Circular Brick Stitch Around a Bead

  • 01 of 13

    Step by Step: How to Circular Brick Stitch Around a Bead Instructions

    Circular brick stitch around a bead. Lisa Yang

     Circular brick stitch is a simple but versatile stitch that can be used to make pendants, charms or as part of a larger bead weaving project. It is similar to flat brick stitch.

    Circular brick around a bead is done in rounds around the circumference of the bead. The pictured pendant has three rounds.  I used this component to make a great pair of beaded earrings.

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  • 02 of 13

    Getting Started With CIrcular Brick Stitch Around a Bead

    Circle bead with thread
    Surround the side of the bead with thread to secure the brick stitch. Lisa Yang

    I am brick stitching around a 6 mm round bead. You are not limited to round beads. Brick stitch can be used to stitch around center drilled teardrop beads, ovals and really any shape that you can find a way to secure the thread to the outside of the bead.

    I am using Fireline thread in 6 lb weight in smoke color. I prefer FireLine over other thread because it is a little stiffer and holds the shape better. Other threads may cause the finished work to be floppy.

    Thread the bead leaving a 6 inch tail. Insert your needle back into the bead in the same direction forming a loop around the bead.

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  • 03 of 13

    Double the Loops Around Each Side of the Bead

    Double Thread Around Bead
    Stitch around the sides of the beads a second time to provide a secure base to connect the beads. Lisa Yang

    Insert your needle back into the bead in the same direction again, this time guiding the thread to the opposite side of the bead.  The bead will have a loop of thread surrounding it.

    Repeat one more time so you have a two threads on each side. This helps provide a firm base for the beads and decreases the thread loosening or slipping while you are stitching. 

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  • 04 of 13

    Pick Up Two Beads to Start the Brick Stitch

    Pick up two beads circular brick stitch
    Pick up two beads to make the first stitch in circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

     Your first stitch on each round of brick stitch will use two beads. The reason you use two beads is because the thread will loop up through the first bead and down through the second bead. If your first stitch only used one bead, the thread would show.

    I am using 11/0 delica cylinder beads for the first layer around the bead.

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  • 05 of 13

    Secure the Beads by Stitching Under the Thread Around the Bead

    Complete first Stitch circular brick
    Circular brick stitch completing the first stitch. Lisa Yang

     To secure the two beads, stitch under the thread bridge and up through the second bead. I work around the bead clockwise and put my need under the thread surrounding the bead going from the back to the front. You can work whichever direction is most comfortable for you, as long as you remain consistent.

    Push the beads flat against the bead so they are lying side by side with a bridge of thread connecting them across the top.

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  • 06 of 13

    Adding Beads to Circular Brick Stitch

    CIrcular round 1 bead 2
    Adding the second stitch in circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

    You will continue adding one bead at a time.  Pick up a bead, stitch under the thread circling the bead from back to front and then up through the bead. Pull to secure and press the bead against the center bead. 

    You may need to pull on the thread tail periodically to keep the thread circling the bead secure.

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  • 07 of 13

    Bridging the Gap Over the Hole

    Bridge gap on circular brick stitch
    Beading over the gap by the hole in circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

    When you get to the hole in the bead, there is a small gap. Stitch to the thread bridge on the other side of the hole and continue stitching like normal.  Once you have completed the stitch, you can adjust the location of the beads slightly by pushing them slightly to one side or another. 

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  • 08 of 13

    Completing the First Round of Circular Brick Stitch Around a Bead

    Complete Round 1 circular brick stitch
    Completing round 1 of circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

     The hardest part of the first round of circular brick stitch is deciding whether or not you have room to add one more bead to complete the circle. If you add too many, the beads will not lay flat against the center bead and ruffle slightly. I find that it makes the finished circle less even, so when in doubt, I leave it out.

    In other words, it is always better to have less beads and spread them around the center bead evenly than to have too many and have the base row be buckled. 

    To finish the first row, stitch down into the first bead you added. It will be sitting slightly askew since it is not fully secured like the other beads.  Stitch down with your needle ending up on the back side of the beadwork, then go under the thread bridge directly below the bead. For me, this means stitching on the other side of the hole (the first side you worked on). Then you will stitch back up that first bead.

    I have found that the beads will be more even and lay flatter if you stitch under the thread loop where you started stitching than the one where you added the last bead when closing the first round.

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  • 09 of 13

    Starting the Second Round of Circular Brick Stitch

    Circular brick stitch round 2
    Starting round 2 of circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

     Once your first round of brick stitch is complete, take a moment to spread the beads and even out the spaces between the beads. Make sure the thread lies evenly on each side of the center bead and pull the thread tail to make sure everything is secure before starting the next round.

    Pick up two beads to start the second round of brick stitch. I used 11/0 Toho beads (round beads as opposed to Delica cylinder beads). Stitch under the thread bridge between the second and third beads of the first row. (not the first and second beads). I like to reach over one thread bridge so the first two beads align on top of the second and third beads of the first thread bridge.  While these details seem minor - they all contribute to how even the beads lay in the stack of brick stitches. Don't stress about it though - after several times, you'll find what is most comfortable for you.

    One other tip: I like to gradually increase the size of the beads on each round because it lessens the need for you to add multiple beads in one thread bridge. While you are stitching, you may notice your beads are no longer aligning in the middle of the prior row of beads.  They will gradually shift depending on the tension and size of beads. If you don't increase the size of your beads on each round, this will be very noticeable, and you will need to add more than one bead on a thread bridge in order to complete the round without gaps between beads or pulling the circle too tight. Like adding the last bead on the first round, this is a judgement call on when you should add the extra bead. 

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  • 10 of 13

    Adding a Picot Edge to Brick Stitch Around a Bead

    Circular brick stitch edge
    Circular brick stitch scalloped edge. Lisa Yang

     I like to experiment with the outter edge of my brick stitch rounds. This is one of the simplest ways to finish and it is a little more decorative for the last round.  I use 8/0 round beads for the base and 11/0 round beads for the picot edge. You can make as many rounds as you like before adding this decorative edge.

    To make the first stitch of this round, pick up one 8/0 bead, one 11/0 bead and another 8/0 bead. Stitch under the thread bridge as usual and up through the second 8/0 bead. Adjust the beads so the 8/0 beads lay flat and the 11/0 is balanced between them on top.

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  • 11 of 13

    Making the Second Stitch of the Picot Edge

    Circular Brick Stitch Edge
    Adding the edge to circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

     To make the next stitch, pick up one 11/0 bead and one 8/0 bead. Stitch under the thread bridge and up through the 8/0.  Continue in this manner until you are ready to close the circle. To close the round, you will pick up one 11/0 bead before stitching down into the first 8/0 bead on the round.

    When you are done, stitch the thread back into the beadwork trying half hitch knots in between the beads. Trim the thread using sharp scissor or a thread burner. Repeat with the tail thread.

    Another option is to stitch a jump ring to the thread before stitching it into the work.

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  • 12 of 13

    Examples of Charms Made with Circular Brick Stitch Around a Bead

    Charms made using circular brick stitch. Lisa Yang

     Here is a small selection of charms made using circular brick stitch around a center bead. I like to use these as charms on bracelets, as earrings or as pendants. Once you are used to circular brick stitch, you can try it with other bead shapes or any charm that you can secure thread to the edge.

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  • 13 of 13

    Earrings Made with Brick Stitch Components

    Brick Stitch Component Earrings
    Completed earrings with circular brick stitch components. Lisa Yang

     I made a second one of the circular brick stitch components and added a little more beading to make these great earrings.  Here are the instructions to make the brick stitch earrings.