Woven beaded basket

Weave strips of matte cylinder beads to create an impressive container

When Cindy Kinerson showed us her woven basket (above), the Bead&Button staff was intrigued by her concept of pairing loomwork and basket weaving. That’s not a combination we commonly see, and we immediately recognized its significant potential for creating the sturdy forms found in the basket maker’s repertoire.


One basket

  • Japanese cylinder beads, 10g each of 12 colors
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
  • beading loom
  • clothespins
  • chainnose pliers
  • furniture polish (optional)
Woven beaded basket Loom basics 1
Figure 1
Woven beaded basket Loom basics 2
Figure 2

Set up the warp

1. Tie the end of the spool of thread to a screw or a hook at one end of the loom. 

2. Bring the thread over one spring and across to the spring at the other end of the loom. Wrap the thread around the back of the rod, behind the bottom spring, and back to the spring at the top of the loom.

3. Continue wrapping the thread between springs, keeping the threads a bead’s width apart, until you have one more warp thread than the number of beads in the width of the pattern. Keep the tension even, but not too tight. Secure the last warp thread to a hook or screw on the loom, then cut the thread from the spool (FIGURE 1).

Weave the pattern

1. Tie the end of a 1-yd. (.9m) length of thread to the first warp just below the spring at the top of the loom. Bring the needle under the warp threads. String the first row of beads and slide them to the knot (FIGURE 2).

Woven beaded basket Loom basics 3
Figure 3
Woven beaded basket Loom basics 4
Figure 4

2. Push the beads up between the warp threads with your finger (FIGURE 3).

3. Sew back through the beads, keeping the needle above the warp threads (FIGURE 4). Repeat to the desired length. 

4. Once you complete the last row, secure the working thread by weaving it into the beadwork.


Using 12 warp threads, weave eight strips of beadwork 13 in. (33cm) long and four strips 101⁄4 in. (26cm) long. Secure all the tails in the beadwork, weaving them in away from the end rows. You will be sewing through the end rows again to assemble the basket. Sew the first and last rows together on each of the shorter strips to make four joined bands.

Woven beaded basket Step 1
Step 1
Weave all eight 13-in. strips together to make the bottom of the basket. Measure the strips to make sure the bottom of the basket is centered.
Woven beaded basket Step 2
Step 2
Fold every other strip over the bottom of the basket. These strips are group A. The remaining strips are group B.


Woven beaded basket Step 3
Step 3
Place one of the four joined bands around the outer edge of the bottom of the basket. Bring group A over the joined band.
Woven beaded basket Step 4
Step 4
Fold group B over the band and toward the bottom of the basket.
Woven beaded basket Step 5
Step 5
Place the second band on top of the first one and bring group B back out over the band. Fold group A in toward the middle of the basket.
Woven beaded basket Step 6
Step 6
Repeat with the third band.
Woven beaded basket Step 7
Step 7
Repeat with the fourth band. Hold the ends in place with clothespins while you adjust the strips and make the spacing between the rows equal.
Woven beaded basket Figure 1
Figure 1
Sew through the rows of loomwork (FIGURE 1) at each intersection to reinforce the basket. Start a new 1-yd. (.9m) length of Fireline and secure it under one of the thread bridges along the basket’s rim.
Woven beaded basket Figure 2
Figure 2
Pick up five cylinders, skip two thread bridges, and sew under the next one (FIGURE 2).
Woven beaded basket Figure 3
Figure 3
Pick up five cylinders of another color and repeat (FIGURE 3). Continue around the rim, using all 12 bead colors. Secure the tail and trim.
Editor’s Note: You can easily change the dimensions of the basket. Lay out a pattern using construction paper before starting the woven strips. String some cylinders and lay them across the width of your paper to determine the number of warps you will need. Weave the strips to the desired length. Depending on your tension, you may need to coat the inside of the basket with furniture polish to add stiffness.
FIND MORE: loomwork , seed beads , wirework

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