Iron Craft ‘13 - Challenge #13 - Eye of the Needle
For this challenge, we were asked to create something using needles. I was psyched when I read the challenge because I’d literally just bought some big eye needles to use with some teeny seed beads I’d ordered. What’s a big eye needle? That’s what I asked when I first heard of them. It’s really just a needle with a big eye. You can split the needle almost all the way in half and insert your bead stringing material. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, but you can see how it works here.
I was browsing an online sale a couple weeks before this challenge and found some gorgeous seed beads on sale, so I went ahead and purchased those, some stretchy cord for stringing them, and of course, the big eye needles. The needles really make picking up those teeny beads so simple--I don’t see how you could do it otherwise.
Mixed Red Seed Bead Bracelet
For this one, I used three different kinds of seed beads, and they’re all Czech Glass Beads. The 10/0 and 6/0 refer to the bead sizes. The larger the bead, the smaller the number. With the 6/0 beads, you get about 9 beads per inch, and with the 10/0 beads, about 16 per inch. There are some as small as 15/0, and with those, you get about 23 per inch! I cannot imagine working with beads that tiny.
So take a nice length of stretch cord, I cut about 10 inch strands so I’d have plenty of wiggle room when beading. Pre-stretch the cord by holding the center and pulling the ends. This ensures that it’s already stretched out, and won’t stretch too much when you put it on your wrist. If you don’t do this step, it’ll stretch too much when you put it on, and you’ll have a longer cord and not enough beads to fill it up. Am I making sense? Just stretch it first.
Open your big eye needle and insert about an inch of the cord into the eye. Pull it down to the bottom of the opening and make sure it’s snug. It also helps to have one of these bead stoppers on the other end of the cord to keep the beads from coming off the cord. Trust me! So using your needle, pick up the beads and string them on the cord.
I didn’t measure out standard bracelet lengths, I just eyeballed it and held the bead strands up to my wrist. I made them all a bit longer than needed so I could braid them together. You’re going to tie simple square knots in the cord to seal it up, then add a drop or two of the G-S Hypo Cement right on the knot to seal it. Cut off the excess cord being careful not to cut into the knot. Set it aside to dry--it sets very quickly, but needs a few hours to set up really well.
Repeat these steps again to make a second strand with the next beads, and before knotting and gluing it, simply twist it around and through (or “wind” it through) the first strand you made to braid it, about 4 passes through. When you have done that, you can proceed to knot it and glue it. Then do a third strand with the third beads, and braid it through, knot it and glue it. Set it all aside to dry for a few hours and it should be all set to wear!
Here is a great video that shows the steps I described above!
Please check out the Iron Craft Flickr Group for more great ideas!