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Circle meets square bracelet

Forget round pegs and square holes -- pearls are the perfect fit for these beaded cubes. 
Circlemeetssquare

Square off a set of beaded beads with equally angular bicone crystals, and then soften the lines with round crystal pearls. String the beaded beads for a beautiful bracelet or pair of earrings.

MATERIALS

rainbow bracelet with nine beaded beads 8½–9 in. (21.6–23 cm)

  • 16 8 mm crystal pearls (Crystazzi, white)
  • 36 6 mm crystal pearls (Crystazzi, white)
  • 80 4 mm bicone crystals (Swarovski; fire opal, light sapphire, amethyst, lime, light Siam, blue zircon, light amethyst, capri blue, rose, and light topaz)
  • 54 3 mm fire-polished beads (Czech, in colors to match the 4 mm bicones)
  • 2 3–4 mm round metal beads (gold)
  • 8/0 seed beads (gold)
  • 2 g 11/0 cylinder beads (silver)
  • 5 g 15/0 seed beads (gold)
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp covers (optional)
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #10
  • flexible beading wire, .014–.019
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters
  • drinking straw, 6 mm diameter
  • Bead Stopper or tape

pair of earrings

  • 4 8 mm crystal pearls (Swarovski, white)
  • 8 6 mm crystal pearls (Swarovski, bright gold)
  • 20 4 mm bicone crystals (Swarovski, light rose)
  • 12 3 mm fire-polished beads (Czech, light rose)
  • 16 11/0 cylinder beads (Miyuki DB0913, sparkle salmon-lined topaz)
  • 2 g 15/0 seed beads (Miyuki 429, opaque salmon)
  • 2 2–3-in. (7.6 cm) head pins (gold)
  • pair of earring findings (gold)
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #10
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • drinking straw, 6 mm diameter
Circlemeetssquareform

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Even if you don’t normally work tubular beadwork around a form, you’ll want to use one for these beaded beads. Without it, the opening at the top and bottom of the bead won’t be circular. I found a drinking straw works better than a dowel or other solid form; the straw is sturdy enough to support the bead, but its hollow core allows it to be compressed slightly as you work with tight tension.

CirclemeetssquarePhotoA
Photo A
Click on images to enlarge.
CirclemeetssquarePhotoB
Photo B

Beaded bead

Work the following steps with tight tension.
1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of Fireline, pick up a pattern of a 3 mm fire-polished bead and a 6 mm pearl four times, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Sew through all the beads again to form a ring, and continue through the first 3 mm and pearl (PHOTO A). Place the ring of beads on a 6 mm drinking straw.

DESIGNER’S NOTES:
In steps 2 and 3 of “Beaded bead,” don’t try to speed the process by working two loops around each 6 mm pearl before moving on to the next pearl. The extra thread path created by working step 2 and then step 3 strengthens the inner core of the beaded bead.

2. Pick up four 15/0 seed beads, an 11/0 cylinder bead, and four 15/0s. Sew through the pearl your thread exited at the start of this step to form a loop around the top of the pearl (PHOTO B). Retrace the thread path through the loop and the pearl, and continue through the next 3 mm and pearl. Repeat this step to form a loop around the top of each pearl.

CirclemeetssquarePhotoC
Photo C
CirclemeetssquarePhotoD
Photo D

3. Work as in step 2 to add a loop around the bottom of each pearl (PHOTO C). Sew through the first four 15/0s and cylinder of a loop around the top of a pearl.

4. Pick up five 15/0s, and sew through the cylinder above the next pearl (PHOTO D). Repeat this step around the top of the pearls, and then sew through all the 15/0s and cylinders from this step to reinforce the ring.

5. Sew through the beadwork to exit the first four 15/0s and cylinder of a loop around the bottom of a pearl. Work as in step 4 around the bottom of the pearls, and then sew through the beadwork to exit a 3 mm.

CirclemeetssquarePhotoE
Photo E
CirclemeetssquarePhotoF
Photo F
6. Pick up a 15/0, a 4 mm bicone crystal, and a 15/0. Sew through the center 15/0 in the set of five 15/0s above the 3 mm (PHOTO E). Pick up a 15/0, sew back through the bicone, pick up a 15/0, and sew through the 3 mm in the same direction your thread exited it at the start of this step (PHOTO F).
CirclemeetssquarePhotoG
Photo G
Retrace the thread path through the crystal embellishment, exiting the same 3 mm. Repeat this step, but sew through the center 15/0 in the set of five 15/0s below the 3 mm (PHOTO G). Sew through the next pearl and 3 mm.

7. Repeat step 6 around the beaded bead. End the working thread and tail.

Bracelet

1. Make nine beaded beads, or as many as desired, keeping in mind that their square shape means that the inside diameter of your bracelet will be smaller than the overall length of the piece. My bracelets have nine beaded beads and measure 8½–9 in. (21.6–23 cm) with an inside diameter of 6½–7 in. (16.5–18 cm) when clasped.

2. Cut 12 in. (30 cm) of beading wire. Center the following beads: an 8 mm pearl, a beaded bead, two 3 mms (to sit inside the beaded bead), an 8 mm, a beaded bead, two 3 mms, an 8 mm, a beaded beads, two 3 mms, and an 8 mm. On each end of the wire, string the following pattern three times: a 4 mm bicone, an 8 mm, a beaded bead, two 3 mms, and an 8 mm. Temporarily secure one end of the wire with a Bead Stopper or tape. 

3. On the other end, string a 4 mm, a 3–4 mm round bead, a crimp bead, and half of the clasp. Go back through the crimp bead, the round bead, and the 4 mm. Crimp the crimp bead, and trim the excess wire. Form the strand into a circle, remove the Bead Stopper or tape, and repeat this step on the other end. Close a crimp cover over each crimp if desired.

Circlemeetssquareearrings

To make an earring or a dangle for a clasp

On a 2–3-in. (5–7.6 cm) head pin, string a 4 mm bicone crystal, an 8 mm pearl, a beaded bead, two 3 mm fire-polished beads (to sit inside the beaded bead), an 8 mm pearl, and a 4 mm bicone. Make a plain or wrapped loop to attach to an earring finding or clasp.

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