Beadwork is one of the most identifiable artforms of the Native American people. It’s also an enormously rewarding and creative skill that can be learned by anyone. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get started and it doesn’t require any special talent to learn. With that in mind, we’ve written a quick guide to choosing the best bead loom.
Though you can bead without a loom, beading on a loom is so much faster and easier than picking up one bead at a time to stitch to a row as you would with peyote or brick stitch.
With a beading loom, you simply pick up the number of beads for the whole row and stitch them in all at once.
It’s so easy to do. I have to confess, I love everything crafty (and mid-century modern), but this has become a bit of an
obsession passion for me. You can see a couple of my beading projects in the photos to the left and right.
And the best thing of all, is you only have to start with a simple project, follow the instructions and you’ll make a piece of jewelry you can wear and be proud of on your very first try.
And don’t worry – there’s also a wealth of helpful tips and tutorials available out there in the crafting community so you’ll never be on your own.
I’ve even written a helpful article on the methods you can use to finish a beaded bracelet and add a clasp.
So to start our weaving series, let’s get started and choose the right beading loom for the projects you want to make.
|Our Top Pick – Best Overall||CLOVER 9910 Beading Loom|
|Best for Beaded Bracelets||Ricks Beading Loom Kit|
|Best for Advanced Beaders||Lacis Bead Loom Hardwood Purse Bead Loom|
|Best Budget Beading Loom||Cousin Large Traditional Bead Loom kit|
|Best Budget/Portable Beading Loom for Beginners||Beadalon Jewel Loom Kit|
Click below to jump to full review in this guide.
- Our Top Pick – Best Overall
- Best for Beaded Bracelets
- Best for Advanced Beaders
- Best Budget Beading Loom
- Best Portable/Budget Beading Loom for Beginners
- Frequently asked Questions
- Other Bead Looms We’ve Reviewed
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Bead Loom.
Our Top Pick – Best Overall: CLOVER 9910 Beading Loom
Our Top Pick – Best Overall
Clover are a well-respected needlecraft company who make consistently well-designed high-quality crafting tools. Their 9910 beading loom is no exception. Designed for a frustration-free setup, the loom is very easy to warp and super easy to use, making it suitable for every skill level from complete beginner to the serious beader.
The loom is adjustable from 2-1/4 inches long for small, delicate projects like pendants, earrings, or brooches, etc to 8-3/8 inches long. However, the winding beam allows you to work on much longer projects if you wish.
There are two different groove sets spaced either for round beads or narrower cylinder (delica) beads. Clover say this allows for a width of up to 2-1/2″ or 40 warp threads – for a 39 round bead pattern, or a width of 2-9/16″ or 44 warp threads – for a 43 cylinder bead pattern.
Don’t worry if you are new to beading and that sounds a little confusing. What that basically means is that you get a nice even tension whether you use 11/0 round seed beads or narrower Delica 11/0 seed beads, because the warp threads on this loom can be specifically set for either.
And just remember you will always need one more warp thread than the number of beads you require for a project.
You can, of course, mix your beads or use larger beads than mentioned, by changing the intervals between the warp threads if you wish.
Set up is a breeze on this weaving loom whether you’re a beginner or not. The loom comes with 4 holders that clip on to the winding beam to grip your thread while you warp the loom, and 12 pegs for continuous warping (depending on your method of warping). Pro tip – continuous warping means easy removal of your project and minimal hiding and securing of your (only two) threads – clover provided written as well as video tutorials on how to do this.
This loom also features 2 handy metal warp thread stoppers. These slide into the grove sets on top of your warping threads and prevent your threads from jumping out while you work.
Included in your package you also get 1 beading needle (#10), one needle threader and comprehensive instructions. Clover have also produced several helpful video tutorials to get you up and running.
But if you’d prefer a book with projects to follow, specifically written with the clover loom in mind, you may like the one featured below. The preview on amazon will allow you to see the projects you can make with the book before you buy it.
What We Like:
- Adjustable Length | For projects from 2-1/4 inches long to 8-3/8 inches long. And longer projects can be achieved using the winding beam.
- Two Different Groove Sets | Spaced either for round beads or cylinder beads.
- Comprehensive Instructions | And several freely available video tutorials means you’re not on your own – even if you are completely new to beading on a loom.
Buying Factors to Consider:
This is a perfect choice for all skill levels being very easy to set up and use and it has features such as the metal warp thread stoppers and the choice between two grove sets, for example, that you only get with this loom.
Check the latest price for the CLOVER 9910 Beading Loom on Amazon.
Best for Beaded Bracelets: Ricks Beading Loom Kit
Best for Beaded Bracelets
The part of bead weaving that requires the most patience is the finishing process which involves hiding and securing your warp and weft threads.
Rick’s beading loom is designed to make that job so much easier for you by leaving you with just two threads to deal with at the end of your project.
Handmade in the US from high-quality wood, the design is very simple, you adjust and tighten the frame to your desired length before you begin and warp the loom using the pegs provided to secure the thread at whichever end you start and end up at.
The loom will accommodate projects up to just under 12 inches in length, and nearly 3 – 1/4 inches wide. Longer projects can be achieved by sewing two lengths of completed beadwork together like a quilt.
Weaving the beads close to the warp rods leaves you with just two warp threads to deal with at the end of your project and only tiny end loops that will easily disappear in your beadwork.
The loom comes with 3 warp rods (one is a spare), 3 warp pegs, and 1 warp separator card. The loom also comes with comprehensive instructions and again there are good video tutorials freely available for this loom.
Though by no means a necessary purchase, there is also a book, written specifically for this loom with five easy projects to follow.
What We Like:
- Two Warp Threads to Deal with When Your Project Is Complete | This saves you time and makes finishing your project so much more straight forward.
- Loom Naturally Tilts Towards You | There’s also ample space to maneuver beneath your beadwork.
- Adjustable Length | Upto just under 12 inches in length.
Buying Factors to Consider:
The only thing I should point out about this loom is that it does require you to know how long you want your finished beadwork to be before you begin.
Check the latest price for Ricks Beading Loom Kit on Amazon.
Best for Advanced Beaders: Lacis Bead Loom Hardwood Purse Bead Loom
Best for Advanced Beaders
This bead loom gives you the ability to work on much larger projects than beading looms generally allow for. It provides a generous working area of 11 inches wide by 36 inches long, making it suitable for pictures, purses, bags and more.
The high-quality hardwood frame can be angled or used on a flat surface.
For ease of setup and use, the frame uses the continuous warping method. This allows you to rotate or advance your beadwork as you go. The result of this being that you always work in the center of the loom.
Even advanced beaders will no doubt be wondering how to space the warping thread correctly for your project. This is done by making your own beaded warp spacer using a row of beads from your chosen project which you simply attach to one end – creating tension by means of an elastic band and a couple of paper clips. But don’t worry there are video tutorials to show you how this is done.
What We Like:
- Professional Loom For Large Projects | This loom gives you a generous working area of 11 inches wide by 36 inches long.
- Loom Uses the Continuous Warping Method | This allows you to rotate your beadwork as you go so that you are always working in the center of the loom.
Buying Factors to Consider:
You may also want to consider buying a 1/4 inch by 24-inch length of dowl to feed through the holes in the center of this loom. This will allow you to rotate the frame swiftly and efficiently, which makes warping this loom so much faster and easier.
It’s a well-made versatile loom and great for larger projects, but it does require some knowledge and experience to handle it.
If you are a beginner but would like to work on larger projects you should opt for our budget option next.
Check the latest price for the Lacis Bead Loom Hardwood Purse Bead Loom on Amazon.
Best Budget Beading Loom: Cousin Large Traditional Bead Loom kit
Best Budget Beading Loom
This loom is super easy to warp, especially if you use the continuous warping method, and it has a generous 8.5-inch by 5.6-inch working area – more length can be achieved using the winding beam.
It’s easily affordable and ideal for all skill levels who’d like the option to work on larger pieces.
The simple but effective design of this loom features a metal spiral or coil warp separator and the winding beams are tightened by wingnuts at each end.
The loom comes with beads, thread, and needles, to get you started and it includes instructions on how to weave several patterns including chevrons, waves, and Aztec styles.
What We Like:
- Large Workspace | It can accommodate up to 66 bead rows for larger projects as well a being ideal for bracelets, necklaces and other smaller items of jewelry.
- Suitable for the Tightest Budget | If you are in the least bit curious about whether you’ll enjoy bead looming or not, you seriously can’t go wrong for the price.
- Easy to Warp | Setup can be done in less than 5 minutes.
Check the latest price Cousin Large Traditional Bead Loom kit on Amazon.
Best Portable/Budget Beading Loom for Beginners: Beadalon Jewel Loom Kit
Best Portable/Budget Beading Loom for Beginners
Designed by author and jewelry designer, Julianna Avelarhis this is a great little starter kit or travel beading loom for all skill levels.
It’s such a simple design that fits in the palm of your hand.
It’s super easy to warp with two buttons on the back for securing your thread and a tension bar that you remove once the loom is warped. This will automatically tighten your warp threads for you.
That’s all there is to it!
Again this loom is so affordable it’s a must-have addition for those that love to craft while traveling – it even comes in a clear zippered pouch to keep everything together neatly.
Lastly, I just want to talk about Julianna’s book:
Though it’s always nice to have the option to buy a book with project ideas that apply to your own particular brand of loom, not all of them add much to the array of helpful tips and free tutorials available online and the projects they offer can be less than inspiring.
This book, however, offers a mixture of simple yet stunningly beautiful projects to follow – plus some truly inspiring ideas to strive towards.
I own this book (and the loom) and I totally recommend it for beginners. Reviewers on Amazon have been disappointed that there are no instructions for the inspirational ideas that are included at the end of the book.
But there are only a few pages, in fact, only 10 out of 82 pages of full projects to follow.
For me, the “ombre cubed bracelet” project featured on the cover below is so beautiful it’s worth the cover price alone – and don’t worry they’re all equally stunning.
What We Like:
- The Book and Loom Make a Great Grift Idea | The book is full of amazing jewelry projects and inspirational ideas. It just goes to show you what can be achieved with such a simple inexpensive little loom.
- Tension Rod | This makes warping easy and sets the correct tension for you when the warping rod is removed.
Buying Factors to Consider:
This is a must-have loom – whether it’s your first loom to start practicing on or a portable addition to one of the larger looms featured above.
Just remember that it is just plastic and has the potential to snap if you warp it too tightly.
Check the latest price for the Beadalon Jewel Loom Kit on Amazon.
Feel inspired? Head over to our reading room where you’ll find some more great beading book recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best loom for beginners?
Choosing a loom that has warp separators helps you space your warping threads accurately and more easily.
Start with simple projects like a bracelet or bookmark. An ideal loom for this is one that’s not too big.
A loom that allows continuous warping is also a good idea as this can mean fewer threads to finish at the end of your project.
How do you finish a bracelet?
One of the easiest methods is to continue to weave your thread in and out of your warp threads following your final row of beads – just as you would for a tapestry.
Do this for up to 1 cm and then backstitch and tie the thread off. Add a layer of glue over the woven area leaving it to set overnight.
You can then trim the warp threads and add a crimp clasp to secure and fasten your bracelet.
Alternatively, you can weave the warp threads back through your beadwork – tying them off here and there. Before you cut the thread, weave the ends back in to create a clean edge ready for your clasp to be sewn on.
Is loom beading easy?
It may look complicated but it’s one of those crafts where it’s easy to make something you can be truly proud of – if you don’t get too ambitious to start off with.
The actual beading process is pretty easy once you’ve got past the first couple of fiddly rows. Just choose a loom that comes with good instructions and is easy to warp.
Finishing your project requires patience and you should carefully follow the instructions but it doesn’t require any special skills.
Is beading on a loom an expensive hobby?
It’s actually a very affordable hobby to take up. Unlike some crafts that require a hefty initial outlay to buy a machine, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good beading loom.
In comparison, a simple sewing machine, for example, would cost a lot more. You will need beads for each project Japanese or and Czech seed beads are the best quality. You will also need scissors, jewelry fasteners, beading needles, thread, and plyers are usually the only other supplies you will need.
Other Bead Looms We’ve Reviewed:
These are the products that didn’t quite make our top picks, but they’re still pretty good so you might like to take a look.
And if you need somewhere to store your beads – beading is totally addictive so believe me, you will – hop over to our craft organizer guide to take a look at our (very affordable) bead storage pick.
Traditional Wooden Loom
This is a well-made loom. But it doesn’t come with pegs. You will need to add screws from a hardware store to secure your warp threads.
- 10 1/2 inches long by 11 inches wide.
- It does have warp separator bars.
- Predrilled holes to add your own screws.
Large Solid Oak Loom
This one has screws at each end to secure your thread.
- 15 x 14 x 3.5 Inches.
- It comes with over 14 unique patterns.
- Adjustable legs and extra-wide platform.
Great for Endless Wrap Bracelets with Built-in Ruler
This one is great for creating endless wrap bracelets similar to the one you can see in the image.
- Use the tension bridge to convert to a bead weaving loom.
- Includes over 1000 Stone, Crystal, & Japanese glass seed beads.
- For bracelets and necklaces up to 1-1/4 inches wide.
Battery-Powered 3-Piece Bead Spinner Set
Great for threading your seed beads. It strings beads quickly and efficiently.
- The spinner works for right or left-handed beaders.
- Works with any size beads that fit over the needle (6/0 to 15/0).
- Includes three blue bead spinner bowls with translucent blue snap-on lids.
Create your own designs
Patterns include square/loom, brick, and peyote to create your own beadwork designs
- 2 types of graph paper sheets.
- Great to design and keep all of your ideas together.
And lastly, if you find yourself working on a bead project and struggle to see what you’re doing, a good craft light with a magnifier will make a ton of difference. Honestly, I can’t recommend one enough!