My first project using the Jewel Loom.
Jewel Loom Inspirations: Quick and Fun Beading and Jewelry Projects by Julianna Avelar was released this month and if you have wanted to know how to get started with this super-easy-to-use creative tool, here’s your chance. The book also offers 15 complete stepped-out projects.
I bought my first Jewel Loom from my local Michael’s store in April, 2014. Since then, I’ve been struck with more Jewel Loom inspiration than I ever imagined. There are SO many different approaches you can take to making projects on this loom. You can use beads of nearly any size (including two-hole beads) and you can also use it to do traditional weaving. You can make projects as small as rings and as long as wrap bracelets. I’ve even made individual sections and connected them together for a lanyard I took to CHA last year. (If you see me there soon, I’ll be wearing it again this year!)
Just some of the projects I’ve made using the Jewel Loom.
Julianna’s book does a great job getting you up and running when you first take your Jewel Loom out of the box, so if you’re not already familiar with using the loom, I recommend started there. Here I will share with you the process I used to create a woven bracelet from hemp string, embellished with beads and I’ll also share a few pics of others projects I’ve made since my first seed bead bracelet (still one of my most worn pieces of jewelry).
Instead of stringing the loom with beading thread, use a fine hemp or linen string. You can make the bracelet as wide as you like. As you can see, I made five passes and set the string into every other groove.
Cut a length of heavier string 2x the length of the loom, plus about 5″ (13cm). Create a loop in the center of the length and hang it on one knob at the back of the loom.
Positioning the heavier string at the grooves of the exterior warp strings, tie the other two ends around the other knob on the back of the loom.
You’re ready to start weaving! Note: At this point, you are free to remove the tension bar. I often forget to do this . . .
Cut a length of fine string to start weaving with. (I use about 5′ at a time.) Flatten one end of the weft string with pliers to make it easier to thread a tapestry needle.
Begin weaving with the string. Because you will want to incorporate the loop that’s at one end, you want the woven portion of the bracelet to begin as close to that edge of the loom as possible, so as you work, keep the weft snugged up to the end.
Begin threading beads onto your needle as you work to create either a pattern or simply randomly-placed beads.
Work until the woven section is about 3″ (7cm). Here I left an area in the center without any beads so I could add more embellishment later.
Remove the project from the loom.
Leave the heavier string in tact, but cut the loops of the finer string and use the needle to weave in all of the ends.
Add additional beads by stitching them by hand onto the bracelet. Here I added peyote tube beads to cinch the ends. I tied a knot at one end after adding a button and left the loop as it was at the other.
P.S. I have a video tutorial from my personal blog if you’re interested in making your own peyote tube beads. 🙂
I continue to pull out my Jewel Loom every now and again. It’s great for making gifts for others as well as yourself and as you can hopefully see by now, it lends itself nicely to putting your personal spin on things. Maybe you can find something new to do with the loom that no one has even thought up yet!
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