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Ballerina BEAR
A fun introduction to 3-D peyote stitch
by Randy Wilson
• 3g Japanese seed beads, size 110, each of 2 colors (color A for the head, color B for the torso) • 3 Japanese seed beads, size 110, black for nose • 2 Japanese seed beads, size 110, for eyes • 1 4mm Round or faceted bead • 4 9mm Plastic pony beads • 1 2-in. (5cm) Head pin • 1 Drinking straw • Nymo D beadingthread or Fireline fishing line, 6-lb. test • Beeswax (if using Nymo) • Beading needles, #13 • G-S Hypo Cement, super glue, or white glue Tools: chain- and roundnose pliers, wire cutters


he design for these bears came to be as I was looking for a project that would use up plastic pony beads that I had purchased and never used. I experimented a little and found that size 110 seed beadsstitched into a peyote tube with square-stitched ends perfectly

covered two 9mm pony beads and created a little shape with unlimited potential for embellishment. This 3-D bear makes a beautiful focal bead for a little girl’s necklace. Who’d guess that plastic pony beads could be the inspiration for such a cute little bear?

First make the bear’s head, by peyote stitching a tube over two9mm beads and closing up one end. Embellish the tube with seed beads to add eyes, ears, and a nose. Make a second peyote tube for the bear’s torso. Sew arms, legs, a

Bead & Button • February 2004



a b


figure 1
d b c a


figure 2
c d b e a b a c


figure 3

figure 4

tail, and a ruffle for the tutu on the torso bead. Add a wire loop bezel above the head andfinish by stitching together the open ends of the head and torso.



head Cut a 1⁄2-in. (13mm) piece of straw, slit it lengthwise, and slide a pony bead over it. Apply a ring of glue around the straw and the inside edge of the pony bead (photo a). Slide a second pony bead over the straw and up against the first bead. The straw will be hidden inside the two beads (photo b). Allow theglue to dry. Thread a needle with a 5-ft. (1.5m) length of thread. If using Nymo, condition it with beeswax before threading it on the needle. String 22 color A seed beads leaving approximately a 20 in. tail (51cm). Sew back through all the beads again in the same direction to make a ring (figure 1, a-b). Place the ring of beads over the pony beads. Size 110 seed beads aren’t all the same size soyou may need to adjust the number of beads to fit over

the pony bead core. Add/remove beads from the ring in sets of two so the ring stays an even number. Once the ring is adjusted to fit around the pony bead core, sew through the first bead to position the needle away from the tail (b-c). Now work in even-count circular peyote for 13 rows (see “Basics”). You are working fromthe top of the head to the neck. Peyote two eye-color beads on row four (figure 2 and photo c). Remember the ring made in step 3 will be row 1 and 2 and peyote rows are counted on the diagonal, not horizontally. The two eye beads can be added at any point on row four, but since this will be the front of the peyote tube don’t add them next to the step up. To close up the neck end of the peyotetube add a bead to each bead on the last row with square stitch (figure 2, a-c and photo d). Go back through the last bead added, reverse the direction of the needle, and sew through all the beads pulling them together into a fairly tight circle above the pony bead core (c-d and photo e). Reinforce the circle with two more thread passes. Weave the needle through a few rows of the peyote tube and tiea halfhitch knot (see “Basics” and photo f) between the beads. Make several halfhitch knots between beads. Don’t trim the thread, it will be used later to add the bear’s nose. Thread a needle on the 20 in. tail and repeat step 6 on the first row of the peyote tube at the top of the head. Secure the thread with a couple of halfhitch knots between beads in the circle. Position the needle so it...
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