A New Class

Looking for the perfect gift?

wrap bracelet on hand

For only $15 take our online Craftartedu class, the Crystal and Bead Wrap Bracelet with Claudia Anne Chase.

“In this beginner level CraftArtEdu class, learn how to weave beads on a loom to create a colorful wrap around bracelet. Follow Claudia Anne Chase’s detailed instruction on how to warp the loom, weave the bracelet and finish the bracelet. You will want to make dozens once you learn how.”

This class goes over all the details on how to weave this beautiful bracelet. Once you learn how, you can make tons of different unique bracelets. It’s a quick and easy project, and is a great introduction on how to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom. You’ll learn how to warp, weave with different sized beads and crystals and finish this great piece.

four bracelets

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You can purchase the kit here. You can make at least two bracelets from this kit.

crystal bead and wrap bracelet

 

Enjoy!

Next Weave along: Crystal and Bead Cuff Bracelet

I made a zillion of these and then gave most of them away.  I was in one of those moods.  This bracelet weaves up very quickly.  It probably takes longer to finish (attach to cuff and embellish) than it does to weave. I would say total time to weave and finish is about two and a half hours, which makes it a “not-slow project” so great for those of you who have a lot of gifts to whip up for girls/women this holiday season.  The kit, which I haven’t put together just yet (give me a day or so) will include enough materials to make two cuffs.  Below are two examples.  One without embellishment beads along the edge and one with.  Obviously, the one without embellishment beads will take less time to finish.  I like them both.  If  you are not going to be embellishing with beads along the edge, you need to be very careful with stitching the beaded piece to the cuff.  In any case, once on a wrist, those stitches will barely show but the cuff will not always be on someone’s wrist and you want it to look good then too.

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Retrospective, sort of

I dug through my stash of bead woven pieces and found some surprises.  I am sure there are pieces hiding in other places, which I will post at a later date, but for now this is what I found:

I remember really enjoying weaving this piece.  I made piles of 11/0 Delica beads in colors I thought might dance well together. Then I just wove various designs with these colors.  I had twelve spaces (because there were thirteen warps) to play with.  It’s amazing how many designs one can managed with just twelve spaces and bunch of colors.  I folded the button end over and sewed it to the back of the piece to disguise the warp ends (which were tied with overhand knots).  I buried those ends under the fold.  I then made a peyote tube and attached a tube to it for the button.  The triangle (which was made with a combination of peyote and herringbone stitch) buried the other end of the bracelet since it is actually two sided.

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I combined matt finish beads with metiallic finish beads so that the individual colors stand out.

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I stuck an interesting crystal to the end of the peyote tube.

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I don’t know if I could make that triangle again, but I sure do like the look!

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This next little gem is a one wrap bracelet made with beads and crystals.  I hadn’t figured out yet that the O-ring should be covered with hand painted silk.  I like the addition of crystals on all the warp ends.  It was the start of something beautiful (the crystal and bead wrap bracelets that followed).

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Wow, this is an old one.  The loom held four warps (which surround the square beads).  The trim on the ends (three size 11/0 beads) was put on as I wove.  I then somehow crossed the interior beads, which are all strung at once.  The warp was something fairly heavy like C-Lon beading cord 135.  I don’t know why it never became a kit.  Maybe it should!

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This bracelet is similar to the one above, but the inside rows are not crossed.

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I had been making a bunch of bracelets to put on a brass cuff.  But with this one I lined the back with ultra-suede (gets rid of all those pesky warp ends in a hurry plus is very comfortable to wear).

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This next one is a variation of the affinity bracelet theme.

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This funny little guy uses a silk covered O-ring as both button and closure.  I’ll try anything once.  I might even try this again.

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You know how much I love checkerboards!

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This is my latest bracelet (I made it yesterday) and it might want to become a kit.  Bicone crystals on a hand painted silk warp.  A few knots, a few more crystals, the usual hand painted silk covered O-ring (as well as warp) and pewter button.  I think it took me an hour to weave and about twenty minutes to finish.  Fun and easy.  Should it become a kit?

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Weave-Along 11 Updates!

Weaving is easy

Because the weave-along is going over many different basic things (loom set up, warping, how to weave different ways), we suggest you just have some basic materials depending on what you’re interested in.

For bead weaving you will want a bead mat, beading needles, beading thread (we love C-Lon), and some beads. If you’re just starting out, 8/0 beads are great! You may also want to start with one of our kits and warp for that. If you want to weave for bead weaving with the shedding device, you’ll want heddles as well.

For tapestry you will want warp (we like Navajo wool warp), weft (some type of tapestry wool), a tapestry beater (or fork) and heddles.

You can find all of these supplies on our website and most of it at your local bead or fiber store!

The 20-Minute Bracelet

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

Weaving isn’t (usually) for the impatient (a trait which I more than occasionally identify with). A tapestry can easily take months to complete and even most bead weavings aren’t completed in an afternoon. But sometimes you need a bracelet to wear with your favorite brown wedges and your brand-new Kate Spade mint-green purse and you need it now. I mean, hypothetically… (ha).

Anyway, I’ve been playing with leather as warp on my Mini and found a partial tube of gorgeous  fire-polished crystals that just screamed spring. I also dug up a tube of SoftFlex Econoflex very fine wire in a pretty blue (it was this). It was like the universe was telling me to create this bracelet. I’d never used wire on leather before and wasn’t sure how it would react, but the results were so much fun and SO EASY. Like, do-this-with-your-child easy (disclaimer: all loom work with children should be done under supervised conditions. Small and sharp parts can be a hazard).

And it was FAST. Like 20-minutes fast. You could, of course, bead a whole lot more of the bracelet (and that would be gorgeous) but it would take a little bit longer and require more than the amount of crystals I had on-hand. purse and bracelet

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

Fold your leather piece in half and loop around the warping bar. Then bring the leather (keeping it flat) under the loom, around the front and tie the ends back around onto the warping bar. Then, tighten your tension. Make sure everything feels even.

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

This leather, looped around on one end and then tied on the other, to the warping

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

Make a slip knot with your warp thread. Here we used SoftFlex very fine wire in blue.

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

Take a crystal (we used 4mm fire Polished crystals), beads or gemstones and place it behind and between the two strips of leather. Then weave the wire through the front, securing the bead to the leather.

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

Continue to weave on your crystals, beads (in a few places I used three Delicas in place of a crystal) or gemstones onto the leather.

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

When you’ve finished (you can weave as long or as short as you’d like), discreetly double-knot your wire ends and trim then. Then remove the piece from the loom and tie on your wrist!

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

So easy and so cute!

The 20 Minutes Wrap Bracelet

Bead Weaving, Freestyle!

I admit my life my be a little busy to take on a tapestry and bead diary in a single month. My weaving admittedly has taken a back seat to work, school and dodgeball this month, but I’ve still been working on my diaries, if not quite as much as I’d planned/hoped. The bead diary has been a lot of fun and the more I think about it, the more I think that every beginning bead weaver should start with a totally freestyle piece to get the hang of weaving beads and to take some time to play and experiment. Weaving beads without a plan is a completely different experience than weaving with a pattern (yours or someone else’s). It gives you the freedom to experiment and mix colors and create your own patterns. Maybe you’ll end up cutting your piece off the loom and reusing your beads (that’s probably what I’ll do with this one) but the process is a learning experience, and it’s really, really fun to just take some time to play.

bead diary

Weave-Along 9: Finishing your bead and crystal necklace

I have made two of these bracelets (successfully . . . since I made three before I made the one I finally liked) and I’ve finished them both slightly differently although using the same concept.  So although I’ve come up with a couple of fun and workable ways to finish them, if you want to change it up a bit, feel free.

Weave 41 sections of the 8/0 bead pattern and end with a row of crystals.

Do NOT cut your piece off the loom.  Simply release the tension and slide out the warp bar.  Then . .

Trim your ends as little as possible making the ends on each side of the necklace even.

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Thread a beading needle with beading thread and tie an overhand knot at the end.  You will use this to slide the porcelain beads onto the silk warps.

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Divide off four warp threads on one end of necklace and slide on one of the smaller porcelain beads.

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Tie an overhand knot.  To get the knot snugly next to the bead, stick a needle into the knot and push it toward the bead.

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Do the same for four warp threads on the other end of the piece.

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Put the two ends of your piece side-by-side and slip another small porcelain bead onto the remaining six warp threads thereby joining the ends of your necklace together.  Tie an overhand knot to keep it in place.

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Add the last small porcelain bead after the first one.

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 Tie another overhand knot.

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Isolate four (note: this is a correction, it previously said three, sorry about that!) warp threads that emerge from the single porcelain beads.

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Using your threaded bead needle slide on one of the long porcelain beads.

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Tie an overhand knot to keep the bead in place.

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Repeat for the other side.

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Next slide crystals (or beads) onto the ends of all the warp threads.  You can slide more than one or a combination of beads and crystals.  I have used just one crystal for each end.

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Tie an overhand knot to keep the crystal in place.

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This is how my piece looks!

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Wear and enjoy or make a friend very happy.  Happy holidays to all!!!!!!!

Confetti and Bead Necklace Weave-Along Week 2

Welcome to the second week of Mirrix’s Weave-Along! We’re ready to get to the fun part- weaving! This is the bulk of the weave-along, so remember to ask questions if you have them! We can always be reached directly (email: elena@mirrixlooms.com) or via social media sites like Facebook or Ravelry

This is how the LaniLoom looks with her warp on. You want to lift the bar in back so that there is at least seven inches of warp between the bar and where you will begin weaving.  That should leave seven inches on the other end as well.  I you’ve extended your loom more than 18 inches, you can increase the fringe by half the number of inches you increased your height by.  So that if your loom is now 20 inches high, you can make your fringe 8 inches.

Let’s begin weaving!  Your first row will be two crystals.  Once you’ve woven the row, tie and knot the the thread to adjust the initial width of the piece.  You can sew that end in later.

Next weave one solid row of beads (I used the pink) followed by that bead, two of another bead color (I used the gold), repeat that row and end with a solid row of the original color.  Then add another row of crystals in whatever color you want.  I used the pink.  Remember, you goal is to evenly distribute these colors throughout the piece.

Continue weaving this pattern until there are 41 sections of beads and 42 rows of crystals.

You are going to have to advance your piece several times.  Note how at one point, I move the warping bar to the top of the loom.

In this next photo you will see that the bar has been moved down to the front of the loom to create room for those final rows of beads.  Again, you will leave at least seven inches of empty warp ending with a row of cyrstals.

You can see now how easy this project is to do! It’s simple traditional bead weaving, but the results are stunning with the different sized beads and crystals. You can use this technique elsewhere and really experiment using different sized beads, crystals, stones or anything else you can think of!

What different materials would you use in a similar project? 

New Loom Options!

Three of our looms, the 8″ Lani Loom, 12″ Little Guy Loom and 16″ Big Sister will now come two ways. The first way: WITH the shedding device and the second way: WITHOUT the shedding device. That’s that. The price will be reflected in whether or not you get the shedding device and, if you do decide not to, a shedding device can always be purchased separately.

Little Guy Loom

Little Guy Loom Without Shedding Device

Big Sister Loom Without Shedding Device

Big Sister Loom Without Shedding Device

The 12″ Little Guy Loom without a shedding device will now be sold for $225.00 and the 16″ Big Sister Loom without a shedding device will be sold for $250.00.

Please note that previously we were offering these looms without a shedding device but WITH  a bottom spring kit at the same price. This option is no longer available, but the bottom spring kits can be purchased seperately.

Confetti Crystal and Bead Necklace Weave-Along: Week One

It’s time to whip out your nude loom and that new pretty crystal and bead kit your just bought and find out how easy and fun it is to make a beautiful necklace to keep or to share.  If you wear, everyone you know will want one.  I hadn’t even escaped from my house with my just finished necklace when it was immediately claimed by a friend.

As I believe I mentioned elsewhere, it took me three attempts to get this necklace just right.  I am glad I spent the time because I think this is a timeless and workable design that will be both fun to weave, but fun to change up a bit.  You might want to organize your beads slightly differently from the way I do it.  Keep in mind that you are going to have to weave the same number of rows of crystals (the kit comes with 100 crystals which is more than you need to weave and finish the necklace if you weave one row of crystals for every four rows of beads) that I’ve woven but you can organize them differently . . . ie., more randomly . . . if you like.

If you look closely you can see the pattern I created.  The piece (although you can’t see it here) starts with a row of two crystals.  What follows is a solid row of four beads.  Then one of those beads, two of a different color of beads and another one of those beads and then the pattern repeated backwards so that you get a square within a square.  Next weave another row of crystals and continue with a different color combination of beads.  You want to spread your five bead and five crystal colors throughout that piece.  But first we need to set up the loom.  Don’t worry, this won’t take more than a few minutes.


Extend your loom so that are 18 inches between the top and bottom beam.  This is the highest you can extend the 8 and 12 inch looms.  If you have a 16 inch loom, you can extend it a little more which will give you slightly more length to your fringe.

You will not need a warp coil (spring) on your loom.  Center the piece as much as possible.  There will be three groups of warp threads with three threads in each group.  Essentially, you will be putting nine warps on the loom. If you’ve never warped before, follow along on our online .pdf warping instructions. Just remember that you don’t need to use a warp coil!

That’s it! Next week we’ll begin weaving!