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Kay, Jewelry and Library Books

Kay headshot

bead-embroidery-projectsSo, the other day our summer intern, Leigh, said, “Kay, do you wear any jewelry you haven’t made?” This is very flattering-I buy a lot too-but today I have to share one of my favorite craft books and a jewelry making technique that looks difficult but is actually quite easy: bead embroidery.

You may have noticed that UDPL has a pretty extensive craft collection. That’s partially because I am in charge of buying the craft books and I have never met a craft book that I didn’t like. However, when “Bead embroidery jewelry projects : design and construction, ideas and inspiration” by Jamie Cloud Eakin came in, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the projects and, when I looked at the instructions, the relative simplicity of doing it.  As you can see, the projects look tremendously complicated, but they’re remarkably easy to do.

Basically, bead embroidery works like this:

 

Some of Kay's early tests or "Can I do this without killing myself?"

Some of Kay’s early tests or “Can I do this without killing myself?”

  1. Buy a cabochon or other flat-backed bead (Kay’s optional step: Go crazy and buy about 100 beads. You can’t have enough, right?)
  2. Glue said bead to some form of beading backing that won’t fray-either fabric or Lacy’s Stiff Stuff (Try not to get glue on yourself, the table or your pet.)
  3. Surround cabochon in beads using needle and thread. When you’ve put in one layer, put in another. It’s a lot like Zentangle with beads. Back project with fabric.
  4. Enjoy your new, stunning, piece of jewelry! 
    Kay's most recent project or "[squint] Hey, that tree has a star on it. Oh well..."

    Kay’s most recent project or “[squint] Hey, that tree has a star on it. Oh well…”

 

If you’re interested in trying these techniques, the above book should be used in conjunction with one of Eakin’s other books, “Dimensional bead embroidery : a reference guide to techniques.” which outlines all the actual techniques you need to get started.

The cabochons Kay-the-crazed has yet to work. The person with the most beads wins?

The cabochons Kay-the-crazed has yet to work. The person with the most beads wins?

The real problem is, of course, that you might find you like it!