Photos, thoughts, and opinions from Anne Helmenstine.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Hugs & Kisses Beaded Ring - Free Beading Pattern
This beaded ring is made with two sizes of beads and either wire or stringing material. The design works up more quickly and is more uniform if you use two needles (or wires), but it can be accomplished using single needle right angle weave, if desired. You can vary types and numbers of beads, colors, and embellishments to make many different-looking rings based on the same design. Skill Level Suitable for beginners. More experienced jewelry makers may enjoy playing with color and embellishments.
Time Required Approximately 30 minutes.
Materials Size 11 Seed Beads: I used Matsuno for the red/gold ring and Delicas for the hematite ring
4-mm Czech Firepolish Beads: Try rounds or other sizes too Stringing Material: I used 10# PowerPro, but other threads or wire work
Ring Mandrel (Optional): Use to make rings of specific sizes
Wire Cutters or Thread Nippers: Try kiddie Fiskars for PowerPro
Cut about a half meter (1-1/2 feet) of stringing material or wire. It's more than you will need, but it's good to have extra length so you can keep a tight working tension. I recommend #8 or #10 PowerPro, since you can pass it through the ring a second time to reinforce it and because I have never had a ring break yet using it. Unless you are using wire, thread both ends of your needle (I used size 10's with the Power Pro). String an odd number of seed beads and let them fall to the center of the thread. I used 5 Matsunos or 7 Delicas. You can vary this number, but you want it to go at least halfway around your main beads, otherwise thread will show.
Cross your needles or wire through a main bead (4-mm Czech in photo). Pull it tight, with your beads are in the middle of the string.
String 3 Delicas onto each needle. Cross your needles through another small bead and pull the thread tight (total of 7, or whatever number you used in the first step, with half on each side plus a crossing bead).
Are you starting to see a pattern here? Add three small beads to each side and cross through a large bead. Pull tight. You don't need to strong-arm it, especially if you are going to go through the design a second time, but you do want a nice tight weave.
Add three small beads to each side and cross through an additional bead. Add three beads to each side and cross through a big bead. This motif with three larger beads covers the top of my finger, so I tend to start the band of the ring after this point. However, you can make only 1 motif or 5 motifs or do the ring in this design all the way around. Pick the design that suits your taste and comfort.
There are many possibilities for making the band. I have shown a band where you add three small beads to each side, cross through 2 at once, add 3 each side, cross through 2, until you reach the desired length. You could have 3 each side, cross through 1 or 2 each side, cross through 1... whatever you like.
When the ring is long enough (wrap it around your finger or a mandrel to check it), cross the last motif through the middle bead at the end of the ring (where you started!). Be sure to avoid twisting the design. Tie a knot or twist your wire and hide the ends.
I like to weave through the entire ring once more, tying knots every so often. If you weave through a second time, expect the finished ring to tighten/stiffen a bit. Going through the design a second time offers a great opportunity to embellish the design by adding extra beads, particularly over/under the 'crossing' beads. Reinforcing the weave isn't a big deal with smooth beads, but if you try this design with sharp-edge beads (e.g., Swarovski, bugles) you may appreciate the extra security. Clip the ends of the thread or wire and enjoy your new ring!
I am About.com's Guide to Chemistry. I have a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Tennessee and B.A. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Hastings College. My work experience includes research, teaching, and consulting.