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A Beginner's Guide to Stringing Beads

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 5 6
Simple Strand of Beads
Credit: Naomi Karth

Making jewelry can easily feel overwhelming. However, it doesn't have to be intimidating and it definitely doesn't have to be hard. You can be stringing beads in no time for really great jewelry that you can wear, that you can give to your friends and family, and even to sell if you really want to.  


What You Need for Stringing Beads

You don't need to spend a lot of money to get started stringing beads. A couple of tools and a few supplies and you have everything you need. You will need a pair of wire cutters and a pair of crimping pliers in order to get started. You will also need nylon coated wire, crimp beads, and the beads of your choice. That's all you really need to start stringing beads and making great jewelry. You may also want storage for your beads and you may want a bead board which makes it easy to lay out your beads.  


Creating a Pattern for Stringing Beads

When you create a pattern for your necklace or your bracelet you can really have fun. You can choose a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to make a piece that is pleasing to you. However, following these tips can be very helpful. You can lay these out on a piece of material that won't allow the beads to roll away easily such as velvet, or use a bead board which has a groove in it designed to hold your beads.

  • Remember that when you are making a piece for yourself, you are the only one that you have to please. You don't have to worry about what anyone else things.
  • Consider the size of each type of bead you want as well as color, texture, and metals.
  • Use smaller beads, metal spacers, and bead caps to add the texture, metals, and colors that you want. These types of beads can really make a simple strand of beads stand out.
  • Take your time planning your pattern. You will be a lot happier with the design you settle on if you have put some thought into it.

 


Blue Beaded Necklace
Credit: Naomi Karth

Starting Your Project

Once you know what you are going to do with your beads you will want to get started. To do this you want to measure out your nylon coated beading wire and add an extra four inches to the length. Next you will fold over the bottom inch and a half and slide your clasp onto the U shape created by the folded wire. You will then slide your crimp bead over both the long wire and the short wire.

Next comes crimping the bead. This sounds a lot more complicated than it is. If you take your crimp pliers and look at the tool you will see a moon shaped hole at closest to the handle and a rounded oval shaped hole closest to the tip. You will take the tool and squeeze it over the crimp bead using the hole closest to the handle. This dimples the bead on one side. You then turn it on the side and use the second hole to fold the bead over on its side. The bead then squeezes the wire and holds it all together. For a bit of added security you can add a drop of bead glue, super glue, or finger nail polish. I prefer Bead Fix because it doesn't discolor the beads and it does a really good job holding everything together.

 


Stringing Beads

Now that you are ready to start stinging beads the job gets really easy. Here you will just place the beads onto the wire one bead at a time. You don't need a needle and it will go quickly and easily. You will want to pay attention to when you get near the end to make sure that you make it long enough to fit and that you don't get in too big of a hurry to finish it. When it is the perfect length you can finish it.  


Finishing Your Project

To finish the project you will add a crimp bead to the strand, you then add the other half of the clasp, and fold the wire over. Slide the wire through the crimp bead and several of the beads after that. Pull it tight. Then crimp the bead. Add a drop of your glue for security. Then you need to use your wire cutters to trim the wire as close to the bead as possible. You will need to flip it over and pull the other end of the wire tight and trim it close to the bead as well.  


Multi Strand Beaded Necklace with Pendent
Credit: Naomi Karth

Getting Creative

Stringing beads can be quick and easy and produces beautiful, but simple necklaces. The good news is that you can get creative and make some very intricate designs. Have fun with it and try and be creative and you will be able to come up with very cool looking designs.

  • One idea is multi-strand necklaces. To make these you will do the same thing, but hook each of the strands onto the clasp and then either bead them completely separately (with one crimp bead per strand) or bead them with the same crimp bead which will hold the strands closer together.
  • You can also add pendants or dangles from the necklace. You can also make Y shaped necklaces using the same techniques for stringing beads. You will string the beads for the dangle onto the regular strand and then run your wire through the beads (except the last one or a pendant) and finish beading your necklace as usual.
  • Mixing materials can also be done. You can have a strand that is beaded using these simple method and mix that with other materials including chain, ribbon, and wire wrapped beads. By mixing these other methods you can get some really cool looks.  

Carnelian Necklace

The most important thing to remember about making jewelry is that you should have fun. If you have fun you are sure to enjoy the process and you will produce jewelry that you fall in love with. Stringing beads is one of many easy jewelry techniques that anyone can learn and can be combined with other easy techniques for an even larger variety of beautiful jewelry.  


Strand of Beads
Credit: Naomi Karth
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Comments

Mar 27, 2012 2:25pm
jeni10
I've always wanted to learn to string beads and make jewelry. Thank you for sharing this great article. I'm bookmarking your article, and hoping to find time to start beading soon. Posted to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Mar 27, 2012 6:21pm
aidenofthetower
Thanks for commenting and posting! I love making jewelry of all sorts, but definitely understand the limited time issue. I don't ever have near enough time to spend on it. :-P
Apr 14, 2012 10:27pm
southerngirl09
I have worked a little with jewelry making, and as you said, it is fun. It is on my long list of things that I want to spend more time on. Great article, and congratulations on being featured.
Apr 16, 2012 5:57pm
knifedog
I like this article. My mom makes jewelry among other crafts and projects and she would approve of this article as well.
Apr 18, 2012 12:44pm
WebAddict
I'd love to be able to make beads like this! Great feature!
Apr 18, 2012 6:47pm
jjandedt
Very nice post...keep sharing
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