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Donut beads are usually circular, flat beads with a large center hole - they look very much like the kind of donut that you eat. Most donuts used for jewelry are made of semi-precious gemstone, although you also can find Czech-made glass donuts, fiber optic donuts (a synthetic material), and donuts made from materials such as bone or wood. Round donuts are sometimes also called 'pi' donuts. Round gemstone donuts are excellent in jewelry making.
Donuts are a popular jewelry making item - especially when used as a pendant at the center of a necklace - or using two small matching ones for earring pendants.
Donuts are made with a "side drilled" hole - a hole drilled across the flat dimension of the bead. The are called Side-Drilled Gemstone Donuts. This extra hole makes it easier to attach donuts as a pendant.
Recently, donuts have become available in other shapes than round. There are Half Donuts & Triangle Donuts, axe- donuts, "A Go Go" donuts, oval donuts, and some fancier shapes such as figure-8 and heart.
There are so many combinations of beads, gems, and stringing techniques, that the designs available to beaders are countless. Still, sometimes it just seems like the creative juices stop flowing. Maybe you need to add a little variety to your next project with a few coin pearl beads. These lovely textured beauties can be round, oval, or teardrop, and they will always add new interest to your jewelry designs. They're small enough that they won't take away from your other beads, but they can command a design if you use them in numbers. With a variety of colors to choose from including peacock, pink, baby blue, coin pearl beads are simply divine to bead with!
As you begin making bead jewelry you will realize that the choices of shapes are endless. Beads can be flat, square, elongated or cut like gemstones. Donuts are a great example of a specialty bead that can be turned into striking jewelry. Often used as pendants, donuts can be perfectly round beads, irregularly shaped or even shaped like "Figure 8s". A donut bead has a hole in the middle through which you attach a cord, turning it into a necklace. Donut beads are most commonly made from a semi-precious gemstone.
Color-lined beads have a solid-color core with a transparent overlay. The core color is added to a transparent bead. The core and overlay can be in the same color family, such as a dark blue core with a light blue overlay, or two different colors, like a dark green core and beige overlay.
Charlotte Cuts are rounded, like regular seed beads, but are cut, or faceted, on one side, only Most are available in size 13/0 and the holes tend to be smaller than other seed beads, which makes them a little harder to work with. However, they are gorgeous and are well worth the effort.
Beads can be made of anything: gem stones, wood, metal, glass. The most widely used beads are semi-precious gemstone or glass. Glass beads are currently popular for their affordability and the wide variety of colors and styles that are available. You can buy beads in one color or in an assortment of colors on the same strand. Some glass beads even come with a silver-lined or a gold-lined or copper-lined core, covered with transparent glass for extra sparkle.
Seed beads come in sizes ranging from 5/0 to 28/0. The smaller the number, the larger the bead…28/0 would be VERY small and very hard to bead with! 11/0 are the most commonly used size. In an 11/0 size, you need to string about 16 or 17 beads to make an inch.
Seed beads in the 6/0 size (about 4mm wide) are also called "E beads".
Looking for a fun and creative challenge? Or maybe you want to create a matched set of jewelry with a similar color palette but with unique beads? Consider buying a bead mix. You will usually get about 50 or 60 beads and they can be thematically related by decoration or by color. They are often fancy lampwork beads or Indian beads and can make a beautiful addition to your beading supplies and make lovely bead jewelry.