I have been working on beading designs for bracelets for a few years now and the process is quite different depending on the bead program you are using.  (I am planning a review of the 3 programs I have used in a future post).  The first 2 programs were very easy to use, which made designing your own pattern a breeze.  But they have severe limitations when it comes to rendering a complex pattern from a photograph.

Have you ever bought a bead pattern where the beaded piece didn't match up to the pattern picture?  Read this article before you buy another bead pattern!

The third program is not easy to use, but it does a great job at rendering photographs. There is one caveat - you have to verify all the bead colors.

finished sunset bracelet

If you are looking at this on a desktop computer, then step back about 5 feet to look at the bracelet.  The colors will blend together better since you aren't looking at individual beads, which is how these patterns are supposed to be viewed. (or if you wear glasses to read the screen, then you can just take your glasses off).

Pick The Right Beads

sunset photo and pattern

This picture shows the original image and the resulting pattern.  Looks great, right? What could be the problem?  The problem is matching up the color of the bead in the pattern to an actual bead.

Now look at the yellow-goldish beads that make up the sun.

yellow beads
DB501

The program matched these beads to DB-501.

Clearly, DB501 is not going to accurately reflect what the sun is supposed to look like.  How does this happen? It happens because the program has to take a multi-dimensional bead and represent it with a flat color.  Hence DB501 looks like this.

db501

You can see how this color would represent DB501 and you could see how it would be picked for the sun beads.  But, clearly, DB501 is not the right choice for this part of the bracelet.  As I found out.

sunset bracelet with gold sun

The other big consideration is transparent beads.  They look completely different in their container than they do woven into a piece.  Look at the muted gold above the orange in the sun.  This is supposed to be a bright yellow.  The beads look like a bright yellow but they are transparent so they are actually not so bright.  How can you represent a transparent bead in a one dimensional color square?

In a peyote bracelet pattern that has 30 beads, if you have this problem with half the beads, then what you have is an awful pattern.  So, the first step is to visually confirm that the beads the computer program picked correspond to what is needed in that part of the pattern.  From there, it is trial and error until you find a satisfactory combination of beads.

the progression of changes

Tweak The Pattern 

The image on the left is what the original peyote bracelet pattern straight from the program looked like.  Even the final bracelet on the right needs a little tweaking, but I just can't bead it again!  The final bracelet has 34 bead colors.

Don't buy a peyote pattern if they don't show an actual piece that was made from the pattern!

If you are interested in purchasing this pattern, you can do so on the Patterns and Kits page.  Of course it is free for all Bead Vault members here.  Not a Bead Vault member yet?  Check out all it has to offer here.

If you like beading designs for bracelets that are a bit complex, then check out the Purple Mountains bracelet.  Whatever type of peyote bracelet you like to bead, check out all the patterns in the Bead Vault, which includes several free patterns!

Sunset – A Peyote Bracelet PatternSunset – A Peyote Bracelet Pattern

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