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!
- White Glass Seed Beads
- Vintage Brown Irregular Seed Beads
- Small Brass Bicone Beads
- 24 Gauge Silver Wire Half Hard (1 ½” inches)
- .015 Tiger Tail (50 inches)
- Small Brass Crimp Bead (2 pieces)
- Small Brass Lobster Clasps (1 piece)
- 7 mm Brass Jump Rings (2 pieces)
- Nose Pliers
- Bent Nose Pliers
- Wire Cutters
- Small Crimp Pliers
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!