Jewelry Making with Beads

Jewelry making with beads is easy with Mia’s free jewelry making instructions. We will show you the basics of how to make a beaded necklace using just beads and cord.

These instructions can be adapted to make a variety of beaded jewelry. Jewelry making with beads is just one of my bead craft ideas that require inexpensive materials and no specialist equipment.

All you need are a few beads and a length of cord, any type of cord can be used as long as you can thread on a bead, knot it and it will stand up to general wear and tear. Ribbon, hemp cord, garden twine, string and embroidery thread are just a few examples.

Jewelry Making with Beads Your Way

  • We have not given specific amounts for length of cord or number of beads so the beading projects are easily adapted to your own style and taste.
  • Using these simple beading techniques you can create a wide variety of different bead necklaces.
  • The instructions can easily be adapted to make beaded bracelets or anklets too.
  • Make sure the hole in your beads is large enough to be threaded onto your chosen cord.
  • You can use any cord for the basis of this necklace, leather thong or cotton cord both work well and are inexpensive.
  • If you don’t have these and can’t wait to have a go then wool will work but won’t be as strong and is harder to thread.
  • The cord will need to be about twice as long as your finished necklace. This will vary depending on the thickness of your cord but it is much better to over allow.

Materials and Equipment

  • A length of cord
  • A selection of beads

Mia's Top Tip

Arrange your beads in the design that you want, your beads will be separated by a knot in the cord so take this into consideration.

This design works well with beads of the same size or alternative large and small beads.

If you have a variety of different sized beads then generally larger beads are used at the front of the necklace getting smaller towards the back.

Make sure you allow enough beads to complete your necklace with some cord the knots take up very little space.

If you are using the second method of finishing your jewelry you will need an extra bead for the end.

If you have a bead tray you can use that to layout your design if not you can use a towel.
Look at our jewelry making with beads photos to give you some ideas.

Jewelry Making with Beads Tutorial


Tie an overhand knot 10cm (4") from one end of your cord, thread on a bead pushing it up close to the knot.

See jewelry making tips overhand knot for detailed instructions on how to tie an overhand knot. This link will open in a new window so you don't lose this page.




If your cord of choice is very flexible use a large eyed needle to thread the cord through the beads.

Tie another overhand knot to secure the bead between two knots.




Thread on another bead and tie another over hand knot to secure the bead.


Repeat step 3 along the thread until your necklace is the required length.

You will need at least 10cm of thread left over so both ends are the same length.

If you have used up all your beads but still have loads of left over cord check that you necklace is long enough.

If it is trim the cord to 10cm (4"), if it isn't then add more beads.

If you don't have any more beads all is not lost, make it into a choker, bracelet or anklet.

Finishing Your Necklace

Here are two different ways to finish your necklace depending on its length and how easily you can manage the knots.



Finishing method 1 - Overhand knot

If your necklace is nice and long and will slip over your head easily you can finish it by tying the ends together in an overhand knot. See the link in step 1 for detailed instructions.



You can finish shorter necklaces, bracelets and anklets this way.

They will need to be knotted in position and the knot will need to be undone every time you want to take it off.

Finishing method 2 - Slip knot

Try this way if your necklace is shorter or you are making a bracelet or anklet and you want to remove them easily without undoing knots.

In one end of the cord make a slip knot, tie an overhand knot at the very end of the cord to stop the slip knot from coming undone.

See jewelry making tips slip knot for detailed instructions on how tie a slip knot. This link will open in a new window so you don't lose this page.



At the other end of the cord thread on the extra bead and tie a few knots to secure, trim the cord if necessary.

Push this bead through the slip knot on the end and pull the cord.

Mia’s Craft Ideas

You can easily make a matching bracelet or anklet by using a shorter piece of cord.

This basic technique can be adapted to many other bead projects as well.

Try making long strings of beads spacing the beads further apart separated with knots.

Attach the strings to a piece of wood for a bead curtain.

Make a key ring or handbag charm with a small length of cord and a few pretty beads.

What would you like to do now?

Return to top of the Jewelry Making With Beads where you can choose one of Mia’s craft ideas from the navigation bar on the left.

Go back to How to Make Jewelry for more jewelry making ideas.

Visit Mia’s Craft Ideas home page to find out more about our website and Mia’s free craft ideas.

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