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.
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.
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.
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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