Girls’ Birthday Bracelet Beading Party

© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved.

Birthday Bracelet Beading Parties, by Rena Klingenberg - Jewelry Making Journal

A birthday bracelet beading party for girls age 5 and up is guaranteed to be a big hit.

Most girls are thrilled with the opportunity to make jewelry, and parents appreciate that you’re providing both the party favors (the bracelets the girls make to take home) and the party activity (making the bracelets).

This is one girl’s bracelet from a beading party I did:

How I Discovered
This Beading Party Niche

I discovered this home party niche by accident a few years ago when I was asked if I could do a jewelry make-and-take craft at a 9-year-old girl’s birthday party.

The girl’s mom and I decided on gemstone bead bracelets because necklaces would be too expensive, and not everyone has pierced ears for earrings.

So I came to the birthday party with all the necessary supplies for making bracelets.

I brought my bead boxes, bead boards for everyone, a tape measure for measuring wrists, accuflex beading wire, little sterling silver toggle clasps, velvet pouches for everyone, and a couple of example bracelets.

I couldn’t believe what a huge hit this beading party was!

The girls absolutely devoured the project and were thrilled to have real pearls and gemstones on their bracelets.

Now I get calls regularly asking me to come do a bracelet birthday beading party for another girl.

And every time I do one, more parties get scheduled from it because the girls enjoy it so much.

Bracelet birthday parties are very easy to do, and they can also earn you a nice profit.

Bracelet Birthday Beading Party Tips by Rena Klingenberg

An example bracelet I showed to the jewelry making group.

Pricing Your Parties Profitably

Important:

The prices I noted here were current when I first wrote this article a few years ago.

So please adjust your pricing for profitability at current prices of jewelry supplies!

I charge $15 per girl for parties of 9 or fewer girls, and $14 per girl for beading parties of 10 or more.

I include a small velvet pouch for each girl to store her bracelet in.

I bring bead boxes that are organized by bead color – and as you might guess, pink and purple are DEFINITELY the most popular beads every time! Fortunately, rose quartz is very inexpensive! :o)

Blue beads are the next most popular color.

My birthday party beads all cost me $6 or less per 16″ strand, and my average profit is around $10 to $12 per girl.

Update:

I found that bringing individually packaged kits worked better for me, instead of bringing boxes of beads for the children to choose from. Kits are neater, easier, and faster.

See my tips on Putting Together Kits for Beading Parties.

It usually takes me about an hour to get things ready to go to the birthday beading party, drive there, and set up; about another hour to do the bracelet activity with the girls; and another hour to put everything away, chat, eat a piece of birthday cake, give out bracelet birthday party flyers and business cards, and then drive home.

So for 3 hours total, I usually net anywhere from $70 to $200 and have a lot of fun with the girls.

Tips for Successful
Bracelet Birthday Parties

Birthday party activities are a very hot market niche, I’ve discovered, and I recommend trying it out if it sounds at all interesting to you. For a successful birthday bracelet beading party, the keys are to:

* enjoy kids,
* have a sense of fun,
* bring a lot of pink and purple beads (along with other colors), and
* wear comfortable clothes because you’ll likely be sitting on the floor.

At home, before I go to the party, I cut beading wire into 10″ pieces and attach each of these pieces to one end of a toggle clasp with a crimp bead as a sort of starter bracelet.

I always bring about 30% extra of these starter bracelets in case there are last minute guests – and also because sometimes other family members want to join the fun and bead a bracelet too!

At one party, the birthday girl’s dad even made one for Grandma who had missed the party.

(Note: 10 inches is way more than most of the girls need, but some older girls do have very large wrists, and I don’t want to make anyone feel bad because her size is bigger than anyone else’s. So I give everyone a strand that’s the same long length, and there are no hurt feelings.)

Running the Actual Beading Activity

When I arrive at the birthday beading party location, I bring all my things into the party, asking the girls to help me (which they are thrilled to do!).

We take the lids off all the bead boxes and put them in the middle of the floor area where we’ll be working.

Usually the all the excited birthday party girls are oohing and aahing over the beads by this point.

Then I have the girls all sit in a circle on the floor around the bead boxes, and I pass around the bead boards and starter bracelets (the 10″ beading wires with one clasp end attached).

Also at this point I hand out the little velvet pouches for storing their finished bracelets; if I wait till the end of the activity, I always forget to give out the pouches.

While I’m passing these things out, I tell the group that they are jewelry designers today, and that they’re going to be working with genuine gemstones and pearls plus a sterling silver clasp.

I also mention that the bracelet they make today will be so beautiful that they will be proud to give it to their own daughter or granddaughter someday as a family heirloom.

Then I pass around my three example bracelets – each a very different design using completely different beads.

I tell them that they won’t be copying these designs, just learning something from them.

I explain, “One thing to think about as you create your bracelet is that the most interesting designs use contrasts. Contrasts can be shapes, colors, sizes, or other things. Can you see how these example bracelets use contrasts?”

Then I take back the the examples and measure everyone’s wrist with my tape measure. I show each girl where on her bead board her first and last beads will go to make the right length of bracelet.

Then I just help wherever help is needed till the girls are done.

While I’m helping the girls make their bracelets, they always want to know how I got into making jewelry.

So I tell them about how doing something I love turned me into an entrepreneur, that I build my own websites, and that I invent my own job for myself every day by following opportunities that come up and thinking creatively about things.

They’re inspired by that, and I’m glad to plant seeds for future entrepreneurs during the beading party!

As each girl finishes designing and stringing her creation, I try her bracelet on her wrist before finishing off the other end of the clasp. I want to be sure of a good, comfortable fit with just a little room to grow!

If the length isn’t quite right, I tell them how many beads they need to add or subtract.

When the length is just right, I finish off the other end of the clasp with a crimp bead, and fasten the beautiful new bracelet on the wrist of its excited designer.

HOT TIP:

Teenage girls and grownup girls love this type of party too!

The Fun Final Touch!

I always suggest to the birthday girl’s parents that they get a photo of all the newly braceleted wrists together, which everybody enjoys doing!

Birthday party girls model their new bracelets at a jewelry birthday party by Clare DeRosa.

Happy young jewelry designers at one of
Gina Rower’s bracelet making jewelry parties
(be sure to visit this link for more great ideas
for your beading birthday parties!).

How to Schedule
Birthday Bracelet Beading Parties

Make Flyers

To reach the bracelet beading party niche, I recommend making a nice flyer with a few enticing bracelet photos, a photo showing a selection of cool beads (including some tempting pink and purple beads!), a brief party description, and your contact info.

See my Beading Birthday Party Flyer, including tips for creating and distributing it.

Include a flyer for each birthday party guest to take home (most of the girls who are guests at one of my birthday beading parties want to have their own parties).

Also give the birthday girl’s parents half a dozen of your flyers, and ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing the flyers with anyone else they know who might be interested. They’re usually thrilled with the hugely successful (and easy) birthday party they’ve just hosted – and their word-of-mouth recommendation to their friends and co-workers (along with one of your flyers) is some of the best advertising you can get!

Other likely places to distribute birthday bracelet beading party flyers (with permission) include ballet / dance / gymnastics studios where girls take lessons; soccer / softball games; craft stores; and pottery painting stores.

Also inquire at your local public and private elementary schools about including your flyers in students’ weekly take-home folders. Many schools are happy to do this if you provide the flyer copies.

Try Local Advertisements

Here’s a successful ad I placed a few years ago in a local grade school’s student directory (remember, this ad reflects prices from a few years ago!):

If you decide to try advertisements, aim for local publications that target parents or children. My ad in the school directory did well because it targeted families with children of the right age group.

Note: I am no longer available to do beading parties, but I hope that this post gives you all the necessary information for you to start hosting birthday beading parties as part of your jewelry business.

~ Rena

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  • Pam Halloran says:

    Rena,

    I just had my first girls birthday beading party, from all my reading here I decided to take the plunge.

    I’ve been bead shopping and preparing, but was a little disappointed with the results. There were 9 nine year olds at this party. I had prepared a short talk on what we were going to do and how these were real gemstones. I also briefly went through the color wheel and how bracelets can be done monochromatic, complimentary etc. I was all excited….the girls went up and got there beads.

    Some just got 12-15 beads and strung them on the clasp and were done in 15 minutes. Others I was surprised with how well they chose there colors, shapes and pattern for the bracelet.

    Overall, the group as an average made their bracelets in about 35 minutes. How does everyone make this into a 1-1 1/2 party length.

    I thought I was well prepared, but not for them to be finished in that short of a time. It seemed as if they all just wanted to move on with the rest of the party celebration.

    Please share your thoughts and ideas. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting this business started, but I don’t want to get discouraged. Any help with positive and negative comments would be well appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Pam
    Build-A-Bracelet Bead Parties

  • Hi Pam,

    Each group of girls is a little different – so you never quite know what to expect! 🙂

    And the younger the girls are at the party, the more likely they are to be excited, hyped up on sugar, and focused on keeping up with the rest of the group – so their attention span is likely to be short.

    Also, at parties where the parents have lots of activities lined up, the girls are often so excited to do it all that they rush through each activity to get on to the next one, and the next – and they don’t really slow down enough to fully experience any of it!

    Sometimes girls are worried about being left out when the crowd races on to the next activity, so they’re distracted and rush through their bracelet to avoid being left behind when the group hurries on to the next thing.

    And of course each girl is different – some will quickly choose a handful of beads, randomly string them, and be happy with the result.

    Other girls will painstakingly examine your whole bead collection, select each individual bead carefully, and re-arrange them several times on their beadboard before they start stringing.

    At some parties one or two girls decide to spend more time making their bracelet and stay with me instead of doing the next activity.

    But it sounds like your part of the party was a success, Pam. I don’t think 35 minutes sounds too fast. Because the party is also the gifts, cake, socializing / playing / games, and any other activity the parents planned.

    Also, I like your idea of showing them the color wheel and talking about color theory – neat idea!

    I think you’ll find that when you do parties for older girls, they’ll spend much more time selecting their beads and designing their bracelets. I’ve had some pretty lengthy jewelry making sessions with teen girls.

  • Lisa Yang says:

    You give such great information and so many details. Thanks Rena! I’m going to make a flyer. Luckily, my daughter is 12, so I can try it out for her next birthday party, or offer to just host a party with some of her friends to see how it goes.
    Best –
    Lisa

  • Donna says:

    What a wonderful idea. I think I would love doing these parties. I have been a pediactric nurse for 20+ years so working with all ages of girls would be right up my ally and I will make money too. How much better could it get?

  • Gretchen says:

    Hey Rena,
    I’m really excited about trying this out! Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. My one question is, how do you handle payment? Do they pay you before the day of the party or when you arrive? How does that work? Any help would be great!
    Thanks,
    Gretchen

  • Thanks for all the lovely comments! 🙂

    Gretchen, I’ve learned that as much as possible, it’s best to operate the way established businesses do – collect payment up front for things.

    However, because the final head count of people making bracelets isn’t certain until after the bracelet activity begins, it’s hard to collect payment up front. (Sometimes more or fewer girls than expected attend the party – and sometimes the adults or other relatives decide to make a bracelet too.)

    But I’ve never had a problem with the birthday girl’s parents paying gladly at the end of the party. They appreciate the great activity / party favor, and that you provided a major part of the party!

    Be sure to leave the parents with some of your beading birthday party flyers to share with other parents.

  • Beading Bash says:

    Hi Rena,

    I’ve been reading you for so long, but never had a chance to write you.
    I this article was of a great importance to me, as it gave me good guidance in starting my beading parties.

    I started my business recently, already had 2 parties (one adult and one 6-7 y.o.). All of them had a blast.
    The birthday girl received a gift made by me (a bracelet) in nice pouch, everybody had beading boards in front and decorative pouch, I helped them with attaching the toggles.
    However, not a lot of business was generated (I moved to a different country, so I’m still establishing my network). I do have FB account and I believe the word is slowly getting out there. Gave couple of my friends flyers to post at their place of work, so keep fingers crossed.

    You can see photos on my website: beadingbash.ca

    Regards,
    Marija

  • marion says:

    Fabulous ideas and beautifully detailed. In addition to my jewelry business, I am a teacher. Your post read like an excellent lesson plan that I could use in my classroom!! In fact several years ago I did a hemp bracelet with our 7th and 8th graders. It was really tricky getting everything together. I only wish I had your post back then. Your organization and information are much admired. Thank you!

  • Thank you, Marion! That means a lot to me, coming from a teacher. Children usually really get into making a jewelry project – so as well as being a fun time for all, I love the new perspectives I get from seeing the project and materials through their eyes.

  • Ashley says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this post! I’m not looking to get into the birthday party business, but when my daughter requested that we make bracelets for her 5 year old princess party craft I got a little bit nervous. This is so helpful to know how I should direct the girls and what to expect while helping them make their bracelets.

  • Lori Cahan-Simon says:

    I have some of the same questions. I’m going to start the kids’ jewelry parties, but haven’t done any yet. I’m concerned about how long it will take them to make their bracelets and what to do after to keep those who finish early occupied. I was thinking of supplying cheap plastic beads with stretch cord for those who run through the activity quickly. I am also debating the relative merits of making up kits ahead of time vs. providing bead boxes with choices. Also, memory wire might be an easier finish for me to do, but would that take even less time for the kids to make? Oy, so many questions! I look forward to hearing from you all. I need help for sure. Feeling nervous, but really looking forward to starting my new business. Thank you, Rena!!

  • I used to let the children choose their own beads – but understandably, some took FOREVER to choose their beads and I had to rush them along so they’d have time to make their bracelet before time to go home.

    Also, despite everyone’s best intentions, my bead boxes wound up in a mess every time I had the children choose their own beads. I decided kits were neater, easier, and faster.

    The only way I might have them choose their own beads is if I brought a “bead soup” box of all sorts of beads mixed together.

    I never did a memory wire bracelet party, but it sounds like a good option. One possible hitch with younger children might be that the memory wire end can poke and scratch if the kids aren’t careful while stringing their beads onto it.

    Don’t worry about your jewelry activity not taking up enough time (see the discussion in the comments above) – everything will work out fine, and a good time will be had by all! 🙂

  • Lori Cahan-Simon says:

    Thanks for your response, Rena.

    So, now I’m thinking about the kits and what to put in and how many beads. How do you figure out what’s the right number and mix of beads? What if there are extra beads they don’t use? Do you ask them to return them to a bowl or a box? What if there aren’t enough of the ones they like or they don’t like some of the beads in the kit? Do you bring extras to switch them out? Do you have extra kits and they get to choose among them?

    I bought a bunch of beads the other day, but there weren’t many actual gemstone strands cheap enough. Which stones do you all use? I also bought 99 cent strands of pretty glass pearls in different sizes. How do you differ your offerings for the younger and older crowds?

    Where do you look to keep up with what’s popular with the different ages?

    I have been reading Rena’s blogs and I really like the wire edge ribbon as packaging idea, as opposed to the organza bags. I’m wondering if the folding could be used as an activity after the bracelet making. I could come with the sections precut. But would it hold a bracelet or would it need to be glued on the sides? On the other hand, you can buy a package of 10 organza 3″x4″ bags for $1.40. That’s certainly cheap enough.

    I was also curious as to whether you have contracts, expect partial payment up front, have cancellation fees, etc. If so, can you share a sample here?

    Do you supply or send out invitations with your proprietary information on it?

    Who takes the pic of the girls’ arms after, you or the host?

    Whew! I’m really looking forward to hearing your answers. As you can see, I have a lot of questions.

    best wishes to all,
    Lori

  • Hi Lori, you can read how I put my kits together here:
    Putting Together Kits for Beading Parties.

    Also, don’t worry – whatever you decide to do, the children and parents will love it and be thrilled with what you provided. 🙂

    So relax completely, have fun with this, and don’t over-plan or over-think it. Keep it very simple and let things go with the flow when you get to the party.

    When you do activities with kids, previously-made plans don’t always work, so don’t plan too much.

    It’s best to focus on simply getting the jewelry supplies into the children’s hands, giving them a minimal amount of instruction, and enabling them to enjoy creating jewelry together.

    That’s all it takes for a successful party. The parents will take care of everything else, and the kids will have fun no matter what you do. Your part is easy and fun.

    I’ve never done contracts for these parties, although you certainly can if you want to. A partial payment up front and cancellation fees might be a good idea too. You can see my comment above for Gretchen about how I handled payment.

    I always let the parents be in charge of choosing and sending out whatever invitations they (and the birthday girl) chose, since the party was at their home and the beading activity was just one part of the overall birthday party (there’s always cake, games, gifts, socializing, etc. too).

    But if you wanted to create jewelry birthday party invitations and offer that option to the parents, they might appreciate that.

    Anyone who’s there can take pictures of the girls’ arms, especially since nearly everyone has a camera in their phone these days. Usually the parents take photos, and sometimes I took them too.

    Good luck and have fun!

  • This is a great activity for teen girls! Thanks for sharing the lovely bracelets too!

  • What a GREAT and FUN idea for a girls party. I love the pictures at the end of the party with everyone showing off their beautiful bracelets. I would have loved this when I was young. I’m passing on the info to my sisters/sisters-in laws who still have young girls. Your tutorial is so good and thorough.

  • Theresa says:

    What wonderful information. When my granddaughter is a little older this will be perfect.

  • Linda says:

    Wonderful idea! I know my girls would love a beading party. A friend of mine does this with her ceramics business. She brings all the supplies and all those attending the birthday party get to decorate their own pot. It was a huge hit. Good luck with this birthday party niche

  • Linda says:

    I know girls would love this kind of party! Thanks for all the great info!

  • Heather Mills says:

    I have done a few parties along this idea. One was a birthday party for 9 year old girls and I just did a party at my home (just for fun) for about 10 people ranging from 5 years old to 65 years old. I also lead a jewelry workshop at a couple of ladies’ retreats (25 to a workshop). I always make up kits and it seems to work really well. I usually have 3 different color options of the same style (which I know wouldn’t work for everyone). In my experience–which is usually with adults who are less adventurous, I think–they love the idea of actually making their own jewelry, but don’t have the confidence to create their own design. I give them instructions but let them do everything (even attaching clasps) themselves. I might consider doing more of these as everyone seems to have a blast! The kits work like a charm and they always have the flexibility to do whatever they want with whatever is in their kit. I hope this info helps someone out there looking to start up something along these lines.

  • Chrissy says:

    What a great idea. I have a daughter turning 13 and one turning 5. I think they both enjoy this kind of a party.

  • sara says:

    Great article, and so nice of you to share all that wisdom! I’ve done a girls b-day party where we made organza flowers, and that was a hit too!

  • Kristin says:

    Thanks to all for the great information! I do have one question for everyone: What is the minimum age that you would consider to be old enough to participate in this type of activity? I’ve been contacted by someone who is interested in a party for 8-year-olds. I’ve been told that 8 is too young (attention span and dexterity issues). I’ve tried to teach my 6-year-old niece in the past and it was like trying to herd cats! In your opinions, what is the ideal age niche?

  • Hi Kristin,

    It really depends on the group of children, and what else is going on during the party.

    One of the first times I provided the jewelry birthday party activity, it was for a group of 9-year-olds. They were well-behaved and concentrated on the activity – and created some nice looking bracelets. However, they’d been swimming for about 2 hours straight before the jewelry making, so they were probably ready for a more restful activity.

    At other parties, with lots of music, activities, etc., it’s hard to get the party guests to sit and focus long enough to make a piece of jewelry because they’re too worried about missing out on something else that’s going on.

    I would ask the parent hosting the party about what else is planned for the party, and how likely it is that particular group of children would sit down and complete a jewelry activity before jumping up again.

    If you’re concerned about children being too young, you might also consider a quicker and simpler jewelry project instead of a bracelet.

    Wishing you a wonderful time with your jewelry parties, Kristin! 🙂

  • Annie says:

    Great ideas! I’ve done something similar to this for my own daughters’ birthday parties but I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas for making things a little smoother.

    I had a question, Rena. You mentioned giving each of the attendees their own bead board. Do you use the regular ones you buy at the craft stores or something a little easier to pack? I’m just imagining having to buy and store that many bead boards (if you figure between 10-12 people) and didn’t know if there are any that are a bit flatter and easier to pack up.

    Thanks for always sharing such great ideas. I always learn something from you and from everyone who comments.

  • Thanks for asking, Annie! For jewelry-making parties and workshops, I’ve used the type of beadboard you can see in this post (photo 2 shows more of the board): How Do You String Your Beads?.

    They nest together very well, and a stack of 10 or 12 of them isn’t overly bulky. Many online suppliers have beadboards similar to these – and if you order 10 or 12 of them, you can often get a lower price per beadboard.

    Thanks for your lovely comment, and I wish you lots of fun and good luck at your jewelry parties and workshops! 🙂

  • Denisa Ballard says:

    Can you recommend websites where you buy your beads and other supplies?

  • I often shop on Etsy.com. There bazillions of jewelry suppliers there, and you can find what you’re looking for by using the search bar at the top of the Etsy website. 🙂

  • Rena, thanks so much for providing all this info. It is very generous of you! I have one question: what kind of beading wire do you use? Michele

  • Chris h says:

    Thank you, Rena, for a wonderfully magical encouraging idea. I used to teach art in public schools and wondered how I could fit int a VERY competitive niche here with jewelry makers and beaders in the Washington DC metro area. I might try this after the Holidays- what a GREAT resourse and inspiration you are to so many of us. Thank you!
    Chris H

  • Chris, I’m so delighted that this idea is inspiring you! Let me know how your jewelry parties go! 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    What an amazing business idea!!!! Where do you purchase your beads?

  • For this purpose, I shop on Etsy for beads.

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