Thursday, April 15, 2010

Art Bead Spiral Bracelet

If you've never worked with seed beads or bead weaving, even the smallest projects can seem a little daunting. All those teeny tiny beads, where do you begin?! Today, I'd like to introduce you to bead weaving by starting with one of the most basic and easy-to-do stitches, Spiral Stitch. And, of course, in true Art Bead Scene fashion, we're gonna jazz it up by adding a few handmade art beads to the mix! If you follow the instructions below, you'll be able to create this one-of-a-kind bead woven bracelet in about an hour and a half. I call it Art Bead Spiral.
Oh, and if you don't have the exact materials that I've used, please feel free to swap out any color seed bead and any kind of art bead you have on hand. Let's get started!

Materials:- 3 Elaine Ray 7mm cube beads in Patina color.
- 5 grams size 11 matte brown Japanese glass seed beads. (A)
- 3 grams size 11 galvanized dark blue gray Czech glass seed beads (B)
- 3 grams size 11 opaque cream Czech glass seed beads (C)
- 1 small antique brass lobster clasp
- 2 6mm closed antique brass jump rings
- 3-5 6mm open antique brass jump rings
- 1 larger seed bead in a contrasting color (this will serve as your stop bead)
- Wildfire or Fireline beading thread (5 feet length)
- Size 12 beading needle

Terms: (these will help you as you follow the instructions)
Pass Through: to move the needle through the bead in one direction (i.e. from left to right)
Pass Back Through: to move the needle back through the bead in the opposite direction (i.e. from right to left)

Spiral Rope:1. Begin by threading your needle and pulling about 2' of thread through the eye. String the larger seed bead onto your thread and pass your needle through the bead again. Pull the thread tight and slide the bead towards your needle leaving a 6" tail. (Fig.1)


2. String 3A, 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1A. (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2

3. Pass your needle through the first 3A that you added and pull tight to form a loop. (Fig. 3)

Fig. 3

4. Add 2A, 1B, 1C and 1A and slide those beads down to meet the loop. (Fig. 4)

Fig. 4

5. Pass your needle through the last 2A of the original 3A that you started with and also the first A that you just added. (Fig.5) You will be passing through three beads all together. Pull tight, allowing the new loop that you just created to sit on top of the first loop. (Fig. 6)

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

6. Complete steps 4-5 as many times as you need to reach the desired length. For the purpose of this bracelet, you will make 2 1/4" of spiral rope using this method. Make sure that as you add each new spiral you are allowing the loop that you just created to sit on top of the previous loop.

Note: As you work, notice the trend. You are constantly adding one bead to the main body of your rope as you add four beads to the outside spiral. In Figure 7, you can see how the spiral rope is starting to take shape as I continue to add four beads to the spiral for every three beads that I pass through of the main rope.

Fig. 7

Art Bead Add-ins:1. Once you've completed 2 1/4" of spiral rope, string one Elaine Ray cube bead. (Fig. 8)

Fig. 8

2. Repeat steps 2-6 of the Spiral Rope instructions until you have 3/4" of spiral rope. Make sure to pull tight after each loop you make in order to keep the beadwork close together.
3. Add another cube bead and another 3/4" of spiral rope.
4. Add your final cube bead.
5. Add another 2 1/4" of spiral rope. This will complete the beadwoven portion of your bracelet.

Adding the Clasp:1. Once you've added your last 2 1/4" of spiral rope, string 7A onto the thread along with a closed jump ring. (Fig. 9)

Fig. 9

2. Pass back through the three beads that you just exited. (Fig. 10)


3. Pull tight to form a loop of beads which will be holding the jump ring. (Fig. 11)

Fig. 11

4. Tie a knot by passing your needle around the thread that creates the body of the rope and then through the loop. Pull tight. (Fig. 12)

Fig. 12

5. Pass your needle back through three more beads in the main body of the rope and tie another knot.
6. Complete step 5 again. Pass back through three more beads, pull through and trim the thread.

7. To attach the jump ring on the other end of the bracelet, simply string your needle onto your tail thread and complete steps 1-6 again.

8. Add the open jump ring with the lobster clasp to one end, and to the other end add as many open jump rings as you would like to make the bracelet adjustable.
Congratulations! You have your first Spiral Rope bracelet with some pretty cool art beads added in! From here, the variations are endless. Try using larger beads or beads in different colors. Add larger art beads, add more art beads, or complete more spiral rope to create a necklace.

This is a variation on the technique you just learned. This bracelet features two spiral ropes and Elaine Ray's almond shaped art beads. I added a copper leaf toggle to mimic the shape of the almond beads.

So, what are you waiting for? Try your own Spiral Art Bracelet and post a comment with a link to your creation! We'd love to see your original beadwoven design!

Today's post is written by guest author Marcie Abney. To view more of Marcie's work visit her blog, La Bella Joya and etsy shop.


Jeannie said...

Thanks Marcie, the instructions and pictures are very easy to follow. Very impressive bracelets.

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [15 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

maryharding said...

Those are beautiful bracelets. Thanks so much for doing a seed bead tutorial. I haven't done this kind of spiral before but I think I can do it. I look forward to trying.

Christine's Beadworks said...

Great tutorial and one of my all time favorite stitches.

Mary T Designs said...

This was very easy to follow. Great work illustrating the technique.

Patty said...

Awesome! I find my willpower for the itty bitty beads to be slowly slipping away, and one day soon I will submit to the desire to do what my eyes can only dream of doing.

Eve said...

Very beautiful bracelet, love the one with the copper leaf toggle. Thanks for this post!

Beadweaving 101 said...

Great photos and instructions. Very easy to follow!

Elaine Ray said...

These are wonderful!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing with us. I love to see how designers use my beads - you give me ever lasting inspiration!

Elaine Ray

pinky said...


Linda Landig said...

Great turoial--I've made spiral weave bracelets before, but haven't incorporated art beads. Definately plan to do this!

HJC Editor said...

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Diana Barreras said...

I would love to try this tutorial but I don't understand why I can't print it. Can someone please explain?