How to make a Christmas Icicle with Beads and Thread

Printer Friendly Version

Bookmark and Share

Christmas Icicle

This Christmas Icicle looks lovely on your tree or in your window, and would make a great family heirloom to be passed down through the generations.

It is made with 4mm Fire-Polished Crystal Beads and Seed Beads using a variation of Spiral Stitch.

Spiral Stitch is a very easy stitch once you get into the rhythm of it. After you have completed the first 5 or 6 rows the shape starts to form and it becomes much easier to see what you are doing.

The icicle is approximateley 12cm long by 1.5cm wide at the widest point. They take me about an hour to make but then I am usually watching TV at the same time which probably makes me slower.

To make each icicle you need

50 Crystal AB 4mm Fire Polished Round Beads

          Crystal AB 4mm Fire Polished Round Beads
1 Crystal 13mm Swarovski Drop (AB)
          
          Crystal 13mm Swarovski Drop (AB)
1.5 grams Rainbow Crystal Size 8 Toho Seed Beads
          
          Rainbow 
          Crystal Size 8 Toho Seed Beads
3 grams Rainbow Crystal Size 11 Toho Seed Beads
          
          Rainbow 
          Crystal Size 11 Toho Seed Beads
Size D Crystal Fireline or White Power Pro

         Size D 
          Crystal Fireline
A Size 10 Beading Needle

Hints and Tips

I use the longest length of thread I can manage when doing beadwork because it means I don't have to add in a new piece of thread.

I measure the thread I need by using the length of my arm. My arm is about 2.5 foot long. To get 7.5 ft of thread I measure 3 arm lengths by holding the thread in my hand, measuring to my shoulder, moving the bit at my shoulder to my hand and measuring to my shoulder again. I do this 3 times.

Power pro and Fireline are pre conditioned threads that do not need waxing. However if you are using a different size D beading thread you may need to condition it with wax or Thread Heaven.

If you have trouble threading the needle , it can help to flatten the ends of the thread between your finger and thumb nail or with a pair of chain nose pliers.

I find the easiest way to pick up beads is to lay them out in the ridges of a bead board. I then put the needle through the hole in the bead and push the bead onto the needle using the index finger of the hand holding the needle. It sounds complicated but it is quite simple once you get the hang of it and is easier and quicker than picking the beads up and putting them on the needle one at a time.

Instructions

Christmas Icicle Step 1

Step 1

Using approximately 7.5 foot of thread (about 2.5 metres or 3 arm lengths) thread on:

  • 5 size 8 seed beads
  • 1 size 11 seed bead
  • 1 4mm Fire-Polished Bead
  • 1 size 11 seed bead

Move the beads down to the end of the thread leaving a short tail of about 8 inches from the first size 8 bead strung.

Christmas Icicle Step 2

Step 2

Take the needle up through the 5 size 8 seed beads strung in the previous step. Pull tight to make a circle of beads.

Christmas Icicle Step 3

Step 3

Thread on:

  • 1 size 8 seed beads
  • 1 size 11 seed bead
  • 1 4mm Fire-Polished Bead
  • 1 size 11 seed bead
Christmas Icicle Step 4

Step 4

Missing out the first size 8 bead you strung in step 1, take your needle through the next 4 size 8 seed beads and then through the size 8 bead you just added. Pull the thread tight.

Christmas Icicle Step 5

Step 5

Push the beads you just added to the side so that they sit on top of the beads you strung previously.

Hold the thread firmly to keep the tension tight.

Christmas Icicle Step 6

Step 6

Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 eight more times each time passing your needle through the top 4 size 8 seed beads and then through the size 8 bead you just added.

As you add more rows of beads you will see the spiral starting to form.

Christmas Icicle Step 7

Step 7

Repeat step 3 again but this time add:

  • 1 size 8 seed beads
  • 2 size 11 seed bead
  • 1 4mm Fire-Polished Bead
  • 2 size 11 seed bead

Repeat steps 4 and 5.

Adding the extra size 11 seed beads makes the spiral start to widen and allows the tapered shape of the icicle to form.

Repeat these rows another 9 times. It can be easy to lose count so I keep a tally on a piece of paper.

Step 8

Add another 10 rows of beads but this time add 3 size 11 seed beads either side of the 4mm fire-polished bead.

Add 10 more rows of beads but this time add 4 size 11 seed beads.

Add 5 more rows of beads but this time add 5 size 11 seed beads.

Christmas Icicle Step 9

Step 9 Finish off the spiral

Repeat step 3 again but this time do not add the size 8 seed bead.

Add:

  • 5 size 11 seed bead
  • 1 4mm Fire-Polished Bead
  • 5 size 11 seed bead

Take your needle through the 5 size 8 seed beads you took it through when you added the last row.

Repeat this step another 4 times so that you end up with the last 6 rows of beads all going through the same 5 size 8 seed beads. This creates a nice finish to the top of your icicle. If it becomes too difficult to get your needle through the beads gently pull it through with a pair of chain nose pliers.

Christmas Icicle Step 10

Step 10 - Make a loop at the top of the icicle.

Thread on 12 size 11 seed beads.

Take the needle back into the icicle through the top 5 size 8 beads. If it is too stiff take it though one of the size 11 rows of beads instead.

Christmas Icicle Step 10b

Tie a half-hitch knot and then finish off the thread by weaving it back through the icicle, tying a couple more half-hitch knots as you go.

Trim the thread close to the beads.

Christmas Icicle Step 11

Step 11 - Attach the Swarovski drop to the bottom.

Thread your needle onto the thread coming out the bottom of the icicle.

Take your needle through the hole at the top of the Swarovski drop bead and back through the size 8 bead at the bottom of the icicle. Take the needle through the Swarvovski drop and then through the size 8 bead a couple more times to secure it.

To finish off the thread weave it through the icicle tying some half-hitch knots as you go. Trim the thread close to the beads.

That's it, your icicle is finished.

© The Bead's Knees Ltd. All rights reserved