Monday, August 1, 2011

DIY tutorial: Making strawberry beads

I'm sure this beading technique has a proper name and all, but I call these kind of beads strawberry beads on account of the fact that my first project was a pair of strawberry earrings.

It's a very straightforward affair: all you'll need are some larger beads with the hole diameter at least 2mm wide (plastic, wood, resin beads are perfect), seed beads, thin wire (mine was about 1mm). You can also use waxed thread or nylon string, but I find it a lot easier to use wire. And of course some ordinary pliers.

Cut about 20 cm of the wire and string one of the large beads.

Secure the bead by passing the wire through one more time. This helps anchor the bead.

Now string some seed beads. The number of seed beads needed will vary depending on the size of the large bead.

Now pass the wire through the hole of the large bead again.

As you can see, the seed beads are evenly arranged around the larger bead.

Now you basically repeat the process, until the entire bead is covered.

It took six strings of seed beads to cover the bead I was using.

Now we take both wire ends and join them together at the bottom of the bead and just twist them together.

I like to leave a nice long twisted tail wich can be used to incorporate the bead into a design.

Here's the end result. Feel free to experiment with different shapes, colour and texture for some surprising results.

And a couple of finished projects:


  1. Holy Moly, where do you find the PATIENCE to do all this fine work? Once again, I have to blame my impatience - 15 minutes - preparing food, or just about anything else. I wish to see the results quickly. Sigh.

  2. Oh Metscan has beaten me to the same comment!!

    Plus good eyesight & a steady hand.

    Still it is well worth it for the end results.
    Like the strawberry ear rings. Ida

  3. The last necklace (or bracelet?) is my favorite. Very elegant! The beads resemble coral.

  4. Sorry everyone for keepimg this brief, but I'm currently at a public library, because our PC broke down yesterday :-( Also apologies for any typos.

    Mette: this sort of work might be tedious for some but for me it's like yoga, it relaxes and focuses me. I must have been a Buddist monk in a previous lifetime lol

    Ida: Thanks :-) my eyesight is poor, but my hand is still steady.

    Charlotte: :-) It's a necklace, one of my earliest pieces.

  5. Awesome tutorial! I've done some beads like that also, although I don't think they had a specific name, just beaded bead. LOL. I see you are more of a stringer! I'm more of a weaver so I like to make them wit a little beaded string in between. I found a way to make the beads and create the beaded strand all in one piece without having to end each bead and restring. I made up a little tutorial for a friend on how to do it if you are interested, just let me know! I love the little strawberries!

  6. Mandy: yes, stringing is and remains my first jewellery love, but I'm always looking to expand my knowledge. To that extent I have tried my hand at weaving, just the basics like peyote and brick stitch but when the time is right, I will really immerse myself in weaving. Oh, and yes, do send a link to the tutorial :-)

  7. The strawberry beads are adorable! So perfect for summer. I wish I was craftier with beads!

  8. Vanessa: think nothing of it, I recommend starting with some inexpensive wooden or acrylic beads and see what you make of it. My first experiments were horrific, but the brilliant thing with beads, they're reusable unlike fabric.

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. Such sweet little beads!