Skip to main content

Weaving on the Jewel Loom with Leslie Rogalski

What a jam packed Facebook Live we had with Leslie Rogalski from The Beadsmith! I was so lucky to have a one-on-one lesson with Leslie to learn how to use the Jewel Loom with two-holed beads. Leslie took me and the Live participants from the very first steps of setting up the Jewel Loom all the way through to some easy finishing techniques. Along the way, she offered so many helpful tips and tricks to maximize your looming success!

How to set up the Jewel Loom:
  1. Assemble the Loom by putting the metal rod in. Hold it against your belly and GENTLY bend the loom so you can fit the metal rod in one hole, then the next.
  2. Tie .006 WildFire to the button on the back of the Jewel Loom with a square knot (right over left, left over right). Give a tug to make sure it's secure.
  3. Bring the Warp Thread up and over the loom and secure it in one of the grooves. Pull it with tension across the top of the loom and rest it in the groove on the opposite side.
  4. Flip the loom over and bring the WildFire around the button on the back.
  5. Continue stringing the Warp Threads until you have one more Warp Thread than the beads you're going to use in your design. We used 5 in our demonstration.
  6. Wrap the WildFire around the button about 3 times. Leave about 5 inches of slack and cut it from the spool.
  7. Tie a square knot to secure the WildFire to the Button.
  8. Carefully remove the metal rod from the Jewel Loom by GENTLY bending against your belly. Take your finger and hold the top threads against the Loom. Wiggle the rod out of the holes. If it doesn't come out from the top hole easily, try the bottom hole first.

Weaving on the Jewel Loom (If you like a visual, check out the Jewel Loom Instructions here):
  1. Tie your thread onto the outer warp of your non-dominant hand with a half hitch knot. If you are right handed, tie it on the left side; if you are left handed, tie it to the right side.  
  2. Make a pile of beads on the opposite side of where you tied on the thread. Righties - right side. Lefties - left side.
  3. Take your needle and thread UNDER the Warp Threads. Pick up 4 beads.
  4. Slide the beads back toward the beginning, underneath the Warp Threads. 
  5. Push the beads up from underneath with your forefinger, one between each Warp Thread.
  6. Sew back through the beads with the needle. Make sure to keep the needle ABOVE the Warp Threads.
  7. Pull your needle STRAIGHT OUT of the beads.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 to sandwich the beads around the Warp Threads.
Weaving on the Jewel Loom with Two Holed Beads (Honeycombs):
  1. Take your needle and thread UNDER the Warp Threads. String your two holed bead though one set of holes in the bead.
  2. Push the bead up through the Warp Threads, and sew back through the SAME HOLE with the needle.
  3. Pretend that the second hole is a second bead. Sew through the second set of holes of the bead underneath the warp thread. Pop the bead up between the Warps, sew back through the same holes above the Warp Thread.
  4. You can also add a size 8 seed bead, a Honeycomb, and a size 8 seed bead using the same technique.
The Splice:
  1. If you need to add thread to your design, take your needle off of the end. Tie a new thread onto the old thread with a square knot. Keep in mind where your knot will fall in your design and plan for it to be on the inside of the beadwork.
  2. Trim the tails to about a half an inch.
  3. Take your WildFire Cord Cutter and touch it to the end of the WildFire to make a ball.
  4. Pull the threads to take out the slack. Voila!
Finishing off with a Tube Slide End:
  1. Finish your last two rows with size 8 or size 11 seed beads.
  2. Turn the loom around and square stitch the beads together for added reinforcement.
  3. Bring your needle inside the Warp Thread and tie off your thread with a half hitch knot.
  4. Put the bar back into the Jewel Loom.
  5. From the back, cut the back of the threads to release them from the loom.
  6. Tie the ends together with square knots. Dab some GS Hypo Cement to secure the knot and trim the ends.
  7. Slide the beads into the Tube Slide End and close down the ends. If you need to open the slot in the Tube Slide End, you can widen it with a Round Nose Pliers.
Finishing off with a soldered, closed Jump Ring and Clasp:
  1. Add a thread with the Splicing Technique if necessary. 
  2. Sew a soldered, closed Jump Ring to the end of your beadwork.
  3. Reinforce several times, weave back into the piece and trim.
  4. Add the clasp with a Jump Ring.
Bonus Tips:
  1. Use a Tacky Mat to secure your Jewel Loom to your workspace if you don't like it rocking while you work.
  2. If you find your Warp Threads are a little loose, use a piece of tape on the back to take out the extra slack.
  3. When you take the metal rod out, one end will usually come out easier than the other.
  4. To thread your needle, use a Chain Nose Pliers to flatten the end. Bring the thread all the way down between your thumb and forefinger so that barely a "poppy seed" amount is showing. Then, push your needle over the top of the WildFire. Works every time!
  5. When you are done, tape or rubber band your Metal Rod to the back of your loom if you don't have a case to put it back in.
  6. Make a pile of beads on the opposite side of where you tied on the thread. Righties - right side. Lefties - left side.
  7. As you pull your stitches, make sure your thread is pulled in nice and even.
  8. Maintain a consistent tension.
  9. Don't be afraid to get messy and play around with different bead shapes and sizes!
  10. Always check both holes of your two hole beads. Sometimes the finishing process can clog the holes. Better to know before you string it on!
  11. It's ok to go back through your beads over the Warp in stages.
  12. If you miss a Warp Thread, TAKE YOUR NEEDLE OFF THE THREAD, and pull the thread back out. NEVER EVER EVER go back through your beads with the needle!!!! It's much faster to re-thread your needle than to undo a snarl. See Tip 4!
I can't believe how lucky we all were for Leslie to share so much of her looming knowledge with us! She promised to write up the instructions for the project she demonstrated. In the meantime, here are some extra links to projects made on the Jewel Loom:
You can also find patterns for two-hole beads at the I Love Beads project page!

I learned so much from Leslie's visit, and I hope you did, too! I also loved hearing from our viewers about how they choose seed beads when designing. Check out the video, read the comments, post some photos. Keep the conversation going over in the Jewelry Making with Beadalon Facebook Group!

Happy Beading!