Learn everything you need to know about beading and jewelry terms in this exclusive beading glossary from the experts at Beading Daily!


African Helix

This traditional African stitch closely resembles a DNA helix, hence the name African Helix. All the actual weaving is done by looping over the thread. This makes for a very flexible, comfy tube that is wonderful embellished or plain.How to Do African Helix StitchYou’ll need 2 size 11° seed bead colors (A and B), a…

beading awls

Awls: All About Beading Awls & How to Use Them

What is an awl tool? While they are used for various sorts of crafts, including bookbinding and woodworking, awls are perfect for many purposes in beadwork. How to use a beading awl Paired with a hammer, the awl makes a great hole punch tool. All you have to do is slam the awl into the…


ball peen hammer

Ball Peen Hammer

A ball-peen hammer in action. Ball peen hammer definition Ballpeen hammers are among the most inexpensive jewelry tools available. They’re usually less than $10, and they’re essential for texturing and flattening pieces. How to use a ball peen hammer The most important thing to note is the surface of your hammer. Any marks or scratches…

Bead Crochet

This method is worked with a crochet hook. It forms a tidy chain along the edge. Place a slipknot on a Beaded crochet cord makes a great finish or a strap for other beadwork. Make an initial chain of four (or more) stitches. Leave a bead in each chain stitch by sliding a bead close…


Bead Embroidery

Embroidery involves sewing decorative stitches on fabric.  Beads can be incorporated into any embroidery stitch.  Backstitch (also known as return stitch and running stitch), buttonhole stitch, chain stitch, couching, cretan stitch, cross-stitch, feather stitch, herringbone stitch, lazy stitch, single stitch, tambour, and tent stitch are some popular options.  For single stitch embroidery,begin by passing the…


Bead Knitting

Knitting one bead into one stitch is the technique to use for knitting charted designs. Insert the needle into the stitch to be knit as usual, slide the bead up against the needle, and pull the bead through to the front as you complete the stitch. Related free articles: How to Wire Knit with a…


Brick Stitch

Begin by creating a foundation row in ladder stitch or using a secured thread. String one bead and pass under the closest exposed loop of the foundation row. Pass back through the same bead and continue, adding one bead at a time. To decrease within a row, string one bead and skip a loop of…


chain nose pliers

Chain-nose Pliers

  Chain-nose pliers have smooth flat jaws that taper to a point. If you’re in the market, make sure to buy ergonomically over economically! You’ll have these in your hands all the time so make sure they’re comfortable.  Use them for bending wire, opening loops, and rescuing your needle from too-filled-with-thread beads. These pliers (along…

Circular Netting

String 1A and 1B six times; pass through them again to form a circle for the foundation round and pass through the next 1B.  *String 1A, 1B, and 1A; skip 1B and pass through the following 1B in the previous round.  Repeat from * twice, then step up for the next round by passing through the…


Circular Square Stitch

String the first round of beads and pass through them again to form a circle.  Start a new round by stringing 2 beads; pass through the last bead of the first round and through the 2 beads just strung.  Repeat all around, passing through the next bead of the previous round for each 2 new…



Use cones to finish a multistrand piece. Attach each strand of beads to a wrapped loop or an eye pin. Use the wrapped-loop wire to string the wide end of a cone, covering the ends of the stringing material. Form a wrapped loop at the tip of the cone that attaches to a clasp.



String a crimp tube and pass through the connection finding. Pass back through the tube leaving a short tail. Use the back notch of crimping pliers to pinch the tube into a U, leaving a wire on each side of the bend. Rotate the tube 90° and use the front notch to form the pinched…



Daisy Chain

Begin by stringing a small number of beads and forming a circle by passing through the first bead strung.  String 1 bead and pass through the bead opposite the first bead of the circle, forming the “daisy.” Related Free Article:  Try This Unusual Daisy Chain Variation

glossary graphic

Do You Speak Bead? See This Glossary of Must-Know Terms

My husband once overheard me talking to a friend about beading and he gave me the craziest, most confused look I’ve ever seen. Then I realized that it’s probably the same look I give him when he talks about computers! Peyote, frog stitch (ripppit, ripppit), QuadraLentil, SuperUno, culling, Rizo….the list of terms used by beaders…


Flat Herringbone Stitch

Begin with a foundation row of even-count ladder stitch. String 2 beads, pass down through the second to last bead in the ladder, and up through the next bead. String 2 beads, pass down the next bead and then up through the following. Repeat to the end of the row. To end the row, pass…

Flush Cutters

Flush cut pliers have one flat side and a pointed tip for reaching delicate spaces in your beadwork. Flush cutters for jewelry making A flush cutter is a basic wire jewelry tool useful for cutting wire under 18 gauge. For heavier wire, it’s important to get a heavy duty cutter so that you don’t ruin…



Head Pins

A head pin is a wire with a nail-like head, ball, or decoration on one end.  Typically, the other end of the pin is made into a loop.  Headpins are often used to create earrings or dangles for necklaces. Headpins may be purchased or you may create your own. Related free articles: Making Headpins Free…



Jump Rings

  Jewelry jump rings Jump rings are circles of wire that are used to connect one object to another.  You may purchase jump rings or you may create your own. Opening and closing jump rings To open a jump ring, grasp each side of its opening with a pair of pliers.  Don’t pull apart.  Instead,…



Ladder Stitch

Double-Needle Ladder Stitch Using two needles, one threaded on each end of the thread, pass one needle through one or more beads from left to right and pass the other needle through the same beads from right to left. Continue adding beads by crisscrossing both needles through one bead at a time. Use this stitch…


Netting (Single Thread)

Begin by stringing a base row of 13 beads. String 5 beads and go back through the fifth bead from the end of the base row. String another 5 beads, skip 3 beads of the base row, and go back through the next. Repeat to end of row. Passing through the fifth, fourth, and third…


pass back through beading

Pass Back Through (PBT)

Don’t forget the end bead, or all your work will slip off! Pass Back Through (PBT) To pass through means to move your needle in the same direction that the beads have been strung. To pass back through means to move your needle in the opposite direction. See also: PBT vs PT demonstration

pass through beading

Pass Through (PT)

When the thread is pulled tight, PT will create a loop. Pass Through (PT) To pass through means to move your needle in the same direction that the beads have been strung. See also: PBT vs PT demonstration


round-nose pliers

Round-nose Pliers

Twisting wire is easily done with round-nose pliers. Round-nose pliers for jewelry making These beading tools are essential for making perfect loops and rings. If you can only buy a handful of tools, a round-nose plier should be among them. Choose a pair that has a wide cone toward the base, as these are stronger…


S Clasp

An “S” clasp is a simple, comfortable clasp that can be formed with a torch or torch-free.Using a butane torch to ball up the wire ends to form a clasp is a nice touch when using thin gauge (20–24) fine silver. But if you want to finish the ends of thick gauge (14-8) sterling silver…


Simple Loops

SIMPLE LOOP To make a simple loop, grasp one end of the wire with round-nose pliers. Holding on to the wire with one hand, gently turn the pliers until the wire end and wire body touch. Create a 90° reverse bend where they meet.  Some people may also describe this as a “basic loop.” Related…


Spiral Rope

String 4 size 8° and 5 size 11° beads. Pass through the size 8° beads again. *String 1 size 8° and 5 size 11° beads. Pass through the last three size 8°s and the size 8° just strung. Repeat from * until you reach the desired length. Note: The beads used for this cord can…


Square Stitch

Begin by stringing a row of beads. For the second row, string 2 beads, pass through the second-to-last bead of the first row, and back through the second bead of those just strung. Continue by stringing 1 bead, passing through the third-to-last bead of the first row, and back through the bead just strung. Repeat…


St. Petersburg Chain

These St Petersburg chain instructions demonstrate how strong and quick the beadwork is. St Petersburg Chain Named for its Russian origins, St Petersburg stitch is more obscure than its popular cousins, but it is nevertheless a fast and simple method of creating sturdy straps of beads. There is also a popular variation called double St…



Stringing is a technique in which you use a beading wire, needle and thread, or other material to gather beads into a strand. Popular stringing materials include beading wire, braided thread, elastic cord, fiber cord, leather cord, nylon thread, silk thread, satin cord, and ribbon. Related free article: Time Saving Tips for Constructing Bead Necklaces…



Tension Bead

A tension bead (or stopper bead) holds your work in place. To make one, string a bead larger than those you are working with, then pass through the bead one or more times, making sure not to split your thread. The bead will be able to slide along, but will still provide tension to work…


Triangle Weave

  String 3 beads and tie them in a circle to form a triangle.  This is your first unit.  Pass through the first bead again.  String 2 beads and pass through the bead just exited and the 2 just strung.  Continue adding 2 beads at a time to make a series of triangles.  The thread path…


Tubular Herringbone Stitch

Begin with a foundation row of ladder stitch. Join the ends together to form a tube. String 2 beads. Pass down through the next bead and up through the bead after it. Repeat around the tube. At the end of the round, pass through the first beads of the previous and current rounds to step…



Wire Bail

Wrapped-loop bails turn side-drilled beads, usually teardrops or briolettes, into pendants.  Center the bead on a 3″ or longer piece of wire.  Bend both ends of the wire up the sides and across the top of the bead.  Bend one end straight up at the center of the bead, then wrap the other wire around…


Wire Coils

COILTo make a coil, use one hand to hold the end of your wire against a mandrel. With the other hand, wrap the wire around the mandrel in tight loops. To remove the coil, slide it off the mandrel and cut. Add vertical loops on either end to use the coil as is, or cut…


Wire Spiral

SPIRALS To start a spiral (or scroll), make a small loop at the end of a wire with round-nose pliers (Figure a). Related free articles:  How to Create a Wire Bail for a Marble See also wireworking Free Video Learn how to make open and closed loop spirals and the proper tools to use for…


Wirewrapped Loops

WIRE-WRAPPED LOOP For a wire-wrapped loop, cut the desired length of wire and make a 90-degree bend 2″ from one end. Use round-nose pliers to hold the wire near the angle and bend the short end up and around the pliers until it meets itself. Wrap the wire tightly down the neck of the wire…