Making a beaded headband

We’re going back to the UK next month for a close friend’s wedding and whilst I have a dress (although it needs altering), I was wondering what to do with my hair! I’m planning on having it cut for the first time in about a year so it’ll be shorter and I won’t be able to do much with it in terms of putting it up. So what better than to dress it up with a pretty headband? I wanted something pretty but discreet and decided that the best way to find exactly what I wanted was to make it myself!

handmade beaded headband

This is a pretty simple craft – I don’t have time for long complicated ones any more! It took me only a couple of hours, including the time to mess around with beads and figure out what design to do.

Here’s what you need:

  • Simple headband
  • Nylon cord (fishing line or similar)
  • Beads
  • Glue (I never know the best glue to use in different applications. I used Hypo Cement because that was what I have, but if you have a better recommendation please let me know!)
  • Scissors

beaded headband materials

1. Decide on your bead pattern. This will probably depend on which beads you have available, the width of your headband and your personal taste. I wanted to use these pearls (which I bought here) and I decided to alternate the pearls with a row of seed beads. I wanted to keep it pretty neutral so I used the clear/silver beads mostly with a few gold ones interspersed.

2. Cut the nylon cord to length. By doing a trial section of the headband with the beads I calculated that I would need about 8′ of cord (this was a slight overestimate in the end but it wasn’t far off). The length you need will depend on the size of your beads and the width of your headband.

3. Tie the nylon cord to the headband where you want to begin beading. I just used a double knot for this. Then wrap the cord around the headband several times to help secure the knot. I tried to keep this neat and make my wraps lie neatly next to one another.

tie a knot in the cord

4. Thread your beads onto the nylon cord – enough for something like one-third of your headband. I found that doing this first made it a lot quicker and easier to attach the beads to the headband.

5. Push the first bead (or beads, if you’re having more than one bead in a row) onto the top of the headband and pull the cord tight. Now wrap the cord round the headband once more so that the cord lies straight under the beads you have just attached. This has two functions: (1) it helps to secure the beads well, and (2) it keeps the row of beads straight. I used the teeth of the headband to ensure that the second wrap was straight under the first one. Then I took the end of the second wrap through the next tooth (or the one after that, depending on the size of the bead) so that the cord comes up in the right place to make the next row of beads lie straight.

wrap the first bead

6. Repeat step 5 with the next bead or beads, and continue until you have used up all the beads you had threaded onto the cord. Then thread some more beads onto the cord and continue until you have covered the whole headband.

beaded headband in progress

7. Finish by wrapping the cord around several times and tie a knot. I found it very difficult to know what knot to tie here, maybe you know better? Anyway, I did something approximating a double knot that vaguely worked. Then, continuing to hold the cord taut, I applied a load of glue to the knot and wraps at both the beginning and end of the cord and left it to dry. I hope it holds when I’m wearing it!

wrapped beaded headband

So here is my finished headband. I think it looks quite pretty! (I do love pearls and sparkles) What do you think? Let me know if you have a go yourself!

beaded headband with pearls

Thanks for reading!


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