Macrame beads come in all shapes and sizes, and
are often used in a variety of projects,
especially Micro-Macrame jewelry.
Some beads are not suitable for Macrame,
however, due to the fact the holes
are too small.
In most patterns, the holes in the beads need
to be large enough for at least two pieces of
material to pass through.
So for standard Macrame (4mm to 6mm material),
you need the hole sizes to be 8mm or more. For
Micro-Macrame, the holes need to be 2mm to 6mm
size, depending on the material.
I recommend you read through this page
thoroughly, so you know which beads are most
suitable for the Macrame projects you are
The first section describes several different types
of beads. Further down you will find information
about the various shapes.
Types of Beads
specifically designed for this craft, so they have
8mm to 12mm size holes.
Made from wood, porcelain, or ceramic materials,
they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Ceramic beads are hard to find and are more
expensive than wood beads.
Beads have holes 2mm to 4mm in size,
depending on the shape. You can find gold plated,
silver plated, and brass metal beads in stores
that carries beading supplies.
Precious metal beads are more expensive. The bead
shown is made from antique brass.
Beads are metal, and usually have a
colorful design imprinted on them. They have an
"Oriental" feel and come in a variety of shapes
and sizes. The holes are usually 1mm to 2mm, so
these are used for Micro-Macrame jewelry.
Wire Beadsusually don't have holes at all. You slip
the cords through the loops of wire. They are
often handmade and suitable for Micro-Macrame (1mm
to 2mm openings).
are very attractive, and on occasion you can
find them with holes over 2mm in size.
are similar to pony beads, but made from
glass. The holes are usually 3mm - 4mm in
beads) have become very popular for
Macrame projects. They often have a silver or
gold lining inside the large hole, which is
usually 4mm to 5mm in size.
These are primarily used in jewelry, as focal
beads, but are a good choice for other projects,
Beadsoften have holes 2mm
to 4mm in size.
They are easy to find, and are inexpensive
compared to other beads.
are plastic, but have an authentic metal
coating, and are often quite unique.
They are slightly more expensive than regular
plastic Macrame beads.
have great details and many are shaped to form
three-dimensional objects, like this flower.
The holes are usually 1mm to 2mm, but it's
possible to enlarge them slightly with a bead
are very interesting. They are made from loops
of cords wrapped around a plastic or wood base.
The hole size is usually 2mm.
are a type of cord bead. They are usually made
from wood or plastic, with a crochet fabric
Beads usually have very tiny holes
(1mm), so are suitable for Micro-Macrame.
They are often more expensive than beads made from
also called Pumice Beads, come
in a variety of shapes. There is usually a 1mm
to 2mm size hole running through the bead.
Some shapes have a large opening in the center,
like this triangular bead.
are polished gemstones or acrylic material. They
don't have any holes, and have a flat back. They
are usually oval, round, or teardrop shaped.
Setting is one way to turn
cabochons and coins into pendants. It's a knot
technique you should know if you plan to use
these stones in a jewelry design.
are very unusual, and are made from recycled car
tires. They are soft, and comfortable against
the skin, even if they have spikes like the ones
They have small holes (1mm to 2mm), so are
suitable for Micro-Macrame jewelry.
are made by hand. They have rows of seed beads
attached to a wood or plastic base. You need to
be careful when you use them, since seed beads
are delicate, and can come loose.
These are suitable for Micro-Macrame (1mm to
beads have become quite popular. They
are called Disco Ball or Pave
beads if the stones are close together.
They usually have 1mm to 2mm holes, and are
suitable for Micro-Macrame only.
Lamp Work Beads
are unique because they have raised areas,
forming a 3-D effect.
These handmade beads are easy to find, and
usually have small 1mm to 2mm size holes.
are often greatly detailed, and come in a
variety of shapes and sizes.
They are used primarily for Macrame jewelry
projects, since they usually have 2mm holes.
very unique because they are made from a
material that changes color, depending on
your body temperature.
They come in a variety of shapes, and most have
1mm to 2mm size holes. They are often expensive.
Shell and Bone
Beads usually have very tiny (1mm)
holes, and are made from real shells and bones.
These beads are easily damaged, and will often
break if you try to enlarge the holes.
come from a variety of plants, and are a good
choice for Micro-Macrame. The hole size is
usually 1mm to 2mm.
This is a Rudraksha bead.
(Not the same as tiny glass beads, also called
are the most common Macrame beads, since they
have holes ranging from 2mm to 12mm in size.
They come in natural, unfinished, or painted
styles. These are usually oval, round or barrel
The holes can be enlarged easily if necessary.
can be used instead of Macrame beads. Beaded
buttons make great pendants, and you can use
shank style buttons for clasps.
The hole size is usually 2mm.
usually have holes 2mm to 8mm in size. Large
round Macrame beads are usually made from wood.
Small round beads are used in Micro-Macrame
projects, and you can find them in glass,
gemstone, and metal materials.
are the most common shape used in Macrame. They
are not as tall as Oval beads, and are usually
The average size for these Macrame beads is
15mm, which have 6mm to 8mm holes. You can find
them in smaller sizes as well.
are often specifically made for Macrame, and
sometimes have decals on them, like the one
They are usually ceramic or wood, and have
holes ranging from 2mm to 12mm.
are designed with the hole running horizontally
near the top, so the bead dangles below the
cord. Some are shaped like teardrops, but many
The standard teardrop styles usually have 1mm
holes, but you can sometimes find them with
holes 2mm in size.
are designed with a loop that is often large
enough for several cords to pass through (2mm or
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and
materials. Like drop beads, they dangle below
are very small, so are only suitable for
Micro-Macrame projects. Cord materials over 2mm
do not fit through them.
They come in many colors, are inexpensive, and
can be found in stores carrying jewelry
make great Macrame Beads. They look likea barrel bead cut in half, and come in
several sizes. Most Pony Beads
are this shape.
They are the best beads for 2mm cord
materials, and you can often pass one 3mm to 4mm
size cord through them.
also called Bicones,
are hard to find with holes above 2mm, unless
they are very large. So they are primarily use
in Micro-Macrame jewelry.
These beads are usually made of glass, but you
can find them in metal, wood, or plastic as
and Donuts usually have
holes 2mm to 4mm in size. They are made from
glass, ceramic, metal, plastic, gemstone, and
These make good Macrame beads, but you need to
use them like pendants. Pass the cord through
the center, so the ring dangles.
are long and oval in shape. They are often used in
jewelry projects as well as items like dog
collars. Most have 2mm size holes, but you can
find larger ones with 4mm to 6mm hole sizes.
come in many different sizes, and are made from
a variety of materials.
are very similar, but are shorter.
Both types have holes ranging from 2mm to 6mm,
making them excellent Macrame beads.
are actually a type of Lamp work bead. They don't
have any holes at all. Instead, the beads wrap
around the cords. They are often suitable for
Macrame designs using 2mm or 3mm size materials.
Cubes are unique. You dont see them
used very often in Macrame.
Most have 2mm to 4mm holes. They're slightly
more expensive than other shapes.
Blocksare simply large wooden cubes, with a
hole through the center. These Macrame beads are
great for children's projects.
They usually have 4mm to 8mm holes, which can
Beads are interesting, and many shapes
are available. Animals, flowers, hearts, and stars
are the most common. They are suitable for
Micro-Macrame, but sometimes you can find large
ones suitable for regular Macrame projects.
There are a few techniques you need to know
when using Macrame Beads:
How to thread the cords through the beads, and
securing them so they dont fall off.
Using a Wire
is the easiest way to attach beads. Simply fold
the wire, and feed both ends through the bead.
Leave a small loop.
Insert the cords into the loop, and pull the
ends. The entire wire as well as the cord will
go through the opening in the bead.
are another option, but only for Micro-Macrame.
You feed the end of the cord through the hole in
Then you pass the needle through the beads. The
down side is that it can be very difficult to
thread the needle.
beads by hand is the third option.
Sometimes its just easier to poke the end of
the cord through the bead's hole.
No matter which technique you use, I recommend
you coat the cords with beeswax and apply glue to
the tips. This will prevent fray and the glue
stiffens the tips to make beading easier.
Securing Macrame beads to the cords is pretty
simple. When tying knots around
the beads, there is no need to secure
For other situations, tying a Barrel
Knot above and/or below the
bead will work.
For beads used as part of a clasp,
use this method:
Thread the cord through the hole in the bead.
Make a tight Overhand
Knot, and pass it back through
You can tie a different type of knot if the
hole is large and the cord slips out.
Cut the remainder of the cord close to the
Macrame bead and apply a small amount of glue
inside the opening, if possible.
any text or images on Free Macrame
Patterns, you are agreeing to ourTerms of