How to String a Stop Bead

  • 01 of 05

    Stringing a Stop Bead

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    A stop bead will keep your beads from sliding off the end of the thread and help you keep the thread tension. Lisa Yang

    Edited by Lisa Yang


    A stop bead is a temporary bead you put on the tail end of your beadwork to help keep the beads of your project from falling off the end of the thread. It is not part of your beadwork project.


    Most people like to use a type of bead that is a totally different size, shape, color (or all three!) to make it easy to identify the stop bead from the rest of the bead work. This can help prevent you from accidentally counting it in your starting set of seed beads or even stitching...MORE through it.


    In addition to keeping the beads from falling of the end of the beading thread, the stop bead can also help maintain the proper thread tension.


    A stop bead is easily removed by sliding it off the tail end of the thread. It can be removed when ever you no longer need it to maintain tension or hold the beads on the beading thread. 


    A similar item used primarily in stringing is called a bead stopper. It is a metal spring that is used to keep beads from sliding off the end of beading cord. There are other ways to keep your beads on the beading thread when starting a project.


    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Pick Up a Stop Bead

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    Pick up a bead to be used as a stop bead. Lisa Yang

    To thread a stop bead, pick up a bead and slide it all the way down to where you want your beadwork to start on the thread.


    Most of the time, I position the stop bead four to six inches from the end of the thread. The thread that comes before the stop bead is typically referred to as the thread tail. The amount of tail thread you need will depend on whether you want to add a clasp or a jump ring or any other way you want to finish your beadwork project.


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  • 03 of 05

    Secure the Stop Bead in Place

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    Put your needle back through the bead in the same direction. Lisa Yang

    To secure the stop bead, pass your needle through the bead again in the same direction as you picked it up.


    Do not go back through the bead in the opposite direction - this will cause the bead to pop off the thread. You should see a loop of thread form around the bead when you pass through it again and pull it tight.


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  • 04 of 05

    Adjust the Stop Bead Position

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    Pull the thread tight around the bead. Lisa Yang

    Pull tightly to secure the bead on the thread. You will notice that the stop bead is held securely in place by loop around it, but it can also slide along the thread. 


    If you are working with nylon beading thread such as  Nymo or Silamide, make sure that you do not split your thread when you make the pass through the stop bead. If you split your thread, you will not be able to remove your stop bead correctly. 


    One way to avoid splitting the thread is to use the tail end (without a needle) to loop...MORE through your stop bead. This works as long as you are using a slightly larger bead that you can thread through without the help of a needle.


    To keep your stop bead more securely in place, you can make an additional pass through the bead. Be aware that passing through the stop bead a second time will make it more difficult to adjust the position of the stop bead on the thread - as well as give it slightly more resistance when it come time to slide it off the beadwork.


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  • 05 of 05

    Add Beads After the Stop Bead

    How to Use a Stop Bead
    A stop bead will keep your beads from sliding off the end of the thread and help you keep the thread tension. Lisa Yang

    To adjust the position of the stop bead on your beading thread, grasp the bead with two fingers and slide it up and down the beading thread. If you added a second pass of thread, this might be difficult to do, so make sure that you have it in the correct position before you make that second pass.


    Once you are satisfied with the position of the stop bead, you can string on the first set of beads needed for your project. Stop beads are often used when loom weaving seed beads and off-loom...MORE beadweaving stitches like peyote stitch.


    To remove the stop bead, grasp it in two fingers and gently pull it off the beading thread.


    If you have split your beading thread, you will not be able to remove it. You can try to carefully crush or break the bead using chain nose pliers to remove it.