Beading Designs

Creating beading designs can be the most gratifying part of making jewelry. 

These pieces are your babies.

The imagination and images from your mind’s eye are what you give birth. 

Beading designs are what make you a 'handmade jewelry designer’.  

The designs and possible combinations are countless.

But...what if you don't see yourself as a jewelry designer?

What if you don't think you're creative?

What will you do for inspiration?

This may not be you, we are all different in the arena of creativity.

Several have come through my classes hitting the ground running with loads of beading design ideas before they even leave class.

Others just want to move onto learning the next technique, the next step and allow designing to come in it's own time. Understanding the concept and get a better grip of what they are doing is their goal.

I believe we are all creative in some way. When it comes to making jewelry there are those that like to just work with their hands, simulating other's creations.

And yet others have original ideas racing through their heads ready to give their ideas life.

Let's discuss it a little further here, jewelry making ideas and where to find the creativity.

Discovering Your Creativity in Beading Designs

Discovering your creativity in beading designs begins with how you think, what your interests are and how you view fashion.

Let's focus for a moment on some key words to beading designs. These will help establish how to shape and mold your continuous task of creating. This makes for becoming a good handmade jewelry designer and provides a few guidelines to begin that trek.


Beading Designs

  • Patterns
  • Styles
  • Trends
  • Cost
  • Colors
  • Events
  • Beads




Beading Patterns


Beading patterns can be the start to all great beading designs. Creating beaded jewelry patterns is the combinations of beads and components.

There are 4 different types of patterns and an example of each.



Random...

Irregular, aimless, unpremeditated pattern.


Repeat...

A repetitive repetition pattern; large, small, large, small, large, small, etc. 


Symmetrical...

A mirrored type pattern equaled in balance and proportion.

Begin your design in the center and work each side identically.


Asymmetric...

An off center pattern.

The focal point is moved off from the center for a disproportionate balance.

Bead combinations and materials are endless but these will be the basis to the start of your design. do you lean to one pattern more than another?

How will you differ with each piece you create?...Time will tell.


Jewelry Style


Are you a fashion guru?  Do you watch for the trend in styles and change with the times? Are you influenced by what’s being worn by celebrities or are you more of a 'your own style' type of person? 

Style is a very personal mode of fashion.  It speaks to what that person is about and their taste in fashion.  Styles are used as expressing oneself and the genre one likes to exude.  

Styles can be classic and simple, big and bold, brass and sassy, fun and festive, chic or funky, current or retro.  

Varieties, options, choices and interest are all factors played in your taste of style. 

Style can also represent the type of jewelry you wear; i.e. hoop earrings vs. dangle earrings, both can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the event or occasion.

Consider style with your beading designs.


Fashion Trends


Trends go hand in hand with style but trends are changeable, whereas styles remain a constant.

My thinking is the trends of previous years seem to make a comeback and in turn become set styles.

Trends come and go based on taste, crazes, fads, themes and moods.

What trends do you see today? 

Can you remember other trends from the past that still lend themselves to today’s styles?

Do you have a trend you follow or like to wear?

Think of some of these as you begin to think of creating beading designs.


Canvas of Color


When you think about designing do you think in color?

Do you find color is where you want to start?  Do you have a favorite color?  Is there a color you can not stand?  Do you find particular colors boring and dull or exciting and alluring?

Colors speak to us, set our moods, lift our spirits or calm us.  Colors can make us hungry or subdue our appetites, make us happy or sad, confident or disinclined.

Colors stimulate our senses.

There are classes and studies and books and lectures on how colors affect our human senses.  There are charts on what moods and emotions colors create in us.

Our birth months are represented by colored gemstones. Every school and sports team is represented by colors.  A change of seasons brings about a new palette of colors.

Color is all around us. We live with it and in it every day, with everything we do.

Some dream in color, do you?

Colors are an important factor to designing beaded jewelry and may rule in your personal process of designing. 

A little video I thought you may find useful on using a color wheel for beading designs, this may help as well with you thought process.

How do you use color in your everyday life?

How will you use color as you move forward with beading designs?

I'd like to hear, I hope you decide to join the conversation.


Special Occasions or Events


Designing jewelry based on a special occasion or event on your calendar can also play in this game of designing jewelry.

How much jewelry do you wear on a regular basis?

Does it depend on an event? 

What type of occasions do you attend that lends itself to wear jewelry; church, work, sports events, plays, the movies, dinner out or just every day?

What about when you are physically active? Do you wear jewelry working out in the yard, doing your laundry, exercising, swimming or maybe playing sports?

The style of jewelry worn may depend on the occasion as well.

These earrings pictured here were created to be door prizes for a KY Derby party. The citrine chip beads were designed to represent the infamous mint julep drink which the KY Derby is well known for, but that is another story for another day.

When designing jewelry based on events, a bracelet may be designed to go with that little black dress but still lend itself to the jeans and jacket event.

Keep the occasion in mind as you begin to gather the components to create that jewelry design that speaks to the event.

Allow it to talk to you and help you in your creations.


Beads [a.k.a. 'The Eye Candy']


Beads, especially focal beads, can be a very inspiring way of creating jewelry. Either a style or type of bead can play an important role in your creativity.

Maybe you have seen a beautiful focal bead that you may like to incorporate into a design.

That would mean the whole design would revolve around that one focal bead.

Pictured here is one of my favorite focal beads I love creating designs.

I call her my 'bead at home mom' bead. Although it could be hair, I see curlers...

I assure you with the variety of beads, especially focal beads that are available, your assortment and choices are endless. 

Does the bead speak to you? Does it lend itself to a particular style or perhaps it’s a stand-alone design?

There are many factors that will play into this type of designing that each creation will be a unique one of a kind [OOAK] and I love unique.  You may lean toward this type of designing if you buy handmade beads from bead artist or if you should decide to learn to make beads yourself.

I expand more about beads as a general overview to introduce you to the vast variety that await you when you begin your own designing. Take a visit now if you are looking for more information about these delicious eye candies.

Just be sure to come back and finish up here before roaming to far away. Promise?


Price Point


How much do you plan to spend on supplies?  Do you have a budget set for yourself?

Buying beads, materials, tools and storage all add up to dollars. 

Beading is relatively inexpensive but you can run into $100’s of dollars either based on quality or quantity of beads and how much inventory you accumulate.

Then what will you do with your creations?

Will they be for you, gifts to family and friends or a means to earn extra money? 

There will be the added cost in marketing and packaging your inventory of designs. 

All of this can play a huge factor on the type of designs you create or at least create in the beginning. 

You can always start small and work your way up reinvesting in materials to build your inventory to resell until you have a good cash flow and can work with more expensive supplies.

Jewelry can be made for a dollar or less and still produce a very nice piece of costume jewelry with quality stones.

But if fine jewelry is your taste with gemstones and precious metals, then cost and price point will play into purchasing those supplies.

Depending on the type of beads and beading supplies you choose, your purchase can cost as little as 1 cent for some selections of beads on up to $10 or more per bead, plus everything in between.

Learn from someone who has been there, done that.


I rushed out, bought a whole bunch of beads based on how I thought they looked in the package and what caught my eye. I knew little to nothing about bead quality. I had a fresh taste for beading and dove in head first.

When I got home and removed them from their packaging I was thoroughly disappointed.  I decided to keep them to use for practicing the techniques since there was little investment but I learned a BIG lesson through that experience, it is best to sample the goods before much investment.



Beading Tip

Allow yourself time to become familiar with available product before investing very much money.

Resist temptation of the price tag.

Don’t be lured into a sale or the fact that a bag of beads may only cost $1.99.  If that’s the case then only buy 1 package and not the lot.

Resist the temptation and learn your material and product first, it will save you money in the long run.

In Conclusion...

There are many facets to incorporate in your beading designs to be an effective jewelry designer whether you are designing for yourself or for others, giving your work away as gifts or selling your work for profit?

Learn what speaks to you.

  • What is your mood for the day?
  • What is the weather?
  • How much time do you have?
  • Do you have all of your materials available?
  • Is the design still in thinking process?

There will also be those times that the design you have in your mind’s eye doesn't turn out quite like you expected. Will you be flexible enough with your designing to change your course mid-stream?

Every facet to designing will not necessarily play into the equation with each piece of jewelry you create. Use it as a check list or just for reference.

The more you create, the more beading designs and ideas will flow from you. 

But what if you hit a bump in the road? What if you are not feeling creative or don’t want to design, then what?

Explore the topic more in this article '5 Ways to Find Inspiration for Jewelry Making Ideas'. I explore with you some avenues to consider when trying to get those creative juices flowing with your beading designs.

Don't have time to read it now, bookmark the article and come back to read it later. I believe you will find it helpful [but of course I would say that, I wrote it for a reason.]

Now where to go from here?

You have options for continuing your path to learning how to bead.


Have you read

'What is Beading?'

if not, consider heading over there for an overview.


But if you have, then move onto learning the beading basics...

Your first stop:

Basic Jewelers Tools

Already been to both of those topics, then check out the navigation bar on the left and see what other topic catches your fancy. 

Remember this is at your pace.

I'll be looking for you.

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Please feel free to add your commentary, suggestions or additional notes to our topic of beading designs...We all have a voice and your's needs to be heard.  Thanks for joining the conversation.

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