Pearls in a pod earrings

Add fresh peas to your jewelry diet!
PearlsinapodearringsHero

This earring design started as a twisted Ndebele herringbone rope. I wasn’t satisfied with the results, so I took it apart and discovered a peapod had been hiding in there all along.

The variety of freshwater or Swarovski pearls available will tempt you to create your own look.

SUPPLIES

  • 6 5 x 7 mm freshwater or 5 mm Swarovski pearls
  • seed beads
    • 4 g size 11/0, color A
    • 1 g size 11/0, color B
    • 1 g size 15/0
  • pair of earring findings
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
  • chainnose pliers

INSTRUCTIONS

PearlsinapodearringsA
PHOTO A

1. On 1 yd. (.9 m) of Fireline, attach a stop bead, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Pick up four color A 11/0 seed beads, and sew through all four beads again. Working in ladder stitch, make a two-bead ladder that is six As long.

2. Form the ladder into a ring by sewing through the first and last stacks (PHOTO A) and snugging up the stacks. Sew through the first stack again. You will start and end the rounds on the back side of the peapod.

3. Work in modified Ndebele herringbone stitch as follows:

PearlsinapodearringsFIG1
FIGURE 1
Click image to enlarge

Round 1: Pick up four As, and sew down through the next A in the ring and up through the following A (FIGURE 1, a–b). Pick up two As, a pearl, and two As, and sew down through the next A and up through the following A (b–c). Pick up four As, and sew down through the next A (c–d) and up through the top three As in the first stack (d–e). The needle is now positioned at the top of the first stack.

Round 2: Work a stitch with four As (e–f). Pick up two As, sew through the pearl from round 1, pick up two As, and sew down through the next A and up through the following A (f–g). Pick up four As, and sew down through the next A and up through the top three As of the first stack (g–h).

Rounds 3–6: Repeat rounds 1 and 2 twice.

Rounds 7–8: Repeat rounds 1 and 2, but omit the pearl. Note: In round 7, the As will make an almost straight line across the top of the last pearl. The second round will pull the As back into the stacked alignment to mimic the first rounds.

PearlsinapodearringsFIG2
FIGURE 2
Click image to enlarge

4. Close up the top by sewing through the beads in the last row as follows: Exit stack 1, and sew down through the top bead of stack 4 (FIGURE 2, a–b) and up through the top bead of stack 5 (b–c). Sew down through the top bead of stack 2 (c–d), up through the top bead of stack 3 (d–e), down through the top bead of stack 6 (e–f), and up through stack 1 (f–g).

5. Pick up four As, and sew down through a few beads in stack 4 to create a loop. Retrace the thread path to reinforce the loop. Sew through the beadwork to position the thread at the front of the peapod.

6. To make the curly vine, pick up a color B 11/0 seed bead, a 15/0 seed bead, two Bs, and a 15/0. Repeat the pattern of two Bs and a 15/0 until you have 26 beads.

PearlsinapodearringsB
PHOTO B

7. Skipping the Bs, sew back through the 15/0s (PHOTO B). Pull the working thread to form curls.

8. Secure the thread in the beadwork with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

9. Remove the stop bead. Thread a needle on the tail, and close up the beadwork as in step 4. Secure the thread, and trim.

10. Open the loop of an earring finding, and attach it to the bead loop. Close the loop.

11. Repeat steps 1–10 to make a second earring.

Tip!
Don’t stop with just three peas. Use five or six pearls to create longer earrings, or stitch several peapods to make a fun necklace.
FIND MORE: earrings , herringbone , pearl

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