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June 26, 2023

Flat Brick Stitch Chain for Beginners

Bracelet made with Miyuki size 8 seed beads and flat brick stitch

This project will show you how to make a brick stitch chain of  beads that can be used for a necklace or bracelet.  The chain in this tutorial has rows that are two beads wide - which means it comes together very quickly and makes it easy to learn basic flat brick stitch. Using larger beads is also helpful for beginners.

Project Materials

  • Seed Beads
  • Beading Thread (these bracelets are made using FireLine)
  • Jump Rings and Clasp
  • Thread burner or sharp thread scissors

Brick stitch bracelet with size 8 seed beads and 1.8mm cube beads and handmade heart clasp

I make this chain using a variety of materials and it’s one of the things I like best about it.  It looks equally good with a single type of bead as it does with a combination of beads, such as cubes, different size seed beads. triangles, etc.  

Brick stitch and chain bracelet made with variety of beads (bead soup)

It also looks great with just one or two colors or a bead soup, which is a mixture of many different types, sizes and colors of beads - often the leftovers from other projects.

To make a base row for your chain, use ladder stitch to join two beads together. Ladder stitch joins two beads with a circle of thread. String two beads, go back through the first bead in the same direction you went the first time. If you know you are going to attach the beadwork to a metal clasp, add a jump ring in addition to the first two beads.

Since this will be the end of the beadwork where it will be attached to a clasp, repeat the ladder stitch at least one more time to make the beadwork stronger. The thread tail should be coming out one direction of the base bead and the working thread coming out the other way. 

To make the first brick stitch, pick up two beads and slide them down to the base row.  Insert your needle under the bridge between the two beads in the base row from the back side of the work to the front side as shown above.

Stitch up through the bead to secure it and complete the brick stitch

Snug the two beads against the first row so the beads lay flat on top. Insert your needle in the second bead you just added and pull the thread through the bead. Tighten the stitch by gently pulling the tail and working thread and push the beads together. (Note - the photo above is the 3rd row because it's really hard to hold and photograph such a tiny area).

Continue adding two beads at a time, stitching under the thread bridge and through the last bead added on the row until your chain is long enough for your desired purpose. I made my chain just under 7 inches, so it will make a bracelet 7 ½ inches long once the clasp is added.

To tie off the thread, I go back through a bead or two in the chain and tie several half hitch knots around one of the base threads going through the beads.  I do this at least two or three times, weaving towards the center of the project.  When I am satisfied it is secure, I use a thread burner or sewing scissors to trim the thread as close to the project as possible. I like to add jump rings to the project while I am weaving the first and last row of the project. It makes it easier and I don't have to worry about splitting or stretching the thread when I add the clasp.  To finish your bracelet, add the clasp of your choice to the jump rings.

I find it easiest to learn this chain pattern if I use two different colors of the same type of bead like you see in the pictures of this project.  It helps you memorize the stringing pattern and thread path. For this project, after the base row, I first picked up one bronze bead and one silver bead for each row, then stitched through the bridge and up through the second bead – which was always the silver bead.  

If you are not following this bead pattern on each row, you need to be more aware of which bead you strung last so you don't go through the wrong one. If you go through the wrong bead after stitching through the bridge (i.e. the first bead instead of the second one), your beadwork will start to twist.  If you notice that happening, it is a good idea to go back and remove stitches to the point that it starts to turn.

One last note - this bracelet teaches the basics of brick stitch - in particular how you start with ladder stitch, stitch under a thread bridge and up through the last bead you added. BUT, if you are making a project that is wider than 2 beads, you only pick up one bead for each subsequent stitch and then stitch through the thread bridge and up through the bead. You only pick up two beads to start the beginning of a new row of brick stitch.

This bracelet with the heart clasp uses two of the same beads on each row of brick stitch. The wire heart clasp tutorial is also available on my website (free)

Here are some links to supplies that can be used for this project (affiliate links)

I hope you enjoy the project and explore the possible variations. Let me know if you tried it in the comments!

Here are some other flat brick stitch projects you might enjoy:

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