Creative Bead & Pearl Jewelry Projects and Patterns
When learning how to make your own jewelry, beading methods are usually the first thing you learn. Beading is ideal for people starting out in jewelry making because you only need very few (and inexpensive) materials at first, and there are so many techniques you can progress onto that you'll never get bored! Beading is still a very popular hobby amongst crafters, and this page will summarise what you need and what you can learn.
Below you will find information on the tools, stringing materials and findings you can use for your creations, plus many projects for beginners and advanced beaders alike. Instructions for using cord, wire, thread, elastic, beading wire and memory wire are all included. There are also many tutorials for learning how to weave beads, both on the loom and off-loom, and free patterns for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more.
I hope this page inspires people to get beading :)
Lavender Beaded Flower Earrings
Best Beading Books
To get a comprehensive guide to beading from an expert, a book is the best way of finding all of the information in one place.
Beads are an extremely popular component of jewelry, and there are basic and advanced techniques you can learn to make the most of your beautiful beads.
Beads are usually incorporated in jewelry items via one of the following methods:
- Using beading thread through the bead holes to string them all together, creating a flexible piece.
- Using wire through the bead holes and securing at each end to create 'bead dangles' or other non-flexible bead links.
There are then many more advanced techniques or extra 'fancy bits' you can add to either of these methods. These extras range from wire wrapping and making intricate wire clasps, to using a beading loom or adding knots in the thread between each individual bead.
The usual metals used for jewelry making are silver- and gold- plated, brass and sterling silver, although there are other (more expensive) options too.
Beads can be made from a wide range of materials, from pearl and shell, to glass and wood. Click here for a great round-up of information about the different types of beads available to you.
Simple Beaded Jewelry for Beginners
- Ombre Bead Necklace
Multi-strand seed bead necklace in graduated colors.
- Crafts Unleashed
Loads of beaded jewelry projects in one place.
- Neon Fashion Bracelet
Fun mix of beads, wirework and thread.
- Wire, Bead & Chain Pendant
Create your own crystal or pearl bead necklace.
- Braided Bead Necklace
Pretty bead necklace with chain, bead tips and a screw clasp.
- Leather Cord Bracelet
Easy to make, with just glued-on end caps on the cord ends.
- DIY Safety Pin Necklace
Fashionable statement necklace without the need for wirework.
Clay Mosaic Bead Necklace
Beading With Thread & Cord
- Multi-Strand Necklace
How to design, string and finish a necklace with multiple strands.
- Shamballa Cord Bracelet
A 3-strand bracelet made by knotting cord around beads.
- Limitless Strands Necklace
Make a necklace with ribbon straps and braided strands.
- Bollywood Macrame Bracelet
Video how-to for knotting the cord into a beaded bracelet.
- Wire Lace Ombre Necklace
Pearl beads arranged into an ombre pattern.
- Boho Braided Bead Necklace
Cool cord jewelry with beaded layers.
- Gold Silk Thread Necklace
Hand knotted design with two different sized beads.
- Bead Embroidery
Probably not for complete beginners unless you want a challenge!
- Hemp Twine Bangle
Braided twine with embedded beads.
A List Of Tools
Products You Will Find Useful
To start with, a beginner shouldn't buy too much equipment (no matter how tempting it is!) until they have learnt the basics and decided that they definitely are still enthusiastic about the hobby.
The basic products I would recommend would be:
- Wire cutters
- Chain-nose pliers
- Flat-nose pliers
- Round-nose pliers
(The above tools are all for wirework, so if you aren't planning on working with wire you won't need these :))
- Small precision scissors
And for working with beads specifically, these products are very useful:
- Beading tray and mat
- Beading awl
- Beading needles
- Beading tweezers
Spring Meadow Woven Design
Lessons For Beading Using Wire
- Learn How To String Beads
Excellent step-by-step for beading beginners.
- Multi-Strand Necklace 1
Including a look at using a beading tray.
- Multi-Strand Necklace 2
Looking at the use of clasps, ends bars and connectors.
- Braiding Bead Strands
How to braid different strand together and finish with end caps.
- Endless (Claspless) Necklaces
How to make a long continuous necklace without a clasp.
- Using Memory Wire
How to make an easy bracelet using memory wire.
- Using The Crimping Technique
A clear DIY for making a beaded bracelet using crimped ends.
- Beaded Tube Bracelet
Simple project using crimped ends and gold plated tube.
- Simple Beaded Necklace
Steps to make a single strand necklace.
Woven Seed Bead Bangle
Bead Weaving Lessons - Mainly Off-Loom Stitch Tutorials
Bead weaving can be done on a loom, however mostly beads are woven 'off-loom', where there is more freedom in shape and design, and there are a variety of stitches you can use to create jewelry pieces, such as peyote and brick stitch. Aside from jewelry, woven beads can be used for ornaments, purses, bags and more.
Delica and Czech seed beads are the main types used for weaving. Make sure you choose seed beads that are consistent in size and shape, as I made the mistake of buying a big pack of seed beads when I started out and because they were not that great quality (and also weren't designed for weaving) they were all slightly different sizes so couldn't be used...oops!
- Essential Beadweaving Stitches
Including peyote, herringbone and square stitches.
- Excellent Bead Weaving Resource
Huge amount of information on a wide variety of stitches.
- Stitching Overview
A summary of the main techniques used in bead weaving.
- Ladder Stitch How-To
A basic technique which is used as the base for many other stitches.
- Peyote Stitch Videos
You can also search for video lessons on other stitches here.
- Even Count Peyote Stitch
A very widely used stitch.
- Odd Count Peyote Stitch
Like the even count stitch, but with a few extra steps.
- Mastering Peyote
An in-depth discussion about choosing the beads and threads.
- More Peyote Techniques
Provides instruction for beaded clasps, tubes and circles.
- Basic Brick Stitch
A similar stitch to the peyote, but not as flexible.
- Brick Stitch Project
Learn this type of stitch whilst making a pair of earrings.
- Brick Stitch Increases & Decreases
How to increase or decrease the number of beads in a row.
- More Brick Stitch Tips
More ideas for using this stitch, including how to add beads around a component.
- Daisy Chain
A dainty technique which is perfect for beginners.
Knotted Cord Necklace
Further Bead Weaving Stitches - (Continued From List Above)
- Basic Stitch Step-by-Steps
With tutorials for herringbone, spiral rope and peyote.
- Beaded Beads
How to weave beads together to create a larger bead.
- African Helix Stitch How-To
Photographs showing the stages of the spiral design.
- African Helix Stitch Video
Video lesson on weaving an impressive spiral stitch.
- Flat Herringbone Stitch
With a traditional start.
- Herringbone Techniques
Instructions on tubular as well as flat stitching.
- Dutch Spiral Video
A lovely looking stitch type which is great for necklaces.
- Square Stitch Animation
This type of stitch mimics the look of loom weaving.
- Right Angle Weave (RAW) Stitch
A versatile technique for beaders to learn.
- How To Increase & Decrease RAW Stitches
Diagrams showing how to build the rows of this stitch type.
- Using A Bead Loom
A video looking at the alternative to off-loom stitches.
- Netting Stitch
This stitch creates a pretty mesh effect.
- St Petersburg, Spiral Rope & More
A few more beadweaving ideas to keep you occupied!
- A Variety Of Fringes
Leaf, looped, picot and coral fringing add interest to the edges of projects.
Silver Wirework Bracelet
Necklace Patterns & Designs - Including Bead Weaving As Well As Regular Beading
- Tribal Egyptian Necklace
Elaborate design made with ball chain, wire and beads.
- DIY Porcelain Pendant
Square pendant made with a variety of beads.
- Ever Decreasing Circles Necklace
Use crimps to shape wire into a circle pattern.
- Beaded Bead Pearl Choker
Learn how to assemble beads from smaller beads.
- Woven Tube Pendant
How to make a beaded tube shape from flat off-loom weaving.
- Crystal Chevron Necklace
Design pattern which includes wirework and bead stringing.
- Rhinestone Brooch Embellishment
Create a double strand necklace with a brooch decoration.
Closures, Fastenings & Findings
Bracelet and Earrings Patterns - A Mix Of Regular Beading & Bead Weaving
- Collection Of Beading Patterns
Instructions for mainly bracelets and earrings.
- Crystal Bicone Bracelet
Sparkly bead bracelet with bicone and seed beads.
- Circular Brick Stitch Earrings
Colorful woven beads on hoop earrings.
- Dangle Beaded Earrings
Quick tutorial for making pretty diamond shape earrings.
- My Amari
Beautiful collection of projects - I particularly love the Cellini Spiral bracelet.
- Seed Bead Earrings
Wire hoops with simple beading.
Seed Bead & Opal Tube Pendant
Bead Knotting Tool
This tool is an absolute MUST HAVE item if you want to thread pearls and beads in a traditional, knotted way! It helps makes 'knot placement' and 'tension' perfect every time, enabling you to produce fine, professional looking jewellery. Not only will the quality of your pieces improve, you will also find with a little practice, that the time taken to create a design is massively reduced!
Beading Techniques & Projects - Interesting Ideas To Try, Plus More Free Patterns
- Peyote Stitch Bezel
How to frame a cabochon with seed beads.
- Fringe Bracelet
How to thread seed beads into coral shapes.
- Fringe Making Method
Threading technique for making a fringe, plus a flamingo pattern.
- Daisy Beaded Bead
Very cute cheerful bead with beaded daisies all over.
- Lace Medallion Pendant
Delicate flower shaped pendant.
- Beaded Crochet
Demonstration of how well crochet and beads go together.
- Animals, Letters & Decorative Patterns
Free seed bead patterns including a peacock feather and hearts.
- 1500 Jewelry Ideas
Lots of projects to browse for inspiration.
Wire Loop Beaded Necklace
Knotting Instructions For Traditional Pearl Jewelry
- All About Pearls
How they are formed, plus information on the different types.
- How To Make A Knot
Photos showing knotting with a pair of tweezers.
- Knotted Pearl Necklace
Step-by-step instructions for a complete necklace with clasp.
- Pearl Necklace With Bead Tips
Simple walkthrough which is handy for beginners.
- Knotting Video Lessons
Clear demo of knotting using a point/awl.
- Knotted Pearl Bracelet Video
This time using a specialized knotting tool.
- Using Closed-Loop Bead Tips
Straightforward tutorial for adding these findings to your jewelry.
- Knotting Floating Beads
Where the beads are spread out over the necklace thread.
- Hand Knotting Pearls
More photograph close-ups of the technique.
- How To Use a Knotting Tool
Written instructions of making a necklace.
Products & Tools For Pearl and Bead Knotting
There are a few different knotting tools to choose from; some are simply sharp points to help you tie knots, and others measure out distances to help you make evenly spaced knotted pearls or beads. It's up to you which you choose, but I can personally recommend the Beadsmith knotting tool since this is the one I have used myself.
Memory Wire Bangle
Combining Beads & Pearls With Wirework - Simple Techniques & Projects
If you are interested in making bead dangles rather than stringing beads, you will need to learn a few simple wire techniques. A bead dangle is where you thread a piece of wire through one (or a few) beads and either make a loop in one end of the wire (if using a headpin as your wire), or a loop in both ends of the wire. The loops allow you to join bead dangles together or to other components like earring hooks or chains.
The loops can be 'wrapped' which is where extra wire is wound around the loop (and sometimes the beads too) as an embellishment. This method is more secure than simple loops.
- Simple Wire Loops
The most basic and useful of wirework techniques.
- Wrapped Loops
Like a simple loop but with extra wire being wrapped around the top.
- Wrapping a Wire Around a Bead
Pretty bead link using a wrapped loop at each end.
- Pearl In A Wire Cage
Pretty bridal earrings using sterling silver wire and pearls.
- Center Drilled Bead Bail
How to made a bead dangle when you want it to hang vertically.
- Twisted Wire Bead Dangles
Use fine wire and a small bead to make your own versatile headpin.
- Wrapping An Undrilled Stone
Useful to know how to incorporate undrilled stones and objects.
- DIY Charm Bracelet
How to make a glass pearl bracelet with lots of bead dangles.
- Beaded Spiral Pendant
Impressive beaded wire design.
- Wire Loop Earrings
How to make ring shaped wire earrings, with beads.
- Wire Wrap Crystal Earrings
Incorporate beads into wire loop earrings.
Intricate Seed Beading
Beadweaving Loom Options
Beadweaving looms are specifically for helping you thread in and out of beads in order to make flat designs, which are often used as part of a piece of jewelry, but can also be used for other décor items like wall hangings. Here are a couple of the best options on Amazon:
Loom & Off-Loom Weaving Videos
Other Creative Beading Books
For masses of expert instructions and design inspiration in one place, books are an excellent choice and can be referred to at any time. Here are 2 of the most highly rated beading books available:
Please Leave a Comment!
Snakesmum on September 22, 2014:
Lots of information here - shall be back to re-read when I'm beading.
Sandra Rose from London on July 14, 2014:
Great lens :)
jerrybarndorf on April 09, 2014:
I love your blog! Really nice curation and this will help as I'm into beaded jewelry these days. Too bad there are no supply shots in the city I'm in now. Thank you for this.
AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on February 25, 2014:
Very pretty ideas, great lens.
Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on February 14, 2014:
You've done a terrific job here! Congrats from the "Bangles, Baubles and Beads" Contributor. :)
Marcel White on February 12, 2014:
Interesting lens. I'll send the link to a friend of mine that positively loves doing this kind of things.