SHARE IT
Pin this on Pinterest

Autumn leaves brooch

Wire enhances a sculptural peyote brooch

Before becoming a beader five years ago, I had been a painter for 25 years. Water, rocks, trees, and leaves have been a recurring theme in my work, and I never tire of exploring the constantly shifting relationships among these elements. 

My beadwork is more abstract than my painting style, but my love of these earthy elements is unchanged. You can see them in the shapes and colors of my jewelry.

Once you master the leaves, experiment to see what else you can create with them. My brooch easily converts to a necklace by adding it to a stitched neckband, or use individual leaves to make a pair of playful earrings.

SUPPLIES

  • 50g size 11/0 seed beads, two or more fall colors
  • 10g Japanese cylinder beads, one or more fall colors
  • 10g size 5/0 hex cuts
  • 12 or more assorted beads, 2-12mm
  • Nymo B or D or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
  • 24-gauge wire
  • pin back

EDITOR'S NOTE: First, cylinder beads are slightly smaller than 110s, so the centers and edges of your leaves will curl naturally as you stitch. Second, make your leaves using a variety of bead colors. Fall leaves provide a rich and sometimes unexpected palette of hues.

INSTRUCTIONS

Small amounts of thread show along the edges as you taper the leaves. To minimize its appearance, choose a thread color that closely matches your cylinder beads.

Autumn leaves brooch f2
Figure 1

BASIC LEAF SHAPE

1. Thread your needle with a yard (.9m) of Nymo or Fireline and string a stop bead to the middle. Go through the bead again in the same direction to anchor it.

2. String 24 cylinder beads. Turn, go through the second bead from the needle (FIGURE 1, a-b), and work across the row in peyote stitch (How-Tos) using cylinders until you reach the stop bead (b-c).

3. Without picking up a new bead, go back through the last cylinder strung. Pick up a cylinder and work the next stitch. Work the next eight stitches using11/0 seed beads in a mix of colors. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (c-d).

4. Without picking up a new bead, go back through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and work one peyote stitch. Work the next eight stitches using11/0s to complete the row (d-e).

5. Pick up a cylinder and go back through the last 11/0 strung. Work the next seven stitches using 11/0s. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (e-f).

6. Without picking up a bead, go back through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next seven stitches using 11/0s (f-g).

7. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next six stitches using 11/0s. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (g-h).

8. Without picking up a bead, go back through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next six stitches using 11/0s (h-i).

9. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next five stitches using 11/0s. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (i-j).

10. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next four stitches using 11/0s. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (j-k). The edge of the leaf will begin to change shape.

11. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next three stitches using 11/0s. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (k-l).

12. Without stringing a bead, go through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work two stitches using 11/0s. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (l-m).

13. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next two stitches using 11/0s (m-n).

14. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next stitch using an 11/0. Pick up a cylinder to make the last stitch (n-o). The edge of the leaf will change again.

15. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder. Work a cylinder and an 11/0 (o-p).

16. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. End the row with a cylinder (p-q).

17. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder. Pick up a cylinder to make the only stitch (q-r).

18. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last cylinder. Continue through the diagonal row of cylinders along the edge of the leaf and weave in and out of the last few cylinders, exiting the first one (r-a). Don’t cut the tail.

19. Remove the stop bead and thread the needle on this tail. Starting with step 3, stitch the leaf’s second half as the mirror image of the first. 

 
Autumn leaves brooch f2
Figure 2

LEAF VARIATION

Complete steps 1-4 of the basic leaf, then follow the steps below.

1. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0 strung. Work the next eight stitches using 11/0s to complete the row (FIGURE 2, a-b).

2. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0. Work the next two stitches using 11/0s, then a cylinder. Repeat, then finish the row with two 11/0s (b-c).

3. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0 strung. Work two stitches using 11/0s (c-d). Your thread will be exiting a cylinder.

4. Pick up a cylinder, turn, and go back through the last 11/0 strung. This begins to define one notch on the leaf’s edge. Work the last two stitches using an 11/0 and a cylinder (d-e).

5. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder strung. Pick up a cylinder and an 11/0 to complete the row (e-f).

6. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last 11/0 strung. Pick up a cylinder to make the end stitch (f-g).

7. Without picking up a bead, go through the last cylinder strung. Complete the row with a cylinder (g-h).

8. Pick up a cylinder and go through the last cylinder strung. Continue through the diagonal row of cylinders along the edge of the leaf. Go through the next cylinder along the edge and work across to the cylinder at j. 

9. Repeat steps 3-8 twice on this edge of the leaf. When the three sections are complete, work back to the cylinder next to the stop bead. Remove the stop bead and thread the needle on the long tail. You’ll use the short tail to sew the leaf to the base.

10. To stitch the other half of the leaf, repeat steps 3-4 of the basic leaf, then repeat steps 1-9 of this variation.

Autumn leaves brooch f3
Figure 3

LEAF BASE

1. Make a seven-bead ladder using 5/0 hex cuts (FIGURE 3, a-b). Work in brick stitch for five rows, decreasing to two beads (b-c).

2. Repeat the rows of brick stitch on the other edge of the ladder.

3. With your thread exiting one of the two end beads, pick up nine 11/0s. Go under the thread bridge above the edge bead in the previous row (c-d). Go back through the last 11/0.

4. Pick up eight 11/0s and continue as in step 3 (d-e). Repeat around the base until you reach the starting point. Weave in the thread tails and trim the ends.

ASSEMBLY
Autumn leaves brooch a
Photo a
Autumn leaves brooch b
Photo b

My brooch uses four basic leaves and two with variations. 

1. Sew the stem end of each leaf onto the center of the base with the remaining thread tails. Place the leaves so they overlap slightly and sew through the leaf and a base bead. Trim the tail. You’ll hide any exposed threads in step 3 (PHOTO A). 

2. Center a 6-in. (15cm) length of wire through a base bead or two. String a mix of beads on the wire and bend the ends into decorative shapes (PHOTO B).

Autumn leaves brooch c
Photo c
Autumn leaves brooch d
Photo d

3. Sew an assortment of beads in the center of the leaves to embellish them and hide the joins (PHOTO C). 

4. Stitch a pin back to the back of the leaf base (PHOTO D).

FIND MORE: brooches , peyote

Do you beading?

Then you’ll want to subscribe to Bead&Button magazine! You’ll get exclusive projects, gorgeous design inspirations, helpful advice about new products, and much more!

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FacetJewelry.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
PRODUCTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
$3.95
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
$3.95
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!