3 Reasons Why I Love Making Beaded Jewelry Designs With Components

My entry in the 2013 Battle Of the Beadsmith: Created with beaded components using Czech glass cup flowers and gumdrop beads

I can still remember the very first piece of beaded jewelry made with components. It was in Diane Fitzgerald's classic Beading With Brick Stitch, and it opened the door to a whole world of design possibilities for me! After creating more pieces of beaded jewelry using components by designers like Rachel Nelson-Smith and Marcia DeCoster, I started to realize that there's a whole art to creating beaded jewelry designs using components. Whether you're working with something as simple as peyote-stitched tube beads or something more elaborate using some of the beautiful new shaped beads or two-holed seed beads, here are my three favorite reasons for making beaded jewelry designs using components:

1. Ease. For me, anyway, designing beaded jewelry with components seems to come easier than other types of designs. Maybe it's the almost-instant gratification aspect of the process that comes along with the satisfaction of seeing each beaded component finished and going into a little pile at my desk. When my days are packed full and I feel like there's just no time to bead, it's easy for me to sit down with my son and my bead board for an hour and whip up a beaded component (or two). Beaded components are easy to take along with me when we're in the car for a long drive, too, because they're compact and easy to tuck away.

My Beading Challenge piece from 2013, using components made from sea glass pendants

2. Versatility. Once you've perfected the design of your beaded component, really, the sky is the limit when sitting down to figure out what to do with them next. Necklaces and pendants? Earrings? Bracelets? Brooches or pins? Hair jewelry? All of these types of beaded jewelry are possible when you're working with beaded components. There's really no right or wrong way to use them when creating your designs — hang a single component on a leather or silk cord for a pendant, or make a pair for earrings!

3. Evolution. Quite possibly my favorite thing about designing beaded jewelry using beaded components is the way one design seems to flow into another. When I'm designing with beaded components, I always find that one component will lead to the design of another…and another, and another, and another. Subtle changes in materials or thread path will yield an entirely new design! Sometimes, changing the way you connect your components can also lead to a design revelation. This is one reason why I always like to make a few more components than what I think I'll need when I'm working on a new project — so I can play with connections, layout, and thread paths. Who knows where the beads will lead?

Trefoil Earrings by Lisa Kan

Excited about working with beaded components? Check out Bead Metamorphosis by Lisa Kan! This brand-new beading book is packed with striking, elegant beaded jewelry designs, all created with beaded components. Learn how to incorporate several varieties of two-holed beads and seed beads, mixed media supplies like Shibori ribbon, and how to add texture to your beaded ropes and chains in these timeless beading projects. Plus, you'll see how easily you can create beaded jewelry that is reversible, interchangeable, or convertible using your favorite beads and beading supplies. You'll find beauty on every page of Bead Metamorphosis, and for a limited time, you can get the eBook at no charge when you pre-order the print edition!

Pre-order your copy of Bead Metamorphosis today and see why we love to design beaded jewelry using components!

Bead Happy,


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