You can use seed bead patterns to make a wide variety of projects. Although seed beads are commonly associated with jewelry making, they are a remarkably versatile craft supply that can also be used to create pretty pieces for your home. Since the beads are available in an assortment of colors and sizes, you can customize the patterns to suit your own tastes.
Free Patterns for Seed Bead Jewelry
Jewelry made from seed beads can be extravagant or simple depending on the techniques used. The beads themselves are available in a variety of colors, and their many sizes allow you to create intricate designs. They look great as long, simple strands for necklaces and bracelets, which you can combine in multiples to create a roped look. You can also combine seed beads with other bead types for fun and funky styles. Browse the following free patterns to expand your beading library.
- Make this simple wave style necklace using seed beads and blister pearls. Click on the photo to download the instructions and detailed beading diagram. If you need help with downloading the pattern, check out these helpful tips. Suitable for a beginner.
- Azereal's Hubpage presents stunning earrings using a technique called coralling. Delicate and lacy, these earrings look just like sea coral. Designer recommends intermediate level skills.
- If you are looking for a romantic Valentine's Day gift or accessory, then the red button bracelet at Ben Franklin Crafts has you covered. In addition to seed beads, this bracelet uses a center focal button and miniature metal heart beads. Intermediate experience is recommended.
- Learn to make a hair barrette that is decorated with rows of seed beads. The easy to follow video at Beadaholique demonstrates the square stitch technique. This tutorial has been classified for intermediate levels.
- Smelly Nelly shares the instructions to her beautiful spiral focal. This beaded pendant looks complicated, but don't let first impressions dissuade you from giving it a try. The piece is worked in rounds, and each round is built on the previous one. It's suitable for beginner to intermediate beader.
- Alisha at Beadifulnights shares a fabulous video tutorial for making barefoot sandals. Take your pick of several choices or make a pair of each. This project is suitable for a beginner to intermediate jewelry maker.
- Quick projects like the flower ring tutorial at Panda Hall Learning Center are great options for beginners to beading. The simple design of this flower, and the need for only a few beads allows you to see finished results in minutes. When complete, the flower is glued to a ring blank.
- Kris at How Did You Make This? offers a charming multi-strand necklace. While the actual beading is a cinch, the real beauty of this project is the tutorial on using and attaching bead tips. The project is suitable for a beginner.
- Fresh Baked Designs provides another quick tutorial for a beginner with these Boho-style earrings. If you need an inexpensive, last-minute gift, this is a perfect choice.
Patterns for Home Décor
Many people associate seed beads with jewelry making since these delicate beads are often used as spacers between larger beads or as the basis for multi-strand bracelets and necklaces. However, you can use seed beads to create a variety of home décor projects, as well. Beads add a perfect touch of sparkle to vases, picture frames, storage tins, and other fun accessories. Some home décor projects that use seed beads require stringing the beads while others simply use a strong adhesive to keep the beads in place. To try your hand at beaded home decor projects, check out the following patterns.
- Add graceful style to your home decor with this stunning beaded tassel. Better Homes and Gardens presents a very easy beginner tutorial for this accent. Hang them on doorknobs and hooks, or anywhere else you want to impart a bit of refined luxury.
- Beading Daily provides a lovely tutorial for making a little star pendant that can be used as a pin, necklace pendant, or Christmas tree ornament. The flat disk shape is beaded by hand sewing the beads to a printed design on paper. Depending on the printed design, this tutorial can be accomplished by all skill levels.
- Restyle an old picture frame with this fun craft tutorial from Dummies.com. You don't need jewelry making skills for this project. The beads are attached to the frame using craft glue. This would be a terrific craft to do with kids.
- Another crafty beading project, Fire Mountain Gems offers this beautiful votive candle using adhesive sheets to attach the seed beads. This is a suitable project for a beginner.
- This gorgeous tree tutorial from Cool Creativity will have you drooling. While the magnitude of this project may require quite a commitment, the pattern itself is made up of branches in a simple repetitive technique.
- The adorable tea light wrap at Bead-Patterns will certainly make your holidays bright. It is done using a tubular peyote stitch and requires intermediate experience.
- Deck your halls with another great pattern from Beadaholique. Designer Julie Bean not only shares the instructions for making these colorful striped napkin rings, but also includes a video tutorial for the flat, even-count peyote stitch. Intermediate skill level is recommended.
- Even quicker and easier than the previous napkin ring suggestion is this napkin ring from Polka Dot Bride. Seed beads are simply strung on memory wire. The finished ring looks elegant and sophisticated. This project would work well for a beginner.
Tips for Using Seed Beads
As you have probably gathered by now, seed beads are very adaptable to many projects. If you have never worked with seed beads before, the following tips and information will make your first project much easier to complete.
- Remember, seed beads are a choking hazard and should always be kept away from children and pets.
- Cover your work area with a bead mat to keep your beads from slipping and rolling.
- Synthetic beeswax, also known as microcrystalline wax, can be used as a thread conditioner to help keep your thread from tangling during projects that involve stringing.
- When working with double sided craft tape, maintain the strength of the adhesive by using a craft knife to peel the protective backing off in small sections.
- The most popular seed bead size is 11/0, but you can find beads ranging from 24/0 to 5/0. In most cases, seed beads are either sold by weight or available for purchase in multi strand units known as hanks. You can purchase them at most craft supply stores.
Get Creative With Your Patterns
If you're just starting out using seed beads, it's best to follow the patterns as written. Once you get used to working with them, you'll find seed beads are extremely multifaceted. Consider swapping out colors or combining patterns to create unique, individual designs you can use yourself or give as gifts.