Welcome back to the Herringbone portion of Bead Weaving 101.

Tubular Herringbone is a topic I have covered many times before. We used advanced levels of the technique in the Twisted Orchard Bangle and Pearls on the Halfshell projects.

So today, I thought I would bring it back to the basics for a bit. 

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I have discovered a few alternative starts to the tubular form of this stitch. And I will present those in the next post. 

Today, we are going to start with the popular ladder stitch base. Refer back to Ladder Stitch Basics, if you need a refresher. 

Before we start, let’s take a look at the tools and materials used in this lesson. 

Tools and Materials

In the Written Lesson

In the Video Lesson

2 Colors – 8/0 or 11/0  Seed Beads 

Size 10 Beading Needle 

3 feet 6 lb. Fireline or other Beading Thread

4 Colors – 8/0 or 11/0  Seed Beads 

Size 10 Beading Needle 

4 feet 6 lb. Fireline or other Beading Thread

The written portion of this lesson is strictly a primer on traditional tubular herringbone stitch.

However at the end of the video lesson, you will find the instructions for basic twisted tubular herringbone stitch, as a bonus. 

The Ladder Stitch Base

For the base, I have created a two bead high ladder that is six beads in length. I alternated between the two colors as shown. 

To close the beads into a tubular shape, we need to connect the bottom and top beads from column 1 to the same beads on column six. 


Since our working thread is exiting the bottom of column 6, we will sew up through the beads on column 1 first. 

This connects the two columns at the bottom of the bead work. 


To connect the two columns at the top, sew back down both beads on column 6 as shown here

Notice the to thread bridges. Pull the connections snug. 

To get into position, sew back up through both beads on the first column once more. 


The Pattern


Because I used the two colors alternatively for my base, I will continue the pattern for the sample.

I will pick up the color A bead first (the same as columns 1, 3 and 5) and the color B bead second (the same as columns 2,4 and 6)

In other words, pick up the same color bead as the one your working thread is exiting first, followed by the same color bead as the bead you will sew into.

Simple Herringbone and the Step Ups

Pick up your two beads.

Sew down through the top bead of the next column.


Step up into the top bead of the third column. 

Repeat the steps until the end of the row. 

Since we have six columns, each row with have three stitches. 


At the end of the row, you will step up through the top two beads on column 1.

Repeat all of the steps above for each additional row. 

Add a few more rows for practice and your sample is done. 


Here is a short video that demonstrates the process using 3 colors of beads in the tube and a 4th color as the base beads. 

As I said earlier, at the end of the video, there is a brief demo on adding a simple twist to the bead work. 

Video Lesson

If you prefer, I have a PDF Guides for this and many other techniques available in my Shop

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If you would like to learn more about Twisted Tubular Herringbone, check out the Twisted Orchard Bangle project. 

In this project:

  • Variations of the Twist
  • How to Reverse the Twist
  • Mirror Imaging Sections and Ends

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