Beading American Flag on a Loom:
I wanted something to wear to our family BBQ for Memorial day and the 4th of July, so naturally I thought about the American Flag. The bracelet can be easily made over a weekend, once the loom is setup it comes together quickly. I used Miyuki Delica 11/0 beads, a Beadalon Loom, Nymo Thread and a new type of bead slide we started to carry this year. I really hope you enjoy this pattern and please feel free to share your suggestions below.
Beading items needed to create this project:
For the Silver and Gold beads I used a Miyuki Duracoat and the red is a dyed bead, I only plan to wear this on special occasions so the durability was not a huge concern. If you plan on wearing this more often or it may come in contact with water I would suggest switching out the gold, silver and red for more durable beads, I have added some suggestions for alternatives at the bottom of the page. Duracoat beads are durable but they do have a limit like any bead with a finish.
Miyuki Delica 11/0 Beads:
5 grams of Miyuki Delica 11/0 is approximately 1000 beads. The counts below are approximations only and are dependent on the desired size of the bracelet. For best results always ensure to have more than enough beads to complete the project.
150 Beads - DB1851 Duracoat Galvanized Light Smokey Pewter
150 Beads - DB1833 Duracoat Galvanized Yellow Gold
600 Beads - DB0791 Dyed Opaque Red
650 Beads - DB0200 Opaque White
400 Beads - DB0726 Opaque Cobalt
Additional beading items:
Beadalon Jewel Bead Loom
Nymo Size B White Thread
24x13 Gold Plated Bead Slide Clasp
E6000 Jewelry Glue
Getting the right measurement:
First get a good measurement of your wrist, and decide if you want to make this a bangle or a bracelet with a clasp. The Bead slide will add about half an inch to the overall length of your bracelet. This design without a clasp measures 7x1inch in total, if you are making a bangle ensure that you add an equal amount to the blue and red on the ends to accommodate fitting over your hand. An option for bangles is also to add a fifth flag and have less blue and red on each end. Each flag by itself with its silver or gold border is 21 beads in length, or 1.25 inches.
Setting up your loom warp threads:
To accommodate my bead slide I set up 18 warp lines. You may use more or less dependent on how wide you want your design to be.
Lets get beading:
Now that you have decided on your width and length the pattern is pretty easy and fun to do. A couple suggestions I would make is to set up an easy count pattern in your bead tray before threading onto your loom. This will make it much easier when putting your flag together, nothing worse then watching TV and beading away to notice you alternated your red and white incorrectly after a few rows.
On my bracelet I only used four rows of blue, and laid out the first 9 rows. The first 4 blue rows are set side by side and the remaining rows are laid out below that. As you may notice I grouped the red and white stripes together ensuring I have enough for each stripe and I alternated between the piles.
Setting up this way helps me keep track of where I am on my flag, by only laying out 4 of the rows for the flag it allows me to get half way through the Union portion of the flag and I only needed to set up 4 more similar rows. Then I swapped my set up to the stripe only portion. Plus it allowed me to inspect my beads before starting and throw out any duds.
After completing 8 rows, your Union portion of the flag should be complete. I would again recommend, when starting on the remaining stripes split it up on your setup making it easier to not go over on your length, trust me it is very easy to go over. You will have 11 rows of stripes to complete your flag.
Simply repeat this process for your next flags, alternating between the silver and gold border until you have achieved your desired length. Once complete double check your length and wrist size before cutting from the loom. Secure your threads by weaving it back a few rows. Cut your threads giving you plenty of room to tie knots on your warps. For extra security add a small dab of E6000 adhesive to each knot using a headpin to transfer a small drop on each knot, allow it to set for 24 hours.
If you are using the slide clasp and your beads do not slide in easily, take a set of tweezers and place them in one end of the slide hole, and gently increase the size of the slit on one end a very small amount. Only enough to allow the beads to slide into the groove.
Below I have added a link to the full size bracelet that the above images were cropped from for you to print out and follow along.
Bead Counts to remember:
You will have 3 red and 3 white stripes under the Union. The Union portion measures 7x8 beads and after completion of the union you have 7 red and 6 white stripes. You will continue after the union making stripes for 11 rows.
Alternative Color for Durability:
Replacement for the Dyed Red:
DB0723 Opaque Red
Replacement for the Duracoat Pewter(silver) and the Gold
DB0731 Opaque Grey