How To Make Friendship Bracelets With Beads + Ideas!
Whether you're making DIY friendship bracelets for your buddies or creating your unique beaded jewellery, learning how to do beading is a great skill for anyone to have. Because once you know how to make a bead bracelet, it opens up so many doors to the more advanced aspects of jewellery making!
You can find everything you need for making beaded bracelets at Spotlight, including beads, pliers, wire, cutting tools and more! And not only that, but we have a huge range of beaded jewellery projects you can practise your beaded bracelets DIY skills on. Let's dive deep into making beaded bracelets, including what you need, commonly asked questions and the different kinds of beaded bracelets you can create.
What Tools and Supplies You'll Need For Making Beaded Bracelets
Here is a quick rundown on the necessary materials you'll need for making beaded bracelets:
- Wire cutters: These are also called flush cutters because they cut the wire or string you are using at a flat angle that doesn't leave any points for you to scratch yourself on. Some jewellery pliers have a section at the base of the head that can function as wire cutters.
- Jewellery pliers: These pliers come in many forms, and are used to twist wires, hold them in place, crimp and straighten wires and open/close jump rings. Keep an eye out for chain nose, flat nose, crimping and round nose pliers.
- Beads: The stars of the show are your beads! There's a near-infinite range of beads, from stylish glass-cut beads to cute alphabet beads. Beads can be made from plastic, clay, resin, glass, wood, stone or even gemstones, and range in size from under a millimetre to half a centimetre. You can also find oversized beads that can measure a few centimetres across.
- Wire/string: The material you string your beads on needs to be strong enough to hold them without breaking. You may like to have a more stretchy material for your bracelets, like elastic or nylon, as you can pull them straight on or off without a clasp. Or look for durable materials like twine, leather, cabled wire or beading wire that you'll need to take on and off using a clasp or hook.
- Findings: All the little bits and bobs that give beaded bracelets their shape are the findings! These include clasps, jump rings, pins, toggles and caps - some are used to help the bracelet function, while others work to protect the beads from rubbing against each other.
You can find all of these beading supplies, and more, in our beads and jewellery category online.
Beaded Bracelet FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions we see when someone is learning how to make bracelets with beads:
How do you secure a beaded bracelet?
There are two ways you can secure a beaded bracelet, and which you choose will depend on the way your bracelet is made.
A bracelet made with a stretchy cord, like elastic or nylon, can be tied together with a simple square or surgeon's knot. You may like to add some flexible craft glue to help keep the knot tight. A beaded bracelet made with an inflexible cord should be secured with a clasp, with a crimp bead on either end to keep the string from loosening.
How do you close a bracelet without a clasp?
If you don't want to attach a classic clasp to your beaded bracelet, you'll either need to look into knotting it together, or something like a magnetic connector or a fold-over joiner. Tighter bracelets work well with a hook and eye fastening as well!
How do you make a stretchy bracelet that won't break?
Make sure your elastic isn't too thin compared to the size of your beads and the holes they have in them. You should also pre-stretch your elastic cord before stringing any beads on it to stay the right size. Lastly, avoid using crimp clasps, as their sharp edges can wear through a soft elastic cord.
Popular Beaded Bracelet Types
If you're stuck trying to decide what kind of beaded bracelet you want to make, here's a quick rundown on some of the most popular types:
- Friendship bracelets: These woven bracelets are usually gifted between friends. Traditionally, DIY friendship bracelets are kept on until they fall off, as a sign of respect for the love and work the maker has put into creating it. They are made from durable materials and can be worn while showering and swimming as well!
- Alphabet beaded bracelets: Bracelets featuring alphabet beads allow you to keep a short, inspiring word or phrase on hand, and they make great gifts for loved ones. Use your alphabet beads to spell a name, a feeling or even your personal mantra on your beaded bracelet! Choose your favourite world, song lyrics or make a name bracelet for someone special.
- Natural stone bracelets: Elegant and timeless, bracelets featuring replica natural stones can be worn on any occasion! Natural stones are usually larger than your standard bead and can be heavy, so make sure you're threading them into a strong elastic or cord that can hold their weight. You may also like to use bead separators to ensure they don't clink together and scratch themselves.
- Charm bracelets: These beaded bracelets feature dangling charms at intervals between regular beads. You can have one special charm or many - just make sure that their extra weight is compensated by a stronger cord and durable clasp.
Beaded Bracelet Ideas and Inspiration
Now that you're ready to start making beaded bracelets, here are some ideas you can make with Spotlight! Check out the FREE project sheets below:
- Seed bead bracelet: This bracelet uses tiny seed beads to create a beautifully-coloured bracelet that features a charm of your choice. You'll practise attaching a lobster clasp, using bead caps and joining multiple strands into one.
- Natural stone bracelet: Choose your own natural stones to make this mystical bracelet! You'll learn how to use crimp beads, fine-tune your plier and wire-cutting skills and how to safely attach large charms to bracelets.
- Happy friendship bracelet: This easy beading project is highly customizable, so you can choose whichever colours and word beads you want to suit your tastes. There's no tricky crimping, clasping or twisting required, so it's a great project for beginners!
- Shell bracelet: Create a beachy vibe with this shell bracelet project that would make a great gift!
- Kids' beaded bracelet: Beading is a great way for kids to practice their fine motor skills and have fun. This simple kids' beaded bracelet project is perfect for little ones to practice crafting.
Make sure to browse our jewellery and beading projects for heaps of other step-by-step tutorials for making bracelets, necklaces, earrings and charms.
Learn How To Make Bracelets With Beads At Spotlight
Ready to jump into making beaded bracelets? Shop online and have all your beading supplies delivered, or visit your nearest Spotlight store and our friendly team will help you find the right jewellery-making supplies for your needs. We have a massive selection of beads and bead kits to help you create unique jewellery to share. Make sure to consult our beads and jewellery buying guide before making any purchases to ensure you're getting the right supplies for your needs!