If you are interested in learning how to make beaded jewelry, there are a lot of different methods and techniques to choose from. For beginners, however, stringing beads on beading wire is one of the simplest and most popular methods. It is also relatively versatile since, once you’ve mastered the basics, there are a variety of techniques you can try to make your pieces a bit fancier.
Ready to get started? Keep reading to discover some bead stringing wire techniques for your next project!
The Basic Technique: Stringing Beads on Beading Wire
For beginners, making a simple beaded necklace or bracelet using beading wire is always a good place to start. For this basic technique, you’ll need beads (you can use gemstone beads or freshwater pearl beads), beading wire, two crimp beads, crimpling pliers, two pairs of chain-nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, end findings, a clasp and a ruler or yardstick.Start by measuring out a piece of wire. You’ll want to add about 10 inches to the desired length of your finished piece. So, if you are making an 18-inch necklace, you’ll want to use your wire cutters to cut off about 28 inches of wire. Next, insert one end of the wire through one of the crimp beads. Position it so it’s about three inches from the wire’s end and then insert it back down through the bead and pull the short end until you have a small loop. Use your crimping pliers to crimp down the bead and then trim off the excess wire tail.String your beads onto the wire and then place the second crimp bead against the last bead. Make a loop, crimp the bead and then cut off the tail. Finally, attach the end findings and clasp. Ta-da! You just made your first piece of beaded jewelry. Now, let’s try something a bit fancier.
Making a Multi-Strand Piece
One way to give your beaded jewelry creations some extra oomph is by using multiple strands of beads. For this project, you’ll need the same supplies used in the previous project plus two decorative cones.Create the individual strands of beads using the method detailed above. Don’t finish each strand with end findings and clasps, though. Once you’ve finished all of your strands, attach one end of each to a jump ring. Repeat on the other end. Next, cut a 3-inch wire and make a loop at one end. Attach one of the jump rings to the loop. Make another 3-inch wire and repeat with the jump ring on the other end of your strands of beads.Slip a decorative cone over each 3-inch wire with the widest end against your strands of beads. Slip a clasp over the wire and then make a loop. Wrap the wire down to the cone and then cut off any extra. Repeat on the other side to finish the piece.
Mixing Wire Wrapping and Stringing
If you know how to wire wrap beads, you can combine wire wrapping with stringing techniques. Feel free to experiment with these two techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces. It works well to use a larger wire wrapped gemstone as a pendant or focal point and then string smaller coordinating beads on a wire. You can also alternate between stringing a few beads, adding a wire wrapped down and then stringing a few more beads. Get creative! When it comes to working with beads and creating your custom jewelry pieces, your only limit is your imagination.
One of the great things about working with beading wire is that it is incredibly versatile. Thinner gauges work well when you are simply creating a strand of beads to wear as a necklace, bracelet or anklet. If you would like to incorporate wire wrapping into your creations, though, you may want to consider using thicker wire. When you are just getting started, it pays to experiment with different wire thicknesses to determine which ones work best for the types of pieces you are trying to create.Keep in mind, though, that the thinner the wire, the easier it is to break. If you are making something like a bracelet or anklet that is likely to see a lot of wear and tear, you might want to stick with slightly thicker wire to ensure durability.At Beads of Cambay, we have gemstone beads and high-quality findings for all of your jewelry-making needs. Check out our full selection today to find exactly what you need for your next project!