Instructions for a Bead Loom

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Danita Fausek

    About the Author

    Based in Wisconsin, Danita Fausek’s 30-year working career includes jobs in administration, construction, remodeling, teaching quality processes and art classes, and event planning. With a degree in photography, she ran her own business for more than 15 years. In addition, Fausek has immersed herself in various hobbies including gardening, needlecraft and jewelry making. She brings all of this expertise to her writing.

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    A bead loom can be a fun and interesting way to introduce someone to the world of bead weaving. In just a few simple steps, you can begin to create beautiful pieces that can be used as bookmarks, decorations or jewelry.

    Designing your project

    Before you begin any project, you should have an idea of what you wish to make. You need to design a piece that can be worked geometrically. For example, a simple bracelet or bookmark can be created on a loom easily as it is a set number of beads wide and long - much like a rectangle. Using a piece of graph paper is easiest to start your plan. Have each box on the paper represent a bead and color the boxes to reflect your final design pattern.

    Stringing your Loom

    Stringing or "warping" your loom is the next step in the process. Cut pieces of string about 12 inches more than needed for your finished project. You will need one more string than necessary for the width. For example, if your piece is 10 beads wide, you will need 11 strings. Knot the threads together on one end and attach them to the screw or hook on the loom rod. Gently turn the rod until you have wound about six inches of the threads around it. Space your threads evenly and centered on the loom so that you have one loop of the spring between each thread.
    Make sure that the threads are placed evenly on the other side, and place the other end of the strings (knotted together) over the hook on the bottom rod. Turn the rod until the strings are tightened. Your loom has now been "warped".

    Begin your project

    Thread a beading needle and tie the end of the thread to one of the outside strings you put in place on the loom. Place one complete row of beads on your needle and pull the thread through. Place your beads so they are under the strings on the loom and bring them up, so that each string is between a bead, and the thread on your needle is under all the strings. Press them up slightly with your finger so that you can see the holes in the beads. Bring your needle back through the beads so that the thread is on the top of the strings until you reach the starting point. You have now completed the first row.
    Continue in this manner with each row until finished with your design. Be very careful not to miss any of the beads as you are securing them during the second pass as this could cause your project to unravel. When finished, tie a knot in the thread on your needle as tightly against your last bead as possible, then weave or sew it back through the beads on your piece. Cut the warp threads from your loom as far from your project as possible and weave these threads into your piece as well. This will help to strengthen it and prevent it from unraveling.