This pretty beaded heart shape is a great example of a motif you can make using the beaded crochet technique I posted awhile back.
This is a mixed media craft project combining wire, beads, embroidery floss and crochet. The heart shape makes a great applique for use on bags, purses or similar projects. It's a fantastic Valentine's Day project, but you could use it any time of year.
I used bronze colored 6/0 seed beads to make my sample heart. There are approximately 8-9 beads per inch when they are strung by themselves (without the crochet work).
Embroidery Floss / Fiber:
I used red DMC embroidery floss to crochet my beaded heart shape. It took less than a full skein to make my sample heart. You can use other threads or even yarns to crochet your own hearts.
This design should work just fine with other beads and fibers, as long as you are careful with your choices of coordinating supplies. (See this page of the tutorial for more info about choosing your beads and fiber.)
You'll need a small amount of craft wire in a color that coordinates with, or at least doesn't clash with, your fiber. My wire is a deep red color. The wire color isn't that critical, because it will mostly be hidden by your beads and stitches.
I used about 12" of wire. The amount you need might vary depending on your individual style of crochet, and the other supplies you use for this project. If you use larger beads / thicker fiber, you'll need more wire.
The wire I used was thin enough to be cut with ordinary scissors. You don't need to use a hefty wire for this project, but if you do, you might need wire cutters to cut it.
I used a size D/3 - 3.25 mm crochet hook. Feel free to adjust your hook size as necessary.
Other: Needle for weaving in ends
My sample heart measures about 3" high. Expect some variation when you make yours, because several different factors are going to affect it.
Crochet Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
String 40 beads onto wire. Make a temporary stopper by winding the wire around a safety pin, paper clip or similar small object. Do not detach the wire from its spool yet.
Wind your skein of embroidery floss into a small ball. Use the free end to make a slip knot, leaving a tail of at least 6".
Position the slip knot underneath of the wire, so that when you make your first chain stitch, the wire will be secured inside the stitch.
Ch2 - The first chain will count as your first single crochet stitch. The second chain is going to go overtop of the bead to accent it and hold it in place.
Slide the first bead so that it is right next to your chain stitches. Next, while still holding the bead in position, work a single crochet stitch on the other side of the bead. To form the stitch, reach underneath the wire with your hook, and grab the yarn. Bring it back underneath the wire, the same way you would work into a space, and complete your stitch as usual.
(Ch 1, slide your next bead close to the previous sc and work another sc.) Repeat sequence in parentheses until all the beads have been worked.
Flip work upside down, without turning. The next step is to work back across the row so that the beads and wire will be sandwiched in between two rows of crochet stitches.
Work another chain stitch, at the same time, securing the stitch to the wire. Do this by placing the wire in between your last stitch and the thread; then draw the thread through your active loop to form the chain stitch.
Ch 1, sc in between the first two beads. (Ch 1, sc in between the next two beads.) Repeat sequence in parentheses until you've worked all the beads. End with a sc st.
Finishing the Beaded Crochet Heart Shape
You now have a straight piece of beaded crochet. The next step is to join the ends together. There are different ways you could do this.
I followed these steps to do mine:
- Detach the temporary stopper. Detach the wire from its spool.
- Twist the two ends of wire together.
- Snip the excess wire, leaving enough twisted wire to keep the piece secured permanently.
- Thread the first loose end through the needle.
- Wind the floss around the end of wire and secure it with an unobtrusive stitch in the back. Repeat several times, then weave the remaining floss into the back of the piece.
- Repeat for the other loose end.
- If the floss-covered wire still sticks out and looks weird, you can bend it backwards so that it is hidden in back.
Alternatively, you could work another stitch or few stitches over the join before you cut off your thread.
Or, you could twist the ends of wire together, fold them up into one of the sides, and use the loose ends to help camouflage the join.
After you've dealt with joining the ends, the last step is to bend and shape the piece to form a heart.
Using the Finished Heart Shape
Now you can use your heart shape in the craft project of your choice.
Keep in mind that, depending on the beads and the wire you used, the heart might not be machine washable. Plan accordingly. If you want it to decorate a washable project, you'll need to make it removable; attach it to the project using snaps, velcro, pins or some other impermanent fastener. Otherwise, you'll need to spot clean it or maybe dry clean it.