There’s something irresistible about beads. Gaze at a bead, and you’ll see that its small surface is a microcosm of color, texture and shine. When you begin putting groups of beads together, you’ll discover limitless possibilities for creating patterns, color combinations, and symmetries.
Beads are delightful on their own, but when you combine them with techniques like crochet, the results can be spectacular. This page is dedicated to the topic of bead crochet and all its aspects: bead crochet patterns, bead crochet tutorials, bead crochet stitches, bead crochet books, bead crochet supplies, bead crochet history and more.
Bead Crochet Supplies
You’ll need a the following supplies to succeed with bead crochet:
- A crochet hook
- Crochet thread, yarn, wire or similar material
- Scissors or wire cutters
- Tapestry needle
- A bead organizer is optional, but it’s extremely helpful if you have a lot of beads, jewelry findings and jeweler’s tools to organize.
- Jewelry findings and jeweler’s tools are useful if you’re incorporating bead crochet into beaded jewelry projects, but are not typically needed for other types of bead crochet projects.
Beads can get heavy, so it’s wise to consider what the total overall weight of the project will be when you choose all your supplies. Small seed beads are popular for bead crochet because their small size and light weight are ideal for minimizing the projects’ weight. You can use large or heavy beads sparingly as long as you take care that your projects do not get too heavy to be practical.
Free Bead Crochet Patterns and Tutorials
Bead Crochet Jewelry Patterns
- Southwestern Turquoise and Red Coral Chip Bead Bracelet
- Afghan Stitch Wire Crochet Bracelet With Beads
- Wire Lace Cuff Bracelet With Beads
Bead Crochet Napkin Rings
- DIY Beaded Napkin Rings — Free Crochet Pattern With Detailed, Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial
- Beaded Christmas Napkin Rings — Free Crochet Pattern
Bead Crochet Ornaments, Appliques and Motifs
This page includes instructions for sewing a pincushion and applying a simple bead crochet edging to the piece. Once you’ve learned how to do this edging, you could make it and apply it to just about any type of project that could benefit from a beaded edge.
Bead Crochet Stitches
- Beaded chain stitch — Free step-by-step photo tutorial and instructions
- Beaded slip stitch — Tutorial coming soon.
Bead Crochet Techniques
“Bead crochet” isn’t actually a single technique; you could think of it more as a grouping of closely-related techniques that share common elements. There are bunches of different ways you could approach the task of combining beads with crochet. Additionally, you can combine multiple bead crochet techniques into one piece, making for complex and fascinating finished projects.
The following gives you an overview of several major types of bead crochet techniques you could encounter. This is not a comprehensive list of techniques, but it covers some of the more popular configurations.
A Bead Incorporated Into Each Crochet Stitch — The basic idea: you begin crocheting a stitch, and you stick a bead somewhere into the stitch before completing it.
Beads Incorporated Into the Work in Between Crochet Stitches — The basic idea: you crochet a stitch from start to finish. Then you slide a bead, or multiple beads, into the work, before proceeding with the next stitch.
Beads Sewn or Embroidered Into the Work After Crocheting Is Complete –Here you finish crocheting a piece, and then afterwards you stitch beads onto the completed piece of crochet.
Beads Strung Onto Yarn, Thread or Wire and Crochet Is Worked Around Them — See the blue and white beaded snowflake motif and the heart-shaped frame applique pictured above for examples of this technique.
- The Beaded Edge — Click here to shop for the Beaded Edge at the Interweave Store
- The Beaded Edge 2 — This book is a sequel to the first Beaded Edge book. It features patterns for spectacular beaded crochet edgings you can use to finish off just about any type of clothing or sewn item. The beaded trims you can make from these patterns are appropriate for use on home decor items, tops, jeans, purses, Christmas stockings, Christmas ornaments and many other types of craft projects. Click here to shop for the Beaded Edge 2 at the Interweave Store.
- Crochet Master Class — This book could teach you a wide variety of different crochet techniques, including bead crochet and bunches of others. Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.
Bead Crochet History
Bead crochet is a vast topic with a fascinating history. If you’d like to see pictures of vintage bead crochet projects including beaded bags and beaded jewelry, you’re invited to visit any of the following links:
- Victorian Era 1892 Book Featuring Beaded Crochet Bag Patterns and Other Crochet Projects
- 1901 Home Needlework Magazine Featuring Bead Crochet Chatelaine Bags and Purses.
- 1920s Flapper Era Bead Crochet Pattern Book: Beaded Bags in Crochet and Knitting by Anna Valeiere
- 1920s Emma Post Barbour’s New Bead Book
This page was last updated on 11-9-2018.