We don’t give you specific patterns to follow when making the leaves, but you can look at the detail photographs and figure out what we did. We used one color of main leaf bead, one or two accent bead colors, and sometimes a different leaf vein color. You DO NOT have to copy our leaves if you want to use other color arrangements. Make your leaves the way YOU want your leaves to be. You can change the main leaf colors from side to side, you can mix up several colors. You can make solid color leaves if you want. Or striped ones! Your choice!
And if you find that you’ve made a leaf you’re not in love with, try weaving larger bright accent beads to some of the accent points. Or cut it apart and pair those beads with others.
Here are a few helpful hints to save you time, though.
- Do NOT weave in or trim the last left-over long tail of leaf thread, use it to attach the leaf to the end of the lariat.
- Large accent beads (like drops or 8 rounds or bigger) tend to work better when used only on the outside of the leaf, because when they’re on the inside they can make it difficult to flatten and shape. Use smaller beads (like you would for the vein) on the inside.
- Vein beads can match the main leaf color, but it’s more interesting if they don’t.
- Small triangle beads make a very textured leaf, which usually seems to be longer and narrower than you might expect.
- Don’t worry about making parts of your leaves match. Play with the colors in your kit, try to make contrasty leaves for more pop.
- You can use more than one bead as an accent on the outside, especially if you use the 15 rounds or charlottes. (11’s will work too, though!) If they seem too floppy, weave a thread through the outside accents all the way around.
- The larger a leaf is, the more it needs the veins to help stabilize the shape. Using doubled thread, or going back through most of the vein beads, will also help keep it tidy.
- Control the length and width of the leaf by varying the number of beads you use for the center vein. (I know, it seems obvious, but sometimes people end up with a lot of short wide (or tall skinny) leaves until they make that connection.)
- Please don’t weave in or trim the last left-over long tail of leaf thread, use it to attach to the end of the lariat if it’s long enough. (Sorry to harp on it, but it’s a huge timesaver if you leave that last tail and don’t weave it in.)