How to Make Your Own Waist Beads

Waist beads are traditional colorful beaded accessories that originated in Africa many centuries ago. They are traditionally worn around the waist or hips, and symbolize divine femininity. Today, waist beads are still admired by many for their beauty, cultural significance, and symbolism.

Many people wear waist beads to promote:

  • body positivity
  • self-love
  • acceptance
  • womanhood

Here at Beadworks, we offer all the beads and supplies you’ll ever need to make your own waist beads at home. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to make your own waist beads at home!

Materials you will need for this project:

  • Beadalon wire
  • Seed beads – you can use any size from 6/0, 8/0, or 11/0.
  • Crimp beads (2)
  • Bead stopper
  • Closed jump ring (1)
  • Lobster clasp (1)
  • Wire cutters
  • Crimping tool


  1.  Size your waist – Take your Beadalon and wrap it around your waist. When you have your size, be sure you can fit two fingers in between your waist and the Beadalon. This is to ensure when you sit, your waist beads aren’t going to be uncomfortably tight.

2. Cutting your Beadalon – When you cut your Beadalon, add at least 6 additional inches so you have enough to string through your crimp bead and be able to comfortably grasp your wire without straining your fingers. Don’t worry – you will be cutting the excess off!

3. Adding your seed beads – Place your bead stopper about 3 inches from your end of wire and start beading your seed beads onto your wire. Feel free to get creative with a pattern or stick to a monochromatic look with one color.

4. Attaching your closure – String your crimp bead, then your lobster claw. String your beading wire back through the crimp bead. Place your crimp bead on the second groove of your crimping pliers (closer towards the handle of your tool). Firmly squeeze your pliers. There should now be a dent in the middle of your crimp bead. Now, move your crimp bead to the outer groove (the groove that is shaped like a football) and rotate your crimp bead to a 90 degree angle, so that it sits vertically. Firmly squeeze your pliers again. Your crimp bead should now be folded, and your clasp should be securely attached.

5. Repeat step 4 on the other side of your wire, instead of attaching a clasp you will be attaching your closed jump ring. After you have successfully crimped both sides your waist beads are now complete and ready for showing off!