Beads Basic - Introduction to Beading


Types of Beads Used in Beading

There are many types of beads which you can use in beading and can be found readily in craft stores or the Internet.

Given the choices, you have to think of the beading project which you intend to create first.

Having an idea of what you intend to do will makes things simpler and in your hunt for the beads and findings and the quantity which you want to purchase.

Below are some types of beads which you can use in your beading projects / jewelry making.

  • Pearls


There are a few types of pearls available in the market, namely real pearls and cultured pearls.

Cultured pearls are usually man-made or reared artificially. They are relatively inexpensive as compared to real pearls harvested from the ocean. E. g. Swarovski pearls and fresh water cultured pearls.

There are also plastic pearls which are readily available but do not have the lustre shine.

Depending on your budget, you could choose from different types of pearls in your beading / jewelry making needs.

  • Glass Beads

glass beads

Glass beads are commonly used in beading projects. Some common ones are Czech glass beads or Indian glass beads.

They are available in different designs such as leaf shape which make them very popular.

Usually the Indian glass beads have colourful coatings  and designs and are usually handmade.

  • Crystal Beads

swarovski crystal beads

Crystal beads are widely used in jewelry making as they give the jewelry a sparkle and glam finish. The more popular ones are Swarovski crystal beads which have a lot of designs and cutting. The shine from the Swarovski crystal beads give the final jewelry piece a gorgeous glitter, which is why it is commonly used.

Beware that there are some imitation crystal beads which are actually common glass beads and may cost slightly cheaper than Swarovski crystal beads. Do get your beads from a trusted Swarovski authorized merchant or reliable Internet dealer to avoid being con! 

  • Semi precious stone beads

citrine necklace


These are semi precious stone beads which are processed to be small beads. They can come in a number of shapes and sizes which can be used in beading projects.

  • Seed Beads

seed beads

These are tiny beads which come in different sizes, like 12/0, 15/0 etc. The smaller the number, the bigger is the beads.

They are manufactured in a number of places but the usual ones are Japanese seeds beads (which are of a higher quality) and Taiwanese seed beads (which may not be even).

  • Plastic Beads

These are commercial beads which are readily available and are inexpensive. They can be used in a variety of beading projects from the very simple to the complex ones.

Plastic beads are used widely in making children's jewelry as they are safer and less easy to break. Many nice children's jewelry are made of a combination of metal beads and plastic beads.

  • Metal Beads

There are many types of metal beads. In the past, many different societies have created beads from various metals - from gold to even using metals from cooking pots.

For e.g. you have Indian brass beads or Greek metal that are made from non-precious metals or even Thailand / Cambodia metal beads.

  • Wooden Beads

There are also wooden beads made from various wood by methods such as painting or polishing.

  • Stone Beads

These are beads that are made from stones such as limestone.

  • Bone Beads

These are carved into various shapes of beads and colored tp various designs.


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