Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tutorial:: Wooden Bead Stars

Day 2 on my Advent of makes is inspired by seeing this on Pinterest and thinking 'I can make that'!


Inspired by this I wanted to make some little beaded stars (to me this image was more snowflakey than starry), so here how I made them  ...


Materials:
  • Thickish thread - I used some crochet cotton. You should be able to pass it 2-3 times through the beads. I chose red as it gives a more Scandinavian look to these ornaments
  • Needle with an appropriately sized eye for your thread
  • Small wooden beads - with a nice large hole
  • Scissors
First up, lets make a simple five pointed star...

If you've never done freehand bead weaving before this little star is a nice easy introduction.

Firstly we need to start by making a central loop. Thread 10 beads onto a length of thread about 30cm long. Hold the end of the thread to make sure the beads don't just drop off the loose end!

Pass the needle through all beads again until you meet the other end of the thread, this creates a loop.


Pull the bead circle tight and make sure it looks like a loop. Knot the ends to secure the loop making sure you maintain the tension.

Now for the points of the star. 

Thread on three beads, then pass the needle through the bead closest to the needle. 

Add one more bead to the needle. 

On the loop skip one bead and then pass the needle through the next bead. 

Pull the thread tight and arrange the beads into a point.


Repeat until you have completed all five points. 

Then knot the threads and pass it back through some beads before snipping as close to the beads as possible.


Add a length of thread to hang the decoration, knotting once close to the decoration and once at the end. Trim the ends of the hanging thread.



Liked that? Let's make a more complex two layer five pointed star.

Cut a length of thread about 40-50 cm - you may need more thread if you have larger beads.

Once again we'll start by creating the central loop from which we'll build the points of the star.

Thread on five beads. 

Then pass the thread back through all the beads. 

Pull the bead circle tight and make sure it looks like a loop. Knot the ends to secure the loop making sure you maintain the tension.


We're building this star in two layers. 

For layer one we will create little peaks comprising of four beads, so get started by threading four beads onto your needle. 

Pass the needle back through the first bead (the one furthest from the needle) and pull the thread tight making sure the uppermost bead lies flat. 

Pass the needle through the next bead in the loop and repeat the steps above to create the next little peak.


Once you've worked all the way round and have five little peaks it's time to start on the second layer. 

Pass the needle through two beads of a little peak, then pick up three beads for the arm and four beads for the loop at the top (seven in total). 


Pass the needle back through the fourth bead from the needle, then pick up three further beads (the other side of the arm). 

Finally thread through one of the side beads on the little peak. 

Pull tight and arrange the beads so they lie correctly. 

Pass the needle through to the other side bead of the little peak, and you are ready to build the next point of the star.


Once you've created all the points in the second layer secure the threads then snip off the ends. 

Finish by adding a hanging thread.



And if you wanted to make one like the original inspiration picture - a beaded snowflake, here's how you'd do it.

Materials are the same as the stars above, except for using some metallic thread rather than red.

Thread five beads onto the thread, pass the needle through the second bead from the needle.

Next pick up two further beads and the pass the needle through the bead closest from the loop (fifth bead from the needle). 

Pull tight and make sure the beads form the shape in the picture, the thread through the next bead in the loop. Continue until you have completed all six points.

Secure the two ends of the thread via knotting against the thread in the central ring, then passing the needle through a few beads before trimming as closely to the beads as you can - a pair of really sharp embroidery scissors helps here. 

With the thread trimmings pass one length through one of the points, knotting close to the bead and then again towards the end of the thread, trim the ends.

And here's the finished decoration ...


And all three together - you could make a lovely garland from these.


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