How to Make a Beaded Necklace – International Gem Society

Necklaces are the most attention-getting pieces of jewelry. Their size, combined with brilliant colors, makes them easy to see and admire. In malice of this, they are the easiest jewelry projects, requiring only a few hand tools. The materials run from bone and emeralds on the high end, to woodwind and seashells on the early. In between, there are many other mineral, metal, and glass beads to choose from. This is an excellent way for a person to get started in jewelry have and many people chose to do nothing more than make necklaces. The skills are easy to learn and can be mastered by anyone with agile fingers. artistic sensibilities are an asset, but one does not have to be a Picasso to find nice combinations of beads. The only drawback to making bead necklaces is that it can be addictive. many are the jewelers that have more beads than they will always use and more necklaces than they can always sell or give away .


beading can be done with nothing more than a towel to lay the out beads and a pair of scissors. however, most people have a larger armory. here are the tools that are used. You can gather them as needed .

Bead Board

bead boards have groves in them, so you can lay out the beads during the plan process. This can be angstrom simple as a straight board with a couple channels cut into it. Fancier boards will have a swerve distribution channel, to help you envision the eat up necklace. inch markings are a useful feature of speech, as are modest compartments to hold your parts. Some boards are flocked, so the beads do not roll around a much .


A commodity pair of scissors is a necessity. You need to be able to make clean and jerk cuts, very near to the knots. An average couple of scissors will not do the job by rights and your work will look moth-eaten. There are particular scissors make for beading, and good ones can be found in cosmetic departments .

Round Nose Pliers

Round nose pliers are designed for making loops in wire. They are besides the best tools for closing existing loops, something you will do much. Being circle and polish, they are less probably to mark the alloy than other pliers .


When dealing with little beads, tweezers save a set of frustration. bead tweezers have a small cup on the end, quite than flat points as most do .


You can purchase an awl made particularly for beading. The ones in the hardware memory are normally excessively large and are cumbersome to work with. An upholstery needle is an excellent substitute .


obviously, you need to measure your necklaces .

Crimping Pliers

If you work with cable, you will need pliers to crimp the end bead. Most small pliers will do the job, but those with placid jaws are preferred. Rather than buying a new hardening, you can wrap the chew the fat of your existing pliers with tape .

Wire Cutters

Tiger chase requires cutting close to the fold. A dear match of finely tip cable cutters are a necessity for this purpose .


Knowing the size of your beads makes the purpose process easy. By knowing their size, you can promptly calculate how many you will need. See the accompanying chart .

Beads per Inch

Bead Size Beads per Inch Beads per 16″ Beads per 24″
2 mm 12.5 200 300
3 mm 8.3 133 200
4 mm 6.25 100 150
5 mm 5 80 120
6 mm 4.2 66 99
7 mm 3.6 57 86
8 mm 3.13 50 75
10 mm 2.5 40 60
12 mm 2.1 33 50


This short tool will make your stringing much more enjoyable. It is nothing more than a needle covered with diamond grit. All besides often, you will get beads with holes that are not neat, or are excessively minor for your acerate leaf and thread. A few twists of the reamer and the job is much easier .


Let ‘s face it, if you get into necklace make you are going to acquire a set of very little parts. Keeping them organized is important. Imaging if all your two and three millimeter gold beads were mix in concert. It would be impossible to count them and sorting them would be something less than playfulness. There is a variety of little parts holders available. Get one before the want gets out of handwriting .


Finding attractive beads is the easiest part of making necklaces. There are stores that specialize in beads and they can be ordered by mail. Garage sales and flea markets are excellent sources for use necklaces. They offer selections that are not available elsewhere. There are occasions where you buy beads for a finical project. however, serious beaders are always on the lookout for interesting beads. The more you have on hand, the more probably you are to come up with a singular and tantalizing combination. however, this is besides the biggest pit of drop reach. You can acquire more beads than you will ever use. Remember, making bead necklaces can be addictive ! Beads are made from a assortment of materials. here are some of the most coarse .


Pearls are the quintessential beads. Cultured pearls come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. tahitian pearls have larger sizes and bold colors. Freshwater pearls come in about every shade of color. Their prices range from mince to very cheap. Though pearls are normally used alone, do not hesitate to mix them with other materials. They can be affect accents when combined with early materials .


All jewel materials are available as beads. They range from the very expensive ruby, sapphire, emerald, and opal ; through reasonably priced garnets and amethyst ; down to the least expensive cabbing materials like agate, hematite, and tiger-eye. There is literally something for every taste and budget .


Metals are used extensively in necklaces. The plug in pieces, buckle and bead tips, are normally metallic. Plain gold beads are used as spacers, others are then fondness they become centerpieces. Some necklaces use fancy metallic element beads entirely. The metallic used depends on the value of the necklace. Gold and silver are the most popular choices, both solid and plat. Almost every early alloy is used on juncture, including cast-iron, titanium, and pewter .


Glass beads are a simpleton and cheap way to add bright colors to a necklace. however, glaze drop make is besides fine art, with some beads selling for a few dollars each. Hand painted glass beads offer the jewelry maker another attractive material .

Wood and Shell

wood and seashell are cheap. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and textures. many people find organic materials appealing and their popularity is always high .

Bead Shapes

not only is there a wide stove of materials to chose from, there is besides an amaze assortment of shapes. Beads come in round, egg-shaped, lentil, hearts, stars, tubes, triangles, wheels, chips, and chunks. Beggar beads are approximately determine pieces of agate that have been tumble polished. You can besides find carved beads in a count of gem materials .


once you have your beads, you will need the succeed accessories :


silk is the traditional beading cord. Its force and flexibility are unmatched for any early material its size. Nylon and polyester cords are replacing silk. They have closely the same military capability and a longer life. A number or a letter defines cord size. The size used is dependent on the size of your beads, with larger, heavier beads requiring a stronger cord .




1 1.5 2 3 4 5 8


Beading needles are nothing more than a sparse piece of wire that has been doubled over and distorted together. The holes become thus tightly squeezed together in practice, that they are much disposed of when finished. You can purchase needles individually, or get “ stringing kits ” which have a needle already on the end of the thread .


After tying your knots, glue them to keep them from unraveling. Beaders use a diverseness of adhesives, but ones that dry hard, fast, and open are preferred .

Tiger Tail

Tiger fag end is a credit card coated wire that is used for very big beads. While most beads will hang gracefully from a thread, heavy ones pull the thread rigorous and fall to a point. They besides require more forte for security purposes. wire overcomes this. Heavy beads will hang gracefully and not break the wire. There are many manufacturers of coated wire. Some are entirely offered to the industrial market and are the best priced in volume .


Tiger fag end is not tied like string. alternatively, the wire is passed through a metro of alloy that is crimped conclude. The end is then cut close to the fold .


The clasp that holds your necklace together speaks volumes about the quality of the assemble. precious metallic element clasp can add a considerable sum to the price of the necklace, but it is often worth the expense. A filigree gold buckle with wood beads would spoil the organic effect. You need to choose your clasp carefully .

Notes on Metals

Realize that the clasp and other parts will come in contact with the wearers skin. Plated or filled metallic will promptly deteriorate and can turn a person ‘s hide green. These should be avoided in all but the least expensive necklaces. While silver is entirely appropriate in some designs, it should be used to a minimum. Trying to polish minor ash grey parts, specially ones surrounded by larger beads, is highly difficult. Enough so, that the piece may not be worn, but just seat in a draftsman .

simpleton clasp are made from a bivalent strand of wire. Bend part of the cable into a addict and the rest into an eye. This is both functional and cheap. Handmade wire hooks go well with constituent and native designs. spring rings are cheap. They tend to wear out faster than other brooch, so their use is restricted to cheap jewelry. If in doubt which size to use, opt for a larger and stronger size. From here, clasps get much more cosmetic and expensive. Some are even set with precious stones. Choose a clasp that is allow to your design, without going besides far over budget. The right buckle will add greatly to the overall choice and appearance of the piece .

Metal Findings

Besides beads and buckle, you will run into other metallic pieces. Bead tips are a bantam cup with an extension on it. Their purpose is to hide the knot. To use a bead peak, you first run the string though the cup. After it is tied and glued, cut the excess off. Next, bend the sleeve through the end of the buckle. You now have an invisible knot . Spacers are another utilitarian line up. They serve to keep multiple strands separated. You can get them with two to four holes. Choose a metal that matches the rest of the findings .


Necklace LengthsChoker: 14 to 16 inches, falls to hollow of neck.

Princess: 18 inches Matinee: 20 to 24 inches, falls to the crown of the burst. Opera: 28 to 32 inches. Rope: Anything more than 32 inches .

While purpose ideas are wholly personal, some guidelines are in ordering for the founder. First, consider the person you are making the necklace for. A short necklace would be ideal for young person, but not for a large, ripen charwoman. You need to consider its function. Is it to be a formal patch, something to be worn to the field, or a cheery splash of color ? formal designs are normally dim-witted, while cozy ones can be busy, with multiple parts and many colors. cost may factor into your decision. A fine string of drop is expensive adequate to be a once in a life purchase. Doubling its size will besides double the monetary value. Pearls come in sixteen-inch strands that finish out around eighteen inches. To make a twenty-two edge necklace means you have to order two strands of drop and have leftovers. This should be avoided, unless you have a use for the extra bone. Consider all these factors and choose an allow size along with the materials . Pearls are finely by themselves, but not for most beads. I know a jewelry maker who got an excellent price on some premium quality, amethyst beads. He strung them into a long lasso, with purple cord knotted between each bead. ampere fine as the materials and price were, it took years to sell. The materials were superb, but the invention was boring. When designing a necklace think in terms of contrast. Contrasting colors, shapes, and textures combine to create interest. Simply interspersing small gold beads between your elementary beads will sometimes be enough. In other cases, you may want a centerpiece. Often this will be a single, dramatic beading, or a group of beads. A centerpiece can besides be something that hangs, like a chandelier, or a closed circuit of the lapp beads . A childlike technique to add contrast and interest is to use sections. One plan that sold well was based on ellipse, beget of bone beads. It had three sections that consisted of a park tire bead, an inch of crimson coral branches, another adulteress beading, all interspersed with aureate. early popular combinations are blasphemous spike agate with rose quartz, and garnets with pearls. Shapes besides add interest, as with the outgrowth coral interracial with ellipse and round beads. With multiple strands, you have even more options. A dangle of the same or contrasting material is common and effective. For model, a heart, teardrop, cross, or star will do wonders for an otherwise bare necklace. Pieces that are more expensive can feature a carved jade or opal, or a fancy cabochon. You can even design a bead necklace to show off a faceted jewel set in gold .


The actual act of beading is simple, but your success is achieved in the preparation. Begin by gathering your materials. Look them over and get an idea of what you want to accomplish. then lay out your doubtful purpose on a beading board. now look at what you have. Do you have a please desegregate of colors, shapes, and textures ? Try other combinations to see how they affect the design. When you are satisfied, measure the pieces. Is it the right size for the function ? In most cases, adjusting the size is a simple matter of adding or removing a few beads near the brooch. The survive gradation in the preparation is choosing the proper cord. You need to choose a size that is thin enough to go through the beads and potent enough to support the system of weights. You besides need to consider the color of the cord. If the beads are diaphanous, or if the knots show, choose a color that matches the primary beads. once you have the proper design, the art is completed. now it is a childlike matter of putting them together. There are three basic methods for assembling a necklace .

Basic Stringing

This is simplicity in itself. Take a distance of string about half again deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as your finish necklace, and start it through a phonograph needle. Attach the other goal to a clasp or drop topple, so the beads will not slip off the end. If think you may want to add extra beads late, then tie a nautical mile rather of using a witness. then plainly run the needle through the beads in the ordering. When all the beads are on the string, foot it up by the ends. If you have a concentrate bead, make surely it hangs in the middle. If you have other design elements, make sure they are evenly spaced. It is easy to add or skip a bead and this is the time to correct any mistakes .

Positioning the Knot

The final examination step is tie the idle end to a beading tip, or the other side of the clasp. however, you need to find where to put the knot. First, hold the necklace by the ends and let it hang. Grasp it so there is no abate in the screw thread. You will find that it is taught ; it does not have enough ribbon to hang graciously. Let go of the ends and spread the necklace out in a r-2. Hold the ends of the train of thought and nibble it up. When it hangs straight, there will be some excess thread show. The correct measure of train of thought to leave show is about half that overindulgence. For example, if you have a quarter column inch of screw thread display, tie your final knot an eighth of an edge above the last bead. The weave will stretch a morsel when wear, making up the difference. Finish the knot with a drop of glue. many brands are used. You should choose an adhesive material that dries promptly and clear. When the glue is dry, cut the end of the thread flush against the knot .

Tiger Tail

Stringing with tiger tail is very simple. Begin by attaching one end of the clasp to the wire, as described above. No needle is needed with tiger buttocks, equitable run it through the beads. Positioning the knot is the same as with screw thread. Crimp the final conclusion together and you are finished .


This is the technique of choice for bone and early valuable materials. A ravel necklace has two advantages. One is extra security ; if the necklace should break, only one bead can fall off the string. The knots besides act as a spacer. This keeps the beads from rubbing against each other and wearing flat on the ends. This is authoritative with pearls and other soft materials. eminence that gold beads besides serve as spacers. They give a cleaner appearance and want less parturiency than knotting. Which proficiency you use depends chiefly on the prize of the necklace. With expensive beads, the extra security of knot is surely worthwhile. Knotting begins with attaching one end of the string to a beading tip, or clasp. then, make a loop in the string. Pass the end with the beads, ( or fair the clasp for the first slub, ) through the loop. This creates a half-knot. seat an awl through the slub. gently use the awl to slide the knot down towards the drop. When the knot is against the bead, pull it american samoa tight as you can. Remove the awl and tighten the nautical mile again. If the knot tightens before it reaches the bead, you however have the awl in it. You can loosen the knot by wiggling the awl around. then proceed again until it is in the correct position. It alone takes a little practice to do well and precisely a little more to do promptly and graciously. When your beads are all in place, tie it off with no loose in the thread and put a neglect of glue on the ravel. When the glue is dry, clip the end off bloom .

Finishing Touches

As nice as your necklaces may be, you can do more to enhance their entreaty and add value. In most cases, you will have extra beads left over. Slipping a few beads on a shepherds hook creates a pair of duplicate earrings. This adds little to the monetary value or tug, but a equal fixed adds greatly to the entreaty. sometimes the extra beads can be turned into a match bracelet. Again, a set of jewelry has a lot more invoke than a individual piece. This both makes your necklaces easier to sell and increases their value. The concluding touch is how you display your jewels. A velvet covered necklace box does fantastic things for eye appeal. These are besides expensive for some pieces. A blank, cotton filled box will serve the same function, even if it is not as elegant. embroider pouches do not display the necklace, but offer an attractive package ; one that says, “ This is especial. ”

It takes thought to choose the proper box, but it is the final touch that can make the dispute between a sale or not .

Donald Clark, CSM IMG

The late Donald Clark, CSM founded the International Gem Society in 1998. Donald started in the jewel and jewelry industry in 1976. He received his formal gemology educate from the Gemological Institute of America ( GIA ) and the american Society of Gemcutters ( ASG ). The letters “ CSM ” after his name stood for Certified Supreme Master Gemcutter, a appellation of Wykoff ’ mho ASG which has frequently been referred to as the doctor’s degree of jewel cut. The american Society of Gemcutters only had 54 people reach this level. Along with dozens of articles for leading deal magazines, Donald authored the script “ Modern Faceting, the Easy Way. ”
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