Beading Designs

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? We are all different in the arena of creativity.

Several have come through our 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.

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 for beading designs.

 Discover 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 topics that lead to beading designs. These topics provide a few effective guidelines to assist in your thinking, shaping and molding your thought process while becoming a jewelry designer. 

Let's talk just a bit about each of these to get your creative juices primed.

  • 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.


Irregular, unpremeditated pattern with no rhyme or reason.


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


A center focal with each side identical creates a mirrored pattern equal in balance and proportion


An off center pattern. A 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 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. We suggest that some 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 beading designs.

 Canvas of Color

Color stimulates our senses. When you think about creating a design do you think in color?

Do you have a favorite color or a least favorite color? Do you find specific colors exciting and alluring or boring and dull? Colors speak to us, set our moods, lift our spirits or calm us down. Colors can make us hungry or subdue our appetites, make us happy or sad, confident or disinclined.

Did we say that color stimulates 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 color 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. For most, even our dreams are in color. Have you noticed that for yourself? Colors are an important factor to designing beaded jewelry and may rule in your personal process of designing.

A little video we thought you may find helpful on using a color wheel for beading designs and helping with your thought process.

How do you use color in your everyday life? How will you use color as you move forward beading designs? Share your thoughts and comments with us.

 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.

The earrings pictured here were created for door prizes for a KY Derby party. The design inspiration came from what the KY Derby is known for...horses, hats, and hooch. The signature drink, the infamous mint julep was our focus. The beads used, citrine chips, spoke to us looking very similar to the main ingredient, bourbon colored crushed ice minus the sprig of mint. We chose a horse head charm draped with a flower garland and completing the look using a bead and cap at the top representing the hat of the design.

Keep the occasion in mind as you begin to gather the components to create that jewelry design that speaks to the event. When designing jewelry based on events, allow it to talk to you. It will help in your creations, a bracelet may be designed to go with that little black dress but still lend itself to the jeans and jacket event. The possibilities are endless. What does it say to you?

 Beads [a.k.a. 'Eye Candy']

Beads can be a very inspiring when creating jewelry, especially focal beads. 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 beads. Pictured here is one of our favorite focal beads we love creating designs around. We call her our 'bead-at-home-mom' beads, although it could be green hair but we see curlers. She is a fun bead regardless.

Be assured 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 don't you just love unique. You may lean toward this type of designing if you buy handmade beads from artist or if you should decide to learn to make beads yourself. 

We 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 the 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? 

If you accumulate inventory to sell your designs there will be the added cost in marketing and packaging as well.  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 higher-end supplies.

Depending the type of beads and supplies you choose, your purchase can cost as little as 1 cent and on up towards $10 per bead and anything in between.

Learn from someone who has 'been there, done that'. In the beginning we rushed out, bought a bunch of beads without knowing anything about beads or their quality. We had a fresh taste for making jewelry and dove right in head first. We were attracted to how they looked behind the packaging and the price tag.  Once we got our treasures, called beads, home we ripped into them. Couldn't wait to get them out of their packaging. Disappointment immediately followed. They were not what we were expecting, but then we didn't really know what to expect, we had no experience. 

We kept them to use for practice but a big lesson was learned that day. Temptation to these tantalizing treats are very real!! Start slow, get to know your supplies, build your stash a little at a time.

Beading Tip

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

Resist temptation of the price tag. Set a budget and stick to it.

Don’t be lured into a sale or the fact that a bag of beads may cost under $2.  If that’s the case then only buy one package and not the whole 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 others, making gifts or product to sell.

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'. We explore with you some avenues to consider when trying to get those creative juices flowing with your beading designs.

Now where to go from here? You have options for continuing your path learning to make jewelry.

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