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Topic: Tutorial - 3-D Beaded Christmas Star Decoration  (Read 2354 times)
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ceralea
« on: December 05, 2014 11:49:03 PM »

Last  year when I posted pics of some beaded decorations I had made I was asked if I would write a tutorial.  It’s only a year later, but there should be time to finish one or more before Christmas.

This is my first attempt at writing a tutorial - let me know if there is anything that needs extra explanation or clarifying in some way.

A bit of a disclaimer - I did not invent these.  I made my first one after reverse engineering a purchased decoration maybe 10 or 12 years ago, and I have seen similar ones available in the shops occasionally since then.

If anyone out there actually makes one I'd love to see the result.

This is really image heavy.
Clicking on any of the images will open the full size version in flickr or you can see the entire album here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/ceralea/sets/72157649212188309/

So - this is what we're making


Supplies
You will need


•   30 round or round faceted beads – 6 or 7mm diameter
•   6 eye-pins  - 80mm length
•   2-6 sets of 12 beads for the spikes.  Use a mix of shapes and sizes according to what looks good to you, and how long you want your spikes to be.
•   34ga beading wire – 60cm length.  Don’t use a braided wire.  If you are more experienced at beading then use whatever you prefer – nymo, elastic cord etc.
•   Fine ribbon or cord for the hanging loop – 10cm length

I generally use acrylic/plastic beads for these as it makes the decoration lighter in weight.  Use glass or crystal if you like but some steps involve applying a bit of pressure and when glass beads break it’s somewhat more hazardous than if a plastic one breaks.
I think the beading wire is easier to use for beginners as you don’t need to worry about the tension quite as much, or how to tie a knot that won’t come undone.  It’s also easier to fix mistakes, like an extra bead, because you can cut the wire to fix the problem without the entire structure falling apart.
If you’re starting out I wouldn’t recommend using beads too much larger or smaller.  Smaller beads mean that it can be difficult to get the spikes in place and larger beads make it harder to get a rigid structure on the dodecahedron.
You can vary the spike bead sizes and eye-pin length as you wish (or even make your own eye-pins if you want longer spikes)

Tools
•   A pair of small side cutters to cut the beading wire and possibly the eye-pins
•   Fine nose pliers for creating the loops in the eye-pins.  Round nose is ideal but not required.

Main steps
1)   Make the centre beaded bead – it’s a standard beaded dodecahedron.
2)   Make the beaded spikes.

Beaded dodecahedron
There are many different ways to make these beaded dodecahedrons, so if you already have your own favourite method, then feel free to use it.  If you don’t like my method (or can’t comprehend it!) and you’d like a different perspective, then type “beaded dodecahedron” into your search engine of choice and see what comes back.  There are multiple tutorials and youtube vids out on the web for making these.

For these steps you’ll need your 30 6mm beads and the length of wire.
1)   Thread 10 beads (green) onto the wire and position them in the centre of the wire.


2)   Take one wire end and thread it back through the furthest bead so as to make a loop.  This wire end will be your working wire for the next steps.


3)   A)   Bend the non-working wire end back around the last bead to help hold the beads in place.  

B)   You could also put a temporary “stop” on by looping the wire through and around another bead  - just make it obviously different so you don’t accidentally include it!

4)   Thread 3 beads (blue) onto your working wire and then thread it through the third and fourth bead from your current location. (ie skip two beads, then thread) Ensure that you are continuing to work around the loop rather than doubling back on yourself.


5)   Thread 3 beads (purple) onto your working wire and then thread the wire through the third and fourth bead from your current location - ie skip two beads, then thread.   Ensure that you are continuing to work around the loop rather than doubling back on yourself.


6)   Thread 2 beads (pink) onto your working wire, and then thread the wire through the middle bead of the three beads added in step 4 (the blue ones).  Again, you continue to work around the beads rather than going back on your work.


7)   Thread 1 bead (orange) onto your working wire, and then thread the wire through the middle bead of the three beads added in step 5 (the purple ones).  Again, you continue to work around the beads rather than going back on your work.


Cool   Thread 1 bead (dark pink) onto your working wire, and then thread the wire through the second bead of the two beads added in step 2 (the pink ones).  The wire will exit between the pink and blue beads.  Again, you continue to work around the beads rather than going back on your work.


9)   Pull everything up tight and loop the working wire around the previous wires at the intersection of the three beads to hold it.


10)   Pick up the wire end that you put aside in Step 3. This is now your working wire.   Oh look, and magically the beads are all now green.  The next steps repeat what we did above on the other half of the ball.


11)   Thread 3 beads (blue) onto your working wire and then thread it through the third and fourth bead from your current location. (ie skip two beads, then thread) Ensure that you are continuing to work around the loop rather than doubling back on yourself.


12)   Thread 3 beads (purple) onto your working wire and then thread the wire through the third and fourth bead from your current location - ie skip two beads, then thread.   Ensure that you are continuing to work around the loop rather than doubling back on yourself.


13)   Thread 2 beads (pink) onto your working wire, and then thread the wire through the middle bead of the three beads added in step 4 (the blue ones).  Again, you continue to work around the beads rather than going back on your work.


14)   Thread 1 bead (orange) onto your working wire, and then thread the wire through the middle bead of the three beads added in step 5 (the purple ones).  Again, you continue to work around the beads rather than going back on your work.


15)   Thread 1 bead (dark pink) onto your working wire, and then thread the wire through the second bead of the two beads added in step 2 (the pink ones).  The wire will exit between the pink and blue beads.  Again, you continue to work around the beads rather than going back on your work.


16)   Pull everything up tight and loop the working wire around the previous wires at the intersection of the three beads to hold it.

17)   Once you’ve completed the ball shape you’ll notice that it’s likely to be a bit floppy and has no strength to the structure.  To remedy this we continue threading the wire through the beads again to pull all of the joints up tight.


18)   Take one of your wire ends and thread it through the next bead (direction doesn’t really matter at this point).  You’ll notice that the wire only has two passes between the three beads.  A-B, B-C but not C-A.
Rather than threading directly from A into C we’ll pull the join tight as we go.  Thread the wire down into the ball in the hole where beads A and B are, and then back out of the ball where beads B and C are. Pull the wire tight and thread through bead A.
This was really hard to show on the actual beads so I’ve used some yarn and larger beads. The black circles represent the rings of beads in your dodecahedron.


19)   Continue cinching up all the joins round the dodecahedron.  If you end up at a join that has already been tightened then just thread your wire through some more of the beads till you get to an untightened one and then keep going.


20)   Once your wire end is too short (or you’ve done all the joins) thread the wire through a couple of beads, trim the end to a short length and push it inside the ball.

21)   Pick up the other wire-end and repeat steps 17, 18, 19 and 20.


Some Notes –
Each of the intersections on the dodecahedron should have 3 beads and the loops formed in the beads should have 5 beads in a circle.  If you have more or less than that then you’ve gone wonky somewhere.
The ball needs to be reasonably rigid so as to allow for the decoration to maintain its shape once the spikes are added.
Try not to get too many kinks in the wire as you go as these can be weak points.

The Beaded Spikes

Now that you have the bead base we can do the fun bit….
For these steps you’ll need your eye-pins and the sets of 12 beads.

1)   Figure out a pleasing arrangement of beads for your decoration spikes.   Choose a mix of shape, size and finish that appeals to you, or make them all the same.
The spikes can be short, as in 1-2 beads, or as long as your eye-pins allow.
The only hard rule is that the bead which sits closest to the ball on each spike needs to be larger than the hole the spike threads through.  (ie larger than the hole formed by each five bead ring on your dodecahedron).


2)   Thread your beads onto the eye-pin and thread the eye-pin into one of the dodecahedron holes and then out the opposite hole.


3)   Thread the spike beads onto the eyepin (in reverse order to step 2!)


4)   Use your pliers to create a wire loop in the eye-pin, trimming the length down as needed.  Try and ensure that the loop you create holds all the beads snugly, but don’t push it too hard or you’ll distort the shape of the dodecahedron ball.
No photos of using the pliers as taking a photo at the same time was impossible!


5)   Repeat steps-2-4 for the third and fourth spikes.


6)   Repeat steps-2-4 for the fifth and sixth spikes.


7)   Repeat steps-2-4 for the seventh and eighth spikes.


Cool   Repeat steps-2-4 for the ninth and tenth spikes.  Once you reach this point you might need to wiggle the eye-pin around to get it through the intersection of the previous eye-pins in the dodecahedron centre.


9)   Repeat steps-2-4 for spikes eleven and twelve (the last two!).   Again, wiggle as needed to get it through the intersection of the eye-pins.


10)   Thread the piece of ribbon or cord through one of the eye-pin loops and tie to make a hanging loop.


11)   Hang somewhere and enjoy.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014 01:33:29 PM by ceralea » THIS ROCKS   Logged
elderflower
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014 05:34:58 AM »

Wonderful tutorial. Bookmarked.
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maxxev
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014 10:16:07 PM »

this is beautiful! thank you for the tutorial, im going to have to hunt out my beading stuff and try this Smiley
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ceralea
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014 03:34:36 AM »

Thank you elderflower and maxxev.   Smiley
maxeev - I hope you do give it a go.
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MissingWillow
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015 02:04:38 AM »

Oh my goodness, what a fabulous and detailed tutorial, thank you!
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