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How to Use Ricks Bead Loom, PLUS Two Ways to Clasp Loom Bracelets

From traditional Native American Indian-loomed wampum belts to popular and modern Julie Rofman wrap bracelets, bead looming has transcended through changes in time, culture and fashion.  A bead loom can help you make elaborate, beautiful necklaces to simplistic bracelets.

If you are new to using the bead loom or have been wanting to use a bead loom, believe us when we say that using the Ricks Bead Loom is super easy and simple. Here are some tips and tricks to using Ricks Bead Loom, as well as some inspirational loom bracelets to get you started. We also provide two different ways to clasp loom bracelets.

 

Ricks Bead Loom

When you purchase a Ricks Bead Loom, you receive the bead loom and its components, as well as a detailed, visual instructions of how to set up and use the bead loom. You can also check out Ricks video tutorial on his webpage on how to use his bead loom.

The basic method of bead looming is weaving a thread back and forth through rows of seed beads that are sandwiched in between vertical strands or “warp strands”. The difference between a traditional bead loom and Ricks Bead Loom is the amount of warp strands you are using. A traditional loom will have multiple warp strands going up and down along the loom, while a Ricks Bead Loom will have only one strand that wraps back and forth, up and around between the two rods. This continuous wrapping of the strands between rods will leave you with two threads at the end.

Like the instructions you will receive, first you insert your metals rods. These rods are where your vertical warp strands will lay. Adjust the wood piece/tailstock to your preferred bracelet length and start making your warp strands. The amount of warps you have is according to the amount of beads you have in a row, PLUS ONE. If you see the image below, you will see that we have eight seed beads per row and thus we need nine warp strands.

GoodyBeads.com | Blog: How to Use Rick's Bead Loom. Adding rows of seed beads to your loom.

Next, lay your card separator in between the warp strands. It is optional to use the card separator. You can use the warp separator card that comes with the kit. Here, we cut a ½ inch piece of cardstock paper to get us started.

Hook your thread end to your peg and insert it into one of the holes in the front.

GoodyBeads.com | Blog: How to Use Rick's Bead Loom.

You are ready to start your rows. The basic motion of weaving each row is by weaving behind the warp strands with your beads and string. You will then weave back into the same row of beads, but when you feed your needle through, you are gracing the top side of the warp strands.

TIP: When bringing your needle back, use the backside of your needle. Using the backside of the needle will give you a smoother glide through the beads. Be careful not to prick yourself with the sharp end when using this method. Makes you wish you had a thimble on hand, huh? I did.

The first two rows will be tricky but after that you get those two on, it will be easier.

GoodyBeads.com | Blog: How to Use Rick's Bead Loom. First 2 rows of your Bead Loom complete.

After your two rows are done, slide off the separator and pull your two rows down so it is flushed against the metal rod. Twist the peg that attaches to your thread to keep loose thread tight.

GoodyBeads.com | Blog: How to Use Rick's Bead Loom. Slide off separator card and pull your two rows down so it is flushed against the metal rod. Twist the peg that attaches to your thread to keep loose thread tight.

And you are ready to continue with your rows until you’ve reached the end.

TIP: When bringing your needle back through the row of beads, press up on the beads so that they protrude upward. Then, when you sew back through the beads, you will go over the vertical warp strands.

When you have finished your piece, unhook your threads from the pegs and sew the end threads through the rows and knot them. Cut excess thread. Slide your loomed piece off the metal bars and spread out your bead rows evenly outwards towards the ends to hide the loops of the warp strands. Then you are ready to add your clasp ends. Here are two types of loomed bracelets with instructions for adding a Miyuki Tube Finding and sewing on a bead loop to add your clasp.

 

Miyuki Tube Findings

GoodyBeads.com | Blog: How to Use Rick's Bead Loom. Using Miyuki Tube Finding on your loom Bracelet.

For this bracelet, we used Miyuki Tube Findings, which are used particularly with Miyuki Delica Size 11 seed beads. GoodyBeads has four available sizes at 15mm, 20mm, 35mm, and 60mm, which will accommodate a certain amount of seed bead per row.

15mm uses 10-11 Delica seed bead (A015623 & A015624)

20mm uses 15-16 Delica seed bead (A015621 & A015622)

35mm uses 26-27 Delica seed bead (Z010413 & Z010422)

60mm uses 45-46 Delica seed bead (A018389 & A018390)

 

Bead Loop Clasp

GoodyBeads.com | Blog: How to Use Rick's Bead Loom. Finish your loom bracelets by making a beaded loop to add your jump ring and choice of clasp.

You can make a design like our Delica seed bead bracelet or you can use a Miyuki seed bead mix like our bracelet here.

For our clasp for this bracelet, we made a loop using seed beads.

Check out some loom kits we have available by Rick to help you start on your Ricks Bead Loom.

  • TL00116 – The Ricks – Desert Fire Bracelet Kit
  • TL00118 – The Ricks – Glittering Crystals Bracelet Kit
  • TL00119 – The Ricks – Illusions of Diamonds Bracelet Kit
  • TL00121 – The Ricks – Wizzo Bracelet Kit

 

Tools:

Miyuki Tube Finding Loom Bracelet:

  • (2) A015624 – 15mm Miyuki Tube Finding
  • (1) SB01823 – 11/0 Matte Gold Delica
  • (1) SB01826 – 11/0 Matte Berry Delica
  • (1) SB01822 – 11/0 Matte Silver Delica
  • (2) Z004093 – 5mm Oval Jump Ring
  • (1) A012847 – 5mm Cable Chain Link
  • (1) A006596 – Brown Superlon Beading Thread
  • (1) A014106 – 7mm Lobster Claw

Bead Loop Clasp Loom Bracelet

  • (2) A001528 – 5mm Jump Ring
  • (1) TC00452 – 18mm Silver Garland Toggle Clasp
  • (1) A006599 – White Superlon Beading Thread
  • (1) SB01077 – Pebble Stone Mix Size 11

 

9 thoughts on “How to Use Ricks Bead Loom, PLUS Two Ways to Clasp Loom Bracelets

  1. How clever! If I understand what you’ve written, the beam has almost no thickness, and the beam moves with the work. As a result, there are no extra lengths of warp thread. Is that correct?

    thanks,
    –michael

    1. Correct. Because the thread wraps around the two beams, it eliminates all of the warp threads. Leaving you with only two thread ends to weave into your loomed piece.

    1. Hello Linda. The width of the Ricks Bead Loom is 3.5″ so you have a large width room to use any size bead you would like. You don’t always have to use seed beads or small beads when using the loom. When adding your row of beads, you just need to space your warp threads wider to accommodate the beads you wish to use.

  2. I’m curious how this would work with small (11/0) delica beads. In the demos, larger beads are typically used.

    However, from what I can tell, when you finish there is a small length of warp thread on either end (the thread that wrapped around the metal rods). When weaving, you’re supposed to pack the beads very tight on the loom and then kind of spread them out when you’re done to accommodate that extra length of warp thread.

    This concept works great for larger beads or loose patterns, but when using 11/0 cylinder beads to create a very tight, compact design — you’re essentially asking the weaver to accommodate 2+ rows of beads. That would be like if I did my loom work, skipped a few rows here and there, and then decided it was fine because I’d just kind of smoosh them all out when I’m done.

    I can’t imagine how this would work if you want a compact, solid design. It seems like there would be gaps between the rows of beads or you’d have to figure out a way to otherwise manage the little loops of warp thread left on either side once the metal rod is removed.

    1. Hello Sue.

      I understand that you would have a concern with the possible gaps since the metal rods may create that as the warp threads loop around them. When you make your last row, you want to create a tightly loom piece, that is true. When you pull the piece off the metal rods, lay it down on a flat surface and smooth over the piece to spread out the rows of beads. This is great because you want our piece to manageable and rigid, as you don’t want to put strain on the warp threads. Putting strain on it can snap your threads loose.

      As you can see from our first tutorial with using the Miyuki tube findings, we used the size 11/0 delica seed beads. I found that the minimal gap helped the tube finding to glide over the end rows of the loomed piece.

  3. Most times while using my Rick Loom, I’m designing on the loom as I go. I position the back rod to the length I need, usually 7-8″. Sometimes, though, as I get close to the end I don’t have enough warp to repeat the pattern again but I have extra space on the warp. If I was off-loom, I’d just finish it short & compensate with the clasp.
    How do you deal with the extra warp that’s too short to weave back in, but WAY too much to “spread” the beads to fill the gap. Help?

    1. Hello Kim. May I suggest this and it may work for you or not. Take your bottom bar out and slide the warps off it. Sew in your warp ends as if you will finish off your loom piece, all the while having the top warp ends still attached to the top bar. Adjust your rows to give you enough gap at the top to add one more row. This may be tricky because we rely on the warp threads to be tight so that we can easily lay the beads between the warps. Tie off and finish it. Take the top bar off your warp strands and evenly spread out your rows to fill in gaps.

      I advise you to try it out on a small piece first if it will work for you.

  4. A reply to Sue and Kim: I just finished a bracelet on the Ricks Beading Loom using size 11 Delicas, and here is how I solved the “gap” problem. When I got to the end and could no longer work in another row, I made sure all the beads were smooshed to the bottom. Then I removed the back warp rod, which left me enough space to work in one more row on that end. (I used a spare beading needle as a “back warp rod,” just to keep the warp loops in place as I added that row.) After I removed the front warp rod, I repeated this process in reverse. However, this time I couldn’t quite work in another row on the front end, so I smooshed the first row to the bottom and left a gap between the first and second rows. I was able to work one final row of beads into that gap. Of course you should be careful about breaking beads if you try this. You’ll have to decide how important it is to your tight design to get that very last row worked in.

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