Hey beautiful! I can’t wait to show you more about the Flat Chenille beading stitch in today’s video tutorial. This is a very versatile bead weaving technique that I have had so much fun playing around with, lately. As you can see, flat chenille creates a lattice-like, and almost woven, slinky, fabric-like strip of beadwork. It’s also very secure, and holds tightly together due to the nature of how the rows become beaded together.
I know there are other flat chenille beading tutorials and resources out there, and I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, by any means, but this video has come at the request of a viewer, and I hope to break down the basics of this technique in a way that is easy for you to follow, and then you can take this information and expand on by using other types and sized of beads.
We aren’t completing one entire finished jewelry piece this time, but I will have complete flat chenille jewelry tutorials coming in the future. Today, let’s focus on the basics. That way, you’ll be even more prepared when attempting a full piece.
Suggested Materials & Shops
As with any new bead weaving stitch or technique, I recommend learning with slightly larger beads, such as 8/0 seed beads, or something around 3mm in size.
I also recommend using a strong 0.006″ diameter beading thread, such as my go-to 6lb Fireline. Please note, Fireline is also marketed a fishing product, but it is a completely different material than monofilament, or what you may recognize as traditional fishing line.
I will also be using a size 11 beading needle – my recommendation is a size 10 or 11, if you aren’t using anything smaller than a common 11/0 seed bead.
Examples of Flat Chenille Stitch Jewelry
Planning Flat Chenille Stitch Beadwork:
Pick out beads of two different, complimentary, sizes. If you use size 8/0 seed beads, then use size 11/0 seed beads as the smaller size. As another example, if you choose 11/0 seed beads, use size 15/0 as the smaller compliment.
Note: The smaller bead will also decorate the sides of the bracelet.
Note: It is possible to use beads that are all the same size, for a different look.
The length of the first two rows of the beadwork will determine the width of the bracelet.
Beginning Flat Chenille Beadwork
When beginning, it’s a good idea to leave about a 10-12″ tail thread because I recommend focusing on creating the entire beaded portion first. Once the beadwork is complete, then work on the ends to attach the findings. Of course, have in mind the type of findings, or ending, you plan to use, which will work with the size bracelet you are planning to make.
Start with a wingspan of beading thread (feel free to add a stop bead here if you like), and add on an even number, at least (6), of the larger size bead
Flat Chenille Stitch: Step-by Step
Pictorial diagrams to come…
ROW 1) String (8) 8/0 seed beads, and string them down, leaving a 10″ tail.
ROW 2) Pick up (1) 11/0, (1) 8/0, and (1) 11/0. Skipping the last (1) 8/0 from row one, sew through the next (2) 8/0.
Next, pick up (1) 11/0 and sew through the next (2) 8/0. Repeat once more.
Finally, pick up (1) 11/0 and sew through the last (1) 8/0.
Note: Think of each row stacking on top of the one before it.
ROW 3) Pick up (1) 11/0 and (1) 8/0. Sew back through the last (1) 15/0 from the previous row.
Pick up (2) 8/0, then sew through the next (1) 11/0. Repeat two more times.
Then, sew down through the last 8/0 in the previous row, up through the (1) 11/0 on the side, and the next (2) 8/0.
ROW 4) Pick up (1) 11/0, sew through the next (2) 8/0. Repeat two more times.
ROW 5) Pick up (2) 8/0, sew through the (1) 11/0 in the previous row. Repeat two more times.
Then, pick up (2) 8/0, and sew back through the last (2) 8/0 in the previous row. Exit out of the second to last (1) 8/0 in the top row.
ROW 6) Pick up (1) 11/0, then sew through the next (1) 8/0.
Then, pick up (1) 11/0, (1) 8/0, and (1) 11/0. Sew through the next (2) 8/0 n the previous row.
Pick up (1) 11/0, and sew through the next (2) 8/0. Repeat once more.
Pick up (1) 11/0, then sew through the last (1) 8/0 in the previous row.
Continue to repeat the steps for ROWS 3-6 until you have reached the desired length of beadwork.
Please keep in mind, it is completely normal to have to attempt getting started with this technique several times before getting the hang of it. As with most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Don’t stress, just have fun, and each time you practice it will get easier. Also, once you get going, the technique is very repetitive, and will become second nature over time. Once the length becomes longer, the pattern also becomes more visible, and is easier from a visual standpoint.
You will likely need to add thread several times while creating a flat chenille bracelet. You can watch me add thread in the video at timestamp 20:07.
Tip: When adding thread, begin weaving it into a spot inside the bracelet (not on the edge), and carefully follow the thread-path, to keep the integrity of the design.
Clasp Ideas for Flat Chenille Stitch
2) Use a sliding tube ending; slide one tube over the first and last two rows of beads. In this striped example, I did have to widen the opening gently with a pair of pliers. The 3x2mm crystals I used were a bit too large for the slides, as is.
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