How to Make Jewelry using African Beads

Africa has been making jewelry crafted by hand for a very long time in keep with their traditions and they use African beads which come in a wide variety of colors and shapes as well as textures. You can now make your jewelry yourself using inspiration from the African styles and the raw materials like trade beads that the African jewelers themselves make use of.

You can make simple African jewelry like necklaces or pendants or something as complicated as the pieces that are normally used by Africans for their rituals in healing and their spiritual ceremonies. All you require is the African beads or trade beads, a clasp, some jewelry cord or wire, crimping pliers and crimping beads.

If you look at pictures or piece of African jewelry you are sure to draw inspiration from these and be able to create your own designs.

Tribal jewelry from Africa includes the bone necklaces from Kenya, the coconut disc necklaces from Nigeria, crosses from Ethiopia and the Mali wedding beads. Settle on a particular style. If you would rather make a necklace with a lone pendant, then search for a bead that has an attractive color or pattern. If you intend putting together several African beads, put them against a neutral background like the black velvet that most jewelers use to find out how they combination looks.

A pendant can also be put together with smaller trade beads. Get hold of some good African beads. There are quite a few sites on the Internet that deal with trade beads and other African beads and jewelry supplies and these companies buy them directly from families who make them in Africa. Some of the pieces might be very old or of limited versions and be sold at a very high price while the other trade beads are more affordable.

Measure out the required length of beading thread that you will require. The length should be ideally the length that you want your necklace of trade beads to be plus an extra five inches. If you would like to use bigger African beads then you might like to replace the beading thread with cotton cord or leather.

If you choose to use wire to thread them, put a crimp bead on one end along with one part of the clasp. Pass the wire through the crimp bead, make sure you tighten it and then flatten the bead with the help of the crimping pliers. The extra wire should be trimmed off. Start stringing the beads.

If you are looking to have a pattern that is symmetrical, start with the center and keep adding African beads on either side. Add the other part of the clasp or a jump ring if you are using a hook clasp. Draw the wire through the clasp and cut off the extra. And then wear you beautiful necklace of trade beads and watch the heads turn.

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