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by Pam Preslar

Make this simple yet elegant beaded bracelet with Swarovski Crystals while learning Right Angle Weave. This project will introduce you to single needle right angle weave. The single needle method is different from right angle weave done with two needles. The look of the resulting piece is the same as it is when done with two needles however I find single needle is more versatile in terms of what you can create. You can create anything with the stitch from beaded cuffs to purses and you can even cover any object with any bead using this method. The data in this tutorial is a prerequisite to all of my other right angle weave tutorials which cover more advanced projects with right angle weave.

     

89 4mm bicone shaped beads (Swarovski #5301), 8 3mm bicone beads and 31 size 11 seed beads. 14mm button with a shank Nymo size D thread in a coordinating color or use white Figure 1 and color it with a Sharpie (discussed in this tutorial) Substitutions  You can use any size of base bead. I have made these in all sizes from 3mm to 8mm.  Any bicone shape works well, it doesn’t have to be Swarovski. Swarovski is just my personal preference. Other shapes and sizes are discussed more fully within.  You could also use 3mm or 4mm druks (round Czech glass) or fire polish (faceted Czech glass. This is a good substitute for children as crystal contains lead and is not safe for

children.

 You could use other threads. I personally do not like anything else but this topic is discussed more within.

  

Size 10 or 12 beading needles. Fine scissors or other thread cutting tool. A bead mat or anything to keep your beads from rolling away while you work.

If you want to follow the practice section to learn the basic stitch then you will want 4 colors of beads. (3 orange, 3 green, 5 blue, 5 red, or any substitute colors)


Project Description ..................................................................................................................... 1 Materials..................................................................................................................................... 1 Tools ............................................................................................................................................. 1 Practicing .................................................................................................................................... 1 Introduction to Right Angle Weave ...................................................................................... 3 Why use Right Angle Weave? ............................................................................................. 4 Terms Used ............................................................................................................................... 4 Basic Supplies ........................................................................................................................... 4 Thread ............................................................................................................................................ 5 Preparing Your Thread .......................................................................................................... 5 Dying Your Thread .................................................................................................................. 6 Cutting Your Thread .............................................................................................................. 6 Needles ........................................................................................................................................... 8 Threading Your Needle ......................................................................................................... 8 Substitutions ................................................................................................................................ 8 Weaving the Bracelet ................................................................................................................ 9 Finishing the Woven Section ............................................................................................. 16 Common Mistakes ...................................................................................................................... 18 Breaking Thread .................................................................................................................... 18 Always Turn Corners, Do Not Cross Them ........................................................................ 19 Maintaining Tension .................................................................................................................. 21 Creating a Custom Clasp Mechanism ................................................................................... 28 Secure Your Thread ............................................................................................................. 29 Tying a Knot ................................................................................................................................ 30 Alternatives ................................................................................................................................ 35 Starting with the Clasp ....................................................................................................... 35 Other Clasp Designs ................................................................................................................. 35 Smaller Seed Beads ............................................................................................................. 35 Simple Loop Clasp .................................................................................................................. 36 Note this table is clickable. When viewing on computer just click on the item to go there. This copy is licensed to rady sakr at rady-s@msn.com. Distribution to others by any means is a violation of the copyright.

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Right angle weave is largely done by creating squares in a circular motion. I call them “squares” because of how the beads sit with four sides. The stitch is circular as you are weaving in a circular fashion.

Figure 2

This photo shows part of a beaded bag woven in 3 bead squares with size 14 Czech seed beads. You can see that when you use seed beads in what is called “3 bead squares” that the result is a bunch of woven squares. This is why I refer to them as squares even when they may not look square. It is also a useful way of thinking of the stitch as you move on to more sophisticated projects such as beaded beads and larger beaded bags.

This photo shows part of a beaded bag using 3mm Czech fire polish (upper left) and then 2 bead squares in right angle weave followed by 3mm druks (round Czech glass). This entire piece is done in right angle weave. The technique remains the same. The only variation is in the type of bead used in the squares.

Figure 3

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I used right angle weave for many reasons. Here a couple of those reasons.  Right angle weave is a very secure stitch. Once a piece is woven it will take scissors to take it apart. It is not going to fall apart while being worn or used.  The finished beadwork has a silken feel when you weave in this stitch.  You can use just about any size and shape of bead. Some look great while others do not. Bicone and round shapes work really well.  You can easily combine shapes and sizes all in one piece and you can make just about anything with this stitch.

Needling – This refers to weaving through beads without adding any additional beads. You will “needle around” or “needle through” in order to get your thread in the right position for the following step. Square – This refers to one group of four beads woven together forming a square.

You only need a couple of things to get started: thread, needles, scissors and some beads.

Figure 4

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I use Nymo (originally created for the shoe industry) brand for all weaving no matter the bead type. I think the name Nymo is for Nylon Monofilament. Over the years I have tried it all. When I started weaving with Swarovski crystals I thought I would need something more robust. Everything I tried ended up cut or frayed (including Kevlar thread, which is, or was, used in bullet-proof vests). Nymo comes on large spools or little bobbins in a variety of sizes from OOO to D, with D being the thickest. I have only seen OOO, OO, O, A, B, and D. I use D for beads that are 3mm and larger. For tiny (size 13 and smaller) seed beads I use B. For beads with smaller holes I go down to an O. I personally have never had to use something finer than O. Nymo comes in a variety of colors but you can also dye it. This is covered later in this section. You can click on any blue underlined text in this tutorial. FireLine, SoftFlex and other fine wires are stiffer than I like. Nymo leaves the piece with a silken feel rather than the stiff feel which results with fine wire.

When you get your thread off of a small bobbin it’s all curly. This is rather annoying to work with so I straighten it before I use it. You can use a product called Thread Heaven or beeswax and stretch it between your fingers.

Figure 5

I’m pretty lazy so I just iron it. Just put it under a warm iron and pull the thread through – it doesn’t take much time. Remember Nymo is nylon. Do not let the iron sit on it.

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I never seem to have thread in the exact right color handy so I quit trying to collect it. Instead I just buy white thread and a collection of Sharpies and dye it to the color I want. Place the thread on an old piece of cardboard (so the color doesn’t bleed through), put a Sharpie on top of it and pull the thread through. I’ve tried other brands of markers but Sharpies are permanent and reliable. You don’t want the color coming off so use a quality product.

Figure 6

Of course you can use a fine pair of scissors but when it comes to cutting the excess thread off of a finished piece I like to use this Speedy Wax tool. It is battery operated and heats up in a jiffy. Beadsmith distributes this item so you should be able to get it from any bead store. Your locally owned store will order it for you if they don’t have it in stock. The drawback is that it can be a little pricey and run about $25.

Figure 7

The battery is under the cap on the bottom. Just press it in and turn to access the battery.

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Press on the side button for a few seconds to heat the end wires.

Figure 8

Place the hot wire tip against the thread. It will burn right off. Of course, be careful not to cut sections of the thread you want to remain intact. It’s safe to put the cap on and put the tool aside. It stays hot for a bit but the cap protects it from touching anything. Figure 9

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I use English beading needles in a size appropriate to match the project. Usually size 10 will do until you get into smaller seed bead sizes. I find that Big Eye needles tear up my thread but some of my students like them.

The amount of thread you start with is a personal decision. If it’s too short then you have to start a new thread more often. If it’s too long then you get more tangles and lasso stuff on your table; the corner of the table, the wheels under your chair, the dog, etc., I use about two arms lengths, from my right fingertips to my left fingertips. DO NOT DOUBLE YOUR THREAD. Just thread the needle and pull it through leaving a tail. The length of the tail can vary as you work. Be sure you don’t weave the tail along with the main thread into your work. I have never made a piece without having to correct an error at least once. If you have doubled thread you will not be able to simply remove the needle and undo previous weaving. You will have to start over (argh! I dislike re-do’s). Nonetheless, if you do have to backtrack it may still take some patience. Right angle weave is very secure and does not come apart easily. Even taking a piece apart with scissors takes extra patience! It is actually a key advantage to right angle weave. You know it is not going to fall apart when worn!

You can use larger bicone beads. I have used 6mm and 8mm bicone beads in lots of right angle weave projects. Of course, you would then use fewer beads. You can also go smaller and then use more beads. This also looks great in 3 or 4mm druks (round Czech glass beads) and Czech fire polished beads (basically faceted glass smoothed a bit by fire). Larger than 4mm in these other shapes is not desirable to me for many projects as it leaves more empty space than I like.

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If this is your first project I would stick to the same size and shape beads throughout the project. Once you are familiar you can try all kinds of things including mixing a variety of bead sizes and shapes. The variations and possibilities are endless once you understand the stitch. See “Finishing the Woven Section” for information on how to measure the bracelet and adjusting for your bead size and wrist size.

In this example I am choosing four colors. I will refer to the colors directly rather than labeling them A, B, C, etc., I find that labels just make me have to look back to see what color each label represents. If you are following along with your bead colors and they do not happen to be blue, green, Figure 10 red and yellow then just mark up your copy indicating your chosen color. Just cross out or white out my color names and put in your own or make notes in the blank space provided in each step. You may also want to lay your beads out on a beading mat in the order they will be used. Pick up four beads in this order: yellow, red, green, Figure 11

blue.

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Pull thread through the beads toward the end of the thread leaving a 2� tail.

Figure 12

Bring needle through the yellow, red, green and blue again, creating a circle.

Figure 13

As you take up the slack a circle of thread will form.

Figure 14

Your thread will sit as shown once it is pulled snug. This is your first square. Congratulations!!!

Figure 15

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Needle through the yellow bead in the same direction. This is simply your next bead in the square. Your thread will now sit as shown.

Figure 16

Needle around the complete square a couple of times. This will secure your thread and no knot will be needed. You can leave the tail to cut off until later. I cut it off here to avoid confusion of the threads in the photos. Figure 17

Needle around until you are exiting the green bead. This is just so you can follow my color scheme.

Figure 18

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Thread on three beads. Blue Yellow Red

Figure 19

Circle around and needle through the same bead that you just exited to start a new circle of beads. Make sure you are needling through the hole on the side opposite of the side you came out of (follow the arrow). Figure 20

As you pull on the thread it will form a circle. If it doesn’t then something is wrong in an earlier step. You could back up and start over until you figure out where you went wrong.

Figure 21

When you take up the slack in the thread the bead will sit snug, as shown, creating two squares sitting side-by-side. Once you are confident that your square is correct needle around the square again to secure it in place. Figure 22

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Needle around the newest square until you are exiting the yellow bead.

Blue underlined text is clickable and will take you to the appropriate section in this tutorial.

Figure 23

At this point you may want to look at the section entitled “Maintaining Tension.”

Thread on three beads in this order… Red Green Blue Then enter through the yellow bead as shown. Figure 24

At this point you may want to look at the section entitled “Common Mistakes.”

The circle will form as you take up the slack.

Figure 25

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Your work should look like this after you have taken up the slack. You now have 3 squares sitting side by side.

Figure 26

Needle around the square again to hold it in place. I did not go around twice in the photographs and you can see the gaps. You will not have those if you go around again, but you won’t be able to undo to correct mistakes very easily. Needle around until your thread exits as shown.

Figure 27

Pick up three beads in this order… Blue Yellow Red Figure 28

Needle through the green bead. This is the bead you had exited previously.

Figure 29

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This is how it should look as you take up all of the slack.

Needle around the square again.

Figure 30

Needle around until you exit the yellow bead. Add three beads in the following order‌ Red Green Blue Figure 31

Circle around and needle through the yellow bead as shown. It should look as shown when you pull up the slack. Needle around the square again. Figure 32

Needle around until you exit as shown. Note: You will be moving the beadwork around as you weave but the photos only show the steps. See the section Maintaining Tension for how to hold the beadwork as you weave. Figure 33

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Weave as in the previous section with your chosen bead colors and sizes. Continue until you have enough woven section to fit your wrist. Make adjustments in the woven section to fit the desired size. The clasp mechanism in the sample takes up 7/8”. Each square takes 3/8”. My sample bracelet measures 7 7/8” when laid flat. The woven section measures 6 1/4” laid flat. I used 29 squares for the base woven section. I try to make the woven section in an odd number of squares. This is useful for embellishment later, if desired (see the Embellished Swarovski Crystal Bracelet tutorial wherever you purchased this tutorial). Of course, all of this can be adjusted to suit what beads you are using and what clasp mechanism you have chosen to use.

This bracelet was made with 8mm sterling silver beads and 2mm round sterling beads in the clasp mechanism. Figure 34

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Here is another way to look at right angle weave it. This is a page from a book I published back in the 90’s (ISBN #978-0-9650282-0-2). The diagrams are with seed bead shapes. Seed beads also make a charming little strand.

Figure 35

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1. The first mistake I find students making is in completing the square after adding three beads. Often students will try to go back through the last bead added the same way they were exiting. This mistake is shown in the photo at right. If you pull up the slack here you would just have a dangling piece of fringe.

Figure 36

2. The other mistake is trying to add the next square from the wrong starting position. In the full-color example herein that would be trying to add a square from a red or a blue bead.

I’ve only found three reasons for thread breaking when weaving crystals using right angle weave. 1. Trying to pull the thread snug by pulling in the opposite direction. There is no reason to pull the thread super tight. To pull it snug you need to pull your thread in the direction that it is already exiting the beads. See “Maintaining Tension” for more information. 2. Using Big Eye needles. I think this is because the eye of the needle clamps down Figure 37 on the thread rather than allowing it to flow through the eye. 3. Using thread other than Nymo. I haven’t found an alternative that I like. I like thread because of the smooth flexibility of the resulting piece. Products such as Fireline (which certainly has its A variety of bead shapes and sizes. uses) break when weaving crystals and the From left to right, seed final piece is not as silky and is instead beads, crystals, faceted rather stiff. Czech glass. This copy is licensed to rady sakr at rady-s@msn.com. Distribution to others by any means is a violation of the copyright.

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This is my cardinal rule in single needle right angle weave.

If you follow the method in this tutorial exactly you will not have crossed corners. Nonetheless, I often find my students having trouble with this when learning the stitch. The trick is to always weave your thread in a circular fashion and never go straight down a row. Figure 38

The single row strand in this photo shows no crossed corners and no thread showing.

In this photo is an extreme example of crossed corners. When you are reinforcing your work or adding embellishments you also want to be sure to not cross corners. Always follow the rule of Always Turn Corners, Do Not Cross Them unless you want the beadwork to be stiff. There are cases where you want a section to

Figure 39

be stiff. Some of my future tutorials use this but you don’t want it in this bracelet.

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This wider piece is an example of where one can easily cross corners without realizing it. Notice that the squares each have an empty space between them. This is what you usually want.

Figure 40

Figure 41

This photo shows one crossed corner in the middle of the woven piece. I almost always find one of these in my beadwork when I have a large piece woven in small beads. A couple them accidently woven in will not ruin the whole piece so you needn’t destroy your work when you find one. Realize that either it won’t be noticed or see it as an opportunity to add some embellishments : ).

Figure 42

This is just a close up of the crossed corner from the last photo. That is how they look to me magnified and glaring, when it’s in my own work. No one will notice and it won’t wreck the piece. However, a bunch of crossed corners will ruin the flexibility. Can you distinguish the crossed corner

from the uncrossed corner in the photo?

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A key trick to making a right angle weave piece look uniform is maintaining an even tension. The pictures presented so far do not show how I hold the piece while weaving. Of course you are not going to weave your piece while it sits flat on your table. Here is how I hold the piece and how I maintain even tension at the same time. Hold the piece in your non-dominant hand as shown. (Left-handers will probably be opposite of the photo.) Note: These are larger 6mm beads and I am using only three colors in this example. Figure 43

Grasp it with your thumb as shown.

Figure 44

Pull the thread over your index finger and hold it in place between your index finger and second finger. Notice in the photo that it is wrapped tightly around my finger. Figure 45

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Keep the thread wrapped around your finger and continue to hold the piece with your thumb. Load your needle with the next three beads and needle up through the fuchsia bead on the last square. Figure 46

Pull the needle and thread through the fuchsia bead. Do this while holding it all with your thumb (I lifted my thumb only to show the position of the thread).

Figure 47

Wrap the thread around your index finger.

Figure 48

Needle into the next bead in the square. This is the tanzanite bead in this example.

Figure 49

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Figure 50

Needle into the next bead (fuchsia). Note: It is not necessary to pull the thread all the way through the tanzanite bead at this point. Keep that thread section around your index finger to maintain the tension as you complete this square. Figure 51

Needle through the blue zircon bead. Try to ignore all the messy thread in the photo and notice the needle. The needle is going in the direction of the arrow.

You should be exiting from the Blue Zircon bead.

Pull the needle and thread all the way through the blue zircon bead. Note: The thread is still wrapped around your index finger.

Figure 52

Throughout the above steps you should hold the beadwork under your thumb as much as possible.

Figure 53

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We were here, exiting the blue zircon bead.

Figure 54

Needle up through the previous fuchsia bead. Thread is still around my index finger – you just can’t see it in the photo.

Figure 55

Once again, hold on to the beadwork.

Figure 56

Pull the thread through and let it come off of your index finger.

Figure 57

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This shows the beadwork and where the thread exits at this point.

Needle around the square again to secure it and hold it in place. Figure 58

Once you have needled around the square again, needle through the tanzanite bead.

Figure 59

Needle down through the fuchsia bead.

Figure 60

Continue to hold onto the beadwork as you pull the thread through.

Figure 61

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This is how it should all sit at this point.

Figure 62

Flip the beadwork over so that the thread is pointing up.

Figure 63

Wrap the thread around your index finger and add the three beads for the next square. Continue in this way throughout the woven section. Figure 64

It may seem complicated but it is not. Step by step instructions on how to walk may make walking seem very complicated also. Note: Always pull your thread in the direction that it is exiting the bead. In other words do not pull across the edge of the bead.

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You should have a completed woven section before the next step.

Figure 65

I used five squares of silver in the center and ended each side with a silver square. The completed woven section

There are two squares of Heliotrope beads on either side of the center silver squares. Actually, I was low on the smoke color beads and added the others to accomplish the length. You can use this idea to make designs within your bracelet.

Figure 66

4mm Czech Fire Polish

4mm Swarovski Crystal in Blue Zircon

4mm round Czech Glass aka Druks

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Close up of the end of the woven section

Figure 67

I like the clasp to be something that the wearer wants to display proudly up front. I never treat it as an afterthought and often make it the focal point of a piece. I like to add the surprise of the functionality of a part of the piece that appears to be just decorative.

Make sure that the loop on the other end will fit over your button. It must be large enough to fit the button through but not so large that the bracelet falls off.

Figure 68

Just string on some beads and see how they fit around your button. In this sample I used a 12mm button. In this photo I am testing to determine how many beads it takes to circle around half of the button. This gives me a starting point for testing a loop size.

Figure 69

What follows is the design I came up with for my loop.

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Pick up: This is what worked for my 14mm button. You should adjust for a button of a different size.

3 size 11 seed beads 1 3mm crystal 1 seed bead 1 3mm crystal 1 seed bead 1 3mm crystal

Figure 70

3 seed beads 1 4mm crystal 3 seed beads Then needle back through the 4mm crystal and reverse the pattern for the other side of the loop. All exactly as in the photo.

Needle around one more time to reinforce the loop. Be careful not to pull too tight or the beads won’t sit nicely.

Figure 71

You can secure your thread by just needling into your beadwork until it is snug.

Or You could quickly needle around the whole bracelet again, exiting the other end to add the button side of the clasp. This is also a chance to take up any slack on any loose squares.

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Or Instead of needling around you could tie a knot. I rarely tie a knot in beadwork but some beadworkers prefer it. Below are the instructions on tying and hiding a secure knot.

Figure 72

Needle under an exposed thread.

Figure 73

As you pull on your thread a loop will be formed.

Take your needle through the loop.

Figure 74

Figure 75

Pull the thread through the loop.

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Figure 76

Continue to pull until a loose knot forms. Do not pull it snug yet.

Figure 77

Needle through the next bead. The arrow is pointing the next bead.

Figure 78

Pull the thread snug (not too tight) and the knot will tighten and hide inside of the bead. Stop pulling once it is inside of the bead. You can needle through a couple of beads and tie an additional knot.

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Needle all the way down the bracelet to the other end. Be sure to not cross corners as you do this. This always makes me feel the bracelet is more secure and it provides an opportunity to “snug up” any squares that are rather loose. You could also embellish the bracelet as you go. This is covered in my Embellished Swarovski

Crystal Bracelet Tutorial.

At the other end add a button by stringing on some seed beads with a button in the center. Following the photo string on Figure 79

3 seed beads, 1 3mm crystal, 3 seed beads, the button, 3 seed beads, 1 3mm crystal, 3 seed beads.

Figure 80

Front view of the button end of the clasp

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Figure 81

Circle around and needle through the last bead in the woven section.

Figure 82

As you take up slack.

Figure 83

This is how it should look as you pull the thread snug. Don’t pull too snug, just take up the slack so the beads sit comfortably next to each other. I like to go back through this loop one more time for security.

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At this point you can weave back through a couple of squares to secure the thread. Tie a knot if you prefer. Once the thread is secure you can bury it and cut off any excess. Figure 84

Figure 85

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Of course you can come up with your own variations but here are a couple of ideas.

I do not usually have a concrete plan when I start weaving but if you know what you want to use as a clasp you can: 1. Weave one square. 2. Attach the button end of the clasp to that one square as shown in earlier pages. 3. Weave the length of the bracelet. a. Needle through each square an extra time as you go along. 4. Create a loop on the other end.

Figure 86

This speeds up the process tremendously if you want to create a bunch of bracelets.

I used size 15 seed beads on this one. You can do all kinds of designs and any size seed bead but just make sure to test the size of your loop before you commit to it.

2 seed beads, 3mm crystal, 10 seed beads,

12mm button, 10 seed beads, 3mm crystal, 2mm seed beads.

Figure 87

2 seed beads, 3mm crystal, 10 seed beads, 3mm crystal,

3 seed beads, needle through crystal, repeat to match the other side.

Figure 88

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This one is the easiest custom clasp. Just make your loop to fit over the button. These are some numbers I worked out. You should still test your loop as seed beads can vary a little with each lot. Figure 90

I use 26 size 15 seed beads for the loop.

I used 11 size 15 seed beads on either side of this 12mm button.

Figure 89

Bracelet woven with 6mm crystals and using an 18mm button for the clasp.

I used 64 6mm crystals to create a woven section that is 6 ½” long.

The clasp mechanism adds another 7/8th of an inch when closed.

Figure 91

I used 11 size 11 seed beads on either side of the 18mm button.

Figure 92

I used 18 size 11 seed beads for the loop side of the clasp.

Figure 93

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More Tutorials in Right Angle Weave by Pam Preslar

Swarovski Crystal Bracelet

Woven Swarovski Cuff

Beaded Bag

Beads, Buttons & Baubles

Beaded Bead

Embellished Swarovski Bracelet Download these where you purchased this tutorial.

Items in photos are not to scale relative to each other.

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by Pam Preslar

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crystal bracelet