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Seed Bead Questions: Beading Q And A (11/21/2011)

2011 November 21

Mandy asks…

Sample of Charlottes

Sample of Charlottes

What kind of seed beads can you use to make elastic bracelets?


I’m trying to make a stretchy bracelet using seed beads. I’ve heard that beads with sharper edges can cut through the cord and break the bracelet, but I’m not exactly sure which type of beads falls into that category?

If it helps, I’m using Stretch Magic to string the beads. As for the beads, I have some 3-cut seed beads (sz. 12) and charlottes (sz. 13?). I’ve also got some rocailles – and I’m pretty sure that they’d be ok – but I was most worried about the 3-cut ones. I know that stretchy bracelets won’t last forever, but I’m hoping to prolong their lives as much as possible :)


BeadGal answers:

I’d mostly watch out for using bugle beads and hex beads. And especially any crystals – Swarovski crystals – any lead crystals. They will cut any thread except Fireline or other fishing line products.

The 3-cuts should be fine – they shouldn’t be sharp on the inside – they are “cut” on the outside to make them catch the light and seem shinier. Make up a couple of bracelets with your 3-cut beads and wear them to see if it seems to be a problem.

Sandra asks…

Seed beads – which type are the shiniest?

I want to weave a bracelet with seed beads, but I want it to be sparkling shiny. Which type of seed beads are the most sparkling? (I’m assuming silver-lined?…..or are rainbow AB more sparkly?)

BeadGal answers:

For sparkle, it’s hard to beat charlottes. The only drawback is the limited number of colors available. Here’s a great article on charlottes:

You should be able to find them anyplace that carries Toho beads. There are also other brands of charlottes.

Otherwise, I would agree that silver-lined definitely have more pizazz than AB.

Sandy asks…

BeadGal answers:

The first one is a “Cellini Spiral” and is a form of tubular peyote. You can find instructions easily on the web, but here is one:

The second one has a specific artist, Valerie Hector, who sells kits and instructions on her website:
The third one seems to be simple patterns, but its hard to tell what the stitch is. You might find similar patterns (and instructions) at or

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