Free Japanese Step-by-Step Beading Tutorial

Written by alexis rohlin
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Japanese beading uses a figure-8 pattern. Weaving the beads together in a circle makes the figure-8. Unlike other types of seed beading techniques, with Japanese beading, you insert both ends of the thread through a single bead to create "intersections" with the thread, creating the figure-8. Figure-8 bead weaving can be used to make beaded beads, decorative beaded flowers, cell phone straps, beaded barrettes, brooches, rings, bracelets and necklaces. Use your favourite coloured Japanese seed beads to make a simple beaded ring and learn Japanese beading.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Nylon beading thread
  • Scissors
  • Japanese seed beads

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  1. 1

    Cut a 2-foot piece of nylon beading thread. String three seed beads onto the nylon thread. Slide them down to the centre of the thread.

  2. 2

    String a seed bead onto the left end of the thread and slide it down half way on the thread. Insert the right end of the thread through the same seed bead and pull it through. Pick up both ends of the thread and pull them to make the beads move into a circle. Don't pull the ends all the way; leave the circle loose for now.

  3. 3

    String a bead onto the left end of the thread. String a bead onto the right end of the thread. Slide the beads all the way down to the fourth strung bead or the bead at the top of the first beaded circle. Slide on a new bead onto the left end. Slide it halfway down, and then insert the right end through the right side of the bead. The bead should now have the left end hanging down from the right side and the right end hanging down from the left side. Pull the ends to make another loose circle.

  4. 4

    Add six more circles by stringing a bead onto both ends, stringing the third bead with both ends of the thread to make a string of eight woven figure-8 circles with the beads.

  5. 5

    Insert both the left and right ends of the thread through the bead that is facing the right and pull them through. String one bead onto each thread end, string on the third bead and insert both ends through the bead. Continue weaving the beads, using the top bead of the first row as a part of the circle as you make more circles with the beads and thread.

  6. 6

    Close the last circle to make a ring with the woven beads. After you make the last figure 8, insert both ends of the thread through the very first bead on the strand of beaded circles. Pull the ends tight to make a ring with the beads.

  7. 7

    Tie the ends together two times with a simple knot. Pass the left end through three adjacent beads. Pull the thread tight to make the knot slide into a bead to hide it. Trim the excess thread.

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