Huichol Inspired Seed Bead Flower Earrings
Are these lovely dangle earrings a bunch of trailing flowers or falling snowflakes? The great news is that you can decide when you make these earrings! Choose bright saturated colors for summer ready baubles, warm earth tones reminiscent of Fall's palette, or cool blues like the earrings pictured to make a pair that is summer or winter appropriate.
The highlight of this design is a huichol inspired beaded flower variation that dangles on a sparkling stem of beads.
Gather Your Materials
For these earrings, you will need:
- Six colors of size 11 Czech seed beads
- Fireline beading thread
- Two closed jump rings
- Two earring wires
- Beading needle
Czech beads are the ideal type of seed beads for this project because of their round shape and wide variety of colors, including multiple shades in a single color family. Cylinder beads will result in angular lines that will expose more thread.
Fireline is a fishing thread that is also sold as beading thread, and is perfect for this project. Ten pound fireline is thin enough to pass through each bead multiple times and will also help stiffen the project to result in firm, not floppy, flowers.
These earrings start by making the flower and then adding a sparkly beaded stem to suspend them from jump rings attached to the ear wires.
Starting the Flower
Make a circle of twelve silver seed beads and tie a square knot to secure. Then stitch through one more bead to hide the knot in a bead. Pick up five seed beads, one light blue, three medium blue, and one more light blue, as shown. Place your needle into the second silver seed bead in the circle, skipping one bead.
Continue this pattern of picking up seed beads and stitching into every other bead all the way around the circle.
Step Up to Start the Next Bead Round
When you have completed the circle, you will need to "step up" to start the next round. Stepping up is stitching through beads that you previously added to position your thread for the next row.
After the last step, your thread is exiting a silver bead in the center. Stitch through the first two blue beads you added to position your thread to start the next set of beadwork stitches.
Flower Petals, Beading Round Two
To make the next section of the petals, round two of three, pick up one medium blue, one dark blue, and another medium blue bead. Skip the middle bead and stitch into the second bead from the previous round. Pull thread tight.
Adding Bead Petal Separators
To keep the thread from showing between petals, an accent colored bead is added. Pick up one brown bead and put your needle in the second blue bead from the first round. Continue this pattern of alternating between adding three blue beads and one brown colored bead until you have worked all the way around the circle.
Stepping Up to Bead Flower Petals, Round Three
After you complete the prior round, stitch into the first blue bead you added in the last round. Your needle is now in position to start the third and final round of the flower petals.
Beading the Final Round of Petals
There can be two different variations for this round:
- If you like a rounded, slightly larger flower petal, pick up four dark blue seed beads for each stitch.
- If you like a more angular flower, pick up three dark blue seed beads for each stitch.
If you look at the finished earrings, the long dangle uses four beads on the final round and the shorter dangle uses three beads. The difference is slight, but combining both flowers, or using slightly different colors, can add interest to your finished earrings.
Pick up three seed beads, skip the middle dark blue bead, and put your needle into the next medium blue bead. Pull thread tight.
Position Your Thread for the Next Petal
To position your thread for the next petal, stitch back through the petal and connector beads you added in the second round. Your needle should be coming out of the second medium blue bead on the petal. Continue adding beads and positioning the thread until you have completed all of the petals.
Adding the Bead Stems
Decide on a length for the beaded stems suspending the flowers. For the pictured earrings, the long flower hangs from 35 silver lined gray beads for a total length of 2-1/2 inches, including the flower. The shorter stem is about 20 beads for a length of 1-3/4 inches.
With your needle exiting the top of a petal, pick up the desired number of beads and then a closed jump ring. Holding the jump ring in place at the end of the beads, pass back through the line of stem beads to lock the jump ring in place. Tie off the thread ends by weaving them back through the beads and tying a half hitch knot to secure.
Finish the Earrings
Follow these instructions to another flower and add it to the jump ring. Add an earwire to finish your earring and then make a second one to match.
If you like these beaded flower earrings, try more huichol inspired beadwork projects that use similar techniques!