Well, I’m discovering a problem with my beaded beads: what to do with them? Maybe you share this problem. So, I think it’s time to find a solution. What do you do with your stash of beaded beads? …Create beaded bead jewelry of course!
Now, there are plenty of other creative ways you can use your beaded beads. Why not turn them into Christmas decorations? Use them for decoration on light pulls, or other objects around your home. I’m pretty sure that a creative mind like yours can think up lots of ideas. So, today, I’m going to focus on beaded bead jewelry.
What is beaded bead jewelry?
Well, that’s no mystery. It is simply jewelry that is made using beaded beads. So, basically, all the design rules that apply for other types of jewelry will apply here… Or will they?
Let’s delve a bit deeper and think about what makes beaded bead jewelry different from other jewelry.
What makes beaded bead jewelry different?
When I think about making jewellery, I think about the following:
- Finished structure, ie, the shape and length of a necklace, or the style of a bracelet or earrings
- Colour scheme
- What beads I want to use
- What techniques I will need for my creation
Now, if I’m making beaded bead jewelry, two of those considerations are answered already. I know what beads I’m going to use: beaded beads. That will also define the techniques I can use: basically, stringing.
However, having said I will be using beaded beads, that actually leads to another decision…
What beaded beads should you use?
You have a couple of options here.
- Perhaps you pick one beaded bead pattern and just make enough beads to string into your chosen piece of jewellery.
- Or, you try to create a single piece of jewellery with lots of different styles of beaded beads
I’ve tried both. They both work, but the second option will take a bit more planning. Using all different beads will create a fantastically interesting piece of beaded bead jewelry. But there can be a fine line between ‘interesting’ and ‘weird’. So, if you want to avoid ‘weird’, you need to think about ways in which you can link your beaded beads.
I’m not talking about physically joining them – that’s the easy part. I mean ways to make them look like they belong together.
Colouring is the most obvious. If you have a continuous colour scheme across all the beaded beads, then I reckon you can get away with lots of different sizes and shapes. That will give interest, but the colouring will make them look as though they belong together.
If you are trying to mix up the colouring a bit more, then think about the bead shapes. Let’s imagine you have a round shape, an oval shape and a square shape. You could make several beads in each shape, but make all your round beads red, all your oval beads black and all your square beads white. Then string them in a repeating pattern. So, the repeated pattern will give some structure to the design. Then the colouring will emphasise the different shapes and those different shapes will create interest.
The common factor in these ideas is to marry ‘structure’ with ‘interest’. If you get too structured you risk a boring design. If it is too ‘interesting’, it can become ‘weird’.
But then again, rules were made to be broken…
What beaded bead jewelry can you create?
Anything really. So, you can try necklaces, bracelets, earrings. Even a ring might work if you treat the beaded bead like a ‘stone’.
If you want to make a ring, then you need to find a suitable beaded bead. All you have to do with it is work out how to stitch it onto a ring base. Or how to make a ring base out of beads. Technically, you may not be ‘stringing’ your beaded bead. So, perhaps the ring is the least useful design to try.
I think earrings are the simplest way to use beaded beads. You may only need to make two beads – one for each earring. So, this makes for a quick project. Usually, you are going to be looking at a ‘dangly’ design. So, you would need to string the beaded bead, then maybe add some smaller beads above it, or above and below, to create the design.
You can use needle and thread for this, or try a headpin or eyepin.
Necklaces and Bracelets
Beaded beads also make great necklaces and bracelets. Again, you are looking at stringing these. So, you would decide on the length you need and the materials you are going to use.
You can string them with needle and thread. This works very well if you have made a beaded clasp, since you can join the thread into the clasp very easily at each end.
If you are using a shop-bought clasp, then I would be inclined to use a stringing material like beadalon. You would typically fasten this with crimps, so no needle and thread involved. I find this is long-lasting and doesn’t risk ‘stretching’ which can lead to gaps between beads over time.
You can also use memory wire. This is great for bracelets, in particular, because you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect size, or choosing a clasp that will be easy to fasten, yet secure.
With all these ideas, you are still going to need to think about design. So, go back to the design structure I outlined above. Think about colour, bead size, and also about using spacer beads between your beaded beads. So, pearls, crystals, firepolish or gemstone beads are all good for this purpose. If your beaded beads are very small, then you might just want to use seed beads between them.
If you need some more advice about creating jewellery, then check out this blog>>
Over to you…
If you’re reading this and looking for inspiration, then I hope I have offered some ideas to think about. Please share your thoughts, ideas and your favourited beaded bead jewelry in the comments below.
If you’re looking for some additional help, then maybe the next step is to try one of the patterns I’ve included in this post. Just click on the link below any of the photos.
If you’re simply confused about what beaded bead jewelry is, then I hope I’ve answered that question for you.
And if you need some new beaded beads to try, check out my collection here>>
If you’re already following along with my Beaded Bead challenge, this is my new pattern for this week!