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Free Stitch Resources

Free Stitch Resource

Welcome to our free beadweaving stitch resource!

Ever wondered if beadweaving is for you, well here's a great place to start. Over the coming weeks this will build out into a handy resource for all your common and not so common bead weaving stitches.  Please keep checking back as we add more stitches as well as tips and tricks.

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What do I need?

Bead weaving requires a small amount of equipment to get started making it easily accessible to all, it only gets a bit more expensive when you just can't say no to another pot of seed beads!

A beading mat for helping keep the beads in place. These are essential to stop you going mad as you chase beads across the table.

Beading needles. Size 10 is a standard size but keep a size 13 handy if you are working a stitch that has multiple thread paths or you come across a bead with a slightly dodgy hole. We stock a handy pack that includes 2 size 10 and 2 size 13 needles.

Beading Thread.  There are many brands available, the most common is Nymo of which we stock a wide range of colours.  Always try to match your thread if you can as this will help it to "disappear" in the beadwork.

Scissors. A good sharp pair of scissors are essential for getting nice neat snips. Remember only for your beadwork, no letting the kids cut out their latest paper creation!

Beads! These are very important and come in a wide range of sizes, colours, finishes and materials.  The most commonly used beads for bead weaving are 11/0 seed beads.

OK, I have my materials, what's next?

Let's start by spooling off some thread, around 150cm is a comfortable length but feel free to use a shorter length if you prefer, snip off the thread. You'll notice that the thread is curling, make sure that you pull the thread tight between your hands to remove the stretch. Snipping the end of your thread diagonally can help with threading the eye of your beading needle, even if only a few wisps pass through you'll normally find that the rest of the thread will follow through the eye. Remember to leave a tail thread of around 15cm once you have started your beadwork.

Great but my beads keep falling off!

This is where a stop bead can come in really handy.  Use a bead completely different to your main work, using a larger bead will help when it comes to removal.  Pick up this bead and then circle round and pass through the bead again, remember to leave your tail, being careful not to split your thread.  Pass through again and then you're ready to start your beadwork.

Stop Bead

My thread is running out!

Don't panic! It is easy to add a new thread.  Make sure you leave at least 15cm to make weaving in your thread easier. Remove the needle and thread up a new thread.  To secure your new thread, pass through a couple of beads, then pass the needle under a thread between beads and pull through until there is a small loop remaining. Pass over the original thread and through the loop and pull tight ensuring the knot forms between the beads. Pass through a few more beads and repeat.  Now weave through your beads to exit where you left off and you're ready to start agin.  Use the same method to finish off the thread that you left behind making sure that you trim the thread nice and close once it is secure.

Adding thread

My thread is all twisted.

Don't let this twist get too tight otherwise you run the risk of forming knots. Hold your beadwork up and let the thread hang freely. Run your fingers down the length of thread and watch your needle go mad!

My beadwork is all baggy.

Correct tension is really important in bead weaving and comes with a bit of practice. In your non-dominant hand, hold the working thread over the index finger while you are moving your needle.  Only release the thread once the bead is almost in place.