Great Herringbone Stitch Tutorials to Get You Started

Many of us were introduced to herringbone stitch through creating twisted herringbone ropes for our beaded pendants and necklaces, but with herringbone stitch, there really is so much more to explore! From it’s history and roots in the Ndebele culture of South Africa, check out what modern bead artists have done with this incredible off-loom beadweaving stitch:


You don’t have to start herringbone stitch with a ladder. Traditional flat herringbone stitch actually starts with a simple strand of beads, and the thread path is established by adding sets of beads to make up the first few rows.

When you’re making flat herringbone by using a traditional start, the edges of the beadwork will have little half-columns on the edges that can be used for all kinds of design possibilities. Jean Campbell and I both wrote up tutorials on how to work flat herringbone using this traditional start, so check them out:

Stitch Pro: No-Ladder Herringbone Stitch Starts

Flat Herringbone Stitch With a Traditional Start


If you are working flat herringbone stitch using a ladder stitch base, you can make neat turnarounds at the end of each row using this tutorial by Jean Campbell. It’s definitely one of my favorite quick-and-easy ways to make the turnaround and still having a neat piece of beadwork.

Stitch Pro: How to Make a Herringbone Stitch Turnaround


One of the things I like best about herringbone stitch is how easily it can be shaped without learning a lot of complicated increases and decreases. You can create fantastic shaped beadwork just by changing up the sizes of the beads you use in each row, or taking advantage of the little space between sets of beads when working herringbone stitch. (Bonus: these techniques work really well when making beaded ropes, too!)

Wavy Herringbone Stitch

Herringbone Stitch: Elegant Undulations

Penny-Dixon-Statement-CreamThe best part of all these great variations on herringbone stitch is that they work really well with all these new shaped beads! If you haven’t started playing with shaped beads yet, here’s the perfect opportunity to learn with Artist Of the Month Penny Dixon! Check out Combining Wire and Beads and Shaped Bead Explorations, both available in the Beading Daily Shop! You can watch and learn as Penny takes you step-by-step through these amazing beading projects that will have you thinking differently about shaped beads and your favorite beading stitches.

Do you have a favorite variation of herringbone stitch? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us about it!

Bead Happy,






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