Do It Yourself Keepsakes: Free Bead Projects

Free keepsake beading projects including a wedding ensemble, eyeglass holder, purse, necklace, and teen style belt.

Keepsakes of all kinds can be embellished or made entirely of beads. Bead choice and using a sturdy, matching thread will enhance your projects and make sure they are worthy of an item that you would want to pass down to a loved one as a keepsake. Quality beads and apparel quality thread will only enhance any item you make to be cherished through the years.

Wedding Wear:

A simple pair of white wedding gloves adorned with teardrop or heart pearl beads along the cuff make an elegant example. A veil that would otherwise be plain could be trimmed in the same style bead as the gloves, with the beads one size larger than on the glove cuffs, for a matching ensemble. Carry the simple theme one step further and on each cuff, thread a length of beads, and form into a bow shape or elegant dangles. One or two Swarovski beads will also make the simplest item into an elegant statement, or try white or other natural color freshwater pearls for an equally brilliant trim.

Eyeglass Holder:

4 or 6mm crow or tile style beads strung on a length of bonded nylon thread or cotton cording will make an eye catching dangle for your eyeglasses. Measure the cord to a length that you find comfortable for your glasses to rest when hung around your neck. Cut several inches over the length desired. String beads on one or several strands, depending on what design you find fun and/or wearable. Secure to your glasses on each eyeglass arm with small rubber eyeglass holders. Many of these come adorned with gold or silver plated coils for an additional feature enhancement.

Evening Purse:

Beaders always seem to have beads that they bought because they were cool, just gorgeous, or had the WOW factor. Once they get them home though, they often end up in your bead closet or drawer, never really intended for any one particular bead project. These can be all different sizes, shapes, and colors, or a more organized color and shape theme. Gather along with matching thread or beading cord and turn them into a fun fringe along the bottom of a basic evening purse. You could also fashion the purse itself from scratch with the most basic of sewing skills. Cut four 6" x 10" rectangles of desired fabric. With two pieces for each side, sew them together on three sides, inside out. Turn right sides out; fold top edge over a piece of cording that is three times the length of the opening. Tie ends of cord together, or knot each end so that it will not run back through the opening. This will form the top of the purse and close with a simple pull. It will also be the handle.

Teen Wear:

Teenagers love beads. Adorning a pair of blue jeans with a belt made of beads will allow them to make a fashion statement and have fun at the same time. Measure the waist of the intended wearer of the belt and cut natural hemp double the length. Cut six to twelve lengths. Bead with colors matching their schools team pride or a favorite color. Once all the beads are strung, weave strands together, or try a simple braid effect for fun. Let belt dangle when tied, for that extra wow!


Crochet and beads go together for some of the most beautiful end results. With a size 12 steel hook, crochet cotton thread in your color choice, toggle set, and beads of your own choosing, create a one-of-a-kind keepsake necklace. Toggle sets come in a variety of designs, for example, a teapot shape with spoon. Crochet a chain the desired length of the necklace, chain (ch) one, and turn. Single crochet (sc) in first ten ch, (pick up bead, sc through bead and next stitch (st), sc in next 2 ch) repeat across chain until last ten ch, sc in each of last 10 ch. Secure each end to one toggle end. Try a variety of beads, threads, and lengths for some wonderful creative possibilities.

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