What Bead Sizes Are Suitable for My DIY Jewelry Making?

What Bead Sizes Are Suitable for My DIY Jewelry Making?

If you are just a beginner to beading, and you want to know what bead sizes are suitable for your jewelry project. This article will systematically introduce the size of various beads.

How To Measure The Size Of Beads

First, let’s learn how to measure the size of the beads. The most common measurement method is to use a vernier caliper to measure in millimeters (mm). During the measurement, we slide the vernier caliper to fit the beads to measure the most accurate bead size.

Measure Beads size

1、As shown in the picture, clamp the bead with the “outer measuring jaw” under the vernier caliper.

2、If your hand cannot fix the vernier caliper, you can tighten the bolt numbered 4 in the figure by hand so that the caliper cannot slide left and right.

Measure Beads size 2
Measure Beads size 3

3、Read the measured value of the vernier caliper, which is the diameter of the bead. Look at the position of “0” on the secondary ruler, which determines the first two digits.

The bottom of the tool is called the outer claw to measure the diameter of the bead, and the top of the tool is called the inner claw to measure the diameter of the bead hole.

Only the use of vernier calipers in our daily work is mentioned here. It can measure the size of beads more accurately. If you are interested, you can take a look here: How to Use a Vernier Caliper

As shown in the picture below, there is also an electronic vernier caliper, which is more convenient to use.

How to use a vernier caliper to measure the bead size
How to use a vernier caliper to measure the bead size

After learning to use this tool, you can easily measure the size of gemstone, crystals, glass, metal beads.

Determine Best Bead Sizes For Your Project

The size of the beads you use for jewelry making will depend on the design you want to create and the materials you are using. Here are some general guidelines:

2-3mm stone bracelets

2-3 mm size beads: The beads are very small, generally the same size as sesame or rice grains, and the holes are also very small. Small bead has many functions. In addition to being used to make dainty jewelry, it can also be used to prevent friction between bigger beads, increase the beauty of the bracelet, and adjust the length and size of the bracelet. And as an excellent gasket, they are very effective in bead embroidery. For bead weaving and micro-macrame, the smallest bead size is typically 15/0 (2mm) and can go up to 8/0 (3.5mm).

4-5mm stone bracelets

4-5mm size beads: This type of beads can be used to make multi-ring bracelets, matching beads for waist chains, necklaces, etc. 5mm beads can also be used to make buddha beads bracelets.

6-7mm stone beads bracelets

6mm size beads: This size of beads is suitable for exquisite women’s single circle bracelets. When used with 6mm size, it will make the overall effect very personal and very suitable for jewelry that wants to stand out without losing its flashy.

8mm stone bracelets

8mm size beads: This size is currently the most popular on the market and is also the most suitable for gemstone bracelets or gemstone necklaces. The design made with beads of this size will be noticeable and very flashy.

10mm stone bracelets

10mm size beads:This size is also suitable for making bracelets, but the finished gemstones bracelets are relatively heavy for female and generally more popular with male customers.

12mm 14mm stone bracelets
  • 12mm size beads: If your design is eager to highlight a bold and full of personality, then this size of beads is very suitable. They are more used as a size for male bracelets.
  • 14mm-16mm size beads: Suitable for making bracelets or necklaces for strong men.

The Regular Bead Size Chart in the Martket

Most of beads in the market are sold as stran and common length of the strand is 38-40CM (15-15.5 inches).

Here is a list of bead size and bead quantities in a bead strand for your reference:

Beads Size(MM)Bead Quantity per StrandStrand Length
2mmApprox 190 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
3mmApprox 127 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
4mmApprox 95 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
5mmApprox 78 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
6mmApprox 65 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
7mmApprox 54 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
8mmApprox 48 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
9mmApprox 40 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
10mmApprox 38 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
12mmApprox 31 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
14mmApprox 28 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
16mmApprox 25 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches
18mmApprox 22 Pcs38-40cm/ Approx 15.5 inches

Normally one strand will allow you to make two simple bracelets. In case there are some beads that do not meet your requirements, it is recommended to buy few extra beads.

If you want to make a customised bracelet for someone, you will need to know:

What is the Average Length of a Stretch Bracelet

The average length of a stretch bracelet is 7 inches, but they can vary in size from 6 to 8 inches.

For women, if you are working with bead size 4mm, average bracelet length is 6.5-7 inches.
if you are working with bead size 6mm/8mm/10mm, average bracelet length is 7 inches.
if you are working with bead size 12mm, average bracelet length is 7.5-8 inches.

For men, you will have to add 1- 2 beads tipically.

It’s important to measure your wrist to determine the right size for you. Keep in mind that the size of the bead will also affect the weight and drape of your finished piece. So, choose your bead size accordingly. Ultimately, the best way to determine the right bead size for your jewelry making project is to experiment and see what you like best. This table may help you. Click to head to the Bracelet size guide.