Making a honeycomb bead bangle requires a really simple thread path, but the trick to making a successful bangle lies in the thread tension. This jewellery making project gives you all the tips you will need in order to get that right.
Simply follow the instructions carefully and you will be able to create a bangle from beads which is stiff enough to hold – do not be tempted to do things in a different order!
Superduo Honeycomb Bangle Project by Katie Dean
Level of skill: intermediate
You will need (enough to make an 8” bangle):
- 2g size 11 Miyuki seed beads (A)
- 20g Superduo or Superduo Duet Beads (B)
- 36 Honeycomb Beads (C)
- Optional: 72 True2 beads (D)
- Fireline Beading Thread in 4lb or 6lb
- 2 beading needles
How to Make a Superduo Honeycomb Bangle
- Cut a double arm-span of thread (this might seem long but you do not want to join new thread mid-project as this will weaken the finished bangle). Fireline beading thread shouldn’t tangle badly, but if it does knot, the knots should come out easily.
Tip: if you struggle with the long length of the thread, use a bobbin to keep the tail thread in check and just take care with the working thread.
- Pick up 2 Miyuki seed beads (A), as well as 2 Superduos (B) thirty-six times (so you have a total of 72 of each bead), pulling them out to one side before you start.
- Slide the beads along the thread two by two, so that you are left with a tail thread of at least 16” (40cm). Now pass the thread through the first eight beads again, so your line of beads is formed into a circle. You will be passing through the same hole in the Superduos (B) that you have already used, and should be exiting from a Superduo bead.
Tip: before you begin using multi-hole beads, remember to check that both holes are clear before you use the bead, otherwise you will need to unstitch the bangle part way through.
- Pull the working thread and tail thread tight, so your circle of beads closes up. Do not knot the threads, do not be tempted to pass through any additional beads and make sure the tail thread does not shorten. Now, pass the thread through the second hole in your (B), so you set yourself up to travel around the circle in the opposite direction. You should be exiting from the point that is between 2 Superduos (B).
- Pick up 2 Superduos (B) and pass through the second hole (the empty hole) on your next Superduo bead (B), so this should be the second bead in your pair and the first bead in the next pair.
- Keep repeating step 5, all around the circle of beads. As you work, keep your tail thread pulled up tight, so do not allow it to get pulled through the beads. The outer circle (the part with the seed beads) will loosen a little, but you want to encourage it to stay as tight as possible. At the same time, keep a really tight tension with your working thread as you add this new row. When you have added all the beads, pass around this row once more to help tighten up the tension and strengthen the structure.
- Thread a beading needle onto your tail thread, leaving the working thread alone for the moment. Start by pulling the tail thread as tight as you can, so you pull the top circle in as much as possible.
- Weave through all the seed beads (A) and Superduos (B) in this top row, pulling up tight to pull the circle inwards. Continue to weave until you have almost run out of thread on the tail. This may take you more than once around the circle, but you do want to complete at least one full pass around it. When you are happy that the circle is completely tight, pass through to exit from a Superduo bead (B), weave through the second hole in this bead to change direction, then weave on through and finish your tail thread by knotting between beads.
Tip: do not be tempted to try finishing the tail thread any earlier, or any later in the process – this is the point that will give you the best tension.
- Return to the working thread and pass on until you are exiting from the first Superduo bead (B) in a pair from your previous row (the initial circle). Step up by passing through the second hole in the next Superduo bead (B), so you will not change direction, just move forward. You should find that you are exiting from the second (empty) hole in the first bead in a pair of the beads that you added in steps 5 and 6. You are now ready to repeat steps 5 and 6 to add a third row of Superduo (B) beads.
- Again, at the end of the row, pass through all the beads once more to tighten the tension and reinforce the bangle. If you have got the tension right, then your flat circle should be pulling down into a tube as the photo shows.
- Once again, step up as you did in step 8, so you will be exiting from the second hole in the first Superduo bead (B) in a pair that you added in step 8. Pick up 1 honeycomb bead (C) and pass through the second hole of the next 2 Superduos (B) – i.e. the second in your existing pair and the first in the next pair. Keep repeating this all the way around the row. At the end of the row, weave through all the beads in this row once more. End up exiting from a honeycomb bead (C).
In case you haven’t spotted it, you are actually using the Tubular Herringbone technique.
- Pick up 1 True2 bead (D) if you are using them, or 1 Miyuki bead (A) and pass through the next honeycomb bead (C), moving through the same hole that is already being used. Repeat this all the way around the row. The True2 (D) or Miyuki (A) beads just add a touch of embellishment and fill in the natural gap around the honeycombs. Once again, when you have completed the row, pass around all the beads one more time for security. This completes the first half of the bangle, so you can finish your working thread securely by weaving back into an earlier row and knotting between beads as you weave through.
- Repeat steps 1-9 to make the second half of the bangle. You are now going to repeat step 10, but instead of picking up a new honeycomb (C), you will pass through the empty hole on the honeycomb (C) beads on the first half of the bangle, so this will join the second half to the first. Once again, when you have completed the row, weave through all the beads to reinforce everything.
- Repeat step 11 to add the True2 (D) or Miyuki (A) beads to this half of the bangle. Then finish your thread securely, and your bangle is ready to wear.
Once you have completed this beading project, have a go at one of our other step by step jewellery making projects featuring beads and stringing, stone setting and soldering among other techniques – perfect if you want to try something new. Don’t forget to stock up on beading and stringing essentials for making your next beaded jewellery design too!