How to Thread Seed Beads

Updated February 21, 2017

Seed beads are usually less than two millimetres in diameter. As such, they are the smallest beads. There is variation in size of seed beads and craftsmen measure them by a number that increases as the size decreases. For example, 11 size-6 beads will make an inch of beading while 50 size-24 beads will make the same inch. The smaller the beads get, the more difficult it is to thread them. There are several methods to threading seed beads that you can use depending on the size of the beads, your eyesight and your ability to handle delicate craft projects.

Thread a seed bead needle with seed bead thread. Make sure that you are using the proper sized needle for the size of seed bead. If the seed beads are too small, they will not fit over the eye of the needle.

Tie a knot in the end of the thread or attach one side of a clasp.

Pick up one seed bead and hold it so that both openings are exposed.

Push the point of the needle through the opening in the bead and push the bead to the end of the thread.

Continue beading until you have finished your item.

Thread the curved needle. These needles are made specifically for threading seed beads with a spinner.

Tie a knot in the end of the thread or attach one side of a clasp.

Fill the spinner with all of the beads so that the bottom of the spinner is completely covered.

Push the sharp end of the needle into the beads. Use your other hand to spin the top of the spinner in the opposite direction the needle is facing. This will rotate the bead carriage, which will push beads onto your needle.

Pull the needle out when you have threaded enough beads. Refill the spinner with beads as needed.


Use the second method if you have trouble holding the small beads or seeing the opening. Use a multicoloured bead set in the spinner to get a natural variation in a necklace.

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About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.