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Hojas inspired pendant

Repeat a stylized leaf motif to make a pretty beaded pendant
BeadedhojaspendantHero

“Hojas” is the word for “leaf” in the language of the Saraguro, the indigenous people of Ecuador. The leaves in this pattern are represented by three-bead columns stitched in three-column clusters.

SUPPLIES

pendant 1 7⁄8 in. (4.8 cm)

  • 12 3mm bicone crystals
  • 6 g 11/0 seed beads
  • Fireline 6 lb. test or nylon beading thread to match bead color
  • beading needles, #12

INSTRUCTIONS

Ladder stitch clusters

BeadedhojaspendanFIG1
FIGURE 1

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of Fireline or thread, pick up six 11/0 seed beads, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Sew through the beads again to form two side-by-side columns of three beads each (FIGURE 1, a–b). Pick up three 11/0s, and work in ladder stitch to form a third column (b–c).

2. Pick up six 11/0s, and sew through the previous column and the 11/0s picked up in this step (c–d).

3. Sew two more three-bead columns in ladder stitch (d–e).

4. Pick up eight 11/0s, and sew through the previous column and the first three 11/0s picked up in this step (e–f).

5. Sew two more three-bead columns in ladder stitch (f–g).

6. Repeat steps 2–5, ending with step 3 when you have six arches with three 11/0s, and five arches with five 11/0s.

BeadedhojaspendanFIG2
FIGURE 2

7. To close the ring of ladder clusters, sew through the first column of 11/0s, pick up five 11/0s, sew through the last column of 11/0s, and through the next-to-last column of 11/0s (FIGURE 2, a–b).
 
Arches

1. Pick up six 11/0s, and, working in modified brick stitch (Basics), sew under the thread bridge between the 11/0 at the top of the next column and the first 11/0 in the arch, and sew back through the last three 11/0s picked up in this step (b–c).

2. Pick up three 11/0s, sew under the thread bridge between the first and second 11/0s in the arch, and back through the 11/0s picked up in this step (c–d).

3. Pick up an 11/0, a 3 mm bicone crystal, and four 11/0s. Sew under the thread bridge between the second and third 11/0s in the arch, and back through the last three 11/0s picked up in this step (d–e).

4. Pick up three 11/0s, sew under the thread bridge between the third 11/0 in the arch and the 11/0 at the top of the next column, and back through the 11/0s picked up in this step (e–f).

5. Pick up three 11/0s, sew under the thread bridge between the first and second column in the next ladder cluster, and back through the 11/0s picked up in this step (f–g).

6. Pick up 10 11/0s, sew under the thread bridge between the second and third columns in the next ladder cluster, and back through the last three 11/0s picked up in this step (g–h).

BeadedhojaspendanFIG3
Figure 3

7. Repeat steps 1–6 until you complete six arches with bicones, but in step 1 pick up three 11/0s. In the final arch, pick up seven 11/0s, and sew through the three 11/0s added at the beginning of this round and the middle column of the base round (FIGURE 3, a–b).

8. Pick up an 11/0, a 3 mm, and an 11/0, and sew through the middle column of the next ladder cluster, then through the adjacent column (b–c).

9. Pick up three 11/0s, and zigzag through the next two columns (c–d).

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 around the inner circle. End the working thread and tail.

Beadedhojaspendantnecklace

 

Design options 

To wear the pendant, you may choose to slide a small jump ring through a loop and then slide the pendant onto a neck wire. Or you may choose to attach strands of seed beads and bicones to the pendant as a chain like the photo to the right.

Tip!
  • If you use nylon beading thread, reinforce the columns to give the pendant more stability.
  • To make a smaller pendant, use 11/0 cylinder beads. Vary the color of the beads within the leaves, or outline them for contrast.

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