Beading with Wire: A Few Basics

In our market place today we have several choices in what kind of wire to use for stringing beads into jewelry. These wires vary in strength, flexibility, material and color. Beading wire is measured by gauge and categorized by a number. The higher the number the thinner will be the wire. Stringing beads with wire also require a pair of wire cutters for cutting into desired lengths for each project.

What works best for stringing beads into jewelry pieces is the most durable types of wire. Types of wire include stretch elastic wire, thread or cord, and woven strands of stainless steel wire coated with nylon.

The woven strands of stainless steel wire is usually waterproof, flexible and hypoallergenic. You can find colors in stainless steel wire that coordinate with your beads. Thick wire is probably best for resisting breakage. Large diameter wire is best for jewelry items that most likely will withstand a lot of movement. Medium diameter works well for almost any kind of jewelry projects. A small diameter wire works well with light weight beads such as pearls and/or seed beads.

Sterling silver wire comes in hard and soft textures. The less expensive option is silver, gold or copper plated wire which gives about the same look. Some people are allergic to expensive materials while others are allergic to inexpensive materials and might be about all the difference there is in these two types of wire material.

You can also use elastic cord for bead stringing. It is best to use the thickest diameter that will work with the beads you use. Elastic cord is great for adjustable jewelry. You don’t have the added expense of a clasp. Elastic cord is also good to use for children’s jewelry. You can find elastic cord in different colors as well as clear.

Thread is used for bead stitching and making fringe. To avoid excessive tangling buy a “waxed” beading thread.

Other types of cord include waxed linen which knots very well. If you want to string pendants use leather cord or waxed cotton cord.

Just a few basics about bead wire…..

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings:

Meet Sasha
dangle earrings sasha

Sasha is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Fancy Collection of handmade dangle earrings. She dangles about 2 inches from the hook.

Materials Used:
2 Silver Plated French Fish Earring Hooks
10 Silver Plated Head Pins
2 Silver Plated Eye Pins
2 Glass Faceted Round Light Pink Beads 8 mm
20 Silver Plated Jump Rings 5 mm
12 Teardrop Shape Blue/Green Magne (D/S) Beads

Sasha’s Price: $15 includes FREE shipping

Purchase Sasha here: Carmilita’s Earrings