Beaded Beadwoven Leaves: Stand Alone Projects, As Components, and Cuff Designs
One of my bead fascinations the last couple years has been leaves. I have mostly been focused on Czech glass leaf beads. However, I enjoy browsing and getting inspiration from all sorts of different beaded leaves. While beaded leaves may seem like a very specific concept that only has a few uses, there are many different options for beaded leaves. This includes using them as stand alone projects, as components for larger projects, or in graphed designs for cuffs.
As you read this hub and absorb the different examples keep a couple different things in mind. First, consider flat versus curved leaves. Depending on the types of beads that you use, many patterns can be converted to one or the other fairly easily. Using different leaf textures in a single project can create a variety that will portray a natural leafy array. Second, consider realistic versus abstract leaf designs. Think about your own preferences and what will be appropriate for different kinds of projects.
Please note that all of the patterns included in this hub require a basic knowledge of beadweaving skills. If you are new to beadweaving, check out these free basic tutorials. I know that many of the examples and projects here seem complex, but once you get a few stitches under your belt, you'll be ready to start working on leaves. Happy beading!
Stand Alone Projects
Single beaded leaves make beautiful pieces of jewelry all on their own. Typically I turn my leaves into earrings, but they also work well as pendants. Consider attaching one to a pin back to make a brooch, attaching a loop and large split ring for a keychain, or turning one into a zipper pull. You can also combine several leaves for a simple bracelet or necklace without a lot of other embellishments. Have fun experimenting with different colors and beads.
Great Beaded Leaf Pattern
Beaded leaves can be used as components for any number of larger pieces. Use a few with a beaded flower or pair them with glass beads. You can make beaded leaves in any size so consider what will work best for the piece that you are designing. Again, consider different colors and beads. The color palette that you choose can significantly alter a design. The beads that you choose will affect the texture and overall appearance of the leaves.
Patterns with Leaf Components
There are a number of beaded cuff designs out there that included leaves or leafy designs. Some also include flowers and/or natural elements while others solely feature leaves. The most popular stitch for cuffs with leaf designs is peyote. I have found a few patterns out there that use square stitch, which means that they can be converted to a loom. Many leaf patterns are designed in even count peyote, making them suitable for relatively new beadweavers.
If you are interested in creating your own leaf cuff designs, consider purchasing bead software such as BeadTool. It is tedious to graph intricate patterns on paper. Please note that if you are interested in selling your patterns, please test drive them first. It is easy to create beautiful patterns on graphs, but they may not all translate well with beads. Do at least one test run first.