Learn How to Weave Beads From a 7-Year-Old!

When it comes to the arts, kids are often markedly good teachers. There is a certain innocence and fearlessness children possess that allows them to be creative and unbound to expectation. I have seen this again and again watching young people weave both tapestry and beads, but I'm still pleasantly surprised each time a child reminds me of the innocent glee weaving can bring to someone. 

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What Do You Need to Begin Weaving?

One question we get a lot here at Mirrix is, "What do I need to begin weaving?" 

This depends, of course, but you may be surprised at how little you need to get started! 

For Tapestry Weaving:

-A Loom and. We recommend one with a shedding device like the 16" Big Sister Loom.
-Heddles. You only need these if you are using the shedding device. You can either purchase pre-made ones, or make your own. We have instructions on this page
-Warp. Warp can come in a variety of different fibers including cotton, linen or wool. Your warp is going to be under extreme tension and therefore has to be very strong. You should not be able to easily break it just using your hands.
-A Tapestry Beater. Tapestry beaters are available in wood, metal or a combination of the two. We sell two wooden versions. This weighted one is a great choice. You can also use a simple fork.
-Weft. The most important quality in a tapestry yarn (which is the weft) is beauty. It doesn’t have to be warm or soft or have any of the yarn qualities you would want for making a sweater. It just has to be beautiful and available in whatever colors you want. If you were to spin your own tapestry yarn you would use the fleece from a sheep with long, lustrous locks. You would not use the fiber from something like a Marino Sheep which has short fuzzy fleece. Short fuzzy fleece is warm, but it does not make for pretty tapestry yarn.

-Tapestry bobbins
-A tapestry needle (especially if you are not using the shedding device)

You'll also want some basic supplies like a good pair of scissors and a measuring tape

Check out our tapestry basics guide for more on weaving tapestry! 

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Weaving a Crystal and Bead Bracelet Using the Shedding Device

A while back I wove a crystal and bead bracelet on a Lani Loom not using the shedding device. I loved the resulting piece but I have to admit I did not enjoy weaving it. Which was a problem because in theory I wanted to weave a lot of them. In practice, not so much. Why? You might ask. And by gosh, I am going to answer.

The crystals I was using were 2 mm. The beads were 11/0 Delicas. I alternated the beads with one row being: bead, crystal, bead, etc. and the next starting with a crystal, bead, crystal, etc. The holes for the crystals and beads were at a different level so when I strung up a crystal, a bead, a crystal, etc. and put it behind and in between the warp in order to sew through the beads on top, the sewing through part was not much fun. The needle is straight and the holes for the crystals and beads are not straight. So it was this battle to push the needle through the beads and crystals.

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New Free Beaded Bracelet Ebook + Save $10 or $20!

If you're looking for a stunning beaded bracelet project that's simple to weave and even easier to finish, the Queen Nefertiti Bracelet is perfect for you! 

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Mirrix Looms Holiday Guide Guide 2016

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Sign-Up For Weave-Along 23: The Queen Nefertiti Bracelet

Need the perfect bracelet to wear to holiday parties? Looking for a gift fit for a queen? Make one of these stunning beaded bracelets for yourself and give one to a friend with this gorgeous project named after the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.

Get 15% off the kit when you join the weave-along!

Click here to learn more and to sign up!

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The Easiest Way to Finish a Beaded Bracelet

Two weeks ago I recieved an order of new clasps for beadwork that I wanted to try out. My first attempt with the clasps was to just make a pile of 11/0 seed bead soup and weave. I was in a rush. I wanted to try out these clasps fast. I had to know if they would really work. Finding out that they do work, I decided to design my next piece. Granted, I kind of made up the design as I went along but I did spend quite a bit of time figuring out my bead choices. I went for a goldish/pinkish/greenish with a tad of off-white theme. It fit my mood at the moment. But the colors also directed themselves to a rather calming, delicate piece. I was pleased with the result. 

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Finishing beadwork with a beautiful gold clasp

Figuring out how to finish a beaded jewelry piece is something you need to contemplate even before you've warped your loom. There are a variety of options, from using the No Warp-Ends Kit to weaving in a fiber header and footer to incorporating the warp threads into the finishing.

Recently I discovered this really nice clasp (available for pre-order now) that makes finishing a beaded bracelet as easy as tying knots and slipping on the clasp!

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Mirrix Looms: Looms To Grow With

When you first decide to take on something new, be it a sport or craft or hobby, you have to decide early on how much money you want to invest in your new commitment. 

When I started doing yoga a few years ago I was using a paper-thin mat I found in my closet. After about a week of sore knees I realized if I was going to spend $100 a month on classes, I might as well get a nice mat. I ended up getting a fairly high-end mat that is still in great condition many hundreds of uses later. Looking back, choosing a good mat once I'd committed to my practice instead of investing a little less in a not-so-good one was a great choice. 

If I were a beginner looking for a tapestry or bead loom, I would take a similar approach to loom buying. 

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New: Bead Weaving "Easy Warp" Sam Loom Package & Ebook

Worried about warping? We have a solution!

With our "Easy Warp" warping method, all you have to do is wrap your warp around the loom! No figure-8s, no warping bar... just wrapping. 

We now have an ebook available to show you how to warp for bead weaving using the Easy Warp method. This ebook also goes into the basics of how to weave a simple beaded bracelet. 

Download the ebook .pdf here!

You can also download the "Easy Warp" warping ebook for tapestry here.

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