Get a FREE GIFT with every order through 12/31... and get inspired with holiday projects and ideas!
Tips & Techniques

Get tips and techniques to become a better beader at Lima Beads.

Chatter










Learning the Ladder Stitch


About this Tip:

The ladder stitch is vital in creating wrap bracelets. In this video, you'll learn how to use the ladder stitch to create a simple single-wrap bracelet.

Loading video player (JavaScript is required)...

Making more than a single wrap?

For each additional wrap around your wrist, you’ll need to add 15 inches of cord and 7-8 feet of thread. Bracelet sizes are subjective, so we’re using a common size of 7.5″ in the chart below. We recommend testing your project often by wrapping it around your wrist to see how it feels.

Single wrap (7.5″): You’ll need 30 inches of cord plus 7-8 feet of thread

2 wraps (15″): You’ll need 45 inches of cord plus 14-16 feet of thread

3 wraps (22.5″): You’ll need 60 inches of cord plus 21-24 feet of thread

4 wraps (30″): You’ll need 75 inches of cord plus 28-32 feet of thread

5 wraps (37.5″): You’ll need 90 inches of cord plus 35-40 feet of thread

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Eventually this will become second nature to your hands. You are essentially creating a figure eight around your cord with a bead in the middle. Take your threaded needle coming from the top of the cord on the left string through your bead under the cord on the right looping back around that cord and string back through your bead. Then pass your needle under the cord on the left and loop around the cord in preparation for the next bead.
Step 2:
Begin and end your ladder stitch wrap bracelet with 1-2 smaller beads to allow for a smoother transition. This should increase the longevity of your piece as there won't be so much tension on the thread and cords. I used one 4mm round bead at the beginning and end of this piece.
Step 3:
It is very important to check the size of your bracelet as you make it. Either check it against your own wrist or use a measuring tape.
Step 4:
Before finalizing your knot, make sure to check that your button can fit through the loop.


Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Anna C WonderChick
    Anna C WonderChick says:

    These are great Ali! I definitely have to try this. But it is hard to choose between all the great beads in my stash.

  2. D SOUTHERLAND
    D SOUTHERLAND says:

    THIS WAS VERY HELPFUL SOME ARE HARD TO LEARN FROM NOT THIS ONE IT IS GREAT
    THANKS

  3. Tricia O
    Tricia O says:

    I LOVE this design! They sell for CRAZY prices in stores and can be made so inexpensively. I look for unique charms to use as the “button” clasp. Think outside the box. Even letter beads can be used to spell out names or words in the middle of bracelet. Kids love these!

  4. No Photo
    A Gorman says:

    This is great! Very easy to follow.

  5. No Photo
    N Corn says:

    Have to try this. I love it.

  6. Cathy H Chocolate Chick
    Cathy H Chocolate Chick says:

    Thanks so much for the great, easy to follow instructions!!

  7. Ali
    Ali says:

    Thanks, I hope the instructions help!

  8. Beverly g
    Beverly g says:

    The instructions are very easy to follow. Now I am going to try this.

  9. No Photo
    D Wade says:

    This is a wonderful tutorial. The ladder stitch will be a perfect stitch for a choker I am designing.

  10. No Photo
    Anna706 says:

    Thank you for this, my first one was great. My daughter staked claim on it already. Easy instructions.

  11. Mustard Seed Beads
    Mustard Seed Beads says:

    Thank you Ali for the instructions. I live in a very rural area 75 miles from town and this is the only way i can learn to make new things. Very helpful!
    Grace to you,
    Kim

  12. S Knott
    S Knott says:

    New and loving it. easy to watch and follow. thanks

  13. No Photo
    L rudnick says:

    I also see these bracelets as attached multiples – or stacked one on top of another and resembling the thickness of a cuff. how would you suggest further developing this concept and attaching/weaving them in this way ??

    thanx for the help !!

  14. No Photo
    Vilma M says:

    This is the BEST tutorial is have seen!! Thanks so much!!

  15. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Wonderful tutorial, Ali — thanks so much! I’m looking forward to trying one of these soon! :D

  16. No Photo
    D Hartman says:

    Nice blog.

  17. Coree M
    Coree M says:

    The tutorial is very instructive and easy to follow. Cannot wait until I get to my bead, leather, buttons (some are very old, 6 generations); cord and start making these beautiful bracelets. Thank-You again.

  18. No Photo
    Frances r says:

    THANKS FOR THE GREAT INSTRUCTIONS. I HAVE FOUGHT THIS DESIGN QUITE A FEW TIMES. I HAVE ONE QUESTION. WHAT TYPE OF NEEDLE DO YOU USE?

    THANKS FRANCES

  19. Tanja L
    Tanja L says:

    Thanks, Ali! The tutorial is much better than the one on YouTube. Clear and simple. I used 1mm cord and it looks very nice with cat eye beads naturally forming sort of a line…

  20. dcjd
    dcjd says:

    Great tutorial. Can plastic buttons with plastic shanks be used?

  21. No Photo
    JustImagine - Val says:

    Thank you for the instructions Ali. I’ve always wanted to know how to make these bracelets. Your instructions are very clear and easy to understand. I’m hooked on the ladder stitch now! :)

  22. No Photo
    A Touch of Style says:

    I like it, it’s also a unisex style. I have the same questions as L Rudnick. How could I stak one on top of anothert as a cuff?

  23. No Photo
    M Ross says:

    Ali! How fun,…you can take this anywhere and work at it! Just one question,…what stringing size cording do you recommend? I know this will depend on the size of hole in the bead but on a general note what’s most common? The leather looks to be about a 2mm?

  24. No Photo
    Elin w says:

    Easy to follow. Thank you.

  25. Lyric Chick aka Bev
    Lyric Chick aka Bev says:

    GREAT tutorial Ali! But what REALLY caught my eye was the bracelet you’re wearing. Can you tellus more about it, please? Did you make it? It’s fantastique!!!!

  26. No Photo
    P Santoni says:

    Thanks. I’ve been looking for something new and this looks like something fairly easy thatI can do.

  27. Robin Gee
    Robin Gee says:

    There’s an expensive workshop at Beadfest in Oaks, PA teaching you this very technique. Now I can learn it here!! Thanks so much!!

  28. No Photo
    Cha Cha says:

    Thank you! I tried this on my own a few months ago, and I failed miserably! Seeing the video instead of reading the instructions to do this is a huge assist! Wish I had found Lima Beads sooner!

  29. No Photo
    Joni says:

    Great tute. But it makes it much easier if you clip the bottom ends of your leather cord to the bottom of your clipboard. Just use large binder clips. It works great.

  30. Judy N
    Judy N says:

    Ali, Your work is just beautiful!! I really admire everything that you post. What type of thread do you use to fasten the beads?

  31. No Photo
    Jenni G says:

    Thanks for the measurements for the different wraps. This is the first place I have found that info. Also when making a multiple wrap bracelet how do you anchor the cords without crushing the beads already added? Any tips for this would be much appreciated! :)

  32. M Little
    M Little says:

    Thank you for such great information. I would like more ideas on a work board and what brand of adhesive is best to use.

  33. No Photo
    Kristina x says:

    Awesome!

  34. No Photo
    Angelina says:

    Made 2 of these bracelets, i had taken a class and my teacher send me a link to your site.
    Excellent video, learned an easier way :)
    Also what kind of thread do you use.
    We used embroidery floss.
    thank you

  35. Ali
    Ali says:

    Regarding the question of thread to use:
    I really like using the C-Lon Fine Weight Cord (wax the cord) and the Irish Waxed Linen. I have also used the One-G, but only using seed beads and with that you have to wax the thread a lot.
    I would hate it if one of my bracelets was being worn and it broke. To avoid this happening, I like to string a variety of beads that I will be using and rub the thread/cord back and forth against the hole of the bead to see if it will fray and break. That seems to be a good way to test how well the stringing material will hold up against sharper edge holes such as crystal and gemstones.
    Have fun wrapping :-)

  36. Lisa LaBarre-Kurz
    Lisa LaBarre-Kurz says:

    Ali, I have wanted to make this kind of bracelet ever since I saw the prices of them in catalogs. It does take time at first but I am hoping I get faster after this first one. The tutorial is great. Thank you so very much. Have a great day, Lisa LaBarre-Kurz

  37. Lisa LaBarre-Kurz
    Lisa LaBarre-Kurz says:

    By the way, what do you suggest using for a needle. I used the Nymo thread and 6mm beads and I could not find a small enough needle to get in the 4mm bead to start with. Thanks. Lisa LaBarre-Kurz

  38. Lisa LaBarre-Kurz
    Lisa LaBarre-Kurz says:

    Ali, What size and kind of needle do I use? It is very hard to get into the cord in the beginning and I am using 4mm and then 6mm all the way for 2-5 wrap bracelet. Could you please reply at labarrela@roadrunner.com Thanks Lisa LaBarre-Kurz

  39. No Photo
    Creativity Unlimited says:

    Ali, your instructions are great and the bracelets are beautiful, BUT…please tell me what size needle to use if I am using 6 or 8 mm beads for my core. Thank you so much!

  40. No Photo
    Ari O says:

    I made the triple wrap for a customer, she keeps bringing it back because it warps on the first and third wrap- it ends up literally standing up. And ideas how I can solve the problem or what is causing it?
    Thanks!

    Attachment

  41. Jan D 2
    Jan D 2 says:

    Question. I see Ali is using the “fine weight” cord. In the C-Lon threads, is D thicker or thinner than AA?
    Thanks for your help!
    with a smile!
    Jan

  42. 3peepers
    3peepers says:

    Jan, the C-Lon D is thicker than the AA….A lot of people use the AA for seed beads and such! I myself, use the size D for wrap bracelets..it feels more sturdy! Here’s a website that tells you the differences: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5814.....-for_.html

  43. Kate
    Kate says:

    I just have to say, I love this community! Thank you, pencespovrmoyedv, for sharing this most recent advice!

    And to those wondering about the needle size used in this video, it is a Size 10 English Bead Embroidery needle, and can be found here: http://www.limabeads.com/John-.....les-P11943

  44. No Photo
    Creativity Unlimited says:

    thank you so much Kate for letting me know the needle size!!

  45. No Photo
    lacoleman61 says:

    Great tutorial. I just finished watching one where the instructor thought telling how to start your thread and end your thread was really not important. I like the way you did yours vertically as opposed to her horizontal approach. Your tutorial was absolutely perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  46. No Photo
    never enough beads says:

    Love the tutorial and have made quite a few now with the thread that I had on hand, but the thread was awful. The bracelets came out fine, but the thread wanted to fray really making the project frustrating. I had to start over a couple of times it was so bad. I’m not sure what kind it was. A nylon maybe, made of lots of little filaments??? It wanted to catch on the interior of wood beads. Anyway, can someone give me a suggestion of a thread that will not do this that comes in colors? I also did a seed bead weaving project with the same thread and that was frustrating as well. I need advise since I work mostly with stringing wire like accuflex. Also the best needles that are stiff enough, but fine enough to fit the holes for pearls. Help!

    Attachment

  47. Kate
    Kate says:

    @NEN: You might try the Irish Waxed Linen for this bracelet. It’s a little extra durable because of the wax. We just added several new colors to our line up: http://www.limabeads.com/Irish.....y=name_asc

  48. Lisa LaBarre-Kurz
    Lisa LaBarre-Kurz says:

    Dear Ali, Have you ever tried Laddering technique without the needle and the TOHO Brand one G? I have been using KO thread however after I wear my 2 wrap bracelet for a few weeks I have noticed that the beads I started with have gotten loose. Any ideas? Thanks. labarrela@roadrunner.com Lisa LaBarre-Kurz

  49. Ali
    Ali says:

    @LLaBarre-Kurz: I’m afraid the One-G, or really any thread, is going to be far too flimsy to attempt without a needle. As I recommended in an earlier comment, using One-G (which is comparable to KO brand) requires applying wax to the thread to add to its strength. For this reason, I really prefer using C-lon or the Irish Waxed Linen when making wrap bracelets. It seems to hold up longer.

  50. No Photo
    D Paulsen says:

    I love making these bracelets. But my only problem
    is that the beads seem to slip up on top of each other. Is there something I am doing incorrectly?

  51. No Photo
    D Paulsen says:

    Love to make these bracelets but I seem to have problem with the beads slipping on top of each other. Would I be doing something incorrectly?

  52. Kate
    Kate says:

    @D Paulsen: could it be that you’re not pulling your stitches tight enough, giving the beads too much wiggle room to slip on top of each other? Seems as though if you were tight with the stitch the beads wouldn’t move on you so much. If I’m understanding your issue correctly… Thoughts?

  53. No Photo
    N Hallauer says:

    Hello, I have made two of these type wrap bracelets, both of these to be wrapped twice around your wrist. I had to remake both because of loose beads. I have found that the bead hole size and the size beading string is the biggest decision you need to make before attempting to start. If the bead hole is not completely filled with beading string and pulled tight, you will have dropped and bunched up beads. The whole bracelet should be fluid and smooth when completed, this will not be the case if you haven’t used the right size string for your beads. For 4 mm cube beads ( two across) I used 6lb Fire Line & #12 needle the first time and I had a big problem with this,so I had to redo it using the same string doubled, but going through the beads twice. My second one I had done the same day using 6mm round gemstone beads,however I needed to go through each bead 3 times. I had been told to use 8lb Fire Line and #10 needle, I could have saved a lot of time and string if I had only listened before using what I had on hand.

  54. No Photo
    ollie103 says:

    I have a thread question. What is the difference between the C-Lon thread & the Irish waxed linen threads? Seeing the pics for them on your site, the Irish waxed linen seems like it might be too thick, especially when double threading the needle. If you use the C-Lon thread, do you always wax it first? If so, how do you wax thread? Do they sell them already waxed? I have used fireline beading thread in making these bracelets, and I really like the fireline thread. The only drawback is fireline only comes in two colors.
    Btw, thank you for the easy to understand tutorial & for taking the time to answer these questions. I really like your site. Kudos to the techies.

  55. No Photo
    N Hallauer says:

    Hello Again,After watching this video more than once, I have made four more bracelets. This video is wonderful as it has corrected my technique and shown WHY I had problems with my first attempts. I would recommend this to everyone before crafting a wrap bracelet. Please disregard my first comments posted in Oct., I had my wrapping pattern all wrong.

  56. No Photo
    O Luce says:

    My granddaughter requested these bracelets for Christmas. She thinks Grandma can make everything, even tho I didn’t have a clue how to make them. And “Lo and Behold” here is the pattern. I can hardly wait to get started making these. She requested 3 no less. And even suggested the colors she wants. Picky for “requesting” dont you think?

  57. No Photo
    L Snyder says:

    So i tried to make a 3-wrap bracelet which requires 24 ft. of thread which I doubled, which made 12 ft. of thread I was working with. That is a lot of thread! And I ended up with a tangled mess, broken thread, and a broken needle!! How do you manage so many feet of thread going in and out of the beads without a tangled mess?? Can you stop and start new lengths of thread?

  58. No Photo
    V Wayne says:

    You need to heavily wax your thread with bees wax or thread heaven or with the new synthetic wax sold at most bead stores. If not waxed, you will end up with a tangled mess! I use a bees wax tea light that works just fine. Hope this helps.

  59. No Photo
    C Minnich says:

    I just tried my first wrapped bracelet and was going pretty well until a gemstone frayed my thread. I hate to start all over. Is there away to add thread once this happens? I noticed that someone earlier asked the same question but I didn’t see an answer. Thanks for the great tutorial. Much better than Fire Mountain Gems!

  60. No Photo
    C Minnich says:

    How in the heck are you supposed to get waxed linen through a number 10 needle? I ordered different threads recommended only to be stymied by the needle size needed to go through the smaller hole size in my gemstones……can someone help out?

  61. NY Bella
    NY Bella says:

    @C Minnich- try using a “big eye” needle or a “collapsible” needle. I found them very helpful when using seed beads or smaller holed beads. I purchased them from LB recently. Hope this helps!

  62. Jeanne S
    Jeanne S says:

    The. Collapsible needle sliced through the Irish linen thread.

  63. Ali
    Ali says:

    @Jeanne, what ply waxed linen did you use and which collapsible needle did you use? I want to try it when we are back in on Monday to see if I can give any advice on this problem. Hopefully I will be able to be of some help.

  64. Jeanne S
    Jeanne S says:

    It was two-ply and the kind of double-pointed needle where almost the entire needle separates down the needle. I didn’t have anything else that I could thread the linen through that would go through beads. I ended up starting over with. Fireline and I just finished it–two wraps, multicolor jasper, highlighted pewter button. It looks beautiful.

  65. No Photo
    whyzpurs says:

    Where is a good place any of you would recommend finding buttons for these bracelets? I’d love something unique, but I’m having trouble finding much of anything!! Thanks!!!!

  66. Kate
    Kate says:

    Whyzpurs, we have lots of button options here in the clasp section: http://www.limabeads.com/Button-Clasps-C5957 Hope you’ll find one you like! :)

  67. No Photo
    Meredith B says:

    Thanks for the instructions. Love the bracelets and have wanted to make one properly for ages

  68. No Photo
    Glenda says:

    Thanks for the wonderful instructions. I have made about 6-7 of these bracelets and I love them. I’ve given some away and sold. I will start purchasing some things from this site now. Thanks again

  69. Michalet C
    Michalet C says:

    I never imagined this was so simple. Can’t wait to try it. So many ideas now. Thanks for the post.

  70. Michaela Conley
    Michaela Conley says:

    Very nice demo

  71. Carola
    Carola says:

    Could you just include in the written instructions, under the video, the list for the suggestions for the correct thread (and what about the correct ply: 2, 4, or 7 ply; the need to wax C-Lon, etc.) and needles — to make this easier, since so many have questions on what to use and what will hold up in wearing the bracelet?

    And, just show them right there, as well, for ease of purchase?

    Does Lima Beads sell the wax, for the C-Lon?

    Can you use the TOHO thread, for this bracelet, or is it just for the seed beads?

    I had bought various TOHO thread, as LB stated it to be stronger. But, can it be used for this design with the heavier 4 mm and 6 mm gemstones?

    Thanks.

  72. Carola
    Carola says:

    Also, do you need to separate the plys, as one would do in an embroidery skein, and then put them back together to reduce tangling?

    Or, do you use the 2, 4, or 7, as is? No separating?

    What is the number ply, that will fit the 4mm beads, and the 6 mm beads? Or, 8 mm beads?

    Should the Irish waxed linen be used, as is? Or, need to double it, or more?

    Or, if need more to fill the bead hole, to keep the beads tight and in place — is it better to just stitch more than once through the bead?

    Like to try this, but need some more specifics on just what to use.

    Thanks again.

  73. Kate
    Kate says:

    Carola,
    We do offer a couple of thread conditioners: http://www.limabeads.com/Thread-Conditioners-C4791
    TOHO or C-lon thread is great for seed beads because these glass beads are made of smooth edges, whereas with gemstones the edges can be rough or jagged. Conditioned thread holds up against normal wear and tear of gemstones.
    Most gemstones have fairly small drill holes. Our 2ply waxed linen is approx 0.4mm and the 4ply is approx 0.8mm

  74. No Photo
    Celia A says:

    i really like the video but cannot stand the music in the background. i find it very distracting and loud.
    have made several of these bracelets and they are really great.

  75. No Photo
    Dolly R says:

    nice n easy,thanks for that vedeo

  76. Jeanne S
    Jeanne S says:

    I made a second bracelet using purple fishing line and no needle. I had started over six times with other thread that kept tangling. This was so much easier and if I made a mistake it was easy to fix. I dd two wraps with the rhodochrosite squares and Chinese crystals, with a Green Girl button clasp. It looks beautiful.

  77. M Sackett
    M Sackett says:

    This is really cute! love the frog. I’m going to try this for the first time now. I have great beads to use but may need to use another color for transition bead. Was wondering can I use any other glue to secure knot.
    Thanks

  78. M Sackett
    M Sackett says:

    Also I found awesome buttons for ten cent each at a local thrift shop

  79. SkySong
    SkySong says:

    I can’t wait to try this, I just need to get the right supplies. I have a bunch of buttons that belonged to my grandmother and they would be perfect for this!

  80. Kate
    Kate says:

    if you’re looking for a quick easy glue option, the hypo cement or LimaStudios tends to do the trick: http://www.limabeads.com/Adhesives-C3769

  81. M Sackett
    M Sackett says:

    k ty

  82. No Photo
    LauraW says:

    perfect tutorial/video! The first one I made is still doing quite well, but the working thread was sinew, chosen by the awesome instructor I had. Personally, I wouldn’t use that again. What is your preference-C-Lon or S-Lon
    ? Also, I just wanted to tell you I have loved all the artistic pieces you have completed, and your instructions are PERFECT! Thank you for motivating us!

  83. No Photo
    D Siniscalchi says:

    Just found out about your site from my son’s teacher. Awesome variety of products and I love the video lessons!

  84. Ali
    Ali says:

    I just finished up a triple wrap using the C-Lon size D, seems to be holding up really well. I didn’t use a needle, instead I pulled some Hypo Cement along the end of the thread for about an inch and let it dry. This created a thread needle for me to use.
    Next I am going to try out the Tuff-Cord. I’ve heard that this also holds up really well against gemstones, which is what I love to use in these wrap bracelets.

  85. No Photo
    Daisy V says:

    Love this tutorial on the wrap bracelet . Can’t wait to to try it . Great Xmas gift !!

  86. No Photo
    Judes says:

    I love the vid! I have been so frustrated trying to figure out how much cord and thread I needed and you have it here.
    How would you make a three row wrap? Not a wrap that goes around three times, but three rows of beads in a single wrap?

  87. No Photo
    cimcd1 says:

    The tutorial was fabulous. As soon as I find a few unique buttons, I’m going to try my hand at it. Do you sell the frog button you used in your video? Feel so lucky to have found your site. Thanks a million.

  88. Kate
    Kate says:

    @cimcd1 – frog button is a Green Girl piece: http://www.limabeads.com/Green.....19mm-P9952

  89. No Photo
    Marianne S says:

    This looks very interesting. I will try it soon. Thank you for having all these helpful videos and tips. I am looking and learning something new every day.
    Marianne in CA

  90. No Photo
    csmith says:

    would you mind giving me a material list, I have the buttons from your site, a real newbie!! thank you

  91. No Photo
    J Barron says:

    I LOVE it! Thank you!

    *Question: What size leather cord do you recommend? and what type of thread?

    I just discovered your site today, made an order and I’m hooked! Thank you so much!

    Jackie

  92. No Photo
    J Barron says:

    Wait, you’ve already talked about the thread above! Sorry for repeating! But do you recommend a size of cord?

  93. No Photo
    Fishpirate says:

    Awesome video! I was trying to make this bracelet after seeing one already complete. The video helped me short circuit the learning curve and gave me super helpful tips on how to really secure the thread at the beginning and end. And thanks for the clipboard tip. I was coming up with some really crazy ways to hold the button end so I had both hands free:) The best part was watching it on the big screen on my tv!! Highly recommend this, especially if more than one person want to watch and learn. Thanks !!

  94. Bead seeker
    Bead seeker says:

    New to this site…. so looking forward to trying the wrap bracelet instructions.

  95. K Boutcher
    K Boutcher says:

    Just made one and it came out great! Thanks for this video.

  96. No Photo
    R Bishop says:

    I am so glad I found this site and these helpful tips and techniques! I am just beginning my beading venture and what a great way to start building my confidence as a newbie. Thank you! thank you! thank you a hundred times and I can’t wait to see what else you have here for me to learn.

  97. No Photo
    Debra A says:

    What can you do if after wearing the bracelet one side of the leather starts to stretch out and it no longer lies flat. I made a double wrap for a friend who wore the bracelet a lot and then this started happening.

  98. C Bishop
    C Bishop says:

    Is there any chance you have a prepackaged kit of supplies to make one bracelet? I’m lost with all the choices, sizes etc. It would be great to make one bracelet and get the feel for it. If not how about a complete list of everything you need to make one 71/2 inch bracelet. Thanks for listening. wonderful video.

  99. No Photo
    P Wheary says:

    Great tutorial. I’ve viewed many on YouTube, but this is, by far, the best. Detailed, but so easy to grasp!! Thanks so much.

  100. Caryl Y
    Caryl Y says:

    This is so my daughter… she is going to love this… it’s so her…

Add your thoughts!

  1. No Photo
    YOU say:

    Sign up for a Lima account to comment—it's quick and free!

    Already have an account? Just log in.