Monday, June 11, 2012

Tutorial - Brick Stitch Heart by Lynn Davy

Brickstitch is a very simple but versatile seed bead technique in which new beads are stitched to the thread (not the beads) of the previous row. This tutorial shows you how to make a simple heart shape that can be adapted to make flower petals, leaves, diamonds…

Seed beads can be fiddly to handle if you’re not used to them, so I suggest you start with size 8s while you learn the stitch, and then progress to 11s or even 15s. In addition to beads, you’ll need thread, a needle and sharp scissors. If you’re very new to this, I wrote a very simple guide to materials here and beads (including sizes) here.

Thread your needle with a comfortable length of thread (no more than the span of your arms).

1. String 3 beads and go through 2 of them again.

2. Pull them into a triangle.

3. Now pick up 2 beads, for the start of the brickstitch row; go under the thread bridge between the top two beads of your triangle, and up through the second of the beads you just picked up. Pull the thread carefully until it’s firm but not too tight.

4. Then pick up one more bead and go under the same thread bridge again and back up through the bead. In other words, make 2 brickstitches in the same place. You should now have a row of 3 beads at the top of the triangle.

5. Make a brickstitch with 2 beads into the first thread bridge in your row of 3, then make two brickstitches of 1 bead each into the second thread bridge. This row will have 4 beads in it.

6. Make another row with five stitches: again, pick up two beads for the first stitch, and put two stitches into the last thread bridge, so the width increases.

7. Make another row in the same way: this one should have 6 beads in it.

8. To shape the top of the heart, pick up 5 beads, miss out one bead of the last brickstitch row, stitch down through the next bead…

9. …and up through the one after. Pull the beads into a loop.

10. Pick up 5 more beads and make another loop, going down through the last bead in the brickstitch row.

11. Your heart will look more solid if you ‘fill in’ the loops; so bring your needle back up through the brickstitch bead under the middle of the loop…

12. …pick up one bead and go back down through the same bead in the brickstitch.

13. Then weave up through the next bead to the left…

14. …down through the next…

15.…up through the next one.

16. Pick up a bead, down through the same bead you just came up out of. And that is your heart complete. (You can weave round all the edge beads to firm it up and neaten it a bit.)

Now you can add a hanging loop to the top edge and put it on a ribbon to make a quick and simple pendant; or…
…weave up through the edge beads to the 3rd one in the loop of 5.

Pick up 2 beads and go through the one you exited. Stitch through the first bead of the 2 again, pull these 3 beads into a triangle and continue in brickstitch just as you did at the beginning.

In size 11s, this makes a nice curvy braid for a romantic necklace…
The perfect way to set off a silver cupid station and one of Tan Grey’s lovely beads!


  1. Thank you, for your easy tutorial. I did 3 using plastic pony beads. Now I am confident to try with seed beads.