Whip Up A Herringbone Stitch Rope With Some Texture!

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm totally head over heels for these new striped seed beads from York Beads. Perry Bookstein, the owner of York, has done a pretty good job keeping me supplied with them, and I'm finding all kinds of uses for them, from my favorite bead-weaving stitches like herringbone stitch and right-angle weave to things like kumihimo and spiral ropes.

These striped seed beads are wonderful for tribal-inspired jewelry, a hot trend right now.

While I was trying to come up with a necklace strap for a wonderful, bold tribal pendant, I realized that making a textured herringbone rope using these striped seed beads was perfect. The colors and texture of the seed beads and the herringbone rope accented the pendant without overpowering it, and because the seed beads are so large, the herringbone rope works up fast. Give it a try!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 grams size 15o seed beads (A)
  • 5 grams size 11o seed beads in two colors (B, C)
  • 7 grams size 8o seed beads (D)
  • 10 grams striped seed beads in size 6
  • Tribal mask pendant
  • 18 gauge wire
  • Button for clasp
  • Beading thread of your choice, but Fireline 6lb. test recommended


  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers or combination pliers

Step-by-step instructions:

On a comfortable length of thread, pick up 4 B and use ladder stitch to make 4 stacks of 2 beads each. Join them together and pass through the first stack again so that you have the tail hanging down from the bottom of the same stack that the working thread is exiting.
Work the first segment of tubular herringbone stitch: 5 rounds using C, 1 round using B, 1 round using D, 1 round using B, and 3 rounds using C.

To add a bump, work 1 round using B and 1 round using D. Add 2 striped seed beads, then pick up 1 A before stitching up through the next bead to add the second pair of stripes. Add 1 A before finishing the round.

You'll add 1 A between each pair of seed beads until you add a pair of C as you work your way back down the herringbone rope.

Work 2 rounds of C between each bump.

Continue working in this manner until you have a herringbone rope of your desired length.

To finish my herringbone rope necklace, I added a button clasp and a seed bead loop, then made a wrapped loop to attach my mask pendant. The whole thing took me less than three hours to make, start to finish! (Which, in the world of bead-weaving, is as close to instant gratification as I'm going to get.)

Do you love herringbone stitch in all its many forms and variations? Check out the Best of Beadwork: 12 Flat and Tubular Herringbone Stitch Projects eBook. You'll find beading projects for herringbone stitch with a twist, herringbone stitch that sparkles, and herringbone stitch that will take you on a wild ride! Best of all, this eBook is an instant download, so you can start stitching right away! Download your copy of the Best of Beadwork: 12 Flat and Tubular Herringbone Stitch Projects eBook and spend some time with one of my favorite bead-weaving stitches.

What's your favorite variation of herringbone? Flat? Twisted? Tubular? Share your thoughts here and leave a comment on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


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