Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Beading Tutorial: Outlining Jewels with Ropes

 A sew-on jewel outlined with a row of Ropes and Fish Scales

Let's apply the Ropes beading technique we have already learned with some minor alterations to outline a sew-on acrylic jewel. Please refer to the Rope Tutorial before moving on.

You will need:
  • Beading thread
  • Beading needles
  • Scissors
  • Rocaille and/or seed beads 
  • Crystal or acrylic sew on jewels
  • Tray/lid (to hold your beads)
  • Thimble (for pushing needle through thick layers of fabric, optional) 

Start by stitching your jewel in place. Next pull the threaded needle up through the fabric against the edge of the jewel. This will be where your Rope will begin.

Load the needle with your desired amount of beads to make a Rope. For this example I chose to add a larger bead in the center of the Rope to give it a neat texture, (four rocaille beads, one seed bead, four more rocaille beads.)

Slide the beads down against the fabric with the Rope hugging the edge of the jewel. Insert your needle through the fabric next to the edge of the jewel and pull tight (see above.)

Pull the needle back up through the fabric between the Rope and the jewel about halfway back down the length of the Rope. In this case, I pulled the needle up between the larger seed bead and the jewel.

Load on beads for your next Rope and repeat the process. I decided to change to silver seed beads so you could see them better in the picture.

A twisted pattern will emerge as you continue around the jewel. The trick to insert the needle as close to the jewel as you can. It may take a few tries to figure out your spacing depending on the thickness of the beads you are using.

So, what happens if you get all the way around your jewel but the last Rope is either too long or too short to finish the outline? No problem. Just add or remove a few beads to the last Rope you place. No one will notice if the last Rope has only 6 beads when the others have 8.

That's it! Now you can add a ring of Fish Scales around the Roped jewel to create the design in the first photograph.

Have fun and good luck!


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