When you start a new off-loom beadweaving or beading project, you'll need a way to keep the first set of beads on your thread until you have established the your stitching pattern. Try one of these methods to keep beads on the beading thread. Remember that there is no "right" way to hold your beads on your beading thread - you can use any method that feels most comfortable to you and gives you the best results.
A bead stopper is a nifty little invention consisting of a tightly coiled spring with two rubberized tabs that allow you to open and close the spring. Bead stoppers are especially good for keeping beads on a length of beading wire when making strung jewelry and beadwork, but they also work if you use them to keep your beads on the beading thread until you've worked a few rows and established your pattern. They are inexpensive and widely available at many craft stores and local bead shops.
Using a stop bead to hold your first set of beads on your beading thread is easy and convenient. If you find yourself without a bead stopper or a piece of tape, you can just use an extra bead to keep your beads on your beading thread. A stop bead is also very easily removed when you are ready to move on in your pattern. Stop beads are very secure and don't usually move or fall off easily.
Adhesive tape can be used to keep beads from falling off beading thread, and can also be used to keep beads on beading wire for stringing projects. Any type of regular adhesive tape can be used - just a small bit is needed to form a tab to hold your beads securely. Adhesive tape will not slide around on your beading thread and will keep your beads very secure while you stitch your first few rows. The only disadvantage to using adhesive tape is that it can sometimes leave a sticky residue on your thread.
If you don't want to use a stop bead and don't have any adhesive tape or bead stoppers handy, another way to keep your first set of beads on your beading thread is to simply use tension. Just wrap part of your thread tail around the index or middle finger and hang on while stitching your first few rows. While this method takes some practice, it is convenient and allows you better control over your tension when you're stitching those important first few rows.