Beaded stretch rings are among the simplest of jewellery projects and are perfect for beginning jewellery designers. The most difficult aspect of making a beaded stretch ring is selecting the beads. Your choices include sparkling crystal, faceted-glass, hand-painted-wooden, gemstone and shell beads. You need no special skills to make a beaded stretch ring, just an eye for pleasing design.
Select the beads for your ring. Consider the comfort factor and bead size. Most elastic beading cord is .5 mm thick. Seed beads with tiny openings will not fit easily over the cord. Do not select beads larger than 4 mm to fit around the back of your ring or the fit may be uncomfortable on your finger. Select a larger bead for the centre of your ring, if you like, and surround it with smaller beads that will easily rest between your fingers.
Measure the size of your finger. Add 4 inches and cut a length of beading cord to this dimension. The extra inches are to make knotting the elastic cord easier. Elastic beading cord comes in a variety of colours from clear to metallic. Select a cord colour to coordinate with your beads. Clear cord works best with crystal and glass beads, unless you'd like the cording colour to show through on your design.
Attach a paper clip to the tip of one end of your cording. This will hold the beads in place while you create your ring. If a paper clip is not handy, you can use a piece of tape, anything that will act as a stopper for your beads will work.
Thread the beads onto the cording. If you have a large centre bead, include an equal number of beads on either side.
Remove the paper clip and knot the two ends together with a double overhand knot. Elastic beading cord stays knotted quite well, but it's a good idea to add a dot of jeweller glue over the knot to hold it in place. Let the glue dry.
Cut off the excess beading cord and hide the knot inside the beads on your ring. You can do this by sliding the beads around the elastic cording until the knot disappears.
Consider creating a beaded ring with a combination of hand-painted wooden beads and faceted crystals. The juxtaposition of these two different materials makes for an interesting ring design. You could also create a ring with a charm in the centre, rather than a bead. Look for small jump rings in your craft store that you can use to attach and dangle any kind of metal, glass or ceramic object in the centre of your ring design. Small charms from a child's bracelet or earrings are suitably sized for ring designs.