Spool Beaded Beads

Feb 8, 2013

Aside from having really cool and gently used clothing, my local thrift shop is a great place to find craft supplies for my beading projects! I love to dig through the bins of sewing notions and craft supplies, looking for unusual items that I can use. My three best finds so far include a large package of bone rings for beading around, a tiny sewing kit tucked into a red floral silk pouch, and a bag of old wood spools for making beaded beads.

These wooden spools make great beaded beads because they're so easy to bead around -- all you need is a quick strip of peyote stitch to wrap around the spool, or you can work tubular peyote stitch around the spool itself. I was too lazy to come up with a great charted peyote stitch pattern, but I did want to play with color a little bit and make something bright and cheery to fend off the winter doldrums.

Painting the Spools

Before I started beading around the spools, I used some acrylic paint to give them some color. The gold spools required at least three coats of paint to cover the wood. I didn't use a clear acrylic sealer on the painted spools, but if you do use something like Krylon, make sure it's in a well-ventilated area!

My five-year-old son had a blast helping me paint these spools, so this makes a great activity for snow days when your crafty kids are home from school, too.

Choosing the Beads

Like I said earlier, I wanted to do something cheerful and warm with these beaded beads, so I chose some bright marigold-colored seed beads and some matte silver-lined blue seed beads for the spools themselves. I don't usually use this color palette, but it just felt right when I saw all the beads on my bead board, along with a strand of oval dyed quartz and some vintage gold rounds from A Grain of Sand.

I worked tubular peyote stitch right around the spools themselves, and each one only took me about twenty minutes to bead. It was the perfect evening project to do while I got caught up on episodes of Downton Abbey, and the next day, I had my spool beaded beads all ready for stringing!

Stringing the necklace together was the best part of the project. I finished it with a gold s-clasp and made it just a bit longer than 17" so that I can wear it with my favorite t-shirts in the summer, too. Sometimes, the best beaded beads are the simplest, right?

Once you master the art of easy beaded beads like these, check out the February/March 2013 issue of Beadwork magazine where you'll find the winners of the 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest!

Taking the art of beaded beads to a whole new level, there were five beautiful beaded beads designed by some of today's most talented bead artists, and each entry in the 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest had to use at least one of each bead in their finished design. The range of designs and colors will astound and delight you!

If you can't wait to see who the winners were, you can also download the February/March 2013 Beadwork magazine instantly onto your favorite desktop or laptop computer.

And if you need another reason to get the latest issue of Beadwork Magazine, how about four great beading projects from the brand-new Designers of the Year, new beading tools and book reviews, and twenty more beading projects?

What's your favorite way to make beaded beads, easy or intricate? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,


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lisa123 wrote
on Feb 8, 2013 9:53 AM


That was a very good idea for the spools, I have bags of these I purchased from another crafter over 14yrs ago and only pull them out when the kids come over so they have something to do. Thanks for the tip, I will try this next time they want something to do. Have a wonderful weekend!


Daretobe wrote
on Feb 8, 2013 11:45 AM

Great, now  I finally know what to do with all those spools! Thank you, I love reusing things!

MaryH@172 wrote
on Feb 8, 2013 2:19 PM

I love beaded beads.  My favorite were netted silver-lined matte olive seeds over semi-transparent golden resin round beads.  I strung them together with fancy citrine-colored fancy glass and gold rounds.  

I also like to do beaded beads that are standalone groups of beads with no real center bead.  I did one set, each with 4 white 6mm glass rounds in a row, connected & surrounded with sky blue seeds, and topped with little peach coin pearls.  I strung them together with some cool sky blue lampwork beads fretted with white glass, with more peach pearls as separators.