Bead bracelets are possibly one of the easiest and most popular types of jewelry to make by hand. There are virtually limitless styles available to create which gives you as a jewelry maker the perfect opportunity to use your imagination and talents to the max. Even if you are trying jewelry making for the first time there are hundreds of projects on the internet that only require a few beads and some simple findings.
The basics of bead bracelets
In very simple terms a bead bracelet will generally consist of the following:
The base material for the bracelet – there are numerous different materials available for making bracelets, the most common of which include memory wire, elastic, cotton, embroidery thread, chain mail (made from jump rings) and leather thong. The type of material you choose will depend to a large extent on the required style of the finished piece of jewelry, and hopefully you will have some idea of the style before starting.
Some form of beads – as with the base material, there are hundreds of different types and styles of beads to choose from when making bead bracelets. The common beads used are seed beads (especially with memory wire bracelets), glass beads, plastic or acrylic beads and in some projects natural stone beads.
The beads are the central focus of the bracelet and can make it into an understated piece of art or a chunky, funky piece of jewelry that catches the eye in a flash. With this in mind it’s important to choose your beads well and never more so than if you are thinking of selling your jewelry.
A clasp or some alternative type of fastener – again the type of fastener you use will depend on the overall styling of the bead bracelet, although lobster clasps are probably most popular. Elastic bead bracelets generally don’t have a fastener while memory wire bracelets don’t need one.
A few ideas for bead bracelets
As mentioned above there are literally hundreds of projects for bead bracelets on the internet. The following couple are among our favorites though:
1. Chunky memory wire bracelet
This bead bracelet uses chunky, irregularly shaped glass or plastic beads that fill the entire memory wire. You can use any color beads you want although different shades of the same color add to the overall look. The bigger the beads the more substantial the finished bead bracelet and it is possible to create a bracelet that easily covers 3-4inches of arm above your wrist.
2. Personalized seed bead bracelet
For this type of bead bracelet you need plenty of seed beads, a seed bead loom and some strong, suitable thread. With a bit of practice you can learn to create patterns that integrate names and other significant words, so as to personalize your finished jewelry. These bracelets are very popular with children and make great gifts.
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Whether you are looking to make bead bracelets for yourself, as gifts for loved ones or to sell on the internet you can always make them unique. The range of beads and patterns available grows by the day so you’ll never run out of things to try…in fact you’re only problem will be deciding what to make first.