Seed beads are extremely small beads, usually round or square in shape, that can be made in a variety of colors and textures. They are most often made of glass or plastic, but can also be made from porcelain, metal and other materials. There are many examples of their use throughout history, and they remain prevalent in modern day crafting and beading projects. Because of their size, seed beads can be hard to thread and work with, but after practice it can become second nature for even casual beading enthusiasts.
Things You'll Need
- Size 12 beading needle
- Thin polyester thread
- Sturdy plate
- Seed beads
Thread a piece of thread through your needle by wetting the end of the string and passing it through the eye of the needle. Use a length of string long enough to accommodate all your seed beads, and make sure to leave at least a 2-inch tail when threading.
Place your seed beads on a large, flat plate, preferably one of an opposing color so the beads are easy to see in contrast. Make sure the plate is covered only by a single layer of seed beads, otherwise you may have difficulty threading them onto your needle.
Pick up seed beads one by one with the tip of your needle and push them down onto the string. When threading the first bead, push it down onto the string and grasp it tightly with 1 to 2 inches of string hanging beneath it. Use the thread to tie it in place. This is your anchor bead, and it will prevent the other beads from slipping off.
Continue stringing beads as in Step 3, until all the desired beads are threaded or you run out of string. With a bit of practice it will become easy to string upward of 10 seed beads at once.
Add the last bead, near the end of the string, and grasp it with your fingers to prevent it from slipping. Pull the needle to slip the thread out of the needle eye and tie it around the bead as you did with the anchor bead.
Tips & Warnings
- The smaller the eye of the needle, the harder it is to thread. You may need to use a hand-held needle threader if you are unable to do it with your hands.
- The Bead Site: Seed Bead Facts and History
- "Beading Basics"; Carole Rodgers, 2006
- Shannon Hansen; Pagan Jewelry Maker; Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Photo Credit bead with stones and amber image by Pavel Bernshtam from Fotolia.com
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