A cabochon is a dome shaped polished stone with a flat back. It can be glued on to any surface. Beads forming a bezel around the cabochon is a very pretty sight. It is very easy to make a pendant with some seed beads and your precious cabochon stone. Here is the easy way to do it.
How to make your beaded cabochon pendant
- Cut out the base for the pendant
You can decide on the shape of the pendant – it need not be in the shape of your stone. I have cut it in the shape of the stone but it can be oval, rectangle or whatever shape you want. I have decided to use felt from an old hat for this. Felt is a very good backing for your pendant. You can use wool scraps, even upholstery fabric as your base. You will need to cut 2 pieces of this – one as an immediate backing and another as an outer backing (The outer backing is used after the bead stitching is done)
If the base felt is of a different color than your beads or your overall color scheme, you may want to color the felt; this will avoid the base color showing through. I painted black fabric paint on the base felt. Do this for both the backing pieces – and the sides too.
- Decide on the beads
You can choose the color of the seed beads you want around your cabochon. If you have differently sized seed beads a commonly used pattern is to use 11 size and 15 size beads next to each other – the size difference makes a nice contrast effect. The smaller beads are used next to the cabochon and then the bigger beads form a frame around this. I have used the same sized beads throughout. The color scheme can follow the colors of the cabochon or a contrasting scheme or the color of your chain, based on your personal preference.
- Glue the cabochon to the backing
You can use a good glue to attach the cabochon on your felt /backing piece. Allow to dry before starting the beading.
- Start beading a bezel around your cabochon
Use a beading needle and thread – a beading needle is thin enough to thread the smallest seed bead. You will be making a back stitch to attach beads along the edge of the stone forming a bezel around the stone. You can learn more about Bead Embroidery Basics here.
Knot the thread. Bring up the needle along the edge of the stone. Thread 4 or 5 seed beads on your needle
- Bring down the needle
Take the needle down through the backing.
- Come up with the needle 2 beads behind
Take up the needle behind from where you went down, after 2 beads
- Thread the needle through the 2 beads
Now thread the needle through the 2 beads ahead – this anchors your seed beads thoroughly on your backing. (Just threading the seed beads without this back stitching will make your beading work weak)
- Repeat the beading steps
You can now continue threading 4 beads on your needle. Make a back stitch. Come back through the 2 beads. Repeat again till you have created a rim/bezel around the cabochon stone
- Make a hanging loop
You need a loop for hanging your pendant on your chain. An easy way is to use the metal bails available just for this purpose. But another method is to make a loop with seed beads. For this attach the needle at the top of the pendant and thread 8 -9 seed beads on the needle and make a loop. Stitch it thoroughly on your backing. Do not worry about the stitches which are visible – they will be hidden under the outerbacking you will be attaching shortly.
- Now you have to attach the outer backing
The outerbacking is cut in the same shape as your pendant base. You can glue it to the back.
- Edge beading
Edge beading along the outer edge of your pendant fastens the outerbacking and creates a nice outline for the pendant.
- Thread 3 beads on the needle
Bring the needle along the outer edge catching the backing and the outer backing together. Take up 3 seed beads on your needle.
- Insert the needle back
Bring the needle back to the backing, just one bead after where you came up initially.
- This creates a nice 3 bead edge
- Thread through a chain
Continue doing the above steps till you have a nice beaded edge all around the pendant. After the edge beading is finished, thread your pendant through your chain.