Christmas Craft Tutorial: Beaded Baubles

If you ask anyone what they picture on a Christmas Tree, aside from the tinsel and the star, I reckon the most common answer is baubles!  I had a couple of plain baubles on my tree this year so I decided to make some beaded decorations for them – and I’ve written a tutorial so you can have a go too!  You make them off the bauble and then just slip it over the top when its all done – and you can try it on the bauble as you go to get the fit right.

Beaded Bauble Covers

I’m going to write it out in full, but if you know what you’re doing, or get the hang of it and don’t want lots of pictures then I’ve put the basic pattern at the bottom.

You’ll need:

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  • Some beads
    • I used some seed beads that I had lying around the house – I recommend seed beads for the netted bit on the bauble, but you can use others to dangle off it or to embellish the netting bit if you like
    • I used 3 colours for the netting part – I’ll call them A (cream), B (dark purple), C (pink) – there are four on my picture because I hadn’t decided on my colours at that point!
  • A needle that’ll go through your beads when threaded (bonus points if you have a beading needle!)
  • Some thread – I used some strong sewing thread
  • Some scissors
  • The bauble you want to decorate

Optionally you may want a tray to lay your beads on and a second tray to work on (in case like me you have a habit of dropping the beads)!

Step 1 – Cut a long bit of thread (preferably a 1m or a little longer) and thread the needle.  Then thread 3 beads in colour A then 1 bead of colour B onto the thread.  Repeat this 6 times so that you end up with 6 beads of colour B on the thread.  Don’t tie a knot at the end, and be careful not to push all your beads off the end!  At this point, grab your bauble and check that when you make a circle with the beads it fits round the top of the bauble.  If its too small, then add another 4 beads and check again (keep adding until it fits).  If its too big then take 4 beads off.  Its important you keep the basic pattern of 4 beads – 3 of A and 1 of B.

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Step 2 – Tie the beads into a circle – leave a long enough tail to be able to weave in at the very end (about 10-15cm is a good amount).  Make sure you use a sturdy knot – you don’t want it falling apart!

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Step 3 – Your working thread should be between a bead of colour A and a bead of colour B.  Thread the needle through the B bead, the next 3 A beads and another B bead – this gets it in the right place to start the netting!

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Step 4 – Thread 3 beads of colour B, 1 bead of colour C and 3 beads of colour B onto the thread.  Push them down close to the circle.

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Step 5 – Take your needle through the next B bead on the circle and pull tight enough that you don’t have any loose beads.

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Step 6 – Repeat from step 3 until you have gone through all the B beads on the circle!

Step 7 – To end this round, thread the beads as in step 3, but as there are no B beads left, we go through the first one again, up through the next 3 B beads and the C bead.  This gets us in position for the next round!

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Step 8 – This works in exactly the same way as the previous row – thread the beads, then take the needle through the C bead on the row before.  The pattern this time is: 4 C beads, 1 A bead, 4 C beads.

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Step 9 – Continue this all the way round and to finish this round, take the needle through the first C bead, up through the next 4 C beads and the A bead.  This gets you in position for the next round!

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Step 10 – Do the next row in the same way, the pattern is 6 A beads, 1 B bead, 6 A beads.

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Step 11 – Again, once you’re all the way round, go through the first A bead and the next 6 and the next B bead.

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Step 12 – The next row’s pattern is 7 B beads, 1 C bead, 7 B beads.

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Step 13 – Hopefully you’ve worked out how ending the row works now!

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Step 14 – Just one more row of netting to go.  This time we’re just going to do 15 C beads in this round.

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Step 15 – To finish this round and prepare for creating the dangles, take the needle through the starting C bead, and then the next 8 C beads.

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Step 16 – To create the dangles, I threaded the beads you can see in the photos onto my thread.  You can do whatever beads or embellishments you like here!  It helps if the bottom bead is very smooth so the thread can flow over it easily (unlike my ones!).

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Step 17 – Take the needle back up through all the beads except the one at the very bottom.

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Step 18 – Take the needle through 8 C beads and pull tight to create the first dangle.

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Step 19 – Thread the needle through the next 8 C beads and making the dangles until you are all the way round.

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When you finish OR when you run out of thread – I ran out of thread as I was ending the final round (at Step 14).  To finish off, thread it through several rows like the pictures show, and then tie a knot, but don’t cut the tail, we still need it!  If you already have a tail then go ahead and thread through up to there and tie off with that one.

To join a new piece of thread – Get a new piece of thread and tie it on using the tail you’ve just left!  Then thread it up through the rows of beads as in pictures below until you’re where you need to be to continue where you left off!

To finish – Thread all the ends through a few beads as the length allows and trim the ends.

It should look something like this:

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Then put it on your bauble:

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And hang it on your tree!

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The Basic Netting Pattern:

Starting row: (3 A beads, 1 B bead) x 6.  Tie into circle
Row 2: (3 B beads, 1 C bead, 3 B beads) x 6
Row 3: (4 C beads, 1 A bead, 4 C beads) x 6
Row 4: (6 A beads, 1 B bead, 6 A beads) x 6
Row 5: (7 B beads, 1 C bead, 7 B beads) x6
Row 6: (15 C beads) x 6

Variations:

You can do all sorts of colour variations and varieties of dangles.  Here is just one variation on the dangle that I quite liked:

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Give me a comment if anything is unclear and I’ll try my best to help you.  Do share your projects with me if you make them too!

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