How to Design Jewelry With Semiprecious Beads

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    Semi-Precious Beaded Strands

    • 1). Select the desired type of semiprecious bead for your jewelry design. Top-drilled beads will hang below the jewelry strand; center-drilled beads will be in line with the other beads on the jewelry strand.

    • 2). Select smaller crystal and/or pearl beads ranging from 3mm to 6mm in a shape and color that coordinates with the semiprecious stones. Crystal bicones, rondelles, ovals and other faceted crystal beads have a cut and sparkle that pairs well with a variety of semiprecious stones. These beads are the filler beads between the semiprecious stone beads; they should be smaller so they will not overpower the semiprecious beads in the design. Glass pearls also pair beautifully with semiprecious beads. They are also available in a variety of colors.

    • 3). Place the largest semiprecious bead in the center of the necklace/bracelet groove on a bead design board. Bead design boards are covered with felt and have separate open compartments to hold the beads while you create your designs. Many design boards also have a U-shaped groove that runs near the inside perimeter with measurements, so you can layout your jewelry by length. Other bead design boards have a straight groove with measurements.

    • 4). Arrange additional semiprecious beads along the groove in equal increments. For example, if you place one bead 1/2 inch to the left of the center bead, place another similar size bead 1/2 inch to the right of the center bead. Create a symmetrical jewelry strand design by placing the same number of beads on the left and the right of the center bead.

    • 5). Fill in between the semiprecious beads with smaller crystals and/or glass pearls. Use one or the other or mix the two by centering a pearl between two similar sized crystals, or vice versa.

    Semi-Precious Earrings

    • 1). Select a headpin slightly longer than the desired length of the semiprecious earring. When you make the earring, 1/4 inch of the end of the headpin wire will be used to make a loop. Design the beads to fit on the headpin with at least 1/4 inch left open at the end.

    • 2). Slide a center-drilled semiprecious bead over the open end of the headpin to the bottom of the headpin. Add one 4mm crystal or pearl bead to match the jewelry strand design, followed by another semiprecious stone. Continue to alternate the semiprecious stones and the 4mm stones for the length of the headpin, less a 1/4 inch at the top.

    • 3). Alter the design by removing all of the beads except the first semiprecious bead. Add a row of 4mm pearls or 4mm crystals for the length of the headpin, less 1/4 inch. When designing earrings using headpins, you can change the design as often as you like before you bend the headpin. The beads slide on and off easily, allowing you to hold the piece in front of you and watch how the light catches the beads when the headpin dangles.

    • 4). Alter the design by removing all of the beads, leaving the first semiprecious stone. Add one 4mm pearl followed by one 4mm crystal for the length of the headpin, less 1/4 inch.

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