Project 107-2
Beading Lesson
Using a Bead Board


by Katie Hacker
click to close this project window
click to print this project window

A bead board is a must-have tool for planning jewelry designs. It allows you to see what a design will look like before you string it, plus it provides a nice work surface and you can organize beads and findings while you work.

When beginning a jewelry design, lay the beads in the channels to give you an idea of what the design will look like once it's strung. Arrange the beads in the outer channel until you are happy with the pattern. An easy way is to start in the center of the necklace and work your way to the ends.

Using a bead board allows you to arrange and re-arrange the pattern before you string it. That way you don't have to re-string the entire design if you find out that you don't have enough beads to complete the pattern you have in mind.

Use the measurements on the outside of the bead board to determine how long the design will be. For example, a pattern that reaches 8 both sides would make a 16" necklace, which is standard length for a choker. But don't forget to include the clasp, which will add another 1/2 - 1 1/2".

Standard jewelry lengths are:

  • Choker: 15-16"
  • Princess necklace: 18-20"
  • Matinee necklace: 23-27"
  • Bracelet: 7"
  • Anklet: 9-10"

To make a graduated multiple strand design, lay beads in all three channels. Remember that the outermost strand will be the longest, so plan accordingly when designing the piece.

click to close this project window
click to print this project window