Learn 5 Striking Beaded Rope Techniques with Jill Wiseman

All beaders need a variety of beaded rope techniques under their belts, and expert Jill Wiseman can tell you why. Not only are the different stitches rewarding on their own, but having a varied repertoire to draw from gives you greater command over the look of your designs.

If you’re ready to branch out from your favorite stand-by stitch for ropes, look no further than Jill’s online workshop Beaded Ropes. With friendly humor and expertise, Jill guides you through five dramatically different ways to make these tubular treasures:

  • simple yet endlessly-customizable spiral ropes;
  • tubular peyote stitched ropes, from basic even- and odd-count to stunning Cellini and Dutch spirals;
  • softly draping strands of herringbone;
  • intricate, no-stress right-angle weave and cubic right-angle weave creations;
  • and flexible, open-weave ropes stitched with netting – with optional filling.
beaded ropes

Clockwise from upper right: spiral ropes, peyote-stitched Cellini spiral, herringbone ropes, cubic right-angle weave, netting.

With each technique, Jill takes things even further by showing you how to embellish the stitches, modify bead sizes for surprising results, and add your own flair. For inspiration, she displays multiple examples of her own stunning pieces, discussing the combination of effects she used.

This online workshop comes with all the great instruction of Jill’s original video, complete with a PDF guide detailing the thread paths for each stitch. In addition, the workshop version has interactive activities to reinforce learning and keeps you in touch with other beaders via the discussion board. Sharing your images means spreading the inspiration!

beaded ropes

Go for it! From these basic five techniques for ropes, you can modify and personalize your designs to your heart’s content.

Jill’s Top 5 Tips for Beaded Ropes

As expected in any tutorial with Jill (case in point: Kumihimo with Beads), this workshop is filled to the brim with tips and tricks to make you say “Ah ha!” at every turn. Here are a few of her expert tips for creating beautiful beaded ropes.

1. The first row is the hardest.
The first row is the hardest in tubular peyote stitch – so take your time and do your best with it. If you make sure the beads are sitting where you want them when you start, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief later on. The good news is it gets easier from here on out!

2. Know when not to knot.
In tubular beadwork, knots can clog up the bead holes and prevent you from tweaking the thread tension. Instead of knotting your initial ring of beads, pass the needle back through all the beads you picked up. Then go past the tail by one more bead and pull to form the beads into a ring.

3. Consider bead hole sizes.
A spiral rope is made up of a center spine with loops that swirl around it. Choose spine beads that have fairly large holes, as you’ll be passing through them several times.

4. Keep the dimension.
To stop your beadwork from flattening out, insert something inside. Rubber tubing is one option, but it is not as flexible as other materials. Satin Rattail cord comes in different widths, allowing you to use multiple strands of it if you need more thickness.

5. Finish the RAW edges.
An easy way to create a right-angle weave tube is to work the beadwork in its flat form first. When you’re happy with the length, fold your beadwork in half like a taco and zip the tube together. Line up the pairs of beads across from one another; these will be the “walls” of the final units. You just need to add the “floor” and “ceiling” beads to complete each square.

beaded ropes

Right-angle weave can be worked flat and then zipped into a tube by completing the final units.

If you can’t get enough beaded ropes, you’ll love playing with the possibilities in this workshop. Leave us a comment below sharing your favorite rope techniques!

Want a bargain? Subscribe to Interweave’s online workshops and tackle new techniques without leaving the house. For $9.99 a month, you can binge-watch to your heart’s content, learning from great instructors and accessing supporting material like diagrams, guides, and tips. You can even interact with other students via our chat boards and share images of your work.

Go be creative!
Tamara Kula
Producer, Bead & Jewelry Group

Featured Image: Jill Wiseman’s online workshop Beaded Ropes proves that with five different stitches, a variety of beads, and some creativity, the options are infinite!

Branch out with beaded ropes at Interweave.com!

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