Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bead Color Ideas: Primary Stripes

There’s something irresistibly beady about striped seed beads. Whether they’re new or vintage, these multicolored beauties bring a lot of personality and charm to a design. The trouble is, the difficulty of creating the perfect palette doubles when working with two-toned beads.

I’ve had a beautiful strand of red and blue striped trade beads in my stash for awhile now, and I’m eager to put them to good use; but unless the perfect inspiration comes along, I’ll have to create a design around them. I did a little brainstorming, hoping to find just the right seed bead colors to match them with. It was a lot trickier than it sounds.

Black and White Palette with Trade Beads


First I took the easy approach and went with all neutrals. Black and white 8/o seed beads match the striped ones for size, but the shiny and matte finishes seem to clash. For this palette, a great pattern would be just as important to showcase the stripes.

Beach Palette with Trade Beads


Moving along, I went with a softer neutral in beige ceylon, then a complement in aqua white-hearts. These two colors actually go together quite nicely, but seem to over power the red of the stripe beads and make it look muddy. I was starting to think that my lovely strand of beads would not play well with others.

Primary Palette with Trade Beads


Finally, I had to try other primary colors. Opaque canary yellow and cactus green really make the striped beads pop without looking too playful or “crayon box”. As much as I like them as a trio, I think these beads would look best as accents in an all-black piece.

How do you like to use two-tone beads?

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