Make a Spiral Rope Candy Cane
Merry Christmas to all our readers who celebrate! Just in case you're looking for a quick, fun beading project to keep your fingers busy while we wait for Santa Claus to visit tonight, try these sweet beaded candy canes designed by Dustin Wedekind. Made with beaded spiral rope, you can easily mix bead materials and shapes, play with complex color patterns, or work it as a single, double, or triple spiral rope for any length you'd like. Spiral rope is simple to learn, too — it's just loops of beads surrounding a single core. Practice the double-spiral technique illustrated here, and then slip it over fine-gauge wire to make your own beaded candy cane!
- Size 11 seed beads for spiral loops (colors A and B)
- Size 8 seed beads for core (C)
- 5" of 26- to 28-gauge wire
- Beading thread of your choice (Fireline 6 lb. test or Nymo B)
- Size 10 beading needle
- Scissors or thread cutter
- Flush cutters
Make the Double Spiral
1. Start loops. Use 5' of thread to string 3C and 4A, holding onto an 8" tail; pass through the 3C again to form a loop. (The 4A should arc like a letter "D"; if not, string 5A; depending on the width of the core beads, you may need to string 5 beads for each loop here and after.) String 4B and pass up through the 3C again (Figure 1).
2. Spiral: Hold the A loop to the left, under your thumb, with the B loop to the right. String 1C and 4A; pass up through the top 2C between loops, pull snug, and pass through the 1C just strung (Figure 2). Turn the work so that the B loop is to the left. String 4B and pass through the top 3C again between the loops (Figure 3).
3. Repeat Step 2 for the length of the cord, keeping the following in mind:
Core: Each A loop begins with 1C and shifts up by 1 core bead, followed by a B loop over the same 3 core beads.
Swirl: Keep the work turning so that each new loop covers the previous loop of the same color to the left of the core.
Spread: Tease the loops apart to expose the core, covering the loops to the left with your thumb, then use the length of the needle to push the opposite loops down and to the right while passing the tip up through the 2 or 3 core beads (Figure 4).
4. Ends. Without stringing a core bead, string 3A and pass through the last 2C; repeat with 3B. String 2A and pass through the last 1C; repeat with 2B. Weave back through a few loops, tying knots between beads to secure. Repeat with the tail thread (Reverse the spiral by working B, then A).
Work 4" of double spiral and weave the tail threads through loops to secure, avoiding passing through the core beads; trim. Gently thread the core beads onto the wire. Shape the rope into a cane, twisting to enhance the spiral. Trim wire ends to 1/2" and tuck them into the beadwork.
If you're feeling like you need a few beading projects to get you in the holiday spirit this week, there's still time to get your copy of 12 Days of Holiday Beadwork, with 12 fun and festive holiday beading projects! You'll find beaded holiday jewelry, cards, gifts, and even sculptural beadwork projects to help make your Christmas merry. Download your copy of 12 Days of Holiday Beadwork and use your beads to help you get into the holiday spirit this Christmas Eve.
To all of our readers, have a very happy, wonderful holiday season, and a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate tomorrow!