Bead Weaving on a Beading Loom – Creating Designs and Memories
Growing up we had a lot of public parks in our area. During summer break, my sibs and I would bounce from one park to the next to attend various “camps.” Nock Hockey. Lanyards made using gimp. Weaving on a loom with yarn. All things I remember well, along with being really hot and thirsty! (We didn’t carry water bottles around with us “back then.”)
Fast forward to today, looking at all we do and create during the summer months, how many of us still draw from those early experiences? I know I do and I know it gave me a thrill to sit down and create a new loom-woven bracelet on the new Little Ricky Beading Loom. It took me me right back to those hot summer days.
It also takes me back to those summer camp days, when we shared our creations and stories with our parents at dinner. I did just that this past weekend (sharing my latest beading loom “creation” with my mom) along with the new Little Ricky Loom I used to make the design. She immediately left the room. Was it something I said?Coming back a minute later, she held out her new loom (the Jewel Loom) along with the Jewel Loom Inspirations book, and Friendship Bracelet DVD. She was so excited to share her purchase and her excitement over trying the techniques, adding that her “Beading Friday” ladies were also excited and would be bringing their looms to an upcoming Beading Friday. And I was excited for her (not to mention, shamefully boasted that Julianna and I are friends! Here we are with June Beach in the middle).
My mom snapped a quick picture of the beaded design made on a beading loom then texted it to a few of the ladies. One of the ladies asked my mom to watch as I made a second bracelet so she’d be able to help when they sat down together to loom. Here is the project for each of you to share, and if you have any questions please leave a comment.
- Thread – nylon
- Beads – Delica, size 11
- Clasp –
- Flat-nose pliers
- Loom – there are so many on the market, use your favorite or try a new one! These instructions are based on working with the Little Ricky Beading Loom.
- Thread – you can use any you prefer that is suitable for the beads in your design.
- Beads – most looms will work with any size and type of bead.
Step 1. Set up your beading loom according to manufacturer’s instructions and based on the length of your design. Once you establish your warp threads, you can’t change the length.
Establish your warp threads. I’m using a clasp that slides over the end of the beadwork and, determined with Delicas, the design needs to be 12 beads wide for this size clasp. 12 beads requires 13 warps.
Insert the warp separator, passing it working from right to left, over the first warp thread, under the next. Repeating all the way across so every other thread is above the separator.
Step 2. Add a needle to a comfortable length of thread. This design at 6-1/2″ long takes about 5-6 yards of thread; I work with about 2-1/2 yards at a time. Anchor the end of the thread to the loom. Pass the thread, from left to right, under the warp threads.
Thread on your first row of beads. Press the beads up through the warp threads. Pass your needle, eye end first, through the beads working from right to left, making sure you are above the warp threads.
Note: This is not easy the first time, the fifth time, the fiftieth time! Take your time. Take a breath if you get frustrated. You can do it!
Step 3. Repeat Step 2.
Step 4. Repeat Step 2 but this time use the sharp end of the needle as you work back across the beads.
Step 5. Continue adding beads following your pattern.
Step 6. Work your pattern and make sure to squeeze in the last row of beads. This isn’t easy – kind of like the beginning rows but this time you’re really fitting the beads into place against other beads.
Step 7. Remove the 2 warp thread pegs. Remove the warp thread rods. Working from the center out toward the ends, move the beads to fill in the open space on the ends where you can see the warp threads.
Step 8. Weave the thread ends into the loom-woven bead strip. You may find you need to switch to a thinner needle.
Finish a thread end by forming a knot between two beads diagonal from each other, working around a warp thread, hiding the knot between the two beads. Trim the thread ends close.
Step 9. Slide one half of the clasp over the last row of beads on one end of the loom woven bead strip.
Use chain-nose or flat-nose pliers to compress the clasp over the beads, securing it in place. Repeat on the other end of the loom-woven bead strip using the other half of the clasp.
I love how memories are triggered by present day activities. And I love how present day activities create new memories and draw connections between us. I really love sharing ideas with you and hope it triggers your own creative pursuits.
Inspire us to get beading, today!