Beads for bracelets have long been used for the construction of both ornate and simple jewelry. Beaded constructions have always been in vogue, and currently, there are no signs of people losing interest in beaded jewelry.
You can also create intricate and marketable bead jewelry at home if that interests you so. Beads for jewelry making are available online and in physical stores, and a lot of people have made a good profit from creating DIY beaded jewelry at home
Types of beads
Beads for jewelry making come in as many variants as bracelets themselves. Below are bead types that are used not just in jewelry making but also in sewing and embroidery.
We recommend that in the beginning, if you are serious in creating bead jewelry, you should probably visit a physical store so you can touch and see the beads that you are going to use.
Sometimes, bead supply stores online provide pictures of beads that are not completely accurate, or the images themselves may cause you to miscalculate the size, appearance, and color of the beads. If you can physically see the beads, you will be able to make a better purchase, overall.
- Seed beadsThis the smallest type of bead and resemble mustard seeds. They’re a crowd favorite when it comes to creating DIY bracelets as they add that extra sparkle and glitter to jewelry. They are also sold very cheaply, so you can use plenty of seed beads in more complex constructions without worrying about increasing the raw material cost too much.
- Cylinder or Delica beadsAnother common bead type that has a hollow construction and is symmetrically cylindrical. Delica beads come in plenty of colors, from the deepest corn yellow to the multifaceted blues and greens that make them look like crystals. They’re a little bigger than seed beads and are perfect for colorful bracelet patterns that make use of two or more wires or threads.
- Crystal beadsCrystal beads are constructed with thirty percent lead, which allows the beads to refract light effectively. Swarovski crystals are an excellent example of this class of beads. They’re ideal for beadwork due to their high quality as these are precision-cut by machines (usually the laser-guided ones).
Originally manufactured in Austria, they have since become vogue all over the world. Swarovski crystals are used not just in jewelry beadwork but also in general fashion constructions. The current index for variations is 50 colors, and there are also more than one dozen effects that change how these beads interact when light hits them.
- Bugle beadsBugle beads are often used as spacers because of their neutral color and appearance. Bugle beads are long, cylindrical beads that are often transparent. They come in gauges that range from just two millimeters to over forty millimeters.
Bugle beads are popular with beaders because they can enhance the symmetrical pattern of a design by creating sufficient space without having to rely on wire knotting or other kinds of beads that may make the jewelry heavier or too chaotic (design-wise).
- Roundel beadsRounder beads are easy to spot because they resemble donuts, with two flat tops. They come in different colors and are mainly used as spacer beads like bugles. Some are made of plastic while others can be heavier and smoother as they are blown from glass.
These beads are also called “roundelles” in some places. Use roundel beads if you want more neutral-looking beads to create distance between the colorful beads in your pattern.
- Bali beadsBali beads are higher grade and manually-made beads that originate from Bali, Indonesia.
Unlike ordinary beads, each bead usually exhibits the craftsmanship of the creator, as they also use silver to create each bead. Bali beads are an excellent choice for many constructions as they add distinction and class to each piece of jewelry that they adorn.
- Drop beadsDrop beads are unique because they emphasize their center of gravity. They can have an end to end drill-through, or they may have just one hole at the narrow ends. Drop beads are usually molded as diamonds or water drops.
They come in plenty of colors and if you want to make your DIY jewelry memorable, drop beads are the way to go. If you want to give that flash of style and luxury, what better way to do that than with beads that resemble diamonds?
- Faceted beads As the name implies, faceted beads have additional faces on each side that allows the beads to catch and reflect light powerfully. One example of faceted beads are hex beads that have a total of six faces per bead.
Take note that “faceted bead” is a general category or styling of beads, and you can buy seed beads that are also faceted. Not all beads for beadwork are faceted. Some have a matte finish, and others are just generally shiny but with no inlay of additional faces.
- Lampwork beadsLampwork beads are probably the hardest to produce because they require manual fabrication. Actual glassblowers are required to create each bead, and the designs on the surface are the result of the interaction between the glass and extreme heat.
The chromic effects are achieved by melting together different layers of glass with different colors, too. The result is colorful beads that have otherworldly beauty. The perfect type of bead for high-end jewelry constructions.
- Pony beads Pony beads measure 3.5 mm to 4 mm and are commonly used for kid’s projects. This bead type is also popular for DIY crafts projects and is sold by volume. They come in different colors and you can buy them in batches (in single color or mixed).
We do not generally use these in jewelry, but you can use them in other beaded projects like satin bags and belts if you feel the desire to do so. Your imagination is the limit.