How to Make a Strong Beaded Bracelet

© by Brenda New; all rights reserved.

Here are some tips on how to make a strong, high quality, handmade beaded bracelet that will last for years.

Green lampwork beaded bracelet by Brenda New

Use High Quality
Stringing Material

First, in order to make a strong beaded bracelet, it’s important to make certain that you’re using the best components available.

I use either Soft Flex or Beadalon in 49-strand, medium strength for most of my bracelets. If you’re using beads with small holes such as with some pearls, you may have to use the lighter 19-strand weight. In any case, use the strongest, highest-strand stringing material that will fit the holes in your beads.

Don’t use fishing line or nylon string to make durable bracelets. Use nylon coated stainless steel.

Be Careful
Not to String too Tightly

The second tip to making a strong beaded bracelet is to make certain that you are not stringing your handcrafted beaded bracelet too tight to prevent it from being pliable. Make certain that your bracelet isn’t too stiff when you bend it in a circle, prior to crimping the crimp bead.

Yet another way to alleviate breakage of your handmade beaded bracelet is to make certain that the loop you create beyond the crimp bead that goes through the clasp is not too small or tight. Your clasp should move freely to prevent stress and friction on the stringing material, which over time could cause your bracelet to break.

Protect the Stringing Wire

Use a wire guardian to protect the stringing material if your clasp has a sharp or 90-degree edge where the stringing material passes through.

Bali Beauty beaded bracelet by Brenda New

Size the Bracelet to the Wearer

Another way to reduce strain on your handmade beaded bracelet is to make certain that it’s the correct size for the person wearing it.

If the bracelet is too tight, it will place unecessary stress on the bracelet. This is especially true when the bracelet has a toggle clasp, and the wearer has to try to pull the bar end through the round part of the clasp.

The proper way to find the correct bracelet size is to measure the wrist and add 1 1/2 inches. If using large beads (10mm or greater) you may need to add length to accommodate the large bead diameter.

Choose Crimp Beads Carefully
and Use Them Correctly

Finally, use high quality crimp beads that are the correct size. I usually use 2mm sterling silver or 14K goldfill crimps.

Use a crimping tool properly to secure the crimp bead. Don’t “smash” the crimp bead after crimping, because this will cause additional stress and friction on the stringing material.

Caring for a Beaded Bracelet

Lastly, take care of your handcrafted beaded bracelet. Try not to wear it during sports where it can get caught on something and break.

I suggest not getting chemicals on your beads that might damage or stain them, especially pearls. I remove my bracelets while housecleaning or doing dishes.

Also, please don’t use silver dip to clean your jewelry. Use a jewelry cloth. To inhibit tarnishing I keep my silver and gold jewelry in small, closed zip locked plastic bags.

If you follow these steps and suggestions, you will be certain that your handcrafted beaded bracelets can be worn for many years.

Author Brenda New of creates stunning handmade beaded designer jewelry custom made in your size.

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  • Cory says:

    Thanks for a great article. Definitely words to live by. One other thing I have done is add an additional crimp on each end and use a crimp cover to make it look more beautiful.

  • Another thought to mention, if you are using a lobster claw style or hook clasp, is that you MUST use a closed or soldered jump ring on the opposite end of the clasp. I know it may sound absurd, that anyone might use an open jump ring to complete a strand, but I am a jewelry instructor, and I cannot tell you how many of my students have told me they learned to end a bracelet or necklace with an open jump ring! THEN they wonder why the bracelet or necklace strand “breaks”. No kidding!

  • Pat Gray says:

    Excellent advice, I guess it’s time to by that heavier wire… and better cutters!

  • Denise Wootton says:

    A trick I picked up on getting the length right. After you measure and determine the correct length to fit your wrist, if using big beads, add extra soft flex equal to 3 extra beads. This will accommodate the extra thickness.

  • Rita Krason says:

    Just stopped in and I wish I would have the tips here about 5 years ago when I first started making jewelry. The biggest lesson I learned about 2 years ago was the beading wire. I really love the Beadalon 49 strand and I don’t use anything else. It’s saved me a lot of rebeading for sure.

    Thanks for the tips and I would like to comment about something I do for my jewelry pieces. I’ve always done this with my personal jewelry over the years on costume jewelry items, I use a washcloth dipped in warm water and a bit of baby shampoo or baby wash on the items that may have a buildup of body oils or makeup then I dry them with a soft cotton cloth before putting the item away. I use the same method the items I see on EBay and on my webstore before taking photos so the pieces look their best in my listing photos.

    Thanks to all for the tips here. An old dog can learn new tricks I’m finding out.

  • Carol says:

    Great tips, Brenda. Now, if we could just get people to stop thinking they can wear their jewelry ALL the time. Here in Florida, they like to put on a bracelet and wear it to the beach, in pools, in the shower, while sleeping…you name it.

  • Linda B says:

    Great tips. I agree totally with the 49 strand wire – I use it for everything.

    And, Rena, thanks for the cleaning tips. I’ll add that to my collection.

    Generally I have more problems with stretchy bracelets, and prefer to make bracelets with wire – or wire wrapped.

  • Thank you for sharing. Here’s to 49 strand jeweler’s wire and wire guardians!!! I use 49 strand wire and guardians on all my bracelets and necklaces. I can’t tell you how many bracelets and necklace I’ve re-done for customers that have been strung on cheap wire, fishing line or thread-looking stuff. Have a bracelet right now I have to re-do where the wire looks hair thin – no wonder it broke! Use the best quality supplies and your jewelry will last.

  • Kathleen Langone says:

    I agree with previous posts … I always either use 1 crimp + a wire guardian or two crimps. Haven’t had any “bracelet accidents” since using these techniques. I do however have a lot of small whole beads and use “fine” wire.

  • Deborah Blake says:

    This is so helpful to me . I have a habit of pulling my bracelet too tight and they can be too stiff. Now this tip reminds me of the wear and tear it creates. I love these tips. I save them to a folder and refer back to them often. But what is a wire guardian?

  • Nidhi says:

    Many thanks for this informative article

  • Nallery says:

    I always wondered something…what’s the best way to end a bracelet made using stretch wire?

  • Hi Nallery! There’s a discussion about that in the comments below this post:
    Stretch Bracelets – How Do You Hide the Knot

    Although the original topic was hiding the knot, the discussion there also includes other good tips for making stretchy bracelets sturdier.

  • Nallery says:

    Thank you Rena! Got exactly what I needed. This is awesome. Thanks again for everything. I’m sure I’ll have more questions. I apologize in advance 🙂

  • Angela says:

    Great tips! I’m just starting out and wondered why I was having problems already! I never wanted anyone to get something that would break on them right away,now I’ll feel safer. Thanks: Angels creations

  • Linda Finnie says:

    Deborah Blake, a wire guardian is a small horseshoe shaped metal piece with a channel which is semi enclosed (at the ends) that you thread your wire through. The guard then loops through your clasp and protects the wire from rubbing on the clasp. For an example of same see

  • Pam says:

    Need recommendation for strong cord/wire for bead necklaces…Monofilament is breaking, currently trying the beadalon 49, but wanted to just knot it to tie it off….will that work with the 49 strand and a dot of superglue….I have a larger bead to cover the knot….Help!

  • Nallery says:

    Good Morning Everyone, I was wondering if someone could please answer a question for me. I understand that 49 strand wiring is the preferred method for using when making bracelets. My question is this…I understand that 49 strand .019 is for lighter beads but what is used for large beads? What is more durable and would allow the beads to not disintegrate?

  • Fabia says:

    Hi! My question is about the crimp ‘smashing’. When using the crimp tool, do you mean the two steps only? As in, back part then front part of the tool and that’s it? That’s how I do it. I really hope I’m doing that right! Just wondering what the smashing means. Thanks.

  • Makeda Noni says:

    Thank you for this! I recently had a customer tell me her bracelet broke. I tried to make it (too) close to her wrist size, but now I know better. Now I get to save face! Thanks a bunch!

  • I am looking for a way to make a permanent wear bracelet for medical ID that is attractive. Any suggestions?

  • Hi Clarissa, thanks for asking! Here are 2 posts by Elizabeth Wald that may help you:

    Handcrafted Medical Alert Bracelets
    Medic Alert for the Chic and Unique

    I hope this helps, Clarissa! 🙂

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