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Bead Weaving

Bead weaving is creating a material of very small ‘seed’ beads woven together with thread.

As the name implies, it requires a small bead loom where the weaving takes place.

The loom is strung to hold threads lined up parallel in one direction. The beads for each row are strung by needle onto another thread, then lined up carefully from underneath in the spaces between the parallel threads held by the loom.

The needle and thread then pass back through the beads, this time over the parallel threads in order to hold the row in place.

This process is repeated row by row until the piece is finished. Simple as this sounds, bead weaving can be used to make amazing pieces of all shapes and sizes, for any kind of jewelry – necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more.

Pros

The only thing you need not included in the starter kit is a pair of scissors.

Only need a small horizontal work surface area.

Cons

Seed beads are TINY and can be challenging for those with vision impairment or who have limited fine motor dexterity.

Getting Started Weaving Beads

Only a few simple tools and materials are required, so getting started learning how to weave beads is inexpensive. Great starter kits like this can be found on Amazon:

Amazon is, of course, the easy answer on where to find more resources and materials, but other online bead jewelry suppliers like Fire Mountain Gems often have just as great prices and are easier to search because they are specialty suppliers for jewelry makers. They also are a great resource for project ideas and free tutorials.

Sticking with Amazon? Delica, Miyuki and Matsuno are the big seed bead brands with a huge variety of colors.

I was introduced to bead weaving by my mother, after she taught me some basic embroidery and knew I could handle a needle. I don’t recall my exact age, but I was in elementary school so it’s definitely not that complicated.

Like anything else, it takes a little patience to get the hang of it. In this case it’s primarily keeping an even thread tension from one row to the next. I know you can do it!

Looking For More?

Check out our Pinterest Board of some amazing seed bead creations from master artists.

There are as many styles of jewelry making as there are styles of jewelry. You can learn more about each of them here:

Bead Jewelry

Polymer Clay

Wire Wrapping

Chain Maille

Metal Stamping

Precious Metal Clay

Metalsmithing