My materials: Embroidery needle – a beading needle is needed if you are using small seed beads. 2 strands of DMC embroidery floss (can use fishing line) Size 6 glass Czech beads – assorted coloursMuslin fabric (can use many fabrics as a foundation – linen, cotton, leather, suede, good quality felt or specialized bead backing fabric – some fabrics are much easier to sew beads on more than others.)
Stretch your fabric in an embroidery hoop or work without one if your material is sturdier such as stiff beading fabric, leather, or felt. Draw your heart shape (or use a stencil) with a pencil or special vanishing ink fabric marker. I actually used a pen as I am not worried about my markings bleeding out onto the fabric. That’s the way I roll… I know, I like to live dangerously. ha! Thread your needle with about two arms lengths of thread and knot at one end.
Starting at the bottom of the heart, the fabric heart, not my tattoo heart, bring your needle up from the underside (pictured above) and thread four beads onto the needle. Lay them down flat on the heart line (pictured below) and put the needle through to the underside. Pull the thread taut, but do not make it too tight as to make the beads pull onto their sides or lose their straight line. You will get used to the right tension needed as you practice a bit. Do have patience with yourself and do give yourself some pats on the back if you are new to this! Bring the needle back up on the line halfway in between the beads (you will have two beads on either side).
Thread the needle through the last two beads and then add four more beads (pictured below). Then once again, lay the new beads down flat on the line and sew them down, coming back up on the line, in the middle of the four beads. Again, thread the needle through the last two beads and add more beads.
As you get close to the rounded part of the heart, you may have to use only two beads, using the same back stitch beading technique, just coming up between the two beads, instead of four. When you reach the inverted point of the heart, thread your needle to the backside and bring it up on the new curve and start back stitch beading again with two beads until you reach the straighter line again.
Keep going around inside the heart, making sure you leave enough room for each row when you bring the needle up. Eyeball it and lay the beads down to ensure you are not crowding them in.
Fill in the last few beads and use the back stitch to make sure the beads will sit upright.
Turn to the backside of the fabric and and weave your needle through the threads to secure the thread. I rarely use knots when embroidering or beading, but feel free to if you are worried about it unraveling… just make sure the knots don’t make a bump and show on the right side of your work.
Done! You’re Awesome! Do think about trying this out on a jacket, a shirt pocket, jeans, a bag or tote or use in home decor… would look amazing on a pillow or two.
This tutorial is also available on the Hello Studios website, the amazing studio where I teach my public classes in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
If you’d like to try another beading project, try out my Beaded Eye Free PDF Pattern.