Durathread Product Guide

The lovely people who created Durathread have produced a handy guide to using it, and we think it is well worth sharing – so here goes:-

Durathread is a hybrid thread.  It is not fused like Fireline but is much stronger than Nymo or S-Lon.  This results in a soft yet very strong thread that gives a beautiful soft and fluid drape to your finished jewellery.

Durathread is particularly good for fringe work where you need a softer finish.  For pieces where you want a stiffer or more rigid finished effect then threads such as Fireline work well.

As Durathread is not fused it is important to cut your Durathread with very sharp beading scissors, this will create a neat ending and make for easy threading.  Cutting with damaged or blunt scissors will result in frayed ends which in turn will make it harder to thread onto your needle.

Durathread is not pre-waxed and can be used straight from the spool, however pre-waxing your Durathread with beeswax or chapstick prior to use will help prevent fraying and will make for easier needle threading.

Durathread has near zero stretch and is particularly strong.  It is made from a thermoplastic polymer call polyethylene – you can pull it very tight and knot it easily to keep a strong tension on your beadwork.

Durathread is very abrasion resistant and works well with sharp edged beads such as crystals and bugles.

You may find some colour transference when using black Durathread, this will easil wash away with soap and water and can be minimised by treating your thread with beeswax or chapstick.

Durathread can be joined by knotting the two ends together, then cutting the ends close together and burning the tails with a lighter.  Whilst the thread is still warm squish the knot with your fingers and the two ends will fuse inside the knot.

Due to the quadcore braiding of Durathread it is important that you avoid sewing directly through the thread when beading to keep the integrity of the braid intact.

and you can find Durathread here

Ellen’s Ginko Bracelet

The latest addition to the Matubo range is the Ginko bead, shaped, as the name implies, like a Gingko leaf, and with two holes running through each bead.

GNK006 - shallow web

Ellen has been the first of us to have a play with these beads and has designed this lovely bracelet, using two colours of Ginko, some Candy beads and a few seed beads.  It is lovely and soft to wear with a really nice feel.

ellen bracelet web

The made bracelet (above) is just under 7 inches/about 17.5cm long.  It uses Nymo thread, two size 10 beading needles and:-

  • A) 8 size 10 green seed beads;
  • B) 32 copper Ginko beads;
  • C) 15 GL6110 olive Candy beads;
  • D)14 green Ginko beads.  .

To show you how to make it we have a few step-by-step photos and an alternate colourway:-

  • A) RC345 SL Lavender size 10 seed beads;
  • B) GNK006 gold Ginko beads
  • C) GL6112 lilac Candy beads
  • D) GNK010 purple Ginko beads

step 1 copy

To Make:-

Cut 1.5m of Nymo and thread a needle onto each end.

  1. Pass the first needle through 1B, 4A, 1B.
  2. Pass the right-hand needle through the 2nd hole of the B bead it is emerging from and thread on 1C.

step 2 copy step 3 copy

3. Pass the left-hand needle through the second hole in the B bead from which it is emerging and then through the SAME HOLE in the C bead that the other needle has just passed through but in the opposite direction.

step 4 copy    step 5 copy

4. Pass right-hand needle through the 2nd hole in the C bead, thread on 1B.

5. Pass the left-hand needle through the 2nd hole in the C bead, thread on 1B.

6. Pass the right hand needle through the 2nd hole of the B bead, thread on 1C. Pass through the 2nd hole of the next B and thread on 1D.

7. Pass the left hand needle through the 2nd hole in B bead, through the C, through the next B and thread on 1D.

8. Pass the right hand needle through the 2nd hole in the D bead, thread on 1B, Pass through the 2nd hole in C, thread on 1B.

9. Pass the left hand needle through the 2nd hole in the D bead, through the 1st B, through the C and through the 2nd B.

step 10 step 11 copy

10. Pass the right hand needle through the 2nd hole in the B and thread on 1C.

11. Pass the left hand needle through the 2nd hole in the B and through the C.

Repeat the sequence from step 4 until your bracelet is the desired length.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 in reverse to complete the bracelet.
Using 7mm jump rings attach clasp around A Beads.

and that is our first Ginko project – we’d love to see what you are making with Ginko beads #Ginko #madeitwithspellbound

Dafft about … fundraising!

No, that is not a spelling mistake, but the clever name that Annie Coles has given to her fundraising for Marie Curie.  Annie has designed this beautiful beaded daffodil and is asking for donations for a copy of the pattern, all of which will go to Marie Curie

… to best explain, here are Annie’s own words

‘I am trying to raise money and awareness for Marie Curie, a national UK charity that offers care and support through terminal illness – please see www.mariecurie.org.uk

I have designed this daffodil brooch and hope that sales of both the pattern and the completed brooches can raise some money for this amazing charity. I know how generous the crafting community can be so I am really hoping that together we can raise some much needed funds. I work for Marie Curie and have seen first-hand the difference they can make, it’s a charity I am proud to work for.

I am asking for donations for the pattern – I suggest £5 minimum, 100% of your donation will go to Marie Curie. You can pay for your pattern on my JustGiving page Dafft About Beads. When making your payment please add a unique comment in the box then send me an e mail to dafftaboutbeads@yahoo.com quoting your unique reference and your donation value so I can identify your payment and e mail you the pattern.

The brooches take just a couple of hours to make and cost just a couple of pounds in materials. I think the finished brooches could sell for £10, I am sure that when people know they are being sold for this amazing charity they will be generous. If you do sell any brooches could you please pay the money in through the same JustGiving page and add a comment of “Sale of brooches” – this way we can all keep an eye on how much money we have raised together. If you make some brooches and would like some help in selling them please e mail me and we can chat.

Thank you so so much, let’s all do something amazing together …… happy beading!  – Annie Coles’

The pattern has loads of step-by-step photos to take you through the design and it would be lovely to see Annie raising lots of money for this fabulous cause

Lest We Forget

As you are probably aware, we are fast approaching Remembrance Sunday, and with this year also marking 100 years since the end of the First World War, I thought a round-up of Poppy projects might be useful. There is still time for you to make something to mark the occasion in beads.

First, a selection of poppy themed kits that are available from us here at Spellbound.

We have launched two brand new designs featuring poppies this year the Poppy Pendant and the Poppy Field Necklace. Both of these designs use carrier beads in their construction, and the Poppy pendant works up reasonably quickly. The Poppy Field necklace is more of a project, but you still have time to have it finished to wear for any Remembrance events you might be attending this year.

poppy pendant

Poppy Pendant

poppy field

Poppy Field Necklace

We also have the ever popular Beaded Poppy Pin. This has been around for several years now and has raised lots of money for the Royal British Legion and Animal Aid. If you hadn’t heard, we donate £1 from the sale of each red poppy to the Poppy Appeal and £1 from the sale of each purple poppy to Animal Aid. The purple poppy can be worn alongside the red poppy to remember the animals that have lost their lives in conflict.

We also have a Poppy Needlecase and a Poppy Scissor Keep so you can be fully accessorised with poppies all year round if you wanted to be.

The second thing I wanted to highlight for you this week was a lovely free pattern from the Preciosa website. They have masses of free pattern support for lots of their beads, but the one that caught our eye recently is the Flanders Poppies Bracelet


This lovely bracelet uses Petal beads, seed beads and Solo beads to create the lovely, double-sided poppy motif. We don’t stock Solo beads, but as they are the same shape as Twin beads, (just having one hole instead of two) you can substitute them in the pattern very easily.

Rather than make a bracelet, I decided to make up two of the motifs and make them into earrings.


Earrings made from the Flanders Poppies motif from Preciosa. 

These are a little bit fiddly to make. You are using two needles to make each motif, and then join two motifs back to back using a peyote stitch thread path. This is a bit awkward as you don’t have much room to manoeuvre your needle in, and it is easy to get your thread caught around a petal if you try and rush the joining.

Overall this is a really lovely design to make- the individual poppies work up quickly and I think you could probably make up the bracelet in a couple of evenings work. As with other Preciosa patterns the instructions can be a little sparse although you have photos of every step to help you along, and as always if you get in touch with the shop I will give you any extra help I can.

To make the earrings I used:

R1 in pattern- RC740 8/0 Black seed beads

R2 in pattern- RC708 10/0 Black seed beads- I used these to make the hanging loop for my earrings

R3 in pattern- RC746 6/0 Black seed beads- the pattern calls for a 7/0 but a 6/0 is a good substitute.

S in pattern- TW001 Black Twin beads

Pet1 and Pet2 in pattern- GL5802 Siam Petal- I made all of my poppies in a single colour rather than the two colours in the pattern.

If you wanted to make the bracelet as in the pattern, I would suggest that you use GL6058 Emerald leaf. You need to use a cross hole leaf so that it will sit correctly in the final bracelet.

I used black nymo and two size 10 needles to make the motifs and a pair of FN001 fishhooks to turn them into earrings.

To finish, two more Poppies for you: Louisa’s dog Poppy, whose birthday is November 10th


and then my Poppy, who is now 8 months old and is still all legs:

Poppy the Puppy

and a bonus puddle of puppies- Poppy with her sister Maisie and her brother Bob.


Happy beading, and don’t forget to show us your makes on social media using #madeitwithspellbound.

Vicky x

Change one bead

Also known as Vicky at Play episode 7!

What a busy time it has been since I last found time to sit down and write this blog!

We have sent out the 2018 catalogue, been to Exeter Westpoint, Cardiff, Alexandra Palace, Sandown Park and Harrogate Pavillions for shows, launched a whole heap of new kits (more on that soon!) served lots of lovely customers in the shop, and the mail order team haven’t stopped to make sure they get out all of your orders on time!

We have had three magazines arrive all at once this time around, Bead and Jewellery magazine issue 90, Beadwork Magazine Oct/Nov18 and Bead and Button magazine October 18.

Bead and Jewellery Magazine features the fantastic Imperial Bauble designed by Julie.


You can find the bead pack for this, either with or without the 40mm bauble you need on our website here: Imperial Bauble Bead Pack, and the magazine with the instructions in here: Bead and Jewellery Magazine 90. It really is a sumptuous design full of sparkle with lots of crystal beads and Rivolis to make your tree look extra glamorous this year.

The project I have chosen to blog about this time round is from Beadwork magazine Oct/Nov 18.


The project is Netted Pearl Earrings by Jill Mackay. These are a really quick and easy project, and I found that once I made one pair I just had to make more… so I made three!

These earrings only use a few simple ingredients- two sizes of seed beads, some 4mm rounds, flat spacers, headpins and fishhooks are all you need. Nothing fancy, things that most beaders will have in their stash.

What I thought was interesting was how changing one bead made the overall look of the earrings change. Here are the first pair I made:



Made using MB004 silver plated metal beads, 15-0451 and RC11-0451 gunmetal, I think this particular colourway looks elegant- perfect for that little black dress event. The MB020 6mm spacers cap the ends of the tube to give them a finished look.

I then swapped the 4mm metal round for a 4mm magenta pearl:


I left the spacers off the ends of the tube as the silver looked very bright against the gunmetal and pink combination. I think this combination looks more casual.

Bridging the gap between the casual and elegant is the third pair:


This combination uses the MB004 of the first pair, with 15-2024 and RC11-2024 Matt Light Rose Pink. I’m totally out of season with this pair as the look like they would be perfect for a spring/summer wedding. They are more elegant than the Gunmetal/Magenta pair, but not as formal as the Gunmetal/Silver pair. I’m not sure which pair are my favourite, but aren’t you surprised that there isn’t any turquoise or teal?

These are super quick to make- I made the first pair in around 90 minutes and they just got faster and faster to make as i got used to the pattern.

The third magazine to arrive was Bead and Button magazine October 2018 issue. I do have a plan to make a pair of earring from this issue but they are on hold at the minute while we are prepping for the show- hopefully they will appear in the not too distant future before the next round of magazines arrive!

Please do let me know what colour combinations you use- if you use #madeitwithspellbound on social media we will find the pictures and have a look! We love to see what you have made using our beads or designs so please get in touch.

Hopefully it won’t be as long til my next blog- although we are at the NEC for the Creative Craft Show from Nov 1-4th so who knows!

Happy beading!

Vicky x

Good things come to those who wait?

Also known as Vicky at Play episode 6!

Hello all,

I’m so sorry for the delay in this project write up. I went on holiday almost as soon as the magazine arrived at the shop, and then when I came back it was straight into testing for all the lovely new kits we have coming up in our Autumn launch!

The magazine was Bead and Jewellery magazine, Issue 89


Bead and Jewellery issue 89

There were lots of lovely projects to choose from, but as I was a little limited timewise I picked one of the smaller (but no less lovely) projects. The project I chose was designed by Becs Dean-Skinner called A Cute Little Beaded Vessel.

The inspiration behind the colour choices for my version were that of an ancient urn/terracotta pot. It’s a little bit lighter in colour, but gives the overall feel that I was looking for.

This was a lovely project that worked up in a couple of hours. I think there will be a few more of these appearing around Christmas, I’ve had lots of lovely comments from family members. The colour combinations are practically endless.

Here is my finished object:


A Cute Little Beaded Vessel by Becs Dean-Skinner

Pretty cute huh?

The beads I used are as follows:

A: TW0027 Metallic Gold Twin bead

B:GL6271 Metallic Gold Matubo Nib-bit bead

C: FG379 California Night 3mm Facet

D: RC1202 SL Frost Transparent Topaz size 10 seed bead

E: 15-1522 Sparkle Gold lined Crystal size 15 seed bead

F: RC220 Transparent Brown size 10 seed bead

G: 15-1429 SL Dark Topaz size 15 seed bead

H: RC214 Matt Metallic Gold size 10 seed bead

I: 15-4202f Duracoat Matte Galvanised Gold size 15 seed bead

I also used gold Nymo and a size 10 Tulip needle.

Better late than never with the write up, I hope!

Looking forward to the next installment

Vicky x



Vicky at Play 5- RAW Power Pendant

Hello again!

The vagaries of magazine publishing means that you wait aaaagggess for a magazine and then three turn up in quick succession! This means that we have had Bead and Jewellery magazine, Beadwork magazine and now Bead and Button magazine all turn up within a very short space of time, and there will now be a little break until the next batch of magazines arrive. Which is probably a good thing, as I’m sure you are getting bored of me by now!

Bead and Button August 2018

Bead and Button August 2018 issue

Flicking through Bead and Button August 2018 issue, the project that really caught my eye was the RAW Power Pendant, designed by Barbara Hoffmann.

RAW Power Pendant

RAW Power Pendant designed by Barbara Hoffmann

Cubic right angle weave is one of my favourite stitches, and I really liked the simple, clean lines of the pendant piece. I also thought it was time to show you all I could make something other than bracelets!

I also needed an excuse to pick up some of our new Miyuki size 11 seed beads- you can have a look at them here: Miyuki size 11 seed beads. The hardest problem I had was choosing my favourite! I decided the best thing to do was to start with the 14mm Rivoli- as we have fewer choices here I thought it would be easier. As we know, I love teals and turquoises, so I went for Dark Aqua. I went back to the size 11’s and what do you know, we had a lovely Silver Lined Capri Blue AB that went with it! I love the combination of turquoise and pink, so I decided to go slightly away from the suggestion in the pattern recipe, and used a Silver Lined Rose Pink size 8 as an accent. This meant that I needed a more neutral colour to pull it all together. Black was too dark, gold doesn’t suit me so I went with a classic silver. This was used for the outer edge of the large frame and the bezel around the Rivoli.

I wouldn’t recommend this pattern as a first CRAW piece. As you are using different sized beads to create the circular shape so you need to concentrate on the placement of the beads which can be a little tricky if you are trying to learn the mechanics of the stitch at the same time. If you have used this stitch before then I am sure you will whizz through the pattern like I did.

Here is how my pendant turned out. I’m still trying to decide if I want to hang it from a chain, some ribbon or cord (or both!) or make a beaded chain for it. I will be sure to post a finished picture over on our Instagram page when I have decided what to do.

DSC_4376 web2

My finished version of the RAW Power Pendant

I used:

1 FS104 Dark Aqua Rivoli

RC800 SL Rose Pink 8/0

RC11-1025 SL Capri Blue AB

RC11-4201 Duracoat Galvanised Silver

DB0035 Galvanised Silver

15-0181 Galvanised Silver

6lb Smoke Fireline (this gives the pendant a bit more rigidity than Nymo)

Size 12 beading needle.

I made this in around 4 hours. I have lots of beads left over, so with the addition of another couple of Rivolis I think I could make a few more pendants. You could mix it up so use the silver on the face of the pendant and the blue on the edge which would give it a different look.

I am sure I will be making more of these in the future, they are very satisfying and can be dressed up or down as you need. I only wish the magazine had come in a few days earlier so I could have made one to wear to my sisters wedding last weekend!

There is also an interesting article in this issue about substituting beads in patterns- doesn’t that sound like something you might find useful 😉

I would love to see what you are making using our beads-it doesn’t matter if it is one of our designs, something from a magazine or your own creation, we love to see what our friends have been up to. You can share it on our Facebook page, or tag us on Instagram or Twitter- you can use #madeitwithSpellbound for anything, and if you are inspired by these posts, why not show me your version of the pattern using #beadymagazinemakes.

Write soon,

Vicky x

Vicky at Play – Inspired by Magazine Projects number four, the Desert Mirage Cuff by Shanna Steele in Beadwork Magazine

In the latest issue of Beadwork Magazine (Aug/Sept 2018) my eye was instantly caught by this stunning bracelet designed by Shanna Steele .  The original in the magazine was made in SuperDuo beads, which we don’t stock, so how would it work in twin Beads instead I wondered ?  I know that you can’t mix the two types of bead in a project but I have used one instead of the other in the past with great success so there is no reason they shouldn’t also work here.


The original bracelet featured in Beadwork

I absolutely love the finished result, but boy was it a bit of a fiddle getting here!

Firstly, choosing the materials for this one was quite easy, unusually for me, I often spend more time choosing my colours than I do making the project!  The tips from the designer in the article were absolutely spot on, they really helped me along the way.

First tip – choose a thread that will go well with your beads, the thread path is very visible and you can see in both the original (above on the right) and in my bracelet (above on the left) that the thread used really complements the beads chosen.

Second tip – you will need a moderate to loose tension.  I work a little on the side of tight tension and had to make a conscious effort not to keep pulling everything tight … at least I did after my first two false starts had the scissors taken to them!

This is definitely a pattern that you need to concentrate on, it is not one of those ‘sit down in front of the TV and it just sort of grows while you’re not watching’ projects.  I had a couple of false starts, at one point a tricky bit in the middle, and I did need to constantly refer back to the pattern as I was going, sometimes reading the same bit several times.  In total it took me about six hours to complete, quite a long time for the size of the project, but that does include some cutting up, a bit of frowning and a fair bit of re-reading.

There’s no getting around it – for me, this was what we call ‘a bit of a fiddle’, but I am very pleased I persevered because I am really quite chuffed with the result.

Vicky bracelet beadwork aug18

My version of Shanna’s design

The beads I used are
A – TW018 pearl forest green Twin bead
B – TW125 matt op teal Twin bead
C – TW025 met silver Twin Bead
D – 4mm ivory pearl beads
MB322 Toggle fastener and teal Superlon D thread and the finished bracelet is 6 inches long by 2 inches wide.

I really hope you are enjoying my occasional series on magazine inspirations, I am loving having (yet another) excuse to get my beading needle out and hope to bring you another project very soon.

We’d love to see what magazine projects you are making too so please share #beadymagazinemakes on social media with us.

until next time, happy beading all, Vicky

Quick and Easy Makes – Beautiful ideas for Speedy Jewellery

This time we have a beautiful multi coloured necklace that is both light enough for day wear and dressy enough to make the transition for a fabulous evening out, a distinct case of ‘great minds think alike’, and a pretty millefiore bracelet.

Biarritz Necklace and Earrings

enamelled set web

To make this necklace Vicky has simply joined a 5cm piece of chain to the front of a necklace sized chain and attached these beautiful enamelled links along the chain drop and to either side of it.

The earrings are each a 2.5cm length of chain with 4 enamelled link attached to each.

To make the earrings you will need 2 each MB439 white links; MB436 teal links; MB435 pink links; MB437 apple links; 5cm FN326 curb chain; 8 x FN067 oval jump rings and one pair of FN001 fish hook earwires.  Or head over to the web site to buy a bead pack.

To make the necklace you will need 60cm of FN326 curb chain; 6 MB436 teal links; 6 MB439 white links; 5 MB435 pink links; 6 MB437 apple links; 24 FN067 oval jump rings and 1 FN023 silver lobster fastener.  Or head over to the web site to buy a bead pack.

All Ombre!

Ok, so ask four people what they’d make with some opaque rounds in soft pretty shades and, well, spot the difference!

Lisa used six shades of glass rounds, (GL6445; GL6444; GL6443; GL6440; GL6441; GL6442) some metal washers (MB909), a length of cotton cord and some chain and findings – stunning!

Vicky and Ellen both went for knots on the necklace and stretch magic for the bracelet but in different colours, and Jodie went for a straight thread using metal sparkle  beads to punctuate the changes in shade.  All of them beautiful we think you’ll agree.

Millefiore Bracelet

millefiore bracelet web

Simple to make and seriously pretty this bracelet is simply made by punctuating Millefiori tubes (GL6435)  with plain washers MB020, and MB021.  These tubes are also available in turquoise (GL6436) and Orange (GL6437)

We hope you like our easy makes for this week – we’ll be back with some more very soon!

Creating with Karo? New ideas from Preciosa and Vicky

A couple of months ago some of these arrived at Spellbound HQ

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 13.11.04

hmm, we thought, what to do with them?  Vicky started off with some bezelling, and she has made some lovely pieces but somehow the final piece of jewellery has not yet revealed itself, it will, but for now, it has been put to one side until the muse strikes and that magic bit that brings it all together into a finished design happens.  Knowing Vicky that will be at about 2am while watching a bike race and the rest of us will wake up to a Eureka email!

Jodie meanwhile had a little look around and downloaded this pattern off the Preciosa website.  It is a simple design and you can use all Karo beads, or a mix of Karo and seed beads in any proportion you like giving so many possibilities for textural variation.

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 12.59.18

Absolutely perfect if you like stacking bracelets – see how fabulous they look in the Preciosa photo above.


While Jodie was working on her bracelet, Vicky started to think about the similarities between the Karo bead and its fellow Preciosa bead, the Twin.  Vicky came up with this wider bracelet that she has made nice and long so it sits like a bangle at the top of your  hand rather than fitted to the wrist.  Perfect for these hot days (and it fits me perfectly, she might not be getting it back!), but of course easy to make shorter if you prefer your bracelet fitted.

Jodie used:- GL6371 gold Karo beads; GL5832 Ripple bead for the fastener; RC303 Alabaster coral size 10 seed beads, CT1002 Papyrus cotton thong and some white Nymo for her bracelet.  (27 Karo beads, finished length 19cm/7.5 inches)

Vicky used:- GL6372 silver Karo beads; Twin matt opaque turquoise twin beads, RC503 porcelain turquoise size 10 seed beads and FN255 2 row fastener.  Finished length 20cm/ 8 inches and it used just under one pack of Karo beads to reach this length.

If you would like written instructions for Vicky’s bracelet let us know and we will get them written up.