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How to Make a Cellini Spiral Bracelet (Free Patterns and Tutorial)

Suzanne is an artist and writer who enjoys designing, crafting, and upcycling.

The Cellini spiral is a type of tubular peyote beading, where different-sized beads are used to create the spiral helix effect.

An Italian inspiration, the Cellini spiral was thought to have originated from Benvenuto Cellini, a member of an artist group in the Renaissance Mannerism period, where the figura serpentinata (from Latin—serpentine figure) was used to display human figures in snakelike spiral movements that appealed from all sides.

The first Cellini spiral is always the hardest for a beginner because a lot of beads and patience are always needed to create any Cellini masterpiece. The good news is that the jewellery turns out fairly strong and is easily repairable in later years. Plus, there is no counting after the first bit, so you can watch TV while beading Cellini once the first few rounds are done.

Cellini spirals are a fantastic example of traditional European bead weaving and should be worn to attract comments and attention! Modern Cellini spirals are made with bold and opaque colours, compared to the natural translucent themes used in earlier decades.

So, let’s get started on demystifying the process of creating a Cellini spiral . . .

cellini-spiral-bracelet-pattern
cellini-spiral-bracelet-pattern

Materials Needed

  • 1.9mm (12/0) White Delica beads x 4
  • 1.9mm (12/0) Blue Delica beads x 1
  • 3mm (8/0) White seed beads x 2
  • 3mm (8/0) Blue seed beads x 4
  • 4.5mm (5/0) Large blue seed beads x 2
  • 4.5mm (5/0) Large transparent blue seed beads x 1

Bead amounts will vary, depending on the size of the bracelet. The list of beads is shown in ratios—so for example, for every 1 lot of blue Delica beads, you will need to purchase 4 lots of white Delica beads.

Additional Materials Needed

  • Fine, strong beading thread
  • An extra fine beading needle
  • Sharp scissors

Note: Check that both needle and thread fit through all of the beads multiple times.

Size Notes

This is only a rough guide to bead sizes, and it doesn’t matter if you can’t purchase the exact sizes listed above.

The idea is to have some very small beads that are uniform in size (Delicas are best for this) and some medium-sized seed beads, and some large-sized seed beads.

It doesn’t matter if the medium and large-sized seed beads are uniform in size or not, but the Delicas do need to be uniformly sized for the right effect.

Big Blue Cellini Spiral Bracelet Pattern

The Cellini spiral pattern depends on having different-sized beads which create the lovely spiral effect.

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When purchasing beads for Cellini spirals, I recommend buying some Delica beads for the smallest ones, as well as normal/medium-sized seed beads and large seed beads.

Delica beads are often known as Japanese beads, and all of them in the packet are the same size and shape, unlike common seed beads. They are commonly available to purchase online.

The pattern for the blue Cellini spiral bracelet is as follows:

  • 1 blue Delica
  • 2 white Delica
  • 1 white seed bead
  • 2 blue seed beads
  • 1 large blue seed bead
  • 1 large transparent blue seed bead
  • 1 large blue seed bead
  • 2 blue seed beads
  • 1 white seed bead
  • 2 white Delica

This is the order you will be following when you begin the bracelet.

Follow this pattern all of the way through to the end to get the same appearance as the blue Cellini bracelet I have made.

Don't panic! The Cellini spiral will automatically tell you what the pattern is as you work on it, though you will need to follow the pattern in the beginning.

Example of supplies needed

Example of supplies needed

Supporting Diagrams

Step 1 - Click to enlarge.

Step 1 - Click to enlarge.

Step 2 & 3 - Click to enlarge. Note the tail is still meant to be there, but is hidden in this diagram.

Step 2 & 3 - Click to enlarge. Note the tail is still meant to be there, but is hidden in this diagram.

Step 4 - Click to enlarge. Note the tail is still meant to be there, but is hidden in this diagram.

Step 4 - Click to enlarge. Note the tail is still meant to be there, but is hidden in this diagram.

Step 6 - Click to enlarge. Note the tail is still meant to be there, but is hidden in this diagram.

Step 6 - Click to enlarge. Note the tail is still meant to be there, but is hidden in this diagram.

Starting the Cellini Spiral

  1. Cut a long piece of beading thread and thread it through the needle. Thread on all of the beads in the pattern above, in order. Leave a 20cm tail of thread at the end.
  2. Pass the needle through the first bead, which should be the blue Delica. Pull both tail and needle threads gently but firmly to make sure the blue bead doesn't fall off. Thread on another blue Delica.
  3. Pass the needle through the next bead, which should be a white Delica. Thread on a white Delica.
  4. Pass the needle through the next bead, which should be a white Delica. Thread on a white Delica.
  5. Pass the needle through the next bead, which should be a white seed bead. Thread on a white seed bead.
  6. You can see that whatever bead you pass your needle through is the bead you need to add next. Just keep following the same steps until you return to the first blue Delica bead again. Then pass the needle through the blue Delica and thread on another blue Delica.
  7. Keep following the pattern until the work begins to form a Cellini spiral shape (this should happen after about 10 rounds).

You'll find that the first few rounds are really hard to do because the shape hasn't formed yet.

If you keep the thread pulled reasonably firm (but not too tight), you can see a cylindrical tube beginning to form. Always try to work with the beads on top of the cylinder.

A handy tip is to put a piece of masking tape on the bottom end (the tail end) of the work so that you can tell top and bottom.

Keep working until you have about 20cm of beading thread left on the needle end.

Handy Hints

I like to thread tails through Delicas because they hold the thread firmly as the bead holes are small. However, depending on the needle and thread size, Delicas can break if the needle is forced through. Don't force anything! Feel free to switch to the next bead size up if needed.

Note: Each of the two tails should go in a different direction.

Threading a tail through white delicas.

Threading a tail through white delicas.

Attaching new thread

Attaching new thread

What to Do When You Run Out of Thread

Running out of thread? There’s a technique to attach new thread, and it’s really easy!

  1. Firstly, make sure the needle has finished threading on one bead and has passed through the next bead. Then take the needle off the thread, leaving a 20cm tail.
  2. Thread a new piece of thread onto the needle. Then, pass the needle through the previous four beads that have just been worked on, leaving a 20cm tail. Continue the work as normal.
  3. When a few rounds have been completed, you can stop and sew back in the tail parts, so they don’t get in the way. Simply thread a tail onto the needle and following the direction of the tail thread, pass it through rows of beads of the same kind. You can see in the photo that I was finishing off one of my tails by threading through white Delicas.
  4. Continue until you have used up the 20cm tail thread. It doesn’t matter if you go through a lot of beads, as this strengthens the bracelet significantly. When tail thread is almost ended, simply cut off the thread as close to the last bead passed through as possible. If you have done enough rounds, there is no need for knots or glue.
To join two ends together, run thread through a colour on one end then through the same colour on the other end etc. Click to enlarge.

To join two ends together, run thread through a colour on one end then through the same colour on the other end etc. Click to enlarge.

Ending the Bracelet

  1. When you have a satisfactory length of bracelet and you are ready to end it, match up the ends and see if they look like they fit together correctly.
  2. If they do, go ahead and start sewing them together (as pictured in the diagram). If the ends do not match well, the first few starting rounds might need to be undone so that the shape is better matched. You can do this by pulling the beads off and unravelling the thread. But whatever you do, keep a tail on the starting round for sewing back in later!
  3. When the ends are sewn together, run each tail thread through rounds of beads in opposite directions using the technique above in “What to do when you run out of thread” and cut.
White spotted Cellini spiral bracelet.

White spotted Cellini spiral bracelet.

Materials Needed

  • 1.9mm (12/0) white Delica beads x 4
  • 1.9mm (12/0) blue Delica beads x 2
  • 3mm (8/0) white seed beads x 3
  • 3mm (8/0) blue seed beads x 1