Simple is Beautiful: Bead-weaving Designs for the 21st Century

Jul 18, 2014

Maybe it's from my practice of yoga and meditation, but these days I'm finding a greater appreciation in the simple and the small when it comes to my bead-weaving designs and projects. Being inspired by some of the great designs I see on social media, I'm really enjoying the practice of letting the beads speak for themselves. Don't get me wrong -- there are plenty of gorgeous and well-made bead-weaving designs that are incredibly intricate and detailed. But as one of my good friends put it, doing a simple piece beautifully can really be more of a challenge than going for an over-the-top piece of beadwork.

Part of the challenge of being able to design a simple, beautiful piece of bead-weaving is knowing when you need to step back and just let the beads do their thing. Aurelio Castano's herringbone stitch bracelets using two-hole bricks and seed beads are simple and sublime: it's the thread path that gets your attention, and the clasp is a sleek, modern finish to the whole look.

That clasp! It certainly caused a stir when these pictures started making the rounds on social media. Aurelio discovered these during a bead shopping trip in New York City, and people immediately began asking where they could get their hands on them. This simple design inspired more beaders to start designing with them, and pretty soon, Shelley Nybakke discovered that these clasps were perfect for pairing with the new etched farfalles from York Beads.

It's been a long time since I've been so inspired to make a beaded bracelet, but I had to try some of these simple bead-weaving designs for myself. So I ordered a handful of these clasps and some of the etched farfalle beads and spent part of a Saturday morning bead-weaving away at the dining room table.

The finished bracelet was supple and light, and I wanted to do more. Digging through my bead stash, I found a hank of aged striped seed beads with copper accents and paired them with one of the rough-etched copper clasps. A simple herringbone stitch (like in Aurelio's design) let the beads take center stage -- no other embellishment or bead-weaving stitch was needed! Excited by the first two bracelets that I completed, I decided to play with a hank of 6mm etched melon beads.

After trying (and failing) to get several different rather intricate thread paths designed for these yummy little glass beads, I realized that they would make more of an impact with a simple bead-weaving design. I started stitching an open base of right-angle weave with boxes just big enough to allow a melon bead to nestle on top. Then I went back (with one incredibly long length of thread) and added the melon beads as an embellishment on top of the right-angle weave base. I glued the edges of the bead-weaving into the clasp, and there it was: inspired by two master bead-weaving artists, I created three new bracelets in just one weekend!

Ready to try a few simple bead-weaving techniques where you can let the beads speak for themselves? Check out the SuperDuo and Twin Collection -- you'll get three of my favorite resources for bead-weaving with shaped beads, plus a beautiful bead kit in your choice of either blue or rose. Each kit includes a copy of Stitching With Shaped Beads: 10 Beaded Projects to Make Using SuperDuos and Twins, Melinda Barta's Beading With Shaped Beads DVD, and a copy of Melinda's Do's and Dont's of Bead Substitutions. There are only a limited number of the SuperDuo and Twin Collection available in the Beading Daily Shop, so grab yours today!

Sometimes, it takes a brave beader to know when to put the ego aside and let the beads do the talking. What's your favorite simple bead-weaving design? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us about it, or better yet, post a picture of it in the Reader Photo Gallery for us to see!

Bead Happy,


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hkurzman wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 4:48 AM

Love the designs & these clasps! Where can I find the clasps?

Marlene@57 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 6:06 AM

I love these bracelets. Where can I order these awesome clasps?

Thank you!

Linda Landy wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 6:17 AM

The herringbone is great, but the clasp makes it. Please give us the source.

Rosemary@52 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 8:14 AM

Please provide the contact information for these clasps.  Got to have the clasp before I start the braceelt!



linda@967 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 8:16 AM

Where do I find the patterns for these bracelets!


Dmm987oh wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 8:44 AM

I'd also like to k of where I can purchase these clasps.  Thank you

LoriF@13 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 8:44 AM

One more request for the source for these can't tease us like that, it's CRUEL!!

LoriF@13 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 8:47 AM

OK, I see the link now for the clasps....*sigh* usual, only available to those who have wholesale access. SO annoying!!

blbs47 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 9:09 AM

I'll join the requests.  Found the clasps from York Beads.  But the herringbone bracelet by Aurelio Castano???  How can we get the instructions?

muskratlove wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 9:14 AM

Another request for the clasps, please!  I'm not seeing a link at all to them - what am I missing? Even if they're wholesale through that link, if I at least know what they're called, I can research and find a retail source.

SheilaB@3 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 9:36 AM

I just went to the York Beads website and there are no claps available there.  Please tell me you didn't publish this newsletter with such a great design only to leave us out in the cold without this GREAT finding?

Lisa234519 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 10:00 AM

These clasps make elegant bracelets even more sophisticated. Can you share where we can order them retail? Thanks, in advance. LisaD in upstate NY

Shelleybl wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 10:06 AM

Love the clasp and the Aurelio bracelet.  Where can I buy the clasp?  Where can I buy the pattern for the Aurelio bracelet?

momcat560 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 10:13 AM

Clasps similar to these are also available online from Too Cute Beads and Artbeads.  And their retail!  :D

muskratlove wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 10:15 AM's impossible to get into York Beads' site. Retail source, please?

on Jul 18, 2014 12:00 PM

If you want those clasps, send Perry Bookstein a message through FB:

possumt509 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 12:30 PM

These look wonderful! I am very interested in these clasps. Can you tell me, specifically what they might be called (Other than "clasps") so that we could search for them and find a vendor that sells them on the internet?? Or, could you tell us what vendor you purchased them from?? Thank you so much!!

JulieTeeples wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 1:07 PM

Thanks for the inspirations. Just like others, can you please tell us where we can purchase the clasps?

jayjvw wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 1:36 PM

Love the blog and these beautiful bracelets.  Can you provide a link or reference for the modern clasps?

blbs47 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 2:09 PM

Sounds like the clasp issue has been solved.  How can we get the instructions for the herringbone with 2-hole bricks and seeds?  Help!!!

on Jul 18, 2014 2:10 PM

Love the herringbone bracelet and the clasp. Where can i get instructions for the bracelet and where can I purchase the clasp. Both incredible.

on Jul 18, 2014 2:11 PM

Love the bracelet and clasp, where can I get them?


Sara JaneP@2 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 2:43 PM

I really, really want to know where to get those clasps.  And does Aurelio Castano sell the pattern for the two-hole and seed bead herringbone bracelet.

pbeadsnyc wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 2:51 PM

If you want those clasps, send Perry Bookstein a message through FB: Jen Say :-) or

cmahoney01 wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 3:25 PM

Shame that you brag about your wonderful magnetic clasp when it can't be purchased by your audience. Why bother reading your email?

BlandinaK wrote
on Jul 18, 2014 7:33 PM

Go to google and type in super duo herringbone bracelet.  It is exactly the same using rula beads.  Super easy.  Cynthia Cane

123bead wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 2:23 AM

I think it is just rude when people are asking you about the pattern and you cant tell them. Seriously!  For those people that are interested you can get free tutorials on YouTube (super duo knit herringbone bracelet)  it will walk you right through the bracelet. I found it doing a Google search for super duo herringbone bracelet. it was actually the first thing that popped up.

I just lost a lot of respect for beading thanks for nothing!

123bead wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 2:28 AM

Cmahoney01 I agree. Need new editor!

dw23 wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 6:45 AM

There's an Etsy shop that sells similar magnetic clasps at a fraction of the York Beads cost. The shop's in China, though:

on Jul 19, 2014 8:34 AM

I love these bracelets but I have searched the web and I can't fine the clasp. Will you give us the source?

vicki wall wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 8:43 AM

Bracelet name should be (Simply Elegant)

vicki wall wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 8:43 AM

Bracelet name should be (Simply Elegant)

dw23 wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 8:49 AM
ColleenM24 wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 9:41 AM

I was disheartened by all the comments about not being able to get the pattern for the bracelet and the clasp. Where are the comments about how beautiful the bracelet are? The author used Castano's bracelet as inspiration. That is what she is doing for you. If the author wanted to sell kits or sell the pattern she would do so.

Stop the angry chatter, please.

lal5 wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 10:21 AM

Let me just say first off, those gold & silver bracelets knocked my socks off! (ColleenM23 you made a good point.) I was delighted to see the link for the clasps since I completely overlooked it because I was hoping for a chance to buy a pattern for the bracelet. If that ever becomes available I will be first (hundred) in line for the pattern. Thanks for the inspiration.

krisknapp wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 11:16 AM

Great,but where can we get those clasps! Please.  Can't find them at York.  

pingo20190 wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 1:15 PM

Love the herringbone pattern bracelet by Aurelio Castano. Where can i buy a similar pattern?

PPBB wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 3:18 PM

Where can these clasps be purchased? Thanks in advance.

rlilly wrote
on Jul 19, 2014 6:26 PM

Love these bracelets! Would love to get patterns and source for the clasps.  Thanks

on Jul 22, 2014 11:45 AM

Are there instructions for the bracelet available. I would love to make this.

Thanks for your help.

on Jul 23, 2014 7:02 AM

Where can I purchase the instructions for the bracelet. It is so beautiful!

on Jul 24, 2014 5:38 PM

I love the bracelets and the clasps. Sometimes Beading Daily showcases bead styles and beadwork, sometimes they give us free patterns and books and tips and ideas. Let's not get angry because we don't get every bit of information exactly when we want it every time we want it. There are many things going on behind the scenes that we don't know about. I suggest we honor the hard work Jennifer does for us every day!!!

baloghlj wrote
on Jul 24, 2014 9:42 PM

What type of glue is recommended for glueing the endsof these bracelets into the metal clasps?

baloghlj wrote
on Jul 24, 2014 9:43 PM

What type of glue is recommended for glueing the ends of these bracelets into the metal clasps?

ThanaeC wrote
on Jul 27, 2014 9:37 AM

I agree that the angry chatter needs to stop. If it weren't for this blog, we would not have learned that a new clasp is on the market. Jennifer is under no obligation to share Aurelio's design with us. Instead she has come up with some fabulous new methods to use these clasps, and provides detailed information as to how, without copying his design. Wouldn't it be great if the rest of us followed her lead? This design will look great using super duos, half tilas and of course rullas. dedeJewelry on Etsy sells the clasps.

on Aug 10, 2014 7:13 PM

I made one of these bracelets last week, after seeing a pic of Castano's bracelet.

I did some digging and found a video on YouTube.  I wasn't sure it was the same one because of her color choices in the video.  But it worked up beautifully.  And easy.  I used rulla beads in heliotrope color.

If you are looking for a similar clasp look on ebay.  

myesner wrote
on Oct 5, 2014 3:18 PM

I love the bracelet using the yellow melon beads. Could you tell me the size you used and where to look for them. Thank you

terwill wrote
on Jan 9, 2015 12:01 PM

Beautiful bracelets! I love the aged seed beads!

I know this is an older article but searched it out knowing that I remembered seeing something about these bracelets.  

The pattern as well as the clasps can be purchased from Aurelio Castano's website.  The clasps are also available from A Grain of Sand.

These are now in my queue!