Read these 10 Off-Loom Beading Techniques Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Beadwork tips and hundreds of other topics.
Make a pattern guide from a legal-size envelope. Cut off the top half of the envelope and slit open the bottom along the fold. Cut a rectangle out of the front of the envelope two rows high and slightly longer than your pattern. Slip the pattern into the envelope. You can see two rows at a time through your "window" and the envelope easily slides up and down.
An empty toilet paper tube makes a great support for large tubular peyote projects such as amulet bags. Once you have strung enough beads for the proper circumference (you will want to tie a knot between the first and last beads), cut the toilet paper tube lengthwise. Slip your circle of beads over the tube. The tube will conform to the size of the circle.
For many projects, you need to rapidly string many seed beads of the same color onto your piece. Since seed beads often come in hanks (strung on a temporary string) you can use the fact that the beads are already strung to help you. There are two methods for stringing rapidly that I like - see which one works best for you.
This method works best when you are using a needle and soft stringing material (threads):
Lay out a string of seed bead in a straight line. Slip the needle along side the thread and go through as many beads as possible. While the beads are still on the needle, pull the temporary string out. Then
slide the beads on the needle down onto your permanent string.
This method works best when using stiffer beading material, such as the stranded steel products (like Beadalon):
Lay out a string of seed bead in a straight line. Pinch a row of the beads between your thumb and index finger. Pull them off of the temporary string being sure to not change their position when you pull
them off. I find that I can usual hold about 3/4" of beads in a straight line using this method. Now, insert the Beadalon through all of the beads you are holding.
When adding a new row, instead of taking the needle and thread underneath the thread of the previous row, bring it down through the bead instead. String the two beads for the beginning of the second row and bring the needle and thread down through bead #3. Go back up through bead #2 and up through the second of the two beads. You're now ready to add your next bead.