Today I received a great question on the blog from Glenda: How in the world do you set your table up for so many colors??? That’s a great question, so I wanted to share my experience creating a seed bead tapestry of “Reveille” (the official mascot of Texas A&M). She ended up being 4X6 inches with 25 different colors. It took me awhile to get down my method for doing these big projects, and here are my top 6 tips:
- Keep track of where you are-When there are many colors, it can get confusing. I like to print out the entire pattern and carefully tape it together. As I work, I cross off each “bead” on the pattern with a pencil. If I get interrupted, I always know where I stopped. This works for loom, peyote, and word chart patterns.
- Create a “bead-only” space– Find a space where you can leave your beading supplies out where they won’t be disturbed. When you have that much beading going on, you don’t want to move it or pick up the beads everyday. I took over our coffee table in our apartment living room for an entire summer.
- Sit Comfortably and Move Around– I switched back and forth from sitting on the couch to sitting on the floor. I was sitting for long periods of time, and it can only be comfortable for so long. Choose a comfy chair or cushion, and set a timer to stand up and stretch a bit every hour. We beaders know you can look up from your work and 3 hours have passed by!
- Separate the beads– Sometimes the beads are very similar in color, and it is important to keep them all separated. I used 2 bead trays with 6 indentations each, as well as the lids. Some of the colors I was not using very often, so I put those in the lids. Another idea is to use deviled egg trays.
- Label the beads– It’s important to know which colors are which. I placed each bag marked with the coordinating Delica number in the tray with the beads to “label it.” You can also use a label maker or small sticky notes to label them.
- Dealing with the dreaded 4th row– When you begin peyote, rows 1 and 2 are put on at the same time. After you add row 3 of peyote, it can twist on you because the piece is so long. It can be easy to add a bead on the wrong side without knowing it. I like to put a piece of wire through the first row of beads to keep them straight. It makes row 4 so easy to peyote! Note: If all 4 rows are all the same color, this isn’t necessary.
I beaded day and night for a summer to finish Rev, and it was very satisfying. She now sits on a shelf in our entryway to greet our guests. I hope these tips help you on your next big project, and thanks to Glenda for the question!
What do you think? How did you set up your table for a big project? If you’ve been intimidated by a big project before, are you ready to give it a try? Please share with us in the comments!