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How to String Beads...
I bet you think you know how to string beads, right? Easy peasy. You just get some string and put some beads on it right?
Well... you could do it that way, (and I have, I must admit) but to get a really professional finished look, you have to have a little more technique and know-how.
Getting started with bead stringing
To get starting string beads, you'll first need to gather some tools and supplies.
Luckily, getting started is pretty painless in terms of initial outlay.
You could easily make a beautiful strung necklace, tools and all, for less than $50.
If you use Walmart supplies, I bet you could make an awesome beginner necklace for less than $30 - including tools!
Don't get me wrong though -- not all bead stringing is for simpletons. Simpletons can do it, but you need to know what you are doing to really call yourself a master.
There are truly awe-inspiring master designers out there, and professional quality bead stringing is an art unto itself. Stringing beads properly requires a fair amount of specialized knowledge and attention to detail.
Let's begin with materials...
Stringing Techniques by Stringing Material
There are a number of different techniques used to string beads. I've grouped stringing techniques by the type of thread, wire, or cable used to string the beads.
The easiest way to string a professional looking piece of jewelry. Tools and materials are minimal. Read more about bead stringing on memory wire here.
Stranded Stringing Cable and Tigertail
My stringing technique of choice. I like using cable rather than threads or fishing line because they are pretty unbreakable and don't need tiny fiddly needles or seed beads to finish them off. The most common brands are Acculon, Softflex, and Beadalon.
To learn more about stringing cable and which type to use for your project, click here.
Our Shopping Guide
For a bare bones shopping guide for beginners, click here.
For a great beginner's project, click here to learn how to string a basic bracelet. (free basic stringing tutorial)
Other Materials for Stringing
These are some other stringing materials you might like to try.
- Beading Thread - for bead weaving
- Silk Thread (and synthetic silk-type thread) - the traditional choice for pearls
- Elastic or Stretch Thread - for stretchy things, naturally
- Fishing Line - like Fireline.
- Leather - for large hole beads
- Rubber cording - ditto
- Fine chain - think Pandora Bracelets
- Hand-dyed silk ribbon, fibre - for artsy art jewelry and quick pendant necklaces (I have some hand-dyed silk that I just hang neat pendants on and tie in a bow at the back of my neck.)
If you're looking for supplies and tools, you can find great prices, quality, and exceptional customer service at Artbeads.com. I buy a lot of my supplies from them. Free shipping in the U.S. and only $2 to Canada.
More Stringing Materials:
Once you learn the stringing basics, you might want to branch out into other techniques and media. Here are some options to consider:
- Organza Ribbon
- Bead Crochet with Silk Thread
- Bead Crochet or Bead Knitting with Wire
Your First Stringing Project!
How to String a Bracelet
This project teaches you how to string a bracelet using nylon coated stringing cable (tigertail) so that you have a sturdy bracelet with a toggle clasp. This project is a great starting point for anyone wanting to learn how to begin stringing.
Bracelet Making: Learn how to make all sorts of bracelets including friendship bracelets, knotted hemp bracelets, and mommy bracelets
Making Wire Jewelry: Learn wire jewelry making techniques and find step by step projects.
Wire Jewelry Projects: A grouping of easy (and not so easy) wire jewelry projects
Hemp Jewelry Making: Macrame and hemp is not just for hippies. Learn knotting techniques for casual and carefree summer jewelry. Some easy projects to do with kids too.
How to Make Anklets: Anklets for those hazy lazy days of summer. Videos and DIY tips.
Related Tools & Supplies
If you're in the market for jewelry making supplies, we've put together a list of the basics below. ;)