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Czech Pressed Glass Leaf Beads: Different Types and What to Make with Them

Updated on April 26, 2012
randomcreative profile image

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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I'm not sure exactly how my leaf bead obsession started, but I became very interested in Czech glass leaf beads sometime in 2009. Three years later, this obsession is still going strong.

A quick background on this subject: Czech pressed glass is handmade in the Czech Republic. It can date up to 100 years old. It is a superior quality of glass, which makes it highly desirable all over the world. To make pressed glass beads, a long glass rod cane is inserted into a gas furnace. Then at the same time, the molten glass is pressed into a mold and a needle is inserted, forming a hole. After the beads cool, any excess glass is broken off and the surface is smoothed.

I think that leaf beads are something that anyone who enjoys making jewelry, particularly beadwoven jewelry, should work with at least a few times. I've provided an overview of the different types of leaf beads available as well as patterns and jewelry pieces with these beads. I could not find a lot of patterns that use these beads. I included everything that I found in this hub. During my search, I found a variety of other leafy beading patterns. I may write another hub about creating beaded leaves, which will include those patterns. If you're interested in them now, let me know.

If you are having trouble finding any specific types and/or colors of leaf beads or are having trouble finding a specific type of pattern, let me know. I'll be happy to help you in any way that I can. Happy beading!

Beaded Bracelet - The Leafy Series - Christmas

I love mixing different sized leaf beads with Czech glass rounds to create themed leafy bracelets, such as Christmas, fall, and winter.
I love mixing different sized leaf beads with Czech glass rounds to create themed leafy bracelets, such as Christmas, fall, and winter. | Source

Different Bead Finishes

The most common finishes for Czech pressed glass leaves are opaque, transparent, and AB (aurora borealis). Some beads have metallic finishes or detail, such as gold outlining on the leaf veins. Not all finishes are available for all sizes and/or colors.

Sunflower Beaded Brooch Corsage

This is actually example of bead embroidery.  You can still create stunning pieces without using the bead holes.
This is actually example of bead embroidery. You can still create stunning pieces without using the bead holes. | Source
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Medium Leaves

Medium sized leaves are somewhere in the range of 6-8 x 10-14mm. Most beads these size have the shape pictured on the right but there are some more rare versions with round or ridged edges.

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Wide Leaves

Wide leaf beads are typically curved and measure 13x12mm. There are a number available that are transparent with slightly metallic or AB finishes, which creates a neat look. These larger beads will stand out in any jewelry piece.

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Wavy Leaves

Wavy leaves are also curved and measure 14x9mm. They are one of the most popular styles of Czech leaf beads. As I detailed above, this is one type where sometimes the leaf veins are outlined in gold or other metallics.

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Heart Leaves

These adorable little leaves are 9mm across. They are perfect accent beads for a wide variety of pieces. Mix them with larger leaves to create a natural, leafy look with different sizes or let them stand out on their own in a more delicate piece.

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Maple Leaves

Maple leaf beads are straight drilled and 10x13mm. The distinct maple leaf shape gives them a specific purpose that most Czech glass leaf beads, which are more general or even abstract leaf shapes, don't have.

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Large, Flat Leaves

Large, flat Czech glass leaves measure 18.5x14mm. Unlike many other larger Czech leaf varieties, these leaves do not have any curvature or waviness. Paired with other larger beads, they create a nice contrasting texture in a jewelry piece.

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Additional Straight Drilled Leaves

With the exception of the maple leaf beads, all of the leaf types that I've detailed thus far have been top drilled, which means that they have a hole that runs across or through the top of the bead. There are a few other varieties of straight drilled leaves, which have holes through the centers of the beads, running from top to bottom. Consider which drill design is more appropriate for the type of jewelry or project that you are making.

Other leaf beads to look for. There are lots of rare and vintage varieties.

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Natural Beauty - Chunky Turquoise and Leaf Accent Antiqued Brass Chain Necklace

Pair leaf beads with gemstones, spacers, and/or glass beads to create a simple strung bracelet or necklace.
Pair leaf beads with gemstones, spacers, and/or glass beads to create a simple strung bracelet or necklace. | Source

California Calla Lily Artisan Blown Glass Pendant necklace

Use a mix of leaves in a freeform style to create a flowing, natural feel.
Use a mix of leaves in a freeform style to create a flowing, natural feel. | Source

Peridot Green Glass Leaves Earrings with Copper

Pair leaf beads with simple charms or accent beads and unique wire for elegant earrings.
Pair leaf beads with simple charms or accent beads and unique wire for elegant earrings. | Source

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    • profile image

      Kelly 444 

      5 months ago

      Thankyou for sharing this info, much appreciated

    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 

      3 years ago

      Looks great!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Snakesmum! I hope that you're able to give beading a try at some point.

    • profile image

      Snakesmum 

      4 years ago

      That Calla Lily pendant is beautiful! I don't bead at the moment, but enjoy looking at pictures of bead jewellery, and wishing I too could make items like that. :-)

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks purplmama! I'm so glad that this is helpful for you. I completely agree about Czech glass. I love many types of Czech glass, but the leaves have always been one of my favorites.

    • purplmama profile image

      Peggy 

      6 years ago from The Midwest - Northern Illinois

      Random,

      Another wonderful Hub!!! I also appreciate the videos; I regularly watch FMG tutorials. I love Czech glass beads, especially the leaves.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Yes, so true! A mosaic with Czech glass leaf beads would be stunning.

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      These are beautiful. It's no surprise that a country so famous for its cut crystal would also make such pretty glass beads. What great artisans they are!

      I'd love to see these in a mosaic in my bathroom!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much!

    • WillSteinmetz profile image

      WillSteinmetz 

      7 years ago

      Very amazing hub, wonderful.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You're welcome Sharla! It sold before I could feature it on my blog so I put it here instead.

    • profile image

      BeadedTail 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for including me in this lovely hub Rose! I always enjoy your leafy finds!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thank you ladies! I look at jewelry pictures on Etsy all the time, and I've never seen anything quite like that brooch either.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Lovely hub and great ideas,thanks.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 

      7 years ago

      I loved the Sunflower Beaded Brooch Corsage, I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like it. Gorgeous and unique.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks ladies!

      Thelma, yeah, I do. I made the Christmas piece in this hub.

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      these are all great loved the designs!! beautiful

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      7 years ago from Germany

      Wow! They look all lovely. Do you make these jewelries? They are very beautiful to wear and for a gifts to friends. Thanks for sharing.

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