Bead Encrusted Big Hole Bead (Seed Beading, but easy!)


I showed these pearl encrusted BHBs a while back in the Pandora Style Bead Gallery thread (…80096&page=137) and got a bunch of requests for a tutorial on them. So, here it is!  Or, if you don’t want to make your own, I have a bunch for sale here:

Are you ever in the middle of a huge pile of cored beads and you just are having a super off day? I’ve been hoarding my sterling, copper and brass rivets for a while now, figuring that at some point I’d finally figure out what to do with the perfectly fine metal pieces after I’d gone and broken the glass off them.

Leftover rivet from a broken BHB or any tube shaped bead
11/0 seed beads
Beads to cover your core. I’ve tried pearls, crystals, 6/0 seed beads and aquamarine. Photos at the end.
Fireline beading thread
Beading needles. If you’re using pearls, they’ll probably have to be #12.
Small, sharp scissors
Optional: Thread Burner
Optional: 15/0 seed beads
Optional: A little bit of glue. I suggest some E6000.

Cut at least 1 yard of fireline beading thread for this project. You really don’t want to start a new thread in the middle!

Using the 11/0 seed beads, do a strip of peyote stitch that goes around your little bead. Generally I start with 4 beads. Its really important that you start with an even number. Don’t kow peyote stitch? No problem! Its super easy, and there’s a great online tutorial here that actually uses 4 beads in the demo.

Below, my little peyote stitch strip…

Here’s the only place this gets a bit fussy. You need that strip to wrap around your core (or cylindrical bead) and not be too loose and not be too tight (otherwise the thread will rip out later). In addition, when it wraps around, you’ll be “zipping” it together to form an endless band. If you wrap it around your core and the beads don’t fit together like little teeth or a zipper, then you’ll either have to stitch one more row of peyote stitch or take one row out.

Below, you should see how I can “zip” that little piece together.

Okay, that photo sucks, and of course I already finished the project, so here’s another shot of my zipping together a piece of peyote stitch from a completely different project. But you should be able to see how those little sticky outy beads just fit in together and hopefully it’ll make sense. Hey, its a freebie! Gimme a break!

Alrighty, here’s another out of focus picture of the piece all tightened up. If you are using a regular cylindrical bead, you might want to put a little glue onto a toothpick and just get a little in there. With the channel from the rivet, I don’t have to worry about it falling off at all. As a matter of fact, I could just call this done here…

…but of course I have to add fringe to everything.
You’ll be adding the very simplest of all fringe here. You’ll add a bead, and then a bead I’ll refer to as a “stop” bead. Then, you’ll go back down through the larger bead and anchor the fringe onto the piece. I like using a 15/0 seed bead as a stop bead. My fringe beads will be pearls, and since I’m all about this project being a “using up leftovers” project, I’m also going to use a random mix of pearls.

Here’s the first pearl I’ve added.

And a couple more pearls. See the way the little 15/0 seed bead sits on top?

Here I’m finished with the first row around the bead and I’m adding a second row

All in all, I added three rows of pearls around the bead before I decided it was nice and “full.”

Once you are finished, weave your needle through the beadwork until you are sure that it won’t come loose. Cut off the thread and use your thread burner, if you have one, to get rid of any thread ends. You’re done!

Here’s the finished bead.