6 Brick Stitch Tips, Plus Free Seed Bead Pendant Project

Nov 14, 2008

Why I Love Brick Stitch

Leslie Rogalski

Brick stitch, aptly named for the way the beads sit like bricks in a wall, has to be one of my favorite all time stitches. After building my bead vocabulary with lots of techniques, I still rely on brick stitch in its many forms for most of my signature designs. Here’s why:

  • Brick-stitched beadwork is sturdy. Unlike the fluidity of a strip of peyote, a strip of brick will hold its shape (up to a point; if your shape gets too large, the ends may curl from their own weight). Brick stitch allows for architectural shapes that remain stiff, yet will roll up in one direction to make tubes, bails, etc.
  • You can easily increase and decrease for triangles and diamond shapes, whose slanted sides will appear smooth, though those beads are actually stepped. Only the horizontal edges are truly smooth; in rectangular shapes the side edge beads will go in and out as with  peyote.
  • The horizontal rows make striped patterns a no-brainer and geometric patterns are also easy to create.  (Download our free brick stitch graph paper to help create your own designs.)
  • Brick stitch can be circular and tubular, worked around a donut or ring, make great bails, and almost any bead size or shape can be integrated into your design in subsequent rows.

6 Brick Stitch Tips and Tricks

  • Brick stitch starts with a ladder-stitched row.
  • Always string 2 beads at the start of each new row.
  • I prefer WildFire beading thread for almost everything, but any strong thread will work. Your thread shows a bit in brick stitch; choose a thread to match or blend in.
  • Stitch from back to front as you pass under the thread bridges, so you can see where your needle is going and avoid splitting threads with your needle.
  • Cylinder beads make the most uniform beadwork. If using seed beads or cubes, cull for consistent size (especially from hole to hole).
  • Brick looks like peyote turned on its side; you can work fast in even-count peyote then add a row in brick stitch for odd-count peyote design symmetry! 

More Fun with Brick Stitch

Have fun making one of our many brick-stitched projects, all available at the Beading Daily store! Some of my favorites are:

  • Round About bangles by Dottie Hoeschen: fabulous for beginners and a whiz for other skill levels. A great way to use cool focal beads in your beadwork!
  • Mandala Magic by Maggie Roeschyk: this circular brick stitch project uses a lovely variety of beads and crystals. Learn how to make a single component which can be replicated and joined together for spectacular jewelry!
  • Hoopla! by Beth Kraft: create beaded bead "sliders" for your choice of cool cords. Have fun with color!


New Free Brick Stitch Project:


What's Your Sign?
Leslie Rogalski and Crystal Hudson

All the signs of the zodiac are here for a whole year of good fortune.  Use this pendant project from Step by Step Beads to learn brick stitch and how to increase and decrease along the outside edges.  Download What's Your Sign.
 
 


 Leslie Rogalski has a degree in illustration and design, and she sold wearable art and handwoven beaded art at the American Craft Council Shows and Buyers Market before joining Interweave in 2005.  In addition to being editor in chief of Step by Step Beads, Creative Jewelry, and Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, she often teaches at Bead Fest and is a presenter on the PBS television series, Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.  If you have comments or questions for Leslie, please post them on the website.



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Comments

jaketheduck wrote
on Nov 14, 2008 1:41 PM
your FREE graph design for brick stitch graph DOES NOT WORK Just a stupid ad for bead work magazine which I all ready get. You couldd at least make the link work
Harmony@4 wrote
on Nov 14, 2008 1:58 PM
Ditto the comment from KathrynO... I was hoping to find actual graph paper, and all I got was a link to subscribe to the Beading Daily magazine! I'd love to hear if you all ever get the graph link to work. Peace ~ Harmony Sue (Taos, NM)
ShyamaliC wrote
on Nov 14, 2008 3:13 PM
THE GRAPH FOR THE PEYOTE AND BRICK STITCH HAD NO ACTIVE LINK-UNFORTUNATELY. Shyamali Chaudhuri
JanB@63 wrote
on Nov 14, 2008 3:16 PM
AMEN!!!! I was more than a little ticked to find out that I could NOT download the free graph paper. I have been a subscriber for many years...but now may not renew... this is ridiculous!!!! Jan Beasley Queen of Purple Williston, FL
marianne@51 wrote
on Nov 14, 2008 3:33 PM
well I have been sitting here at my computer for an hour wondering why I couldn't get that darn graph paper to down load. Then the blog caught my eye, YOU have to sign up for the magazine I thought it said the graph paper was FREE!!!!!!
BungalowGirl wrote
on Nov 16, 2008 5:53 PM
I too was frustrated since I could not get the graph paper pattern, just the ad to join... well, I'm already a member. I ck'd out some other downloads which DID work, and then realized that the brick stitch download page is JUST MISSING the link. Please add soon b4 you lose some readers who don't investigate the problem enough...
on Nov 17, 2008 9:18 AM
Correction: The link to the free brick stitch graph paper mentioned on Friday has been fixed. I apologize for the inconvenience this caused everyone, including our guest editor, Leslie Rogalski. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.--Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor P.S. You do not need to sign up for the magazine to download the graph paper or any free project! The mention of Beadwork on the page is an advertisement.
MarissaM wrote
on Nov 18, 2008 5:50 AM
I'm really amazed at how quick to judge and pull support for a magazine your "loyal" readers are. Having worked on many websites, I know that sometimes these things happen. You would think seed beaders would be a bit more patient. Thank you for your response and you are continuing to do an execellent job.
Danne wrote
on Nov 22, 2008 9:21 AM
I just wanted to say thank you! Thank you for all the hardwork and effort that goes into compiling this site and having great projects for free and purchase. As a beader and subscriber to many magazines and websites I am always looking for new "twists" on skills I am acquiring and inspiration for the techniques I have already mastered. Thanks again ~ Keep up the great work!
Raz4 wrote
on Feb 21, 2009 2:47 PM
Maybe it's the sign of the times. People are a little frustrated and are quick to complain. I think your websiet is great. Keep up the good work. Vickie
Tineke68 wrote
on Apr 16, 2009 12:04 PM
please, can you help me? what is the difference of the peyote and te brick stich? or is this the same procerdure whit 2 differend names? my regards, Tineke
pwong2 wrote
on Jul 10, 2009 9:26 AM
Next time, if you can't get graph paper. you can either go to Fire Mt. Gem or on this webpage "HOW To" and search. You all have computer and you all know how to SEARCH so you should know what to do.... ;) by the way, try to spend time search "Free Project" "How TO".....etc and Don't be such a cry baby.........!!!!!
trimarie wrote
on Apr 11, 2011 2:25 PM

I have no problem downloading the graph paper.  I love it, I use to have to make my own using a type writer, and copying it.  Thanks for all your wonderful free projects and graph paper, you always continue to inspire me.

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)

ljaikin61 wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 5:25 AM

As Michelle wrote, you can get to the graph paper... The ad at the top of the page that comes up when you FIRST click on the link APPEARS as an ad, but if you look further down the page, you'll see ANOTHER LINK, For the BLANK GRAPH PAPER you've been LOOKING FOR...

I hope this helps!! ;-)