Bead Bracelet Designs

Kate Miller-Wilson
green and brown bead bracelet

Fun Bead Bracelet Designs

Coming up with bead bracelet designs doesn't have to be difficult. For the simplest designs, all you need to do is play around on your bead board until you find a pattern you like.

This simple bracelet features alternating green and brown glass beads with silver metal spacers. It is strung on stretch cord, so it doesn't have a clasp. To make this design simply choose two colors of beads you like and arrange them on a bead board. When you have a pretty pattern, string them on stretch cord and knot to finish it. Dab a bit of clear nail polish on the knot to secure it.

pink and black acrylic bead bracelet

Light and Airy

Making your bracelet with translucent beads gives the finished piece a light and airy look. Choose one or two colors, such as the pink and black in this bracelet, to keep the design from looking too visually cluttered. Acrylic beads such as the ones used here are affordable and they come in every shape and color you can imagine.

amber bead bracelet

Monochromatic Simplicity

Combining different beads with similar colors is a good way to make a pretty bracelet, and it's also a great way to use up leftover beads from other projects. To make a similar bracelet, sort out amber-colored beads in different shapes and sizes and arrange them on your bead board. Add silver-colored spacer beads to provide a cohesive look.

button and bead bracelet

Buttons and Beads

Whether you collect antique buttons or simply love to browse the button section at the craft store, you can use these handy items to enhance your beaded bracelet. Simply wrap buttons onto wire and combine them with your favorite beads for a bracelet with an unexpected twist.

glass and metal bracelet

Experimenting with Shapes

Square metal beads add an unexpected touch to an otherwise simple bracelet design. The red and black lampwork beads add visual interest. When using complex beads like the ones in this example, keep the design very simple. There's nothing wrong with simply alternating between two different types of beads when they are both as beautiful as the ones used here.

natural stone bracelet

Natural Wonders

The natural tones and textures of gemstone beads give bracelets a different look. To make this design you'll need a variety of gemstone beads, silver-colored wire, a silver-colored clasp, and chain-nose pliers.

For each link make a wire loop using your pliers, and then string a bead on the wire. Close it with another loop. For your next link, catch the loop of the previous link in the new loop. Continue until your bracelet is the desired length.

large and small bead bracelet

Size and Perspective

As a general rule, bracelets made with larger beads are much more dramatic. If you don't like jewelry that is too bulky you can try mixing larger beads with smaller spacers to limit the weight of the finished piece.

To make a bracelet like the one shown here, you'll need six large glass beads in one tone, 12 metal spacer beads, and six plain glass or gemstone round beads. Arrange the beads on your bead board, and string them on stretch cord.

personalized bracelet

Personalized Bracelets

Make a sweet handmade gift by using alphabet beads to spell out the recipient's first name. As an alternative, you can make bracelets featuring inspirational words like peace, love, hope, dream, laugh, or create.

To make this type of bracelet, choose the letter beads you need and then build the rest of the bracelet to show off those beads. Consider choosing the recipient's favorite color, as well as pretty metal spacer beads. String everything on stretch cord for a one-size-fits-all design.

artisan bead bracelet

Geometric Prints

Beads with geometric designs etched on them make for a bracelet that is sure to impress. You can invest in a few handmade beads from a local craft show, and then echo their design with metal beads in a similar shape and texture. Add faceted glass beads for a little extra sparkle. To show off artisan beads, keep the rest of your colors neutral.

metal bead bracelet

Precious Metals

Identical gold, silver, and copper-colored beads make for a versatile bracelet that can be worn with almost anything in your wardrobe. Alternatively, choose different bead styles in the same metal tone. Either way, you'll end up with a beautiful neutral-tone design. Add an eye-catching clasp for extra oomph.

pottery bead bracelet

Pottery Style Beads

Beads inspired by the look of native American pottery add flair to any jewelry making project. This simple design shows off the large ceramic beads by keeping the metal spacer beads and black round beads simple. Even if you don't use handmade beads for your bracelet, you can find similar styles at your local craft store.

stone chip bracelet

Simple Stone Chips

Combining stone chips with funky metal beads makes for a bracelet with a unique look. To make this simple design choose stone chips in your desired colors, add some metal spacer beads for texture, and string everything on stretch cord.

For a refresher on the basic techniques of bracelet beading, check out How to Make a Bead Bracelet.

Kate Miller-Wilson
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Bead Bracelet Designs