Got Beads? The 101 on Bead Bling.

“Oh, your bracelet is so cute!” Yup, you’ve said it and you’ve heard it. Ever think that you can make your own beaded jewelry?  I went into an accessory store and I saw all kinds of bangles and bracelets and necklaces and I thought “I can do that!” So I did.  Why not? How amazing is it to make your own bling to match your attire?!  Although some beading projects can be very complicated and time-consuming, I find that simple projects can be just as satisfying and creative.

There are all kinds of beads out there, from gemstone to wood, glass to plastic.  If you have ever been to a bead store it can be very overwhelming, so many beads so little time.  It’s always a good idea to go into a bead store with a list. When picking out beads remember to keep in mind, size, texture, color, and pattern because this is your pallet to create your bling.

So what kind of simple beading projects are we talking about?  Well, I find that stretchy bracelets are fun and easy and if you want to do a project with the kids they can join in too.  All you need are beads, stretchy cord, scissors, and super glue. That’s it.  String beads on the cord, gently make sure the beaded length fits around the wrist without stretching the cord and lastly tie a square knot. Put a tiny dot of superglue on the knot to secure it, let it dry and cut the tails. Done.  Now everyone is going to say “Where did you get that!? It’s so awesome!”

Crimpers
Crimping Pliers

To make a bracelet with a clasp, we will need some specialized tools and some findings. Findings are those little components that provide structure.  You’ll need a clasp like a lobster claw or a toggle and you will also need beading wire and crimps.  Speaking of crimps, you will need a Crimper tool and a pair of wire cutters. Uhm…that’s it.

crimptubeblock1
How to Attach a Crimp Bead and Clasp on Beading Wire.

On a towel or bead tray lay out your pattern.  Cut a piece of beading wire longer than the length of your list, for example, the finished bracelet is 7″ long, cut a 10″ or 12″ piece of wire. (Trust me you’ll need the wiggle room.) Take the crimper bead and thread it on the wire. Take the wire loop it through the clasp and back through the crimper bead.  Snug up the crimper bead close to the clasp leaving a tail, use the crimper tool and SMASH it.  (In the beading community crimps are also called SMASH BEADS.)

crimping
How a Crimp Bead Gets SMASHED!

 

Easy enough.  Now, string the beads.  Here is a little technique I learned. There will be a tail once you attach the clasp and crimp bead. Take the first few beads and thread the tail into them so that it won’t be poking out, we’ll use the wire cutters to trim the excess off later.

Now we mirror the first step. Place a crimp bead and clasp on the wire, wrap around and back through the crimp bead.  Stuff that tail back through a couple of beads and give it a little tug so the crimp is sung against the clasp. Take the wire cutter and trim off the excess tail wire. DONE!!! There you have it, a Beading Tutorialbeautiful piece of jewelry that you made.

This may seem difficult but it’s not.   Once you get the hang of it, I guarantee that you’ll be making jewelry for every outfit and occasion.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to beading jewelry.  Have any questions?  Drop me a line in the comments section or just leave a comment.   Happy beading!

Artfully yours,

Andi

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