Types Of Beads For Jewellery Making

Beading is such a fun and creative hobby! We show you the many types of beads available, including materials, drill hole options and shapes to choose from to help you plan and inspire your designs.

Choosing the material of your bead

The most popular bead materials are gemstones and metal. You can also choose from a range of other materials including glass, ceramic, porcelain, crystal, enamel and more...

At Kernowcraft we mainly focus on gemstone and metal beads.

Gemstone Beads

Use precious and semi-precious beads to create beautiful handmade jewellery, using natural gems available in many beautiful shapes and sizes.

Metal Beads

Metal beads are great for contemporary designs, choose from sterling silver, gold and plated beads for your designs in a range of shapes and textures.

What Are The Drill Options For Beads?

Fully Drilled Beads

Fully drilled beads are drilled all the way through the centre.

Always check the hole diameter on your beads to ensure it will fit with the threading material you wish to use.

Half Drilled Beads

Half drilled beads are drilled to a centre point, common to use with pearls and beads that are attached to pegs for earrings. Attach half drilled beads on to the peg findings with a little glue - we recommend Devcon 5 minute epoxy glue.

Top Drilled Beads

Top drilled beads are drilled vertically through the top of the bead, about quarter of the way down. You can insert a post into it and when suspended from a chain or earring the bead appears as a little droplet.

Head Drilled Beads

Head drilled beads are drilled horizontally through the top of the bead so that the bead itself hangs lower than the thread. This style of bead is great for creating simple designs using necklet wire, chain or flexrite wire. We recommend our range of briolette beads!

Spacer beads are smaller than your average bead, used to fill spaces in your designs and add texture and decoration.

Large holed beads are great for adding to charm bracelets, as well as using with thicker cords and wires.

Discover Our Favourite Shaped Beads...

The best thing about beading is that there are so many possibilities for unique designs! Beads come in a range of stunning shapes and sizes. Check out our range of shapes available in our gemstone range below...

Find all of these incredible shapes in our 'all gemstones category'


If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you advice over email or on the phone.

You can learn more and find inspiration by visiting our Jewellery Making Tutorials, Jewellery Making Kits and YouTube Channel. Don't forget to follow us on social media and tag us in your designs on Instagram & Facebook, we would love to see!

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