Learning Bead Weaving


Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from March 2015.


I’ve decided I’m going back to basics with beading.  I still have to learn the various stitches to make proper beadwork pictures and things.  Starting with Peyote stitch.

According to this website I’ve been learning from, the term comes from Native American cultures.  There are three types to learn on that page.  Flat Even Count, Flat Odd Count and Circular Flat.  So I started at the beginning.

Made a stop bead.  Easy.

And the instructions for figuring out Flat Even Count were pretty simple.  I got that quite quickly.  As you can see with my yarn and pony beads version:

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What I couldn’t figure out from the instructions on that site was the finishing off. So I went to YouTube. (I love YouTube.) At which point I realised that it was essentially a case of weaving in the thread until it was secure.

So, Flat Even mastered. To move on to Flat Odd, or to make something in Flat Even?

I went for making something in Flat Even – I decided a nice cuff in purples would be good. So off I went. I realised with a bit of a “duh” moment that it’s called Flat EVEN because the number of beads in your initial row is an even number.

I also realised whilst working that it’s better to pull your thread taut after every bead, or every few beads, rather than at the end of a row. Especially if you’re doing a long row. The thread won’t pull through otherwise.

And once I’d finished my few rows, I realised that when weaving your thread through to secure it, you shouldn’t pull too tight because it’ll warp the shape of your piece.

I DID have a nice straight line to make a cuff. Now I have a wave.

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Oh well, that’s what learning is all about 🙂

Next question – do I work on improving my Flat Even skills, including learning to follow a pattern, or do I move on?

Well, I think that question is fairly obvious.  I needed to follow a pattern.  A quick google search lead me to this website, which had a nice diagonally striped pattern to do.


I figured out the pattern reading quite quickly, but I wasn’t entirely happy with my results.

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I decided it must be the pony beads, and that I was ready to work with the seed beads you generally use for what I have learned is called “bead weaving”. I dug out my seed beads, and some thread stuff that goes through them. And I just kinda got in a mess. The beads wouldn’t line up right.

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So I figured maybe I’d gone too small. Maybe it’d word a bit better with a 4mm bead?

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So I went back to pony beads for a bit. I’d found this picture online a while ago…


…and I decided I was going to have a go at the one on the bottom left. The local bead store runs a contest that doesn’t seem to get a lot of entrants and the theme for the next one is “easter egg”.

I pinpointed the base rows and threaded them up…

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…and then realised that I didn’t actually know how to shape. Right, so I’ll square it off. Give it a background. Simple. I just needed some pattern paper. Fairly sure I wouldn’t be able to draw one out, I did a google image search and came up with this.

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Which I uploaded to the doodle app on my iPad and drew a crude pattern on.

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And off I went. Complete with a tip I found for keeping the base steady, I managed to get half of it done before I got tired and went to bed.

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It looks pretty good for a beginner piece 🙂

Before my next session I did a bit more research into it, looking for tips and advice and things. I discovered a few things. For my first attempt at doing it properly, I picked up some wide eyed beading needles. They’re very odd.

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(I have no idea what happened to my camera between these sessions)

I planned to experiment once I’d finished my egg. Which I did in the next session.

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It looked a wee bit wonky, but I hoped that once I took it off the bottom needle it would even out a bit.

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Still a little bit wonky, but for my first piece I’m still chuffed. But I am determined that I will not always be doing bead weaving with pony beads. So… on to the big odd needles.

I got out my seed beeds, thread some wirey stuff through one of the big needles, and had at it. I failed.

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There were a couple of problems. The wirey stuff kept sliding out of the needle, and I couldn’t control it much. I decided to resort to my old favourite. Embroidery floss. Not recommended for beading projects usually I don’t think, but it’s something I can manipulate. So I threaded a big odd needle, and got started.

I had real trouble with the second row. The beads wouldn’t stay in the right configuration. I wished the knitting needle I’d used for the egg piece would fit in my seed beads, before I recalled that the big odd needles would fit. So I threaded one of those through the bottom layer of beads to help stabilise, and I got started again.

Next problem, things weren’t staying still! So I got out the cellotape.

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It’s hard to see the cellotape there, but I’ve taped the needle down. At first I just did each end of the needle, but I was still finding the piece sliding around. So I added more tape, right on the sides of the piece, to keep it still.

I worked a few more rows, and found that I was finding it easier. I have the technique down. I KNOW what I’m doing. I’m just struggling to do it with such small beads – although the needle really does help. Especially since it’s so bendy.

I know though, that the way to get better at something is to practice. You can see at the top of the piece in that last picture that it looks a bit better. Practice practice practice.

My tension needs work. The stitch is very loose. But I assume that will come with more practice, just like it did with knitting and crochet. Practice practice practice.

As is typical for me, I found this difficult and put it aside to work on something else for a while… and then completely forgot about it.  I don’t know where it is now. I’ll have to dig it out, or restart it, and have another go.  If I haven’t posted about it in a month or two, chase me up.

New Craft Supplies

Arty Advent is over, so I can go back to writing about all the other crafts I do now.  Don’t expect the art to disappear though.  There’ll definitely be more of that.

Last week I showed you all the new art supplies I got for Christmas, but it wasn’t just art stuff I got.  I got lots of new craft supplies too.  Again, forgive the terrible pictures.

I got some origami stuff.

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I got some yarn.

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I got some thread crafts and tools.

I got some fabric, and a book of things to sew.

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I got some mosaic kits.

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I got a diamond painting kit.

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I got a rock painting kit, which I suppose should have gone in the art supplies blog.

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I got a Makerly box, which had a quilling kit in it.

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I got some beads.

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I got some buttons.

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And I got some very cute and snazzy little crocodile scissors.

You’ll probably be seeing some of these kits making an appearance on the blog later, once I’ve attempted to use them.

It’s A New Year…

Happy New Year everyone!

New Year isn’t as big a thing for me as Christmas is, but I do like to acknowledge it.  2018 was a pretty rough year for me.  Many, many bad things happened, but there were highlights too.

I got an adorable nephew in February, I made a whole new set of friends playing Dungeons & Dragons, I made a selection of new friends on the internet, and my art skills developed magnificently.

I have a lot of hopes for 2019.  Mostly I’d like my depression to stablise a little bit, if not get a lot better.  I’d like the store to expand, and I have some plans for that.  And I want my art to get even better and better.  One of my plans for that is my challenge.

I like to set myself a challenge or two every year.  In the past I’ve tried 52 New Things, make 200 crochet items, watched a movie every week.. things like that.  In fact, I’ve written about them before, when I belatedly set myself a challenge for this year.

For 2019 I want to draw 100 somethings, which I’ve also written about.  I couldn’t decide what to draw and asked the internet to vote for me and choose between fairies, witches, dragons and robots.

It was close. There were 20 votes in total. And with six of those votes, the winner is….

That one doesn’t count for the 100 though, because I drew it last week.  I also drew one each of all the others, because I wasn’t sure what was going to win…

Witches got four votes.

Dragons got five votes.

And fairies got five votes.

As I said, it was close. I’ll definitely be drawing more witches and dragons and fairies, but I’m looking forward to drawing 100 robots.

I have set myself a second challenge for 2019 – to read at least one book a week – but that’s not so crafty.

Arty Advent Day 24: New Art Supplies

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

So, I don’t know if you noticed, but it was Christmas a few days ago.  And Christmas means presents!  Unsurprisingly, I got a few new art supplies.  (Forgive the horrible pictures).

I got just a few rolls of washi tape…

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The roll on it’s own on the right is a mini duct tape.  I also got a proper size duct tape.

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I got some watercolours and semi-decent brushes, which I currently can’t use well but I’m working on that.

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I got a unicorn colouring book.

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I got some very awesome pens and pencils.

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I got some sketchbooks – the big leather one was made personally for me by one of my best friends.

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And I got lots of things to paint.

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So just a few art supplies. It’s almost as if my friends and family know me 🙂  What did you get for Christmas?


Arty Advent Day 23: Default Hobby

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

I do a lot of crafts.  I’ve been cross stitching for as long as I can remember, but I also knit, crochet, make jewellery, use hama beads, do origami, use shrink plastic, use resin, do wirework, do knotwork, do pyrography…..  I’ll stop there but the list goes on and on and on.  One of the things I say when people ask me what crafts I do is that if I don’t already do it, it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.

And then in the last year I’ve been drawing and colouring a lot too.  In fact, drawing has become kind of my default hobby.  I’ve been doing a lot more of that than I have been anything else.  Sometimes my brain will decide I want to do some knitting, or some hama… and all of a sudden I want to do six different crafts and my brain short circuits.  So I do art instead.  Art is fun.  Art is good.  And I’m getting pretty good at it.  At least, I think I am.

Here are a couple of pieces I haven’t shared on the blog yet.


Arty Advent Day 22: Running Behind

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

I realise that advent is usually BEFORE Christmas, but I owe you all three posts, so I’ll be sneaking them in before New Year.

Running late is something I’m pretty good at, with art related things at least.  In real life I’m the person who turns up an hour early for things for fear of being late.

Remember Huevember?  Well I finally finished that.

You might be able to tell that by the end I was getting very frustrated so the pieces are less detailed, and not as well done.  But I am happy with that gradient.  I might not do Huevember next year, but I’m definitely going to be doing more monthly challenges.

Merry Christmas!!

Happy Holidays everyone 🙂

I love Christmas.  I love all the music and the movies, and the food, and the presents.  And all the craft too obviously.  This year, unsurprisingly, I’ve been focusing more on the Christmas art.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day, whatever you’re doing and however you choose to celebrate.  Today I’m being cosy and cuddly with my pets and lots of tasty foods.

Merry Christmas!