Single-Needle Ladder Stitch


Unlike the two-needle method, this ladder stitch technique will leave a single length of string, which can be used to add beads in brick or herringbone stitch.

For this example, we’ll make a four-bead ladder, but the technique is the same for shorter and longer projects.

Note: I indicate placing your work to your left only to make these instructions as clear as possible. Quite often, I’ve got my beadwork all over the place as I’m stitching, so please don’t feel locked into holding yours exactly as written. What matters is that you stitch in the correct direction for whatever placement you have your work.


Step 1


Attach a stop bead to your stringing material. Place it to your left.



Step 2

Pick up four beads with your needle, and slide them within an inch of the stop bead. (For clarity, let’s number the beads 1 through 4 from left to right.)



Step 3

Pass the needle from left to right through bead No. 3. Pull the string tight.



The barrels of beads No. 3 and 4 should be side by side now.


Step 4

Pass the needle from left to right through bead No. 2. Pull the string tight.


The barrel of bead No. 2 should be lined up with beads No. 3 and 4.


Step 5



Pass the needle from left to right through bead No. 1. Pull the string tight.
The barrels of all four beads should now be lined up together.

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