Ladder Stitch Bracelet with Lampwork Closure


I learned these ladder stitch wrap bracelets years ago (read: decades ago), but they are enormously popular right now because of designer Chan Luu. Consider making them with a lampwork bead closure.

Hers are done with semiprecious and/or swarovski crystal and you can see them (and their prices) here:

Below is what you need to make a 1-yard wrap.

Work Surface
6 yards C-Lon Macrame Cord (I get it from caravan beads here: )
2 yards 2mm leather (available from your local bead store)
30 grams size 6/0 seed beads (also available from Caravan Beads)
Lampwork glass bead (mine is boro and you can find the tutorial to do this wave bead in this forum room. I used GA Passion Extreme and clear for this bead). The important thing about your lampwork, is that the hole must be big enough to go over TWO strands of the leather. You’ll see why as you read through this.
Twisted Wire Needles
Some glue – I suggest watch glue.

Fold your leather in half. Wrap the C-lon around it and fasten with a knot.
THIS IS YOUR BUTTON HOLE! Make sure that it fits over your bead.

Stick a bit of glue on there or burn that little end with a thread burner or match (see the Shamballa Bracelet Tutorial thread in the Tutorials For Sale section on details regarding this). Pin down to your work. It’ll make it easier to start.

Thread your needle.
(Okay, I actually HATE these little wire needles, but they do make this project easier. So, swear a bit and then go ahead and thread that booger)
Thread on a size 6/0 seed bead.

**Pass the seed bead underneath and between the leather pieces.

Go OVER the lower leather piece, THROUGH the seed bead and OVER the upper leather piece.
Thread on another seed bead.** Pass the seed bead underneath and between the leather.

You probably see where this is going.
Go OVER the lower leather piece, THROUGH the seed bead and OVER the upper leather piece.

Thread on another seed bead.
Continue between the ** until you get bored.
I got bored about 4″ into this bracelet, but I was all heck-bent on making it wrap at least twice. BTW, the Chan Luu single bracelets run about $150.

When you get to the end, wrap your C-lon a few times around the leather and pull it really tight. Tie a knot and glue it. Pull your lampwork over the top of this wrap and over the top of the knot. The glue should also be inside that bead. Tie a knot on the outside of the lampwork and trim your cords.

You’re done! Admire you work!

Now, lets see photos of yours!


Welcome to spring! Hopefully the weather has improved a bit where you are! March was really a whirlwind, and April isn’t going to be much calmer.

Highlights this month are in the table of contents to the left – I’ll be in at shows in Vegas & Denver, selling my finished jewelry at a solo show in Cincinnati and at a spring sale here in Columbus. I’ll also be doing a lampwork demo at the Zanesville Museum of Art. 

But there’s other exciting news! Jeri Warhaftig’s new book, Creating Glass Beads, is out and its FABULOUS. She did a wonderful job. Its available from and is so inexpensive for the wonderful projects she included. But best yet, she selected a group of project testers and I got a chance to be one of them. In addition to trying my hand at new techniques (the photo above is one of her designs), I also met a wonderful group of lampworkers. Congrats to everyone for a wonderful job! You can see the projects in person at the International Society for Glass Beadmakers Gathering at the end of July.

Enjoy the spring!