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Butterfly bracelet

Enjoy endless color options in this easy-to-stitch ode to butterflies

SUPPLIES

Bracelet 7 1⁄4 in. (18.4 cm)

  • bicone or round crystals, fire-polished, glass, or gemstone beads in one or more colors
    • 16 6 mm
    • 24 4 mm 
    • 32 3 mm
  • seed beads in one or more colors
    • 16 Japanese size 8/0
    • 5 g Japanese size 11/0
    • 1 g size 14/0
  • 2-strand clasp
  • 4 clamshell bead tips 
  • Fireline 6 lb. test or nylon beading thread, size D
  • beading needles, #12
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers 

 

Butterfly bracelet f1
Figure 1
Butterfly bracelet f2
Figure 2
Butterfly bracelet f3
Figure 3
Butterfly bracelet a
Photo a
Butterfly bracelet f4
Figure 4
Butterfly bracelet b
Photo b

Editor’s note: If you don’t want to use bead tips, you can simply sew the clasp to the bracelet with loops of 14/0s.

INSTRUCTIONS

Base

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread, pick up 13 size 11/0 Japanese seed beads, leaving an 8-in. (20 cm) tail. Sew through the first 10 beads again (FIGURE 1).

2. Pick up 10 11/0s, and sew through the last five beads you sewed through in the previous step (FIGURE 2, a–b) and the 10 beads you picked up in this step (b–c).

3. Pick up nine 11/0s, a 3 mm bead, and a size 14/0 seed bead (FIGURE 3, a–b), and sew back through the 3 mm (b–c). Pick up five 11/0s, and sew through the last five 11/0s you sewed through in the previous step (c–d). 

You now have the basic outline of one side of a butterfly. The beads along the bottom edge will be called wall A. The beads separating the lower and middle sections will be called wall B. The beads separating the middle and upper sections will be called wall C. The beads along the top edge of the upper section will be called wall D.

4. Sew through wall B, the 11/0s along the outer edge of the lower section, and wall A (d–e). Pick up a 4 mm bead, sew through the next seven beads of wall D, and pick up a size 8/0 seed bead (e–f).

5. Continuing with the working thread, repeat steps 1–4 seven times or to the desired length. Omit the 8/0 after the final wing.

6. Pick up a bead tip and a 14/0, and sew back through the bead tip (PHOTO A). Sew back into the beadwork, secure the tail with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

7. Repeat steps 1–6 to make the second half, but in each repeat of step 4, sew through the 4 mm of the corresponding wing on the first half instead of picking up a new one.

8. Using the remaining tails, repeat step 6 to attach bead tips at the other end of the base. 

Embellishment

1. Secure 1 yd. (.9 m) of thread at one end of the base, and retrace the thread path through the bead tip (FIGURE 4, a–b). 

2. Sew through the two 11/0s, the 3 mm, and the 14/0 at the wing tip, and sew back through the 3 mm (b–c).

3. Pick up two 14/0s, a 6 mm bead, and two 14/0s, and sew through the wall D beads (c–d) and the beads just added (d–e).

4. Sew through the wall C beads and the next two 11/0s (e–f). Pick up a 4 mm and two 14/0s, and sew through the wall C beads, the next three 11/0s (f–g), and the beads just added (g–h).

5. Sew through the wall B beads and the next 11/0 (h–i). Pick up a 3 mm and two 14/0s, and sew through the wall B beads, the next 11/0, and the beads just added (i–j).

6. Sew through the next three wall A beads and the following 8/0 (j–k).

7. Repeat steps 2–6 on the remaining butterflies. Retrace the thread path through the bead tip at the other end, secure the tails, and trim.

8. Repeat steps 1–7 on the other half of the bracelet. 

Clasp

Close a bead tip with chainnose pliers, and slide the hook through one loop of one half of the clasp. Close the hook using roundnose pliers (PHOTO B).

Repeat with the other bead tip and clasp loop. Repeat to attach the other half of the clasp at the other end.

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