What is Beading – Defined

What is Beading?

what is beadingHave you ever wondered what beading or bead work is?

Even if you haven’t it’s good to know what the different types styles and methods of beading are so you know if you are heading in the right direction with your search.

When I began my own search I had something completely different in mind then what I ended up discovering.

Once I began exploring the topic in more depth I was shocked to find all I did.

As I continued researching a new world of techniques, master craftsmen and materials opened up. The more I’d learn the more I was drawn in.

Let’s explore the many different types of beading and a little about the techniques used that I discovered while I was searching for the one I was most intrigued by…basic stringing.

I have put this together this quick reference to help you explore the many different options that await you. You will also find some more in depth information that I have found through my years of learning to add to the details  involved here is this article ‘What is Beading?

I hope you decide to visit often with us at Bead At Home as we continue to research and discover new things on each of these methods to help you become more acquainted with the fascinating world of beading.

If you should have a lead to a good resource, blog, or website, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.

What we unfold on here about ‘What is Beading?’ is really just the tip of the iceberg.

So come on in, let’s spend some time together talking and exploring our favorite subject: The World of Beading.

Basic Stringing:

basic bead stringingBasic stringing of beads onto flexible beading wire or a variety of an assortment of threads used to create bracelets, necklaces and earrings and most commonly considered costume jewelry.

This type of beading is the easiest form of beading to begin your journey of beading jewelry. With just 2 simple techniques and 3 basic jeweler tools will take you from beading nothing to beading something.

For more beginning instruction and tutorials for your first projects visit us at our learning center Beading Jewelry 101., there we take you step by step providing simple instruction to get you started on your way to handmade jewelry.

Bead Embellishment:

Bead embellishment consist of attaching beads to any item either by sewing or gluing is an embellishment. Garments or apparel is a very common item for embellishing and may include wedding dresses, evening dresses, handbags, tops, shoes of all sorts and the list goes on. Bead embellishment may also consist of creating jewelry. If you can sew beads to embellish it then it’s beading.

Just a little background on the history of garment embellishment shares lots of facts and resources of the beginning of bead embroidery. It’s quite interesting to see the variety of ways embellishment with beads are used and the status it conveyed.

Embellishing beads either by sewing and or gluing is a form of beading. In this tutorial from Fire Mountain Gems gives you a flavor of techniques for bead embellishing jewelry pieces.

Bead Weaving:

Bead weaving is a process of sewing beads together using needle and thread to create a pattern or shape. Different stitches are used and what type of stitch is your choice.

Below you will find video tutorials of each stitch mentioned compliments of Fire Mountain Gems.

Fire Mountain Gems is a well known beading supplier and offers many topics of interest and offer tutorials on each of the beading stitches to learn.

Here are a few of the stitches shared:

  • Brick Stitch
  • Peyote
  • Tubular Peyote
  • Right Angle Weave
  • Diamond Chain
  • Daisy Chain

Bead Weaving – count 1, 2, 3

This is a fun, little tutorial to introduce you to a basic beginning bead pattern to weave. If this is something that may interest you then I would encourage you to check out some of the links I have available for you here to find more information.

Bead Weaving on a Beading Loom

A Bead loom a frame used to weave beads together using a variety of stringing material. Pictured here and the video below will demonstrate what it will take to learn this type of beading if this is a type of construction that may interest you.

Check these out to an introduction.

Wire Working – Wrap that wire into shape

Technique incorporating gauged wire creating designs with wire alone or incorporating beads or cabochons (a hole-less stone).

Wire working or wire wrapping has been on my wish list of to do’s. When you learn to make earrings then there is a basic introduction to wire in simple terms and the level of earrings that I teach keeps it very basic. But there is a whole world out there of wire working that is phenomenal and gorgeous and will make you wonder ‘How did they do that?’.

The picture you see here is the extent of my wire working skills other than making earrings. This does take time to learn and I find it enjoyable but again there are much different levels.


flameworkFlamework is a process of melting glass rods with fire and heat to form bead shapes.

Watching fire can be mesmerizing  and watching an artist make beads by applying heat to glass rods is even more so.

This book covers good general overview for the beginner for introduction to flamework creating beads.

In the video below covers and demonstrates different type of heated glass converted to glass beads. This is a fascinating process and the top 3 selling glass beads; flamework, pressed, cane.

Top 3 Selling Glass Beads – flamework, pressed, cane


Macrame is a variety of stitches weaving using hemp cord or other type of corded string. Macrame designs can incorporate beads.

macrame braceletDid you every macrame as a child?

I would bet most of you did at one time or another, girl scouts, children’s crafts, school art classes?

Come on surely some time or another you have.

Macrame is a an easy weaving and knotting process that you will quickly pick up with the clear instruction and the right materials.

Learn more here, if you would like to learn the basic knots of macrame.

Children’s Bead Crafts – Where every project is an adventure

perler beadsChildren and plastic beads are commonly associated with the larger holed acrylic stringing beads or melting beads and these are what you will generally find in most children’s bead kit projects.

These beads are a fun and festive way to show off your children’s or grandchildren’s art work. Kids love these melt a beads. The kit includes pegged forms that allow you to rest the bead on.

Your child can use their own imagination with assorted colored beads. Once the image is filled place the protective sheet over the beads and apply heat with your iron. Within a few minutes the beads will gently melt together to hold the image in place.

Attach magnets or clips or clothes pins to the finished melted bead shape to create a useful tool from your child’s creation or give as a gift to a grandparent that may live far away.

Here is a preview and introduction of how these Perler melt-a-beads work…

Beading Vocabulary and terminology

Do You Have a Favorite?

Share with us in the comments below which beading  method you prefer or would like to learn and why. Thanks for participating.

Beaded Blessings.


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