From The Bench

How to Make Bracelets with Beads: How-Tos and Guides

Have you been working hard to learn how to make bracelets with beads? Bracelets with beads have been with us for thousands of years, and bracelets generally have been around for the same span. However, beaded bracelets are among humankind’s first pieces of jewelry. Today, we continue to see a renewed interest in making a charm bracelet with beads using different methods and materials.

A Short History of Beaded Bracelets

Bracelets and other forms of jewelry were reportedly widely worn for ritual and decoration sometime around 7000 BCE. Archaeologists have uncovered that people in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China wore bracelets as status symbols. They were constructed from various natural materials, including shells, grasses, and skinny tree branches.

After this period (roughly 2000 B.C.E. to 1400 B.C.E.), bracelets were typically crafted from copper and bronze, and later, skilled artisans fashioned them from silver and gold. These bracelets, embellished with stones and shells, were undoubtedly more aesthetically pleasing. At this time, jewelry started being used as a powerful symbol of status, power, and wealth.

Ancient Egyptians wore silver and gold bracelets set with semiprecious stones during the First Dynasty. Bracelets with inlaid patterns made from African gemstones were commonly worn by nobility in the New Kingdom. Even though many bracelets have been discovered in tombs over the past century, historians believe these bracelets served purely aesthetic purposes rather than any ritual.

Films and artworks in Greece typically show ancient Greeks with cuffs on their lower and upper arms. Metal and leather cuffs were worn on soldiers’ arms for protection, and these cuffs resembled bracelets of the modern era. Historians generally agree that the Romans were the first to popularize the practice of wearing coiled gold bangles, often fashioned in the shape of snakes. Bracelets were popular among both sexes during this time, as the style of jewelry that originated in the Mediterranean eventually made its way across Europe.

Jade bangles and cuffs carved with exquisite detail have been discovered in China dating back to at least 2000 B.C. Gold bracelets etched with intricate designs of animals, mythical creatures, and nature was highly prized in ancient China. At the same time, gold bracelets were widely worn in India. However, the region is more interested in wearing strands of metal and glass beads in bright colors these days.

Bracelet styles never seen before by shoppers didn’t appear until the 20th century. In addition, mass production of bracelets meant that more people than ever could take advantage of the trend and join in on the fun. After the turn of the century, bracelets became more straightforward, with the Art Deco era favoring sleek, geometric forms. Finally, in the 1930s, designers shrewdly catered to teenagers by adding Bakelite and plastics to bracelets, creating plastic bangles that were a hit.

During the 1950s, bracelets made of gold-plated brass or sterling silver were trendy. In contrast, bracelet enthusiasts in the 1970s and later wished for more options by the turn of the century. Beaded strands, wide cuffs, and thin chains became the newest symbol of power and sophistication. In addition, men’s interest in bracelets resurged around this time, with men typically donning sterling silver or gold link chains.

Now that you know more of the origins of bracelets (and not just the ones made exclusively with different kinds of beads) let’s head over to the guides that will help you accomplish more when you sit down to work on your beading projects!

1. Understanding and Selecting the Right Jewelry-Making Beads

The three main classes of beads used for D.I.Y. charm bracelets and other kinds of bracelets and even necklaces are gem beads, glass beads, and metal beads. Gem beads have beautiful natural colors complement designs with plenty of creative flairs. The lighter colors are perfect for expressing youthfulness and charm. You’ll want to master them all if you want to be adept at making bracelets with beads.

Glass beads, on the other hand, are popular because they are light, inexpensive, and adaptable for different projects. And finally, we have the regal metal beads that are used not just for higher-end beading projects but for classic charm bracelets that will last for years and years and look the same as the day they were made.

Beads in semiprecious metals are a great pick regardless of jewelry design or jewelry theme, and learning more about them ensures that you will know how to take care of the beads before and during the beading or crafting process. This is part of your education in how to make bracelets with beads.

We highly recommend reading up on sterling silver jewelry, the history of silver in jewelry, our guide on caring for gold-filled beads, and our introduction to copper beads for jewelry-making/beading projects. Also, read Xinar’s blog on the differences between sterling silver and silver-plated. You will undoubtedly encounter online jewelry-making supplies that offer silver-plated items but wrongly call them “sterling silver.” Sterling silver is not a color but a method of manufacturing metal.

If you’re interested in learning more about the different kinds of beads used for all types of projects that produce ornamental or decorative items (as well as jewelry items), don’t forget to read up on different types of beads.

2. Learn How to Make Bracelets with Beads By Studying The Bead/Jewelry Measurement System  

Attempts at beadwork and jewelry-making are always more straightforward by knowing how to measure jewelry correctly. Eventually, you will also deal with different bead sizes, necessitating a review of how to measure beads accurately. Not to worry, we have you covered; download the measurement charts we’ve prepared for you below, and you’re all set for any beading or jewelry-making project:

Measuring your wires and beads properly also works best if you want to learn how to make beaded bracelets with wire. Making bracelets with wire requires some unique techniques in threading the beads and manipulating metal beading wire, but the design principles remain the same. Your creativity will not be limited if you try different cords for making beaded jewelry and crafts.

3. Learn the Basic Techniques for Making Bracelets With Charms And How To Make Friendship Bracelets

Jewelry pieces, known as “charms,” are worn on a special kind of bracelet known as a “charm bracelet.” Typically, these amulets carry some sentimental or emotional weight for their owner. The beauty of making your charm bracelet is that you can use whatever materials you like.

You can be original or reimagine or update old standards without leaving your desk. To begin, you need only gather a bare minimum of resources. However, 925 sterling silver charms are the best option to create long-lasting charm bracelets.

Part one of our two-part series covers the essentials of setting up your workbench. You will learn about jewelry-making tools, how they’re used, and why you should invest depending on the goals of your projects.

Part two covers a sample project using items like jump rings in charm bracelets. Jump rings and other findings complete charm bracelet projects; if you don’t know how to manipulate them properly, you will have a more challenging time. We’ll also teach you how to use other types of cordage for charm bracelets, specifically the stretch cord, which is very friendly to beginners.

4. Work with Beading Threads and Cords Better

Using cords and knots to string beads dates back more than 100,000 years. Throughout history, knots have been used for practical purposes and, more importantly, religious and symbolic ones.

For instance, knotted prayer beads are used by many faiths to help adherents remember the specific number of prayers or chants that must be recited daily.

Over time, people began using knots for religious or ceremonial purposes and as a form of self-expression through adornment. For instance, pearls, jewels, and other precious beads were often strung on a cord to prevent them from scratching one another and falling to the ground if the cord snapped. This is true even now. Since then, their methodically knotting beads have become a well-known and standard practice, especially for materials like pearls.

Check out Xinar’s beading cord guideif you want more information on how these cords function, and for threading techniques, we have this guide as well.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

Share this Article

Posted in ,

Leave a Comment