Beaded St. Petersburg Stitch Leaves

  • 01 of 14

    Materials to Make Beaded Leaves with St. Petersburg Stitch

    Materials

    For each leaf, you will need the following items:

    • A small amount (approximately 2 grams) of size 11 Japanese seed beads
    • A small amount (less than 1 gram) of size 15 seed beads
    • Braided beading thread in 6lb strength or size B Nymo
    • Size 12 beading needle
    • Scissors

    Start Stitching

    On a comfortable length of thread (no longer than 5'), pick up a stop bead and center it in the middle of the thread. Then, pick up 3 size 11 seed beads and a size 15 seed bead. Skip the size 15 seed bead and pass back through the third size 11 seed bead. Pick up two more size 11 seed beads. Pass needle and thread through the first two seed beads strung and pull snugly.

    Continue to 2 of 14 below.
  • 02 of 14

    How to Finish the Base Row

    Pass needle and thread through the last two seed beads strung. Remove the stop bead.

    On the tail thread, pick up 2 size 11 seed beads. With your working thread, pick up 2 size 11 seed beads. Pass needle and thread through the 2 seed beads you just picked up on the tail thread, and then back through the 2 size 11 seed beads on the working thread. Pull snugly so that the beads line up against each other.

    Continue to 3 of 14 below.
  • 03 of 14

    Start the First Side of the Leaf

    You will be stitching one side of the leaf at a time. To start the first side:

    Pick up 2 size 11 seed beads and pass needle and thread through the last two seed beads added.

    Continue to 4 of 14 below.
  • 04 of 14

    Add the First Size 15 Seed Bead

    Pick up a size 15 seed bead and pass needle and thread down through 3 seed beads of the base.
    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14

    Add the Second Size 15 Seed Bead

    Pick up a size 15 seed bead and pass needle and thread through the 2 size 11 seed beads just added.
    Continue to 6 of 14 below.
  • 06 of 14

    Continue Stitching the Leaf

    To add the next stitch, pick up 4 size 11 seed beads. Pass needle and thread back through the first two beads picked up and pull snugly so that the two pairs of beads line up next to each other. Add two size 15 seed beads as you did in Steps 4 and 5.
    Continue to 7 of 14 below.
  • 07 of 14

    Stitch the First Side of the Leaf

    Continue stitching in this manner until you have 9 size 15 seed beads along the bottom of the strip of beadwork.
    Continue to 8 of 14 below.
  • 08 of 14

    Stitch the Second Side of the Leaf

    Complete the second side of the leaf in the same manner as the first.
    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14

    Join the Sides Together

    If you don't have a needle on the other working thread, put one on now.

    On each thread, pick up 4 size 11 seed beads. Pass each needle through the four seed beads on the other thread.

    Continue to 10 of 14 below.
  • 10 of 14

    Secure the Two Sides Together

    To secure the two sides and firm up the leaf, pass needle and thread through the remaining seed beads on either side. On each side, pick up 2 size 11 seed beads and 1 size 15 seed bead. Pass needle and thread through the corresponding size 11 of the previous row and then back through the two size 11 seed beads just added.
    Continue to 11 of 14 below.
  • 11 of 14

    Secure the Two Sides Together

    On each side, pick up a size 15 seed bead and pass needle and thread back down through the three beads added in the previous step. On one needle, pick up four size 11 seed beads and pass needle and thread through the remaining beads of the row. Pass needle and thread from the other side through the beads just added as well.

    Choose one side (it doesn't matter which one) and knot the thread in the beadwork, weave the thread in a bit, and then trim close to the beadwork.

    You are now ready to add the "veins" of the leaf.

    Continue to 12 of 14 below.
  • 12 of 14

    Add the Center Branch of the Leaf First

    Using the remaining thread, weave needle and thread through the base so that you are exiting the center bead of the first (inner) joining row.

    Pick up 17 size 11 seed beads. You may have to adjust your seed bead count depending on the size of your leaf. Pass needle and thread through the center thread of the top of the base and then back through the last three seed beads just strung.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Add the Branches of the Veins

    To add each branch of the vein, pick up approximately 3 size 11 seed beads. (You may need to adjust your count depending on what part of the leaf you are adding a vein to and the size of your individual seed beads.)

    *Pass needle and thread through the nearest size 15 seed bead and back through the beads just added.

    Pass needle and thread through the next seed bead in the main branch and then repeat from * to add another branch.

    Repeat along the main branch to add as many smaller branches as desired.

    When you are finished adding branches, weave the thread into the beadwork, knot and add a drop of glue if desired, weave in a little more, and trim the thread close to the beadwork.

    Continue to 14 of 14 below.
  • 14 of 14

    Ideas for Using Russian Leaves in St. Petersberg Stitch

    • Make a cluster of leaves to use as a pendant. Attach them to a peyote tube and slide them onto a beaded rope or other necklace.
    • Attach two leaves together to use as a centerpiece for a bracelet.
    • Make two clusters of leaves using all size 15 seed beads and hang from earwires with tiny gemstone rounds as "berries".
    • Tack several leaves down on a wide strip of peyote or herringbone for a fantastic fall bracelet.