How to Do Square Stitch 3 Different Ways

The “beader’s handshake” (grab the necklace of a fellow beader, inspect it, then look up into their face and say hello) is often how you’ll meet a new beading friend. Discussion usually ensues about favorite threads or types of beads, and eventually you’ll get to talking technique.

beaders handshake

It’s at this point that I’m surprised by how many variations people come up with to get to the same end result. And you know what? They’re are all valid. Some of these techniques make beading go faster, they might make a stronger fabric, or maybe they’re done that way because it just makes more sense to the beader! In any case, if the technique results in work that looks clean and is durable, it’s all good…

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. I recently discussed square stitch with Melinda Barta, who, after she strings her first row, stitches one bead at a time like this:

single square stitch

I do square stitch this way, adding 2 beads at a time and stitching together the second bead added to the one below it. Then, when I’m finished, I pass through all the rows again to reinforce. This way goes pretty quickly!

double square stitch 1

I’ve also seen people do it this way…Adding 2 beads at a time, then passing through the 3 stacks of 6 beads. This way would go quickly AND it’s pretty strong.

double square stitch 2

Even us “pros” differ on what works best. If you’d like to learn more about square stitch and other traditional stitches from one of the best beadweavers I know, check out Getting Started with Seed Beads by Dustin Wedekind. It’s packed with loads of great tips and techniques on square stitch, but also on peyote stitch, herringbone stitch, and right-angle weave. And today, you can get the eBook for just $5.99 in honor of our Black Friday celebration of learning!

Happy beading!


Jean  Cox, Beading editorial director

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