This St Petersburg stitch bead bracelet is like a holiday wreath for your wrist! Made with single St. Petersburg chain, the combination of colors gives it a Christmas holiday feel, but you can wear it all year long.
I chose to accentuate the slightly asymmetrical nature of the stitch by alternating the color of the beads on each side between red and gold. Here’s how to make your own.
For this bracelet design, you can use any combination of size 11 beads. I am using size 11 Czech seed beads made by Precioso Ornela. I like the Czech beads for this project because the beads have round sides and look good stacked, They are also slightly irregular in size which I think adds character to the overall design.
The colors I used on the ends of each beaded row are metallic gold and silver lined ruby red. The main body bead color is iris gold.
I used Wildfire beading thread in green, which is a great neutral color that seems to work with most bead colors. I have also made this bracelet using PowerPro 8lb Fishing Line in moss green. The PowerPro had some abrasion near the needle while stitching, but worked fine.
To make a finished 7-inch bracelet, I started with a piece of thread about 5 feet long (measured as full arm’s length from fingertip to fingertip). Adjust the thread length according to your needs.
Add a red stop bead and slide it about 6 inches from the end. I finished my bracelet very simply by adding a jump ring in the first stitch. If you plan a different type of clasp, be sure to leave additional thread at the tail.
Pick up six iris gold beads and stitch back through the third and fourth beads.
Pull the thread taut to create a small circle with the four iris gold beads. Align the beads so they are stacked 2×2 on top and side by side.
Pick up a gold bead and stitch back through the previous 3 beads on the row.
The two bead stack sticking out are used to connect the second row to the first row of beadwork. Pick up a gold bead and stitch through the two beads.
Pull the thread tight after each stitch to maintain the beadwork tension and keep the beads aligned.
Pick up four more iris gold beads and slide them down. You are going to stitch back through the first two beads of this group to make another 4 bead cluster. I find the easiest way to do this is to pinch those two beads between my fingers while I slide them down the thread. When I get to the other beads, I am holding them, ready to insert my needle and make the loop.
Believe it or not, it saves quite a bit of fumbling and trying to separate the beads to make the next stitch.
Pick up a red bead and stitch through the three iris gold beads below it in the row. This completes the second row of the bracelet. It also leaves two beads that are going to be part of row 3 and attach the rows together.
For a clasp, I used a simple spring ring with an extender chain on the other side. One of the hard things with beaded bracelets is that they are not easy to size, so this gives a little bit of room to adjust. Also, I like being able to add a charm to the end of the extender chain.
When I stitched the last group of four beads, I added a closed jump ring to the group. I completed the row so there were no rows that weren’t finished with red and gold beads on the end.
Then I stitched back through the beads and added half hitch knots to secure the thread. I trimmed the thread with a thread burner. I like the Berkley hot line cutter made for fishing better than the thread burners made for beadwork.
I didn’t know how I would finish the bracelet when I started (it’s always good to think about this in advance), so I slipped a jump ring into the same spot of the beadwork on the starting side of the bracelet. Then I removed the stop bead and stitched through those two beads, wove through the thread path to reinforce it and secured the thread with half hitch knots.
This closeup of the clasp should help you see how I did it.
Here’s my finished Single St. Petersburg stitch bracelet in Christmas-y colors of red, gold and green!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try to make a wreath. This was a prototype I made, but it was too floppy to ever use in a final jewelry design. However, I was able to figure out how to do circular St. Petersburg stitch around a bead frame. I’ll try to add that in another post soon.
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