How to do square stitch with seed beads
In this free tutorial, I’m going to show you how to do square stitch with seed beads. So, you will be learning how to create a basic strip. You can use this to create jewellery. And, if you have a bead loom pattern, you can also make it with this technique. I will be demonstrating everything on video, and also linking to a free PDF you can download and keep. So, let’s get started.
What is square stitch?
This is a bead-weaving technique, created by adding beads one at a time, using needle and thread. The beads sit in perfectly straight lines, above, below, and next to, one another. So, they are ‘square on’, which probably accounts for the name of the technique.
This is the same alignment you will see in bead loom weaving. So, that is why I mentioned you can also stitch bead loom patterns using square stitch. This is handy to know if you don’t have a bead loom. Or, even if you just don’t enjoy using a loom. It means you can still enjoy the projects.
You can add shaping to a basic square stitch strip. So, while the basic strip is great for creating bracelets, or maybe a choker, the shaping will allow you to create more interesting projects.
I’m not going to deal with the shaping techniques here – we’ll get on to those in the next post.
The best materials to use
Square stitch, like other bead-weaving techniques, just needs some beads and thread.
Typically, you will be working with seed beads. Now, if you know a little about beading, you will know that you have a lot of choices when it comes to seed beads. Although there are ways of using the square stitch thread path with shaped and multi-holed seed beads, we’re not going to look at that today.
Instead, I want you to choose some traditional seed beads. Now, these could be the more rounded ‘rocailles’, usually just called seed beads, or rounded seed beads. Or, you can choose cylinder beads (e.g. delica beads or AIKO beads). Both will work perfectly well for square stitch. However, as with many bead-weaving techniques, you will find you get a neater finish if you use cylinder beads.
The very regular shape, and straight edges, of these beads allows them to lock together. So, with a regular stitch in which your beads all line up, this is a huge advantage. If you need a bit more information about the different types of seed beads, check out this section.
You can use any beading thread for this technique. As with any stitch, you will want good tension to make sure your beads sit properly in place. I’ve talked about that in the video you will be watching in a minute. You can also find more advice about beading tension in this blog.
My personal preference is Fireline thread. I find it pulls tight and stays in place. Whereas, my beads tend to ‘slip’ a little more with a thread like nymo.
But this is a very personal taste. You will find other beaders who feel very differently about the best choice of thread. If you are just starting out, I suggest you try different threads to find what works for you. This section of the website will help you find the best thread for you.
How to do square stitch with seed beads
So, now, after giving you a little background, it’s time to get on to the main event!
In this video I will be demonstrating how to do square stitch with seed beads. I have also shown you a few samples, so you can see what is possible using this technique.
If you heard me use any beading terms that you didn’t understand (perhaps ‘stop bead’, or ‘tail thread’), then check out this blog of beading terms defined.
Now, you can of course bookmark this page (or save the video on YouTube) and keep coming back to it. But I know some of you prefer to learn from written instructions. Even if you don’t want to learn that way, it can be very helpful to see how diagrams are drawn for this thread path. You may come across them in other patterns.
So, if you would like a free PDF tutorial to download and keep, please use this link.
Also, if any of the projects you’ve just seen took your fancy, let me give you the links to them. Higher up this post, I showed you the necklace I was wearing, so you can find that link up there.
This link will take you to the GemDuo bracelet that uses square stitch technique for the clasp.
If you have a taste for making the cactus earrings, then please use this link to grab the tutorial.
So, that covers the patterns that I featured in the video. But I also have a few other projects that use square stitch in different ways. So, if you’re interested in those, please use this link to browse.
Well, you can continue to learn more about square stitch by reading the other posts in this section of My World of Beads. I am adding new material all the time. As this post goes live, I am preparing the next installment, dealing with how to shape square stitch. So, stay tuned for that.
And, if you want to be sure you don’t miss out on anything, you should join my mailing list. I send you a monthly newsletter with all the new posts included. You also get a free gift when you sign up. So, if that sounds good, and you’re interested in becoming a better beader, click here to find out more.