Monday, January 9, 2017

Playing with my beads...Russian Leaf Earrings



Until last week, I had done very little Peyote stitch and hadn't worked much with Delica beads. My "Peyote Fan Earrings" are made with Peyote stitch but using seed beads. I had used Delica beads a few times to make bezels for rivolis but not much else. You've probably seen Russian Leaf earrings all over Pinterest and they seem to be very popular. I especially like the earrings that are for sale in THIS Etsy shop. I'd been wanting to learn how to make them for quite some time but hadn't come across a pattern or tutorial that I really liked or that I could easily follow.

Because my experience with Peyote stitch was somewhat limited, I couldn't understand how to follow some of the tutorials that I'd seen because they just get you started then they tell you to just do Peyote stitch until your earring looks like the diagram. That's not much help for a beginner. I finally "got it" by watching Jill Wiseman's YouTube video tutorial which you can watch HERE. Jill also has a free PDF tutorial that goes along with the video. You can download the PDF file HERE. I think it was watching the video and having the diagrams in front of me that helped it click for me this time. As you can see, I've gone a little nuts making sample earrings and tried some different things just to see what I'd end up with. After making all the samples that you see here (plus a few more that I took apart to free up some Delica beads), I've decided that I like the look of this style even better than the ones on Etsy.

Below are some of my first samples which I made before I had Delicas in any colors other than four kinds of metallics. What I found was that the earrings made with all metallic Delicas tend to come out very soft and flexible. I like the metallic look but I think I prefer them to be stiffer. Plus, the metallic colors are more expensive than the regular colors so I'd like to save them for the accents. I bought three new colors last week at a local bead shop and I was amazed to see what a difference the regular opaque colors make when it comes to the structure of the leaves. The size of the leaves also makes a difference.

I figured out how to make them a little smaller than the ones that Jill makes in the video and those are my favorites. They're more compact and they hold their shape better than the larger ones. Jill's tutorial has you make nine rows on each side (this is the number of accent beads plus the center bead along each side). First I tried making them with eight rows and I could already see an improvement in stability. The larger earrings in these photos have eight rows. Next I tried just seven rows and that's what I did with all of the smaller samples that you see here.

I'm still experimenting with the type of loop to use at the top but I like them with some kind of "Sidonia" style loop the best.
You can buy Delica beads at Red Panda, Aura Crystals, Supply Emporium and Baubles & Beads.





  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Light Bronze" (DB22L)

For the above sample, I wanted to try using regular seed beads for the "picots" along the edge. I thought I could save some money by not using Delicas. It's not a bad look but I like them better with Delicas.




  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Light Bronze" (DB22L)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Dark Steel" (DB26)



  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Dark Copper Gold Luster" (DB1002)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Dark Steel" (DB26)

This sample was the first one that I made where I cut back to eight rows instead of nine. I connected the two sides at the top with just one Delica bead. That works but the result is a flat earring and the inside accent beads at the very top bump into each other. I like the flat look but I'd leave off those last two accent beads if I decide to make a pair like this.




  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Hybrid White Opaque Blue" (55054)

I made this sample just for fun using all regular seed beads in my favorite "Chalk Lazure Blue" color. It has a sort of wonky organic appearance because the seed beads aren't as perfectly shaped as Delicas. This one came out flat too.




  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Dark Copper Gold Luster" (DB1002)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Matte Blue Grey" (DB301)

I forgot to take a photo of just the blue earring and I'll describe the pink one below. 




  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Light Bronze" (DB22L)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque Antique Rose aka Opaque Wine" (DB1376)

These are two different size earrings in the same colorway. I added an accent "V" of bronze Delicas to the smaller earring. With my limited Peyote stitch experience, it was quite a challenge for me to figure out when to pick up a bronze bead instead of a pink one. I think you can see how the shape of the smaller earring on the right is a little nicer than the one on the left. Making them smaller seems to cause the hole in the center to open up a little more and the earring is more mounded near the top. That earring also has a sturdier feel than the other one.




  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Metallic Bronze" (DB22)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque Mulberry aka Opaque Dyed Dark Purple" (DB662)

Again, these are two different sizes. The one on the right was my first attempt to add the accent "V" of bronze beads and I screwed up. By the time I realized that I'd missed that one bead, it was much too late to go back.







11 comments:

  1. Lovely! Thank you. I am going to make these again.

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    1. Hi Carol. Have you used Jill's pattern or do you have another one that you recommend?

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  2. Welcome to the world of peyote! You really jumped into it in a big way and with some dazzling results. I have been wanting to try a leaf earring. Thanks for finding a good video and tutorial to try.

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    1. Watching the video really helped a lot, Jeanie. I do recommend making the earrings smaller though so they'll hold their shape better.

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  3. What kind of beading thread did you use?

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    1. I may have used 6lb Fireline for one or two of them but I've mostly been using Nymo D thread. It's much cheaper for making samples and I think it give the leaves a little more body than Fireline. I'm not having trouble getting my needle through any of the beads when making these so Nymo D works fine.

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  4. How did you figure out how to put in the accent v? I'm pretty new to this and I need all the help I can get. I love your work and I hope someday I will be as good as you. How do you decide on your color palette because the colors you use are always so beautiful. Thank u 4 sharing.

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    1. Hi Deborah. Check out THIS post. There is a link to a sort of tutorial that tells when to add the beads to make the "V". You can also find it under my list of free beading patterns as "Russian Leaf Color Chart #30".

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  5. The link to the pdf file is no longer available. Do you have another source for a tutorial?

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    Replies
    1. Jill moved the file to a different page but I found it and updated the link in my post. Her free tutorial can be found HERE.

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