Introduction: How to Make a Morse Code Bracelet on a Bead Loom

I love secret message jewelry, so when I was brainstorming projects for my new bead loom, I knew I had to incorporate a secret message somehow. My solution? Combine loom beading with Morse Code.

I've included both a video tutorial and the step-by-step written instructions, as well as a pdf pattern for the "dreamer" part of the bracelet. You can also view my original post for this bracelet on my website: kerrielee.com where I make video tutorials about all the things I dream up.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Step 2: Design

Picture of Design

The "dreamer" Morse Code pattern is included in the attached pdf. You can use it and skip over this step if you like. Otherwise, follow these instructions to create a bracelet with your own phrase.

  1. Thread your beading loom according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Check your gauge by beading a one inch length of bracelet. Count the beads from end to end within your inch and write down this number.
  2. Determine the final length of your bracelet. (Subtract 1/2″ if using a button closure.) Hint: Women’s bracelets are typically 7″ around. Men’s bracelets are typically 8″ around.
  3. Multiply the number of beads per inch you counted in step 1 by the length of the bracelet you selected in step 2. This is the total number of beads of a single row of your bracelet. Write down this number.
  4. Determine the word or phrase you want to use in your bracelet and map out the number of rows required for your finished piece. I decided to use the words from my tagline (dreamer dabbler noodler) in three different rows. My finished bracelet is 9 rows. That’s 2 blank rows at the top, a row for dreamer, a blank row, a row for dabbler, a blank row, a row for noodler, and 2 blank rows at the bottom.
  5. Translate your words or phrase using a Morse Code Translator.
  6. Copy and paste the morse code into a word processing program and enlarge the font size to make it easier to read. Count the total number of beads from end to end. Count 1 bead per dot, 2 beads per dash, 1 bead per space separating dashes and dots, 3 beads per space between letters, and 5 beads per space between words. Write down this number.
  7. Subtract the number of beads in your word you counted in step 6 from the total number of beads in a row you calculated in step 3. This number represents the total number of extra beads you need around your word beads. Divide the extra bead number by 2 to determine the number of extra beads needed on each side of your word beads. Round to the nearest whole number (one up and one down) if necessary.
  8. Repeat these steps for each of your words.
  9. Transfer your design to graph paper.

Step 3: Beading

Picture of Beading
  1. Thread your beading needle with a 2′ length of beading thread.
  2. Pick up 9 teal beads with your needle and position the needle beneath the warp threads, ensuring each bead sits between two warp threads. Hold the beads in place with your finger and gently pull the bead thread through leaving a 3″ tail remaining.
  3. Pass the needle back through the beads over the top of the warp threads. You want to pull the thread until it’s taut, but you don’t want to pull it too tight.
  4. Repeat these steps following your pattern.
  5. To change thread, leave a 3″ tail of old thread, and a 3″ tail of new thread. These will be worked into the piece later.

Step 4: Finishing

Picture of Finishing
  1. Use your needle to weave the thread tails back into the beads.
  2. Cut the warp threads and weave the tails back into the beads.
  3. To each end of the bracelet, run a length of thread through the last row of beads and add five larger seed beads. Secure each bead in place and weave in the thread tails.
  4. On one end, add stretchable clear bead cord through the large beads. Thread on six or seven more large beads to create a loop long enough to go around your button.
  5. Tie off the cord with an overhand knot and add a drop of quick drying glue to lock in place.
  6. On the other end, run a length of thread through the row of large beads and add your button. Secure the button in place and weave in the thread tails.

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About Kerrie

I'm a mixed media sculptor working primarily in clay. Though clay is my passion, at the core, I'm simply a maker, a builder, a creator. Making things makes me happy. I make videos about making things and post them on my channel KerrieLeeArt on YouTube and on my website KerrieLee.com.

Comments

PlaidPete (author)2016-06-22

Sweet! Wish I would of thought of it!

verence (author)2016-04-05

Nice.

But on the radio a dash should be three times as long as a dot. As the breaks between word should be three times as long as the pauses between dashes/dots. You got the pauses right, just the dashes are too short.

But on the other hand, who cares ;-)

Kerrie Lee (author)verence2016-04-05

I hadn't even considered that the dashes and pauses would be a specific length, but I guess it makes sense there would be a protocol in place. I should've researched better! Gah! We'll call it modified Morse code... great for beadwork, but maybe not so great if I'm trying to communicate SOS. ;)

verence (author)Kerrie Lee2016-04-05

Actually, it's more like a guide line. In reality, everyone has an own 'style' when producing Morse code (at least as long as a traditional mechanical Morse key is used). Some radio amateurs say they can distinguish others just by the length ratio of the symbols.

And by the way, I got it wrong:
* pause between dashes/dots in a letter: 1 clock pulse,
* pause between letters: 3 clock pulses
* pause between words: 5 clock pulses

tomatoskins (author)2016-04-04

This is such an amazing idea! I love that your Morse Code message is hidden within your project!

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Bio: DREAMER. DABBLER. NOODLER. Though clay is my passion, at the core, I’m simply a maker, a builder, a creator. Making things makes me happy ... More »
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