Czech beads are so much fun.  They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and in recent years with more than one hole.  The extra hole makes a big difference as they allow the beads to be connected in far more ways than if they had just the one.  Here is a simple beaded earrings tutorial using Dia beads.

It's not surprising why they are called Dia or Silky beads. There are 2 diagonal holes across the corners. I took advantage of the pattern on the beads as well as those holes for this tutorial.

What you need:

  • Dia/Silky beads*   
  • Twin beads*
  • Seed beads 8/0 or 11/0  - the smaller ones look better
  • Delica seedbeads 11/0 - for the frame 
  • 6lb Fireline and beading needle
  • ear wires
*courtesy of The Best Beads Shop
Seed beads were from Fire Mountain Gems
Fireline from my local fishing store, Kingsway Tackle Store in Guelph. They sell 100 m lots much cheaper than by the reel at other stores and certainly way cheaper than at a beading supply store.

Cut a comfortable length of Fireline and thread up the needle.  Gather up 4 of the dias so that they all face the same way.
The Dia beads will form a square.  Go through the holes again and string on 4 of the twin beads. Sew through them all again so they form a cross.

Keep the twin beads section as close to the square as possible.

Position the cross over the square as shown below and go through the outer hole of the twin bead.

Secure the twin bead by taking the needle and making sure you "pick up" the threads which bind the Dia beads together.

Then go through the outer hole of the twin bead again.  This securing step is repeated for each of the outer holes of the twin beads.

Pick up 3 seed beads (either 8/0 or 11/0) and go through the outer hole of the next twin bead.  Secure via the threads below, come up and go through this outer hole again. Pick up 3 more seed beads and continue as before until the "circle" is complete. Sew through this circle again. 

Go through the first seed bead in the set of 3, pick up another seed bead, and sew through the last seed bead (the twin bead and the first seed bead of the next set). Basically you are adding one bead to sit on the middle one.  Repeat until the round is finished.  Go through everything again.

There is no easy way of hiding the thread before proceeding to the framing step so finish up the beaded squares here. Use half hitches to end the threads including the tail.
With fresh thread on the needle, add a temporary stop bead by sewing through it twice.  Pick up 8 Delica beads, go through one corner of any of the Dia beads, and sew through these 8 beads again. 

This forms a loop for the ear wires when the thread is pulled tight.
Pick up 4 Delica beads and sew through the next corner of  square. Repeat.

At this stage, there are a series of "dashes" around the square. The next step is to add beads around the corners by connected the "dashes".

Use 5-6 beads to go around each corner.  The actual number you use will depend on whether or not you loose or tight frame.

The tutorial pictures here show 6 beads which resulted in a tight frame.  So reinforcing by going through all the frame beads and through the corners a couple of times is required to keep the square flat.  It was easier to use 5.

The final picture show the frame with 5 beads around each corner. There are slight gaps which are really not that visible in real life - macro photos magnify!

I much prefer using 11/0 for the central portion as one can better see the Dia bead pattern and the overall look is more elegant.


I used my iPhone 5, the camera+ app and the Modahaus Tabletop Studio TS400 in artificial lights - 2 angle poise lamps each equipped with 100 W daylight CFL bulbs with a boost from nearby ceiling LED light strip. Most of the photo editing was done in app but some photos needed a quick touch to lighten and contrast quickly in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Click here for more information on my How to Photograph Jewelry webinar.

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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