Monday, 14 December 2015

A decidedly decadent decoration

Kit Review - Emperor Bauble from Spellbound Bead Co

Around mid-October I spent a really lovely afternoon in the back room at Spellbound Bead Co, learning how to make wire decorations with the lovely Pat. It was a little different to the afternoon that we'd planned. I was going to surprise Vicky who was supposed to be teaching the Emperor Bauble workshop but she was ill so I came away with the kit to have a go at myself.

The first thing to note if you haven't tried a kit from Spellbound before is that each one is assigned a difficulty rating from 1 to 10. This particular kit is rated 7/10 so a little experience of stitching beads would be an advantage. However, I am by no means an expert and I managed to complete the bauble with minimal stress! I probably spent around eight hours in three sessions but competent beaders could probably do it in less time.

As with all Spellbound kits, the Emperor Bauble kit comes with all the beads and thread you will need plus a 60mm glass bauble, a beading needle and comprehensive instructions. All you'll need is a beading mat and a pair of scissors (and a craft lamp if you are planning to work in the evening!

Everything bagged and labelled
All the different beads come in little bags, clearly labelled to correspond with the supplies list on the back of the instructions.

I began by tipping a pile of beads from each bag out onto my mat. Don't tip them all out else it will be harder to work out which one is which!

Before you start beading, it's a good idea to have a read through of the instructions as it will help you to visualise what each step is trying to achieve and minimise mistakes. The instructions for the bauble are divided into five clear sections:- The Fringed Motif, The Unfringed Motif & Hanging Strand, The Foundation Row, Stringing Up and The Hanging Loop. 

The Fringed Motif
First, you bead the peacock motif with the fringe. The first one took me a while but I got quicker with each one and by the fifth, I didn't even need the instructions!

The Unfringed Motif

Next was the unfringed motif suspended from a string of beads. This took much of the previous motif but with the addition of a simplified version at the bottom of a long chain of beads. Again, by the fifth one, I was beading confidently without referring to the instructions.

The Foundation Row was straightforward and then the trickiest part was stringing up all the motifs. Lots of counting beads required and careful placing to ensure the pattern is forming correcting around the foundation row. Take your time!

Pride of place on the tree!
Once you've popped your beautiful beaded net onto your bauble, you can create a pretty hanging loop using one more peacock motif and a lovely large faceted bead. Finish off all your threads and your luxurious bauble is complete.

Mine is currently hanging on the tree but really it's so beautiful, I shall almost certainly be finding somewhere to hang it all year round. I also have a lot of beads left so am already wondering what else I could make using that peacock motif...

The Emperor Bauble kit is available from Spellbound Bead Co priced at £12.95. If you like the peacock motif, there is also a matching necklace and earring kit (£12.95), a bracelet kit (£8.95) and even a tassel kit (£12.95).

This review was on the Teal/Blue colourway but all these kits are available in three other colour combinations (Black/Grey, Pink/White, Turquoise/Lilac). Pick one to complement your Christmas decor.
The Emperor Bauble is also one of the designs featured in Julie Ashford's book Spellbound Festive Beading.

Black/Grey, Pink/White, Turquoise/Lilac


  1. Very helpful and informative - you've given me a heads up before I've even opened the packet! Good luck in your new venture....

  2. Thanks Morti. Good luck with your bauble!

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