How to Do Flat Chenille Stitch

I saw a sweet meme on Facebook recently that featured a chalk-board to-do list for the holidays. The first thing on the list was “Make Presents”, but someone crossed out and added letters so it read, “Be Present”.  Isn’t that great? It made me think about my pre-holiday freak-outs surrounding gift-giving, trolling the malls for perfect gifts, wild-eyed and frothing like some kind of holiday banshee. The reality is, those around me would probably be a lot happier if I gave them Presence rather than Presents. With that in mind, I’m going to do my best this year to Make Presence for my loved ones.

But WAIT! I get a lot of joy out of gift-giving, so “Make Presents” is staying on the list! A good compromise is beading gifts for those on my list, because when I bead a piece with a specific person in mind, I get to hold that person in my thoughts the whole time I’m working, sending them good vibes. As a result, I can create a present AND give my presence! I love it when things work out like that, don’t you?

With all this Making Presents business on my mind, I’m excited to tell you about a new eBook the F+W Beading Team just finished putting together.  10 Holiday Projects for Fall through the New Year is an all-new content eBook that’s filled with projects I know lots of people on my list would love. One that I’m particularly excited about is the Silver and Gold Bracelet by Diana Balogh. Diana uses flat chenille stitch to form a stunning flat band that would look as great with a Santa-festooned Christmas sweater as it would with a sophisticated black dress. I’m especially excited about it because of the way she’s incorporated flat chenille stitch, a technique that’s usually shown in rope form. Want a sneak peek? Here’s how to get a flat chenille stitch band started:

Note: For this pattern, Diana used size 15 seed beads (A) and size 11 seed beads (B), but you could use all size 11 seed beads for a different look.

Row 1: Add a stop bead to the end of a comfortable length of thread. String 8B (Fig. 1, blue thread).

Row 2: String 1A, 1B, and 1A; pass back through the second-to-last B of Row 1. String 1A and pass back through the next 2B of Row 1; repeat. String 1A; pass back through the next B of Row 1 (Fig. 1, red thread).

flat chenille stitch fig 1

Row 3: String 1A and 1B; pass back through the last A of Row 2. String 2B and pass through the next A of the previous row; repeat twice. Weave through beads to exit from the last B added, toward the center of the work (Fig. 2).

flat chenille stitch fig 2

Row 4: String 1A and pass back through the next 2B of Row 3; repeat twice (Fig. 3).

flat chenille stitch fig 3

Row 5: String 2B and pass back through the next A of Row 4; repeat twice. String 2B; square-stitch to the adjacent 2B of Row 3, then exit through the first B of the 2B just added (Fig. 4).

chenille stitch fig 4

Row 6: String 1A; pass through the next B of Row 5. String 1A and 1B; pass back through the first A of this row and the following 2B of Row 5. String 1A and pass back through the next 2B of Row 5; repeat twice (Fig. 5).

chenille stitch fig 5

Rows 7 and on: Repeat Rows 2 – 6 to the desired length.

Want to learn more about this stitch and how to turn it into a pretty bracelet? Order 10 Holiday Projects for Fall through the New Year and get started on Making Presents AND Presence.

Happy beading!


Jean Cox, Beading Editorial Director

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