Shady Business: My Ombré Bracelet Beading Chart

Colormusing’s Palette of the Month for August is Seaspray, inspired by this beaded bracelet that blends iridescent silver, emerald green, and ultramarine blue into this amazing ombré bracelet:

Beaded ombré bracelet

Want to see how I changed 3 bead colors gradually to get this lovely ombré effect? Keep reading! (P.S. This is only my 3rd beadweaving project— I promise, it’s just the color changes that make it look complex.)

Note: This won’t be a start-to-finish tutorial to make this bracelet; I just wanted to show you how to gradually shift your colors so the result is blended colors, rather than blocky stripes.

Here’s what you need to know about how I made my bracelet:

  • It’s Peyote Stitch, simple to learn and fairly quick to work;
  • I used #11 seed beads in 3 colors (see them in the photo below);
  • You’ll need about 1/2 of a 3″ tube of each color (if you’re using 3 colors):
  • It’s 14 beads wide;
  • Finished size, with clasp fastened, is 6 3/4″ circumference.

Here’s a look at the beads I used:

Choosing bead colors

When choosing your bead colors, keep in mind that the more contrast there is between the colors, the more difficult it will be to create a subtle blending of tones. Hint: It’s easier to make an ombré if all bead colors have 1 element in common; with my beads, that common element is iridescent gold. This really helps to make the colors look like they belong together.

Once you’ve picked your bead colors, it’s time to color your chart! But wait… what chart?

Peyote Stitch beadweaving chart

I found this free printable Peyote Stitch chart at the Fire Mountain Gems & Beads website (they have charts for many other beadweaving stitches too)*. This chart goes up to 120 rows on 1 page, but my bracelet is 150 rows long, so I printed 2 sheets, then trimmed the bottom margin off this one so I can add it to the 2nd sheet. (Click the photo to go to the page with this chart.)

Now you can tape your sheets together:

Tape sheets together to extend chart

Align your chart sheets as seamlessly as possible, then tape them together. Tip: On this side of the chart, tape only on the sides, not over the part you want to color in; after your sides are secured, flip the pages over and tape all the way across on the back side.

I’ve added some notes to the top of my chart (because I always think I’ll remember, but I don’t):

Add project notes to chart

Here, I’ve added all the important project details I can think of: Width/length (in number of beads), size of beads, and colors. I’ve also gathered some ball-point pens to color my chart; since I don’t have a silver pen, I’m using the purple one for the silver section of my chart.


Tip: You will need to do a bit of calculating to make sure your bracelet will be the right size; don’t forget to take the width of your clasp into account! For mine, when I decided on the length I wanted (not too loose), I made a sample piece of beadweaving so I could measure how many rows = 1″. Then I multiplied that number by the length I wanted, and came up with 150 rows. So with 3 colors, I’m going to make sure I’ve completely changed to my second color by the midpoint (row 75) of my chart.


Okay, now I can start coloring!

Chart detail

Detail showing how the rows are numbered. With Peyote Stitch, the rows of beads are offset (rather than stacked one on top of the other), and this chart is also offset, so it will be accurate. And the numbering of the rows is amazingly helpful.

Blending bead colors to make ombré effect

You can choose how long you want to make your section for blending bead colors; I decided, since my bracelet is 14 beads wide, to gradually change colors over 14 rows. (This is a pretty quick change, but considering the length of the bracelet, it does need to happen fairly fast.) I simply added 1 more bead in the new color on each row, meaning on Row 1 of my blending section (Row 37 of the chart), I added 1 green bead, then 2 green beads on the next row, etc.

Here’s my whole chart:

Completed ombré chart

My completed chart, all 150 rows of it! You can see here that I didn’t worry too much about making each color section exactly the same size, mostly because I had more blue beads than the other 2 colors.

Once your own color chart is finished, you can get on with the beadweaving! This is the fun part— after all that planning and preparation, it goes surprisingly quickly.


Bonus clasp tip: Truthfully, I just guessed at how to add my slide clasp to my bracelet (I’m still surprised it worked), but if you want to use this kind of clasp, here’s a great tutorial for adding it to Peyote Stitch.*


Ombré is one of those techniques where you look at the finished product and wonder, “How did they do that?” Now you know the answer: The key is making the change as gradual as possible. One advantage in beadweaving is that with really small beads like my #11s, you can easily create a very subtle blend with no discernible start and stop points— which is the hallmark of a true ombré.

Colormusing

Want to see sewing stuff from Colormusing? Check out myBratelier (lingerie sewing, including bras!), and Changing Your Clothes, which covers everything from repairs & alterations to dyeing and remaking thrift-shop finds. And don’t miss all my newest projects, including sew-alongs, at the brand-new SewColormusing blog!

Click on the dots above to visit my mother ship, Colormusing.com, where you can also sign up to receive Hue News, Colormusing’s own monthly e-mail newsletter!


*I am not affiliated in any way with Fire Mountain Gems & Beads, or any other companies, as of this writing (I will let you know if that changes).

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One thought on “Shady Business: My Ombré Bracelet Beading Chart

  1. I have actually seen this bracelet, and it is so much lovelier in person. Cameras can never perfectly capture colour, especially the play of light off beads like these. And the texture feels good against skin!

    Like

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