Beadwork is a fascinating activity that allows enthusiasts to make a variety of eye-catching items, such as jewelry and clothing. A DIY bead loom is used to create flat beads strips that vary in size based on the length and width of the loom.
Commercially produced looms are commonly available. However, they are often expensive. They can be inconvenient for professional bead workers because they cannot be adjusted to meet specific project sizes. Building a personal bead loom is one solution to the cost and flexibility issues. Not to mention the enjoyment you get to take while doing such activities.
Do you know how to make a bead loom for yourself according to your size and color preferences? If not, then read on to learn more about it!
Tips and Techniques for Making Your Own DIY Bead Loom
Following are some of the most helpful tips and techniques for you to follow if you want to make your own bead loom:
Things You Will Need
For the Loom:
- Screw-In Hooks
- Wooden Plank (Size of Your Choice)
- Some Basic Tools to Work with Wood
For the Beads
- Nylon and Polyester Threads
- Beads (Color of Your Choice)
- Fish Wire/Elastic Wire
- Some Basic Stationery Items
Step 1: Cut the Wood Piece Per Your Size Preference
Cut a wood board to the length you want to start off with when making your own bead loom. Make sure your loom’s wood board is long enough to accommodate heavy objects as well if you decide to upgrade your project. If you want to construct little beaded masterpieces like headbands, you can make your loom much smaller. The longer and wider your loom is, the more beading you can do.
Using your wood board, make three cuts. The two small portions for the sides should be about 5 to 6 inches long. If you plan to bead long items, the longer piece may be enough for your DIY bead loom.
Step 2: Attach and Adjust the Spacers
Make sure your spacers are in the right spots when you start making your DIY bead loom. The teeth of the pocket combs will serve as spacers for your loom’s warp strands. Secure a pocket comb with a nail to one of the small wood pieces, making sure the teeth are visible above the edge. Continue with the second wood piece in the same manner.
Step 3: Use a Flat Surface and Create Anchors
Place the longer wood board on your work table and lay it flat when making a bead loom. Glue or nail the little wood pieces upright and make sure they are a couple of inches away from each short edge of the long piece. If you are going to use nails instead of glue, start at the bottom of the base wood.
Make anchors for your thread on the bead loom. Put a wood screw into the base approximately an inch further from the end piece. Continue with the second end piece in the same manner. The warp threads will be tied off with these anchors so that they remain tight and fixed as you work.
Tips to Help You Make Bead Loom and Bead Crafts
Are you unable to figure out how to make your own bead loom? Here are a few tips to guide you through the process and help you out:
Secure the Ends of the Loom with a Tape
Secure one knot behind the bead loom board using a piece of adhesive tape while making your bead loom. Spread the five strings out using hot glue to keep the room between each thread. Use the hot glue dots to keep the area between each thread open. You need to carefully do it as you stretch it over to the other stack of wood or sticks. Finally, pressing the threads tight, bind the second knot to the back of the bead loom board using adhesive tape.
You Can Use Anything as Spacers
People who create crafts with the bead loom can use a variety of items as warp thread spacers instead of pocket combs. Just a few examples are popsicle sticks, toothpicks, screws, or little nails. Nails and toothpicks can be placed on the top edge of the looms’ sides and fixed in place.
If you want to keep the construction simple, cut little slots into the loom sides’ edges to eliminate the spacers. Secure each strand of warp thread in the corresponding groove of each loom edge. You can do this by tying the strands on the nails or under the loom’s base.
Length of the Warp Threads is the Key
On a traditional bead loom, start by setting up your warp threads. The length and quantity of warp threads you use will define the length and width of your finished work. When determining the length, remember to factor in the length added by finishing components such as a clasp and end tubes. Then, using your needle and weft threads, thread your seed beads on.
How to Make Attractive Bead Loom Patterns for Yourself?
The introduction of European glass beads to Native-American Indians in the 17th century had a profound impact. Before the invention of the bead loom, each bead was individually stitched to an item to create a design.
The bead loom enabled the construction of a large flat patterned design that appeared to be made of fabric. Patterns for bead loom designs can be made on a sheet of graph paper. Each square on the graph paper represents one bead.
If you want to make attractive bead loom patterns, then here are some tips that can help:
Use Graphite Pencils & Kneaded Erasers Only
To make a bead loom pattern, with a graphite pencil, lightly create the desired design within the pattern border. Always use a kneaded eraser to make any changes. The kneaded eraser removes graphite lines from the paper without leaving behind eraser bits.
Color the prepared graphite drawing using colored pencils to select the color of each bead to be used during weaving.
Choose the Right Beads
Loom needles are utilized because they are much longer than standard needles and may cross the width of your warp strands fully. For bead looming, you can use any seed beads. However, some are especially useful because of their uniform shape, which helps them stay in place. Seed beads from Toho and the Czech Republic, for example, are ideal for weaving because they have rounded corners.
The Key Takeaway
Making your own bead loom is a great way to save money while nurturing the artist in you. All you need is a suitable box, and you are all set to make as many colorful bracelets and jewelry as you want.
You can also sell these pieces in the summer and boost your income. If you’re an artist as well an entrepreneur, then this is the perfect side hustle for you. You can also encourage your kids to start making their own jewelry with a bead loom and see how fulfilling and interactive the entire process is.
We hope you enjoyed our bead loom lesson and that our instructions were easy to understand. Good luck!