DIY Brick Stitch Bead Earrings with Fringe Flair
For our second Craft Contributor project, we’re introducing the incredibly talented Amber Brook of MAEKEN Handmade — beading extraordinaire and TNTP TEAcher!
Amber has a GORGEOUS beading tutorial for you today, and we can’t wait to see what you make with it! Find all the supplies in our new Bead Weaving Earring Bundle.
Take it away, Amber!
Hello! I’m Amber and this is my first ever Neon Tea Party blog post! I learned brick-stitch beading at the Craftcation conference several years ago and I fell in love. Once you get the hang of it you can create amazing custom jewelry for yourself and others with minimal time and supplies.
You can find more beading tutorials on my Instagram account, @maekenwithamber – hope to see you there!
I added some flair on the fringe and candy stripes to this classic brick-stitch earring design so you can match with your favorite Candy Stripe Friendship Bracelet, making it the perfect addition to your collection of Neon Tea Party accessories!
HOW TO MAKE BRICK STITCH EARRINGS WITH FRINGE FLAIR
- At least 1 wire beading needle (sizes 10 & 12 will work)*
- A 30-inch strand of NYMO thread (sizes B & D will work)*
- Size 11/0 seed beads in 3 colors of your choice*
- Two earring hooks in the metal finish of your choice*
- 1 pair of needle-nose pliers*
- 1 small sharp pair of scissors
- Optional: Jump Rings*
*Item is included in our Bead Weaving Earring Bundle!
PART ONE: Brick Stich Pyramid
Here is a cheat sheet you can reference for the pyramid of the earring we’ll be making today. Use the key on the right if you want to assign different colors to the beads in this pattern.
Our first step will be to create the cornerstone of row 1. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Cut a 30″ strand of your thread. Start row 1 of your earring by stringing four beads made up of a set of two beads in color 1, and a set of two beads in color 2. (Tip: you’ll start every row of your pyramid with two sets of two beads!). Slide those four beads down to the end of your thread leaving a 6” tail you will use for finishing at the end.
Pinch the first two beads with your left hand. With your right hand pass the needle up through those beads only, and pull tight.
When pulled tight, you should have your four beads sitting in a square. The 6” tail of your thread should be hanging down, and your working thread, with your needle, coming out of the top.
Pass your needle back down through the second set of beads in color 2. Now you have a perfect square of beads that will serve as the cornerstone of your earring pyramid.
Step 2: String one set of beads, in color 3, onto your needle. Pass your needle up through the set of beads, in color 2, and pull tight. Pass your needle back down through the set you just added.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 for the last 3 sets in this row. Add your bead colors in the same order as the first three sets. (Tip: Want a larger earring? Continue with another three sets of beads, repeating your colors in the same order!)
Step 4: Start row 2 by, again, stringing two sets of beads, the first set in color 3, the second set in color 2 (we’re going back in reverse order!).
Now, this gets tricky – pinch row 1 in your left hand, and using your right hand, bring your needle from behind, under the second thread “bridge” that is securing row 1 together. Pull your thread all the way through – this should “fold over” the second set and result in a square. Pull tight.
Finally, bring your needle back up through the set in color 2. Pull tight.
Step 5: Now add a set of beads in color 1 and, while pinching row 1 with your left hand, pass your needle, from the back, under the very next available thread arch. Pull tight.
Finish by passing your needle back up through the set of beads you just added. Pull tight.
Step 6: Repeat Step 4 for a set of beads in color 3 and a set of beads in color 2.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to add rows 3 and 4 of your pyramid. (If you’re making a larger earring, you’ll have six rows to complete!)
Step 8: To add the loop at the top of your pyramid, start by adding two sets of beads, first in color 2 and then in color 3. Complete the loop by passing your needle allllllllll the way down through the beads along the outer edge of your pyramid that are all color 3. Pull tight.
When done, your tail should be coming out of the top of the very first set of beads in color 1, and down out of the bottom of the outer row in color 3.
Phew! Your pyramid is done and now we’re ready to add fringe!
PART TWO: Fringe with Flair
Here is a cheat sheet you can reference for the fringe of the earring we’re making. You’ll want to use the same colors you used in the pyramid if you are using different colors from the pattern.
Step 1: Your working thread should be coming out of the bottom of the main stripe in color 3. String 23 beads, also in color 3, onto your thread. (If you’re making a larger earring, string 29 beads on for your first fringe!)
Slide the beads all the way to the base of the pyramid and separate the last 3 beads from the rest. Skipping those 3 beads, insert your needle back up through the other 20 beads and the first set of beads of the pyramid base. Pull tight.
Pass the needle back down through the neighboring set of beads (in color 2). Pull tight.
Step 2: Repeat step 1 for each fringe, reducing the number of beads each time by 2. Remember to always skip 3 beads at the bottom before passing your needle back up through the remaining beads.
Step 3: Now it’s time to hide the ends of your threads, which also secures your beadwork. Follow the guides above, or free-wheel it, as long as you pass your needle through about 15 sets of beads your work will be secured!
Step 4: Cut each thread as close to your earring as possible without cutting your beadwork!
Voila! Your finished beadwork should look like this!
PART THREE: Adding Hardware
Step 1: Use a pair of needle nose pliers to open the looped end of your earring hook.
Step 2: Pass the opening of the earring hook through the beaded loop of your earring and close with your pliers.
Note: If you’re working with an earring hook that doesn’t have an open loop, you can also pass the opening of a jump ring through the beaded loop, then attach the jump ring to your earring hook.
Step 3: Accessorize!
I can’t wait to see the color and accessory combos you come up with! You can get tons of color options along with all the supplies you need for this tutorial in the new Bead Weaving Earring Bundle!
Be sure to share your earrings on Instagram by tagging me @maekenwithamber and @theneonteaparty!
Peace, love & neon,
Interested in beading with Amber on Zoom? 😍 Comment below if you’re interested in learning more about brick stitching in a CommuniTEA Workshop!
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