Tip: Place Your Bead Piles in Logical Order

I’ve been working on a spiral rope necklace today, and I noticed something about my process that I think is worth sharing. When I finish playing and finally decide what I want my pattern to be, I place the piles of beads on my mat in logical order. This helps me to bead more efficiently, and here’s why:

Little Mistakes Add Up

When bead piles are in random places all over the mat, little mistakes happen. Sometimes I’ll forget to add the core bead. If the pattern in asymmetrical, I’ll have to recheck my work to see what the order is, and then reverse it. The way that spiral rope is worked means the beads you put on last become first when you take a stitch. I’m using 15/0s, and therefore a smaller needle. So, it’s an extra pain to take off the needle, undo a mistake, re-thread, and start back up again.

Beading Efficiently

With my piles ordered logically, all I have to remember is 1-2-1-2 and bead my piles from left to right. For the example in the picture, I’ll add 1 black 11/0 for the core, 2 purple 15/0s, 1 yellow 11/0, and 2 fuchsia 15/0s for the pattern beads. I have less mistakes and it makes quick work of the project. Remember that beading isn’t a race though, it’s a journey 😉

Give it a Try

Check out my Spiral Rope Necklace Tutorial if you aren’t familiar with the stitch, and try it for yourself. This tip applies to all types of projects, not just this one, and I would love it if you shared your experience with us in the comments below.

What do you think? How do you arrange your bead piles when you bead? Please share with us in the comments!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • avatar Lori Anderson January 13, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Great idea! And THIS is why I don’t seed bead, LOL!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth January 13, 2012, 3:38 pm

    LOL, I hope you make it over to the “dark side” one day :)

  • avatar Lori January 30, 2012, 11:44 am

    Hi Mandi,

    Just saying Hi! to another beadweaver participant in BSBP.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth February 1, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Hi Lori, Thanks for stopping by! I’m looking forward to checking out more beading blogs :)

  • avatar Rachel February 3, 2012, 6:19 pm

    Simple but I have never thought to do this. Thanks for the advice to a beader who needs all the advice she can get. I use a plastic bead board I bought online that has little partitions for piles of beads but it is too easy to get the beads mixed together. I will try your advice tomorrow.

  • avatar Loretta March 31, 2012, 9:06 am

    I have learned that when i do peyote to put my bead piles in order by the bead legend that prints out. By the 3rd or 4th row i have them memorised or i just count over to the 4th color add it the 6th color and so on. No mistakes.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 31, 2012, 9:13 am

    Awesome, Loretta! It definitely adds to the flow of the process :)

  • avatar Lettie May 7, 2016, 7:45 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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