Hooked on Needles

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Varsity Letter Music Beaded Banner -- Picture Tutorial

Just the other day, I wrote a little bit about how easy and fun making a Beaded Banner is...for me anyway! Well, I have started making another one and I thought I would show you step-by-step how these banners are made.

First of all, you need a Beaded Banner pattern sheet. This would come with your kit if you purchased a kit, or you would have to design your own using the blank that comes with the Make-Your-Own kit. The one in the pictures below is a pattern that I designed myself as a gift to my daughter's high school band director. Don't tell anyone, but his birthday is coming up next week and this will be a surprise for him!

You also need something to anchor your pattern onto, such as a clip board or other type of board. I use a plastic typing stand, with the 'stand' part removed.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerHere are all my supplies: The pattern sheet, typing stand board, scissors, tape, pony beads in appropriate quantity and colors, box to contain beads, and then the pieces that came with the Make-Your-Own kit which are the spool of thread, large plastic needle, metal rod, hanging cord, and little plastic end caps for the rod.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerSo the first thing you do is tape your pattern sheet to your board and cut a 2 yard length of thread. Tape one end of the thread to the left side of the pattern sheet between rows 1 and 2. Thread the other end onto the needle and then, following the chart, thread all the beads for the first two rows onto the thread as shown in the picture above. In this case the beads are all blue, but your pattern may call for different colors, so you need to follow the pattern.

Each row is off set from the next row so that each row only contains half the number of beads for the width of the banner.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen you take the metal rod and put it through the beads from right to left, only picking up the beads for Row 1 and leaving the beads for Row 2 beneath the rod, as shown in the picture above. When you are finished, line up Rows 1 and 2 with the corresponding rows on the chart to make sure that you have the right color beads in the right places.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerAt this point, you need to put the little plastic end caps onto each end of the metal rod to protect yourself from the sharp cut ends of the metal.
Tape the ends of the rod to the pattern sheet with the beads lined up properly.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerFollowing the chart from right to left, string the first bead of Row 3 onto the needle then put the needle through the last bead of Row 2. String the next bead of Row 3 on, then put the needle through the next bead of Row 2. Continue in this manner, as shown in the picture above, all the way across the row, adding the new bead and picking up the bead of the previous row.

I find it easiest to put the needle through 2 or 3 new beads and the corresponding beads from the previous row before pulling the thread all the way through. This saves time and also helps to keep the beads tight on the thread.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerWhen you get to the end and have made sure that you have all the right color beads in the right places, untape the end of the thread and tie a knot as shown in the picture above.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen put your needle through the last bead of Row 3 from left to right, as shown above, so you will be ready to start stringing the beads for Row 4.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerString all the beads for Row 4 in the same manner, making sure you pick up the beads from the previous row each time you string a bead from the current row. This is how the banner looks after the first 4 rows have been strung.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerAfter stringing the 5th row, you need to anchor the last bead by tying a knot with the thread from the previous row. Put your needle between the two previous end beads picking up the thread joining them, then put your needle over your working thread and pull it through, making a loop.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen put your needle into the loop from back to front and over your working thread as shown above. Pull it nice and snug and you will have anchored the last bead of the row. This is how you end every left side row.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen put your needle through the last bead so that you will be ready to start stringing the beads of the next row. Continue working each row, making sure your beads are the right color and in the right place before knotting the end.

Keep in mind that the thread only gets knotted on the left side, not on the right side. You just need to make sure it is pulled up tightly on the right side after beginning the next row.

I am about a quarter of the way finished with this banner as I type, but by the time this gets published, I am hoping to be much further along. Once it is finished, I will show you how it turned out and you can see what the whole design looks like. I bet you could guess just by looking at the first picture though.

So you can see that making beaded banners is not all that hard, and it is not too tedious if this is the kind of thing you enjoy doing. It does take A Lot of beads though! Almost 1700 in fact for one banner! I priced them at Michael's and Walmart and different places on line and found that just buying them at Walmart in bags of 500 was the least expensive way to go for a Make-your-own design. The kits that you can buy from Mary Maxim or Herrschner's are less expensive than designing your own and buying your own beads because you only get the number of beads in each color that the pattern calls for, with just a few extras.

Anyway, if you have been curious about how these beaded banners get put together, now you know! Give one a try if it interests you. If you order a Christmas-y one from Mary Maxim, you may just end up with the one I designed!

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  • Aren't beaded banners fun to make? So relaxing! I've made over 225 since 2005. If you are interested in purchasing any supplies or patterns, check out my website which also has a link to my Ebay store.


    By Blogger Bonnie Matthews, At September 18, 2008 at 12:47 PM  

  • Hi there. I know this is an old post, but I'm hoping I might be able to catch your attention to ask you a question. In this post of yours, you have a Beadery pattern sheet, and I was wondering how you got it, and if you can direct me to where I can get one too. My mother has gotten into Beaded Banners, and wants to try her hand at making one of her own. I did try the Beadery website, and couldn't find it. Thanks in advance!


    My e-mail is doodlebug_ha01@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous Diana, At May 7, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

  • Hi Diana, thanks so much for writing! I'm glad you found my post on the beaded banners.

    I got my blank pattern sheet in a Design-your-own kit from Mary Maxim, but I just called them and they do not carry that kit anymore. So I called The Beadery directly to see if they still make the kit, and good news...they do! It is not on their website, but will be soon, so I was told. But for now, you can order it from Sunshine Crafts. You can go onto their website at www.sunshinecrafts.com and type in beaded banners or BD-BE-7024 into their search box and you'll see the kit there for $7.99. Or you can call them at 1-800-729-2878 to order the kit.

    Have fun designing!


    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At May 7, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

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