Learn how to make a beaded necklace or bracelet with 3 Easy DIY jewelry-making tutorials for beginners.
This beginner’s jewelry-making guide teaches how to make a necklace or bracelet, or more specifically, it gives complete instructions (with photographs) for how to start and finish a beaded necklace or bracelet. However, this is not just one tutorial for one jewelry-making method or technique.
Instead, this beaded jewelry-making guide includes the basic tools needed and three step-by-step tutorials–for three different, but easy methods, to start and finish a beaded necklace or bracelet; infinity, clamshell knot covers, and crimp beads and pliers. You might also enjoy this Mother-Daughter Necklace Set DIY tutorial.
In other words, a step-by-step jewelry-making tutorial for each jewelry-making method with supply lists follows this brief introduction. First, scroll down to learn the right supplies needed for each type of hand-beaded project, and how to do each simple beaded jewelry-making technique so you understand the basic steps and know whats expected.
Next, choose your favorite hand-beaded DIY jewelry-making method to get started creating your own beautiful beaded art. Affiliate links to jewelry and bead supplies, fun projects, and other beginning jewelry-making resources are included for your convenience at the bottom of the post and sprinkled throughout the article. We can’t wait to see your beaded creations! For more handmade ideas, look at this list of homemade gift ideas.
Related: How to Make a Prism Suncatcher
How to Make a Beaded Necklace
Learn how to make a beaded necklace or bracelet in three easy ways with the detailed step-by-step tutorials below. Jewelry making has been a favorite hobby of mine since I was a small child, and I even spent a few years selling handmade jewelry at fairs and farmers’ markets for a profit in my younger days. The first items I learned to make were simple beaded necklaces and bracelets.
Today my daughter is learning how to make beaded necklaces, bracelets, suncatchers, and other beaded jewelry in different colors the same way I did. We even made a beaded sea glass wind chime together that’s so gorgeous, most of my neighbors have asked us where we got it. Scroll down to learn how to start and finish a beaded necklace or bracelet. You can see my daughter’s kindergarten-aged young hands at work beading a mother’s day gift she made me in the image below.
3 Easy Ways to Start and Finish a Beaded Necklace or Bracelet
These DIY jewelry-making tutorials and ideas are perfect for beginners of all ages. Below are three easy ways to start and finish beaded jewelry:
- Clamshell knot covers
- Crimp beads and pliers
How you start and finish each beaded necklace or bracelet will depend on the materials you are using, the available supplies, and your preference. Detailed DIY jewelry-making tutorials for each jewelry-making technique follow.
We recommend first having a look at each method before deciding which jewelry-making technique you would like to try. Next, gather the supplies you need, plan your beaded pattern, and make your own wearable beaded art!
1. How to Start and Finish an Infinity Necklace or Bracelet
Infinity Jewelry Making Materials for Necklaces and Bracelets
An infinity necklace or bracelet is the simplest way to make a necklace because it can be made in a never-ending loop without a clasp. All you need to do is tie a knot, and you are good to go.
You will need the beads and bead stringing materials listed below to make infinity necklaces and stretch bracelets without a clasp. When making a bracelet, you must use stretch floss or an elastic cord. Otherwise, you will not be able to remove the bracelet craft once it is tied around someone’s wrist.
DIY bracelets made with elastic cord make it possible to take the bracelet off and on once it is finished. In other words, you can not use a monofilament line or beading thread to make bracelets unless you will be adding a clasp to the bracelet craft. But elastic bracelets made with stretch magic cord don’t need a clasp.
And even though no clasp is needed, crip covers are often recommended for bracelet making to increase the strength and resilience of thinner elastic cord, especially when a thicker elastic does not fit through the hole or opening in small beads and compromises need to be made.
- Stretch bead cord, beading thread, and needle, or monofilament bead cord
- Beading scissors
- Beadboard (optional)
Infinity Necklace or Bracelet Tutorial
You can use a length of lightweight monofilament line (fishing string), a beading needle and thread, a stretchy length of cord, or a piece of elastic to make an infinity necklace. Making infinity necklaces and DIY bracelet crafts is a simple project for kids or adults.
However, when making bracelets or necklaces that you can not slip over your head, you must use a stretch cord or elastic, or you will need to cut it to remove it. Because to make an infinity necklace with monofilament or fishing line, you must string it long enough to fit over your head when tied together.
Start by tying a double knot or triple knot at one end of the line, or tie a knot around a small seed bead to get started. Or, put a dab of glue on a simple square knot and use a pair of pliers to secure a crimp cover on it to increase the strength and resiliency of homemade stretchy bracelets and necklaces.
Next, string enough beads onto the line, thread, cord, or string to make a necklace or bracelet. To finish, tie the loose or free ends of the necklace or bracelet together. The step-by-step instructions below sum this type of jewelry-making craft up in simple terms.
How to make an infinity necklace or bracelet
Start with a section of fishing string or elastic stretch cord that is at least 6 inches longer than the length of the necklace or bracelet you intend to make.
- Tie a double or triple knot at one end of the cord, fishing line, beading thread, or stretch floss. (Or tie the knot around a seed bead, or add a dab of glue to the knot and use a pair of pliers to secure a crimp bead cover over it to increase strength and resiliency–optional).
- String beads onto the fishing string, beading thread, or stretch cord to make a bracelet or necklace in the length desired. (But remember, infinity bracelet crafts must be made with an elastic stretch cord, or you will need to use one of the jewelry-making techniques described in the next sections.)
- Tie the free ends of the elastic cord, monofilament line, beading thread, or stretch floss, together to finish your infinity bracelet craft or necklace.
- Cut off any remaining excess cord.
Click on the link to see an example of some infinity acorn marble necklaces that my daughter and I made!
Sometimes, you can hide the infinity necklace or bracelet knot in a large wooden bead hole. The photos below show how we hid the knot inside one of the strung beads in a wooden bead bracelet that my daughter made with a dab of glue. Click on the link to see the complete step-by-step tutorial to learn how to make bracelets with colorful beads.
2. How to Start and Finish a Necklace or Bracelet with Clamshell Knot Covers
Clamshell Knot Cover Jewelry-Making Materials
- Mixed metal clamshell knot covers OR sterling silver knot covers, OR 14k gold clamshell knot covers
- Monofilament beading line, or beading thread with needle
- Barrel clasps OR lobster clasps and jump rings OR toggle clasp
- Bent nose jewelry pliers
- Wire nippers or scissors
- Jewelry glue (optional)
- Beadboard (optional)
Clamshell Knot Cover Tutorials
Follow the step-by-step directions to start and finish a clamshell necklace or bracelet.
How to Start a Clamshell Necklace or Bracelet
- Gather clamshell knot cover materials. The photo tutorial below shows a single clamshell knot end and barrel clasp. You will need two clamshell knot covers per necklace or bracelet.
- Cut the beading line at least 6 inches longer than the necklace length you will be making. Place a clamshell knot cover onto the line, as shown in #2 in the step-by-step photo tutorial below.
- Tie a knot and place the knot inside the clamshell knot cover. The knot must be small enough to fit inside the clamshell once it is closed, and it also must be large enough to stay within it. In other words, tie a big knot to keep it from pulling out the back of the clamshell while making sure that it is small enough to fit inside.
- Trim off the excess beading line with a pair of beading scissors.
- Place a drop of jewelry glue on the knot in the clamshell knot end. (optional)
- Use bent needle nose pliers to close the clamshell knot cover around the knot.
- Place a clasp onto an open loop of the clamshell knot end.
- Use bent needle nose pliers to close the open loop of the clamshell knot cover around the clasp to secure it.
More Clam Shell Knot Cover with Crimp Bead Options
Another option is to start and finish a beaded bracelet or necklace with clamshell knot covers by tying the monofilament cord or beading thread around a small seed bead before closing the clamshell knot cover around it. Once again, using a drop of jewelry glue is optional to ensure the knot and seed bead are secure.
And finally, start and finish a beaded bracelet or necklace by placing a crimp bead on the extra strength monofilament or fishing line and closing the clamshell knot cover over the crimp bead to secure it. This technique also requires crimping pliers to adhere the crimp beads to the fishing line.
How to Finish a Clamshell Knot Cover Necklace or Bracelet
- Place the clamshell knot cover onto one end of the monofilament beading line or fishing string, as shown in the photo below.
- Tie a simple square knot in the remaining monofilament beading line. Place a toothpick inside the loop of the knot inside the clamshell knot cover.
- Slowly increase the tension as you tie the second part of the knot and pull it so it sits or rests inside the clamshell knot cover. Secure the clamshell (with the knot) as close to the beads on the necklace as possible. In other words, use gentle tension and the toothpick to remove the gap between the clamshell cover and the beads on the necklace.
- Trim off the excess monofilament beading line or fishing string.
- Place a drop of glue on the knot inside the clamshell cover. (optional)
- Use bent needle nose pliers to close the clamshell around the knot.
- Place a clasp onto the open loop of the clamshell knot cover.
- Use bent needle nose pliers to close the loop of the clamshell to secure the knot inside the clamshell knot cover.
Related: How to Make a Beaded Windchime
3. How to Start and Finish a Necklace or Bracelet with Crimp Beads and Pliers
Crimp Bead Necklace Materials
- Flexible beading wire OR monofilament beading cord
- Crimp pliers
- Wire nippers OR scissors
- Crimp beads OR crimp tubes OR sterling silver crimp tubes
- Barrel clasps OR lobster clasps and jump rings OR toggle Clasps, OR sterling silver lobster clasps, OR sterling silver toggle clasps, etc.
- Beadboard (optional)
Crimp Bead Tutorials
Follow the step-by-step directions to start and finish a beaded necklace or bracelet with crimping pliers and crimp beads.
How to Start a Necklace or Bracelet Using Crimp Beads
- Gather the jewelry-making materials listed above. The photo shows the lobster clasp and jump ring option. However, barrel clasps, toggle clasps, a sterling silver dolphin clasp with a sterling silver closed jump ring, or S-hook clasps with closed jump rings can be substituted. Switch out the proper hardware to use other types of clasps and toggles, and you will be good to go.
- Cut a section of beading line at least 6 inches longer than the length of the necklace or bracelet you will be making. Place a crimp bead or tube and then a clasp onto one end of the line.
- Tuck the loose end of the fishing line into and through the crimp bead or tube to create a loop.
- Decrease the loop size by pushing the crimp bead toward the clasp.
- Use crimp pliers to close the crimp bead and secure it to the beading line. See step by step photo tutorial below.
How to Finish a Necklace or Bracelet Using Crimp Beads:
- Place a crimp bead or tube on the end of the necklace and add a jump ring.
- Insert the loose end of the necklace into the crimp bead. Decrease the size of the loop by moving the crimp bead as close to the beads on the necklace as possible.
- Use crimp pliers to close the crimp bead and secure it to the beading line or necklace.
- Trim away excess beading line with scissors.
The directions above share tutorials that will help you learn how to start and finish a beaded necklace or bracelet.
The necklace on the left is made using clamshell knot covers in the photo below, while the necklace on the right is made with crimp beads and pliers, but specialty clasps can be substituted with the basic clasp types pictured throughout this article.
There are millions of types of beads that you can use to create beaded jewelry. A few examples can be found below.
How to Make a Beaded Necklace: Bead Options for Stringing Necklaces and Bracelets
There are millions of types of wooden, glass, crystal, and plastic beads that can be used to string necklaces and bracelets, and I have included a few of our favorite basic options below. Or learn how to use letter beads to make a name necklace (personalized with any word or phrase you like) including mom, mum, nana, or grandma!
Young children should string large-hole beads that are at least 8mm and up. Small hands still working on fine motor control have trouble with smaller beads, so bigger beads such as pony beads are best for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners.
- 2mm glass seed beads
- 4mm multi-colored seed beads
- 8mm round mixed gemstone beads
- 4mm bicone crystal faceted beads
- 6mm round faceted crystal glass beads
- 8mm glass faceted beads
- 8mm colorful acrylic beads in ink patterns
- Pony Beads for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners (perfect for small hands learning to string beads)
- Charm bead set for jewelry making
- Jewelry-making beads starter kit
- Colored wooden beads
- Or click the link to learn how to–> Color Wooden Beads.
Homemade Beading Projects to Try Now
Below you will find links to the beading projects we have made. We will add to this list as we make more jewelry tutorials. I didn’t want to describe how to start and finish a necklace or bracelet for each post, so I figured I’d start with this one–lol–enjoy!
Fun DIY Beaded Necklace Ideas
- DIY Personalized Name or Word Necklace
- Mom Necklace Gift Idea
- Mother-Daughter Necklace or Bracelet Set
- Alphabet Necklace
- Beaded Felt Flower Lei Necklace
Easy Beaded Bracelet Tutorial
DIY Necklaces with Homemade Charms
- Acorn Marble Necklace
- DIY Picture Necklace Photo Jewelry
- Fingerprint Art Necklace
- Thumbprint Heart Necklace
- Fingerprint Flower Necklace
- Painted Wooden Spool Necklace
Other Beading Projects to Try
- DIY Sea Glass Wind Chime
- Sea Glass Suncatchers
- Rainbow Pony Bead Prism Suncatcher
- Heart Prism Pony Bead Suncatcher
- Snowflake Ornaments
Beginning Jewelry Making Tutorials for Kids and Adults
I hope you enjoyed these DIY jewelry-making tutorials and simple ideas for beginners. Use this easy step-by-step jewelry-making tutorial to learn how to start and finish a beaded necklace or bracelet.
Have any questions or other tutorials you’d like me to write? Leave a comment below or use the contact button at the top of the page.
Learn more about us HERE–> Rhythms of Play