Can I just tell you how excited I am about this new craft?
Yeah, cause I needed ONE more thing to hoard away... but
my defense is this: (and very similar to why I enjoy embroidery) the materials are small and
easy to store. (I live in an old miniature 1928 bungalow house; from a time when people just didn't have a whole bunch of "stuff." They only had the essentials so therefore didn't didn't need all the extra storage. I should learn from these smart people.... I digress.
Years ago, on a trip to Sedona, Arizona, I found two little beaded hair clips that I adore!!!! and still wear to this day. Recently, (like most things I see) I thought to myself, I could make that!
I went on down to my local craft store and found a bead loom for, 7 BUCKS! Cheap, right? It came with thread, beads, and instructions :D I was on my way....
I thought I was going to make a hair clip cover but learned that stringing beads and laying them over the piece didn't exactly measure the right dimensions of my project since the loom lines the beads up in more of a side by side kinda way. K, fine... I'll make a bracelet. Trial and error people...
1. I created a pattern on graph paper
(though there are tons of cool free ones out there)
2. Threaded my loom with the number of rows I wanted, plus one extra row.
The thread will need to be about 2-3 feet longer than your project. Tie a knot on one side- secure it to one side of your loom by putting the knot under the nail in the wooden spool. Tie a knot on the other side of your thread and wind it around the other wooden spool on your loom. Use a tooth pic to separate the threads evenly on the loom and then finish tightening so the thread is tight but not too tight.
3. Thread your needle and tie a knot on the closest thread to you on the left side.
4. Follow your pattern to pick up the first row of beads. I just used the needle to pick up the beads out of the dish :D push the beads down the thread toward the loom
5. Pass the treaded beads under the loom (away from you)
6. Push the beads up through the loomed threads so there is one bead between each loom thread. Use your finger to push the beads up
(I rolled them back and forth a little to get them to come up through the thread).
7. Bring the needle back through all the beads toward you.
The needle goes through the beads ON TOP of all the loom threads to lock beads in place.
Here is one finished row!
Repeat steps 4-7 until you've finished your pattern.
A word to the wise: I read that you should try to use beads of the same size (you can see why below). Some are way narrow and some are wide, which causes the finished product come out in a less than even way. Maybe next time, I'll be a bit more selective :D Also if one of your beads feels jagged or snags the string, throw it out! It could wreck the string and ultimately wreck your finished piece.
8. To end: Use your threaded needle to tie a knot on the loom thread closest to you on the right (see below). Weave the thread through your beadwork a few times, bring it up through the middle and snip close to your beadwork.
POW! Beads on a loom. Nice job, now what???
Finishing the project is the harder part- stringin' was fun!
9. This is the "tape method".
Put tape next to your work and fold it around the strings. Cut your project off of the loom closest to the knots that are holding it to the loom. Taper the edges of your tape and fold tape under the beaded project and secure with glue to your backing.
That's what "they" say to do.
I wasn't so keen on the "tape" look showing through, so I tied my loose strings in a knot,
pulled them under the work and glued them to the scrap leather I was using as the backing.
Then stitched my work to the leather backing.
10. Apply a fastener to your bracelet and wear proudly :D
I used a snap I had on hand (available at craft stores).
So usually after you try something for the first time, you realize what you could do
to improve for next time... I'd use dark thread next time so it'd blend in better.
Other than that, I'm quite happy with my first bead project!
Today, I was giddy to go online and find FREE patterns. The first site I came across had
patterns for GUITAR straps!!! RAD! (haha, that dang hippie in me) Free patterns #1