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
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
2. 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,
3. 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!
4. Thread 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
5. DIY clay marble beads
Were you somewhat a fan of the painted wooden beads we showed you above because you liked their spherical shape and how chunky and funky they looked, but you’re still intent on making things from scratch rather than starting with a pre-made shape already set for you? Then perhaps you’d prefer to create this hand moulded polymer clay version instead! We love the way
6. DIY copper tube beads
Now that you’ve customized yourself a few wooden beads using paint, or perhaps moulded yourself some fun chunky spheres out of clay, are you looking for a contrast piece to break them up with in your necklace or bracelet design? Well, if you’re the kind of stylish person who likes a bit of industrial chic in their accessorizing, then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at these fantastic copper tubing beads outlined step by step on
7. DIY wrapped embroidery thread beads
Did we really catch your attention with the felt wrapped beads idea, but it’s not actually the felt itself that caught your eye? Well, making entire beads out of embroidery floss might not necessarily sound like an easy task, but
8. No-glue fabric beads made from ribbon
Now that we’ve entered the world of making something that’s usually hard, like beads, out of softer materials like fabric, are you totally enamoured with the idea and eager for more tutorials and designs? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how
9. Easy perler bead bracelets
Have you actually been scrolling through our list looking for a DIY beaded project that your kids might be able to help you out with? Well, perler bead projects are the kind of classic crafting technique that have been around for so many years that even we remember doing them as kids, so of course we couldn’t finish the list out without suggesting those as an option! We know you’re not really making the beads yourself, but the way that
10. Woven paper beads
If you’re going to use softer, more unconventional materials to make beads, would you rather dabble in something that’s even more less likely to come to mind than fabric or felt? Perhaps we really caught your attention the most when we started talking about paper beads in the rolled strips tutorial but you’ve always had a knack for fiddly, intricate crafts and you’d prefer something that takes a little more patience than just rolling. In either case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how
11. Simple solid polymer clay beads
Are you still thinking about how awesome the idea of making your own beads out of polymer clay would be but you’re very new to the idea of homemade jewelry or perhaps crafting and DIY in general? Then maybe you’d have more success with an even simpler tutorial that really breaks the steps down and primarily sticks to just the basics. That’s exactly what you’ll get from this resource featured on
12. DIY gemstone clay beads
Perhaps you’re still in love with the idea of clay beads but the spherical shape doesn’t really appeal to you and you’d rather get a little more creative? Then perhaps you’d actually have a better time making something like these mock gemstone beads that are outlined step by step on
13. Silk scarf covered beaded necklace
Perhaps all you have to work with right now are, in fact, pre-made beads so you’re feeling kind of trapped when it comes to making them from scratch, but you’ve got a good stash of old clothes and accessories you’ve been meaning to upcycle with! Well, believe it or not, a silk scarf and the willingness to embellish the beads that are already in your craft room are almost all you need to make this awesome fabric wrapped style necklace featured on
14. DIY game tile beads
We’ve talked a lot about upcycling in bead and jewelry making, but what if the kind of upcycling you love doing the most is actually a little more kitschy than what you’ve seen so far? Then perhaps you’ll get along bette with this funny idea from
15. DIY salt dough beads
Perhaps you’re actually still looking for more kid-friendly ideas and the idea of moulding beads out of clay caught your eye, but you’re just not sure you want to spend the money on craft store quality polymer when your kids are still quite young? Then perhaps you’d be better starting off by making beads from some homemade salt dough instead! It’s simple to make, cheaper to purchase the ingredients for, and your kids get the fun of both helping you make the salt dough, moulding and painting their beads, and making those beads into jewelry. Get the full details for making all that fun happen on
Do you know a fellow DIY enthusiast who also adores making their own jewelry just as much as we do, if not more, but you also know that they’re always looking for new ways to take things to the next level in how much of the process they actually make themselves? Share this post with them so they can venture into the world of making their very own beads!