Ideas and Tips for Using Bugle Beads


I have a growing collection of bugle beads that I don't know what to do with. Red bugle beads, silver bugle beads, green, blue, purple . . . (Am I the only one who buys beads with not even the foggiest idea for project?) Every once in awhile, I pull out my bugle bead collection and see if I can figure out what to do with them. Here are a few ideas I discovered:

Ideas and Tips

  • "Bugle beads work well in strands and fringe, in openwork such as nets and ladders or sewn onto fabric."–Getting Started with Seed Beads


  • Beading Daily reader Diane Smith writes, "I create a series of links using eye pins threaded through bugle beads, joined by a simple or wrapped loop. When I finish, the links look like they are enameled."
  • "I have heard a number of suggestions for ways to eliminate the problem of sharp edges, including someone who suggested that the ends of each bugle bead be painted with clear fingernail polish. The best solution I can think of is to always use a seed bead on both ends of the bugle bead. That way, when your thread goes back into the fabric, it rests on a smooth edge rather than a sharp one."– Beading on Fabric


  • Beading Daily reader Vicki Star offers this tip, "Did you know that you can cut bugles to length with a glass cutter? Just make a little scratch, and break it off. Be careful of flying glass bits! Wear safety glasses and watch your fingers. Use an emery board or some fine sandpaper to smooth any sharp edges. You can start with long bugles, and end up with graduated sets for earrings or other fringes."

I'll admit–I love Vicki's idea. Even though I have cut class (for pendants), it never occurred to me to cut bugle beads! Many of my bugle beads are chipped or broken and this gives me a way to "rescue" them, rather than throwing them away.



Above, at right: One of Diane Smith's bugle bead necklaces. For each link in the necklace, she strung a green bugle bead on a gold eye pin and then created a simple loop at the other end. See more of her jewelry at: 


Free Beading Daily Projects with Bugle Beads


Egyptian Sunset Necklace
by Julie Walker

Gorgeous Geometry Earrings
by Svetlana Ancker

by Linda Herd

Elegant Netted Bracelet
by Deborah Meyer

* Technically not bugle beads, but can't you see how easy it would be to substitute bugle beads for the silver tubes?



Inspired by . . . YOU

Beading Daily Reader Rose Marie Heard created four bracelets for a granddaughter in the four pairs of school colors mentioned in the Harry Potter books. Pictured is a version of the Elegant Netted Bracelet with Hufflepuff (yellow and black) colors. Rose Marie notes that she made a few changes to the project, including substituting size 6 seed beads for the size 11 and using 6 bugle beads per row instead of 8.


More Bugle Bead Inspiration




Fan Wheel Necklace 
by Maria Rypan

This bugle bead, seed bead, and crystal necklace by Maria Rypan was inspired by contemporary beadwork seen at the Vernisage, an art piazza in Lviv, Ukraine. The wheel is a circular fan whose points are topped with Swarovski crystals and whose shape echoes through the wavy crystal-studded band. The circular fan is a modification of a unique beadwork style from Ukraine. Purchase PDF Download

Coming Wednesday: Beaded snowflakes!



Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She'd love to hear your ideas for using bugle beads!

One Comment

  1. Jesse B at 9:34 am December 16, 2017

    Bugle beads have been used on costumes for years. As far as making jewelry, that’s fine for whoever is interested. ONE of the great things about these beads on a costume is to have a string of beads 4 or 6 inches long and they move with the person wearing the costume. They were very popular when used in the reviews in Vegas were popular ; before the Cirque took over Vegas. The costumes were gorgeous back then. The beadwork was an art form.
    Sadly, those days are over. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of the Golden Days of Vegas.

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