Cute little beaded trinket boxes are perfect for storing special jewelry, loose change or spare keys. They can also hold small gifts, creating a two-gifts-in-one opportunity, or just sit out for decoration. With some basic bead-weaving skills, these boxes are not difficult to make. They can use most any beading pattern you like and turn out quite impressive.
Building the Base
String four seed beads onto a piece of beading thread approximately 3 to 4 feet long, and tie the thread so that the beads pull together and form a square. Leave about a 6-inch tail so you have plenty of room to adjust tension as needed. These will be the center beads of the base for your square beaded box.
Take your needle through the first bead, and add one bead before going through the second of your starter beads. Continue around to the starting point. At the end of this and every subsequent round, you will "step up," which means that you'll go through the first bead of that round so that you are ready to fill the next recessed spot.
Add three beads between each of the round two beads to begin round three. Adjust tension and position beads as you go so that you are still creating a flat square mat of seed beads. Step up for round four by sewing through the first bead added during this round.
Add two beads for the corner, inserting your needle into the third bead from the previous row. As you tighten the thread here, those beads will form a "V" shape. Continue the round by adding one bead per space along the side and two in each of the corners. Step up and repeat these instructions for round five.
Add one bead at each corner and one bead per recessed spot on the sides to complete round six. This will give the corners more definition. Step up to enlarge the base.
Repeat the following increase pattern as explained by Julia S. Pretl until the base has reached your desired size: "Row 1: Bead around the square as usual, with one bead between every two up beads (including the corner bead). Row 2: Add three beads to each corner, making sure that the middle bead touches the bead below it. Row 3: Add two beads to each corner, skipping the middle bead, to form a V. Row 4: Add two beads to each corner, forming a second V inside the first one. Row 5: Add one bead to each corner, inside the second V."
Building the Sides
Stop the increase pattern by continuing to bead around all four edges using only one bead per recessed space. This will begin to curl upward after a couple rows and create straight sides with no increases.
Pinch the corners gently to encourage a pointed shape for them.
Weave the sides to your desired height and thread the needle through the next four to five beads (zigzagging through top and bottom) then backward through the previous row to secure. Snip excess thread.
Building the Lid
Weave the top of the lid by repeating the formula for the box base to the same size.
Complete one more full round of increases to allow room for the lid to fit over the sides.
Repeat the method of building sides, and continue until your lid edges are as tall as you want them (usually about six to eight rows). Secure the thread and snip as in Section 2, Step 3.
Things You'll Need
- Seed beads or Delicas, size 11
- Beading thread
- Beading needle
- Pattern (if desired)
- Large beads (if desired)
Delica beads are well known for their uniform size and shape. They have a very smooth tubular shape. If you prefer the rounded look of seed beads, consider the Miyuki or Toho brands, as they are among the most uniform in size and shape of all non-Delicas. Use strong thread so that it can withstand the tension and friction of multiple strands going through the same beads. You can add interest to this basic box by including larger beads for legs or a knob on top of the lid, or by using a beading chart to include a picture or color-work design on the sides and lid.
These boxes should not be given to small children, because the beads could present a choking hazard if the thread were to break.
- Little Bead Boxes; Julia S. Pretl; 2006
- multi-coloured beads, background from beads image by 26kot from Fotolia.com