The Wonderful World of Beaded Jewelry

Bead Embroidery Cuff BraceletWelcome, everyone, to the wonderful world of beaded jewelry!  I’m Gail Nettles, your hostess, and I’m here to teach you how to make beaded jewelry. In these pages you’ll find both video and ebook tutorials, along with some eye candy. And I hope a little dose of fun! :)

Beaded Jewelry, Then and Now

Beaded jewelry has been a part of my life for years.  And when I think about it, it goes all the way back to when I was a child, with macrame, stringing and just being fascinated with the colors, textures and shapes.

For many years I abandoned beaded jewelry, except pearls, in my corporate “dress for success” phase.  After a few years of that, I realized I needed some fun and color back in my life (can you tell I am inspired by color?).

(You can read more about my beading life on the About Me page.)

“Slink Stones” – Right Angle Weave

I’ve come to realize that no matter what beading style you prefer, it’s all about what you like to create.  Hopefully, it’s a fun and rewarding part of your life, too.

So onward to the beading information!

Beaded Jewelry 101, 202, 303 and More – Tutorials!

I love looking at photos of other people’s jewelry, don’t you?  I get inspired by designs, wondering, “how did they do that?” and then trying my hand at the design.  More often than not I fail, but I usually still create something I can proudly wear.

Well, I will have photos for you to enjoy.  And I’m also creating tutorials for those of you who like a design and want to know just how to make it.  Some are free, some cost a tiny sum — but I think you’ll find them worthwhile.  And I also have some free video tutorials of some of the basics of beaded jewelry.

Beaders of all levels are welcome in my “Projects” tutorials!  I’ll have beginner, intermediate, advanced and try-this-at-the-risk-of-your-sanity projects.  :)  Most are in the intermediate range, though.

And let’s not forget about my free “Basics” tutorials!

Every so often I do stray into another area, like Viking Knit jewelry, because I adore Viking Knit chains as necklaces for pendants.  Not to mention having beads included in the styles!

Beaded bracelet with silver, crystals and lampwork.

What Kinds of Jewelry?

Oh boy, if there is a beading style that I haven’t tried, I don’t know what it is!  In these pages I’ll cover beadweaving (primarily seed beads), stringing, bead embroidery, wire jewelry, chain maille and more.

In other words — a lot of different jewelry styles and techniques.

So kick back, get comfortable, and enjoy the wonderful world of beaded jewelry!

Sliding Knot Necklace – Complete with a Blooper!

I kept meaning to make a tutorial on how to make a sliding knot, so you can adjust the length of your necklace or bracelet on the fly.  I just never got around to it, until one day I was staring at my beading stash and spied the leather cording.  Ah hah!  Time to do that sliding knot video!

But First – Why Use a Sliding Knot?

I don’t know about you, but there are times that I wish a particular necklace was on a slightly longer or shorter chain, depending on the clothes I am wearing.  A sliding knot lets you adjust the length without having to run off to get a pair of pliers.  Or have to take the pendant off one chain or cord and place it on another.

And you do it while you are wearing it, so changing the length is easy as changing your mind.  😉

Video and My Oops!

I’ll make this post short and let you watch the video, complete with instructions of how – and how not  – to make your own necklance, LOL!  I hope you get a chuckle out of it.

Get Twisted! Learn Twisted Tubular Herringbone

Twiisted Tubular HerringboneTwisted tubular herringbone was something that I had a whole lot of problems learning.  I read the directions in magazines and books a zillion times, but I could not grasp how to work the stitch.

Then came the idea — surely someone, somewhere, has done a video from which I can learn the stitch.  Search and ye shall find is my motto (at least when it comes to tracking down something related to beading).  I sought, I found and now I am ready to teach you!

What is Twisted Tubular Herringbone?

If you’re familiar with the regular tubular herringbone beading stitch, you may wonder what makes this variation do the twist (so to speak)?  (And if you’re not already familiar with the regular version, here’s my tutorial on tubular herringbone.)

The twist is formed by both beading tension and also how the needle path dips (for lack of a better term) after each new set of beads is added.  It’s really hard to explain, but when you actually see it, you’ll have that “ah-hah!” moment.  At least, I hope you do!

In the video demo, I use the stitch to make a bracelet (as you can see in the photo on this page).  You can make your own bracelet, or go even farther and make a gorgeous necklace!

Half the fun of the twisted herringbone is picking different color combos for each column of the tube.  You can make it to appear to twist even faster, depending on how often you change the colors of your seed beads.

Twisted Tubular Herringbone Video

If you’d like to learn how to make your own twisted tubular herringbone jewelry, sit right down, grab yourself something to drink, then sit back and watch.  The video is a little over 20 minutes long, but when you’re done, you should know enough to start your own bracelet or necklace!

Oh, and if you like the bracelet I am wearing in the video, see my post on odd-count peyote.

As to supplies, I used the following for an 8-inch bracelet:

  • Fireline, 6lb size
  • Beading needle, size 11
  • Seed beads, size 8.  You’ll need about 25 grams for an 8-inch bracelet, split between whatever number of colors you choose to use.
  • 2 end caps (gold-plated)
  • 1 magnetic clasp
  • Open jump rings
  • 2 Crystal rondells (10mm x 6mm)

So, I hope you find the video help, fun and it inspires you to create your own twisted tubular herringbone jewelry!  😀

Beading Basics – Beading Needles

Beading needles are something that everyone who does beadweaving uses with their projects.  The humble beading needle has gone from just one more supply item to something more high-tech.

Let’s take a look at beading needles, and then also see a video on this supply item that beadweaving wouldn’t be the same without!

Beading Needle Basics

What is a beading needle, anyway, and why is it different from any other needle you may have on hand?

A beading needle is thin, and it has a larger eye in comparison to its thickness, than does a regular sewing needle.  While you can use a sewing needle for some projects with larger seed beads, a beading needle is very much a necessity for smaller seed beads and many gemstone beads – especially cultured pearls.

What about lengths?  They do come in several lengths, with the longer being designated as “longs” and the shorter as (you guessed it) “shorts”.  Which should you use?  It’s mostly a preference — whichever is most comfortable for you.

Beading Needle Sizes

The needles come in sizes 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15.  (There may be a 14 out there somewhere, but I haven’t come across one.)  Like wire, the bigger the number, the thinner the needle.

The most common two sizes are 10 and 12.  If you can find an 11, though, snag it — it’s thin enough for most seed beads, but has a larger eye that is easier to thread.

I do have some 13s and even a 15, but I rarely use them.  Actually, come to think of it, I have never used the size 15!  I can’t see the eye, much less thread it, LOL.  😉

Basics of Beading Needles Video

If you want to learn a little more about the humble beading needle, and see why it’s gone more high-tech, click the video to watch and see the different kinds of needles that are out there.