We have another tutorial for you today as part of our beadweaving series! In this article, you’ll learn how to do spiral rope stitch, a versatile technique that you can use to make bracelets, necklaces and more.
The finished result of spiral rope stitch looks like rows of beads “spiralling” around a string of beads in the middle (its core). It looks very effective, even a little bit tricky to do! In reality, this is a simple stitch that beginners and advanced beaders can use to create amazing jewelry. It’s a technique that lends itself well to different types of beads, so you can get very creative.
For this stitch project, you’ll need the following materials:
Selection of size 8/0 seed beads as “core beads”
Selection of size 11/0 seed beads and 3mm round beads as “spiral beads”
Size 10 or 12 beading needle
Beading thread e.g. Nymo
To begin, pick up 4 of your core beads onto your thread and slide them towards the end. You won’t need a stop bead for this project as the next step involves sewing through all the beads which will secure them to the thread.
Pick up 2 x seed beads (size 11/0), 1 x round bead and 1 x seed bead (size 11/0). This will form the pattern for the “spiral” section of this project. Go back through all of the 4 core beads with your needle, making sure to exit out of the top core bead as shown in this photo. This will bring all the beads together in a circle while securing them to the thread.
Pick up 1 x core bead, 2 x seed beads (size 11/0), 1 x round bead and 1 x seed bead (size 11/0). You’ll be picking up 1 core bead as well as the pattern of spiral beads so that you can “step up” and grow your beadwork.
You’ll now be able to see 5 core beads sitting together - go back through the last 4 core beads including the one you’ve just picked up. This will mean that you don’t go through the very bottom core bead. With your thread exiting out of the top core bead, you’ll have two “spiral” sections of beads attached to the core. Push them over to one side before picking up any more and keep the tension on your beadwork tight.
Repeat steps 3 and 4, picking up 1 x core bead before the pattern of beads. Go back through the last 4 core beads only, as shown in this photo! You’ll start to see the spiral forming around the outside of the core.
Continue steps 3 and 4 until you’ve reached your required length. Once you’re happy with your beadwork, you can sew directly into the other end to close the beadwork up and make an infinity bracelet! Or you can easily attach a clasp to both ends and make a bracelet or necklace with a closure.
The great thing about this stitch is that you can use different types and sizes of beads – you’ll see what works well when you start experimenting.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Don’t forget to check out our other beadweaving tutorials here:
Have you tried this stitch before? What’s your experience of beadweaving? Let us know in the comments below!