How to master single ladder stitch and two bead ladder stitch

How to do ladder stitch and two bead ladder stitch:

When the beads join together at the base row, it is known as ladder stitch. It is then followed by other beadwork stitches such as brick stitch or herringbone stitch. Ladder stitches can enable you to make beaded jewellery of simple and beautiful variety. The basic ladder stitch enfolded in this article is a single needle ladder stitch. It can also be put together by using two needles. The procedure is then known as two-needle ladder stitch.

How to begin a ladder stitch?

Any variety of seed beads can be used to perform a ladder stitch. However, it is vital that you use seed beads that are consistently of the same size as Japanese cylinder beads. You can also use any type of thread like Fireline, Nymo or Wildfire. It is essential to match the type of seed bead you use with its appropriate thread. Making sure the seed beads and thread is compatible will give your finished product a better look and a sturdier hold.

Take a thread of any length you are comfortable, but which does not exceed 5’. Pick 2 beads up and slide them till they reach the end of that thread while leaving a minimum of 4 to 6-inch tail. It is so done to allow you enough room to thread back on your needle and weave the tail at a later time. Take the first seed bead and insert your needle through it in the same direction you originally did, thus moving them away from the tail end of your thread.

Make a ladder stitch

Pull-on your thread until it’s taut. At this point, your tail thread should ideally be coming out from one side of your bead, while the bead through which the needle was passed should come out of the other end. Stack the beads up, so they end up side by side.

Make another ladder stitch

In order to get the first stitch done, you must take the second bead and stitch down through it. Make sure your thread is tight and that your beads are comfortably placed side by side. It is relatively easy to follow this instruction if you are working with cylinder beads. However, round beads might cause you a bit of trouble. You must make sure the thread is not pulled too tight, or you risk one bead climbing on top of the other.

too tight, or you risk one bead climbing on top of the other.Once you complete this stitch, you should have both your tail thread as well as your needle thread coming out of the same side of your bead. The tail thread should be in your first bead, while the working thread should be poised in your second bead.

Put together the second ladder stitch

In order to add the next seed bead, take a bead and stitch it again back down through your second bead. Ensure that the direction you go in is similar to your last stitch. Each ladder stitch must make a small circle right through the middle of your beads to enable them in joining together. To get the side of your beads to line up next to each other all you have to do is pull in your thread.

Finish your ladder stitch

To complete your ladder stitch, you must ensure that it has gone through every bead one and a half times. It has to be precisely done this way as every element has a function. The first stitch helps bind your seed beads together, while the second pass tightens and strengthens the stitch, placing the thread in the perfect position for your next stitch. To finish the ladder stitch, take the bead you last added and insert the needle back up through it. You can now easily add the next bead as you’ll be in the perfect position for it.

Strengthening your ladder stitch

You can continue adding your seed beads to your work until the ladder is the length you prefer. There is a possibility of the beads in your ladder feeling a bit loose once you’re done with the stitch. They might also not sit quite right alongside each other. If this is a cause for worry depends on the function you will be using the ladder of beads for. For example, if you plan on using it as a base to continue building other stitches, like a brick stitch, atop it; the row will most probably become straight once you add the next row of seed beads.

If you aim to tighten and strengthen the ladder stitch, insert your needle and thread through one bead and then down the seed bead situated next to it. Continue doing this until you return to the start of your row. It will enable your beads to comfortably be packed together snugly which will help get the ladder to be stronger as well as straighter.

Variety of ladder stitches

One of the variations of ladder stitches includes introducing more than one bead in every ladder stitch. Specific projects can demand that you opt for a two bead ladder stitch. One such example is brick stitch earrings. The procedure does not change for a two bead ladder stitch as the thread follows the same path through your beads. The only variation is adding two beads instead of one every step along the way.

Putting together a two bead ladder stitch

While starting a two bead ladder stitch, you need to take four beads. Pass these back through your first two beads. To be able to perform each stitch, you must pick up two beads and pass it back through the final ladder containing two beads.

Stabilising two bead ladder stitch

Put together your two ladder stitch until your ladder is at least as long as your project needs. It will be harder to keep your beads aligned side by side if there are two beads involved in your project. If they are not appropriately aligned to your liking, you could stitch back through the ladder in order to stabilise your beads. You don’t have to stop at two beads if you don’t want to. Add any number of beads to experiment with it further. Your ladder stitch can include increases and decreases by including more or less number of beads in every stitch.

Projects using a ladder stitch

Ladder stitches are mostly relegated to mere base stitches that other stitches are built on. However, ladder stitches can be a swift and easy way to put the beads together to form gorgeous jewellery as well.


If you perform three bead ladder stitch and bring the ends together in a circle, a bracelet or necklace can be made.  

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