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Bead Jewelry Making

Bead weaving is stringing beads onto wire, thread, ribbon or similar material. The beads can be of any shape, size, color or material. This includes natural materials like wood and bone, synthetics like plastic, acrylic and resin, charms of all kinds, and even semi-precious gemstones.

It requires the beads and wire, as well as a couple other ‘findings’ like the clasp and other parts that secure the wire ends to the clasps, which in turn need a special type of pliers.

The beads are strung on the wire in visually pleasing patterns, with or without a central focal piece.

This method of jewelry making can be used to make amazing pieces of all shapes and sizes, for any kind of jewelry – necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more. Beyond jewelry, strung beads are also used to accessorize everyday objects like glasses holders and bookmarks, or combined with other fashion accessories like scarves to create an entirely new look.

Pros

Stringing the beads is pretty easy.

HUGE variety of beads and findings easily available.

Cons

Bead stringing might be challenging for those with vision impairment or who have limited fine motor dexterity.

Leftover beads can begin to pile up. (I don’t really think this is a ‘con’ – I love using these to experiment with, and there are great organizers for these available!)

Only a few simple tools and materials are required, so getting started learning how to string beads is inexpensive. Great starter kits like this can be found on Amazon:

Amazon is, of course, the easy answer on where to find more resources and materials, but other online bead jewelry suppliers like Fire Mountain Gems often have just as great prices and are easier to search because they are specialty suppliers for jewelry makers. They also are a great resource for project ideas and free tutorials.

When I was stationed in Hawaii, my best friend and I would sit by the pool, chat and string our jewelry while the kids swam. These afternoons are some of my fondest memories from that time. Happy kids, happy us – what more could you want?

Like anything else, it takes a little patience to get the hang of crimping the wire to secure the clasp to the ends. But if you don’t get it right, you can easily remove the crimping bead from the wire and do another one.

Looking For More?

Check out our Pinterest Boards of some amazing bead creations from master artists.

There are as many styles of jewelry making as there are styles of jewelry. You can learn more about each of them here:

Polymer Clay

Seed Bead Weaving

Wire Wrapping

Chain Maille

Metal Stamping

Precious Metal Clay

Metalsmithing