How to Become a Stitch Pro

New for Beadwork in 2010

I get a kick out of seeing the reaction on some people’s faces when I tell them what I do for a living. “I design, teach, and write about beading.” Yep, it’s an unusual job, all right. It came about from my inborn curiosity about how things can be constructed by tiny elements. Over the years, it’s been a delightful challenge to delve ever deeper into the medium, learning through texts, other beaders, vendors, and antique beadwork, so that I can share my discoveries with people like you. One new way I get to do this is through a new column in Beadwork magazine called “Stitch Pro."  In each column I’ll show new beaders how to do a basic off-loom technique, then pizzazz it up a little for those fellow experts out there, in hopes of being a catalyst for experimentation.

Want to become a Stitch Pro, too?
Most people new to beading don’t realize that there are stitches beyond peyote and brick, and that even within those two stitches there are dozens of variations to learn. Here’s a quick checklist of the most popular beadweaving techniques. Why not use it as a syllabus as you become a Stitch Pro, too? Track down each technique, try it, then master it. You can get expert instruction, free beadweaving patterns, and additional ideas on bead stitching six times a year with Beadwork magazine.



Tried it

Mastered it

Peyote stitch

  • Even-count peyote stitch



  • Odd-count peyote stitch



  • Circular peyote stitch



  • Tubular peyote stitch



  • Sculptural peyote stitch



Brick stitch

  • Flat brick stitch



  • Circular brick stitch



  • Tubular brick stitch



  • Sculptural brick stitch



Right-angle weave

  • Flat right-angle weave



  • Circular right-angle weave



  • Sculptural right-angle weave



  • Dimensional right-angle weave



Square stitch

  • Flat square stitch



  • Circular square stitch



  • Tubular square stitch



  • Sculptural square stitch



Herringbone stitch

  • Flat herringbone stitch



  • Circular herringbone stitch



  • Tubular herringbone stitch



  • Sculptural herringbone stitch



Ladder stitch

  • Single ladder stitch



  • Stacked ladder stitch



Triangle weave

  • Flat triangle weave




  • Flat netting



  • Circular netting



  • Tubular netting




  • Simple spiral



  • Dutch spiral



  • Russian spiral




  • Simple fringe



  • Branch fringe



  • Looped fringe



  • Twisted fringe



  • Netted fringe



How many of these stitches do you have checked off your list right now?  Which ones aren’t on the list, but you’ve got them mastered? Check out Stitch Pro in each issue of Beadwork magazine to start and master all the stitches on your list.

Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog, Brick Stitch

About jeancampbell

Jean Campbell is the founding editor (and currently the senior editor) of Beadwork magazine and has written and edited more than 45 beading books. She has written for Beading Daily and has appeared on the DIY Jewelry Making show, The Shay Pendray Show, and PBS' Beads, Baubles, and Jewels where she gives how-to instructions, provides inspiration, and lends crafting advice. Jean teaches jewelry-making workshops throughout the United States and calls Minneapolis home.

44 thoughts on “How to Become a Stitch Pro

  1. Step by Step Beads is the best “beginners” beading magazine I’ve come across. Good thorough directions, simple but nice designs. I’d recommend it. Good luck!

  2. This is a scary list for a non-weaver like me. I wouldn’t even know where to start. Optimism months ago has ensured that I have most of the required supplies but yikes where to start?

    On September 24th Rebecca shared a bracelet in Readers Showcase that she had done in tubular herringbone stitch in dark copper and metal seed beads with a pine cone charm that I absolutely fell in love with. Is this a difficult stitch to master? I’d just love to to do something similar. It was such a simple and elegant bracelet, and VERY inspiring to me.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction for learning this stitch or should I start with something a little more simple.


  3. I like the idea of the chart but being a total beginner I found the chart a little daunting from the pictures. I clicked on thepicture expecting it to be enlarged so I could see it better but no it remained same size. |Also having it numbered from start to finish perhaps on the enlarged picture might have been a good idea too; especially for beginners like myself. Otherwise the chart idea is an excellent one.

  4. Chart is an awesome idea. Would love to see an indepth video tutorial built around this chart showing all the stitches and how to decrease, increase, make openings, etc.. Also agree empbroidery stitches would also be great. Can’t wait to read Stitch Pro – I just subscribed for 2 yrs mostly based on hopes for these stitch instructions.

  5. Love this list – very handy for my beading “bucket list”.

    It would be great if you could add “double spiral”, “St. Petersburg”, and chevron.



  6. Love the Stitchpro list. Being between craft shows and summer shows, I am trying as many stitches as possible this dreary winter…….lots of rain here in Oregon.

  7. I would like to print this chart, but without all the other text. I tried copying and pasting to an email to myself, but the stitch diagrams did not show up, just a blue box with a question mark.Any ideas how to do this?

    Also, I totally agree Step by Step Beads is the best magazine for beginners, but I think it is ending publication. I wonder why.

  8. I love the chart. Thank you Jean. For those asking about printing it. I just selected/highlighted (drag across all of the chart with left mouse button held down) it and did a copy (CTRL+C), then opened MS Word and pasted (CTRL+V) and then saved the Word doc. Came out great. Can you tell I’m a computer teacher. 🙂

  9. I’m very new to beading techniques and would like to see more detailed instructions for adding clasps. I’ve just been learning the St Petersburg stitch, but don’t see how to add a clasp, either by using a manufactured one or by making a beaded one.

  10. Hi Jean,

    I am new to the beading world and find your writting wonderful. I love this website – so much information!! I few of my friends liked my projects and wanted me to sell them my beaded necklaces to them. Would you know if there are copyright laws pertaining to use of the free downloabable patterns used from this website? By all means, I do not want to get into trouble and wanted to ask before I sell the items I make.

    Thank you again for your instructions and encouragement!


  11. I’ve copied a lot of things to MS Word before and had good results. It’s not working for this chart. It’s all broken up. I guess I’ll make a chart and copy and paste the segments into it. I wish there was an easier way to print this out.

  12. Like the chart, however can it be added to the website as a pdf or word file? The suggestions provided in the comments for copying don’t keep the table formatting.

    Also Step by Step Beads Jan-Feb 2010 was the final issue. The editor refers readers to Beadwork magazine.

  13. Hi This is Danake and I sent a question regarding copy right law. I found on the FAQ that you would have to contact the designer of the pattern if you were thinking about selling the jewelry yo made from their pattern.

    Thank you!


  14. An easy way of printing the table is to use and you can enter your web page to print, or you can go here to put it in your bookmarks and print web pages by clicking it. You can use the Isolate button to click on the parts of the page you want to print and it has options of printing or saving to pdf or word as well! I managed to print just the table using this or you can save for later printing. Hope that helps anyone finding it hard to print the table.

  15. If any one want a really great book – and it showes you how to most if not all of the stitches it is called Teach Yourself – Visually Jewelry Making and Beading by Chris Franchetti Michaels. I would tell anyone old or new to beading it is a must for there collection

  16. The publications are wonderful-that’s how I learned- but you should also check your local bead shop for classes. I work and teach in a lovely shop in Overland Park, KS and love to show newbies the stitches.

  17. I’ve always been a kneedle artist since childhood, doingevery thing from counted cross stitch to quilting. So when I noticed bead weaving, I was naturally intrigued. To me the easiest stitch to learn is peyote, I learned how to do it by following the instructions in a good book The more intense stitches like Nedebele/Harringbone, I had to take classes for. I have still yet to conqure single kneedle right weave. So depending on whether you are good at following instructions by reading or you need hands on instruction. I suggest you ask at your local bead store for any information on classess and or find some good instruction books that you can learn from. That’s what I have done and I am still learning and perfecting.

  18. Definitely one to print out and thanks to those with suggestions how to. I agree it would be great as a PDF.

    Tried quite a few of those stitches and like most beadweavers I have my favorites but I like the idea of trying circular herringbone next. Might be fun to try to learn a few at a time, incorporate a few into one project.

  19. Jean: thanks for such a great chart to “chart” one’s progress! Great idea!! I agree with some others’ comments about the stitch-types to add… but we can probably do that ourselves the old-fashioned way (pen and ink sound familiar to anyone in this computer age? lol)

    To AndreaM226: I too, several years ago, had gathered & bought a lot of supplies, but was a little overwhelmed about how to get started. Take a class? Read a book/magazine for how-to? But when I found a bracelet that I fell in love with a couple of years ago, in tubular herringbone stitch – that gave me the inspiration I needed to teach myself, starting with that one stitch. It took a few tries (using step-by-step instructions from a magazine from 2006), but I didn’t give up. I haven’t stopped since!! However, the best book I have ever found – and I’m SOO glad I bought – is Carol Huber Cypher’s “Mastering Beadwork – A Comprehensive Guide to Off-loom Techniques” published by Interweave Press, 2007. It contains the most stitch types I have ever seen in one publication; better yet, the instructions are accompanied by super-clear and easy to follow illustrations — the best I’ve ever seen in ANY publication. I’ve learned stitches from this book I had never heard of at the time I purchased it!! Also, being on a super-tight budget, I don’t have the funds for classes – but I haven’t had to take any, and have been able to learn so much from this book (and of course have lots of inspiration from my Beadwork magazine!), that I haven’t been able to stop beading!!

    I hope you, and anyone wanting to get more detailed step-by-step instructions on a wide variety of off-loom stitches, tries this book, and has as great a time beading as I’ve had from it! HAPPY HAPPY beading, everyone!

  20. Jean Campbell has got to be THE best writer in beading history!!!!!!! Ever since I started to read the blog every day on Beading Daily a few years ago, I am continually amazed at her articles and writing style. Thank you for being so entertaining AND helpful!

  21. This is an extremely useful list, thank you. I notice there are several ‘sculptural’ stitches. Where can I get instructions about these please?

    North Queensland, Australia

  22. further to the comment on Stringing I don’t see that magazine in the UK and I wonder if it’s any good for the experienced beader, I used to get Bead and Button and Beadstyle, but after getting them for a couple of years, they never had anything newin them for me to learn from them I get Art Jewelry and Lapidary Journal Wire Artist from our newsagant on order, but he doesnt always get them, (I missed the may issue), and unfortunately I can’t afford the overseas postage charges to subscribe which I know would prevent this, as in the UK where I live, at the craft-fairs and school fetes they believe if you make it yourself you can sell cheaper than the shops, or even at the end will give things away, which means I don’t make a big living from my beading, I do try to be different but sometimes it is hard to compete with the bought in stuff on price too, I would like to get more ideas which is why I joined here, but I wish more of the magazines were available in the UK, like colored stone for example

  23. To those asking for a “beginner” magazine — “Stringing” has simple projects, but also look for beading books targeting those who are just starting. There are so many, and many so good, that I won’t recommend specific ones — maybe Jean will come up with a list from her publisher(s).

    That is a neat chart… but maybe I am “more demanding” than others — I’d like to have a copy that I can maintain in electronic form, which the Adobe Acrobat “.pdf” format does not permit.


  24. I agree with Larry. This is a great list, but I’d love to have it in electronic form – maybe be able to save it as a .PDF? Actually, I’d love to have all of my beading magazine subscriptions come to me in electronic form rather than paper. I just don’t have room for all the beading magazines I have now (maybe 9 years’ worth of them), but I’d hate to throw them away.

    Also, someone suggested adding Chevron and St. Petersburg stitches, and bead embroidery stitches to the list, and I agree that would be awesome!

    I always love to read your Beading Daily posts, Jean – you rock!

  25. This is a GREAT list for beginners and advance beaders alike. I can do some of the stitches but not all. I work more with WIRE and BIG beads than sead beads. I subscribe to several BEAD magazines and Step by Step Wire jewelry, I LOVE them all. Then really inspire me!

  26. For those new to beading and looking for a good magazine, Beadwork is the best since they discontinued Step by Step beads. It has very good instructions for all levels and the projects are marked for difficulty. My suggestion is just dig in on one of the patterns you like, they really are not as difficuslt as they look. If you learn better by demonstration take a class at a local beadstore for your first project until you get the hang of it then you can fly solo from the magazines.

  27. help! HELP!! help! I need to find a certain issue of Beadwork that Jean Campbell wrote an article regarding herringbone stitch with some embellishment. Thank you !! 🙂