Micro-Macrame beads come in many styles, shapes
and sizes. This page describes some of
the most common types you can purchase, either
online or in craft stores.
Since Micro-Macrame features cord material 0.75mm
to 2mm, you have a lot more options when choosing
beads. Metal, plastic, wood, glass, ceramic,
and gemstone beads are described on this
page. There are also beading tips to help
you find the right beads for your projects.
When purchasing beads, the hole size is not the
only feature you need to consider. The
overall size and the weight are just as
important. So is the price. For each
type of bead listed below, I've provided
information on these topics.
Beads suitable for materials over
2mm wide are described on a separate
page, called Macrame Beads.
Click on the link to visit that page, if you
haven't already been there.
Some of the most popular Micro-Macrame beads are
made from metal, which includes silver, brass,
gold, copper, aluminum, or pewter materials.
Brass beads can have a silver, gold, or gunmetal
finish. They won't be as expensive as real
gold and silver will be. Pewter isn't as
shiny, but the beads often have unique
designs. Aluminum and copper beads are
harder to find than the other materials.
Metal beads range in size from 4mm to 20mm, but
focal beads can be as much as 50mm in
Basic shapes (round, oval, etc.) are sometimes
called "spacers", because they are used to
separate patterns on beaded jewelry.
purchasing metal beads, keep in mind that the
weight increases with size. In the
image below, the pewter bead on the far left was
much heavier than the other beads.
The type of material also affects the
weight. Aluminum is the lightest material,
while Brass and Pewter can be quite heavy.
beads all have holes 4mm - 5mm in size.
Large holes are great if you have several
cords to pass through the beads, such as
when you make bead
When passing single
pieces of cord material through
Micro-Macrame beads, you may need small
beads usually have tiny holes
suitable for a 0.75mm to 1mm cord to
Tip 1: It's important that the hole
size fits the material you are using.
Micro-Macrame beads can tilt or turn if they don't
grip the cord material adequately.
Determine how many cords will pass through
Multiply the number of cords X their width
(1mm, 2mm, etc.).
The result is the hole size you need for the
material you are using.
beads are usually 25mm or larger,
and are used to attract the eye (focal
point) in a bead design.
This Cloisonne' bead is 45mm in
is a technique where colored glass or enamel paste
is used to create elaborate designs on metal
beads. Very fine wire is often used in the
process of creating these designs.
Many of these Micro-Macrame beads are hand made
and truly unique. Because so much time and
effort goes into these beads, they cost
The hole size is usually 1mm to 1.5mm, even if the
bead is large.
These beads are often hollow, which makes
threading them a challenge.
Tip 2: When preparing cords
for Micro-Macrame projects, you can cut the cords
a little longer, then apply glue to the
tips. Cover at least a 1-inch area at each
This will stiffen the material and make beading
beads are a unique way to
decorate your handcrafted jewelry.
Sometimes they have holes in the center
Others have spaces through the wire loops,
so can dangle like charms (silver
Beads are also unique, and
sometimes come in non-metallic colors.
These are very lightweight, so are an
excellent choice for earrings.
is a good place to find interesting beads,
which is where I found these.
Plastic and Wood Beads
Micro-Macrame beads can sometimes be
expensive. I've seen beads priced at over
$20.00 each. For many people, the
price can often make the decision for you.
The least expensive beads are those made with
plastic (or acrylic) materials. They have
the reputation as being too plain, but you can
find unique styles.
Wood beads also have low prices, and you are often
able to enlarge
the holes with a bead reamer.
beads have either a plastic or
wood base that is wrapped with cord
material. Some have crochet or woven
fabric surrounding the base.
They are lightweight and very inexpensive,
making them a great choice for children's
beads are also a good option for
children's projects, since they are often
brightly colored and inexpensive.
The hole sizes for plastic and wood beads
are usually 2mm - 3mm.
Tip 3: When working with
wood beads, inspect them for rough edges,
which is common.
Use a bead
reamer to clean up the inside and
edges, or to enlarge the holes.
Also, keep them away from heat sources and
windows, since the varnish can melt or
and wood beads come in a huge variety of
shapes and sizes.
These Micro-Macrame beads are called Spaghetti
beads, because they are long and
Rhinestone beads have molded
stones or pearls that sparkle and
shine. Some styles are called "Disco
These cost a lot less than beads made with
This interesting "Beaded" bead has a
plastic core that is covered with rows of
glass seed beads.
This one is 25mm, so is the right size for
a focal bead.
can be used in the same way as
Novelty buttons come in a variety of
unique and appealing shapes.
Beads are some of the most
colorful beads you can find. They
come in a huge range of styles, sizes and
The three most common styles are shown
The hole size is usually 1mm to 2mm.
beads can be really unique.
These are Pumice beads (Lava beads). They
are interesting because you can feel and
see the texture of the stone.
You can find stone beads in most of the
basic geometric shapes.
The hole size is usually 1mm to 2mm,
depending on the overall size (4mm to
The most common Micro-Macrame beads are those
made with glass. The information below tells
you about the most popular types, but that is only
a small fraction of the many styles and shapes
The sizes range from less than 2mm, all the way up
to 25mm. There are larger glass beads
available, but they are hard to find.
There are hundreds of online stores that carry
glass beads, and you can usually find them in
craft stores, too.
Tip 4: Before searching online, do
some research to see what types, shapes, and sizes
you may want to purchase. There are so
many options, you need to narrow the search and
look specifically for what you want.
You can type in a search engine "6mm teardrop
glass faceted crystal beads 1mm hole". That
will bring you to an assortment of online stores
to search through.
are the smallest Micro-Macrame beads you can
purchase. They come in a variety of shapes,
styles, and sizes.
The most common are Rocailles,
which are round. Rondelles
are shorter and more compressed.
Here are other terms you might come across as
you search for Micro-Macrame beads:
Beads: Tubular seed beads that are
sized by length. Sizes 2 and 3 are
similar to size 11/0 Rocaille beads.
Beads with six sides (hexagon).
Beads with multiple flat surfaces.
Toho, Matsuno: High quality seed
beads made in Japan.
Cylinder seed beads made in Japan that have
thin walls and large holes. These beads
are often used for bead
weaving. The sizes are slightly
smaller than round beads.
Glass: These beads are made by
pressing glass onto a mold. Many
interesting shapes can be created.
Imprints can be added with a contrasting
Glass: These hollow beads are made by
blowing into a glass tube onto melted glass,
which is then shaped by heat from a
beads are often made with blown glas.
These are often handmade. The glass is
first melted, then wrapped around a wire while
it's hot, creating the hole. Often
highly decorated, these are some of the most
beautiful beads you can purchase.
Beads made with glass mixed with Lead.
This process was invented in the 1600's.
Swarovski Austrian crystals are the most
common brand, and are usually faceted with a
polished: These beads are sometimes
called crystals due to their facets and high
shine, but do not contain lead. They are cut
by hand or machine, then heated to smooth the
edges. They often have some type of
finish, too. Czech beads are often fire
= Means "thousand flowers". First
developed in the 1800s. Thin rods of
glass in different colors are fused, then cut
in cross section slices. The slices are
then melted over a glass core.
sometimes have unique shapes, like this
one, which looks like a bow tie.
Hearts, figures, flowers, cubes, triangles
are examples of non-basic shapes.
I used to
think Donut shaped beads were not suitable
for Micro-Macrame, but I have since
changed my attitude.
You and pass the cord through them
horizontally, vertically, or have them
dangle like a charm.
In this image
of the Owl Pendant,
the beak was made with a donut shaped wood
bead arranged vertically.
Rollers are a popular type of
glass bead that can be used in
Micro-Macrame, as well as projects made
with thicker materials.
I use them when I make beaded fringe with
4mm size material.
Crow Rollers are simply round, short beads with
large holes. The beads shown above have
different styles and finishes. They are 9mm in
size with 4mm holes, which is the most common
Crow Rollers made with plastic are sometimes
called "Pony Beads".
beads are unique in the fact that
the hole is horizontal and placed near the
So they dangle like charms and pendants.
Unfortunately, it's hard to find drop
beads that have hole sizes over 1mm.
Beads are extremely
popular. They are sometimes called Pandora
The ones made with glass have a silver or
gold grommet lining the hole, which is
These beads are often highly artistic.
Handmade beads in this style are usually
beads are also very popular.
This is a handmade European style bead
that's been covered with glass
Pearls are oval shaped glass
beads that have a glossy coating, so they
resemble real pearls.
You can tell the difference by the fact
that the beads will be all the same
Beads made with glass often have
raised areas that stand out, like the
ears, nose and feet of this little piggy.
Basic shapes can have raised areas and
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