Today I'll show you how I finished the brick stitch beaded heart charm by adding rings to connect it to a cord and made it into a simple bracelet or necklace or whatever makes you happy!
It's one thing to make a pretty beaded bauble, but learning how to finish them into jewelry is the next step. Here's what I did and some lessons I've learned.
I left off my last post with two threads perfectly positioned to connect to a chain or add jump rings.
I will show you how I added rings in this post, but know that you could just have easily directly connected a link of chain like the hearts below.
I guess the first tip I can give you is that whatever you connect your beadwork to, it shouldn't be an open jump ring. That's just asking for your thread to eventually slide through that jump ring opening. (if you use chain, make sure the links are soldered.)
And it will! Trust me, it will. Especially if you gave the jewelry to a friend or sold it. Ugh! You could wear one just like it day and night for a year without ever having a problem, but if you sell one like that or give it a friend, it will slide out.
Really though, thin thread, tiny opening in jump ring... Eventually they will meet up. The unfortunate thing about that is that you won't be able to slide the jump ring back on - so it will be hard to fix. Just better to avoid the whole thing and connect to something without an opening.
A link of chain works well too. I was looking for something that I could use to connect to cord though, so I needed to get creative. What I decided on was Miyuki 3 x 1.3 mm rondelle beads. They seem similar to Czech O beads, but I don't have the O beads so I can't be sure.
The next step is to decide what direction you want the connectors to face. Should they lay flat on their back (like above) or on their side? This decision determines which bead you will stitch through to add the connector. I want the connector to be on its side, so I put my needle through the bead below where it is coming out from.
When I pull my thread tight, this will nestle the bead in the gap between the two beads. I go back through the connector bead at least 2 or 3 times by weaving my thread back through the beads. You want to have your pendant attached by more than one thread.
Now I just need to tie off my thread end and repeat on the other side. Securing thread is just practice. I weave through the beads to the center and make sure I change direction at least once. I will usually find a way to tie at least one half hitch knot in the middle of the beadwork and tuck the knot inside a bead. If you're not familiar with that, I'll try to cover it in a future post.
Knots aren't always required, but it's a lot like the jump ring thing. It may never fall apart when you wear it, but when you give it to someone else, the thread works loose. Go figure!
Once the second connector is in place, it's pretty standard process to thread the cord through the bead and complete a bracelet. I used 1 mm black Chinese knotting cord.
Tied an overhand knot - but I could have used a larks head I guess. I used a piece of wire to slide the knot next to the bead.
Repeat on the second side.
One both sides were done, I added a macrame sliding knot closure. There's instructions for the sliding knot at the link, but I don't weave in the ends. Chinese knotting cord is easy to finish by burning the ends and pressing them flat. Soooo much easier. Now, I just need to add some beads to the pull cords.
Now -what if you wanted your attachment loops to lay flat? Then you would have stitched back through the bead your thread was exiting.
This pendant is the same heart pattern, but done twice. I used a longer piece of thread and repeated the pattern a second time in different color beads to come up with joined hearts.
I hope that gives you some ideas on how to use the brick stitch heart charms for jewelry - or how to connect other little baubles you may have made.
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