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Beaded dreidel

Surround a wooden dreidel with peyote stitch

The dreidel is a popular symbol in the Jewish tradition. The four letters that adorn the sides are said to stand for the phrase “Nes gado haya sham,” which means “a great miracle happened there.” Dreidels are often used as toys, but you won’t want anyone to play with this one. Find a pretty stand or display, and let your friends and family admire this clever design.

SUPPLIES

Dreidel 1 1⁄4 x 3 in. (3.2 x 7.6 cm)

  • 6 mm CRYSTALLIZED™ margarita, heliotrope
  • 104 1.8 mm sterling silver seamless round beads (do not use beads with seams because they will split open) 
  • 11/0 Japanese cylinder beads
    • 10 g color A (DB 216, royal blue AB)
    • 3 g color B (DB 331, matte 24k gold plated)
    • 3 g color C (DB 35, galvanized silver)
  • 13/0 Charlottes
    • 1 g color A (cobalt AB)
    • 1 g color D (gold plated)
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • nylon beading thread, size D
  • beading needles, #12
  • dreidel kit with wooden body, stem, and point (lindaleeoriginal@ bellsouth.net)
  • acrylic paint, metallic gold
  • E6000 adhesive
  • paintbrush

INSTRUCTIONS

Beaded dreidel figures
Figure 1

Side panels

1. On a comfortable length of nylon thread, pick up a repeating pattern of one 1.8 mm silver bead and 24 color A cylinder beads four times. Leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, tie the beads into a ring with a square knot, and sew through the first 1.8 mm again.

2. Following FIGURE 1, work in even-count tubular peyote stitch, keeping these tips in mind:

In the figure, the first bead of each round is indicated with a dot. 

At each corner, the two beads outlined in orange are always added or sewn through as a unit. 

Beaded dreidel a
Photo a

At the end of each round, step up through the first bead (or pair of beads) added in the round.

Maintain firm tension throughout.

Round 3: Picking up one color B cylinder per stitch, work a total of 12 stitches, then sew through the next 1.8 mm (PHOTO A).

Beaded dreidel b
Photo b
Beaded dreidel c
Photo c

Repeat three times around the ring. Slide the beadwork onto the dreidel body, with the 1.8 mms at the corners, the As at the bottom, and the working thread exiting at the top (PHOTO B).

Round 4: Picking up one color C cylinder per stitch, work a total of 11 stitches. Pick up a C and a 1.8 mm, and sew through the next B (PHOTO C). Repeat three times around the ring.

Round 5: Work a round of Bs, sewing through the C and 1.8 mm as a unit at each corner.

Round 6: Work a round of Cs, adding a C and a 1.8 mm as a unit at each corner.

Rounds 7 and 8: Repeat rounds 5 and 6.

Rounds 9–38: Follow the pattern to determine which beads to pick up. In odd-numbered rows, sew through the two corner beads as a unit, and in even-numbered rows, pick up the two corner beads as a unit. Note that round 26 begins at a corner. End and add thread as needed.

Beaded dreidel fig 2
Figure 2
Beaded dreidel fig 3
Figure 3
Beaded dreidel fig c
Figure 4

Top and bottom

1. To cover the top of the dreidel, sew through the beadwork to exit the top-right bead in row 37 of the “hay” panel (FIGURE 2). Turn, and work a row of 12 stitches using As, sewing through the beads in row 38 of the “hay” panel (FIGURE 3, a–b). Continue in peyote stitch using As for a total of 14 rows (b–c). The beadwork should now reach the lower edge of the stem hole.

2. Work a partial row with five stitches (c–d). Turn (d–e), and work four stitches (e–f). Working in odd-count peyote, repeat these two rows three times for a total of eight partial rows (f–g). Do not end the thread.

3. Add a new thread in the opposite panel of the dreidel body, and work 14 rows as in step 1 (h–i).

4. Work three partial rows with five stitches each (i–j), then turn, and work as in step 2 for five rows (j–k).

5. Zip up the last row stitched with the first section. Repeat with the thread remaining from step 2. Do not end the threads.

6. To close the remaining open edges along the top, sew through the beadwork to exit a 1.8 mm at the corner of an open edge. Sew through the next cylinder in the row and the next cylinder on the other edge, turn, and sew through the adjacent cylinder and the cylinder you sewed through on the first edge (FIGURE 4, a–b). 

7. Pick up a color D Charlotte, and sew through the next cylinder in the row and the next cylinder on the other edge, turn, and sew through the adjacent cylinder and the cylinder you sewed through on the first edge (b–c). Repeat along the edge to close the seam. At the end of the row, sew through the next 1.8 mm and the following cylinder.

8. The next edge is already closed, but you need to embellish it: Pick up a D, and sew through the next A in the row. Repeat to embellish the entire row.

9. Repeat steps 6–8 on the remaining two edges. End the thread.

10. Repeat steps 1–9 to cover and embellish the bottom surface and edges.

Beaded dreidel d
Photo d
Beaded dreidel e
Photo e
Beaded dreidel f
Photo f
Beaded dreidel g
Photo g
Beaded dreidel h
Photo h
Beaded dreidel i
Photo i

Stem

1. On 1 1⁄2 yd. (1.4 m) of Fireline, pick up 18 As. Leaving an 18-in. (46 cm) tail, tie the beads into a ring with a square knot, and sew through the first two A cylinders again. Slide the ring onto the wooden stem.

2. Work in tubular peyote stitch:

Rounds 3–12: Pick up one A cylinder per stitch.

Round 13: Pick up one B per stitch (PHOTO D).

Rounds 14–16: Pick up one A cylinder per stitch.

Rounds 17–24: Repeat rounds 13–16 twice.

Round 25: Pick up one 1.8 mm per stitch (PHOTO E).

3. Work a round of peyote stitch using color A Charlottes, but don’t step up (PHOTO F). 

4. Slide the beadwork up so the last round sticks up over the stem a bit. Work a round of peyote using A cylinders, pressing the cylinders in place behind the A Charlottes and on top of the stem. Step up through the first cylinder added in this round (PHOTO G).

5. Pick up the 6 mm margarita and a 1.8 mm. Sew back through the 6 mm and the next three A cylinders in the previous round (PHOTO H). 

6. Sew through the 6 mm and 1.8 mm again, then sew back through the 6 mm, and continue through the next three A cylinders in the previous round (PHOTO I). Repeat one more time to balance the 6 mm at the top of the last round of cylinders.

7. Exit an A in the last round of cylinders, and work a round of A Charlottes, making sure they sit along the edge of the 6 mm and don’t slip underneath it. End the thread.

8. Thread a needle on the tail, and work a round of peyote using 1.8 mms, and step up through the first 1.8 mm in this round (PHOTO J).

9. Pick up three D Charlottes, and sew through the next 1.8 mm in the previous round (PHOTO K). Repeat around the ring to add a picot between each pair of 1.8 mms, but don’t step up. Secure the thread with a half-hitch knot (How-Tos), but don’t end it.

10. Insert the stem into the top hole of the dreidel body. Working under the picots, carefully tack the beaded stem to the top of the dreidel by sewing back and forth between the peyote surface and the 1.8 mms at the base of the stem. You may find it helpful to slide the stem up so you can work around the stem completely and then tighten the thread. End the thread.

Point

1. Paint the point with the acrylic paint. Allow it to dry completely.

2. Apply a dab of E6000 in the bottom hole of the dreidel body, and insert the point. Allow to dry.

Beaded dreidel j
Photo j
Beaded dreidel k
Photo k
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