Tutorial: Beadwoven Leaf on Wire – Type 1: Veined


beadwoven leaf on wire type 2a


For a printable Microsoft Word document, click here. For a PDF, click here.



Materials and Tools:

12” 28g or 30g wire, or bead weaving thread (wire allows better molding and holding of shapes)

Approximately 80 seed beads size #6 in margin and vein color

Approximately 25 round beads 4mm in fill color

Chain-nose pliers

Flush cutters


beadwoven leaf on wire type 2 step 1a

Figure 1

Step 1:  Refer to the picture above.  Place a seed bead in the center of your wire, lined up so the wire goes through it horizontally.  Fold the wire around it so it looks like the bottom bead in Figure 1.  Then slide four more seed beads onto both ends of the wire.  Bend the left piece of wire at a 45 degree angle and slide three seed beads onto it, the last one horizontally like in Figure 1.  Bring the wire back out through the other three beads, then place another seed bead on both wires.  You are building the veins of the leaf from the bottom up.  Bend the right wire 45 degrees and slide four beads onto it, the last horizontally, then back through the other three to get back to the main backbone.  Slide two or three beads onto both wires, then make another branch to the left, back to center and up one bead, then another branch to the right.  Repeat one more time, so you end up with something like Figure 2, or the veins you see in the picture.  You will end with two wires coming out the top.

beadwoven leaf on wire type 2 step 1b

Figure 2



Note that throughout the project, you will want to keep the wires pulled tightly enough so they show as little as possible, but do not pull so tight that the wire breaks.  Also, be careful not to kink the wire, as this will weaken it, possibly causing it to break.  To accomplish this, wrap/fold the wire before pulling it.  The diagrams show the wire loose only so you can see its path through the beads.



Step 2:  This part is based very much on your specific leaf as you have built it Step 1.  It helps to lay the vein structure on your table and drop fill beads into the spaces to get an idea of the layout for this next step.  For the leaf shown, this is what worked:  Take the left wire and slide three round 4mm beads onto it, not too tightly.  Press it down into the vein structure and thread the wire into the nearest vein bead, pushing it through until it comes out near the center round bead, which is not yet anchored well.  You can thread the wire into that center round bead and back into another nearby vein bead to anchor the round bead and come back out another vein bead near where the next grouping of beads should start, or if you don’t mind seeing the wire a little bit, or if it is too difficult to get the wire into the beads, you can thread the wire around wires in the veins, between the #6 beads, to anchor the round beads (see Figure 3).  In the sample project, a mixture of both techniques is used as needed.  Continue from group to group of beads, preferably moving counter-clockwise until you come out at the top of the bead with your wire.  You will now have the veins and filling of your leaf.



beadwoven leaf on wire type 2 step 2a


Figure 3

beadwoven leaf on wire step 3c

Figure 4



Step 3:  Take the right wire and slide several seed beads onto it, as many as are needed to reach the first vein bead that is sitting horizontally.  Thread the wire through that horizontal bead and keep going, adding beads until you reach each vein, knitting the leaf together on the outside.  When you get to the bottom vein bead, you may want to put a point on your bead, as in the picture.  To do this, add another seed bead horizontally to the bottom seed bead, threading the wire through it, then through the previous bead again (Figure 4) and pull tightly.  Continue up the other side until you reach the top of the leaf. 



Step 4:  Wrap the wires together tightly at the top.  You now have a leaf with a stem of fine wire, which you can use to attach it to whatever you’re making.  If you do not want the wires at the top, wrap them tightly close to the oval bead, then pull each to one side and thread it through a few seed beads before cutting it off with a flush cutter.  This will hide the ends and make them less likely to unravel or to stick you when you wear your piece.


We hope this tutorial is helpful to you.  Please leave feedback! info[at]stonepylon.com