web analytics
Browsing Category

Design Team

Crystal Elegance Choker by Andra Selaru

A few weeks ago my eyes lit up when I saw Andra’s beautiful choker design when she tagged us on her Instagram post. We’ve collaborated together to make a full tutorial on how to make her Delica bead choker design because I think you’ll agree, it’s absolutely STUNNING! The choker continues to be a huge trend for 2017, and this one catches the light and sparkles so beautifully, making it the perfect statement piece for special occasions.

You can support Andra’s work by following her on Instagram and Facebook! If you’re on Instagram and would like to collaborate on a design or have your project featured on the blog, get in touch! Tag your designs @beadsdirect and #beadsdirect.

Urban Handmade initiated during my summer break in Romania in 2011 by me and my friend as we were both passionate about handmade and being creative in general. She was living back home, whereas I continued with it in the UK during my studies. As an Aeronautical Engineer, people are usually surprised to hear I make handmade jewellery, but you need a creative mind in engineering too, and this hobby is what stimulates it. I have had some interesting projects come to me end of last year and beginning of this one, which is motivating me to become more active on the social platform. – Andra

Project Materials

3x Miyuki Delica Size 11 Beads Crystal Silver Lined 5g (DB41)
1x Silver Plated Magnetic Clasp Clear Crystal Round 8mm (F1233)
1x Beadalon Wildfire Thread 0.006 inches (0.15mm) Frost (W473)



The triangles (Ladder Stitch + Brick Stitch Method)

Start by threading a size 10 beading needle, using the 10lb WildFire. (Tip: I haven’t used a bead stopper, so if you also don’t have one use a lighter and melt the end of the thread. That will seal the end and you won’t lose your beads).

Ladder Stitch Method (foundation row for the Brick Stitch)

1A. Insert 2 beads on the needle and then go up the first bead you inserted and pull tightly. The 2 beads should then sit close to one another.

1B. As you’re coming out the first bead, go down the second one.


1C. Next, pick up 1 bead. We notice the thread is coming out from the bottom of the second bead, meaning the needle will now have to go from the top of it. The idea of ladder stitching is to remember to chase the thread only after you picked a new bead. Vice-versa, if the thread is coming out from the top, your needle will go through the bottom of that bead.


1D. Come up the 3rd bead.


1E. Continue until you get 10 beads in a row. (You can increase or decrease the row, depending on how thick you’d like your choker to be, but remember to always have an even number of beads as the base).


1F. You will realise your row of beads will look slightly uneven and not sitting quite straight next to each other. As you’re coming up the last bead, go down the 9th bead, then up the 8th bead and so on until you reached the first bead.


1G. This should now straighten the row.


Brick Stitch Method

1H. Turn your work around as you are now working from right to left. Pick 2 beads, then skip the first thread bridge and pass your needle through the second thread bridge.


1I. Go up through the second bead.


1J. Pick 1 bead and pass through the next thread bridge (do not skip a thread bridge this time). Then go up the bead.


1K. Repeat 1J until you finish off the row.


1L. Repeat 1H – 1K until your top row has 2 beads. Finally, to finish off the triangle, pick 1 bead and pass your needle through the thread bridge.


The choker

2A. Starting from the ladder stitch base, you are going to create your first column. Make sure your thread is pretty long and pick enough beads to cover the circumference of your neck. The final choker/pattern will become netted so it will “shrink” in length, which is why you will need the last step of this tutorial to add to the length. If you don’t like the last step, then add more beads to your first column.


2B. For your second column, pick 3 beads and come out through the 4th bead of the first column.


2C. Pick 7 beads and then come out through the 8th bead of the first column. Continue until the end of the column.


2D. For your third column, pick 7 beads and come out through the 8th bead of the second column. Repeat until the end.


2E. As you can see, every 2 columns, you begin by picking 3 beads first, then continuing with 7 beads.


2F. Same as 2D


3.   Ending

3A Secure thread from the top bead of the triangle, then pick a bead and use the ladder stitch method explained earlier until you reach the desired length.


3B. Add a jump ring and magnetic clasp to secure and complete your choker!


Thank you so much, Andra for sharing your gorgeous choker tutorial! If you make a version of this design, we would love to see it! Share your designs on Instagram (tag us, @beadsdirect), Facebook and Twitter.

choker seeds 850

Candy Duet Bracelet by Joy Wignall

We’ve been eagerly waiting to share Joy Wignall’s beautiful bracelet design with you! Joy has used both the 8mm and new 12mm sizes of the Preciosa candy beads, along with twin hole beads and Toho seed beads to make this show-stopping piece that shimmers in purple and gold. You know when you’re holding a quality piece of handmade jewellery when it has a satisfying weight to it and Joy’s bracelet does exactly that. Not to mention the texture! The softness of the matte candy beads against the shiny ones gives the whole bracelet a silky finish that’s truly irresistible to the touch!

The bracelet will be made up of five sections and measures 18cm including the clasp. I started making the bracelet the first time using KO thread but I wasn’t happy with the finish and found that using Fireline thread gave a much better appearance. The candy beads have two holes running through them, it is easier to pick up the beads to begin your work if you check the holes are positioned correctly before you begin. – Joy Wignall

Project Materials

Toho Size 11 Round Seed Beads Gold Lined Rainbow Black Diamond (11TR999)
Toho Size 8 Round Seed Beads Inside Colour Rainbow Roasaline Opaque (8TR928)
Gold Plated Brass Toggle Clasp with Crown 22x24mm (F0209)
Preciosa Twin Hole Seed Beads Bronze Lined Crystal Clear (TWH68106)
Preciosa Big Candy Czech Twin Hole Frosted Purple (BG0724)
Preciosa Pressed Glass Candy Twin Hole Beads Purple/Copper (BG0450)
Fireline 6lb Side D Smoke Grey (TC300)



Step 1: Using a comfortable length of thread pick up 1 large candy, 1 twin hole, 1 small candy, 1 twin hole and repeat, (8 beads in total).


Step 2: Tie in a circle leaving approx 15cm tail to weave in later.  Stitch through all the beads again to reinforce then go through first large candy added.

Step 3: Pick up a twin hole, go through the top hole of the twin bead. Pick up another twin hole and go through bottom hole of candy, repeat 3 more times.


Step 4: Pick up 4 x size 11 seed beads and 1 x size 8 seed bead, take the needle back through the top holes of the two twin beads and back through the size 8 bead, in a circular motion, repeat this circle to reinforce.  Pick up 4 x size 11 seed beads and through top hole of next candy bead.  Repeat 3 more times.


Go all the way round the outside of the work again three times in total.  If you have a good length of thread left leave it to use to attach the clasp at the end otherwise weave thread through the work, adding a few half hitch knots along the way and cut off.  Weave tail in, again with a few half hitch knots and cut off. This completes the first section of the bracelet.


To make each section repeat steps 1 to 3 but for step 4 see below:

Step 4: Pick up 4 x size 11 seed beads and 1 x size 8 seed bead, take the needle back through the top holes of the two twin beads and back through the size 8 bead, in a circular motion, repeat this circle. Pick up 4 x 1 seed beads and through top hole of next candy bead.  Repeat 2 more times, you should be exiting a large candy bead, you will now join this section to the bracelet.  Pick up 4 x size 11 and 1 x size 8 seed beads, go back through top holes of twin beads and back through size 8, as before and repeat.  Now position the group next to the previous one, as shown, and go through the 4 x size 11 on the previous group, then through top of small candy of section just being made.  Go all the way around the work again 3 times to make the join secure.  Weave thread through the work, adding a few half-hitch knots along the way and cut off.  Weave tail in, again with a few half hitch knots and cut off.



Step 5: To add the clasp if you have enough thread left work around the beads until exiting the size 8 seed bead on the corner and pick up 2 size 11 seed beads and one side of clasp, back through 2 seed beads and through size 8 seed bead, again in circular motion, repeat this three times for strength then weave remaining thread into work with half hitch knots and cut off remaining.


Repeat for the other side of the clasp.  If you did not have enough thread left, weave an additional length of thread into the work, with half-hitch knots along the way until you are exiting the size 8 seed bead on the corner and follow step 5 to complete your bracelet.

wignall bracelet

Crocus Flower Jewellery by Claire Broome

Design team member Claire Broome has designed a beautiful floral necklace using Toho seed beads and Preciosa twin hole beads.  Learn how to make a seed beaded necklace made using the St. Petersburg Weave with Claire’s step by step tutorial! You can find more of Claire’s designs on her ToDot Crafted facebook page and also in her shop!

Untitled-4“I made this necklace a couple of years ago and love wearing it on sunny days or if I go away on holiday.  This got me thinking about designing a necklace with Spring in mind, using twin hole beads. Colours that make me think of Spring are the soft greens, lavenders and white like early blooming crocus flowers.” – Claire Broome.


Silver plated sieve twisted ring (F0603)
Toho Size 11 round seed beads silver lined crystal (11TRPF21)
Toho Size 11 round seed beads silver lined milky light peridot (11TR2118)
Preciosa twin hole seed bead chalk lavender 2.5x5mm (TWH03122)
Preciosa twin hole seed bead chalk white 2.5x5mm (TWH03050)
Pebble beading needle size 10/12 (W474) 
Nymo cream thread (TC996)



Thread on six twin hole beads and create a circle by going back through the beads from when you started.


Add two lavender twin hole beads between each white twin hole, bringing the thread through the upper white hole and lower lavender hole. Continue to fill the gaps until you have completed a full circle. Once you have added your circle of lavender beads, add one white bead between each lavender, again threading through the upper lavender hole and lower white hole.


I made 5 flowers then connected them together.

flower 4

I then made a necklace by attaching a chain using the St Petersburg Weave with peridot seed beads.

St Petersburg Stitch

Add a larger bead to act as a stopper then thread on 6 seed beads

Insert the needle back through the third and fourth beads

Pull the thread to create a loop

Pick up another seed bead and thread back through the previous 3 beads

Insert needle through the bottom two beads on the loop

Thread on four more seed beads then insert needle back through the first two to make a loop

Repeat steps 4, 5 & 6 and a pattern will start to emerge

To make the ring

For the ring I made the same flower as with the necklace but added a peridot seed bead between the last white row then added another row of white twin hole beads. Using the peridot and silver lined crystal seed beads I wove them through the sieve twisted ring and attached the flower using gem-tac glue.

set broome 850

How To: Kumihimo with Preciosa Tee Beads

The new Preciosa Tee beads are here and we just love their unique, interlocking design! Joy Wignall couldn’t wait to get her hands on the new beads and shares her Kumihimo necklace and bracelet project in the tutorial below. The gunmetal seed beads contrast perfectly with the plum and frosted silver AB Tee beads to make a cool, wintery look! Check out all the Preciosa Tee beads to make an alternative colour combination if you wish. 

Project Materials

Preciosa Pressed Tee Beads Plum x3 (BG0659)
Preciosa Pressed Tee Beads Frosted Silver AB x3 (BG0650)
Toho Size 8 Round Seed Beads Metallic Hematite x3 (8TR81)
Antique Silver Zamak Heart Toggle Clasp (F0108)
Silver Plated Kumihimo Bullet End Caps 3mm (F743)
Silver Plated Iron Jumprings 5mm 0.8mm (F0211)
S-Lon Bead Cord Gunmetal (TC663)
Silver Plated Magnetic Clasp (F982)
Small Round Kumihimo Disk (W343)
No Tangle Thread Bobbins (W510)
Fevi Kwik Glue (W311)


Project Tutorial

For tips on how to Kumihimo, check out Sarah Milsop’s Kumihimo necklace video tutorial.

To make a 50cm necklace, cut four 2 metre lengths of S-Lon cord. Gather the middle of the four cords and tie a knot. Push the knot through the centre of your Kumihimo disk.  Tie a weight on to the knot for the tension.  I started with a 90 gram weight and changed to 45 grams when I reached the Tee beads, changing again to 30 grams at the end of the Tee beads, this allows for an even tension through the whole necklace.  I use a bag of coins so it is easy to change the weight. Set up the disk by slotting two strands either side of the dots at 8, 16, 24 and 32.

On each of the four strands at 16 and 32 thread 133 size 8 Seed Beads, either tie a knot around the last bead or go back through the bead to use as a stopper bead.

On the remaining four strands thread 35 seed beads, then 22 Tee beads, followed by another 35 seed beads. If you are using two colours of Tee beads thread one strand of each colour at each point, making sure they are in the same order on the opposite point.


Wind the threads onto bobbins, this helps stop the threads from tangling.

Begin braiding starting with point 32 at the top and count 64 passes to give a couple of centimetres of braid.  This is important to provide a strong base for the beads.

To start adding beads slide a bead up the cord towards the point of braiding and press it as close as possible to the braid making sure it is tucked under the last cord to have been moved.


Carry on braiding as normal dropping a bead into place on each move until you reach the first Tee bead to be added.  Change the weight for the tension to 45 grams.

On the Tee bead passes drop one Tee bead on each pass, making sure the smaller end points towards the middle.  On the seed bead passes drop 3 seed beads on each pass.  Use your finger to keep them there if necessary.  If the seed beads try to ‘jump’ out of place pull the underside of the braid through the middle slightly.


Continue until all the Tee beads have been used.  Change the weight to 30 grams and continue braiding adding one seed bead at each pass.  Keep going until all the beads have been used or until the length of seed bead section is the same as the first section, you may need more or less beads here depending on the tension of your work.

When you are happy with the length, braid another 64 passes without beads to create a couple of centimetres at the end.  Remove cords from the notches and knot together so the braid doesn’t unravel.


Wrap some cotton tightly around the braid at the length needed for the cord end and sew through the braid a couple of times to make sure it is securely fastened.  Do this at both ends.  When you are happy that you have secured the braid cut the knots off.


To complete glue each end into the end cap and allow to dry. Attach the clasp with jump rings.

To make a 19cm matching bracelet

Cut four 1.2 metres of S-Lon cord and follow the basic instructions as above, but thread 69 seed beads on the four strands at point 16 and 32. On the other 4 strands add 2 seed beads, 22 Tee beads then 2 seed beads. Use a 45 gram weight throughout for the tension.

Separate the magnetic clasp and glue onto each end of the bracelet,  glueing them separately in case the glue seeps through to the magnet.


We hope you enjoyed Joy’s beautiful Kumihimo project. Are you feeling inspired? You can find all your project materials right here. Let us know what you think in the comments below!