How to Make a Brick Stitch Ruffle

Once upon a time, I found myself finishing up a bead embroidered necklace, and as usual, I didn't have a clue as to how I would add fringe to it. After I finished the brick stitch edging, I must have tried six or seven different patterns for fringe. Nothing looked right.

Looking at it on my work table one evening, I thought, "What if I tried a brick stitch ruffle around the bottom of this necklace?" I knew it was going to take a lot longer than other styles of fringe, but I thought it just might work. Sure enough, it felt as if the stitching took forever on that ruffle, but the results were perfect for what I had originally envisioned for the finished piece!

Making a brick stitch ruffle is really just a matter of increasing in the middle of a row of brick stitch. It takes a little practice to squeeze your needle in between the beads, but here's an easy way to get started:

Start with an ordinary strip of brick stitch. Make sure your working thread is exiting the bottom of the strip. (Not like in this photograph where I have my working thread exiting from the top of the brick stitch!)

Add two beads in the first stitch, then continue to add two beads per thread, one bead at a time. (Add the first bead like you normally would, then go back and add a second bead in the same thread.)

You'll see the beads start to zigzag back and forth across the row.

Each row of brick stitch will get longer as you continue to increase, and your ruffle will get more dramatic. For a softer ruffle, you can alternate increases to every other stitch.
The finished brick stitch ruffle has lots of fun applications in bead-weaving!

Brick stitch ruffles are great for all sorts of beading projects: use them to add texture and visual interest to the edging of bead embroidery projects (like I did), or make ruffled brick stitch bracelets and pendants. A brick stitch ruffle can be made to look like waves for a water-themed piece of bead-weaving, or try surrounding a glass pearl with a brick stitch ruffle for a playful bracelet making component!

Practice your brick stitch skills and stock up on your favorite beading projects now during the eProject sale in the Beading Daily Shop! All eProjects are 30% off until 12 midnight CST on February 7, 2013, and since they're all instant downloads, you don't have to wait to get started beading. Download a few new brick stitch beading projects today and find out why brick stitch is one of the most versatile bead-weaving stitches out there.

Have you ever used a brick stitch ruffle to embellish a beading project? Leave a comment and share your ideas with us here on the Beading Daily blog, or better yet, take a picture of your brick stitch masterpiece and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery!

Bead Happy,


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