Follow Poppy’s tutorial below and make your own beautiful beaded bow!
- Beading foundation
- Size 11 seed beads
- Size 8 seed beads
- 2mm fire polish beads
- Square crystal/cabochon
- Soutache cord
- Beading thread
- Beading needle
1. Firstly you will need to print or draw a bow template and cut it to shape depending on how large you want it to be, then using dress pins secure it onto your foundation fabric and cut around.
2. After removing the pin you will be left with your bow shape, I advice using a pencil draw in any details of the designs this will give you a good guide for when adding the beads.
3. Once you’re happy with your shape you will need some glue and your chosen cabochon. Dap the back of the cabochon with your glue and hold firmly on the fabric. Leave it to dry before continuing. You may need more glue if you’re using a crystal with a pointed back. You can also cut a hole out of your felt to slot it into before gluing if you feel you may struggle to glue it in place. You can then add more felt on the back of the bow to cover up the pointed back of the crystal.
4. Now we want to make a neat edge around the cabochon to finish it off nicely, I have chosen to stick with black but you can use any colour you wish.
5. Using nymo thread which I ran through thread heaven (making it smooth to run through the fabric) and knotting the end, I start by passing through from the back and picking up 1 size 11 seed bead and passing back through slightly above where you originally came from.
6. You will see the seed bead sits nicely on its side but may not feel secure, that’s okay as we will now reinforce it. Go back through your first position to the front again, but this instead of picking up a bead you go back through the one you picked up last time. This puts you in the correct position to add more but also secures your very first bead.
7. Now you need to pick up 2 seed beads and do exactly the same as before. You will need to go back through your fabric leaving enough room for the beads to sit nicely, to do this you will need to estimate the width of 2 beads.
8. Then you need to go back through your first point of entry and go through all 3 beads, by doing this you are running a trail through them all which will give you a nice neat shape. Adding 2 beads again, doing exactly the same but instead of coming back through your first entry point you will come back through one bead behind your 2 new beads added, this is what you will do every time after. It will feel like you are moving your beads out of line but its only temporary.
9. Keep adding 2 beads at a time going back through the one previous bead until you have gone the whole way round. You may find you can only fit 1 bead at the end, that’s fine it’s the same principle as 2 or even 3 always go back through the previous bead. Once you have gone the whole way round, I like to make sure the beads are sitting nicely and are secure, so I pass my needle back through all the beads keeping a nice tension, once happy go through to the back, finish and cut excess thread away.
10. Now moving on to one edge of the bow, using nymo again and doing the same technique as before bead your way round. I have chosen to use seed beads size 8 to add depth. If you want to make more progress quicker you can pick up more than 2 seed beads at a time but don’t recommend more than 3 or 4. I personally use 2 as it give more room to shape and makes the lines sharper and secure.( Remembering to pass back through them all once completed to make sure they are all sitting nicely together) Finish and cut excess.
Moving on to the edging, I have used Soutache cord, you can use as many layers are you desire. I have actually used 3, 2 in coral and one in black. However to demonstrate how this technique is done I’ve shown you using just one for the moment.
Place your Soutache cord around the edge of the bow using pins to hold it in its place.
11. Use nymo in the same colour as the cord or clear thread. From the back pull your thread through at on a slate so it goes through the foundation but also goes through the centre of the Soutache.
12. Then leaving a small gap from where you came out of, go back in the cord in the centre and passing through the foundation. Don’t pull tight just enough so the thread is laying flat against the cord, this will prevent any lumps and bumps, making the edge smooth.
Continue this the whole way round the first part of the bow.
13. I choose to do 3 layers, doing exactly the same as one but go through all 3 at the same time.
14. Tie the ends in by passing through the foundation and the ends until they are secure at the back. It doesn’t matter if the back looks messy as it will be covered at the end. Finish and cut excess.
15. Filling in the rest of the bow, using the same technique as before I’ve used size 11 seed beads in a different shade going round the inside edge.
16. Keep doing this until you have filled all the area. You can use any beads that take your fancy, I decided to use another colour size 11’s and then some 3mm fire polish next.
Keep adding beads you desire until you fill the space…
17. Once you have completed the first half repeat on the second half, to finish off I added some fire polish beads along the top and bottom of the cabochons, personally felt it finished it nicely. Then you have you completed bow ready for whatever you want to use it for. I fixed it to a headband and then used some suede material cut the bow shape out and glued it to the back to hide all the stitching. You could do the same or add a brooch, use on a necklace or bracelet. The beautiful of bead embroidery is that it has endless options.
I hope you have found my tutorial easy to follow and have enjoyed it too.
I would love to see your finished pieces feel free to send me an email!