This Russian Leaf tutorial is part 2 of my instructions for making this Russian Leaf necklace.  In my previous post, I showed you how to make the spiral Herringbone rope.  In this post, I'm going to show you how to make the Russian leaves and add them to the necklace.

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leaves necklace with an open clasp

I created 3 different sizes of leaves and added them in rows.  

  1.  The longest leaves are 12 beads wide by 12 beads long (I am counting the number of gold Delicas down each side for the length.
  2.  The medium leaves are 10 beads wide by 10 beads long.
  3.  The small leaves are 10 beads wide by 8 beads long.

how to make russian leaves

step 1

For the biggest leaf, pick up a Delica and 11 seed beads, starting with brown and then green.  Put them half way down your thread.  The extra long tail will be used to bead the second half.   In the pictures below, I picked up 3 brown beads which gave a narrow band of brown.  If you pick up an odd number of brown beads, you will have the 'point' at the top.  I used different combinations of brown and green beads to give my leaves variety.

bead thread with 12 beads

Now pick up a Delica and a green seed bead and go back through the last bead you previously added,

thread with beads and 3 piles of beads
needle going through a bead
beads on string

step 2

beads on string with 2 piles of beads

Starting with green seed beads, peyote back, keeping in mind that you want the green beads to angle downwards.  In my example, I put one brown seed bead. Now peyote back up, stopping 1 bead short from the top.

beads on a needle

step 3

*Pick up a Delica and a green seed bead and peyote back down.

Now pick up 2 brown seed beads, a Delica and another brown seed bead.  Go back through the first brown seed bead you just added.

beaded leaf with beads on a needle
beads strung together

Peyote back up, stopping one bead short from the end, repeat from * until you have 12 Delicas going down each side.  Peyote back up to the top.  

step 4

Take your needle off the thread and thread it through the other half.  Repeat steps 1-3 for the other side.

beads beaded into a v shape


Now you need to join the 2 ends together.  The fewer beads you put between the Delicas, the more of a curve your leaf will have.  I wanted my leaves to lie flat, so I put a lot of beads in between the 2 end Delicas.  Bead the thread around to the other end and tie the 2 threads together.  Weave in the 2 ends and snip off.

beaded russian leaf


The leaf will be very flexible, which means it is not going to cooperate and lay flat when you put it on.  To stiffen it up, I coated it with Diamond Glaze.  Note: In the picture below, I reduced the number of beads at the end, as I am using this leaf for matching earrings.

picture of diamond glaze

finishing the necklace

I made 7 large leaves and sewed them next to each other in between the 2 green embellishments.  They don't have to be perfectly spaced, they are going to be covered up by the other leaves.

beaded rope with leaves

Then sew on the row of medium leaves, I used 8.  Make sure you are going back through each leaf and reinforcing your work.

beaded necklace

Next, sew on the row of small leaves,  I used 9.

The next step is to sew on the beads along the rope to cover up where you sewed on the leaves.  I went through my stash and picked out 6 and 8mm beads that I thought would compliment the necklace.  I sewed them on in a row along the bottom, and then came back with another row, filling in all the spots.

beaded necklace with a pile of beads
beaded leaf necklace

And there you have it!  I hope you find this Russian leaf tutorial useful.

Next I'm going to show you the slight modification you have to make to our Russian Leaf, to make these Russian Leaf earrings!

Russian Leaf TutorialRussian Leaf Tutorial

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