Monday, January 30, 2012



little box progress 5I finally finished my little box!  I’m quite happy with it too.  It’s from Julia Pretl’s book, Little Bead Boxes. This link is to a newer edition than mine.  The book I used had 4 boxes in it, this one has 12. It looks like she also added more shape variations and more pattern designs. There are also additional patterns on her website.

It took a long time.  I didn’t keep track, but I’d say there’s at least 20 hours of work in it.  And I’m not a slow beader.

I used doubled Nymo, so the sides are quite stiff and don’t need any extra reinforcement.  But I normally bead with very tight tension.  If you tend to bead with looser tension, use something like Fireline. And I’d still double it.

The diamonds pattern wasn’t hard to follow, but for the lid I got to a point where the pattern wasn’t working as written, so I just had to wing it.  I’d done enough of it by then to know how to make it work though. 

It was also difficult getting the handle bead on the lid.  My needle broke in half, and I just kept using it that way because it was actually easier with a shorter needle, but I was terrified of breaking another bead while weaving in.  I might even wire on the top handle bead next time. There is a small open circle at the point where you begin the lid, so wiring the handle on wouldn’t be difficult. (haha, now that I’ve discovered wire, I want to add it to everything! Maybe I can wire the feet on too.)

As I said before, add the feet before you start the sides.  It would just make it easier to weave them in without hitting the sides or trying to get your fingers inside the box.

I broke about 8 beads during the process. Every bead that broke was a matte bead. They seem to be thinner. I’d skip using matte beads and stick with the opaques. Julia even tries to tell you this, but of course I didn’t listen.

I only charged $60 for it.  If I’d known how long it was going to take, I’d have charged more. Ah, well, live and learn.

Also, buy extra beads of the main color, in my case black.  Since the entire bottom is black, I went through one and a half 10 gram tubes of black delicas.  The pattern only called for 7 grams.

I only spilled my beads once during the entire time I was working on it.  Thumbs up

Could a beginner make this project?  Maybe a very determined one, but I’d say no.  You need a good understanding of peyote and structural beading.

Would I make another one?  I sure will! Julia provides blank graphs, so I look forward to making my own designs.  I also want to try some of the shapes in the newer book.

I can’t think of anything I left out.  Leave a comment if you have a question, and I’ll answer it.  The answer will also be in the comments, so you’ll have to check back for it.

Now on to my next project.  I’m making a wired amethyst pendant for a friend’s birthday.  It’s coming along smoothly, but I hit a brick wall with three wires left to play with. I’m tired of spiral embellishments, need to try something else.  I don’t want to just cut them off, because there is a small flaw in the stone that I want to cover up. So I set it aside for the night, maybe I’ll get a grand idea in one of my dreams.

Cat  Cat face


LUCY said...


KipperCat said...

It's a lovely box. Great job!

Halinka said...

The little box is fantastic.Somehow I've believed all the time,that You'll manage to make it easily.
In my opinion,the determined beginner can do it,but under the condition of respecting all the rules and hints given in the book.There are lots of increases and decreases,it is easy way to make mistakes,when the rules are not restricted precissely.


Therese's Treasures said...

Cat, the box turned out beautiful and I'm sure the person getting it will be very pleased.

Charters said...

Its a beautiful box, the colours are so rich. Nicely documented, would love to do one sometime. Not ready for that just yet thought!

Kokopelli said...

Oh I love the colors you chose! The black makes them pop even more.

Anonymous said...

That is stunning! There is no way I could do that, one day though...