How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords

Written by katie kenig Google
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How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords
Add some personality to plain-looking glasses with a beaded cord. (pair of reading glasses image by david hughes from

Eyeglass cords are a must-have accessory for those who find reading glasses a necessity. They eliminate the constant search for where your glasses ended up the last time you took them off, and can accent any outfit, from casual to funky to elegant. Making your own eyeglass cords allows you to customise the length to your own height and neck width, making them much more comfortable.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Aluminium foil or two 36-inch dowel rods
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Large glass, metal or ceramic accent beads
  • Seed beads
  • .012 diameter cotton, nylon or silk beading cord
  • Eyeglass holders
  • Crimp beads
  • Flat-nose pliers

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  1. 1

    Determine how long you want your eyeglasses cord to be by draping the tape measure around your neck and adjusting the measurement to your comfort level. For most people, the ideal length is between 29 inches and 36 inches.

    How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords
    Sewing tape measures can be found at discount stores. (tape measure image by MichMac from
  2. 2

    Lay out your pattern of beads. If using tinfoil, cut a piece that is two inches longer than your desired length for your eyeglasses cord. Lay it out on your work surface. Crumple the sides of the foil to create a long, smooth channel in the centre. Secure the ends of the foil to the work surface by running a piece of tape across each end of the tinfoil to keep the beads from rolling out. If you are using dowel rods, use masking tape to attach them to your work surface parallel to one another with a gap between to hold your beads. Secure the ends with a small piece of masking tape..

    How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords
    Use a piece of wood or any surface with a long crevice to hold your beads. (beading image by Greg Pickens from
  3. 3

    Organise your beads in the channel in the order in which you want them to appear in the cord. To keep larger beads with larger holes from sliding off of the finished cord, place a small bead between them.

    How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords
    Use beads from old jewellery to make a cord for your eyeglasses. (beads image by Florence from
  1. 1

    Measure your beading cord to your desired length, plus three inches. Cut the cord.

    How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords
    The sharper your scissors are, the less your beading cord will fray. (scissors image by timur1970 from
  2. 2

    Thread a crimp bead onto your cord, followed by the eyeglass holder. Turn the cord and thread it back through the crimp bead, leaving a 1-1/2 inch tail. Using your pliers, flatten the crimp bead so that it sits snugly against the eyeglass holder with just enough give that the eyeglass holder will turn slightly.

  3. 3

    Hold the tail of your beading cord against the main length tightly. String your beads onto the beading cord, covering the tail with beads. To create a decorative gap in the beads, string a crimp bead onto your cord and flatten it against the grouping of beads using your pliers. Measure and mark your gap space. String on a second crimp bead, and flatten it at the other end of the gap before continuing in your pattern.

    Continue in your pattern until all beads are strung.

  4. 4

    Once your pattern is complete, slide on a crimp bead, then an eyeglass holder. Pass your cord back through the crimp bead and through as many beads as you are able. Tug the cord snugly, then flatten the crimp bead and snip off any remaining cording close to the beads.

    How to Make Beaded Eyeglass Cords
    Let your favourite jewellery pieces inspire the pattern for your eyeglass cord. (funky mannequin image by Gina Smith from

Tips and warnings

  • For elegant, professional cords, choose monochromatic beads (either glass or ceramic). For a funky, offbeat look, mix and match multiple colours and types of beads.
  • Small bead shops often allow you to buy beads one at a time, which is better for beginners who don't want to make a huge investment.
  • Before buying carved wood or irregularly cut glass beads, consider how they will feel against your neck and whether the weight of your glasses will make them uncomfortable against your skin.

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