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Beaded Braid- Patience and Virtue

Project Info:

Level: Intermediate

Estimated time: 6-8 Hours

By Nicole Anderson

Nicole loves designing with small gems and adding little details. After some trial and error, she found the best way to incorporate small gems (with extra fine holes) into a braiding project using 4 ply waxed linen is by stringing the beads onto 2 Ply Linen. Once the beads are on the 2 Ply, she can then braid them right into the design. Pictured to the left is a 44 inch gem and hex bead necklace with a Saki Bronze textured component. In its center is a sterling charm of the Sanskrit word Om, the universal sound of balance and harmony. The necklace is shown doubled but can also be worn long. It is layered with a short 17 inch necklace done with gem rondelles on coral linen ending in a button loop. Make both and you will have endless options.
Watch How to Make a Beaded Braid Video or project techniques and overview of these designs. Finished length for short coral is approximately 17 inches and longer olive green is 44 inches, not including the added length of the pendant. Adjust materials for desired length.

Beaded Braid- Patience and Virtue

Tattoo- Brass


$1.40 USD

Irish Waxed Linen- Drab Olive

Irish Waxed Linen

$5.95 USD

Shadows- Silver Plate

Metal Beads

$14.95 USD

Shadows- Antique Brass

Metal Beads

$14.95 USD

GS Hypo Cement


$6.75 USD

Eurotool Ultra Flush Cutter


$36.95 USD

Project Map

Please watch the video for braiding techniques which are not be covered in this companion handout. To begin building this design, you will need 3 strands of 4 ply linen (90 inches each) and 1 strand of 2 ply (90 inches long). Bring all four strands through the button holes, jump ring or button shank and tie them together in an overhand knot as seen in the video. Add a drop of glue into the knot before you continue. Let the Hypo-tube Cement dry before you cut the ends with wire cutters. Now you are ready to secure your project to a smooth surface with tape and begin braiding.

As you braid, string on some of your gemstones and hex beads on the 2 Ply strand. You may have gemstones that don?t fit the waxed linen. If none of them fit, you need to rethink your bead selection. If most of them fit, save the really small-holed ones for another project. As Nicole shows in the video, the gemstone and hex strand stays with its partner throughout the project.

Hanging a Pendant: Nicole has used a fairly substantial pendant which will add some stress over time to the linen. In order to slow the erosion process down, she has tied an overhand knot on each side. These knots keep the ring of the pendant in one place not allowing it to slip and slide back and forth on the linen, which causes the thread fibers to break down too quickly. A lightweight or small pendant or charm does not necessarily need knots on either side. In fact, if the charm is too small, the knot may overwhelm your design.

Finishing With a Button Loop: When you are nearing your finished length, braid about 5 more inches. You want enough braid to work with as you prepare to create a loop to fit your button. You also want at least 1/2 inch of braid free of gemstones so they are always clear of the button when you open and close the necklace to wear it. Having gemstones too close to the metal button can cause them to crack.Fit just enough braid to create a loop which will work with the size of your button. Once that is done, separate the ends of your linen and tie a square knot around the braid.To make sure the knot is secure, separate each thread and gently pull on it to tighten down the knot. Add a drop of glue as you close the knot down and allow it to dry. Cut the excess with wire cutters.The photo on the right is the companion 17 inch coral and labradorite necklace which has used the same techniques as Patience. For a 17 inch necklace, Nicole used 3 strands of 4 Ply Coral Waxed Linen 36 inches each and 1 strand of 2 Ply Natural Waxed Linen also 36 inches in length.