*Affiliate links are included in this post.
In this tutorial, find out how to make some pretty star-shaped earrings out of Miyuki Delicas!
In the steps below, I’ll be covering how to do the beadweaving technique “Brick Stitch”, including how to decrease and increase rows in order to form a star shape. Included in this post is a free pattern to guide you.
Once you’ve made your star shapes, you can easily turn them into earrings, either studs or dangly ones!
You’ll need the following materials (these are affiliate links) if you want to follow along:
- Miyuki Delicas size 11/0 in two different colours.
- Beading thread (such as Miyuki or Nymo).
- Earring findings of your choice e.g. earwires or stud posts and backs.
- Jump rings and jewellery-making pliers (if you’re making dangle earrings).
- Jewellery glue such as e6000 (if you’re making studs).
Before I go into the step by step instructions for this tutorial, take a look at this bead chart above, as this is the pattern that you’ll need to follow when you’re making your own earrings. Allocate whatever colours you’re using to A and B in the pattern.
In this particular pattern, it’s easiest to start from the 3rd row up from the bottom, so the row with 3 x A beads and 1 x B. I’ll explain why imminently!
Step 1: Start with a row of ladder stitch
Pick up two beads to begin with (working from the 3rd row up from the bottom in the bead chart). Take your needle and thread back through the first bead and then through the second bead, so that the beads sit side by side, as shown in the above photo.
Keep picking up beads for the rest of the row, working in a sort of figure of 8 shape with your needle and thread to make the beads sit side by side. It will look like a little ladder of beads by the time you get to the end of the row, hence the name ladder stitch!
The reason we’re starting with this row is so that the beads above it will have a good base to be stitched to when we move onto brick stitch in the next step.
Step 2: Decreasing brick stitch
To begin a new row (and every time you begin a new row in brick stitch), pick up two beads in colours according to the pattern, so gold and red in my case.
The beads need to indent slightly for this row, so you’ll need to work in a decreasing stitch. To do this, pass the needle and thread under the second “bridge” of thread away from the last bead, as shown above.
When you’ve done that, pass your needle back up through the red bead only. This will allow your beads to sit nicely on top of the row of ladder stitch that you did before.
Continue following the pattern, picking up one bead at a time, until you reach the end of the row. Pass your needle and thread under the next “bridge” along from now on. When you do the next row, you’ll need to decrease again, so just follow the steps above.
Step 3: Increasing brick stitch
On your fourth row, you’ll need to increase the number of beads during the row to form the star shape. Pick up two beads to start the new row, just like before. But instead of going under the second “bridge” from the last bead, go under the first “bridge” instead. See the above pic as an example. Then go back up through the red bead.
When you get to the end of this row, you’ll need to increase by a bead there also. To do this, pick up the last bead in the row and go down through the gold bead directly under where this one will sit (see pic above).
Then, pass your needle and thread through the red bead right next to that one and back up into the top row. Your thread should be exiting at this point in the third bead away from the gold bead that you just threaded on.
You’ll need to get back to that top gold bead on the end, so weave your thread down into the red bead on the left and then up through that original gold bead. See photos below.
Follow the steps above to increase your beads again for the next row. But this time, leave your thread exiting out of the third bead away from the end as this is where you’ll need to be to create the “pointy” bit of the star shape!
Step 4: Create the pointy bits!
With your thread exiting out of the third gold bead along the last row (or the third gold bead from the end), pick up two beads for the next row. As you’re decreasing the shape, skip the first “bridge” of thread and go under the second “bridge”. Go back up the last gold bead so your thread is coming out of the top of it.
You’ll find that the beads won’t sit very well. All you need to do is pass your needle and thread down through the first of the new beads and then back up into the last bead. Think ladder stitch again, where you’re working in a figure of 8 with the thread.
Your thread will still be exiting out of one of the gold beads at the top. For the last bead, which will create the point, pick up one bead and go down through the other gold bead.
Weave your thread down to the other end of the star shape, making sure that your thread exits out of the third bead away from the end. Repeat the process there to create the other point of your star!
Repeat all the steps to make another star shape. You can then create stud earrings with them by dabbing a little glue onto an ear post and sticking them on. Make sure to let the glue dry properly (at least one hour) before you wear them.
Alternatively, attach jump rings to the top pointy beads and then connect earwires to them to make a pair of dangly earrings!
I hope you liked this tutorial and that I’ve explained increasing and decreasing brick stitch well enough! I’m hoping to do some video tutorials next year, which may be easier to follow, so watch this space!
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Before you go, you might like to check out some of my other beadwork tutorials below:
- Pretty Chevron Beaded Earrings Tutorial
- How to Make a Brick Stitch Squirrel
- How to Make Sparkly Beaded Flowers
*Affiliate links to Etsy are contained in this post. This means that I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, at no cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I think are great and any commissions received help me to keep this site up and running! Thanks for using my links if you are able to!
**All images © Craftaholique.