Beaded Chain Jewelry by the Light of the Moon

Beaded chains are very symbolic to me.

Tonight is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Years ago when I was a writer of poetry and short fiction, I would always celebrate the winter solstice by lighting a few candles, making a special meal, and having a marathon writing session beginning at sundown and lasting late into the night. (That, of course, was when I worked the afternoon shift and didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn with a four-year-old!)

This year, I'll be celebrating the solstice with my son at a (short) meditation walk outdoors with some like-minded friends and their children, but after he goes to bed, I'll be sitting up with a few candles, some homemade cookies, and a beaded-chain project.

Beaded chains are very symbolic to me, as they represent the flow of days into months, seasons, and years. Each unit in a beaded chain can represent a day, and the entire chain comes to be a way for me to reflect on my life and what's really important to me as I bead. Making beaded chains is probably my favorite way to use my bead-weaving as mindful meditation.

Stitching up beaded chains using 4mm beads makes the project go quickly!

If you've never tried stitching up a beaded chain for a favorite pendant, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Using larger beads such as 4mm fire polished beads or 4mm druk (round glass) beads will make the chain work up quickly while providing a sturdy base.
  • Weave in as much thread as possible when stitching a beaded chain. More than one thread pass through each bead or motif will add strength and structure to your beaded chain, and it will be more likely to last longer.
  • Your beaded chains don't have to be intricate and thick. Stitching up a quick length of right-angle weave can make a beautiful and delicate chain when accented with tiny crystals or silver-lined seed beads in a contrasting color.
  • You can make your beaded chain feel more like fine jewelry by using metallic size 15o beads. (Just make sure that you seal or treat the beads before using if the chain will be for a bracelet.)

Beaded chains don't necessarily have to be used with a pendant, either. A delicate chain of right-angle weave accented with a few tiny crystals makes a sparkling statement all on its own, and a simple beaded chain can be a beautiful and quick bracelet for everyday wear.

If you want more ideas for making great beaded chains, then you'll be thrilled to see the new 2009 Beadwork magazine collection available as an instant download! Every issue of Beadwork magazine from 2009 is included, and it takes just a few minutes to download onto your desktop or laptop computer. Get instant access to over eighty beading projects plus all the fabulous articles and tutorials in every issue!

You can find the instructions for making this easy crystal bead chain over on the Beading Instructions blog!

What's your favorite way to make beaded chains? For a new free beaded-chain project, hop on over to the Beading Instructions blog here on Beading Daily to find out how to make this sparkling beaded chain using two types of crystal beads and seed beads!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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