Did you get the new iPhone 6 this weekend? Does your current phone needs a little non-virtual upgrade?
Why not warp up your loom and weave a gorgeous silk and bead phone case? Simply use the techniques from our Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet!
Make your piece a little more than twice the width of your phone and a little longer than it. When you’re done weaving, line with fabric (we love using silk), use beads to embellish around the edges and finish off with a silk Kumihimo strap.
What you’ll need:
-A Mirrix Loom with a shedding device (make sure it is wide enough to weave a piece more than twice the width of your phone)
-Directions for our Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet (to learn how to combine beads and fiber). Get the free ebook here!
-8/0 Beads (this is a great mix)
–Hand-painted silk (or other fiber)
–A Kumihimo braiding kit (This one comes with silk!)
-Silk or fabric to line the piece
-Warp. C-Lon Cord works well for this piece.
Need help choosing a loom for this project? Fill out our Choose a Loom form for a personalized recommendation!
There has been a lot of discussion lately about how to finish beadwork to hang on a wall. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate to weave in warp ends and hence refuse to do it. Okay, I am stubborn, but I also have the hardest time threading needles so to have to do that a zillion times to finish a piece . . . I just won’t do it. Plus, my version of “patience” doesn’t cover that activity (which is amusing considering all the things I do that others believe take patients . . . all a matter of perspective).
I found two pieces in my stash that represent one way of finishing a piece. Since they are already finished, I can’t show you how I did it, but I can tell you how.
The below piece is a bead weaving mounted on tapestry weaving and then embellished with beads. To finish the bead piece, I tied off pairs of warp threads and buried them behind the piece. I then sewed it to the wool tapestry. The wool tapestry was finished by tying off warp ends and folding the header and footer to the back and sewing them down. I then sewed the final piece to silk . After I sewed it on the cloth I centered the piece on a wooden frame designed for stretching canvas. I tacked the silk to the back with large head but short nails.
The back of the piece. Since I thought the tacked silk would look awful on the back, I decided to cover the back with silk tacking it down with the same nails. But since the raw edges were sandwiched on the back, the piece looks a lot more finished. I then embroidery my initials in beads. I added a wire hanger. Done.
The second piece lacks the woolen tapestry. I used the exact same method but really went to town with bead embroidery on the silk. Notice how I’ve used bugle beads to embroider all around the piece once on the silk to hide the edges The other beads are just crazy freeform. It was a while back. I must have been in one of those moods.
With this piece I also felt a need to cover the back. I tied the warps in pairs and folded to the back. Sewed to the silk, embroidered the heck out of it and then attached to the wooden frame.
Here’s the back:
And how do you finish your pieces?
I’ve shared all my Mirrix projects with you but often the finishing touches had not been applied, so I thought I’d tie up those loose ends and show you the finished pieces, all of which are Mirrix milestones for me. From left to right is…
1) the cuff I wove with Claudia’s wonderful hand-dyed silk and some gorgeous crystal beads. This is my first ever attempt to combine beads with fibre! As much as I wanted to I could not make an ugly bracelet with these materials. Here’s the post that explains why I would ever want to do such a thing. I finished it with a 9 strand braid, for which I followed this great video tutorial on Youtube. The video is geared toward people who want to make decorative bread, but I found it perfect, and easy to follow since the instructor uses such generous wads of dough for each strand.
2) My First tapestry on a Mirrix! Although my heart is with tapestries that are finely woven, my next tapestry will be with a larger EPI (this one was 12) so I can get it done faster and feel less encumbered by it in the context of a weekly update. With that said, I love this piece! The main tapestry is wool, and the indigo is hand-dyed by me, as is the shag poof which is 100% silk. And as I mentioned in a previous post I received advice from my hair-stylist brother about how to trim the shag. Surprisingly he didn’t seem to be too fazed by the request. As you can see the top selvage is warped due to the shag being too bulky, so I may attempt to have it mounted on a custom cut rock so the selvage will lay flat (when glued) and also have it slant forward so we can see the tapestry underneath the shag. I’m not completely set on that idea though.
3) My first attempt at weaving beads. Today I finished it off with some hardware and it ended up looking very vintage, almost art nouveau when worn. So I’m much happier about it than I expected. I may need to make more like it, next time on the no-warp-ends kit.
So, it’s not the ugliest or the prettiest object, but nice aesthetics were not the driving force behind my making this bracelet. Let me explain…
Today while Sam had his morning nap I wanted to try something new: make something ugly (in 90 minutes). As haughty as this may sound, it is surprisingly hard to intentionally make an unattractive object, especially when using Mirrix’s silk and crystals for goodness sake. How ugly could it end up, right?! I’ve just been feeling uninspired lately, so I really needed to make something new and different to get out of my creative slump. When I told my friend, Ana Isabel, about this she told me that one of her colleagues suggests temporarily trying another medium. Apparently, she tried working with ceramics and it helped her get her creative juices flowing in general. So, the theory is that once those juices are flowing you can apply them anywhere? Sure, makes sense to me. I think I had a similar idea with going with Kim Werker’s suggestion to make something ugly (or an ugly something) which I think basically suggests that if you feel you have freedom to make things that are not beautiful you can potentially unlock creativity that is being held captive by routine and predictability. What do you think?
As a side note I thought I should share that in the end I kind of love this piece. So, when my husband arrived home I handed him the bracelet while saying, “look, I was trying to make something ugly, but….”. He just matter-of-factly stated, “um, well it is ugly”. I guess ugly is in the eye of the beholder, too. LOL.
I plan on finishing the ends by braiding a nine-strand braid on both sides. Stay tuned on my Instagram to see the finished bracelet.
Whether is it tapestry weaving, Inkle weaving, Saori weaving or even adding fiber to your bead pieces, Mirrix Looms are the perfect looms for weaving fiber.
We believe that the best craft supplies make the best pieces, and the happiest artists. Once you invest in a Mirrix, it will give you a lifetime of weaving enjoyment.
We have a brand new ebook available to download that goes over all the basics of weaving fiber on a Mirrix Loom!
- The basics of set-up & warping
- What types of fiber pieces you can make on a Mirrix
- All about weaving tapestry & some basic tapestry techniques
- About Mirrix’s great weaving accessories
- And more!
Click below to download the free ebook !
I was suddenly struck by the thought of weaving beads that aren’t round and have more than on hole. I waited patiently for my stash of Czech Beads to arrive. I wanted to discover whether or not I could successfully use oddly shaped beads and/or two hole beads on the loom. My theory is you can weave pieces on a loom that look pieces that are done off loom. Additionally, I have been experimenting with embellishing weavings that are still on the loom. I find all this is kinder to my hands since the loom holds the tension, not my hands.
Here are some of the results (I will show you the stash later!)
This one was woven from Chzech-mate flat two hole squares and duos (used for embellishing the sides). The warp is hand-painted silk. The finishing beads are porcelain and the button is a pewter leaf shape with a silk-covered O-ring for closure.
This one is way more complicated. I used every two hole Czech bead I bought including these amazing daggers, the squares, and rectangles, the duos, triangle beads and disc beads. I also threw in a few size 8/0 beads . The warp is hand-painted silk and the finishing beads are porcelain.
The final piece is very simple: Mainly Czech duos with some two hole rectangles. It wraps four times or can be worn as a necklace.
Now for some pictures of these great beads. I’ll just show you a few although a great mix of these beads will be shortly available in the Mirrix Store.
Now I will show you some in progress shots of the above three bracelets. Let’s start with the square bead bracelet. Each of those beads has two holes. Pass your threaded needle through the bottom holes of each bead. Place behind and in between the warp threads. Sew through the holes in the front of the warp. Then push the beads back slight so you can sew through the top holes in the back of the warp. Lastly, sew through those holes in the front of the warp. Continue attaching square beads until your piece is as long as you want.
I love the finishes off these beads. Just so rich and varied.
Use the Czech duos to embellish the sides of this bracelet:
Embellish both sides while still on the loom. I really love the finished piece. So simple to do yet so elegant.
The next piece was an experiment in being just a tad wild. I intended (and did) to use every new Czech bead in my stash including those amazing daggers with the exclusion of the square beads since they are too big to mix easily with the others. I seem to have neglected to take photos in process. But this piece will be the subject of our next ebook so stay tuned! The piece is three beads across. Sometimes I stagger the rectangular beads and I always stagger the Duos because they fit together that way. The daggers were just so much fun to add. The triangles and discs added a nice touch as well.
The third piece is two bead wide and uses only the Czech duos and the rectangles. It was fun and mindless to weave.
My last experiment was using soft flex. The whole process was quite successful until I tried to finish it. I made a bunch of mistakes so you don’t get to see the final product. Next on my list is to weave another piece using the no warps to weave in kit and bronze colored soft flex wire. I will be more careful with my finishing. I had tried to put on end caps and broke a some beads. I can do better than that! It would have been really nice and the soft flex was wonderful to work with.
I have been busy. Given the task of coming up with some new kits, I spent last weekend doing just that. I also wove some old kits, just for fun. They never get old to me.
I found two nude leather cuffs and decided they just had to have beads on them so that’s what I did. One bracelet is very, very Spring. The other is a bit moodier. I was pleased with both and plan to ship them off immediately to one of the galleries that sells my work. I find these new pieces (the wrap bracelet especially) are flying off the shelves. So while setting my mind to developing kits I am also creating inventory for galleries. Two birds, one stone. Although no birds were harmed in this exercise!
Spring is springing . . .
A more elegant take on the leather cuff theme . . .
I couldn’t resist weaving a couple of jewel cuff bracelets. Kit can be found at: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/jewel-cuff-bracelet-kit/
I could make a hundred of these and still not get bored. I have no idea how many I’ve made because during a party event at my house I broke into my inventory and gave them away to all my friends. It’s the kind of weird impulse I get sometimes. It’s fun to think that people I love are wearing something I’ve made.
Now to really finalize the kits for the leather cuffs! Back to the loom.
This is a pile of hand painted silk ribbon. We do now sell it on our website. Use it for anything you would have used the hand painted silk yarn for. I haven’t even begun to explore the many uses for this amazing stuff. You can find it at: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/silk-ribbon/
Now for the projects. I worked on two yesterday which will be making their way into kit form. The first one is simply the tapestry/bead cuff in a smaller format. The warp spacing is 14 per inch. I put on 13 warps and used size 11/0 beads (versus size 8/0 beads). I used a combination of hand painted silk yarn and some gold thread here and there. The final piece was seven inches long while still on the loom. The cuff I attached it to is 3/4 of an inch. Kit on its way.
This is a photo of the woven strip right before I cut it off the loom.
There it is finished.
The next project was exactly the same width and same warp sett. I used the same materials: hand painted silk, some gold thread and size 11/0 beads. But I only wove five and a half inches in order to fit it onto a leather cuff. I have been playing with leather cuffs a lot lately but only with straight bead weaving. I decided a fiber and bead cuff might look really good on the cuff. But I was worried about how to attache it. Before I get to that, let me show you a photo of it on the loom:
Here is a photo of the piece attached to the leather cuff. I glued it to the cuff and glued a piece of ulatra-suede to the back. I then sewed them both together at the edges and then finally edged it with beads.
And lastly, I want to introduce you to Saffie. I spent nine days with her recently. She is the latest addition to my brother’s family. Saffie is five months old in that picture. She and I fell in love.
Maia didn’t want to be left out. She was watching Saffie from her basket:
I have been playing (slowly) with hand painted silk. The eyeglass case, which is still on the loom, is now not wanting to be an eyeglass case. More about that tomorrow when I take it off the loom.
To find the silk go to: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/silkandgoldkit24.html That’s the big pack and best deal if you want to make a larger piece.
The first strip of silk is done. The other, almost done, is still on the loom. It’s hard to fail. Use any color of our hand painted silk in any order and it will be just right. I added a few rows of beads here and there. The sett was 14 ends per inch, so I used size 11/0 beads.
I crocheted this purse. It was actually a piece I made many months ago. I had made a bunch of these, but is the only one I kept. I added a row of magnatama beads and finished it with a braided strap. Number of hours to make? Who knows, but quite a lot. I wasn’t counting.
Now for the embroidery. This one you might have seen before. It probably took about sixty hours to make and my hands did get sore doing it so I had to take many breaks to do other things. I think the creation time spanned about eight months.
What follows are details of another embroidery I just finished. This one took even longer. But at some point I knew I was finished. I have two more that are almost completed.
And then there is the knitted scarf (a Christmas present). Whenever I joined two colors, I tied an overhand knot and strung crystals or porcelain beads on the thread ends. It was a great way to nicely hide those ends and add some interesting accents.
Now back to finished the “not going to be an eyeglass case!”
I dug through my stash of bead woven pieces and found some surprises. I am sure there are pieces hiding in other places, which I will post at a later date, but for now this is what I found:
I remember really enjoying weaving this piece. I made piles of 11/0 Delica beads in colors I thought might dance well together. Then I just wove various designs with these colors. I had twelve spaces (because there were thirteen warps) to play with. It’s amazing how many designs one can managed with just twelve spaces and bunch of colors. I folded the button end over and sewed it to the back of the piece to disguise the warp ends (which were tied with overhand knots). I buried those ends under the fold. I then made a peyote tube and attached a tube to it for the button. The triangle (which was made with a combination of peyote and herringbone stitch) buried the other end of the bracelet since it is actually two sided.
I combined matt finish beads with metiallic finish beads so that the individual colors stand out.
I stuck an interesting crystal to the end of the peyote tube.
I don’t know if I could make that triangle again, but I sure do like the look!
This next little gem is a one wrap bracelet made with beads and crystals. I hadn’t figured out yet that the O-ring should be covered with hand painted silk. I like the addition of crystals on all the warp ends. It was the start of something beautiful (the crystal and bead wrap bracelets that followed).
Wow, this is an old one. The loom held four warps (which surround the square beads). The trim on the ends (three size 11/0 beads) was put on as I wove. I then somehow crossed the interior beads, which are all strung at once. The warp was something fairly heavy like C-Lon beading cord 135. I don’t know why it never became a kit. Maybe it should!
This bracelet is similar to the one above, but the inside rows are not crossed.
I had been making a bunch of bracelets to put on a brass cuff. But with this one I lined the back with ultra-suede (gets rid of all those pesky warp ends in a hurry plus is very comfortable to wear).
This next one is a variation of the affinity bracelet theme.
This funny little guy uses a silk covered O-ring as both button and closure. I’ll try anything once. I might even try this again.
You know how much I love checkerboards!
This is my latest bracelet (I made it yesterday) and it might want to become a kit. Bicone crystals on a hand painted silk warp. A few knots, a few more crystals, the usual hand painted silk covered O-ring (as well as warp) and pewter button. I think it took me an hour to weave and about twenty minutes to finish. Fun and easy. Should it become a kit?