As I write this article, Dome beads are pretty new to the beading market. They are made in the Czech Republic and come in two different sizes: 14mm diameter and 8mm thickness or 12mm diameter and 7mm thickness. The thickness measurement relates to the height of the dome. You can also buy Dome beads in a variety of different colours.
As you can see from the photo, the dome beads are shaped with a perfectly flat back and perfectly rounded dome area. The hole through the bead sits just above the flat surface. This structure means that Dome beads are perfect for both bead-weaving and bead embroidery projects.
You can place two Dome beads back to back to create the effect of a fully round bead. Using the holes through the two beads, it is possible to work a strip of bead-weaving to keep the Dome beads in place. This is the technique I used to create my first pattern with these new beads. I ended up with two different varieties of flower, as you can see. If you want to have a go at this pattern, it isn’t too hard and you can find it here.
However, as I was working on the design, I realised that the perfect rounded shape of the Dome beads makes it tricky to bead around them with just a narrow band – you really need to encase the entire back area so that the bead cannot slip out of position. This is perfectly possible to do with basic bead-weaving techniques, like Right Angle Weave, Netting or Peyote stitch. It also makes Dome beads perfect for Bead Embroidery projects. With bead embroidery, you will be stitching beads directly onto a piece of fabric, so this automatically gives the stiff backing for the domes and then you can add seed beads to create texture and interest around them. The size of the Dome beads means that they will still stick up higher than their surrounding beads and the diameter is wide enough to prevent them from getting lost when beads are added around them.
In another simple project, I used some of the new shaped seed beads to create an interesting surrounding for a pair of Dome beads. This is an abstract pendant that is very simple and quick to make and is great for using up odd beads. You can find the pattern here.
If you want some suggestions for shops that sell them, then two of my favourites, GJ Beads and Stitchncraft are places that I can recommend. You can see more about this in the Bead Shops in the Bead Resources section here.
More Dome Beads Patterns
As I’m working more with dome beads, I’ll add links to more patterns for them here, so do check back to see what’s new!
I also used a Dome bead for the focal point in this bead embroidered cuff. The beautiful rounded shape of the Dome bead allowed me to add an embellishment that complemented the rest of the cuff’s design. If you would like to try this project, you can find the tutorial here.