How to Make African Waist Beads

Get your waist beads on with this awesome DIY tutorial on traditional African beads.

Waist beads have been a token of traditional West African culture for centuries. For many African tribes, beads are not simply objects. They serve as an important symbol of status or identity. In this cool tutorial, we're gonna show you how to make your own waist beads, inspired by the West African culture we love so much!

Cut 50 inches of the tiger tail and tape its end to your working table.

Lay out the pattern that you'd like your beads to be strung. Be creative!

Bead this pattern all the way through to your desired length

First start by adding your crimp

Then add your lobster clasp

Form a loop by stringing the wire through the same crimp.

This will secure the lobster clasp in its place

Use the crimp pliers and crush the crimp bead using the slot closest to the handle

You should have a pressed crimp bead that looks like a book

Fold the Crimp bead by putting it inside of the first slot of the crimp pliers to secure it

Create a link from the jump rings by opening them with pliers and joining them together.

Cut 1 ½ inches of 24 gauge silver wire

Fold the wire around the tip of the round nose pliers molding it to create a key shape

Overlap one end of the wire over the other two times, using your finger

Cut tip of wire

Bead your end pattern

Follow steps 10, 11, and 12 to secure your bead charm

Press on the end of the wire to keep it from sticking out

Finally attach your end charm to the last jump ring and secure

Enjoy your new waist beads :)


How did your waist beads turn out? Post a photo below in the comments and share!