How to shape square stitch in beading


In my last blog, I taught you how to work in basic square stitch. Now, it’s time to learn how to shape square stitch. So, this basically means how to increase and decrease at the beginning or end of a row. I’m going to show you via a video tutorial. But you can also download a free PDF tutorial if you would like to see the diagrams and have written instructions to keep. So, let’s get started.

20% off Etsy beading patterns


Now, you’re just going to be learning how to shape square stitch. So, you need the same materials that you used for your basic sample. If you need a reminder, use this link to check out my last blog post.

I’m going to leave you to gather your beads and thread. If you still have the sample you made from the last video, then bring that too. We’re going to build on that to add some shaping.

If you don’t have a sample to hand, don’t worry. You can always make a little strip. Just add about 5 beads per row, and stitch about 6 rows. That will give you a great starting point for what you’re about to learn.

How to shape square stitch

In this video, I’m going to start by introducing a few actual samples of shaped square stitch. So, you can see what it is that we’re trying to achieve here.

Then, I will continue on to the demonstration, teaching you the increasing and decreasing techniques. I’ve created this in a couple of sections, to allow you the opportunity to pause the video and practice. So, you may want to master this in stages.


Now, as I mentioned above, if you would like a written PDF tutorial to guide you, here is the link.

Beading patterns

The easiest way to really learn (and remember) these techniques, is by working on a project. So, I have a few patterns that will show you how to shape square stitch. You saw them in the video.

Firstly, the necklace I was wearing. This is a great project to try at first. So, here is the link to the pattern. You can turn your cubic sample into anything, from a pendant, like mine, to a brooch or other focal.

Then, for another fairly quick project, how about the Maple leaf earrings? These have a lot more shaping. So, this will test your skills a little more. You can find the pattern here.

Finally, if you fancy trying both shaping and layering, how about the cactus earrings? Again, this is a fairly quick project. It gives you an opportunity to hone your skills and the results are lovely. So, you can find the pattern at this link.

Then, I also have a much wider range of projects that use square stitch. In some, it will be the main technique. In others, it is just a part of the project. But these will help you to see how important it is to understand the square stitch thread path. You will find yourself using it in all kinds of contexts. So, you can use this link to try more square stitch projects.

What next?

If you’re enjoying learning about square stitch, then look out for my other blog posts in this section. Believe it or not, there are a few more ideas and variations to explore…including tubular square stitch.

And, don’t forget to join my ‘Better Beader’ mailing list. That way, you’ll never miss out on any beading tips and help. I send an email once a month, packed full of advice to enjoy. You will also get a free gift when you join. So, if that sounds good, click here to find out more.

Online Beading Classes for all. Click

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.