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Herringbone flower garden bracelet

Embellishments of simple fringe turn a quick Ndebele herringbone base into a bouquet for your wrist.

A plain base springs into full bloom with an abundance of colorful glass flowers and leaves. The more you use, the more lush your garden will be. For an added burst of color, stitch a few straight fringes in a contrasting color in the middle of a cluster of glass flowers.


bracelet 7 in. (18cm)

  • 4 art-glass flower-shaped beads
  • 15 assorted small glass flower-shaped beads
  • 30 assorted glass leaf-shaped beads
  • 5 6mm accent beads
  • 10g fringe drop beads
  • 30g size 6/0 seed beads
  • 10g size 11/0 seed beads
  • beading thread
  • beading needles, #12

Editor's note: To adjust the width of your bracelet, use more or fewer 6/0 seed beads in your base.

This garden bracelet is a great piece for showcasing Marcia Kmack's art-glass flowers. You can contact Marcia at, or check your local bead store or favorite online bead retailer for similar choices.


Herringbone flower garden bracelet Photo A

1. On 3 yd. (2.7m) of thread, leave a 12-in. (30cm) tail, and pick up two 6/0 seed beads. Begin a bead ladder eight 6/0s long. Work a row of Ndebele herringbone stitch off of the ladder. Continue working in herringbone until the base fits comfortably around your wrist, with the ends overlapping 1⁄4 in. (6mm) to accommodate the flower-and-loop clasp.

2. Thread a needle on the tail, and sew to the middle of the fifth row of herringbone. Pick up an art-glass flower-shaped bead to use as the clasp. Secure it to the base by picking up an 11/0, the flower, and a drop bead (this must be large enough to hold the flower in place). Sew back through the flower and the 11/0 and into the base. Retrace the thread path twice to reinforce the clasp. Tie a few half-hitch knots between beads, and trim the tail. 

3. On the working thread, pick up enough 6/0s to make a loop large enough to fit over the clasp. Sew back through the last row of herringbone, and work a row of flat peyote stitch on the loop, using 6/0s (PHOTO A). Retrace the thread path twice to reinforce it. End the thread as before.


Use comfortable lengths of thread as you embellish. As you run out of thread, secure the tails in the beadwork as before. Starting with the art-glass flowers, fill in the base, overlapping with the remaining embellishments as desired. I made a new base for each reference photo to make it easier to show each embellishment. 

Art-glass flowers

Arrange the art-glass flowers on the base at even intervals. Sew them onto the base the same way you attached the flower for the clasp.

Herringbone flower garden bracelet Photo B

Drop-bead flowers

Exit between two beads on the base, and pick up a 6mm accent bead. Sew back into the base, then exit next to the 6mm. Pick up seven drop beads and sew them into a ring, positioning the ring snugly under the 6mm (PHOTO B). Retrace the thread path to reinforce the ring. Sew into the base every few drops to anchor the ring to the base.



Flower clusters

Exit between two beads on the base, and pick up a small glass flower-shaped bead and an 11/0. Sew back through the flower and into the base (PHOTO C).

Exit next to the small flower, and pick up another small flower and 11/0. Sew back through the flower and into the base.

Continue to add small flowers as desired, using up to five. You can also tuck leaf-shaped beads next to the cluster by exiting close to the outside of the cluster, picking up a leaf, and sewing back into the base (PHOTO D).

Herringbone flower garden bracelet Photo C
Herringbone flower garden bracelet Photo D

Herringbone flower garden bracelet Photo E

Start at one end of the base and exit between two beads that don’t already have any embellishments. Pick up several 11/0s and sew into the base a few rows away, leaving a little slack so the beads curve (PHOTO E). Pick up a leaf and sew into the next row. Repeat down the length of the bracelet, varying the number of 11/0s and leaves, filling in the gaps along the base. Secure the threads as before.

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