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How do I Make Bead Bracelets?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Making bead bracelets can be as easy or as complicated as you'd like because you can choose between simple and difficult bracelet making techniques. Of course, for the best handmade bracelet results, it's probably best to start with simpler styles. The easiest way to make easy, yet attractive bead bracelets is to thread pretty beads onto an elastic cord and then tie a secure knot or two. These bracelets are simple to make and can fit snugly on the wrist, yet be comfortable to wear as well as remove. More advanced types of bead bracelets involve adding chain links and jewelry findings to the bracelet to create styles with clasp closures.

To make a beaded link bracelet, you'll need beading wire, a fastening clasp, wire cutters, round nosed pliers, beads and jump rings. Jump rings are small metal hoops with one cut placed in them so that they can be attached to another metal link and then closed carefully with pliers. Beading wire of 30 - 32 gauge is quite soft and not stiff enough for forming loops in wire to attach jump rings to, so wire in gauges of 22 - 24 is much better for making bracelet links. To create the bracelet, cut the beading wire into equal lengths. The exact length you’ll need will depend on whether you'll be using one or several beads on each wire piece, plus the sizes of the beads you chose. Make a little loop on one end of each piece of wire before adding one or more beads to the wire. Finish the beaded link by forming another loop on the other end of the wire piece. To complete the bracelet, connect the beaded links with jump rings and then attach the metal fastening clasp.

Bead bracelets.
Bead bracelets.

You can use any beads that you love when you make bead bracelets. Glass and crystal beads usually look more tasteful than plastic ones. You can decide whether you prefer to make bracelets with gold or silver colored beading wire and findings. Beading wire is also available in colors such as pink, orange, purple, green and blue. It's a good idea to start with a few basic jewelry making supplies and a small supply of beads to experiment with before buying larger amounts as then you'll have a better idea of which materials, sizes and colors you prefer to work with to make bracelets and other pieces.

Weaving beads is a more advanced bracelet-making technique.
Weaving beads is a more advanced bracelet-making technique.

Once you've made several elastic cord and beaded link bracelets, you may want to try making bracelet links using a jig. A beading jig is a small board with rows of pegs. When beading wire is wrapped around the pegs, different shapes are created that can be formed into bracelet links by adding wire loops and rings. You must be sure to use stiff enough wire so that the jig-worked pieces hold their shape. Beads can be placed on the jig-shaped wires or a bead can be hung from the formed wire to create charm-type bead bracelets.

Discussion Comments


Macrame bead bracelets are made in a similar way to hemp, though you can use many other forms of rope of thread fibers. These, like hemp, don't use as many beads as elastic or wire bead bracelet designs often do, but if done well they can be really eye catching.


Another fun style of beaded jewelry is hemp bead bracelets and necklaces. Hemp can have a really timeless look, especially if you use the natural beige color, though you can find it in many shades now. Jewelry designers who work with hemp usually prefer beads that are wood, stone, or glass, because plastic can clash especially badly with hemp. You could also experiment with clay beads, purchased or even handmade.

You can learn most forms of hemp knotting either by purchasing books or kits in a craft store, checking your library, or even looking on the internet.

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    • Bead bracelets.
      By: deviantART
      Bead bracelets.
    • Weaving beads is a more advanced bracelet-making technique.
      Weaving beads is a more advanced bracelet-making technique.
    • Any type of bead can be used to make bracelets, including plastic ones.
      By: 79mtk
      Any type of bead can be used to make bracelets, including plastic ones.