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Three-sided amulet

Brick stitch a triangular purse

Brick stitch is one of my favorite bead stitches. When you first learn it, you might think that all it’s good for is triangular, fringed earrings. But that’s so wrong. This fun amulet purse gains a lot of textural interest by using two different sizes of seed beads. A stack of two Japanese cylinder beads (I use Delicas) is almost exactly as tall as one size 8/0 Japanese seed bead. So I alternate pairs of cylinder beads with 8/0 seed beads, using two tones of the same color to get a woven fabric look.

SUPPLIES

  • 10g Japanese cylinder beads
  • 15g Size 8/0 seed beads, preferably Japanese
  • Nymo D beading thread
  • Beeswax or Thread Heaven
  • Beading needles, #10 or 12
  • 1 Accent bead
  • 1 Clasp

INSTRUCTIONS

Three sided amulet a
PHOTO A

Make two large triangles for the front and back and sew them together. Then weave a triangle off the top edge of the back for the flap. Finish with a square-stitched or strung strap and decorate the bottom point of the bag with a beaded bead, fringe, or an accent bead.

Bag front and back

1. Start with a 2-yd. (1.8m) length of waxed or conditioned bead thread. Make a 25-bead ladder, alternating an 8/0 seed bead and a pair of cylinder beads (PHOTO A). 

Three sided amulet b
PHOTO B

2. Work decreasing brick stitch back and forth, placing one less bead on each row. The last row will have one 8/0 and a pair of cylinder beads (PHOTO B). Notice that one side of the beaded triangle will always begin with an 8/0 and the other will alternate between an 8/0 and a pair of cylinder beads.

3. Make an identical triangle but start the ladder with a pair of cylinder beads rather than an 8/0. On this piece one side will have all cylinder beads and the other side will alternate bead types.

Three sided amulet c
PHOTO C

4. Place the triangles together with the ladder sides up and the side with all 8/0 beads against the side with all cylinder beads. Weave a 1 1⁄2-yd. (1.4m) length of thread into the beadwork, exiting a bead or bead pair at the top of one side toward the ladder (PHOTO C).

Three sided amulet figureb
FIGURE

5. Sew the first side seam together by square stitching through the matching 8/0 bead and cylinder pair on the two pieces (FIGURE). 

Three sided amulet d
Photo d
Three sided amulet e
Photo e

6. When you’ve joined the last beads on the first side, switch direction and sew up the adjacent bottom bead (PHOTO D). Resume square stitching the other side seam.

Flap

1. Weave a new 2-yd. thread into the beadwork on the back side of the bag, Exit the second bead on the left-hand side (a pair of cylinder beads). This is the side where the beads alternate. Brick stitch a total of 22 beads (alternate 8/0s and cylinder pairs) along the top of the back. Start with an 8/0 bead, the reverse of the bead you’re exiting (PHOTO E). 

2. Work back and forth across the flap triangle until three beads remain. All the beads on the starting edge of the flap will be 8/0s and the beads on the other edge will alternate. Weave the thread in to the beadwork to end it.

Three sided amulet f
Photo f
Three sided amulet g
Photo g

Strap

1. Weave a new 2-yd. thread into the beadwork and exit the last bead on either the front or the back column of one of the side seams (PHOTO F). String an alternating pattern of 8/0s and pairs of cylinder beads, starting with the kind of bead opposite the type you exited. Make the strand the desired length for one side of the strap. 

2. Square stitch back down the strap to the purse, attaching the opposite bead or group (PHOTO G). 

3. When you’ve added the last bead, sew down into the seam beads below it then up the starting side seam beads and the original strand.

Three sided amulet h
Photo h
Three sided amulet i
Photo i

4. Attach one clasp half to the end by sewing through its loop and the end beads several times (PHOTO H). End the thread back down in the strap. Tie a few half hitches between beads before cutting the thread.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 on the other side.

Optional dangle

1. Weave a new doubled thread that is about 18-in. (46cm) long into the beads near the bottom of the bag. Exit one of the two beads on the bottom front.

2. String an 8/0 bead, the accent bead, and an 8/0 bead. String a combination of cylinder and seed beads to make a fringe loop. Sew back through the 8/0, the accent bead, the first 8/0 bead, and the bead you exited on the front. Come back down the other front bottom bead, the 8/0s, and the accent bead (PHOTO I) and make another loop. Go back up the beads as before.

3. Go down the adjacent back bottom bead. String through the 8/0s and the accent bead and make another loop. Come back up through the exited bead on the back and go down the other bottom back bead to make the final loop. After coming back up the beads, weave the tail into the bag, tying a few half hitches between beads before clipping the thread.

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