Beaded Jewelry 101: All the Basics You Need to Know

Thanks to current trends, beaded jewelry is being spotted everywhere, from breezy summer festivals to urban streets. Remember when it seemed that jewelry options were limited to just gold, silver, and platinum? Those metals are classics and will always be in style, but we are loving the new focus on jewelry made with wood, beads, fabrics, and alternative metals.

Unfortunately, it can be pricey to participate in trend pieces, especially when you don’t know when fashion opinions will change. If you’re willing to get a little crafty, you can make beaded jewelry from home. Not only is it an affordable option, but it’s really rewarding to spend a little time engaging with your creative side. We think if you give it a try, you’ll be hooked on your new hobby!

To get you started, we want to introduce you to the basic techniques to create beaded jewelry, as well as outline some jewelry options for gorgeous creations.


How to Make Beaded Jewelry

If you’re new to making beaded jewelry, it can be tough to figure out where to start. We always recommend starting with the basics and then adding new skills. For the best success, wait until you are accomplished with one skill before moving on to something more complicated.

Bead Stringing: If you are an absolute beginner in beading, the first thing you should learn is bead stringing. This is the root of making beaded jewelry. Luckily, it is just how it sounds: stringing a simple strand of beads to make jewelry. There are tons of well-illustrated tutorials online that will make you a pro in a snap.

Bead Crochet: Crocheting is a very interesting technique for making unique beaded jewelry. Jewelry pieces made with this technique look very dynamic and give a professional look to the project. Learn all about this interesting jewelry making technique and learn how to make your own at a beading class or by watching a DIY video online.

Chainmail: This technique dates back centuries, and it’s still popular today. Again, there are so many resources that will help familiarize you with this technique. No surprise: Pinterest is a great place to source instructions and beading patterns.

Peyote Stitch: Peyote stitching is a type of bead-weaving. It can be a bit daunting at first, so we recommend it for intermediate crafters. The result yields intricate beaded pieces that feature vibrant color patterns and textures. Once you get comfortable with the process, you’ll probably find it very interesting work. It’s the perfect craft for someone who likes to incorporate a little engineering into their craft project.


Types of Beaded Jewelry:

Bracelets: Need a bracelet to go with a new look? Bracelets and necklaces are great starter pieces when you are a beading beginner. A simple strand can really change your style statement and enhance any outfit. You can use a vast range of beading materials for construction, like wire, chain, stretch cords, and more. Just select the material that resonates with your personality, and create your masterpiece.

Necklaces: A beaded necklace looks very beautiful when worn and adds a visual element to your wardrobe choices. Luckily, these can be made at home within a very short time and with limited skill, just like bracelets. For bonus versatility, they can be worn as an accent bracelet if wrapped around the wrist several times.

Earrings: Once you master bead stringing for necklaces and bracelets, earrings are a great option to put your intermediate skills to work. There are lots of types of earrings, like dangles, hoops, and chandeliers to showcase your beading skills. If you have multiple piercings on your ear, you can also try your hand at creating Bajoran Style Earrings, which were historically worn to denote culture and faith.

Lanyards: Lanyards aren’t just for girls at summer camp. Lanyard jewelry is quite interesting, and it has become a trend to wear lanyard jewelry. There are many techniques to make outstanding lanyards which will blow away your friends and colleagues. Check out online sources for techniques and style options.

Pendants: Make beautiful pendants to wear with different types of chains. It is very simple to make a pendant at home with some minimal equipment. Just choose a stunning focal bead, add some spacer beads, if desired, and string them on some beading wire to create a stand-out piece of jewelry.

Religious Jewelry: Last, we focus on the sacred tradition of beaded jewelry. The Catholic faith employs the rosary to count out component prayers. For Buddhists, prayer beads are a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited, breaths while meditating, counting prostrations, or the repetition of Buddha's name. You can make beautiful spiritual jewelry at home rather than buying it on the market. Making this type of beaded jewelry can be very simple and takes very little time. Plus, it’s a wonderful exercise that connects your creative side to your spirituality.

However you decide to employ the art of bead making, you’ll find it to be rewarding, creative, and contemplative. We hope this guide was helpful in inspiring you to explore the art of beading and jewelry.