Triple-Strand Bracelet with Seed Beads

This technique is widely used because of its strength and versatility.

Decide which two colors you'd like to use in your design--choose one for the core (inside) bead and one for the spiral around the core bead, which becomes the dominant color in the finished piece. Then choose coordinating beads for accents.
Stretch about 24 inches of thread, then cut the stretched section; thread on a needle.
Pick up four core beads and three outside beads. Slide the beads down, leaving a 12-inch tail; this will be used to attach to your clasp later.
Working up from the bottom (where your tail is), pass your needle up through the four core beads only. Your beads should be in the shape of an oval.
Pick up one core bead and three outside beads; slide them down to meet the beads already stitched in place. Coming up from the bottom again, pass the needle into the four core beads (this includes the one new core bead you just added and the top three core beads added in Step 2) under the three new outside beads you just strung.
Move the "loose" outside beads to the left with your finger before you continue--this will be the start of the spiral around the core. If you forget to push the beads to the left, you will have a break in the spiral.
Repeat Steps 4 - 5 working until you have reached the desired length.
To add bead embellishments: string on the embellishment, then start the spiral over, following Steps 2 - 6. When you have created about 1/2 inch of the spiral, go back and reinforce the thread by passing through the embellishment several times. Work the thread back to the top of the spiral, then continue beading until the desired length. Stagger the embellishments on all three strands so they blend well together when attached to the clasp.

To add a clasp: For a nice finished look, add a size 8 seed bead to the end of each rope, before you begin attaching the rope to the clasp. Pass the thread over a loop in the clasp, back through the size 8, down through a row of beads (you can use the outside beads) in the spiral, back up the spiral, through the size 8 and over the loop in the clasp again. Repeat this until you can't go through the beads any more.

To end the thread, pass the thread down the center beads, adding half-hitch knots as you go, working as far down as you can go. Trim any excess thread.

To add new thread: Work until you have no less than 8 inches of thread left. Remove the needle from the old thread, then begin a new one. Add a tiny knot to the bottom of the new thread (the knot, as well as the other threads in the beads, will help keep the new thread in place) then pass it into the core beads, six to nine beads below where the old thread left off. Pass the thread up through the same bead the old thread ended in and begin stitching your pattern. After you've created about 1-inch of spiral with the new thread, add a needle to your old thread and bring the thread up (not down) through the core beads, adding half-hitch knots as you go. Please note: don't go through any of the outside spiral beads to knot off because it slightly alters the spiral.

How to create variations: Notice that you have three outside beads covering the space of the four core beads--this is what makes the chain flexible and gives it movement. Try using size 11's for the core and the following combination of beads for the spiral: size 15 - 8 - 15; or delica--triangle--delica. You can also use gemstone chips or pearls or even change to an alternate stringing technique in the middle of your spirals--the possibilities are endless.

Just have fun!

The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.

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