Welcome to the beaded ball earrings pattern instructions! If you have any difficulty following this tutorial, please post a comment at the bottom of the page and one of us will get to you as soon as we can.
Before you begin ...
~0.5 meters of fishing line per beaded ball
2 beaded balls, each consisting of:
30 x size 6/0 seed beads (large seed beads) or crystals or round beads
60 x size 11/0 seed beads (smaller seed beads) - note that you can use any size seed bead that is smaller than 6/0, like 8/0 or 15/0, but 11/0 has the best contrast while providing a good ball size; the bigger the beads you use, the bigger each ball will be
Optional - one large wooden or plastic bead to insert inside your beaded ball so it becomes rigid; not necessary, but otherwise your beaded balls will be compressible if pressed on; size needed will depend on bead sizes used, but for the recommended bead sizes, a 10mm or 15mm bead should do the trick
For the earrings, you can replace the size 6/0 seed beads with 3mm bugle beads, as they will look daintier this way. You should insert a large pearl in the earring to make it look more feminine.
Time required: About 1.5 hours
Techniques: Beadweaving, right angle weave
Step 1:We are going to go through the steps of making one beaded ball, then I'll show you how to attach them together to make the bracelet. Start at bead 1, using fishing line, thread on beads 2 to 5, crossover threads at bead 4. This is the first bead circle of the smaller sized seed bead. Next, string a large bead (bead 6), small bead 7, large bead 8, small bead 9, large bead 10, and cross strings through bead 10. You've just made a circle of alternating bead sizes. Make sure that every alternating size bead circle in your pattern consists of 3 large beads and 3 small beads (6 beads total). Every circle of small beads should consist of 5 small beads. The entire pattern will consist of these two types of bead circles. So after crossing at bead 10, string through bead 3 with the black string (this bead is already in your pattern), and to the red string, thread on beads 11 to 14, crossover strings at bead 14. Continue in this manner (following the diagram arrows and bead numbers) until you have fully made a row of alternating size bead circles around your initial small bead circle. Cross strings at bead 25, where we will start the next row of bead circles in the next diagram.
Step 2:This step is very similar to the first one, even though it may look different in the diagram. We are still making the same types of bead circles, but in this row of beads, we are going to make 5 small bead circles, and 5 alternating size bead circles. The beads from step 1 that are no longer in use are paled out for clarity. However, some of the beads from step 1 are used again (you'll string through them). Those beads are labelled with the same bead numbers as in step 1, so look back at the first diagram to see where they are. They are beads 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, and 25. Bead 25 is where we are starting in this step, and it is exactly where we left off in the previous step. The bead numbering is going to continue from 25 upwards (until bead 55, the last bead in this step). So, from bead 25, we are going to make an alternating size bead circle. To the black string, add beads 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30. They are all new beads in the pattern. Cross over your strings through bead 30. Now, here's where we reuse old beads. With the black string, thread through beads 23 and 21, which are already in the pattern. Thread beads 31 and 32 onto the red string, and cross over strings through bead 32. You've just made the first small bead circle of the row. Continue beading in this manner (making an alternating size bead circle, then a smaller size bead circle) until you've completely encircled the previous row, following the diagram carefully. Cross strings through bead 55, then thread the black string through bead 53, and the red string through bead 27, both of which are in your pattern.
Step 3:This row of beads is made in a very similar way to the previous row. The diagram looks a bit different because you're starting from a small bead instead of a large one, and because we're moving upwards, which can't be shown in 2D, so I had to show it going outwards instead. But your beaded ball won't actually be getting wider at this point. It will be growing upwards. As before, there are some beads faded in this diagram because they are no longer used in this step. As well, there are some beads that are reused from the previous step, because you'll be stringing through them again. They are labelled with the same bead numbers as in the previous diagram, so have a look to see where they were. They are beads 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, and 55. Bead 55 is our starting bead for this diagram, and the beads are numbered upwards from there. Starting at bead 55, thread beads 53, 56, 57, and 58 onto the black string. Thread through bead 27 with the red string, then cross both strings through bead 58. We have just completed our first alternating size bead circle of this row. Next, string through bead 28 with the black string. Thread beads 59, 60, and 61 onto the red string, then crossover through bead 61 with the black string. I know it's hard to see in the diagram, but you've just made another circle of small pink seed beads. Continue this way, making one alternating size bead circle and one small bead circle, until you have completely encircled the previous row of beads. Your beaded ball should be getting more spherical and 3D now. If you want to insert a large wooden bead, pearl, or plastic round bead into your beaded ball, insert it now. We'll be beading right over it in the next and final step to enclose it.
Step 4:This is the final row of our beaded ball. It's easier to make than the previous two rows, so if you've made it this far, you're sure to make it to the end! This step is very similar to the first step. What we are going to end up with is a mirror image of the first step. It doesn't look like it in our diagram because we've been building it outwards, but really the beads will be coming together in your real beadwork. Again, there are some beads faded out in this step because they aren't used anymore. And there are some beads reused from the previous step, as we'll be stringing through them again. They are beads 57, 59, 60, 62, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 77, 79, and 80. Sorry about the bead numbers being hard to see in this diagram. Basically, those are the inner beads all along the border of the faded beads. We're starting where we left off, at bead 80. We're going to be making only alternating bead size circles in this row, just like in step 1. String beads 81, 82, and 83 onto the black string. Thread through beads 57 and 59 with the red string, and cross through bead 83. String beads 84 and 85 on the red string, and thread through beads 60, 62, and 64 with the black string. Crossover through bead 85. Continue in this manner, making alternating size bead circles, until you have crossed over through bead 90 (small pink seed bead in the bottom right corner of the diagram). At this point, we no longer add any new beads to the pattern, but we must string through the last circle of 5 small seed beads at the very top of your beaded ball, to enclose it. Take the black string (either string will work, but I used black in the diagram) and string right through all 5 small seed beads at the top of your beaded ball (in the diagram, beads 82, 84, 86, 88, and 90). You will be stringing right back through bead 90 again (making a loop) to join these 5 beads together. Although these 5 beads look very far apart in my diagram, they are actually forming their own circle of 5 beads, and in reality are right next to each other. To see what I mean, look at the next diagram (step 5 diagram) in the very center of the diagram, you see a circle of 5 small pink seed beads. That is the same 5 beads. That's how they should look when you pull tight (closely knit together in a circle). Okay tie a knot with your fishing line, you're done your first beaded ball. You can make it into an earring, or you can continue making more balls to make a bracelet. To make the earring, simply attach an earring hook (most dollar stores sell these).
|Michelle on February 15, 2016:|
|Please DO NOT TAKE THIS TUTORIAL DOWN!!! I noticed it has been here since 2011 and it is now 2016. I just finished my bead ball and it is beautiful. I had tried to follow several tutorials before this one and always got lost at the last level. This tutorial was surprisingly easy to follow although it looks so confusing. I even made a mistake and let my thread wrap around the other and at finish had to completely take out the entire last level. I easily found where I had made the mistake and was able to pick up and continue to finish without any frustration. I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. I look forward to trying some of your other patterns.|
|Auth on January 27, 2013:|
|I want to learn how to make beads like the one in the picture above and those cool Raku beads.When I began in pyelmor clay I did not think I would do jewelry but I got bit by the bead bug. Now I have a growing number of beads that seem to be multiplying like rabbits. I love to go to my happy place and mindlessly make more beads and more beads and more beads. Now putting these together into something is problematic so i just keep making more beads. There are a lot of resource on color theory but I have not seem much on actual jewelry design.I recently took a community education bead bracelet class for fun and relaxation. HA !!!! It was worse than my fun and relaxing China painting class where I wanted to inhale all of the pant thinner and lind seed oil and then go lick the lead based paint off other students china. I thought this bracelet class would teach us tricks on how to put textures, dangling beads, charms and spacers into something. It was more like jump on in kids, the water is fine; which is actually a good technique. But did the instructor need to bring 30 bead organizers full of choices; did we need 15 choices of yellow. Bless her heart she was trying to be generous and give us choices too many choices. I spent almost the entire 90 minutes trying to pick beads and spacers.I am usually a very spur of the moment, non perfectionistic , don't sweat the small stuff person who does not have trouble making decisions. Now I was an identity crisis and panic attack in my fun and relaxing beading. class. I finally just forced a decision and the bracelet come out great.I look in sale ads and magazine for ideas. I am being over analytical. I know, less is more. Maybe I am focusing too much on the details in the bead and see them more as an overall color. Any suggestions?|
|Sonja on July 8, 2012:|
even though I am from germany, and there are some Perl-related terms which I am not familiar with, I was able to finish this
cute little project - mostly by following the diagrams. This also was my very first beading-project. Thanks!
|satanay on January 13, 2012:|
|Ruby on October 21, 2011:|
|A very good illustration. Thank you! I've made 3 balls. Very easy to follow.|
|tired of trying on October 17, 2011:|
|omg this is the worst tutorial EVER! i spent forever just to get to the end and get stuck. so thanks for nothing. ur charts suck balls|
|BeadStitcher on February 20, 2011:|
|I've been doing bead stitching for many years and I've always wanted to make my own patterns. Can you please advise what is the software you used for this pattern? Your response will be highly appreciated. I will come back here to check your response. Many thanks!|