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Beading embroidery – backstitch and brick stitch DIY tutorial

Information about project:

Beading embroidery – backstitch and brick stitch DIY tutorial

Designed by: Marta Draganek

Difficulty: Intermediate

Rating:

Beading embroidery is one of my beloved jewellery making techniques. I have been fascinated with huge necklaces, bracelets encrusted with crystals and natural stones bezeled with beads for a long time. I can spend hours watching pieces made with this technique online. The prices of such jewellery can make one dizzy, but that's not surprising considering the time you need to spend making such jewellery. So I came to a conclusion, so that you can learn everything!

 Today, on the example of a key ring, I’m going to show you two basic beading embroidery stitches – the backstitch and the brick stitch.

Supplies used in this project:

  • Natural stones – on my key ring, I used 6mm faceted Agate in an amethyst colour. It can be replaced with any beads or cabochons. It’s all up to your creativity.
  • 11/0 TOHO Seed Beads. I used Silver-Lined Frosted Crystal and Opaque Jet. You may also use cheaper, Chinese beads if their holes are big enough to let the needle pass through them twice.
  • Felt – technical 2mm felt. This will be our foundation, so it needs to be stiff to support the weight of heavy glass beads and stones.
  • To finish your beaded element you may use a thinner, decorative felt, a piece of leather or ecological suede. Choose the felt matching the colours of the embroidery. I chose a grey one here.
  • 30mm key ring with a chain – silver, metal
  • Needle – beading needle.
  • Thread – nylon or monofilament ones in a matching colour. I prefer the 1st one myself. I’m going to use 2 colours of threads here – black to stitch the beads and grey to finish the edges.
  • glue – jewellery or textile glue to stick the finishing
  • small, sharp scissors – to cut the finished element out of the felt.


Step 1

If any of the products are not available, don’t be afraid to experiment both with the materials and the colours – the effect of using different colours will surprise you. 

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Step 2

Where to begin?

I usually draw the motive on a sheet of paper first, which I’m going to embroider in the scale 1:1. This is my stencil. I inspired myself a bit with a pattern I saw on a wallpaper in an Art Deco shop. If you don’t feel up to draw something yourselves, search for ready-made projects online. My stencil is 8 x 4 cm. I marked the places I’m going to stitch the stones with circles.

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Step 3

Cut out the stencil and trace it on the felt.

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Step 4

Draw the main contours as well.

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Step 5

Stitch the 6 mm bead to the foundation felt. Pass the needle up through the felt.

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Step 6

String the bead and pass the needle through the same place you exited. Just like stitching a button.

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Step 7

Stitch the bead twice the same way to make sure it’s placed well. Place the bead parallel to the foundation – the thread won’t show then.

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Step 8

I start embroidering the contour with the tiny beads. I’m going to work with the backstitch here. I want the beads to surround the agate and then to pass to the contour of the whole motive. Pass the needle up next to the stone. String 2 grey TOHO beads.

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Step 9

Place them along the stone’s edge.

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Step 10

Pass the needle down behind the 2nd bead.

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Step 11

 And pass the needle up before the 1st bead.

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Step 12

Pass the needle through both beads once again

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Step 13

String 2 TOHO beads and pass the needle through the felt behind the 2nd added bead.

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Step 14

Pass the needle up through the felt 3 beads back, so behind the 1st TOHO bead.

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Step 15

Pass the needle through all the beads on the right side.

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Step 16

String 2 TOHO beads and pass the needle down through the felt behind the last bead.

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Step 17

Pass the needle up through the felt 3 beads back and pass through all the beads on the right.

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Step 18

And again – string 2 beads and pass the needle up 3 beads back – that’s all for the backstitch. You’re going to embroider the whole drawn contour this way. As you have surrounded the stone, continue stitching on the lines.

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Step 19

I have embroidered the 1st spiral and I start the 2nd one with stitching another stone.

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Step 20

This is what the finished contours look like. I drew some more lines on the felt, which I’m going to work on now.

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Step 21

Another stage finished.

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Step 22

It’s time to fill in the contours. Firstly, with the same grey colour using the brick stitch.

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Step 23

I’m going to embroider the rest of the space with black TOHO beads. I start along the inside edges and then towards the central part to fill in the whole space with the beads.

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Step 24

Fill in the next two spaces the same way.

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Step 25

It’s time to work with the back because it doesn’t look nice at the moment!

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Step 26

Cut out the embroidered motive along the beaded edges with scissors.

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Step 27

Trace the motive on your finishing material. It can be a thin felt or leather.

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Step 28

Stitch overhand a ring with a chain to the back side of the motive. It you would like to have a pendant, you may stitch a bail. If you would like to have earrings, you can add jump rings to attach the earwires to.

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Step 29

Put some glue on the whole back side (jewellery or textile glue) and stick on the finishing material.

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Step 30

It looks better now, doesn’t it? What to do now to hide all the layers on the edges? The brick stitch will be useful here. I didn’t cut the thread I stitched the chain on purpose. Pass the needle through the finishing material a few mm from the edge.

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Step 31

String 2 TOHO beads – the same colour you stitched the contours with. Pass the needle down between the contour beads. Pull the needle out a few mm from the edge of the finishing material.

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Step 32

Pull the thread.

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Step 33

Pass the needle up through the 2nd bead…

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Step 34

… and pull the thread again.

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Step 35

String 1 TOHO bead and pass the needle down between the contour beads of the embroidered side.

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Step 36

Pass the needle up through the bead just added and pull the thread.

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Step 37

Continue until you have stitched the whole edge with the beads – adding 1 bead each time. This is how a finished edge should look like on its right side.

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Step 38

And on the left.

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Step 39

The key ring is finished!

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Step 40

You can make all sorts using these stitches such as earrings. The choice is yours!

I started the below project from sticking the crystal onto the felt. I bezeled the crystals with the backstitch, starting from surrounding the crystal with 2 sizes of beads: 11/0 and 15/0.

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Step 41

I also made a necklace with agates in brown and violet the same way.

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Step 42

Show your key rings on our Facebook group. 

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