Understanding Bead Sizes and Bead Hole Sizing
Are you only starting with beading and need some guidance to grasp the scale of beads and holes? There are so many shapes and bead sizes, all of which can be used for various concepts, designs and projects for beading! You will find tips in this article on how to decide the bead and bead hole for your next jewelry making project is the right size!

How to Calculate Bead Size

Next, let 's explore how you calculate bead sizes! In most cases, the beads are added to the measurement scale, while the strand may be sold in inches. Beads are most commonly measured in millimeters ( mm) with a ruler or a caliper. Slide open the caliper against the bead to calculate the size of the bead using a caliper, closing the tips to match the size of the bead, which will display an accurate bead measurement! To use a ruler to measure beads, find centimeters (cm) and millimeter (mm) rulers to measure beads.

With a ruler, here's how to measure your beads:

1. Place the centimeter-side rule from left to right, with 0 on the left-hand side.
2. Place a pencil on the left side, like a T-bone shape perpendicular to the law.
3. At the top of the ruler, line up 10 beads, starting at 0.
4. At the joint of the ruler and pencil, click the first bead.
5. Line each bead as though it were tightly stringed.
6. Of the 10 beads to be weighed, count the number of millimeters.
7. Divide by 10 this measurement.

Determining the Best Size Bead for a Project 

It can be difficult to decide the best bead sizes for your project, depending on the type of jewelry you are trying to make! This guide will help you to understand which bead size is best for your next jewelry project!

4mm size beads- These beads are perfect for making small , delicate pieces of jewelry that are lightweight, such as anklets, wrap bracelets, and necklaces. The larger the stone, the heavier the bracelet / necklace will be when dealing with gemstones, so the 4 mm sizes are perfect when it comes to making very subtle pieces of jewelry!

6 mm size beads- This size is perfect for ideal bracelets and necklaces, especially when working with gemstones! The jewelry pieces are more of a statement than the 4 mm scale, but without being too flashy, they are slightly larger and perfect for pieces that you want to stand out.

8mm size beads- This size is one of the best for bracelets because it provides a less bulky wrist bracelet that can be heavy while dealing with gemstones. For necklaces, the ideal size is 8 mm, which produces dramatic pieces without being too voluminous and bulky.

10 mm size beads- This size is good for bracelets, but if you just deal with gemstones, it can be very heavy on the wrist. In this scale, the use of 10 mm gemstones as an accent bead can prevent pieces from looking too large and becoming very heavy.

Bead Hole Size 

Now that we have decided which beads are best for your next project, let's look into the hole size of the bead. This will determine the stringing material needed for the beads you've chosen! The main difference in the hole size, is often related to the method of production. For example, glass beads are made from molds which already includes the hole size, so many glass beads will have a consistent hole size of around .5mm- .8mm.

 When it comes down to gemstone beads, there is a wider variety and range of the bead hole size. Since natural gemstone beads have different properties that determines the hardness of the stone, some gemstones are drilled by hand.

When the best bead size for your project has been decided, refer to this bead per inch chart to decide how many beads you will need!

Beads Per Inches Size Chart

Bead Size (Length) 1" 7" 16"
1mm 25.4 177.8 406.4
2mm 12.7 88.9 203.2
3mm 8.5 59.5 136
4mm 6.4 44.8 102.4
5mm 5.1 35.7 81.6
6mm 4.2 29.4 66
7mm 3.6 25.2 57.6
8mm 3.2 22.4 48
9mm 2.8 19.6 44.8
10mm 2.5 17.5 40
11mm 2.3 16.1 36.8
12mm 2.1 14.7 33.6
13mm 2 14 32
14mm 1.8 12.6 28.8
15mm 1.7 11.9 27.2
16mm 1.4 9.8


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