Monday, May 27, 2013

North Star Pendant Tutorial

I realize it might be a bit ironic that I should follow up an announcement of impending lack of beading content by posting beading content, but such is life.

 I have had a few requests for patterns of designs seen on my blog lately, and I have a confession to make: most of the time, I don’t plan my pieces and I don’t take notes while beading. I just sort of doodle in beads, if that makes sense. I come up with things on the fly and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. 

Occasionally, something I create has such a brilliantly simple thread path that I can make a pattern out of it. That’s when you see me make more than one of a design as I try to slim the thread path down to its bare essentials. Those pieces I have (or rather, can have) patterns for. My other pieces? Not so much. Often, the thread paths are so complicated even I can’t remember how I did it after the fact.

Which brings us to this piece:

I didn’t take notes back when I made the North Star Pendant, but on examining it, the basic pattern seems simple enough so why not give backwards engineering it a go? If I can manage it with this piece, maybe I can manage it with others as well. Though, instead of doing a time-consuming single image pattern for this one, I’m going to do this picture based in the body of the blog so I can add lots of text where I need to without space concerns. That will help with clarity, I think. Tutorial after the cut :)


*Size 11 Delicas
*Size 11 Seed Beads
*Size 15 Seed Beads
*(8) 3mm Hematite Rounds
*(4) 2mm Hematite Rounds
*(4) Baby Spikes
*(16) 3mm Swarovski Crystal Bicones
*(4) 16mm x 6mm Vertical Drill Hematite Drops
*(1) 12mm Rivoli

Step 1: Bezel a 12mm rivoli (make sure you are using a base of 32 size 11 Delicas otherwise you won't have the right number of star points). 

Step 2: Find the center round (approximately) and "stitch in the ditch" with size 11 seed beads skipping every other so you end up with 8 beads sticking up like so:

Step 3: This step is in two parts because you are going to alternate between the short and long star points. For each short point, add one baby spike and go through the next sticking up bead...

For each long point, add 1 size 11 seed bead, one hematite drop, one 2mm hematite round, and one size 15 seed bead.Then pass back through the 2mm round and drop...

To finish the long spike, add another size 11 seed bead and pass through the next sticking up bead on the rivoli...

Continue until you have added four small points and four large points. End the round by exiting the first sticking up bead:

Step 4: Pass through the baby spike and the sticking up bead directly after it. Add one size 11 seed bead (in an accent color if you want a nice "pop" around the gem), one 3mm hematite round, and one size 11 seed bead. Pass through the next sticking up bead so the 3mm round nestles against the base of the drop between. Continue around, passing through the baby spikes and adding the 3mm below each of the four drops:

Repeat this step for the back of the pendant :
(yes, thread tension will be very tight)

Step 5: And because the thread tension is getting tight, now is a good time to weave up to the size 15 seed bead at the top of one of the drops and add your won't be able to get the needle back up here later, so don't miss your chance! When you are done, weave back down and out the side of a baby spike to set up for the next round.

Step 6: Add one size 11 seed bead, one 3mm bicone, and one size 11 seed bead and pass through the 3mm hematite round added in Step 4 above...

Now add one size 11 seed bead, one 3mm bicone, and one size 11 seed bead and pass through the next baby spike. Continue around.

Repeat this step for the back of the pendant:

Step 7: And your're done! Well...almost. You'll need to weave in your tail. I know the piece is very tight and weaving in seems impossible if you are using larger thread. Here's the thread path I use to do it:

Now you can weave into the peyote base like usual. :)

And now you are truly finished!

Happy Beading!


  1. Merci de partager avec nous le tuto de ce pendentif.

    1. Avec plaisir...Hopefully I said that right. If not, I will say it in English too: you're very welcome! :)

  2. Thank you very much - it's gorgeous!

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