Friday, August 12, 2016

Belle of the Ball Earrings Samples - Toho vs Miyuki


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 3mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"
  • 6mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"


  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • 3mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"
  • 6mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"

Today I'm making a few more color samples with this pattern and just finished making these two earring samples. I made the sample on the right with the Toho seed beads first thinking that the pale gold would look better with these fire polished beads. Those seed beads were horrible to work with and the earring looks a mess. It looks much worse in real life too. You can't really see how wavy the earring is in the photo. I have successfully made these earring quite a few times with other Toho seed beads but these just won't cut it. They're very long and tubular-shaped with sharply cut edges compared to the delicate, nicely rounded Miyuki beads that I used in the other sample on the left. See how nicely the Miyuki beads fit together to create the intricate earring design. And, I actually think I like the slightly darker, richer gold of the Miyuki beads after all with these fire polished beads. The "Starlight" Toho beads might work well for peyote stitch but don't bother trying to use them for netting.

Read THIS post from last week for more information about this earring pattern. The free "Belle of the Ball Earrings" tutorial can be found on THIS site.

UPDATE: I take back what I wrote about successfully using Toho beads many times with this pattern. The only luck I've had with Toho was with "Antique Bronze" (223). For some reason that particular color is almost as nice as Miyuki's beads. I made samples this afternoon with a couple more Toho colors and the earrings are warped and messy looking. My advice is to stick with Miyuki seed beads for the best results when making this pattern.


  1. Linda,
    I, too, have experienced the "pudgy" Toho problem in some designs. My solution (I not able to purchase both brands at this time) was to substitute 15/0 beads for 11/0 in various parts of the design. Granted, it takes a bit of doing and re-doing, but the end result was quite acceptable.

    Just food for thought.


    1. That's an option with some patterns but not with this one. There are only 15/0 beads in these earrings. I could try using fewer beads in some spots though.