Crafts Fashion Jewellery Blog

Embellishing plain beads

Plain round glass beads can be pretty boring by themselves but I do tend to stock up on them because they add color while allowing more elaborate beads to pop. Unfortunately, sometimes I find myself looking at a large quantity of those plain beads with little more to go on.

At such a time, I decided to consider it a challenge rather than a problem and made it a project to finding ways to embellish plain beads with wire and bring them out into the spotlight. I used bead cages, coils and other wire frames and mixed wire colours to add interest to the finished pieces.

In the first image (at the top) you have a bracelet made from oval beads wrapped in coiled green wire (a shade lighter than the beads to make it stand out) and then wrapped again in copper wire with some seed beads thrown in. It’s really simple to make but visually it’s very effective.

The second picture shows a pair of earrings made from lampwork square beads. They’re beautiful by themselves but become more captivating through the use of a large coil at the end of the wrapped loop – a variation in the tiny coils used to finish off the wire. The coils add interest to a plain square or coin shaped bead and they also prevent the beads from turning so it’s a useful method to use in necklaces and bracelets as well.

Bead cages and weaving with coloured wire turn plain blue beads into something special, as you can see in the last example.

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