bead embroidery

This tag is associated with 10 posts

DIY Tutorial + FREE Pattern: Beaded and Embroidered Holly Headband


(You can find the list of materials I used to create this headband at the bottom of this page)

Download the free pattern here and copy the pattern onto your beading foundation

The techniques I used to create this headband is exactly the same with the techniques I used to create the Christmas Ornament (last week’s free tutorial). For more details and step-by-step photos, please visit that blog post.


  1. Follow the above diagram and satin stitch the leaves and berries using DMC Cotton Perle #5
  2. You can satin stitch the white parts seen on the diagram . . . or . . . bead them with size #8 seed beads (I used nickle-plated seed beads).
  3. Bead the outlines using fire-polished beads in similar colors. (I like to put a few accent beads to make the piece looks more interesting).
  4. Cut the piece 1/16” (or 1.5 mm) outside of the outermost edges of the piece.
  5. Glue the piece onto either a piece of flannel or ultrasuede. Wait till the glue is completely dried.
  6. Using size #8 seed beads in similar colors, bead the edges with “clean edge finishing” (the technique seen in #14-17 of that webpage)
  7. Pass through these beads 3 or more times to make sure they won’t unravel.
  8. Attach the finished piece onto a piece of comb &/or headband.

This time, I decided to make my own headband.

  • The technique I used to create the headband: Right Angle weave. (I usually stitch through the same beads 2x)
  • Make small loops at either ends of the headband that fit the elastic or ribbon to fasten the headband with
  • The beads I used to create the main part of the headband: 4mm fire polished beads
  • I filled the gaps between the beads with size #6 seed beads



  • Pattern
  • Beading foundation: (a stiffened felt or Lacy’s Stiff Stuff)
  • DMC Cotton Perle in bright green, slightly lighter green, bright red, and dark red
  • Embroidery needle size #1
  • 3mm fire-polished beads in green and red
  • Size #8 seed beads in green and red
  • Beading thread (I use Nymo size O in green and red)
  • Beading needle size #12
  • Felt or ultrasuede
  • Glue
  • Pen, scissors


  • If you want to bead the leaves with accent colors: Size #8 nickle plated seed beads (see below)
  • If you want to make your own beadwork headband:
        • 4mm fire polished beads in green and red
        • #6 seed beads in green and red
        • Fireline 6 lbs. test in smoke
        • Elastic or ribbon


Feel free to reproduce this headband for commercial purposes, BUT:

  1. On your product description, please write: “Original design by Joyce at www.angelica-brigade.com
  2. Since I won’t be the person who create the piece you’ll sell in your shop . . . To avoid possible misunderstandings . . . Please use your own images to market your version(s) of this headband

If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me by writing a comment on the reply box below. (Don’t worry if you don’t see your message on this page right away)

Alternately, you can also contact me via Facebook


Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade

Free DIY Tutorial : Christmas Ornament / Bag Charm

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.
diy-christmas-ornament-bag-charm_free-tutorial_by-angelicabrigade_angelica-brigade_beads-embroidery- beadembroidery_001

Bag Charm/Ornament: Joyce @ Angelica Brigade
Nails: Illamasqua rubber finish nail varnish in Nurture



Step One:
Trace the pattern onto the stiffened felt and then cut the pattern with 1/8″ (3 mm) seam allowance

(Steps two & three: Please refer to Figure 1 for reference)
Step Two:
“Color” the design using satin stitch
Use the #5 embroidery floss with #1 embroidery needle

figure 1

figure 1

Step Three:
Bead the outline of the design using 3mm fire-polished beads
Start from the middle
Bead the edges last

Step Four:
Cut approx. 4″ of grosgrain ribbon and fold it in half
Stitch the ribbon onto the back  side of the piece
diy-christmas-ornament-bag-charm_free-tutorial_by-angelicabrigade_angelica-brigade_beads-embroidery- beadembroidery_attaching-loop

Step Five:
Lazy stitch the #11 cylinder beads on the upper part of the design
(the empty spot I marked on Figure 1)

Step Six:
Trim the excess stiffened felt
Try to match the edges of the stiffened felt with the outermost edges of the fire-polished beads
While cutting the felt, keep your scissors perpendicular to the floor
And, be careful not to cut the tread with which you beaded the piece

Step Seven
If you want to use it as a Christmas tree ornament, you might want to repeat Steps 1-3 and 5-6
and glue the identical pieces back to back
– or –
You can glue it onto a piece of felt or ultrasuede
(Note: The quality and thickness of the felt or ultrasuede matters as the glue might seep through and stain thinner fabrics)

USEFUL TIP: If you decide to glue it onto a piece of felt or ultrasuede . . . Lining the top edge of the beaded ornament with a straight edge of the felt can make the trimming process much easier

If you decide to glue it onto a piece of felt or ultrasuede
Lining the top edge of the beaded ornament with a straight edge of the felt can make the trimming process much easier

Step Seven:
Bead the outermost edge of the design using #6 round seed beads
Use clean edge finishing technique <— the technique seen in #14-17 of that page

Step Eight:
Make a bow using using 10″ grosgrain ribbon
Dab a dot of hot-melt glue on the back of the ribbon and stick it onto the design
Prewashing this ribbon can prevent it from fraying
But, if I use craft-store-bought ribbon, I usually melt its ends with candle flame
(If you decide to do the same, please proceed with caution)

Step Nine:
Using a jump ring or split ring, connect the swivel clip onto the loop of ribbon on the top part of the ornament.

Feel free to reproduce this ornament/bag charm for commercial purposes, BUT:
On your product description, please write: Original design by Joyce at www.angelica-brigade.com
Since I won’t be the person who create the piece you’ll sell in your shop . . . To avoid possible misunderstandings . . . Please use your own images to market your version(s) of this ornament/bag charm

If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me by writing a comment on the reply box below. (Don’t worry if you don’t see your message on this page right away)

Alternately, you can also contact me via Facebook

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  –

This upcoming Sunday:
Failed! And learned (a lot!!) from that failure – A misadventure in designing a hair accessory

Next Wednesday:
Free Tutorial: Christmas-Themed Hair Accessory

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Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade



Some people might think that I am wearing 2 pieces of bracelets . . .

But . . .

angelicabrigade_beadweaving_dimensional-hex-bangle front

These two parts of the bracelet are actually connected.

The chunky strap of beads (the one with the toggle clap) functions as the bangle’s wrist harness. Its main function is to prevent the bangle from falling from my wrist . . . or worse,  launching itself and hitting unsuspecting people.

It’s the very first beadwork bangle I’ve ever created. So, I decided to refer to several sources so I can size the bangle correctly. But, because I’m extremely small boned (not skinny, just small boned), the bangle kept on falling from my wrist.

It actually hit my friend’s head. Twice. In a public space.

But, I spent more than a 20 hours creating it. I don’t want to throw it away. I was going to give it to a one of my friends or family members; but, it’s too small for them.

So . . . I decided that the only way I can make the bracelet more wearable is by attaching a strap or wrist harness onto it.

angelica-brigade_handmade-sculptural geometric-avant-garde_bracelet_jewellery-jewelry_accessories_angelicabrigade


I started by making thin beadwork strap using the same beads I made the bangle with . . . but, to me, the smaller strap looked disproportionately small . . . So, I decided to replace the smaller strap and made a much larger one.


This beadwork bracelet is basically a modified and enlarged version of the rings I created last week. I just give the beadwork some extra edges & make it more asymmetrical.


Somehow, the piece makes me think of dinosaurs and old tree barks . . .

Anyway . . . I’ve been learning to create more and more shapes . . .

Love these dimensional triangles . . .


One of them is actually flat. It was my first try. I did better the 2nd and 3rd time.


Next week:

There is a possibility that I’m going to write two different blog posts next week.

One of them has something to do with this video about Etsy:

I’m going to think things through before I say anything further.

If you have any input, additional information, or comment about this topic, please feel free to let me know. You can do so by writing a comment on this post or message me via my company’s Facebook Page.

Till then (:


Coquette … 1920s Inspired Oversized Handheld Fan with a Beaded Handle


Some of you might have guessed it~

This is the third design I submitted to Fire Mountain Gem‘ Seed Bead Contest.

I designed this as an alternative to a bridal bouquet for a stylized bridal magazine photoshoot.

Unlike the other two designs I submitted to the contest (this one and this one), the inspiration/concept behind this oversized handheld fan is a purely visual one . . . namely, the glitz and glamor projected by 1920s Hollywood actresses and my dream of being surrounded by ornately beautiful and opulent heirlooms.

The people I collaborated with told me they wanted to do a 1920s-and-1930s-Hollywood-inspired photoshoot. When I was doing my design research, I came across this these vintage photographs of famous dancers in the era.

vintage ostrich plumes feather fan 1920s dancer

Dolly Sisters feather fans

Captivating, aren’t they?

Self-assured without a hint of self consciousness . . . demure yet provocative . . . haughty, naughty, and elegant . . .

And . . . how luxurious & opulent those fans are!!!! I really want to own one for myself . . . I could easily purchase a ready-made fan from a burlesque shop and use it as a prop; but, I’m not a big fan of plastic fan staves . . . plus, it wouldn’t look right as an alternative to a bridal bouquet.

Not just that, I want my fan very fluffy. I actually use more than 3 dozens of ostrich plumes to create this fan.

(By the way, I created more than 1 fan for the shoot. The other fan is a lot bigger than this one. I needed about a pound (0.45 kg) of ostrich plumes to create the other one. The fan’s no longer mine; so, I’ll have to wait for the editorial pictures to be published before I can share its photographs with you)


Everything’s made from scratch.

To make the fan’s handle looks extra sparkly, I used silver-plated beads, gold-plated beads, white beads with rainbow-effect coating, and fire-polished beads.





joyce-katuari_angelica-brigade_bead-embroidery_handheld-fan_coquette_0002 joyce-katuari_angelica-brigade_bead-embroidery_handheld-fan_coquette_002

I also added those dangling beads to make the fan looks interesting. They also create vertical lines that – I believe – can make the person who holds it looks slimmer.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Anyway . . .

Here’s something I’m excited about: I pre-0rdered Kate McKinnon‘s 2nd volume of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork!!! And . . . as a bonus, I received the e-book version of the 1st volume for free!!!

I prefer my jewelry-making tutorials to come in digital format. So the bonus e-book is perfect for me. In fact, the bonus e-book is the main reason I pre-ordered the 2nd volume of the book :D

I love the book’s geometric and architectural beadwork tutorials. The designs are gorgeous, and the instructions are easy to follow. And, since it’s in a digital format, whenever I need to look at a certain detail more closely, I can simple zoom in/enlarge the image.

Here is the result of my very first attempt to learn to create one of the designs.

I’ll make better ones later this weekend and will blog about them next week.


Till then~

-joyz of AngelicaBrigade

Ceaseless Ardor … 1920s (and, The Great Gatsby) Inspired Beaded Bridal Hair Accessory


Here is the second beaded piece I entered to Fire Mountain Gem‘s Seed Beads Contest.

Actually, I created the piece for an editorial photo shoot. [ You can read more about it here ]

angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal headpiece amy michelson wedding dress editorial photo shoot

It is inspired by the glamorous accessories people wore in 1920s in general . . . and Daisy Buchanan (of the Great Gatsby) in particular.

I call this (stylized) leaf-shaped hair adornment Ceaseless Ardor . . .

It embodies Jay Gatsby’s eternally unrequited infatuation towards Daisy Buchanan . . . Many years has gone by, but his idolization remains strong and unchanging. Whenever I reflect upon that aspect of the tragic story, the word evergreen pops up in my mind.


Original photo by Daniel Miłaczewski, annotation by MPF.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen

Evergreen . . .
That’s how Jay Gatsby sees her
Eternally beautiful, graceful, and glamorous

Evergreen . . .
That’s what she will always be remembered as
The object of Jay Gatsby’s eternal adoration.

And . . .
That’s the how Jay Gatsby’s feeling towards her will remain . . .
Everlasting . . . undying . . . amaranthine . . .

And, so . . . when I was asked to create a Great-Gatsby-inspired bridal accessory, I couldn’t find a better design to represent Daisy Buchanan than an evergreen-leaf.


Plus, I believe that this is a headpiece Daisy herself would’ve wanted (or considered) to wear.

I also made the headpiece as sparkly and opulent as I possibly could. To do it, I used nothing but sterling silver beads, silver-lined bugle beads, gleaming Swarovski crystal pearls, extremely shiny fire polished beads, and 24k gold plated beads to embellish the piece.


With that basic idea in mind, this is how I created the headpiece.

Step 1:

It’s important to make sure that the piece will look nice when someone’s wearing it . . . and that it’s neither too small or too large
angelicabrigade-beaded-1920s-great-gatsby-inspired bridal-headpiece_patternmaking

Step 2:
Using beads, I “drew” the outline of the design.
I call this step “drawing with beads” . . .
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 3:
Covering the beading foundation with beads . . . making sure that the beading foundation is completely covered, and that the yarn doesn’t show up at all.
I have a thing for dimensional and textured beadworks. So, I used different kinds of beads in several different sizes to create the effect.
I call this step “coloring and shading the design” . . .
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 4:
Blocking (or shaping) the headpiece usinga traditional millinery hatblock.
That way, it will perch beautifully on top of the wearer’s hair.
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

See how it curves?
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 5:
Heat-treating the edges of the ultrasuede so none of its parts will unravel.
I basically melted the edges of the ultrasuede with candle flame.
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 6:
Beading the edges of the beadwork and the ultrasuede to connect those two parts into one seamless piece.angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 7:
Creating the straps/headbands
Yep . . . this part isn’t made using a pre-made chain . . . it’s constructed one link at a time . . .
I call this step "drawing with beads" . . .

Phew . . . what a long post!

I guess I better show you the third piece I entered into the contest – and its design process – another time :O


Next Saturday: The third design I entered into Fire Mountain Gem’s Seed Beads contest


Want to see what I’m making right now? Find me on Instagram. My user name is AngelicaBrigade.

You can also see my current work in progress and other behind-the-scenes activities here.

Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!!!


-joyce of Angelica Brigade

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Update (1/13/2014): You can find the list of all of the materials I used to create the headpiece here

Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade

Self-Audit, the Need to Re-focus, and Changes of Plans

I rarely do any non-cerebral labor intensive things (such as cleaning, beading, and chainmailling) without listening to a good audiobook.

But . . . a few days ago, I did . . .

And, it’s something I should’ve done more often!!!

So . . . as I was working on a very labor intensive beading project (I’ll write more about it in the weekend) . . . I let my mind to roam . . .


And . . . as a result . . . I realized how off-tracked I’ve been . . .

I’ve been so busy doing many, many, many, MANY things . . . meeting work deadlines, creating custom headpieces, fulfilling my obligations, accomplishing my personal goals . . . that . . . I didn’t notice that I’ve been off the mark.

I decided to blog regularly so my clients, prospective clients, and fellow designers can get to know me better. (I wouldn’t trust any random independent designer I don’t know and neither should anyone).

While the things I’ve been posting week after week are the results of my musings . . . they don’t tell anyone much things about me a person or as a designer. And so . . . I think, it’s the right time for me to write different kinds of blog posts.

So, I decided to cancel this weekend’s scheduled post and replace it with something more relevant . . . . .

I need to go back to work now . . . I need to finish this piece within 24 hours. I’m o excited about this new design and will write more about it this Saturday.


Till then~

(In the meantime, if you want to, you can track my progress by looking me up on Instagram ( my user name is, predictably, AngelicaBrigade ) or my Tumblr photo blog.


How to Make the Best of Out Skills & Maximizing Our Happiness

The seemingly simple (and trite, and unhelpful) answer is:
We should spend the bulk of our times doing the things we love to do.

I’m not saying that we should spend the bulk of our times doing some things that are related to the fields or activities we are interested in. Instead, we should take that principle one step further.

First, ask yourself this seemingly unimaginative question: If you can do anything you want & make a good living out of it, what would you choose to do?

Next, this is the more important question: Why? What do you like about like it?

Many of us will never become Olympic Athletes / famous writers / pop stars / leading actors / international models / etc. But, it doesn’t mean that we have to get stuck doing the things we don’t like so we can pay our bills.

Someone who loves to play tennis might never become a world class tennis player. Some people might encourage her to become a coach or work for a sporting goods company. But, those solutions might not be the best ones for her. She might love tennis because she loves being active.  She might also love the challenge and the adrenaline rush she gets when she faces her opponent. So, if (after giving her best shot) she’s not able to become a pro tennis player; then, it’s in her best interest to find a challenging job that can give her plenty adrenaline rush. There are a wide range of options she can choose from, such as:

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • War zone photographer
  • Wedding planner
  • Bail bond agent
  • ADHD kids’ babysitter
  • etc.

Besides, she still can play tennis on her spare time . . .

Someone who wants to become a famous rock star, on the other hand, might want to become a rock star because he loves being in the spotlight . . . they love the fame, the money, the booze, the girls . . . Booze and girls are not on a rock star’s job description . . . so, if those are the kinds of things he wants, he might fare better if he:

  • DJ on the weekends (girls, booze, some degree of fame)
  • Opens a nightclub
  • Becomes an Alcohol Promoter, or
  • Becomes an Auto Show Organizer
  • etc.

Or, he can use his skills to get rich in some other ways . . . Gold diggers & alcohol can be a part of the deal

There’s a solution for everyone. Just focus on your real wish and find the best way for you to achieve it

  • What does it (doing the things we love) to do with finding finding happiness?
  • People should not define themselves by their jobs. A job should be a mean to an end.
  • If someone wants to stay at home with their children she should feel free to do it.

Well …

Most people spend the bulk of their times at work (or school). People who hate their jobs (or studies) aren’t very happy, are they?

Besides, I’d never said that we should find a job that fulfill us did I? I merely said that we should spend most of our times doing the things we like . . . if raising & supervising a child if something someone loves to do; then, by any means she should do it . . .

angelicabrigade angelicabrigade bead embroidery beading handmade accessories beadwork seed beads handmade jewelry headpiece beaded 1920s inspired demi couture

I on the other hand, love to create things with my hands. There are times when I work 15 hour days to meet some deadlines; but, I welcome such long days anytime. In fact, I’ve been working long hours these days because I’m getting some pieces ready for an upcoming photo shoot (8 different outfits for 2 different models).

When we enjoy what we are doing, more is just more.


So, that’s it?! If we do the things we love then we’ll definitely be happy?

No … You can read more about it here


Next Saturday:  Common Sense is a Trap


Have a great weekend :)

This Week’s Finds: OPI Nail Polish and Japanese Snacks

I LOVE this OPI Liquid Sand nail polish in Stay the Night. I’ve been so into textile-inspired nail lacquers, and this one is one of my favorite nail polishes of all time.

Some people worry that this kind of nail polish doesn’t last very long. But you know what . . . it’s not true!!! I work with my hands & wash my hands plenty of time during the day but my nails looks just fine . . . May be it’s because I put 2 layers of nail proteins before I applied the nail polish onto my nails (I use Nailtiques Formula 2)?

Anyway, I do recommend putting one or two layers of base coats before you wear super glittery & textured nail polishes because some of the glitters will stick onto your nails & they won’t come off easily.

Anyway, this nail polish color looks a lot like lurex fabric I used to create this giant floral clip, no?

opi liquid sand stay the night nail polish nails lacquer manicure lacquer

Anyway  . . .

I also LOVE this limited edition Japanese Snack: Unagi no Kabayaki Giant Pretz ( a.k.a. eel-flavored bread sticks )

Sounds odd, doesn’t it?! But, it ‘s super delicious! It tastes like a very delicious Unagi Donburi. Glico gets it just right. I bought mine at Mitsuwa Marketplace in California … but it might be available in other Japanese grocery shops as well.

Giant Pretz - Unagi Flavor - Limited Edition - Japanese Snack great yummy glico bread stick crackers

In case you are wondering what unagi donburi is  . . . you can read more about it here >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unadon

Image by 663highland via Wikipedia

Image by 663highland via Wikipedia

That’s it for now, guys!!!

Got to edit the AngelicaBrigade website so it’ll be fully renovated by Sunday night (February 17, 2013)

My December 10 – 16, 2012 – { in a nutshell }

What I’m very much into these days


Making handmade cabochons & tiny sculptures

Angelica Brigade handmade cabochon AngelicaBrigade handmade tiny sculptures

I went nuts and made approximately 225 of these in various color combinations

They are extremely lightweight and made out of the most unusual materials

I will write more about this next week


Little dresses with large, bold, and unusual motifs

Lace Dress by Ali Ro

Ali Ro dress Dior  pumps heels ballerina inspired

The dress is by Ali Ro, very similar with the one seen here, but mine is in Navy Blue.

Ali Ro Belted Lace Dress Saks Fifth Avenua

And, the one you see on the top of this page is very similar with this dress

Ali Ro Lace Overlay Knit Dress



Angelica Brigade bead embroidery AngelicaBrigade handmade bridal cuff Vintage Inspired victorian cameo dusty pink tulle neo-victorian style stneo victorian

Especially: Making beaded cuffs & and statement necklaces.

I love this beaded cuff, but … at this moment, this piece is not perfect enough. Not yet.

There are a few technical aspects I need to improve before I can list it in my Etsy shop.

May be in a  few weeks?


One of a Kind Beaded Jewelry / Accessory


It’s gonna be the first among many~


Angelica Brigade

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