Choosing Beads That Work Together


Color and texture are the main components of great jewelry design. Here is how to choose colors and textures of beads that complement each other and come together in a truly great piece of jewelry.

moon1.jpgStart With Beads You Love. Great pieces start with great beads. When you find beads that move you (like these lampwork beads have moved me), snatch ’em up fast.

moon2.jpgComplement the Elements. After studying your wonderful finds a bit more closely, what do you like best? What elements of the beads do you want to bring out and celebrate? I loved the deep blues in these beads, but didn’t want to overlook the white, and I was certain that white pearls would give this piece a classic and timeless look.

moon3.jpgAccentuate the Subtleties. I found smooth glass beads that perfectly complement the lampwork beads. The blue was just the right shade to pick up the swirl pattern in the lampwork beads.

moon4.jpgMake It Sparkle. Who can resist Swarovski crystals with such gorgeous lampwork beads? I chose blue and an iridescent for added notability.

moon5.jpgTake a Risk. I took a risk here by adding the base metal spacers, but coupled with the glass pearls, I think it widens the classic dimension. I think the risk was worth it. What do you think?

moon6.jpgCreate A Balance. Whether you want a striking piece or an understated one, balance your beads so your colors and textures have a harmonious symmetry. That may mean arranging and rearranging until you have a sequence that works perfectly.

indigo-moon-bracelet.jpgFinish Strong. Choose clasps and findings that do justice to the finished piece. Sometimes this may mean paying a bit more, but trust me, it will be worth it in the end. Enjoy your finished product! (I call this piece “Indigo Mood Bracelet”!)


  1. Avatar Heidi L

    Thanks for this. For someone who’s just starting out, it gave me some great ideas!

  2. Avatar Mary Jane Stark

    I wish that I had had some of this information when I first started making jewelry! I started without a clue and made some messes but also made some beautiful pieces.

  3. Avatar callyross

    Thank you for breaking this down in simple steps. I too wish I’d had this info when I first started making jewelry. I’ve skipped over wonderful beads because I couldn’t afford “enough to make anything”, now I’ve learned how to set them off in smaller quantities.

  4. Avatar Mary Jo

    Love the colors! I make jewelry as well and realized that I was doing exactly what you described in this breakdown. Thanks for sharing your work along with your thoughts. Now I’m sure that I’m going about it correctly. You’re awesome 😀

  5. Avatar Bernadette

    Hi, I’ve been designing Jewelry for about 15 yrs. it’s nice to hear how other designers put together there jewelry using their concept that works for them and then turning around to share with others. Very ADMIRABLE !! Thank you!

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