Prickly Pear Cactus Pattern


For this project you will need size 11 seed beads in green and your choice of flower colour. You will also need wire in a variety of sizes and colours. The pattern uses basic and loop techniques, so is suitable for anyone who has done some French beading. Instructions include technique reminders as well as fully illustrated steps.

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About the Prickly Pear

I first designed my beaded Prickly Pear cactus back in 2003. I was trying to think of a beaded gift for my Dad. At that time I was doing a lot of French beading and constantly creating new flower designs. I didn’t think a flower would be appropriate though. So, I decided to make this Prickly Pear cactus. It sat on Dad’s desk at work for many years!

Techniques and Materials

I made the Prickly Pear cactus using a combination of French beading techniques. The leaves use the basic technique. However, I am going to teach you a very clever technique for stiffening the leaves and creating the structure for this design. The flowers use some of the loop techniques.

You will need wire in colours to match or tone with your beads. This project uses a combination of 20 gauge, 24 gauge and 28 gauge wires. Buy all of these, at great prices, from me right here.

The prickles on the cactus are made from wire. I have to warn you that it is genuinely very prickly! You can expect a few scratches as you make this project. However, please take care not to injure yourself more seriously…you have been warned!

This project is a lot easier if you have a bead spinner for threading the beads. It is not essential, but it really is a lot quicker than trying to thread everything by hand. So, I promise this tool really is worth the investment.

The components of the Prickly Pear are all very straightforward to make: the trickiest part is the assembly. You just need to take your time and take care in order to create a neat and realistic finish.

If you like this cactus, then why not try my French beaded Rebutia cactus which can be found here?

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