How to Create Beading Patterns in Excel

Updated July 19, 2017

You can create beading patterns in Microsoft Excel for Windows or Microsoft Excel for Macintosh by using the Microsoft Excel graph paper template. This template comes pre-installed with the standard installation of Microsoft Office 2008 for Macintosh, or Excel 2007 can download it from the Microsoft Office online template library that installs templates into Excel on an as-needed basis rather than storing all templates locally. Templates can also be downloaded with your web browser from the template library at, and these are compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Open Microsoft Excel and choose "Project Gallery" from the File menu (Excel 2008) or choose "New" from the Office menu (Excel 2007).

Click "New" then "Home Essentials," "Graph Paper" and the "Open" button in Excel 2008 to load the graph paper template to the screen. In Excel 2007, type "Graph Paper" into the Search box at the top of the new document screen, click the arrow to the right to bring up the template selection, and double-click the icon for standard graph paper to download it to your computer and open it on the screen.

Click the mouse to highlight a square (or cell) on the graph paper template. Each cell corresponds to a bead in your pattern.

Click the "Fill Color" icon on the toolbar at the top of the screen to colour the cell. This icon looks like a paint bucket spilling paint. If you hold the mouse button down on the tiny triangle to the right of the Fill Color icon, you can access the fill colour palette and choose different colours.

Fill the cells with colours in the pattern you want for your bead design.

Use the "Print" command under the File menu (Excel 2008) or the "Print" command under the Office menu (Excel 2007) to print your chart to begin your beading project.


In addition to standard graph paper, Excel 2007 can also download templates for hexagon graph paper. This type of paper is useful for creating peyote stitch bead designs that work on a slant.


When downloading templates from using a Macintosh, you will save a compressed .CAB file to your hard drive first. Then you will need to use a compression utility such as Stuffit to extract the template from the downloaded file.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel 2007 or 2008
  • An Internet connection
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About the Author

Katelyn Kelley worked in information technology as a computing and communications consultant and web manager for 15 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2003. She specializes in instructional and technical writing in the areas of computers, gaming and crafts. Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and computer science from Boston College.