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Core curriculum beaded bead

Stitch seed beads around a base bead using ladder stitch and netting to make simple beaded beads.


beaded bead 10 x 15 – 13 x 20 mm

  • 5 x 13 – 10 x 15 mm disk bead
  • 1 g 8/0 seed beads
  • 1 g 15/0 Japanese seed beads in each of 2 colors: A, B
  • beading thread, size B
  • beading needles, #12 or #13
Figure 1
Figure 2

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread, pick up six 8/0 seed beads, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Sew through all six beads again, and position them so you have two stacks of three beads each. Picking up three 8/0s per stitch, work in three-bead ladder stitch until your ladder is long enough to fit around the circumference of the disk bead. End with an even number of stacks.

2. Wrap the ladder around the disk bead, and form the ladder into a ring by sewing through the first and last stacks. Zigzag back through the ladder so you have two threads between each pair of stacks on both edges. Remove the disk bead for the time being.

3. Pick up six color A 15/0 seed beads, cross over to the other end of the stack, and sew under the thread bridge that’s between the stacks of 8/0s (FIGURE 1, a–b). Sew back through the stripe of six As, and continue through the next stack of 8/0s in the ladder (b–c). Repeat (c–d) around the ring. Sew through the end A in the next stripe (FIGURE 2, point a). 

4. Pick up five color B 15/0 seed beads, cross over to the next stripe, and sew through the opposite end A (FIGURE 2, a–b). Sew through the next stack of 8/0s and the end A of the next stripe (b–c). Repeat around the ring to make a diagonal line between each pair of stripes.
Alternatively, skip a stripe of As so you have a diagonal line between every other pair of stripes.

Figure 3
Figure 4

5. When you’ve completed the round of diagonal lines, sew through the end A of the next stripe (FIGURE 3, point a). Pick up two Bs, sew through the middle B of the nearest diagonal line of Bs, pick up two Bs, and sew through the next end A to complete the X (a–b). Sew through the next stack of 8/0s and the end A of the next stripe (b–c). Repeat around the ring. When all the X’s are done, sew through the next stack of 8/0s.

6. Pick up five As, and sew through the next stack of 8/0s (FIGURE 4, a–b). Repeat (b–c) around the ring, creating alternating five-bead picots.

Figure 5

7. Insert the disk bead into the beadwork. Sew through the first three As of the first picot. Pick up two As, and sew through the middle A of the next five-bead picot (FIGURE 5). Repeat around the ring, then sew through all the As in the inner round twice to reinforce. 
If your initial ladder was more than 12 stacks, you may want to sew more than one round to close up the end. If so, work one or two rounds with three beads per stitch, then work the round with two beads per stitch.

8. Sew through the beadwork to the other side of the bead, and repeat step 7. 

9. If desired, sew through the beadwork, and exit a stack of 8/0s. Repeat step 6 to create alternating picots around the outer edges of the bead. End the working thread and tail.

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