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Russian Beaded Earrings

Updated on March 7, 2010

Make 3-D Russian Beaded Earrings

These beaded earrings are made using a stitch I first encountered in Russian and Ukrainian beading. The stitch itself is flat, but when you pull the beadwork together you get an elegant curved three-dimensional shape that resembles a leaf. These are instructions for making two-tone Russian beaded earrings, with pictures of what the earrings look like in solid colors or what you get if you extend the stitch to make a necklace.

Materials for Russian Beaded Earrings
Materials for Russian Beaded Earrings

Materials for Russian Earrings

You'll need one or more colors of beads, a beading needle, and findings for making earrings.

  • 10 grams size 11 main color seed beads

  • 10 grams size 11 contrast color seed beads

  • beading thread (I used size D black Nymo thread)

  • beading needle (I used a size 10 beading needle)

  • a larger bead or button or a clasp to close the necklace

I obtained all of the materials used in this beaded necklace project from Auntie's Beads. The look of your finished necklace will be determined by the beads you select for this project. Compare the look of the green and gold earrings shown here with the black and silver earrings illustrated in this project. The green earrings are slightly larger and wider than the black/silver earrings because they were made using different beads. The green earrings were made using size 11 Matsuno beads while the back.silver earrings were made using size 11 Miyuki beads, which are a little smaller than most other seed beads and are very regular in size from one bead to another.

You can use any beading needle or beading thread. I recommend using a strong beading thread so that you will get jewelry that resists wear (e.g., size D thread rather than size B). Some beaders use fishing line, which is very strong. That can work very well, though I prefer nylon because the resulting necklace is very fluid and flexible and because it is easy to weave in a new thread in the event it becomes necessary.

Russian Beaded Earrings #1
Russian Beaded Earrings #1

Getting Started

Beginning Your Beaded Earrings

Cut about a meter of beading thread. You can use whatever colors you like. Just substitute your colors for the black and silver in these instructions. To make the earrings as shown, start by stringing on black, silver, silver, black.

Russian Beaded Earrings #2
Russian Beaded Earrings #2

Secure the Thread

Go back through the first black bead so that the thread enters and exits through the same side of the bead.

Russian Beaded Earrings #3
Russian Beaded Earrings #3

Pull It Tight

This is what you'll get after you've tightened the thread.

Russian Beaded Earrings #4
Russian Beaded Earrings #4

Build the Backbone

Center of the Earring

On one side (doesn't matter which) string: S, B, S, B, S, B, S, B, S, B, S, S

Russian Beaded Earrings #6
Russian Beaded Earrings #6

Work the Black Side

Using the other thread (not the one with all the silver and black beads), string on a black bead and go through a black bead.

Russian Beaded Earrings #7
Russian Beaded Earrings #7

Zip It Up

Continue in this way, adding 1 black and passing through a black, until you get to the end of the beads. At the end of the row you will add 1 black and past through the silver bead on the end. See the zipper shape the beads make?

Russian Beaded Earrings #8
Russian Beaded Earrings #8

Another Row of Black

Add a single black bead and pass the needle through the top black bead of your pattern. Now you're going to work down the zipper the same way you worked up.

Russian Beaded Earrings #9
Russian Beaded Earrings #9

When You Get to the Bottom

The bottom of each row ends when you get to the third bead from the end. Here is where you turn around. Add a silver bead and a black bead and pass the needle back up through the black bead that sticks out on the zipper or brick shape.

Add a black and go through the next black until you are at the top again. Do you see the pattern?

Find More Beading Projects

Coraling Technique: Step-by-Step Instructions For Making Ten Original Design Necklaces, Bracelets And Earrings In The Most Popular Russian Beading Technique
Coraling Technique: Step-by-Step Instructions For Making Ten Original Design Necklaces, Bracelets And Earrings In The Most Popular Russian Beading Technique

This book features another popular Russian and Ukrainian beading stitch, netting. The projects are elegant and look complicated, though they are actually easy to achieve.

 
Russian Beaded Earrings #10
Russian Beaded Earrings #10

From the Top

When you're at the top again, add a black, silver, black and go back through the top of the first black you added.

Russian Beaded Earrings #11
Russian Beaded Earrings #11

Once Again

Just Making Sure You've Got It

Add a black and go through the black sticking out in the zipper, until you are through the 3rd black bead from the bottom of the pattern. Add a silver and a black and pass the needle through the black that sticks out of the zipper.

Russian Beaded Earrings #13
Russian Beaded Earrings #13

How You Know You're Done

When you get to the point where there are 7 silver inner edge beads and 7 outer edge beads, pick up the silver and black like always, but use silver beads to fill in the pattern.

Russian Beaded Earrings #14
Russian Beaded Earrings #14

The End of Side 1

Now you're done with one side of the earring pendant. Let's move to the silver side.

Make a V-Shaped Necklace

If you keep extending the pattern, you'll get a 'V' shape that can be used to construct an interesting beaded necklace.

Russian Beaded Necklace

Russian Beaded Necklace
Russian Beaded Necklace
Russian Beaded Earrings #15
Russian Beaded Earrings #15

The Silver Side

This works exactly the same, except all of the beads are silver. Add a silver bead. Pass through the second silver bead (the first bead of the backbone).

Russian Beaded Earrings #16
Russian Beaded Earrings #16

The Same Thing, Only Different

Add a silver bead and pass through a silver bead until you are 3 beads from the bottom (1 black and 2 silver beads). Add 2 silver beads.

Russian Beaded Earrings #18
Russian Beaded Earrings #18

Etcetera

Go through the outer silver bead and add a silver, pass through a silver until you are at the top of the pattern again; Add 3 silver beads, pass through the first of them, then add a silver, pass through as ilver until you are at 3 beads from the bottom.

Add 2 silver beads. Pass through the outer silver... continue the pattern until you have 7 silver inner edge beads. It's a little harder to see than with the black pattern, but the edge beads tilt at an angle.

Russian Beaded Earrings #19
Russian Beaded Earrings #19

Add the Earring Finding

String on a silver bead, your earring finding, and another silver bead, Connect the two sides of the earring.

Russian Beaded Earrings #21
Russian Beaded Earrings #21

Tie It Up

The pattern has been flat so far, but when you pull the ends together it will bow out to form a three-dimensional shape. You can tie a knot if you like, but you should get a secure joining simply by weaving the threads in and out of the beads. Snip the threads when you are satisfied with your work. Now make a second earring!

Russian Beaded Earrings
Russian Beaded Earrings

A Finished Russian Beaded Earring

If you like, you could hang a charm or pearl in the opening left below the earring finding.

Green and Gold Beaded Earrings

Green and Gold Beaded Earrings
Green and Gold Beaded Earrings

Did you try this project? Did you like it? I tried to find a balance between giving you enough photos to show you how to do the project while trying not to overwhelm you with repeats of steps. If you've tried this project or would like to see other beading projects like this, be sure to let me know.

What Do You Think?

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    • profile image

      Yovavi 20 months ago

      Gorgeous!! Thank you!!

    • profile image

      Cheryl 21 months ago from Ontario

      I think the way you have it is perfect , I understood yours where all the others just confused me :)

    • profile image

      Glenda 2 years ago

      Can't wait to make earrings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Easy to make! They are very pretty!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very pretty! I made a pair!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Realmenete hermoso trabajo. Gracias por compartir.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      ahh i found bit complicated and did some mistakes so got bored,, but god it's beautiful, i'll try again...\\ thank you very much for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank goodness for Facebook. I have been looking for this tutorial. Thank you very much for posting this!!!

    • ingridpalmer profile image

      ingridpalmer 4 years ago

      Very awesome, I always thought of making jewelry, I used to when I was a girl in Jamaica. This has just inspired me again. I thought I was too old to take on something new again. Very informative lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      LOVE IT

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much.

      This will go beautifully with your necklace pattern for my prom

    • kerilovesadeal profile image

      kerilovesadeal 5 years ago

      I want to make these earrings. They are soooo pretty. Thanks for the great close-ups of the earrings! :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A couple of questions. when you start this project are you starting in the middle of your thread? and when you finish the black side what do you do with the tread? weave it in and then use the thread from the silver side to combine the both sides and then weave that in?.. Thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      excellent article !