Simple Beaded Butterfly Bail

Learn how to stitch up a simple butterfly bail that's easy to attach to all kinds of beaded pendants. It's composed of two "wings" of strung beads that emerge from a center "base bead" in the front.

Please click on any image in this tutorial for a full-size view.

  • 01 of 07

    Position Your Beading Thread

    The Beading Thread Positioned
    The beading thread positioned. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    You can stitch the bail using a new length of beading thread, or use existing thread that you used to stitch your pendant. You'll need a minimum of about ten inches of thread to complete the bail.

    Weave through the pendant beadwork (making a few half hitch knots along the way, if you're starting a new length of thread) and bring the needle out in a logical place to center the bail.

    In the example, the needle was brought out half way through a stitch that contained a total of six beads.

  • 02 of 07

    Pick Up a Base Bead

    Base Bead Picked Up
    Base bead picked up. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    The front of the bail features a bead, which I call the base bead, that is larger than the other beads you'll use for the bail. In the example, I used a 3.4mm Miyuki drop bead to match the drop beads in my pendant.

    Pick up your base bead, and slide it down against the pendant.

  • 03 of 07

    String the Beads for the First Wing

    Ten Sead Beads Picked Up
    Ten seed beads picked up. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    Pick up enough smaller beads to make a little strand that, when wrapped backward to touch the edge of the pendant, is large enough to slip over the jewelry chain, cord, or beaded rope for your necklace. The example uses size 11/0 Miyuki seed beads. Slide these down against the base bead.

  • 04 of 07

    Anchor the Wing in the Beadwork

    Needle Through Two Beads on Back of Pendant
    Needle passing through two beads on the back of the pendant. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    Turn the pendant over, and anchor the first wing by passing through two beads; one on each side of the place where your thread exited the pendant in Step 1. Pull the thread taut.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Stitch the Second Wing

    Second Bail Wing Completed
    The second wing completed. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    Pick up the same type and number of beads that you picked up in Step 3. Flip the beadwork over again and pass down through the base bead. Pull the thread taut.

    Pass back through oe bead in the pendant, moving your needle toward the first wing of the bail.

  • 06 of 07

    Reinforce the Bail

    Bail Being Reinforced
    The bail being reinforced. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    Although the bail is now complete, it's a good idea to reinforce it by passing through both wings one more time. First, pass up into and all the way through the first wing, from back to front. Pass down through the base bead. Then, pass into the pendant beadwork again just enough to navigate to the back of the second wing. (In this example, this required going through just one bead in the pendant beadwork.)

    Pass up into and all the way through the second wing, down through the base bead once...MORE more, and then back into the pendant beadwork.

  • 07 of 07

    Weave-In and End the Thread

    The Completed Bail
    The completed butterfly bail. © Chris Franchetti Michaels

    You can now weave-in and end the thread within the pendant beadwork. String your pendant on the chain, cord, or beaded rope of your choice. The example shows the pendant on Vintaj dark brass etched cable chain.