Are you looking for a fun hobby? Think about making your own beaded jewelry. With this hobby, you can express your creativity in a relaxing and enjoyable way. Making your jewelry is practical, allowing you to make handmade custom pieces for friends and family. As a novice, you might not know where to start. Here are a few tricks that will help you get started making beaded jewelry.
Are you searching for complementary pieces for your beaded jewelry? At LaCkore Couture, we have a wide selection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings to add to your look!
Use the Right Tools
Before you start, you will want to invest in the correct type of tools. You cannot create high-quality pieces if you are working with cheap tools. Low-quality tools can make it difficult for even the most advanced jewelry makers to create a stunning piece.
There are a few essential tools that you will need to start making beaded jewelry. If you want to create your own beautiful jewelry, you should have:
- wire cutters
- round-nose pliers
- flat-nose pliers
- crimping pliers
- a ruler/tape measure
- a bead organizer
- adhesive, such as the E-6000
You might be tempted to get a few tools around your home and get to work. Need a pair of pliers? There are several types of them, not all suitable for the job. From the outside, any kind might seem to work. As you work with the materials, you will learn that only specialty pliers are designed to complete the job. By investing in the proper tools, you will be able to create better-looking, high-quality pieces for your project.
Cost is a concern for many beginners. You might be hesitant to spend money, especially when first breaking into the craft. Keep in mind that the cost of high-quality tools will pay for themselves over time. Specialty tools are an investment, and the well-designed tools will outlast the cheaper ones. After a while, you will need to replace those budget-friendly tools. You can create hundreds of pieces by using high-quality products.
Purchase High-Quality Materials
After gathering all of the right tools, you need to purchase the best materials. This step is where you can let your creativity shine. You can pick out beads that help showcase your unique style. Remember to stick with high-quality beads and other materials. If you use those cheaper ones, they can break or not give you the right look for your beaded jewelry. Some of the essential beading materials include:
- a variety of beads
- beading cord
- memory wire
- a beading needle
- ear wires
- clasps and toggles
- headpins and eye pins
- crimp beads
- beading wire
- beading thread
- fire-polished beads
You might notice those pre-packaged beading kits when you head to the store. Yes, these kids are convenient, but they are not cost-effective. You will be left with lower-quality beads that are not suitable for your projects.
Consider using glass beads, crystal beads, and gemstones for a more high-end look for your pieces. Cheap plastic and Lucite are acceptable for your own personal use, but those higher-end materials make for a better-looking piece of jewelry. High-quality beads will last longer than those cheaper materials. If you ever plan to sell your creations, customers prefer those glass, crystal, and gemstones over the plastic versions.
Once you have all the beads, you need to store them. Invest in a container with separate compartments. It can help to sort them by color, bead, and size. A bead container will make it easier to grab the right beads for the project rather than searching through bags of multiple beads.
Start With Small Pieces
When starting, you may want to put your creativity to use and work on a big, intricate project. It is best to start with those small pieces as a beginner. You can find plenty of free project tutorials to help you get started in the art of jewelry making. By creating small pieces, you can build up your abilities and skills. You can also gain the confidence to make more beautiful pieces with intricate designs.
Learn the Beaded Jewelry Lingo
Now that you know what to purchase, you need to brush up on the jewelry-making lingo. When you know the different uses of these materials, you will know what you need for a particular project. In addition to that, it will save you time and money when you don't have to return those unnecessary items.
When you are familiar with the vernacular, you will have an easier time advertising your pieces if you want to sell them in the future. For example, there are several names for necklace lengths, such as:
Collar: 12" -13"
Choker: 14" -16"
Princess: 17" -19"
Matinee: 20" -24"
Opera: 25" - 34"
Rope: 35" and up
You should become familiar with these industry standards before you start creating a unique piece of jewelry. You can create stunning pieces for yourself or commissioned pieces when you know the standard lengths.
In addition to the standard lengths, it does not hurt to learn about birthstones. These gemstones are trendy, and you can add these stones to any type of jewelry piece.
January: Garnet or rose quartz
February: Amethyst or onyx
March: Aquamarine or red jasper
April: Diamond or rock crystal
May: Emerald or chrysoprase
June: Moonstone or pearl
July: Ruby or carnelian
August: Peridot or aventurine
September: Sapphire or lapis lazuli
October: Tourmaline or opal
November: Citrine or topaz
December: Zircon or turquoise
You will have a fun way to personalize your gifts by learning these birthstones. People love beaded jewelry with birthstones, so you will always have an audience for your creations.
Develop Your Style
As you may have guessed, there are plenty of jewelry-making styles. When you start as a beginner, choosing the right style to fit your skill level and creative vision can be daunting. You can start with simple beadwork. Some people will want to incorporate leather into their pieces, while others love to work with metal. You might be more drawn to glass beads than those crystal stones.
Developing your style will come down to your preference and style. Take a look at what jewelry you wear as you look through your jewelry box. Find your favorite pieces to see if there are any common components between them. For example, if you look at those big, bold pieces, you might want to create beaded jewelry with cutting-edge colors. On the other hand, if you love dainty jewelry, you may want to stick to the minimalist style of metal pieces.
When creating jewelry, you want to make pieces that you would wear. Choose a style that you would gravitate towards. Once you have mastered the ins and outs of that style, you can move on to different types of beaded jewelry styles.
Create Your Own Workspace
If you have ever worked at home, you already know it can be frustrating when you don't have your own dedicated spaces. When you try to create beaded jewelry in an open area, it can lead to distraction and disorganization. Also, if you have your supplies in random places, you could misplace these supplies and lose out on time.
Take this opportunity to set up a room, a desk, or a corner dedicated to your jewelry-making craft. You will want to keep that area organized with boxes and labels. Take a look at Pinterest to get ideas to manage yourself and your supplies better. Once you have found a system that works for you, stick to it. When you are organized, your crafting hobby will remain relaxing and enjoyable, and it will not become a stressor in your life. Making beaded jewelry should be fun, not frustrating.
Find a Class
Now you can move on to the fun part: making beaded jewelry. You might want to look at a beginner course to help you develop those skills. Many online sites and craft stores offer exciting and fun lessons for beginners. You can learn specific skills for metalwork, soldering, beading courses, resin work, and clay metal. You will take some of the guesswork out of the initial creation stages with these classes. These classes are an excellent way to become more familiar with basic skills like working with jump rings or making wire loops.
Not only can you develop new skills, but you can network with other jewelry makers. You might even make a few friends who can help you build your skillset. Gaining first-hand knowledge from someone on the topic is invaluable, and it can help you build a network of other jewelry makers. After a while, you may become an expert in the craft and pass your knowledge to those beginners.
Search the Internet for Inspiration
The internet is an excellent resource for jewelry makers, whether you are a beginner or a professional. You can use the interest to research new techniques, troubleshoot problems, find supplies, or look for inspiration. The internet is a valuable tool to view trends and market your new products. As you can tell, the internet is a must-have for jewelry makers of any level. Let's look at some of these websites.
Designspiration is a social media search engine. Many jewelry makers use this website as a source of inspiration. You can use it as an organizational tool for your projects. Take time to use Designspiration to search for inspiration and ideas related to any type of design style. You can even save ideas to a vision board and save jewelry images to help inspire your jewelry-making creativity. If you are looking for DIY tutorials, there are plenty of them on the website. You will also be able to follow the boards and pins of other jewelry makers. With that, you can keep ahead of the trends and curve in the jewelry industry. Once you have developed beaded jewelry, you can post photos and advertise your wears. For that reason, this website is a valuable marketing tool.
If you want to watch videos, take a look at YouTube. It can become a valuable tool to spark your creativity. You will have access to millions of free tutorials and DIY videos. YouTube is an excellent way for beginners on a budget to learn new skills before you invest in those costly in-person courses. However, you will always want to video YouTube videos with a grain of salt. Quantity does not always equal quality. The wealth of information can be a double-edged sword, and the quality of those videos ranges from very high to poorly made.
You will want to look for jewelry artists who have well-developed channels. Many of these YouTubers are dedicated to the craft of jewelry making. Once you have found a YouTube channel, you can subscribe to their feed so that you never miss an episode.
DotDash.com is another collection site that you will want to bookmark. This website teaches users how to complete various crafts. One section of that site published articles and how-tos from experts in the jewelry-making industry. You can browse its e-courses and tutorials that can help crafters of all experience levels. Once you have built on those skills, you can sign up for an email newsletter to get more direct techniques for higher skill sets.
Don't Limit Yourself
There are no limitations once you have decided to commit to your jewelry-making hobby. You always want to expand your skill set, and you should never limit yourself to one style of jewelry. Don't be intimidated by trying new things. Remember that jewelry making should be fun. When you stay curious, you can start to experiment with new sizes, colors, techniques, and styles. You might surprise yourself with what you will be able to create. In time, your new jewelry-making hobby could lead to a lifelong practice of designing and creating pieces for yourself and others.
Quick Tutorial: Making a Beaded Necklace
Now that you understand the basics, you can put all of this information into a piece. Creating your jewelry is fun, and you will be able to create something to reflect your personal style. It is very easy to make a beaded necklace. Here are a few tricks and tips to make a beautiful beaded necklace.
Materials and Preparation
First, you will want to gather all of your beading materials. Make sure to have materials for the job: beading thread, beads, super glues, write cutters, crimp beads, and closures for the necklace. Some of the best types of wire are beading thread and beading wire. You can find all of these materials at your local craft store or online suppliers.
After that, you will want to determine your necklace style. Keep in mind that length. If you love shorter necklaces, consider making a choker or collar. For those who prefer longer chains, choose a lariat length necklace. You don't have to be limited to the standard lengths. It is acceptable to make your own length and style. The finished size of your beaded necklace will include the beads and jewelry clasps on the piece.
If you want to determine the right length, you need to measure your neck. Take a flexible tape measure and make a loop. Use that to measure your neck to get an idea about the length of the necklaces. It is okay to experiment and see what will look best on you. When you do this step, you will know what necklace will look good around your neck.
Design and Layout
After you have finished the pre-planning stages, it is time to move on to the design. Before you string them, arrange the beads on a flat surface like a desk or table. You might want to play with the beads until you find the perfect design. Don't be afraid to use different color combinations or multiple layers of string. A choker will wrap around your neck a couple of times, while a lariat will be one long loop.
Now is the time to break out the beadboard. You will want to use the beadboard on a flat surface. This tool can help you with the positioning of stringing beads, and it will help improve your design skills. Take the beadboard to measure the length of the necklace as you keep the beads in place. If you plan to make many necklaces in the future, you will want to purchase a board for your projects.
When you have a beadboard, you will place your beads at the number zero and then measure the length of the necklaces using the numbers and dashes on the side of the board. Lay out the beads using the channels. The tray inserts are made to hold your beads and other components.
You will want to cut your determined length of the necklace plus an additional 6 inches. For example, if you are looking to make a dollar necklace, you will want to cut 22 inches (16 inches plus 6 inches). After that, gather the two crimp beads, clasp, and beads for your necklace project. With that, you can start to thread the beads.
You can start building your creation. Slide one bead on the string along with the crimping bead. You will want to add another bead to the string. These steps are not transferring the design, but they help secure the necklace. After that, you should take the end of the clasp (or jump ring) and add it to the crimping bead to make a loop with the stringing material.
You will need to thread the end of the stringing material through the clasp section and add the bead-crimp-bead combo. Take the crimping tool or nose pliers to crimp the beads into place. If you are using bead thread, you might want to put a dot of super glue to ensure that the beads and crimp will remain in place. These steps will also help protect the stringing materials from rubbing on the crimp bead's ends, which can cause the necklace to break.
After this, you can slide your design on the string. Once you have the right design, you will want to remove one bead at a time and place it on the thread. Always leave about 3 to 4 inches of stringing materials at the ends. You can now use a jump ring or clasp and bead-crimp-bead combo to push the remaining material into the bead holes.
One word of caution: you never want to pull the string too tight on the necklace. Always leave a little bit of slack. With that, you will have room for beads to rotate and move, and they will not rub on each other on the necklace. If the stringing material is too tight, your design will look angular, and it will not have a slightly rounded look like a typical necklace.
You can crimp the second end and cut the stringing material with a slush cutter. You never want to cut the materials close to the crimp beads. Consider keeping about a 1 inch of wire to protect against breakage.
You have now finished your beaded necklace. Wear your new creation and show it off. You should be proud of your new design. Hopefully, it will inspire you to make more pieces in the future.
What are the Most Popular Beads Right Now?
Vogue says you’ll want to pay attention to these bead trends this season:
- Power Pearls: Pearls are really having a moment in fashion right now. This coming season, you’ll see smooth, round pearls in every size.
- Hearts: Heart charms, pendants, and beads will inspire love and whimsy.
- Tropical: Tropical beads and charms that give off summer vibes are not off-limits during the fall and winter. Look for seashell, pearl, or palm tree beads.
Classic bead styles that are always on trend when making beaded jewelry include:
- Gemstones: These are semi-precious and precious beads in various shapes and sizes.
- Metal: Sterling silver, gold, and plated beads are the most popular.
But while these bead styles are trending now, you can incorporate many bead combinations to make a statement piece or something that is uniquely you. Designing something that reflects your personality is always in style.
What are the Different Bead Shapes Called
There are loads of different bead shapes. Some follow a specific cut, while others are each uniquely formed. Here are the most common bead shapes:
- Dog Bone
- Double Cone
Yup, we weren’t lying when we said there was a bunch. Shape preference is completely subjective. Find the shapes that speak to you and create something amazing. Shop our favorite charms to elevate your DIY beaded jewelry.
What are the Best Beads for Making Bracelets and Other Jewelry
Some beads are easier to use when making your own beaded jewelry. These are the best beads for making high-quality bracelets and other jewelry:
- Bone: Carved from animal bones, bone beads are light, natural tones, and unique.
- Ceramic: Made from clay or ceramic materials, ceramic beads have glazed, polished finishes that come in various colors, patterns, and sizes.
- Glass: Glass beads are translucent, unique colored beads that are more limited in shapes and sizes but make striking pieces.
- Pearl: Classic and super trendy, pearl beads come in natural and colored varieties.
- Metal: Metal beads come in iron, gold, copper, silver, and other plated metals that can be cast in various shapes and sizes. Metal beads are an excellent choice for spacers.
- Resin: Resin beads are having a moment, and these beads can replicate the look of other materials like glass, stone, and metal. These are lighter beads that are easy to work with.
- Semi-Precious: These beads are carved from semi-precious stones, such as amazonite, amethyst, and tiger eye. These beads have more natural and unique shapes and sizes.
- Wood: Wood beads are carved from wood and then painted or polished for a variety of textures, tones, and patterns.
Looking for inspiration or need a new statement piece to go with your beaded design? Shop our new and now jewelry.
Related Link: How to Make a Beaded Bracelet
Now that you understand the basics of how to make beaded jewelry, you can design your own creation. Jewelry making is a fun hobby that you will enjoy for years to come.
Are you interested in purchasing beaded jewelry? At LaCkore Couture, we have many beaded designs in our collection. Shop for a piece that will complement your look.