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Striped seed bead bracelet

Teardrop-shaped fringe beads accent a striped bracelet with row-by-row color changes

In this variation on right-angle weave, offset, interlocking rows create a band with interesting texture that is enhanced by the addition of drop beads in the center. Either sew a peyote toggle to the top of the band or the shank of a button into the band as you stitch.


bracelet 7 in. (18cm)

  • 33–36 3mm drop beads, color A
  • 8–9 size 8/0 Japanese seed beads (optional)
  • size 11/0 Japanese seed beads
    • 5g color A
    • 4g color B
  • button for clasp (optional)
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
  • drinking straw (optional)



Click on image to make it larger.

1. On 2 yd. (1.8m) of Fireline, pick up four color A 11/0 seed beads (FIGURE 1, a–b), and leave a 24-in. (61cm) tail. Sew back through the four As (b–c) and continue through the next A to form a ring (c–d). Snug up the beads.

2. Work five stitches of right-angle weave, using As (d–e), for a total of six clusters.

3. Pick up a color B 11/0, and sew through the end A cluster (FIGURE 2, a–b). Pick up a B and sew through the next A (b–c). Continue across the row, adding Bs between the As (c–d). Pick up a B, sew through the end cluster of As in the previous row, and sew back through the B just added (d–e). Flip the beadwork after every row to be in position to work the next row.

4. Pick up three Bs, and sew through the last B added in step 3 and the three Bs just added (FIGURE 3, a–b). Continue working in right-angle weave across the row (b–c).

5. Pick up an A and sew through the next B (FIGURE 4, a–b). Continue across the row, adding As between the Bs (b–c). Sew through the end cluster of Bs in the previous row and the last A added in this step (c–d).

6. Pick up three As, and sew through the last A added in the previous step and the three As just added (FIGURE 5, a–b). Continue across the row (b–c). Sew through the adjacent end B in the previous row and the end A of the last stitch (c–d).
7. Repeat steps 3–6, ending with steps 3 and 4, to sew seven alternating A and B stripes. End with a B stripe. Also make the following change: In step 3, after adding each row of single Bs (FIGURE 6, a–b), secure the thread by sewing through the end A below the B just added (b–c), the top B of the last cluster in the previous B stripe (c–d), back through the A (d–e), and back through the B just added (e–f).

8. Repeat steps 5 and 6, but in step 6 pick up As and 3mm drop beads in the following order: an A, a drop, and an A. For the remaining five clusters, alternate picking up an A and a drop, and a drop and an A.

9. Stitch a stripe of Bs, a stripe of As, and a stripe of Bs.

10. Repeat step 8.

11. Stitch a stripe of Bs, a stripe of As, and a stripe of Bs.

12. Repeat step 5, but use drops instead of As. Repeat step 6.

13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 twice.

14. Repeat step 7 to sew seven alternating stripes of As and Bs. Check the fit of your bracelet. The ends of the band should meet when you wrap it around your wrist. See “Button clasp” if you plan to use a button closure.

To increase the length, add alternating stripes of As and Bs to both ends to reach the desired length. Secure the tail with a few half-hitch knots between beads, and trim.

Button clasp

If you plan to use a button for the clasp, you can either work it in as you stitch the base, positioning it approximately half the length of the button away from the end, or add it after the base is completed. To add it afterward, sew through the beadwork to exit where the button needs to be attached. Pick up five or six 11/0s and the shank of the button, and sew into a nearby bead. Retrace the thread path several times, secure the tail, and trim. Proceed to “Clasp loop” to complete the bracelet.

Toggle clasp



To make a toggle clasp or a clasp loop, click here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the original bracelet, the middle row of drops is slightly off-center. To make it symmetrical, modify the center stripe of the band (step 12) by replacing the middle As in the cluster with drops (PHOTO A). Use seven, rather than six, drops across the stripe. Begin the stripe by repeating step 5 of the band. To sew the clusters, pick up As and drops in the following order: a drop, an A, and a drop. For the remaining five clusters, alternate picking up a drop and an A, and an A and a drop.

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