Beaded jewelry is a fun thing to make at home--whether it's just a fun hobby for your own use or something you intend to sell on the side! Beads are very versatile in that they can be used in many different types of jewelry and still end up with a variety of different styles. From casual kids friendship bracelets to elegant earrings for adults, you can make a variety of beaded jewelry at home. For more simple jewelry all you need is a chain or string and beads, but for more complex jewelry you will need more specialized tools. Before you start making your beaded jewelry, check to be sure you have all the materials you need for your project.
Beaded Friendship Bracelets
Friendship bracelets are easy to do and you can make them more complex and interesting with beaded accents. Start with two strings. Use one as the anchor and knot the other one around the anchor string repeatedly with the same motion. Once you have created a chain of knots 1/2 inch long string a bead onto both strings. Loop the threads back around the bead to tie it into place. Continue the pattern of knot tying and repeat the addition of beads at each 1/2 inch interval. Alternatively you may want to tie jump rings into the knots. Attach a small bead and charm to each jump ring for a friendship bracelet that has a charm bracelet type of aesthetic to it. These types of bracelets are more versatile than the basic string friendship bracelets and can make great accessories with the addition of clasps for wear with many different outfits.
Metal beads make an excellent jingling sound, and when included on an anklet can accent your outfit as well as your steps with bell-like music. You will need a chain that's long enough to go all the way around your ankle and still remain loose. Thread one small bead onto the chain and follow it with a different sized bead. Vary the beads so that no two beads of the same size are immediately next to each other. The beads can vary in pattern, however. Add in sporadic charm beads to increase the jingling sound. If you leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of space on the chain the beads will hit each other as you walk and create the noise. Add in some colored spacer beads for a more interesting look.
Headbands often don't automatically come to mind when people think of jewelry, but a fancy headband can finish off an outfit better than many necklaces. You can make beaded headbands at home by sewing individual beads onto a fabric headband or by creating a long beaded piece that ties under your hair in the back. To make an existing fabric headband into a piece of beaded jewelry, sew seed beads onto the fabric side by side with a translucent thread. Create the pattern by adding the beads in horizontal lines instead of vertical lines. You can map out colored patterns for the beads with a fabric marking pen before sewing the beads on or alternate lines of color for a simple pattern. If you'd rather start from scratch you can make three strings of beads that are long enough to go around your head. Tie the strings of beads together with six inches on each end of the strings left over so you can tie them together under your hair in the back.
Drop earrings are a fun beaded accessory that can be made into a variety of different designs to be warn with all sorts of outfits. You can make drop earrings with simple studs as a base or classic dangling hooks. You will need a pair of wire cutters, jewelry pliars, jump rings and thin chain. Cut three pieces of chain at different lengths for each earring. Hook the end of each chain onto the end of the hooks or the point of the earring studs depending on which style base you're using. Attach jump rings to the other end of each chain and attach your beads to the jump rings. You should now have a pair of earrings with three chains ending in beads dangling off of each one. You can also attach jump rings to the top of the chains to add beads cascading down each chain or leave it simple with just the three beads. You can make the earrings different by varying the number or chains or the types of beads attached to the chains.