How to String a Stop Bead

  • 01 of 05

    How to String a Stop Bead

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    A stop bead will keep your beads from sliding off the end of the thread and help you keep the thread tension. Lisa Yang

    A stop bead is a temporary marker placed on the tail end of a bead project to help keep the beads from falling off the end of the thread. Some people like to use a stop bead that's a different size, shape, or color from the rest of the project to make it easy to identify. This prevents you from accidentally counting it in your starting set of seed beads and it can also be used to set the clasp for a necklace. 

    In addition to keeping the beads from falling off the thread, the stop bead also helps maintain proper thread tension. And, a stop bead is easily removed by sliding it off the tail-end of the thread whenever your project is complete. 

    Of course, you can also use a bead stopper—a metal spring used to keep beads from sliding off the end of a cord—in lieu of placing a stop bead. 

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  • 02 of 05

    Pick up a Bead

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    Pick up a bead to be used as a stop bead. Lisa Yang

    To thread a stop bead, first, pick up a bead and slide it all the way down the thread into the position where you want your beadwork to start. Positioning the stop bead four to six inches from the end of the thread is a common practice. The remaining "tail" of cordage is referred to as the "thread tail." And the amount of thread tail you need will depend on whether you want to add a clasp or a jump ring to your finished product.

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  • 03 of 05

    Secure the Bead in Place

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    Put your needle back through the bead in the same direction. Lisa Yang

    To secure the stop bead, pass your needle or cord through the bead again in the same direction, creating a loop around the bead. Pull tightly to secure the bead on the thread. 

    If you are working with nylon beading thread such as Nymo or Silamide, make sure that you do not split your thread when you make the pass through the stop bead. If you split your thread, you will not be able to remove your stop bead correctly. One way to avoid splitting the thread is to use the tail end (without a needle) to loop through your stop bead. This procedure is easy if you select a bead with a hole that is large enough to thread without the help of a needle. 

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  • 04 of 05

    Adjust the Bead Position

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    Pull the thread tight around the bead. Lisa Yang

    The stop bead is now held securely in place by the loop around it, but it can also slide along the thread when loosened slightly. To adjust the position of the stop bead on your beading thread, grasp the bead between your thumb and pointer finger and slide it up or down the beading thread before securing it in place. After that, you can make an additional pass through the bead to fix its location. However, passing through the stop bead a second time will make it more difficult to adjust the position, should you need to down the road. It will also lend slightly more resistance when it comes time to slide the stop bead off of the project.

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  • 05 of 05

    Start Your Beading Project

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    A stop bead will keep your beads from sliding off the end of the thread and help you keep the thread tension. Lisa Yang

    Once you are satisfied with the position of the stop bead, string the first set of beads onto your project. To remove the stop bead once your project is finished, grasp it with your thumb and finger again and gently pull it off the beading thread.

    Stop beads are often used when loom weaving seed beads and for off-loom bead-weaving stitches like peyote stitch.