Copyright 2009 Donna Spadafore

Love this website? Give us a “like”

Wire weaving with beads adds a little extra je ne sais quoi, n’est ce pas? Here’s how to add beads to your next wire weaving project. I’d like to give a special thanks to Donna for submitting so many beautiful tutorials. You can find more of her tutorials on my website linking from the Making Wire Jewelry page



In this lesson I will teach you how to add a bead to a woven project so that the bead lies neatly on top of the weave.

For the illustrations I am using 16g wire for the core wires and 26g wire for the weaving wires. I am using these larger wires so that the detail is easier for you to see. You can also use this technique with smaller or larger wires.

I recommended that you review the first Basic Weaving Techniques tutorial before continuing with this lesson. You can get that free of charge, from the following link:


  • 16g dead soft round practice wire
  • 26g dead soft round practice wire
  • 4mm beads


  • Chain nose pliers
  • Wire cutters

Step 1:

You will start with 2 pieces of 16g wire that are approximately the same length. The actual length does not matter at this point, as this is just a practice piece.

Secure the 26g wire onto one of the 16g wires by wrapping it a few times.

Step 2:

Begin weaving around both wires in a figure 8 pattern.

You can find the instructions for this weave in the first Basic Weaving Techniques found here:

Step 3:

Once you reach the area where you want to place a bead, stop weaving. You will need to bend the wire at a 90º angle. To find where to make the bend, determine the size of the bead, and cut that number in half.

For the illustration, I am using 4mm beads. So on this piece I made the bend approximately 2mm above the core wire.

Step 4:

Slip the bead onto the wire and slide it all the way to the bend you created in the previous step. Then bend the free end of the wire down against the bead.

Step 5:

Bring the weaving wire down and wrap it underneath both of the weaving wires, so that it comes back up on the other side.

Step 6:

Continue weaving in the same figure 8 pattern as before.

Step 7:

Continue to add beads as you go along at the desired distance apart.

In the example to the right, this technique was used extensively to create unusual borders along the entire piece.

You can space the beads close together for a more dramatic appearance, or farther apart for a more formal designs. Using different sizes of beads and wire gauges also helps to create many different looks using the same technique.

About the Artist: Donna Spadafore is a self taught jewelry artist who has spent years improving her techniques and creating new, original jewelry designs. She now teaches many of her designs to her students using on-line tutorials available on her web-site. If you are interested in learning new and wonderful jewelry techniques, go to

About the Author

Christine Gierer

I'm Christine Gierer and I'm obsessed with making jewelry and teaching others how to do it too. I've been a creative person all my life, and I've done all kinds of things like art, sociology, and counseling. But nothing makes me happier than playing with beads, wires, and tools and sharing my tips and tricks with you. I have two awesome websites where you can find tons of tutorials, courses, and workshops on how to make jewelry and how to sell it online.

View All Articles