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Embroidered leaves and vines cuff

Seed beads and dichroic glass pair up in a comfortable cuff. 
Enlarged photo
The flashy colors of dichroic glass cabochons are echoed in the vibrant leaves and vines of these embroidered cuffs.
Dichroic glass, with its exciting colors and alluring depth, makes a great focal point for bead-embroidered cuffs. Seed beads in complementary colors fill in the background.
bracelet 7 in. (18cm)
  • 1 3⁄16-in./30mm (maximum size) cabochon
  • seed beads
    • 3g size 8/0, in each of 2 colors: A, B
    • 4g size 11/0, in each of 4 colors: B, C, D, E
    • 10g size 14/0 or 15/0, color A
  • Nymo D, C-Lon, or Silamide
  • beading needles, #12
  • all-purpose glue
  • E6000 adhesive
  • fine-tip permanent marker
  • 3 x 10 in. (7.6 x 25cm) nonfusible Pellon
  • 2 pairs of snaps, size 2/0
  • 6 x 10 in. (15 x 25cm) Ultrasuede
  • vellum or tracing paper
  • T-pin (optional)

1. Trace the template (FIGURE 1) onto vellum or tracing paper. Cut it out, and test the fit. Adjust the template as needed by either folding the paper smaller or splicing in a section so that the template fits comfortably around your wrist when the snaps are lined up.

Embroidered leaves and vines_figure 1
2. Cut the Ultrasuede into two 3 x 10-in. (7.6 x 25cm) strips. On one piece, outline the template using a fine-tip permanent marker (PHOTO A).
Embroidered leaves and vines_photo a
Embroidered leaves and vines_photo b

3. Squeeze a line of all-purpose glue around the edge of the back of the Ultrasuede, and adhere the strip of Pellon to it (PHOTO B). Keep the glue outside the template border since it is hard to get a needle through dried glue. Allow to dry.

4. Coat the bottom surface of the cabochon with E6000 adhesive, and place it in the center of the Ultrasuede with the template outline. Wipe away any excess glue, and allow to dry.

Embroidered leaves and vines_photo c
1. Make an overhand knot at the end of a comfortable length of thread. Come up through the Pellon and Ultrasuede right next to the cab, and work in beaded backstitch with color A 15/0 seed beads around the cab. Finish with an even number of beads. Continue through the first 15/0 (PHOTO C).

2. Pick up a 15/0, skip a 15/0 on the round below, and go through the next 15/0 (FIGURE 2, a–b). Repeat around, working in even-count peyote.

Embroidered leaves and vines_figure 2
Embroidered leaves and vines_photo d

Step up through the first 15/0 added in this round (PHOTO D). 

3. Continue as in step 2, stitching two or three more rounds of peyote so that the beadwork frames the cab. Use thinner beads if necessary to allow the beadwork to decrease along the contour of the cab.

4. Zigzag through the beadwork, and sew through the base to the underside.


1. Come up through the fabric right next to the first round of 15/0s, and work a round of beaded backstitch using color B 8/0s (PHOTO E). 

2. Work a round of beaded backstitch using color B 11/0s (PHOTO F).

Embroidered leaves and vines_photo e
Embroidered leaves and vines_photo f
3. Use a fine-tip marker to draw the leaves and stems on the Ultrasuede. If you wish to use the stems and leaves shown here, copy the lines from the template onto your vellum, and use a T-pin to puncture holes in the lines. Trace over the punctured lines to transfer them to your Ultrasuede (PHOTO G). 
Embroidered leaves and vines_photo g

4. Secure a new thread, and come up through the fabric at the tip of a leaf. Pick up two color C 11/0s, and go back through the fabric close to the second bead (FIGURE 3, a–b).

5. Come back up through the fabric about half of a bead’s width to the right of the leaf’s tip. Pick up enough color D 11/0s to reach the centerline, and go through the fabric close to the last bead (FIGURE 4, a–b).

6. Come back up through the fabric to the left of the tip. Pick up enough Ds to reach the centerline, and go through the fabric close to the last bead (c–d).

Embroidered leaves and vines_figure 3
Embroidered leaves and vines_figure 4
Embroidered leaves and vines_figure 5
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have filled the entire leaf (FIGURE 5). Alternate between colors for the rows. Secure the thread, and trim.
8. Repeat steps 4–7 for the remaining leaves using varying combinations of color B, C, D, and E 11/0s. Keep the rows close to each other. 

9. Using color A 8/0s, work beaded backstitch along the stem lines (PHOTO H).

10. Using 15/0s and 11/0s, work beaded backstitch randomly to fill in the background. Try to keep your stitching within the template lines.

Embroidered leaves and vines_photo h

1. Being very careful to avoid cutting any stitching, trim away the excess fabric along the edge of the template.

2. Sew the female half of the snaps to the unbeaded section of the bracelet’s top side (PHOTO I), and sew the male half of the snaps to the underside. 

3. Trace the bracelet on the other piece of Ultrasuede, and cut it out.

4. Working with 1 yd. (.9m) of thread, make an overhand knot at the end. At one end of the bracelet, sew through the front of the bracelet from the inside out at the very edge (PHOTO J).

Embroidered leaves and vines_photo i
Embroidered leaves and vines_photo j

To whip stitch the layers together, sew through both layers from back to front (PHOTO K). Continue to whip stitch the unbeaded ends together.

5. To finish the edge, exit between the two layers, pick up two B 11/0s, sew through both layers from front to back close to the second bead, and go back through the second bead in the opposite direction (FIGURE 6, a–b).

6. Pick up an 11/0, sew through the fabric close to the last bead, and go back through the new bead in the opposite direction (b–c). Repeat along the entire long edge.

7. Whip stitch the other end closed, and finish the second edge. Secure the threads, and trim.

Embroidered leaves and vines_photo k
Embroidered leaves and vines_figure 6
Editor’s note: Instead of gluing the cabochon in place, try one of the double-sided tapes sold in the scrapbooking aisle of craft stores. Look for the brand names Terrifically Tacky Tape, Curiously Sticky Tape, and Wonder Tape. They’re thin and very strong. Simply cut pieces of tape, and attach them to the back of the cab. Trim the tape around the cab, peel off the backing, and stick the cab in place.

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