Seed beads tutorial

This past summer a friend of mine introduced me to seed bead bracelets and I have been obsessed since. (Thank you Lindsey Thomas!) There’s a few reasons I love making them. First, I can set up a small station at home or while we’re traveling and come and go throughout the day. It’s rare that I get a big chunk of time to do a project so fitting in a few minutes here and there works best with my schedule. You can make a bracelet in about 15 minutes. Who doesn’t love a project you can start and finish in time like that?! Second, the supplies are affordable. And third, there are endless options for creating. Whether you want a mass of bracelets for a boho look or just a couple in gold or grey to keep the look very minimal and timeless, you won’t run out of ideas. Last, I like to listen to an audible book or music while I’m beading, have a favorite beverage and it’s pure therapy. A content heart!  If this sounds appealing, here’s a step by step tutorial + links to where I get supplies.

Seed bead bracelet materials: (I also made an Amazon list here.)

  • Towel
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Clear stretch elastic cord – I use a .7mm from Fusion Beads.
  • Pliers – I have the 5 in basic chain nose from Fusion Beads.
  • Crimps – I have the 2x2mm gold-filled crimp beads from Fusion Beads (Note: when you are ordering those they are sold by the PIECE, so get more than one if you want to make more than one bracelet.) I also have a set of gold, silver and rose gold from Jo-Ann’s. I bought mine from Jo-Ann’s at the store.
  • BEADS! All of my beads are size 11 Japanese seed beads from Fusion Beads. Pick your colors! There are a few thousand options. I also went through some of my old jewelry that I don’t wear often that used beads and took them apart to re-use the beads in my new creations. You might have jewelry you don’t wear but love the beads – re-use them!
  • Muffin tins or any type of organizer for seed beads. When I travel I use ziplock bags. Also, when I organized my seed beads into the muffin tins I made a chart of the number associated with each color so if I get low I know what color I may want to re-order.
  • I use a basic white dish towel to place under my beading area so that if a bead drops it doesn’t roll away. This is optional but helpful.
  • Also optional, glasses! I have progressive lenses that I use for driving and reading and I have to use them when threading these tiny beads!

Begin by taping an 8-10″ piece of elastic cord to the towel. Depending on the size of bracelet you are making, I like about 2″ more while I’m making it to give me an extra inch on each end to work with while I bead it and crimp it off. Depending on how you want the bracelet to fit, determines the size.  My daughters and I like the bracelets a bit more snug so we only add .25″ to the length of our measured size. We measure our wrist near the wrist bone and add .25″ – .50″ for the final size. Here is a size chart for reference if you don’t know the size of the wrist of the person you are giving the bracelet to.

Next, I always start by putting a crimp on first but you can also do this last:

Then start beading! Choose your colors, pattern, design and bead till you reach the length you need the bracelet to be.

Pull the strings opposite one another snug but not too tight and pinch the crimp closed with pliers:

Then trim off the excess elastic string and you are finished!

You can also make rings and necklaces with the same steps, just adjust the length. I love neutral colors but I also think it’s fun to have a bigger collection full of color. I like to wear my colorful set with a neutral monochromatic outfit. If you make some I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram or send me the pics in an Instagram DM. Also, to see more pattern ideas check out the ‘Seed bead’ story saved in my highlights on Instagram @see_jane. Cheers to taking time to enjoy the little things (literally!)

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Melissa

Thank you so much for posting this. All your little tips (the towel, and taping the string) made a huge difference. Me and my girls put a movie on and made some last night. ?

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