Wear this beaded ribbon to show your support for the U.S. military, to celebrate the Fourth of July, or in observance of September 11. It uses a two-bead version of square stitch in which you stitch two beads at a time instead of one.
Tip: By switching bead colors, you can use this pattern to create the awareness ribbon of your choice.
1. Gather Your Beads
You can use any hues of red, white, and blue beads for your ribbon. I chose the following colors, which give the ribbon a subtle vintage look:
- 0.5 grams of size 11/0 Miyuki Delica cylinder beads in garnet gold luster; DB-0105 (A)
- 0.5 grams of size 11/0 Delicas in opaque bisque white ceylon; DB-1530 (B)
- 0.5 grams of size 11/0 Delicas in opaque periwinkle; DB-0730 (C)
The bolded capital letters above correspond with the bead key for the pattern chart below.
2. Gather Your Other Supplies
To stitch your beaded ribbon and turn it into a pin that you can wear, you'll also need the following supplies:
- A size 10 beading needle
- Size D nylon beading thread in blue (I used C-lon in sky blue)
- Thread conditioner, such as Thread Heaven
- A Mini Bead Stopper
- Optional beading supplies of your choice, such as a thread burner, bead dishes, and bead mat
- Cyanoacrylate glue, such as Krazy Glue
- Multi-purpose, clear craft glue, such as E6000
- Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, pads, and/or swabs
- A 3/4-inch long gluable metal pin back
3. Review the Pattern Chart
The pattern chart for this design is very simple: it consists of three solid, vertical stripes of color, which run evenly along the entire length of the beadwork.
Please click on the image on the left for a larger view. To complete the beadwork, you'll need to repeat this pattern twice, for a total of 46 rows. Although you can stitch the pattern using either single-bead or two-bead square stitch, we'll use the two-bead method to give each stripe a more cohesive look.
4. Pick Up All of the Beads for the First Row
After preparing your needle and thread, attach the Mini Bead Stopper to the thread six to eight inches from the end. This will keep your beads from falling off for the first two rows of square stitch.
Pick up all of the beads for the first row -- 2A, 2B, 2C -- and slide them down against the Mini Bead Stopper.
5. Stitch the First Two Beads in the Second Row
To begin the second row, pick up 2C, pass through the last 2C in the first row, pass through the former 2C again, and pull the thread taut. (In single-bead square stitch, you would only pick up and stitch one bead.)
6. Stitch the Next Set of Two Beads
Now pick up 2B, pass through the matching 2B from the first row, pass through the former 2B again, and pull the thread taut.
7. Stitch the Final Set of Two Beads in the Second Row
Pick up 2A, pass through the matching 2A from the first row, pass through the former 2A again, and pull the thread taut. This completes the second row of square stitch.
You can now remove the Mini Bead Stopper, since the beads are all locked in place by stitches.
8. Reinforce the First and Second Rows
Reinforce the first and second rows of beadwork by passing through each row again, using the thread path shown in the image on the left.
9. Stitch the First Set of Two Beads in the Third Row
Pick up another 2A, pass through the matching 2A from the previous row, pass through the former 2A again, and pull the thread taut.
10. Continue Stitching Two-Bead Square Stitch
Continue stitching back and forth, one row at a time. After every other row, go back and reinforce the previous two rows, like you did in Step 8. This reinforcement tightens up the beads and gives the ribbon a more solid look and feel.
Tip: An easy way to remember when to reinforce is to do so after stitching each pair of C (blue) beads.
If you reach a point where you only have six to eight inches of thread remaining, stop and add a new length of thread.
Stop stitching when you have a total of 46 rows. Be sure to reinforce the very last row.
The photo on the left shows how you should hold your beadwork while you make stitches.