Go West! Beaded Jewelry Ideas

The American West is a font of creative inspiration for bead weaving, jewelry making, and arts of all kinds. From color choice to design motifs, and stitches, there’s a rich palette that we can draw from to create stylish beaded jewelry designs. As a recent Southwest transplant, I’m finding color and cultural inspiration in the desert and the mountain West.

Modern day lariats have descended from their cowboy counterparts, and I love the fresh interpretations. Read Lariats are Trending for stylish, gemstone-oriented design ideas. Then, cruise through these beadwork ideas inspired by the West:

Shae Wilhite’s Desert Diamonds Bracelet beaded jewelry

Shae Wilhite’s Desert Diamonds Bracelet

Desert Diamonds Bracelet

Desert Diamonds Bracelet by Shae Wilhite uses a variation of odd-count peyote stitch to form diamond-shaped components. String the diamonds together to create this striking bracelet. This bracelet will look great with jeans and boots, or bring a Western feel to your favorite outfit.

Sara Oehler’s Sonoran Desert Bracelet beaded jewelry

Sara Oehler’s Sonoran Desert Bracelet

Sonoran Desert Bracelet

Sonoran Desert Bracelet by Sara Oehler is a modern take on loomwork, with a Southwest-inspired motif and color palette. Use a Mirrix loom with beading wire and size 8° seed beads to make this bracelet. Choose the same Southwestern colors or take this opportunity to play with your favorite color palette.

Michelle Mach’s Four Corners Bracelet beaded jewelry

Michelle Mach’s Four Corners Bracelet

Four Corners Bracelet

Four Corners Bracelet by Michelle Mach uses right-angle weave to keep the beads close together and create a mosaic effect. The colors evoke the desert scenery around Four Corners Monument, which tourists have been visiting for over 100 years. You can experiment with other types of diagonally drilled squares such as pearls or gemstones to dramatically change the look of this bracelet.

Linda Larsen’s Southwest Boho Earrings

Linda Larsen’s Southwest Boho Earrings

Southwest Boho Earrings

Expand your metalworking skills with Southwest Boho Earrings by Linda Larsen. She saw a pair of similar earrings in a store for $98 and created these beauties using leftover beads and wire using less than $5 of materials from her stash. The Southwestern colors she chose are gorgeous and it would be easy to create these earrings in other color palettes, too. Think greens for the Northwest or Pacifc blues for the West Coast.

The Road Trip Across America Collection of beaded jewelry

The Road Trip Across America Collection

Road Trip Across America Beaded Jewelry

Road Trip Across America features 12 projects inspired by that famous summertime pastime. I’m smitten with the cover piece for its Southwestern style and the clever idea of attaching beadwork to a leather cuff. The projects use peyote stitch, right-angle weave, netting, wirework, stringing, and other techniques so you can explore the beading landscape along with inspiration from across the country.

Westward Ho!

Put on your cowboy boots for the Southwest or your flip flops for the West Coast, then break out your beading board and make beaded jewelry inspired by your own dream of the West.

Happy beading,
Katie Hacker
Interim Managing Editor of Beadwork


Take your beaded jewelry inspiration from the amazing landscapes of the West:

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