After finishing up my striped hoops, I decided to make a coordinated necklace, mostly because I liked the combination of seed beads so much. In this brick stitch necklace I added some crystal beads for texture variety, and I think the effect is well worth the extra effort. If you’ve never tried brick stitch it would be worth your time to play around with this tutorial before getting started.
- beading needle
- beading thread – it will show a lot, so choose your color carefully – I used black Nymo
- sharp scissors
- 4mm beads – I used some crystal cubes
- tube bead – this one is about 1 1/2 inches/4.5cm long
- jewelry wire
- jewelry pliers
- 15/0 Toho seed beads
- 11/0 Delica seed beads
Bead Colors from left to right:
I started by stringing the tube bead onto the jewelry wire and made a loop at each end. My jewelry wire was softer than I would have liked in a perfect world, so I wrapped the loops.
Start by cutting the longest piece of thread you’re comfortable with, threading on the needle, and adding a friction bead a few inches from the end – you’ll need enough tail to tie a knot, then put a needle on it and weave in the tail. Add one more bead. I’m starting with Toho #43.
Add a base row of brick stitch. Wrap the thread around the tube, then go back through the first bead in the opposite direction as you did the first time.
String on another bead, wrap around the tube, then go back through the bead.
Add another stitch the same way. Set the beadwork where you want it to be on the tube, because once you have more than 4 or 5 beads on it will be hard to adjust it. Repeat this same stitch to the end of the tube.
Your first row should look like this – close to the ends of the tube, but not close enough to fall off.
For the next row, I switched to Toho #7BDF. Add 2 beads.
Slide the needle under the thread in the first gap in the previous row.
Stitch back through the second bead you just added.
Add another bead.
Stitch under the next thread gap.
And back through the bead you just added.
Repeat that to the end of the row.
After the last thread gap, add one more bead. Stitch back through the first bead of the first row. Be careful not to involve the friction bead.
Wrap around the tube, then back through the first bead in the first row.
Remove the friction bead, make sure everything is tight, and tie a square knot with the working thread and the tail.
Stitch up through the last bead on the second row.
Start the next row the same way you did the last – with 2 beads. Slide the needle under the thread in the first gap from the previous row. I did this row in Toho #704.
Stitch back through the second bead.
Do the rest of the row as before.
At the end of the row, add 1 bead, then stitch down through the last bead of the last row.
Stitch up through the second to last bead of the last row, then the third bead on the current row.
Stitch down through the second bead on the current row and second bead in the previous row.
Then up through the last bead on both rows. This leaves you in position to start another row.
Add two beads and repeat. I used Delica #DB0800 for this row.
Keep adding rows until you run out of bead colors. This row is Delica #DB1523V.
For the last row, I used Toho #pf557. At the end of the last row, weave in the thread to finish.
Start the second section the same as the first – by cutting the longest piece of thread you’re comfortable with, threading on the needle, and adding a friction bead a few inches from the end – you’ll need enough tail to tie a knot, then put a needle on it and weave in the tail. Add one more bead. I’m using beads in the same color order as before.
Wrap around the tube and stitch back through the first bead. Set this first wrap on the outside of the original, at the opposite end of where you started before. This is so that there’s a ‘double wrap’ at both ends of the tube.
Add a bead, then slide the needle under the second wrap around the tube. It was easiest for me to do this near the bead that the thread came out of.
Shimmy the thread up to the top of the tube, then stitch through the bead you just added again.
Repeat this process of add a bead, slide under the next wrap, then go back through the bead until you get to the end of the row.
You might find that you can’t fit as many beads on the top of the tube as on the bottom. I skipped over the center thread loop to reduce this row. You can skip threads anywhere you need to, but try to do it consistently (at the center, or ever 6th thread, or whatever) so that if it shows it looks intentional.
Start the second row by adding 2 beads, then going under the thread in the second gap. This is different than before because now we want each row to get shorter instead of longer.
Go back through the second bead you added.
Brick stitch to the end of the row.
At the end, add one more bead, then stitch through the end bead from the first row.
Wrap around the tube, then stitch back through the end bead.
Remove the friction bead and tie the working thread and tail in a square knot.
Stitch back through the end bead on the current row.
Add another row as before, by starting with 2 beads and going through the second thread gap.
Brick stitch to the end.
Count the number of beads in your top row – I had 20. Plan how you’ll add the large beads across the number of seed beads in this row. I placed one large bead at the center of each 4 bead group. Unless you’re using the exact same layout as I am you’ll probably have to adjust that for your situation.
Stitch down through the second bead, and a bead in the row below.
Then stitch back up through the neighbor bead, and through the second bead on the top row.
Add a large bead, and 2 seed beads from the next row. Go back through the large bead, but not the seed beads.
Stitch through the 3rd bead on the row below.
Stitch up through the next bead.
Add another large bead the same way.
Repeat until all of your large beads are place.
Stitch down through the next bead in this row.
Then up through a seed bead, a large bead, and a seed bead. You can do this in steps, but I didn’t think you’d didn’t need 3 photos to understand it.
I added one seed bead between each pair to make the next row. Depending on your spacing, you might need to add more or less than I did. In this next section I’m replicating the standard brick stitch base row with some existing and some new beads.
Stitch down through the other seed bead.
Add a seed bead, then stitch through the last seed bead in the same direction as before.
Up through the new bead.
Then down through a bead above the next large bead.
Up through the new bead.
Down through the next.
Up through the other seed bead above this large bead.
Add a bead, then back through the last.
Through the new one again.
Up through a bead above the next large bead.
Repeat that backstitch loop all the way across. Try to keep the beads lined up, but it’s okay if they’re not perfect – the next step will fix it.
Zig zag back through the row – up through one bead, down through the next – until you get to where you started.
Now carry on with the normal brick stitch you were doing before, until you run out of bead rows to do.
Weave in the tails, trim them, and add a chain!
This pendant is slightly top heavy, so I kept the chain short. If it’s close to my neck it won’t be as prone to flipping over as it would if it were swinging around on a longer chain.