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Waist beads have become a popular fashion accessory. They are usually made from natural materials like stones, rocks, wood, and beads that are tied together with a string. If you want to find out how to make waist beads, you’re in the right place.
Whether you want to make it for your loved one or yourself to look fashionable, or to track weight loss, be sure to choose the right materials and technique. There are a variety of different ways to make waist beads. This blog will give an overview of one method that is popular and easy to do.
What Are Waist Beads?
Waist beads have been an important part of African tradition for centuries. People often wear them for religious purposes or as part of the dance, but they are also used for fashion purposes today. This stunning trend has taken the fashion world by storm and it has come to stay.
What Do You Need to Make Waist Beads?
A wide variety of items can be used for waist beads as they can be made in many different ways. Listed below are some of the most common things that people use when making these accessories:
- Mixed trade as well as glass or beads in different colors
- Optional: Chevrons (get at least 6 Chevrons)
- Brass crimp beads (take two pieces)
- Bead stopper
- Lobster clasp
- Closed jump ring (two pieces)
- Flexible body measuring tape – use either a cloth or plastic one – or bead stringing wire
- Strong but elastic beading thread like cotton or nylon sewing thread – grab a few strands that are long enough for your waist size
- Bent nose pliers and smaller crimp pliers
- Wire cutters
How to Make Waist Beads in 5 Steps
Step 1: Measure Your Waist Circumference
First, you will need to measure your waist by wrapping body measuring tape around it. Whether you use a cloth or plastic tape, make sure it is flexible. Bead stringing wire can also serve the purpose of sizing your waist.
Having the size of your waist circumference is an important step that is often overlooked. It will ensure that you choose the right length of beading thread so that your waist beads neither sit too high nor feel too loose.
Tip: You should be able to fit 2 fingers between the measuring tape (or Beadalon wire) and your waist. Otherwise, waist beads will be too tight when you’re sitting.
Step 2: Cut the String or beading wire
Once you have your size, you will know where to cut off the string or beading wire, depending on what you use for your waist beads. Tape the end of the string to the table before moving to the next step.
TIP: It is recommended to add at least 15 additional centimeters (around 6 inches) when cutting the string/wire. This will ensure that there’s no shortage of thread to string through the brass crimp beads.
Thus, you will not have to strain your fingers when grasping the string later on. You can cut off the excess string once you’re done.
Step 3: Add Seed Beads According to Your Pattern
Before starting to bead seed for belly beads on the thread, you will need to put a bead stopper. It should be placed around three inches (7.6 cm) from the end. Now you can start to add beads.
Be creative! Choose an interesting pattern layout rather than sticking to one color and the same type of bead. The beads should be strung in such a way that you don’t end up with a monochromatic outfit.
Once you come up with a pattern, bead it until you get the desired length. For example, if the length of your waist beads should be 36 inches, you may repeat the same pattern 6 times (6 x 6 in = 36 in).
Let’s break it down for you. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Add your crimp first.
2. Then you need to add a lobster clasp.
3. String the thread through the crimp to create a loop, thereby securing your lobster clasp in place.
4. Crush your crimp bead (press it gently to avoid breakage) with pliers so that the slot right next to the handle is used.
5. Insert the crimp bead into the 1st slot to fold it and join the jump rings together to create a secure link.
6. Now you are ready for the next step – attaching the closure.
Step 4: Attach the Closure
In this step, you need to attach the closure by stringing the lobster claw and crimp bead. Place the wire in your crimp bead so that it’s positioned on the pliers’ inner groove. Squeeze crimping pliers to create a dent in the crimp bead.
Afterward, make the crimp bead reach the outer football-like groove of the pliers. Rotate it by 90 degrees in a clockwise direction. Eventually, it should sit vertically. Then fold the crimp bead by squeezing pliers firmly and make sure the clasp is attached securely.
Step 5: Add Another Closure to the Other Side
The procedure in the previous step should be repeated on the other end of the string. You will not have to attach a clasp this time. Instead, attach the jump ring and thus crimp either side of the waist beads.
Alternatively, you can go for silver-plated beading wire. Take a 24-gauge (0.5 mm) silver wire and cut about 1.5 inches (roughly 40 mm). Then form a key shape by folding it around the top of your nose pliers.
Once you’ve molded the wire, grab one end with your fingers and overlap it three times over the other end. After cutting the tip of the beading wire, set the end pattern.
Complete the process by attaching and securing the end charm. It should be connected with the last jump ring of your waist beads. Enjoy your beautiful waist beads!
TIP: Make sure the bead charm is secured properly and ensure that the end of your wire doesn’t stick out. This way you will prevent injuries and wear your waist beads with peace of mind.
FAQs About How to Make Waist Beads
What Type of String Should Be Used for Waist Beads?
Choose one that is flexible yet durable to withstand frequent use. It is also supposed to make your waist beads elegant and be easy to use so that you’ll be able to knot, cut, and bead the string with ease. Nylon sewing thread or Stretchy elastic string is a good choice.
Should Waist Beads Be Stretchy?
Make ones that do stretch to prevent them from feeling tight or sitting high on your waist if you put on weight. If you lose some belly fat, on the other hand, they are going to fall lower to your hips and feel too loose.
Waist beads are especially popular with women. If you are one of those ladies who love dressing up with jewelry, then this accessory is perfect for you. Once you learn how to make waist beads yourself, you’ll become passionate about this fashion trend.
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