Materials and Techniques
The turquoise beaded fish is made entirely from size 11 Delicas, which you can buy from me here.
You will also need beading thread.
You are going to be working in brick stitch. However, I used a little bit of square stitch to join the fish and create its dimensional feel.
I recommend this project for intermediate level.
When I wrote this design, I decided to sell it as three separate patterns, at £5 each (clown fish, turquoise fish and complete bracelet). But I wanted to give you the option to save money on buying all three. So, that is why you can choose just the fish, or choose to get all three parts for the complete bracelet.
I designed this little fish when I was creating a bracelet to enter into the Beadworker’s Guild Challenge in 2013. The theme for the challenge was ‘Underwater World’.
When I was quite young, I was lucky enough to go to Australia and to see the Great Barrier Reef. It made quite an impression on me! I remember wondering at the brightly coloured fish of all shapes and sizes swimming through the gardens of amazingly beautiful coloured coral. So, as soon as I saw the challenge theme, I knew I wanted to bring those childhood memories to life.
Strangely for me, I didn’t have a picture of the completed bracelet in my head when I started out. I had a vague idea of something resembling a coral reef sitting around my wrist… In fact, I think at one point, I thought of this project as a necklace!
I knew I wanted to make several different types of beaded fish to include in the project. So, I made plans for three different beaded fish. I used graph paper to design this fish and researched a lot of photos to find a shape that I wanted to recreate. I found a fish with a gorgeous fan-style tail. So, I came up with the idea of making my beaded fish with some bugle beads to create this effect.
I ended up with a pattern that works best in brick stitch, but I wanted to create a three-dimensional fish. So, I ended up also using some basic herringbone to add the dimensions.
The pattern instructions assume that you are already familiar with these techniques, but if you do need to jog your memory, or learn them, you can find a free tutorial covering the basics of each technique in the free tutorials section on here.
Story behind the pattern
I mentioned that my beaded fish started life as part of a larger project. I never actually intended to write up the pattern. Sometimes it is lovely to just bead something for the sheer fun of it, not thinking about how I will document or teach it.
Whenever I wore the bracelet (quite often!) I had requests for the pattern. I was about to publish this when the Beadworker’s Guild contacted me to say that although my bracelet hadn’t been placed anywhere in the challenge, it had been so much admired that they wondered if it could be used as a project in the journal. So it appeared there in January 2014. Finally, my beaded fish is making its way onto my website!
If you would like to make the other elements of the bracelet as well, then please choose that option from the menu. Although you can buy the three patterns separately, buying the complete bracelet will save you £3. Considering how organically this project grew, it is now one of my all-time favourites, so I hope you enjoy it too.