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Beaded Cabochon Tutorial
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Materials Needed:

It is suggested that you use an oval porcelain (or polymer) cab to learn this technique, because the porcelain back keeps the beads from sliding around. Gemstones typically are very slick and highly domed, making them harder to bead. Make sure that your beading needle is small enough to go through the smallest beads.

  1. Thread about 1 yard of  Nymo, or whatever length you feel comfortable working with, on your needle.
  2. String enough size 11 seeds [color A] to go around the outside of your cab, making sure that the number of beads comes out even. It helps if you count your beads by 2 as you are stringing them.  Then go through 6 or 8 beginning beads to form a circle, which is row 1 and 2, leaving about a 3 inch tail which you will weave in later. (Note the pic shows size 6 beads for clarity of detail, but it is advised to use size 11/0's for most small and medium cabs)
Step 2 Detail
  1. Remove the cab and begin tubular peyote, doing 1 or 2 more rows of peyote with the size 11 beads [color A].
Step 3 Detail Tubular Peyote Detail
When you finish a round, make sure that you "step up" to the next round by finishing the last stitch and then thread through the first peyote of that round.

Stepping Up to Next Round

Peyote Detail Back of Cab
  1. The next row, start with the smaller size 13 beads [color B], and do 1 or 2  more rows of peyote snugging the thread, these rows should be pulling in toward the center. You are actually working the stitches that will lay on the back of the cab. These won't show in the finished beaded cab, but they help hold it secure.
  2. Then work 2 or 3 rows using the size 15 beads [color C]. If it doesn't look like the back is lying flat enough, you can thread through the last round and snug the thread even tighter. (Note: the pic shows another row of size 15 in a picot effect that is not necessary on the back of the cab.
  3. If you are running out of thread, weave the loose end into your work, and weave a new thread to come out at your stopping point.

Click here for Part 2 of these instructions

Instructions for Square Cab

Be sure to check out the Beaded Cab Gallery on our webpages!

Many thanks to Red Ventling for introducing me to beaded cabs and for the basics for these instructions. You can buy her cabs and cab kits here:

Please note: these instructions are copyrighted and may not be given, shared, or sold to anyone. When you purchased this bead kit, you have the right to use the instructions to create one kit for your use. These instructions remain the property of Karleen Page Cole and may not be used to manufacture products for sale. 2001, Karleen E. Page Cole, All rights reserved.

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