Woven bangles created for Beads Direct using the new Bangle Weaver Tool from Beadalon

I have had so much fun playing with the new Bangle Weaver Tool designed by Kleshna for Beadalon. I simply love it and my mind is bursting with ideas. It can be used to create so many different styles of bangle, from structured wire weaves to Boho and ethnic styles using fabric strips. Why not try recycling old T shirts, bedding or carrier bags.

Beads Direct asked me to create a few designs for their blog – they took some lovely pics too. Do check the Beads Direct Blog for lots of great projects from the Design Team.

AW Bangle Weave 1

The instructions included are very easy to follow, and it can be used to weave so many different types of materials, for example:

· Beading cable (e.g. 7 Strand beading wire)or monofilament (e.g. Supplemax)

· Recycled sari silk yarns or ribbons

· Shamballa (e.g. waxed nylon cord), cotton (e.g. waxed cotton) or rattail cords (e.g. satin)

· Leather (e.g. round cord) or suede cords (e.g. flat cord)

The possibilities are simply endless.

I find that Kumihimo bobbins are invaluable for keeping cords or ribbons manageable, or Spool Tamers if you are weaving beading wires. Bead stoppers are also handy for temporarily holding beaded cables or ribbons in place. You will also need blunt ended needles with a large eye to replace the warp. The bodkin set recommended by Kleshna is very good. However, when warping ribbon or fabric strip weaves I found that an extra-long bodkin (e.g. elastic threader available from haberdashery stores) was much easier to use. Note: The warp pegs are quite sharp so I would not recommend the tool for young children, and do protect you table top from scratches by using with a mat.

Woven Bangle Designs

I have created a few designs for you using Recycled Sari Silk Ribbons and 0.6mm Supplemax Monofilament along with various beads from my stash. I hope that they inspire you to get started with your own designs. I followed the basic instructions included with the tool for setting up, weaving and warping. I just love this fabulous tool.

Happy beading, Anne x.

Materials used:

· Recycled Sari Silk Ribbons (ST240)

· 0.6mm Supplemax Monofilament (W418)

· Classic White Vintage Bead Mix (BG0362)

· Berry Smoothie Blush Pink Vintage Bead Mix (BG0371)

· Glam Green Vintage Bead Mix (BG0363)

· Lucite Flower Bead Mix (BO435)

· Peridot and Lemon Toho Seed Beads Size 11 (11TR27 and 11TR902)

· Turquoise Toho Seed Beads Size 8 (8TR55)

· Hot Pink 3mm Cross Grain Ribbon (TC1076)

· Silver Plated Crimp Beads #2 (F317)

· 0.25mm Supplemax Monofilament (TC94)

· Co-ordinating Nymo or KO beading threads (for sewing)

· Silver Plated Headpins (F0043)

Floral Trellis Bangle

AW Floral Trellis Bangle

I used 0.6mm Supplemax, the vintage pink bead mix and a few flowers to create this bangle. I love the way that the beads appear to be suspended on the transparent woven trellis.

Unwind and cut off approximately 4m from the spool and thread with 231 beads from the pink mix. Wind onto a Kumihimo bobbin. I used a Bead Stopper to clamp the monofilament while weaving (you could crimp them together at this stage).

AW Floral Trellis 1

Weave 7 rows with one plain and one beaded strand, moving up 3 beads to the front per ‘wrap’ with the beaded strand. The weave holds the beads in place.

Unwind approximately 1.5m off from the plain spool before cutting. Pass one of the strands down through the warp to the other side to give the 2 warping strands. Warp the bangle according to the included instructions and secure using crimp beads. I adjusted the tension by pulling in the warp threads to give a bangle width of approx. 1.5 inches as I worked around.

Next stitch on flowers using the thinner 0.25mm Supplemax. Tie on the thread, pass up through the flower, add on a small lemon seed bead, pass back down the flower and tie/knot back onto the trellis. Weave the thread through the trellis between the flowers.

Spring Garden Bangle

AW Spring Garden Bangle

I used strips of the silk ribbon in yellows/creams and greens for the weave and 0.6mm Supplemax for the warp, then embellished with beads.

AW Spring Garden 1

Join the silk ribbon strips by stitching them together (just a couple of small stitches to anchor) using beading thread. Prepare approximately 1.5 to 2m each of yellows/creams and greens. Twist the strips and wind onto Kumihimo bobbins for weaving. Twisting the strips gives added strength and structure to the weave. After weaving 7 rows secure the silk strips with a few stitches.

Use approximately 2m of the 0.6mm Supplemax to warp, adjusting the bangle width to approx. 1.5 inches by gently pulling on both the warps as you work around. I generally prefer to tighten and adjust the warp as I work on silk weaves, rather than after the warp pegs have been removed.

Use crimps to secure the ends. Once removed from the warp pegs neaten the cut ends of the silk by stitching them down, hiding them on the inside of the bangle.

I found the use of an extra long bodkin really useful for pulling the warp strands though the channels of the ribbon weave. Tip: Push the eye of the bodkin through the channel, thread with the monofilament, and then pull through. Unthread and repeat pulling the cables through from each side.

Then use 0.6mm Supplemax to add small green beads (from the Glam Green Vintage Mix) along the top and bottom edges. Simply weave the cable through, following the pattern of the silk weave, adding 11 groups of 3 beads on each edge (i.e. you will need 66 beads in total). Secure with crimps, hiding them by burying into the silk weave.

Further embellish the bangle by stitching on groups of green beads, along with purple and white flowers, using co-ordinating beading thread. Use peridot seed beads to attach the green beads and flowers, and to create little beaded leaves. The leaves are made by threading 9 beads, passing back down the eighth bead, adding 6 beads and finally passing back through the first bead. Ensure that groups of beads are anchored well by stitching into the silk. Stitch through the back of the bangle when moving between beaded sections.

Blue Lagoon Bangle

AW Blue Lagoon Bangle

This bangle was woven in the same way as the Spring Garden Bangle. A random mix of blue and green silk ribbons were used but they were not twisted before weaving. I tightened up the warp tension after removing the warp pegs (as described in the instruction booklet). The resultant weave is softer and less structured than when using twisted strips. It is also more difficult to get an even tension. However, I was very pleased with the results, giving the design a more organic feel.

To embellish, first attach groups of 2 or 3 beads onto headpins. Anchor these onto the warp (buried in the silk weave) for stability, attaching them with wrapped loops. Further embellish by stitching on clusters of beads from the Glam Green Vintage mix, plus green and turquoise flowers, along with turquoise and peridot seed beads.

Tooty Fruity Bangle

AW Tooty Fruity Bangle

In this design I added beads (from the Pink Vintage Mix) onto the warp to create a border along the edges of the bangle. I also included a cross grain ribbon in the weave to give added texture.

Prepare approximately 1.5 to 2m each of bright pink and dark purple silk strips, twist and wind them onto Kumihimo bobbins. The bangle is woven in the same way as the Spring Garden Bangle but weaving with one pink strand, and combining a pink cross grain ribbon along with the purple strand.

Warp using approximately 3m of 0.6mm Supplemax and add a bead onto each warp strand before passing them back down the channel. Note: when adding beads to the outer warp edges they need to be fairly large when using silk weave. Smaller beads just disappear down into the channels.

Finally embellish by stitching sets of 3 beads in rows around the weave. You will need a total of 66 beads (11 groups of 3 per row).

Indian Rose Bangle

AW Indian Rose Bangle

I chose 6 different silk ribbon colours to weave this one. They were woven in the same way as the Spring Garden bangle but the colour combination was changed every 3 rows: green and purple for the first 3 rows, yellow and pink for the next 3 rows, cream and cerise for the top 3 rows. The bangle was warped using approximately 2m of the 0.6mm Supplemax.

Use the silk ribbons to create a flower and embellish using beads from the Pink Vintage Mix:

AW Indian Rose 1

Create 5 small cerise petals from 1.5 inch squares. First fold the square in half, then fold the outer edges to the centre and down to create a small folded triangle with raw edges along the base. Use small running stitches along the base to gather the petal.

Create 5 large turquoise petals using 4 X 1.5 inch strips. First fold the strips in half and round off the corners on the raw edges. Use small running stitches along the raw edges and pull up to gather the petal.

Arrange the petals and stitch them onto the bangle. Add beads to cover the centre and raw edges.

Encrusted Treasure Bangle

AW Encrusted Treasure Bangle

This bangle was woven using knotted silk strands along with a strand of beaded 0.6mm Supplemax (Classic White Mix). I just love the textures on this one.

Prepare approximately 1.5 to 2m each of turquoise/teal and mixed red strips, stitching lengths together with a few stitches to hold, and then knot over the join. Next knot the silk strips at intervals of approximately 2 inches right along the length. Don’t pull too hard or the silk will tear. Loosely twist the teal and red strands together and wind onto a Kumihimo bobbin.

Keeping the 0.6mm Supplemax on the reel, thread a length of approximately 1m with a random mix of the white beads. Weave the bangle in a similar way as the Floral Trellis, pushing up 3-5 beads to the front per ‘wrap’ with the beaded strand. The weave holds the beads in place.

Warp using approximately 3m of 0.6mm Supplemax and secure with crimps.

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