Basics Needed to Get Started Making Beaded Jewelry

When it comes to accessories, few are as versatile as beaded jewelry. Beaded pieces range from casual to formal, and many can be worn either way. It’s no wonder that crafters love to create beaded pieces.

There are lots of different techniques that can be used to make beaded jewelry. They range from simple enough for young children to intricate and complex. Here are some of the techniques you can use, and the supplies you will need to get started.

Stringing with Cord

Stringing beads is one of the simplest jewelry-making techniques, yet it can make lovely necklaces, bracelets and anklets. All you need to get started is:

* Beads
* Bead thread, beading elastic, or some other type of cord
* Beading needle
* Nail polish or glue (for sealing knots)
* Clasps

Stringing on Wire

Bead stringing may also be done on wire. The technique is similar to stringing with cord. Supplies needed include:

* Beads
* Beading wire
* Pliers
* Wire cutters
* Clasps

Wirework

Wirework involves carefully fashioning metal wire and adding beads to make jewelry. This makes beautiful rings and earrings, and can also be used to make pendants and charms. The supplies you’ll need are:

* Beads
* Wire
* Wire cutters
* Roundnose and flatnose pliers

Beadweaving

As the name suggests, beadweaving involves stitching beads together so that they form something similar to a fabric. This technique is most often used to create bracelets and choker necklaces, but it may also be used on earrings, brooches and more. Supplies may include:

* Beads of uniform size
* Synthetic thread
* Beading needle
* Thread snips
* Loom, either made specifically for beading or made for traditional weaving but adapted for beading

To Stretch or Not to Stretch?

There are types of beading string that stretch, and types that do not. In some cases, which type you use is a matter of preference, and in others, the quality of your finished product depends on it.

If you’re stringing beads, you could use either type. If you prefer not to use a clasp on your necklaces, bracelets and anklets, you could use a string that stretches to make them easy to put on. But if you plan to use a clasp, you might want to use a string that does not stretch to make your work sturdier. Non-stretch string knots better than stretchy string.

For embroidery and beadweaving, non-stretch string is usually better. If you use a string that is overly stretchy, it could cause your work to pucker. But if you want your pieces to stretch a little, stretchy string might work in some cases as long as you avoid over-stretching it during construction.

Making beaded jewelry is great for beginners and experienced crafters alike. Even simple techniques can create stunning pieces. More complex techniques will require some practice, but if you start off small you can work your way up in no time. So why not give creating your own jewelry a try?

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