My latest big beading project should give you a few chocolate sweet dreams… How would you like a box of calorie-free chocolates? Did I hear you say ‘yes’? Then, you’ve come to the right place…
I’ve just completed a huge project that I started over 5 months ago. This has involved three months of serious beading, plus a good few weeks of tutorial and journal writing. So, what is it…?
It’s a box of chocolates, made entirely from beads! But it isn’t just for decoration… No, you also get storage space inside the box. So, if you wish, you can hide real chocolates under the beaded ones and offer your guests a proper treat!
But, before I carry on talking, let me show you the project in more detail…
Where did my Chocolate Sweet Dreams come from?
Well, ever since I wrote ‘Sweet Treats’ book, I’ve been wanting to make a box of chocolates. I just haven’t been brave enough to actually pick up the beads and create the ideas that have been swimming around in my head.
Several years ago, I made a kind of start on this by beading some actual chocolates. But I turned them into a bracelet (which I really love wearing). At the time, I thought about going on to make the chocolate box. But I didn’t really feel I had the skills.
So, I’m glad I waited.
During all those intervening years, I’ve learned a lot about 3D construction and beaded boxes. All that experience came into play as I was creating my box of chocolates. So, this feels like the culmination of a lot of different projects that I’ve created over the years.
Let me explain a little more…
Getting the structure right
Up until I made the Rubik’s Cube last summer, I don’t believe I had the skills to create the box structure that I wanted. You see, I was envisaging a box with divided compartments. Usually, I use Peyote stitch when I’m creating beaded boxes. But as I’ve explored more with Cubic Right Angle Weave, I’ve discovered its strengths. Basically, CRAW is the only stitch capable of creating the kind of compartments I wanted.
Had I made the chocolate box when I originally thought about it, I wouldn’t have made a beaded box. Back then, I was working on dimensional projects, but I hadn’t yet got into making boxes. So, I would simply have created an ornamental box of chocolates.
Now, as I was dreaming my sweet dreams, I saw storage space! I wanted chocolates that I could lift out to reveal hidden gifts.
Again, my beading ambitions have become a little (a lot!) grander over the past eight years. So, now I was dreaming up an ingredients label and a booklet detailing the chocolate flavours. After all, this is what you would expect to get in a real box of chocolates. So, why should the beaded version be any different?
Well, I’ve made a lot of projects that involve adding pattern and lettering in Peyote stitch. I’ve also created several beaded books in my lifetime. So, all the experience I gained in those projects proved useful as I created a label for the bottom of the chocolate box, plus a booklet for the top.
(If you want to try my book beaded box, here is the link to that tutorial)
The biggest challenge…
The element that I spent longest trying to design was actually the ribbon. Again, I made use of some lessons I had learned from a previous project. This time, it was a Peyote stitch beaded box that I created last Christmas. (Click here if you want to try it).
I had managed to create a beaded ribbon and bow that fastened to hold the box shut. So, I wanted to do the same for my chocolate box. As you’ll find out when you buy the book, this part of the project didn’t go according to plan.
I have ended up managing to create something that works well, but it wasn’t the idea that I originally envisaged. Still, the fact that it works is something!
Can I offer you a chocolate?
So, now we come on to the big question. Can I offer you some calorie-free chocolates of your own?
As I was creating and beading this design, I kept a journal detailing everything I did. It shares the decisions I made, the problems I faced, the bits I ripped out. Basically, it’s a unique peek inside my beading studio.
But that’s only the first few pages. In the rest of the book, I’ve given you a detailed tutorial so you can create your own ‘Sweet Dreams’.
And, if you’re not quite brave enough to try the full-sized box, I’ve also included instructions for making a much smaller version. This would have just four chocolates, no bottom label, maybe even no booklet…you get to choose.
So, if that sounds good to you, ‘Sweet Dreams, Beaded Chocolate Box’ (ISBN 9781690106746) is available from Amazon. It will be selling on Amazon sites worldwide:
If you need specific links to the product on any of those international sites, just leave a comment below. (The links in this blog will all take you to the UK site).
If you are having difficulty purchasing from Amazon (I know this particularly applies to my Australian beading buddies), then you can also order from me, using this link. I’m not carrying many books in stock, so you will be placing a back order, which is likely to take around 2 weeks to reach me, then additional time to ship to you.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, I’m not able to ship using tracked methods. But I can, currently send orders using standard delivery (and I am taking the recommended hygiene precautions!)