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Designing and Making a Beaded Scarf

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Can I Design Something For You?

The design process works differently for every artist and artisan. A great deal of ideas come to me in the shower or while I am doing something totally unrelated to making jewelry - like gardening. I see colors and shapes that trigger an idea. Often times the idea I decide to pursue looks very little like the finished product because I continue to design and have new ideas along the way.

Having said that, when I create a new beaded scarf or lariat, the design process is much more simple. Since the stitching pattern is generally the same for each one I make, the differences come from the colors I choose and the pattern I put them into.

Below are samples of some of the color patterns I have created:

The process starts with laying out materials

Once I have selected the colors and the color pattern, the beading begins. I use a needle and thread for stringing the beads. The thread is a 6 lb. microfused braided bead thread called Fireline. It is strong and will not fray. I use a beading needle that is long and thin, in order to make several passes through the tiny holes in the beads. The beads are size 11 seed beads which, if you could measure them, would be around 2.1 mm in diameter with a hole about .7 mm.

The first row is the longest - usually 42 inches in length. It is comprised of sections of 7 beads, sometimes with the center bead a different color from the base color. It is important to get the colors correct on this row, as the rest of the rows will follow. Also, in this first row, a loop is created at each end that will be used to attach the clasp when it is complete.

The work progresses, with a reduction of one section at the end of each row. You can see the triangle shape beginning to form in these photos. So far I have completed 12 rows in the left photo and 18 in the right photo with one orange accent row (comprised of 2 passes across) and then a yellow accent row (2 passes).

These last photos show the scarf nearing completion. It gets fun when I can see the rows reducing quickly, as each row is shorter than the previous row and therefore goes faster. At the very bottom, I end up with one row with 1 section. There are a total of 52 rows.

You can see the finished scarf in the photos at the top.

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