Whether you just started beading or been beading for a while, chances are you got some materials available in your household already for bead embroidery. These are just few of the materials you CAN use on this technique.
CABOCHONS - You can't go wrong with them and they're must-have in my stash. Cabochons, also knows as cabs, have flat back which is great for laying. They come in different materials, shapes and sizes. Below are few of my collection, i.e. jasper, unakite, goldstone, bluestone, amethyst, etc.
SEED BEADS - A must have in bead embroidery! The more colors & sizes, the better... I have them in 8/o, 10/o, 11/o, 15/o, E, etc.
BUTTONS - whether they're old or new... shank or not... simple or fancy... they can be used as focals in bead embroidery.
OTHER BEADS - Coin beads are one of my fave focals as they work like a cab. For extra fling, freshwater pearls, chips, gemstones, or any kinds of beads (as long as it has a hole and will stay put when sewn on the beading foundation) can serve as extra embellishments.
OLD EARRINGS - Remember the 80's - where earrings are so bold, so big & so colorful? You might have some in your jewelry box and just sitting there for a long time. Take them out and use them in your next bead embroidery project. These are easily available on garage sales, auctions, flea markets, etc. I've made some embroidered pendants with old earrings as focals.
FOUND OBJECTS - Domino, scrabble tiles, left-over beads, etc. As long as it has a flat back and can glue it on your beading foundation, feel free to include it in your bead embroidery.
Bead embroidery is not as intimidating as you think - all you need is another pinch of patience plus extra time. Come on, look for those old earrings & buttons from your grammy's box so you can give them a new life.
Next Topic: Foundation Preparation