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Beaded Circle Charm
I love to make these beaded charms. They look great as petite necklace pendants, earring components or as dangles on bracelets like this slinky ladder stitch bracelet.
The beading technique used is circular brick stitch. Instead of doing the circular brick around a bead, the stitches go through the center of a spacer style bead. Once the beading is done, I glue a crystal chaton in the hole to give it a more finished look.Continue to 2 of 15 below.
02 of 15
Starting the Brick Stitch
A key step is finding a good center bead to stitch around. The edges of the bead cannot be too thin or the beads will not sit straight. Look for spacers with a somewhat thick and flat edge. The link will take you to an article that shows some good options.
Other materials I used are 6 lb Fireline in smoke color, a beading needle and two different colors of size 11/0 delica beads. You can use any type of seed beads - they don't need to be cylinder beads. It works best if they are consistent in size though.
Tie the Fireline around the outside edge of the spacer bead using a square knot leaving a short tail. Center the knot on the edge of the spacer bead. Pick up two delica beads, slide them to spacer bead.
The first stich of any round will always have two beads. This prevents the thread from showing on any of the stitches.Continue to 3 of 15 below.
03 of 15
Making the First Stitch
Stitch through the center of the spacer bead, from the back to the front, and then go up through the second bead. You want the beads to sit side by side on the spacer bead before you stitch through it.Continue to 4 of 15 below.
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Press Beads Against the Spacer Bead
Pull the thread through and press the beads so they are resting side by side on the edge of the spacer bead. If you are already familar with brick stitch, you are basically treating the spacer bead as the thread bridge that you are stitching under.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Continue Adding Beads One at a Time
Pick up another delica bead, stitch through the center of the spacer bead from back to front and then back up the delica bead. Note that you are always stitching through the side of the bead that is closest to the needle (not the tail). This will make the bead sit side by side with the previous bead.Continue to 6 of 15 below.
06 of 15
Deciding If There is Room For One More Bead
One of the hardest parts of circular brick stitch is deciding if there is room to add one more bead to the circle. If you add too many beads, the circle will ruffle instead of laying flat. If you don't have enough, the thread bridge will be larger than the rest of the stitches.
I always err on the side of less beads. After you've done the final stitch of the round, you can always spread out the beads to even out the spacing.Continue to 7 of 15 below.
07 of 15
Finish the Round
To finish the round, stitch down into the first bead you added on the row. You are basically making the same brick stitch, but you are doing it in a bead that is already attached from the first stitch.Continue to 8 of 15 below.
08 of 15
Stitch up Through the Bead to Lock it in Place
Stitch through the center of the spacer bead, from back to front, and then back up through the bead to lock it in place. You are ready to start the second round of brick stitch beading.
Before continuing, you can pull the thread to tighten the stitches and slide the beads slightly to evenly space them around the center bead.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
09 of 15
Start the Second Round of Brick Stitch
Pick up two beads to start the second round of brick stitch. Instead of stitching through the center bead, you will put your needle under the thread bridge joining the tops of the beads on the first round. I always stitch from back to front and go around clockwise. I think this is just personal preference and if you find it is more comfortable to do it another way, you can do that, you just need to be consistent.Continue to 10 of 15 below.
10 of 15
Stitch Up Through the Second Bead
Push the beads down and side by side. Stitch through the second bead to lock them in place.Continue to 11 of 15 below.
11 of 15
Finish Round Two of Stitches
Continue adding beads one at a time and stitching through the thread bridge. Eventually, you may find that your beads are pulling to the front of the thread bridge. That will happen because the area you are covering with the beads is increasing as the stitches move outward, but the bead size is the same.
When you notice the beads sitting towards the front of a thread bridge, add a second bead/stitch in the same thread bridge. Another option is to use a larger size bead, and the size difference will account for the increase in the diameter of the circle.
Completing the second round is the same as the first. Once you decide you can't fit another bead, stitch down through the first bead of the row, under the bridge and back up through the bead.Continue to 12 of 15 below.
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Start the Third Round
Stitch the third round in the same way your stitched the second. Add two beads for the first stitch, include an extra bead in the thread bridge when the beads are pulling to the front of a stitch and finish by stitch through the first bead on the row.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
13 of 15
Adding a Jump Ring
Before you add the final stitch of the last round, pick up a jump ring to hang the pendant or charm. It is always easier to add it now than try and thread it through the spaces later and run the risk of cutting the thread.
Completing the last stitch will lock the jump ring into place. Stitch around the last two beads so the threads holding the jump ring are reinforced and secure.Continue to 14 of 15 below.
14 of 15
Weave in Thread Ends and Knot
To finish the threads, I typically weave the working thread to the tail thread and tie a square knot. I add a drop of glue to keep the threads secure and then trim them.Continue to 15 of 15 below.
15 of 15
Glue a Crystal Chaton to Cover the Spacer Hole
To give the charm a more complete look, you can glue a crystal chaton or a flat back crystal over the hole of the spacer bead. This is a technique that is often used by Miguel Ases on his beautifully crafted beaded jewelry.