Flat Spiral Bracelet Tutorial
Edited by Lisa Yang
The flat spiral stitch is deceptively simple but results in a flexible beadwork which can be subtle or bold depending on the beads you choose. My bracelet was made using bronze 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads and green crystals for a subtle (yet sparkly) results. One variation I like a lot is substituting crystal beads instead of the 8/0 beads on the side.
One other change you may need to make to this design is the number of beads you need to go around the center bead. I tend to like the beadwork of the spiral to hug tightly to the center spine - while I know other beaders that like this a little looser. It may help to make a practice section to decide what looks best for you.
Flat Spiral Stitch Bracelet Materials
The spiral stitch bracelet consists of a center core of beads (the spine) that has overlapping loops of beads that loop around to surround and highlight the crystal beads.
To make a 7" bracelet, you will need the following materials:
- 25 Swarovski bicones, 6mm
- 7 grams Japanese seed beads, size 11
- 1 gram Japanese seed beads, size 8
- Toggle clasp
- Beading thread - I am using Wildfire
- Beading needle, size 10 or 12
Flat Spiral Stitch: Starting the Spine
For this bracelet, it is best if you use as long a piece of beading thread as you are comfortable with so that you avoid having to add and end new thread in this stitch.
For a 7 inch bracelet, cut a 12-foot piece of beading thread.
You do not need a stop bead to get started. The beads will be wiggly at first, but they tighten up after the first stitches.
Pick up one size 8/0 bead, a bicone, one size 8/0 bead, a bicone and another 8/0 bead. Push the beads down the thread, leaving at least a 10-inch tail. The tail will be used to add one side of the clasp at the end.
Flat Spiral Stitch: Adding the First Side of the Spiral
Pick up five sizes 11/0 beads, one size 8 bead, and five sizes 11/0 beads. Pass your needle up through the first set of core beads and pull snugly.
The beads making up the core or spine of your beadwork are now locked in place.
Note that I prefer my loops to be very close to the core beads - but I have a friend who prefers it a little loose. The beads should surround the center crystals and sit flat while not showing any extra thread. If the loop pulls the center beads to the side or thread shows, you need to use an extra bead on each side of the 8/0 bead. If that is the case, each instance where I use five 8/0 seed beads, you should use six 8/0 seed beads.
Flat Spiral Stitch: Adding the Second Side of the Spiral
Pick up another set of beads matching the first side. For me, that is five size 11/0, one size 8/0 bead, and five sizes 11/0 beads.
Pass your needle and thread through the set of core beads again.
The First Flat Spiral Stitch
Pull your thread taut. Separate the two sides of the beadwork that form the spirals so that one is on either side of the core beads.
Flat Spiral Stitch: Add core beads and beads for the spiral side
From now on, for the first part of each stitch, you will pick up the two beads that make up the core along with the beads that make up the first side of the spiral stitch. It's not difficult at all!
Pick up the core beads: one 6mm bicone and one size 8/0 bead. Push them down against the beads you have already stitched.
Pick up your first set of spiral beads: five size 11/0 beads, one size 8/0 bead, and five size 11/0 beads. Push them down against the core beads.
Flat Spiral: Stitch Up Through the Core
Stitch through the 6mm bicone from the prior stitch, the size 8/0 bead, and then the 6mm and 8/0 bead you just added.
Pass your needle through the 6mm bicone , the size 8, the 6mm bicone just added, and the size 8 bead just added.
Flat Spiral Bracelet: Push spiral to one side
Pull the thread taut and keep this spiral to one side of the bicones core beads.
Flat Spiral Bracelet: Complete the Spiral
Pick up another set of spiral beads:five sizes 11/0 beads, one size 8/0 bead, and five sizes 11/0 beads. Stich through the same set of core beads that you did in the previous step and pull snugly.
Push this spiral over to the opposite side as the spiral you stitched in the previous step.
Continue Flat Spiral Stitch
Continue stitching in this manner until the bracelet is approximately 6 3/4 inches long.
As you stitch, don't flip your work over. Try to stay working on the same side so that each new stitch will hold down the previous stitches.
Keep your tension fairly tight - loose tension will cause the bracelet to have thread gaps between the beads and the stitches won't line up nicely against each other.
Add the First Half of the Toggle Clasp
After you have completed the body of the bracelet,pick up enough size 8/0 seed beads to make your bracelet the correct length and one-half of the toggle clasp. For me, that is five beads.
Pass needle back through the size 8/0 beads and into the body of the bracelet. Pull snugly to form a loop and secure the clasp in place.
Retrace the thread path two or three times for added security and tie a few half-hitch knots in the thread between beads. Weave the thread into the bracelet and trim the thread end close to the beadwork, or use a thread burner.
Add the Second Half of the Toggle Clasp
To add the loop part of the toggle clasp, thread a needle onto the tail you left at the beginning of the bracelet.
Pick up enough size 8/0 seed beads to make the bracelet the right length and the other half of the toggle, Pass needle back through the size 8/0 beads and into the beadwork. Pull snugly to form a loop and secure the toggle.
Because the last spiral stitch on each side can have a tendency pop up, I like to stitch through the 8/0 bead and the rest of the beads on the side spiral when I attach my clasp. This is a personal preference, but I find it keeps this stitch laying flat better and provides a natural thread path for me to reinforce the clasp connection. I go through each side, back through the clasp before tying off the thread.
The Finished Flat Spiral Stitch Bracelet
This bracelet works up very quickly and feels wonderful to wear! Once you get the hang of the stitch, you'll want to try it with all sorts of bread variations.