the October and December 2010 issues of Bead&Button. In the materials lists, we give the size of the ornaments as 2-1/2 in. (6.4 cm) for "Haul out the holly" (October, p. 62) and 2-5/8 in. (6.7 cm) for "Heirloom treasures" (December, p. 34), but some readers have had a hard time finding the right ornaments because they often do not have their measurements listed on the package. If you pick up clear ornament...
3

How do you use Wire Guardians?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[Q] What are Wire Guardians and how do you use them? These clever little inventions by Beadalon were created to protect the loop of flexible beading wire at the ends of a strung necklace or bracelet where you attach the clasp. This is especially nice when you have a clasp with a sharp loop, as with some styles of magnetic clasps. They also allow any clasp to move freely, and act as a guide to create equal loops on either end of a bracelet or necklace.  I was able to find a couple of al...
1

How do I finish bracelet patterns from BeadAndButton.com?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] I made the pattern Follow the leader, and the description says to sew it to a metal cuff. How do I do this? [QA:A] The Patterns section of our website offers readers two extra projects each month; one for subscribers and one for registered users on our site. Patterns are popular for making bracelets, and most bracelets of any stitch can be finished in the following ways.  For Follow the leader, you would work the loomed pattern and finish the ends. To stitch it to a metal cuff, cut a...
1

How to make a floating or illusion necklace

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] I am making an illusion necklace with small bicone crystals and clear fishing line. I don't want the crimp bead to be that noticeable - what size should I use? If I use glue to hold the beads in place, what kind of glue should I use? –cnpainter[QA:A] There are three good ways to make an illusion necklace, a style that usually involves a single bead or a group of beads suspended at intervals along a stringing material. The first thing to consider is what look you're after. Small cr...
4

What size crochet hooks and thread should I use for beaded crochet?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
Many questions and comments popped up after my last post about beginning a crochet rope. I guess it got some readers thinking about trying crochet, raising more questions about what sizes of hooks work best with which thread or cord. To answer you, I had to search a bit. I came across Linda Lehman's Expert Advice article in the October 2008 issue of Bead&Button (read on to learn more). And if you are a subscriber to Bead&Button magazine, you can take a look at our Tips & Techni...
7

How do I begin a crocheted rope?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] Anna, I've been crocheting with yarn and thread for more than 50 years, but I cannot seem to get the hang of bead crocheting. I look closely at the pictures, but after the first or second round, I can't figure out where to put the hook. Even when I thought I had it right, I got lost after the second or third round and couldn't figure out which was the last round and which was the round below. It never looked nice and smooth like the pictures. HELP! Beth, Waynesville, North Car...
0

How do you attach rivolis to beading foundation when embroidering?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
When embroidering it is quite easy to include a flat-back cabochon whether it is stone, crystal, or glass. All you do is simply glue it to the foundation, wait for it to dry, and then you are ready to go! But what happens if you have a special shape or a rivoli that you want to include in your project? Here are some tips when it comes to incorporating components outside the norm.(reference Heidi's expert advice in xx issue of BNB)(Link to a few embroidery projects) Let's start with ...
3

What is Ndebele herringbone stitch?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] Is Ndebele stitch the same as herringbone stitch?Marlene Ackerman, FL[QA:A] Hi Marlene, Thanks for your question. Yes, those are the same stitches. The Ndebele herringbone stitch, derived from the Ndebele tribe in Africa, is often shortened to just herringbone stitch, the way peyote stitch is sometimes called gourd stitch, and Comanche stitch is also referred to as brick stitch. We have videos on our website demonstrating different herringbone techniques, or view or our Online Basics.Afte...
0

How do I achieve a professional finish on my jewelry designs?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] I have trouble with clasps falling off the ends of my bracelets and sometimes my necklaces. What am I doing wrong and how can I achieve a more professional finish? [QA:A] Good question, and the answer depends on the techniques you are using. If you are stitching, here are some tips: • Find a clasp that suits your design. If you have a large cuff bracelet, find a slide clasp that spans the width of the bracelet. If you try to stick a small toggle or snap clasp on the ends, the corners of t...
0

How can I add fringe to my focal bead?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] I purchased several art-glass beads from a bead show, and I'm not sure what to do with them. I want to hang them vertically from a necklace. Do you have any suggestions for how to do this? – Nicole [QA:A] Adding fringe and a bail to art-glass beads is a great way to suspend a focal bead from a necklace and enhance the bead's colors and design. When I design a necklace for Spotlight, I often pick a bead that has bold colors or a strong pattern. This way, I can pick up an element o...
7

Does organization hamper creativity?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
Here is a question from me to you. I struggle with this question because it seems like "a place for everything and everything in it's place" would be a good idea (especially according to my dear Grandma Gloria), but when I clean and clear my work station before starting a project, my mind goes blank. Then, as I rummage through drawers and bins of all the treasures I've collected over the years, a spark of an idea is sure to appear. The more I clutter up my surroundings, the mor...
3

How do I keep my necklace clasp at the back of my neck?

Posted 4 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] Aloha, Anna! Why do my necklaces keep spinning around my neck, so that the clasps are in the front? It is annoying and unsightly. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of chain or clasp or jewelry design. Is my neck too fat? My hair too long? My jewelry choices bad? Help! Tangled in Volcano, Laura [QA:A] Aloha, Laura!That is a common problem with many necklace designs. If the necklace is relatively the same weight all around, there is nothing to hold it in place. My favorite fix for tha...
3

How do I keep briolettes from flipping around on my necklace designs?

Posted 5 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] When stringing gemstone briolettes in a necklace, I have had trouble with the briolettes flipping to the inside of the necklace. I am constantly fussing with the briolettes to turn them to the outside when I wear the necklace. Is there a way to prevent this? [QA:A] There are a couple of ways to remedy this situation, especially if you are willing to try other techniques besides stringing. If you are simply stringing a necklace, leave a little slack between the beads when you crimp the en...
7

How can I finish a multiple-strand bracelet or necklace?

Posted 5 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] I am a beginner at making jewelry, and I have a question that I need some help with. I am trying to make a bracelet with four strands of beads, and I want to finish the ends off with a bead cap. How do I do this? It gets too bulky to put a loop at the end of each of the strings to pull them through the bead cap. There must be a better way. Help! – Ann, San Diego, California [QA:A] Good question, Ann, and I have two answers for you. But before you get started, take a moment to look at an o...
2

How many seed beads will I need for a tubular herringbone or peyote rope?

Posted 5 years ago by Anna Draeger
[QA:Q] Dear Anna, How can you calculate the number of beads you will need in a tubular herringbone stitch (straight or twisted) or tubular peyote stitch rope? I am asking because sometimes you find great mixes of beads with the mention of "make sure to buy enough for your project" because of dye lot or because the mix may be retired. I tried to make a necklace in twisted herringbone stitch, and I had to convert it into a bracelet due to the lack of beads. How can I avoid this in the future? &nda...

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