Double Bugle Bead Chain Necklace

  • 01 of 17

    Bugle Bead Chain

    bugle bead chain
    Double bugle chain necklace. © Lisa Yang

    Bugle beads are often overlooked in traditional beadweaving.  They can have sharp ends that cut thread, but that is easy to remedy by culling through your beads before you start beading or filing the ends smooth by using a nail file.  

    This easy bead chain will make you glad you took the time to dig through your bugle beads.  It uses a variation of right angle weave to create a sturdy beaded chain.  The chain make a beautiful necklace or bracelet, but also works well as a beaded strap for a purse...MORE or amulet bag.

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  • 02 of 17

    Bugle Bead Chain Materials

    double bugle chain tutorial
    Materials to make a double bugle bead chain. © Lisa Yang

     The double bugle bead chain uses bugle beads and two commonly available sizes of seed beads, size 11 and size 15.  You may be able to substitute different beads than the ones used here.  If you use the same beads listed here, be sure to use a 6 lb thread and a size 11 or size 12 needle so it will fit through the size 15 beads.

    As noted earlier, bugle beads can have sharp edges, so a strong fishing line type of thread will work better than a nylon thread.  It is suggested you use, FireLine, WildFi...MOREre, or PowerPro over nylon thread that requires conditioning like Nymo.

    This project uses black bugle beads, size 11 round Toho semi glazed rainbow turquoise beads and size 15 Opaque lustered dark beige Tohos.

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  • 03 of 17

    Pick Up Beads to Start

    art deco double bugle bead chain
    Using a stop bead prevents your beads sliding off the end of the thread. © Lisa Yang

     To make an 18 inch necklace, you will need two full arm spans of thread.  Add a stop bead to the end of the thread, leaving an 8-10 inch tail for adding the clasp.

    Pick up one size 11 bead, one size 15 bead, a bugle bead, one size 15, one size 11, one size 15, another bugle bead and another size 15 bead as shown in the picture.

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  • 04 of 17

    Stitch Back Through the First Bead

    double bugle bead chain instructions
    Stitch back through the first bead in the same direction the thread is coming out. © Lisa Yang

     Pass back through the first size 11 bead you picked up.  It is important that you put your needle through in the opposite direction that your needle originally went through.  If you simple pass through, each beaded unit will be slightly offset and crooked from the prior one.  There is an example of this later.

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  • 05 of 17

    Pull Thread Taut

    double bugle bead beadwork
    Pull thread taut but not too tight. © Lisa Yang

     With the thread coming out the bottom, pull taut to draw the beads into a small cluster with the two bugle beads side by side.

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  • 06 of 17

    Stitch Up Through the Bugle Bead

    double bugle bead chain instructions
    Pass through the bugle beads to tighten the stitch. © Lisa Yang

    Put your needle through the the last size 15 and bugle bead that you just strung. Hold the beads so they don't separate as you pull the thread through.

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  • 07 of 17

    Stitch Back Down the Bugle Bead

    bugle bead instructions
    Stitch back through the bugle beads. © Lisa Yang

     Skip the next size 15, size 11 and size 15 beads and stitch down through the next bugle bead.

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  • 08 of 17

    Stitch Back Up the Bugle Bead

    bugle bead beadwork chain
    Complete the stitch through the bugle bead and the size 15 and 11 beads. © Lisa Yang

     And one more time, skip the size 15, the size 11 and the size 15 beads at the bottom of the bead group and stitch back up through the bugle bead on the other side.

    The last step is going to be to reposition your thread by going through the size 15 and size 11 beads at the top, so if it is easy to stitch through those beads in this step at the same time, go ahead and do it.  It is usually easy to stitch through the size 15 beause it aligns on top of the bugle bead, but the size 11 is turned to...MORE the side so it isn't as easy to stitch directly through it. 

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  • 09 of 17

    Position Thread for the Next Stitch

    bugle bead beadwork chain
    Stitch through the size 11 bead to position the thread for the next stitch group. © Lisa Yang

     Pull the thread taut and stitch through the size 15 and size 11 beads at the top of the unit if you have not already done so. 

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  • 10 of 17

    Tighten Stitch

    Use bugle beads
    The first double bugle stitch section. © Lisa Yang

     Pull thread taut and align the beads. You are now in position to start the next bead unit. Be careful to keep firm tension but do not pull too hard.  Even after culling and filing the bead ends, bugle beads may still have sharp edges that can cut your thread.

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  • 11 of 17

    Pick Up Beads for the Next Stitch

    bugle bead chain instructions
    Pick up beads for the next stitch. © Lisa Yang

     Pick up the beads for your next bead unit.

    • 1 size 15 bead
    • 1 bugle bead
    • 1 size 15 bead
    • 1 size 11 bead
    • 1 size 15 bead
    • 1 bugle bead
    • 1 size 15 bead
    Continue to 12 of 17 below.
  • 12 of 17

    Stitch Back Through the Prior Beads

    bugle bead chain tutorial
    Stitch through the size 11 bead to connect the next group of beads. © Lisa Yang

     Repeat the same steps as before by stitching back through the size 11 bead from the last bead unit.

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  • 13 of 17

    Pull Taut

    bugle bead chain tutorial
    Complete the stitch by stitching the bugle beads together and then getting in position for the next stitch. © Lisa Yang

     Pull the thread to form a group with the new set of beads. Stitch up through the size 15 and bugle beads you just added, then down through the first bugle bead and back up the second bugle bead you strung in the group.

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  • 14 of 17

    Complete the Stitch

    how to make a bugle bead chain
    Complete the stitch. © Lisa Yang

    Pull the group so there is no loose thread showing and stitch through the size 15 and size 11 beads at top of the bead unit to position the thread to add more. Continue stitching in the same manner until your bugle bead chain is the desired length.

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  • 15 of 17

    Adding a Clasp

    Adding clasp to bugle bead chain necklace
    Use bead loops to add the clasp to the beaded chain. © Lisa Yang

     When your bead chain is long enough, pick up 5 size 15 beads, a clasp or jump ring and another 5 beads.  Stitch through the size 11 bead at to make a loop.  Turn the thread by going  down through the size 15 bead on one side and back up the size 15 bead on the other side.  Go back through the size 15 bead loop holding the clasp a couple of more times to make sure it is secure and strong.

    Weave back through the bead chain tying half hitch knots periodically to secure the thread.  When you are...MORE satisfied it is secure, make a final half hitch knot, stitch through a bugle bead and cut the thread end using embroidery scissors or a thread burner.

    Buy a thread burner at

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  • 16 of 17

    Double Bugle Chain Tips

    bugle bead chain
    If the stitches don't align straight, you may be stitching the wrong way through the size 11 (blue) bead. © Lisa Yang

    A couple of tips: 

    Pulling to tightly on the thread may cause it to break.  If it does break, undo one or two units and add a new thread in one of the units under the breakage using half hitch knots.  Weave through the stitch and continue beading.

    I found that in order to have the bead units fall in a straight line, it is important to pass back through the size 11 bead when joining the beads into a cluster.  If you go through the bead in the same direction, the bead units will be slightly...MORE mis-aligned like the first four in the picture.  If you look carefully, one bead unit is slightly high, the next is slightly lower, the next is slightly high, etc.

    The last four units in the picture are straight.  The difference is minor, but noticeable.

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  • 17 of 17

    Finished Double Bugle Chain

    double bugle bead chain necklace instructions
    This easy bead chain can have an art deco look depending on the colors used. © Lisa Yang

     The finished double bead chain is perfect to wear alone or with a pendant.  It can also be used as a bracelet chain or to hold an amulet bag or beaded purse.  This is a very simple and versatile design, so be sure to try it with a variety of colors and even different sizes of beads.