Beading 101: How To Make Beautiful Handmade Jewelry

If you’ve always wanted to make your own jewelry, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get started with basic beading techniques and where to find the supplies you need. 

We’ll also cover some of the best materials for creating handmade pieces and what types of beads are best for beginners.

How to Make a Wire Beaded Bracelet | Jewelry 101
Key Takeaways
– Beading can be a fun and rewarding way to express your creativity.
– Starting with quality supplies is important for a successful beading project.
– Beginner-friendly projects include simple beaded bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
– There are many resources available online and in craft stores to help you learn the basics of beading and jewelry making.
– Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different techniques and materials when making your own custom beaded jewelry.

1. Find the Right Materials

Before you start making jewelry, you need to make sure you have the right materials.

To start with, choose your beads based on what kind of look or feel you want to create. For example, if you’re making a necklace for someone who loves the ocean, consider using shell beads and sea glass as well as silver jewelry making tools.

For an elegant evening piece that will go with just about anything she wears, try pearls or other fancy stones in various colors (such as pink sapphires).

If this is your first time working with beads and threading them onto wire or string (the technical term is “stringing”), it’s important to get comfortable using pliers and tweezers before attempting beadwork projects of any kind and be sure not to forget those handy little clasps!

DIY jewelry making can be a fun and rewarding way to express your creativity. Learn about the essential tools and techniques with our helpful guide on crafting your own pieces.

2. Consider the Clasp

Clasps are used to fasten jewelry and can be made of a variety of materials, such as metal or plastic. Clasps can also be made of cloth or fabric. There are many different types of clasps, but the most common ones are:

  • Lobster clasp (also known as a spring ring)
  • Toggle clasp
  • Locking lobster clasp (also known as a barrel lock)
Clasp TypeDescriptionBest for
Lobster Claw ClaspA metal clasp with a spring-loaded mechanism that snaps shut when released, typically used for necklaces and bracelets.Everyday wear
Barrel ClaspA two-part metal clasp that screws together and is renowned for its security, commonly used for bracelets.Jewelry with heavier weight
Hook and Eye ClaspA two-piece clasp typically used for necklaces and bracelets and features a hook on one end and a loop on the other end.Delicate and elegant jewelry
Toggle ClaspA two-piece clasp with a T-shaped bar that passes through a circular loop for fastening, commonly used in bracelets and necklaces.Unique and trendy jewelry
Magnetic ClaspAn easy-to-use clasp that is secured with a magnet, commonly used for bracelets especially for those having dexterity issues.Easy wear and often in bracelets

This table provides an overview of different types of clasps used in jewelry making. Choosing the right clasp depends on factors such as the weight of the jewelry and personal preference.

3. Bind the Necklace

Use a bead stringer to attach your clasp. The easiest way to do this is to thread the ends of the clasp through the stringing wire and then use it as a guide for your needle. 

You can use any kind of needle, but we suggest using one that’s sharp enough for easy piercing and fine enough not to snag on the jump ring.

Now take your jump rings and open them with pliers, then place them around each end of the necklace just before closing it up again. 

The final step is just like any other jewelry piece once all of your components have been attached together, every seam should be securely fastened in place by tightening its corresponding jump ring or knotting one or more pieces together with wire (if there’s no room left).

Looking for easy and fun jewelry projects for beginners? Check out our curated list of 10 DIY jewelry projects for some inspiration to get started on your crafting journey.

4. Get the Hang of Knotting

Once you’ve mastered the basic knots, you can use them to make beautiful jewelry. Knotting is a great way to add texture and dimension to your pieces. 

It’s especially useful for making bracelets, necklaces and other types of jewelry that need some extra flair.

The process for knotting is pretty straightforward:

  • Tie a knot around something (a string or another piece of material).
  • Tie another knot next to the first one (also using either string or another piece of material).
  • Repeat until done!

5. Mix and Match Your Beads

Once you’ve chosen the perfect beads for your project, it’s time to put them all together. You can use different colors, shapes and sizes for unique results. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, try mixing materials like glass beads with metal or ceramic in the same piece!

6. Create a Pair of Earrings

To create a pair of earrings, you’ll need:

  • A wire-wrapped bead (or two).
  • A pair of earring wires. You can purchase these at a craft store or online. For example, I like double-ball wires like these ones from Beads & Interiors.
  • The same type of beads as you used on your necklace or bracelet. If you want to make sure your accessory matches its counterpart perfectly, try mixing up the color and size for some added interest! If not, it’s best to stick with complementary colors when choosing beads for an accessory set like this one.
  • Jewelry pliers or wire cutters (a pair will do fine)

A successful beading project starts with quality supplies. Explore our recommendations for the best beading supplies to help make your beading experience more enjoyable.

7. Make Your Own Bracelet

Now that you’ve learned the basics of beading, let’s get started on making a bracelet! The first step is to measure your wrist. This will help you determine how many beads will be needed to make the bracelet as well as how long it should be.

Next, decide which beads you want to use and how many of each color/shape/size. If this is your first time making jewelry, we recommend using 4-8 beads per strand or two strands for each bead used (one for both sides). 

Once you have decided which colors/shapes/sizes of beads that you want on your bracelet, start stringing them onto the thread using either a crimp tube or crimp bead if necessary. 

Once all of the desired colors/shapes/sizes have been secured with either one or both methods above – cut off any extra material from around where each individual strand meets up with itself so there aren’t any loose ends hanging down – make sure everything looks even before moving onto next step! 

Finally finish off by making sure everything looks neat; if not simply weave through some more stitches until satisfied 🙂

Step 1: Measure Your WristUse a flexible measuring tape to determine the circumference of your wrist. Add an extra half-inch for a comfortable fit.
Step 2: Choose Your BeadsSelect the beads you want to use for your bracelet. Consider the color, size, and style of the beads to achieve the desired look.
Step 3: String Your BeadsCut a length of beading thread to match the desired length of your bracelet. String the beads onto the thread, being sure to add knots or crimp beads to secure the ends of the thread.
Step 4: Create the ClaspUse jump rings and a clasp to secure the ends of the beaded strand and create a loop for the clasp to hook onto.
Step 5: Finishing TouchesTrim any excess thread from the ends of the bracelet and make sure the clasp is securely attached.

This table provides a step-by-step guide for making a basic beaded bracelet. Following these steps can help you create a beautiful piece of jewelry that is personalized to your liking.

8. Learn to Make a Chain

Making a chain is the easiest way to connect your beads and make wearable jewelry. The steps are simple:

Cut a length of chain that’s as long as you want your necklace to be. The best way to do this is by wrapping the chain around your wrist, or measuring it against something else that has a similar circumference (a ruler works well). 

You’ll need about two feet for most necklaces; add in another few inches if you want to make an extended choker necklace or bracelet.

Use the chain nose plier to open up one end of your chain so that it will fit over the last bead on one side of your necklace design this will serve as an opening where new beads can be added later on at any time if desired without having to remove all previous ones first! 

If using findings like crimp tubes instead instead (we’ll talk more about those later), skip ahead straightaway where we’ll cover making these types of connections instead.”

Want to create truly unique beaded jewelry pieces? Our guide on custom beaded jewelry offers expert tips and tricks for bringing your creative vision to life.

9. Start With a Needle and Thread

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to start stitching. You will need a needle and thread. The type of thread you use depends on the project you are working on and your preferences. For most beginning projects, a medium weight cotton or silk thread works well.

The size of your needle should match the size of your thread the larger it is, the more difficult it will be to stitch with; the smaller it is, the less likely you are to break your threads by accidentally poking yourself with them (which happens more often than we’d like).

Needles come in many sizes but not all needles are created equal! The most common one found at craft stores is called an embroidery needle because it’s perfect for sewing delicate fabrics like silk or lace. 

However if these aren’t available at your local store then try looking for: quilting needles (made from steel), tapestry needles (made from aluminum), or crewel embroidery needles which have small eyes designed especially for hand embroidery stitches such as satin stitch or chain stitch as well as Aida cloth which is woven with holes so when viewed under magnification each square looks like little diamonds.)

10. Try Different Materials Besides Beads

Try different materials besides beads. You can also use other materials to make jewelry, like ribbon, lace and even paper! Anything that can be cut into strips or shapes will work.

Choose a pattern or shape you want to use for your bracelet. It’s best to choose something simple at first because it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re new.

Cut out the pattern with scissors or an X-Acto blade (depending on what type of material you are using). If needed, fold over one end of each piece by about ¼ inch before cutting out so that they will fit together better.

Glue pieces together in order from biggest to smallest and let dry overnight before wearing your new bracelet!

Leather CordThin and flexible cord made from animal hide that is often used for necklaces and bracelets.
Hemp CordNatural and eco-friendly cord made from the fibers of the hemp plant that is durable and versatile.
Elastic CordStretchy cord that can be used for making bracelets, anklets, and other stretchy jewelry.
Memory WireCoiled wire often used for creating bracelets and necklaces that “remember” their shape and can hold their structure without a clasp.
Polymer ClayA type of modeling clay made from synthetic materials that can be molded into virtually any shape and baked to harden.
FabricDifferent types of fabric, such as ribbon and lace, can be used to create unique jewelry pieces.

This table provides examples of alternative materials that can be used in jewelry making, as opposed to using just beads. Experimenting with different materials can lead to truly creative and unique jewelry pieces.

11. Know How to Store Your Pieces

Whether you’re selling your pieces or just keeping them for yourself, it’s important that you store them properly. Jewelry can be fragile, and storing it incorrectly can damage the piece or even cause injury if a piece of jewelry were to break off and fall into an eye.

Here are some tips for how to safely store your jewelry:

Keep them in a safe place. The best place is a drawer or box made specifically for storing jewelry. A dresser top is not ideal because it’s not locked away from moisture and heat—both of which can damage your creations!

Don’t leave them lying around all over the house either; this includes on shelves or tables where they could get knocked down by pets or kids running around excitedly trying on various accessories (or knocking each other over). 

If you have more than one child, consider getting two separate storage boxes so that each child has their own safe place where they’re allowed only limited access (and therefore less likelihood of breaking anything!).

Store them away from direct sunlight as well as dampness and extreme temperatures especially freezing cold ones like those found outside in wintertime weather! 

Plus don’t forget about humidity levels too: too much moisture can cause rusting which would definitely ruin any metal pieces’ longevity so try avoiding basements near water sources such as sinks/tubs/drains etcetera whenever possible due to potential leaks down there somewhere even though they may not seem like big problems at first glance…

Take your handmade jewelry to the next level with some creative inspiration. Check out our helpful tips on how to make unique handmade jewelry and add something truly special to your accessory collection.

12. Master the Right Terminology

Now that you know how to make your first beadwork pendant, let’s define some terms.

The word “bead” refers to the individual items sewn together in a piece of beaded jewelry. Beads are typically made from glass or metal, but can also include other materials such as wood and plastic. In this book, we will focus on using glass beads for our projects.

The word “beadwork” refers to any type of decorative sewing done with beads; it does not necessarily refer only to jewelry pieces or pendants like we’ll work on here!

The term “beaded jewelry” refers to any kind of handmade beaded item that adorns clothing (such as necklaces), accessories (such as bracelets), or is worn around the neck (such as chokers)

Seed BeadsSmall, uniformly sized beads that commonly serve as the foundation for many beadwork projects.
Crimp BeadsSmall metal beads used to secure endings of beading wire while also adding a decorative finish.
Beading NeedleA thin, elongated needle with a small eye that is designed specifically for beading projects.
Beading ThreadHigh-strength, durable thread made specifically for beadwork in jewelry making.
PliersA type of tool with two hinged arms used to grip, bend, and cut wires and metal.

This table provides definitions for common beading terms that are used in beadwork projects. Understanding these terms can help you more effectively read and follow beading patterns and instructions.


I hope this guide has given you some inspiration to start your own beading hobby. If you’re just getting started with beads, I’d recommend trying out a few projects first before diving into anything too complicated. 

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, then go ahead and try something new!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about beading and jewelry making, check out these helpful resources:

Beading 101: How to Get Started Making Jewelry: A comprehensive guide on the basics of beading and jewelry making to get started on your craft journey.

Intro to Beading 101: Getting Started with Jewelry Making: Helpful tips and tricks to help you start making beautiful, unique jewelry pieces.

Pinterest Board on Beading: A collection of beautiful beading inspiration, DIY tutorials, and ideas to get you started with your own jewelry making projects.


What supplies do I need to start beading?

To start beading, you’ll need some basic supplies like beads, beading wire, pliers, and crimp beads. You can check out our earlier mentioned resources to get more in-depth information on what you need exactly.

What are some beginner-friendly beading projects?

Some beginner-friendly beading projects include simple beaded bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. You can also start with basic beading stitches or try your hand at wire-wrapping.

How do I choose the right beading thread and wire for my project?

The best beading thread and wire for your project will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size and weight of your beads and the type of beading project you’re working on. Check out some above resources or ask at your local craft store for recommendations based on your specific needs.

Do I need any special tools for beading and jewelry making?

While some specialized tools can make the process more efficient, you can start beading with just a few basic tools like pliers, wire cutters, and crimping tools. As you get more experienced and try new techniques, you can expand your collection.

How do I troubleshoot common issues while beading?

Common issues while beading can include knots, frayed threads, and irregular spacing. Our recommended resources will provide you with some tips and tricks to solve such problems.