How to Use Cross-Stitch Patterns to Bead

By Danita Fausek
Convert embroidery and needlepoint patterns to bead work.

Cross-stitch is a form of embroidery that is used to enhance or create projects. Patterns range from basic designs to intricate pictures. Artists working with beads can convert a cross-stitch pattern to be worked in any number of different styles, from bead weaving to brick or peyote, and used to make projects ranging from bookmarks to amulet bags.

Match the thread color to the graph markings.

Examine the cross-stitch pattern. Familiarize yourself with the pattern. Identify each marking on the graph or pattern with the correct color DMC thread.

Compare the thread colors to the beads and match them closely.

Select your beads. With colored threads in hand, visit your local specialty bead store. Compare the thread colors to the seed beads available. Purchase bead colors that are as close as possible to the thread color. Identify each bead container with the mark that is specified on the graph for that color thread on the pattern.

Decide what portion of the design you are going to work into your project. Each square on the pattern is equal to one color thread, which in turn will be equal to a matching color bead. Isolate the design by placing white paper over the unwanted sections and fastening with blue painter's tape. This will help you to focus on the design you want, while maintaining the integrity of the entire pattern.

Begin to create your project in the style you wish. Thread your needle or loom as appropriate. Starting on the first square of the first line of the pattern, pick up the bead that matches the mark on the graph. Place the bead on the needle and begin your "bead-stitching." Continue picking up the appropriate beads as stated on the pattern.

Tip

Change colors from the pattern to the beads by keeping the same tonal values as you match your thread and bead colors. For example, if you want a purple rather than pink flower, use all the same shades in the design but pick them in the purple color range.

About the Author

Based in Wisconsin, Danita Fausek’s 30-year working career includes jobs in administration, construction, remodeling, teaching quality processes and art classes, and event planning. With a degree in photography, she ran her own business for more than 15 years. In addition, Fausek has immersed herself in various hobbies including gardening, needlecraft and jewelry making. She brings all of this expertise to her writing.