Introduction: Weave Bead Jewelry

Picture of Weave Bead Jewelry

I learned to make this at a bead store from people who learned to make it at a different bead store. So I thought I would continue the chain of sharing.

The other pictures are of other pieces.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

The second picture shows the original directions and supplies, but I am going to explain where you can deviate as well. I changed the name for my Instructable.

Beads - The main thing about the beads is the hole has to be big enough to pass the silk thread through twice. Most beads should work; in the class I was told not to use pearls, so of course the first time I made it out of the class I used pearls and it was difficult, but not impossible. I wouldn't suggest using pearls for your first time making this though. You'll get frustrated. Also, I used 59 beads for my choker necklace. (I liked starting and ending on pink so that is why my amount is uneven.)
Button or Big Bead - This is for closing the necklace or bracelet. You don't want something too big or too small. You can see what I used in the picture. The first time I did it, I used a fairly big flat, round bead. And when I say button, I mean the one with the loop on the bottom, not the one with two of four holes through it.
Leather Cord - You can use either 1 or 2mm diameter cording. I have only used 1mm so far.
Silk ThreadSize 4 - In the class, they had us use the silk thread shown in picture 5. It has a bendable needle attached to the end. This works well, but I like to buy in bulk. The one in picture 5 comes in a length of 2 meters. I used this to make one short necklace/choker, and a small bracelet. Otherwise you can get the silk thread (10 yards) shown in picture 4 and bendable needles which can be reused and I do reuse them with tatting. They really are handy to have when working with beads. So not a bad investment and they come in packs of four and I still have them all. The one I used with the pearl weave necklace, got bent out of shape a bit, but I used it for this Instructable just fine.

Other Supplies:
Super Glue - You will need this to make sure all your knots stay knotted. I actually used Fray Check, because I had just bought some and I don't know if it will work on the leather knots, but it should be fine on the silk thread knots.
Scissors - When don't you need these?
Masking Tape - Just a piece.

Step 2: Get Ready

Picture of Get Ready

You need to cut your leather piece. It is going to be doubled over, so to estimate the length decide what you are going to use it for, necklace or bracelet, and wrap it around twice loosely, and add a couple inches. If you are too short, you will have to start all over, you can't add leather onto the end. My choker leather piece was about 44" and it was just enough.

Put on your bead or button and fold the leather in half. Put the button in the middle and tie a knot below it. (Picture 1)

Get your silk thread ready. Regardless of which you use, you have to pull it. This will check for weak points and get it flat and straight because it will look kinky from being wound on the cardboard it came on. It shouldn't break. If it does, it was too weak to use anyway. If you are using the 10 yard silk thread, you need to cut off some. When I made the pearl one, I tried to use all 10 yards at once so I wouldn't waste any. I would strongly, strongly suggest not doing that. It was horrible.

I cut 2 yards since that is what comes on a Griffin Silk Thread pack. It ended up being enough for my choker with about half a foot left over. My necklace from bead to bead (which is what the silk thread is used for) is 14 inches. So use that to try to decide how much silk you need.

You are going to tape the button/bead onto the table. This makes it much easier to keep it flat and know what you are doing.

Tie the end of your silk thread onto the left leather cord. I tied about three knots. You don't want it coming off. I left a little bit of a tail. If you want to tie a bead on later, for decoration, leave a few inches so you can tie it easily.

Now you are ready to start.

Step 3: Weaving on Beads

Picture of Weaving on Beads

This is just one repeated process over and over again. The second picture is from the directions, but I am showing you with pictures anyway.

So you have your leather taped down, and the silk thread tied to the left leather string.

Put a bead on the silk thread. (Picture 4)
Bring the bead all the way to the knot on the left side and bring the silk thread under the leather on the right. (Picture 5)
Bring the thread back to the left (you went over the right leather so the thread is now wrapped around it) go back through the bead and go under on the left side. (Whatever side of the leather you are leaving from, you should be on top, and whatever side you are going to, you go under and around.) (Picture 6)

A tip. Your silk thread will start to twist. To fix it, just dangle it over the side of the table, regardless of the silk thread brand you use, the needle won't fall off and the thread will right itself. (The bendable separate needles, have little loops on the end that catch the thread and hold on. With Griffin it is just attached already.)

Also, to help keep the bead in place and stop the thread from getting tangled when going back through the bead, I loosely hold the thread on the right side and let it slide through my fingers as I pull on the left. If you just pull it to the left, the bead will fly all over the place. Sometimes, I just put my finger on the bead while pulling to the left, too.


Step 4: Finishing It

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As you are getting near where you think you will end it, take the tape off and just check. You can allow for some extra for the loop you will be making, but don't stop too short.

Also, if you run out of silk thread, you can tie it off and tie on a new one. It will work, just not look the best.

So, now that you are done, tie the silk thread off on the left side. Then tie a knot in the leather right next to the bead. Leave some space and tie another knot. You want your button to be able to fit smoothly through that space, but not be too loose that it will fall off. Then cut; I left about half an inch because I didn't want it to fall apart.

You are done!!! Glue all of your leather and silk knots and cut off the excess. Let it dry first.

Step 5: The Extra Touch

Picture of The Extra Touch

This is an optional, decorative step.

When I first made this, I put beads on the ends of the leather and tied it off. This works for the brown leather, but not the black which I used this time.

Another option is to put a bead on the silk thread. I tied a couple knots (in one spot), put on a bead, and then tied a couple more knots. This is so the bead wouldn't move. Then just make sure it is tied tight, glue it, and trim the excess. Done once again.

Step 6: So Pretty

Picture of So Pretty

I like this necklace. It is fun and simple and you can make it with so many different beads. I would love to see someone else make it and see how it turns out :)


AF5W made it! (author)2015-03-21

Thanks for the outstanding project! I find semi precious stones bead (8 to 6mm) from broken jewelry at flea markets and use leather bolo cord. Changed the finishing a bit, use a rope whipping knot to lash the bolo cord into button hole, whip the bitter ends together. When wearing the bracelet it is secured using sheet bend knot. The two in pic are jade (Green) and labordite (gray). I just made one with a Button for #1 Son, (sodalite Beads) can't wait to see how it wears! Awesome Instructable, thanks!

laurel1 (author)2012-08-19

Does anyone have instructions for making a 3 row beaded leather cord bracelet? It is another version of this necklace's weave.
When it is layed out flat it is about 9" long, 3 beads wide, with the 4 strands of leather cord running between each row of beads. Or if anyone has a book with the instructions, please give me the title.
I appreciate it.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)laurel12013-01-18

Ooh, I'd like to learn how to make that too.

Gcat5 (author)2012-03-31

You can use buttons with 2 or 4 holes as long as the cord fits. If so you may want to make the cord a little longer since you would be threading it through the holes.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)Gcat52012-05-18

Right :D

BB1234567 (author)2012-01-01

These are awesome... Me and my sister were going to try these with pearls but we decided that was too much money so we were going to use the fake pearls.... still haven't gotten to it!:)

Oh, I used fake pearls! I can't afford anything too fancy, but I think it turned out pretty anyway :)

Crafty Cathy (author)2011-11-13

Lovely pieces of jewelry!

Thanks ma :D They were so much fun to make too!!!

lmnopeas (author)2011-11-10

Green complements you well! It's always fun to learn new things. I have to stay away from small items like beads until my little ones gets a bit older, but I would love to try making this someday.

Are you familiar with Boondoggle, a.k.a. Gimp, Scoubidou? They used to be so popular when I was growing up. I can't remember if I used to make them or not.

I don't think that I am. It looks interesting though. What do you use to create it? Cord?

sunshiine (author)2011-11-10

Very pretty Penolopy! I will have to pick up some silk thread. I have some things I want to make into jewelry. It will be a new experience for me. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks and it is pretty easy to make. Once you get going, you just fly through to the end!

logannebell (author)2011-11-11

love it

Thank you!

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