There are two kinds of hot glass bead artists – those who make only beads or pendants, which are then sent off with others to finish; and those who carry their work through to the end.  I enjoy making the jewelry as much as I enjoy working on the torch, so I’m always in search of different techniques, colors and style ideas to incorporate into my finished pieces.  Bead stitching is a huge area of jewelry making that I’ve always resisted.  I attribute this to my left handedness. Means nothing to you righties out there, but as a lefty, stitching and especially learning to stitch from righties is twice as challenging.

Beginner Project on YouTube – Perfect for Lefties

Lately I’ve started watching YouTube.  If you haven’t experienced YouTube for tutorials, get on there and start searching for topics of interest.  You think WasteBook sucks up your time? The range of free videos available for teaching hot glass, jewelry making, and just about any other technique you want to learn is mind boggling. The video that really opened the doors for me is the AuntiesBeads Right Angle Weave Earrings video.

I’d venture to say that right angle weave is one of the simpler stitching techniques, and it provides a great gateway for beginners who want to explore stitching.

Several reasons why I like this project:

  • the instructions are exceptionally clear
  • the project uses two needles – one in each hand, so there’s no left hand right hand issues
  • the technique is very simple and gives you a feel for using needle and thread with beads, and it initiates an understanding of how other basic stitches are achieved, so other projects seem less daunting, and you can gradually develop your skills.
  • this is a small, simple, fast project that yields great results the first time.   After only two practice pairs, I started switching up the pattern to incorporate my lampwork beads.

Here are a few of my beginner earrings …

This is also a great project for using that hodge podge collection of orphaned seed beads – aka “Bead Soup” projects.  You can use your longer scraps of thread for these too, as 6-12 inches of thread will produce one earring, depending on the number of tiers.

Tip to Make it Even Easier….

While the lavender and bead soup earrings were made with black  nymo thread, the blue pair were made with .5 mm stretch magic elastic cord.  I like the stretch magic because it is thin enough to use like thread, it’s crystal clear so it doesn’t show through your beads, its stronger and more flexible than nymo thread so there’s less need for multiple passes, and I finish it off at the top with two consecutive overhand knots and a dab of hypo cement.  Simple and great for other seed bead stitching projects too!

Hope you get a chance to try these out.  They’re fun, fast and easy, even for beginner lefties…and that’s saying something!