How to Add Focal Beads to Your Handmade Jewelry

Whether you are making jewelry for yourself, to give as a gift or to sell, it is always fun to learn new techniques and try your hand at using different supplies. If you typically make simple beaded jewelry, you may not have much experience with using larger focal beads. You’ve likely seen them, though, and wondered how you could use them in your own creations.

Focal beads come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. They are all intended to do one thing, though: Grab your attention. These beautiful, eye-catching beads can be used to make both casual and formal pieces, and they are easier to work with than you may think. Keep reading for a few ideas on how to add focal beads to your handmade jewelry.


Using a Focal Bead as a Pendant

handmade jewelry with semiprecious stone pendant

One of the easiest ways to add a focal bead to your handmade jewelry is to use it as a pendant on a necklace. There are a few ways that you can do this. Depending on how the bead is drilled, you may be able to simply thread it onto your string or chain as it is. For a fancier look, though, or for beads that aren’t drilled in a way that allows them to be used on their own, you can use other materials to transform them into pendants.

You can turn any focal bead into a pendant by simply inserting a head pin through the bead so that the head is at the bottom. Use pliers to twist the other end into a loop and snip off any excess wire. This method takes only a few seconds. You can also use wire to create your own bail or include smaller accent beads when creating your pendant.

Focal beads can also be used to make wire-wrapped pendants. Wire wrapping is super popular right now, and it’s not as difficult to do as it looks. Plus, if you are new to wire wrapping, starting out with a focal bead as opposed to a plain gemstone is easier. The drilled hole gives you a good place to start your creation and make it as secure as possible.


Make a Bold Bracelet

portrait of woman with beaded bracelets

If you want to use several focal beads in one piece, try making a bold bracelet. Choose several matching or coordinating focal beads along with some smaller beads to use as spacers. Beads that are side drilled or bezel set with rings on each end work best. The beads you use as spacers should be significantly smaller, so they don’t detract from the focal beads.

Determine how many focal beads you want to use and figure out how many spacers you’ll have to use in between each one to create the desired look. Typically, you want to ensure that the spacing between your focal beads is even. Cut a length of elastic or beading cord and thread your beads on. When you’re finished, tie the ends together or add a closure.


Create Statement Earrings

making handmade jewelry

Do you have two similar focal beads that you love and want to use together in a project? If so, creating statement earrings is a great option. There are all sorts of ways to use focal beads to make earrings. You can simply use head pins to attach them to earring wires for a simple yet eye-catching look, or you can get a bit fancier by adding smaller accent beads, lengths of jewelry chain, etc.

Depending on the size and style of your focal beads, you could even use them to make a pair of dramatic studs. Get creative! There’s really no “wrong” way to use focal beads when making statement earrings.


The Bottom Line

When it comes to using focal beads in handmade jewelry, the options are limitless. Because they come in several different styles, sizes and colors, it is easy to find one (or more!) that is perfect for creating any type of look that you desire.

At Beads of Cambay, we offer a wide range of beautiful gemstone focal beads. We source only the highest quality jewelry-making materials, and we are certain that you will find something in our collection that you love. Browse the full selection today to find the perfect focal bead(s) for your next jewelry-making project.