Bead looming is a timeless craft for children ages 8 and older. A bead loom is an open, four-sided structure with lines of string running across the top. The child makes beaded bracelets, key chains and headbandd by weaving small beads through these strings with an elongated sewing needle. An effective bead loom has strong sides with evenly placed slits. Any local craft store sells basic bead looms, but you can create your own child-friendly bead loom at home for free or little money.
Items you will need
- Sturdy shoe box
- Dark pen
- Utility string
Remove the top lid of the shoe box. Measure 1 inch in from the edge and pen 10 hash marks 1/4-inch apart on the exterior of the box's short end.
Repeat step one on the opposite short end of the box, making the hash marks symmetrical to the first side. When you are finished, the open lip of your shoe box should have 10 identical hash marks on both short ends of the box.
Cut 1/2-inch deep slits at each hash mark using scissors. The slits will hold the loom string in position while the child beads.
Cut a 3-yard piece of utility string. Begin stringing 1.5-feet into the string length, leaving enough headway to join the two ends together once you finish stringing the loom. Starting at the 1.5-feet mark, place the string between the pair of outermost slits, pushing down to the bottom of the slit. Hold the string ends taut before continuing.
Loop the string under and across the bottom of the box lengthwise. Bring the string back up around the first short end and push it between the next set of empty opposite ended slits. Pull the string taut after each slit insertion. Beading with tight string is easier for the child and creates a more secure beaded piece.
Repeat Step 5 until taut, straight strings run between all the opposite ended pairs of slits. Knot the two loose ends of string diagonally under the box.
Tips & Warnings
- Replace the shoe box every few beading projects to keep the cardboard sides from becoming soft. A flimsy loom leads to loose strings and loosely woven bead projects.
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