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How to Make Your Own Beads

We’ve been crafting all our lives, so by now, we are very experienced in a lot of the classic DIY techniques. We can do papier mache like it’s our job. We can cover things in paper or fabric cut outs by doing decoupage with lightning speed. We can also make all kinds of jewelry! Recently, however, we’ve been feeling like merely putting the pieces of a new accessory together isn’t actually quite DIY enough for us, since we’ve been doing it so long and love challenging ourselves. Rather than simply buying beads, cords and string, or clasps, we’ve been looking for ways to learn how to make our own jewelry from scratch instead. We want to be responsible for making as much of each piece we create by hand as we possibly can! That’s how we started researching different methods of making our own beads. This way, we have complete custom control over things like colour, shape, and size, rather than being restricted to just the beads we can find in stores. The Internet has been an amazing help with teaching us all different kinds of new ways to make our very own beads ourselves!

Just in case you’re as interested as we were in the idea of making your very own DIY beads from scratch, here are 15 of the best, most creative bead designs we’ve come across in our search and learning process so far.

1. Beads made from plastic bottles

Beads made from plastic bottles

Are you the kind of careful DIY enthusiast who loves to get messy, use your hands, and sometimes even try things that might be a little bit dangerous if you’re not careful and patient? Then we wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you’ve actually tried crafts that involved melting plastic before. We hadn’t until we followed this tutorial from Guidecentral English to make our very own beads out of plastic water bottles but we actually had so much fun doing it (and also loved the finished product so much) that we would 100% try it again! Besides how neat the technique is, we love a good upcycling project that makes our impact on the environment a little more green.

2. DIY painted wood beads

Diy painted wood beads

Okay, we know we’ve talked a lot about making your beads from scratch in this post, but we also fully understand that sometimes, depending on skill level, time constraints, and access to materials or learning opportunities, customizing something that’s already made is the closest you’ll get to being an actual jewelry smith. That’s okay! Luckily for all of us, Think Make Share is here to show you how you can still make pre-made beads like these plain wooden ones your own unique design using a little bit of careful hand painting.

3. Round paper beads from magazine pages

Round paper beads from magazine pages

Here’s an awesome bead and jewelry making technique that we actually learned many, many years ago when we were kids making fun costume pieces at summer camp but that we loved so much that we’re still creating versions of it to make more stylish pieces to this day! Mum in The Madhouse reminds you just how fun and creative making your own wrapped and rolled beads from colourful paper upcycled from old magazine pages can be. We like their tip about sealing the beads once they’re rolled so that they don’t unravel as you wear the finished piece.

4. Thread wrapped felt beads

Wire wrapped felt beads

If you’re going to make beads of your own so that you can have full creative control, perhaps you’d rather try your hand at creating some beads from a material that’s slightly more unconventional for that specific kind of craft? These stunning little cylindrically shaped dual coloured beads featured on Handmade Charlotte are the perfect example of what we mean. Their tutorial shows you how to roll a small strip of bright felt and wrap is haphazardly (but stylishly) in embroidery floss or thread in a contrasting colour to help it keep its shape and also give it some visual interest.