Learn French Beading >> Vertical Continuous Basic Frame

- Advanced Course -

Lesson Two: Vertical Continuous Basic Frame

Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Pre-requisite Techniques: 

Vertical Continuous Basic Frame is another non-traditional technique that I’ve developed over the years. It isn’t used often, but I thought it would be fun to teach it anyways. It allows you to make multiple Basic Frames on the same wire. But unlike Continuous Basic Frame, the vertical variation continues on the Basic Wire rather than the Working Wire. So you can make a chain of Basic Frames stacked tip to tip. 

For this exercise use 24 gauge (.5 mm) copper core wire and size 11/0 seed beads. 

Sample Pattern: 

Make 1: 4x 7 row Vertical Continuous Basic Frame, 1 bead Basic Row, RB RT 

  • Reduce to one bottom wire.
  1. String all of the beads onto the wire. Create a Basic Frame with a long Top Wire. When forming the Frame, we will need to count out all of the beads for each of our Basic Rows and slide them up onto the Top Wire. In this case, we have 4 Basic Rows, each one made of 1 bead. So create your Frame with 4 beads on the Top Wire. (Photo 1)
  2. Separate out the bottom bead on your Top Wire. Wrap 6 rows around it with a Round Top and Round Bottom. You should end up with your working wire at the top of your piece. We will add the seventh row later!  Twist the working wire and the Top Wire together approximately 1/4 inch upward. This will provide enough space to wrap rows below the next Basic Row. (Photo 2)
  3. Separate out the next bead on the Top Wire for the Basic Row of the second frame. Again, wrap on 6 rows, remembering to alternate the starting side. There will be a small space in the twisted wire between the two frames. This is necessary as we will be adding another row later. Twist the working wire and Top Wire together upwards about 1/4 inch, making sure the working wire is positioned properly to alternate the starting side. (Photo 3)

IMPORTANT: If you started the first frame to the left side of the Basic Row, you will need to start the second frame to the right side of the second Basic Row. The working wire should cross over the front of the twisted wire pointing in the direction you will start wrapping. We will alternate our starting sides with each frame that we stack on top. This is critical to producing a proper finished piece. (Photos 2 & 3)

French Beading Technique tutorial - Vertical Continuous Basic Frame - by Lauren Harpster
PHOTO 1
PHOTO 2
PHOTO 3

5. Continue making 6 row Basic Frames with 1 bead for the Basic Row until there are 4 total on the wire. The Working Wire should be positioned at the very top of the fourth frame. (Photo 4)

6. Wrap on the 7th row for the fourth frame (the last one you made). (Photo 5)

7. Wrap on the 7th row for the third frame piece. Notice as you work downward, adding the 7th rows on, that you are working in a “S” shape. (Photo 6)

8. Add the 7th row to the bottom two frames, then secure the working wire by wrapping it twice around the Bottom Wire then remove it with wire cutters. (Photo 7)

PHOTO 4
French Beading Technique tutorial - Vertical Continuous Basic Frame - by Lauren Harpster
PHOTO 5
French Beading Technique tutorial - Vertical Continuous Basic Frame - by Lauren Harpster
PHOTO 6
French Beading Technique tutorial - Vertical Continuous Basic Frame - by Lauren Harpster
PHOTO 7

You can, of course, make each of the frames in any shape that a normal Basic Frame can be made in. PT PB, PT RB, RT PB, RT RB. They will all work. You can also make a piece with Frames that increase (or decrease) in size as you work upward. (Examples shown in Photo 8)

You could also use the Scallops technique in conjunction with this, though it would take a little more forethought and planning. 

French Beading Technique tutorial - Vertical Continuous Basic Frame - by Lauren Harpster
Photo 8

If you need the piece to have a lot of built in support so it stands on its own, I recommend using a thicker central wire and a larger bead size (8/0 beads will fit on an 18 gauge florist stem wire). Then you can use a regular 24 gauge wire for the working wire. 

I’d love to see how you use this technique! Someone thought it would be great to use for a Christmas Cactus. Here is a quick little headband I made. 

French Beaded Headband by Lauren Harpster
French Beaded Headband by Lauren Harpster

© 2017 Lauren Harpster. This tutorial and all the pictures are property of Bead & Blossom. Do not copy and paste any section of my tutorials onto your own website, or print and redistribute them for personal gain. If you would like to share this tutorial, please do so with a link. 

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