How to Make Beaded Blossoms

Learn how to make beautiful, three-dimensional beaded flowers to use as textural accents in your embroidery projects.

| Fall 2019


Some years ago, while walking through a quaint and arty area in Montreal, I spotted a painting of an owl in the window of an art gallery. It was largely made up of metal parts, but what really stopped me in my tracks was the clock face that was its pot belly.

That owl inspired me. For hours I found myself thinking about how I could translate the idea into embroidery. By the time I got home from Canada, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and the moment I was over my jet lag, I sat down and drew an owl with Jacobean flowers in its belly.

It started me on a most enjoyable journey, one that resulted in a book of African animals stitched in the colors of their native landscape with crewel embroidery techniques. Among the many stitches I used for texture, I added beads for sparkle and variety. These techniques will help you make beaded flowers to add to your own embroidery projects.

General Notes and Abbreviations

  • PU: Pick up
  • GT: Go through (pass the needle through a bead)
  • GU: Go up (pass the needle toward the petal tip)
  • GD: Go down (pass the needle toward the flower center)

Use size 11 or size 15 beads, with a size 12 beading needle or a size 11 sharps quilting needle with fine beading thread.

Before you attach beaded items to fabric, it’s vital to check that the thread is colorfast: Wind some onto a plastic floss card, plunge the card into very hot — almost boiling — water, remove it, and pat it dry on a light-colored towel. If there’s no color left behind on the towel, the thread is safe to use.



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