In celebration of Easter, we have another jewelry-making tutorial for you today! Find out how to make a 3D beaded cross, which you can use as a pendant (or earrings if you want to use smaller beads).
This tutorial uses Right Angle Weave (RAW) stitch in beadweaving. If you’re not familiar with this technique, we’d recommend you check out this tutorial first.
To make this project you’ll need the following materials:
- A selection of either faceted round beads such as fire-polished beads, or pearls in two colors (size 4mm)
- Nymo beading thread
- Size 10 or 12 beading needle
- Size 11/0 seed beads for extra embellishment (optional)
To begin, pick up 4 beads onto your needle and slide them down towards the end of your thread, leaving around a 6 inch tail (step 1).
Pass your needle and thread back through all 4 beads again in the same direction to form a circle of beads. Reinforce the circle of beads by passing your needle and thread through them again to keep the structure tight.
So that you’re in the right position for the next step, ensure your thread is exiting out of the bead opposite your tail (step 2).
Pick up only 3 beads this time and go back through the bead that your thread is currently exiting out of (step 3). You’ll now have 2 circles of beads, side by side.
Pass your needle and thread through the next two beads to get into position for creating another circle. Repeat step 3 twice so that you have 4 circles in total.
Before moving onto the next step, make sure that your thread is exiting out of the top bead in the last circle (step 4).
Tip! When working in Right Angle Weave stitch, your thread direction will keep changing to follow a figure of 8 shape.
Pick up 3 beads onto your needle and pass through the same bead that your thread is exiting out of as in the previous steps. Repeat so that you have 2 more circles of beads at a right angle to the 4 circles you made earlier (step 5).
You’ll see your beadwork change direction and this is how the cross section will be created. Pass your thread back through the beads so that you can repeat this process on the other side (step 6).
In step 7, you’ll need to make the last part of the cross (or the top part once you rotate your beadwork around). Simply work your way through the beads to the center of the cross section and create 2 more circles of beads going outwards so that your first row of 4 circles becomes 6 circles.
Tie a couple of knots between the beads and trim any excess thread. Your beaded cross will look pretty enough on its own but if you’d like to make a 3D version, repeat the process from start to finish to make another beaded cross (step 8).
The next stage of this project is to sew the 2 beaded crosses together. We’ve used silver fire-polished beads here to hopefully show you the difference between the beads, but you can use the same color (or any color) if you’d like.
To begin, ensure your thread is exiting out of the top part of one of your beaded crosses. Pair up your beaded crosses so that they line up as much as possible (step 9).
Then, pick up a new bead (silver) and pass your needle and thread through the (gold) bead on the other beaded cross that is directly opposite the bead your thread is exiting out. Your thread will then connect one beaded cross to the other (step 10).
In step 11, pick up another new (silver) bead and go back up through the first bead again – the gold bead that your thread was exiting out of in the previous step.
You will have created a new circle of beads now, by adding two new (silver) beads as connectors. Continue passing your thread around the circle of beads until your thread is exiting out of the bottom (silver) bead.
Work your way around, by passing your needle and thread down into the next beads on the outer edges of each beaded cross (step 12). You’ll basically be doing Right Angle Weave stitch again, but only picking up 2 beads each time to form a circle.
When you get to the cross section part of your beaded cross, take care to pass your thread through the outer edge beads only (it can be tricky to see the correct bead to go through). Follow the outline of the cross at all times.
Once you’ve added connecting beads all the way around, your beaded cross will become a 3D version, with a sturdy structure! Tie a couple of knots in between beads and go through a few more beads before cutting off your excess thread.
You can leave your 3D beaded cross as it is or embellish further with seed beads if you prefer. Size 11/0 seed beads are ideal for filling in the gaps between the fire-polished beads.
To embellish, work your way around the outer edge of one side of your beaded cross first of all. Pick up a seed bead, pass through the next fire-polished bead, pick up another seed bead, pass through the next fire-polished bead and so forth until you get to the place where you started.
To embellish the other side, pass your needle and thread through one of the those middle connecting (silver) fire polished beads (step 13).
When you’ve finished embellishing both sides, your beaded cross should look like the example in step 14!
You can pass a chain through the top for an instant necklace (bottom photo) or make a bail using seed beads if you prefer.
We hoped you enjoyed our Easter jewelry-making tutorial! For more free DIY jewelry-making projects, you might want to check out the tutorial section on our blog.
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