Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knot-a-Bead Tool - How to Knot Pearls and Beads Perfectly!

Knotted pink bead necklace and earrings set

Earlier this year I saw Beadalon's cool new Knot-A-Bead Tool in action at CHA. It made quick work of knotting strands of beads and the demonstrator made it look SO EASY. But if you've ever watched a product demo at a craft show, you'll know that it looked much easier when the demonstrator did it than when you tried to do it at home. But I'm happy to say that this is NOT one of those occasions.... this tool is every bit as easy to use as it looks and I'm pretty impressed with how well it works. It's definitely a tool worth adding to my collection!

So let's take a look at the knotting process.

You'll need:
Beadalon Knot-a-Bead tool
Silk thread
Clam shell bead tips (aka calottes)
G-S Hypo Cement
Needle Tool
Beads or pearls of your choice

I'm working with silk thread which comes with a needle already attached. It even has a knotted end (so it won't fray) so I've just threaded on a calotte (from the inside of the hole).
Silk thread knot inside a clam shell

Next, string your beading pattern onto the thread. I like to place a bead stopper on the thread to keep the beads from slipping off the needle again. Slide the first bead down to the calotte and place the calotte and bead over the metal spindle.
Placing the silk cord over the shaft of the bead knotting tool

Pick up the bead in your right hand and tie an overhand knot around the thread in your left hand
Forming a half knot around the spindle of the bead knotting tool

Pull the knot up so that the bead sits next to the spindle
Pulling up the knot against the spindle

Then pull the thread UPWARDS. This makes sure that the knot is right up alongside the bead. This next bit is important.... push the bead over the spindle, towards the back of the tool so that the thread is in front.
Pulling the knot tightly up against the bead

Now slide the bead to the right of the spindle and place the thread through the hook. You'll need to do this with your right hand but I'm doing it with my left hand because I'm holding the camera with my right. With your left hand, slide the button to the left whilst pulling the cord with your right hand. I found that I could work the knot right up to the bead by doing this slowly.
Releasing the knotted bead from the spindle.

Keep sliding the beads along the thread, and knotting them one at a time until all the beads are knotted. To finish off a strand, string on another calotte (from the outside of the hole) and create the knot as before.
Adding a calotte and a knot to finish the beaded strand.

To secure the knots so they won't unravel, place a dab of GS-Hypo Cement or nail polish on the knot. When it's dry, trim away the excess thread and close the calotte over the knot.
Knotted end with a dab of G-S Hypo cement added

How to Fix Mistakes

This is such an easy way to string a necklace and a great alternative to using eye pins to connect components together. But sometimes, you get it wrong and forget to place a knot in the right place..... oops!
Knotted bead strand with missing knot inbetween the last two beads.

It's easy to fix if you notice it straight away. Use a needle tool to loosen the knot, undo it and then continue on your way. As long as your design doesn't have lengths of unbeaded cord in between your beading pattern, any kinks in the stringing material should be hidden.
Loosening the knot with a needle tool

I have to say, that the instructions that come with the Knot-A-Bead Tool are pretty clear once you understand them but if you can't make heads or tails of them, then check out Beadalon's YouTube video and watch the tool in action - all of a sudden, those written instructions will become crystal clear!

Pin this Technique!
Pearl knotting inspiration sheet

Happy knotting!

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

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