Free Beaded Bead Tutorial – Atom Beads

Many of you have asked me how to make these beads so I’ve decided to make a free tutorial to show you how! These have a finished size of 8mm and while they are a little fiddly, they’re great fun to do.

Just a few tips before we start…if this is your first time at making beaded beads you might find it easier to use a different colour for each row, as I have done, so that you can easily see which beads are on which row…Miyuki and Toho beads will give the best result…and wooden beads are best for the core as they grip better but you can use glass rounds or pearls at a pinch.

I also have to warn you that making beaded beads is incredibly addictive! If you find yourself wanting to make larger beads then don’t forget to pay a visit to my Etsy shop where I have tutorials to cover beads from 6mm up to 29mm.

You will need:

Size 11 seed beads
4mm wooden beads
Beading thread
Size 10 beading needle

  • Start by picking up 4 seed beads. Slide them to about 8” from the end of the thread and sew through them all again plus 1 more to create a circle.
  • Pick up 1 seed bead and sew through the next seed bead in the circle…

  • Repeat a further 3 times and step up through the first bead you added…


You’ll need to step up at the end of every row, always sewing through the first bead that you added in that row.

  • Pick up 1 bead and sew through the next bead…


…then pick up 2 beads and sew through the next bead…


Repeat the two steps above to finish the row – don’t forget to step up!

  • Pick up 1 bead and sew through the next bead…


Pick up 1 bead and sew through the next bead…


Continue adding 1 bead for the rest of the row, adding 6 beads in total, and step up. Pull the thread taut to draw the beads into a tiny cup shape.

  • Pick up 1 bead and sew through the next bead. Repeat a further 5 times and step up…


Pick up 1 bead and sew through the next bead, then pick up 1 bead and sew through the next 2 beads


Repeat a further 2 times before stepping up.

Pop your wooden bead inside the beaded shell before tightening the thread, making sure that the holes are vertical. But beware! The bead is going to jump out whenever it gets a chance so use your thumb to keep it inside while you work on the next row.

  • Pick up 1 seed bead and sew through the next bead in the row…


Repeat a further 3 times (I’m adding the second bead in the photo above) and step up.

  • Sew through all 4 beads again to join them into a circle…


Weave the thread back through the bead to secure, making a couple of half hitch knots as you go. Trim the thread and repeat with the tail. Your bead is finished!

Please respect my copyright:
This tutorial must not be reproduced, distributed, published, taught, re-blogged or copied to sites such as Pinterest or Facebook without my permission. I’m happy for you to sell finished items made with the beads as I have taught them, please give this blog a mention if you do. All text and images belong to The Crimson Moon.

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22 thoughts on “Free Beaded Bead Tutorial – Atom Beads

  1. How fabulous!!!! I’ve always wanted to make little tiny ones!! Thank you, Liz!! How very generous of you! :) xxxxxx

  2. Pingback: Tutorial: Atom Beads · Needlework News | CraftGossip.com

  3. Thank you Liz for this. I was already regularly checking your shop to find this one day :-) – I really like your tutorials especially the Mini Beaded Beads they I already made a lot of them and now they are getting even smaller brothers and sisters :-). Best Lanie

  4. Pingback: Tutorial "beaded beads" | tutoriale handmade

  5. I’ve been searching for classes on beading and found you. This will get me started and have beautiful earrings for our family vacation in May!

  6. Thank you for this informative tutorial. I am going to try this today!! I have a question. Is it necessary to put the 4 mm wooden bead inside the bead? Would it be too soft without the wooden bead?

  7. So far I’ve made about six beads. Three of them I had to rip out because they weren’t coming together correctly. I can say conclusively that you need the 4mm bead on the inside. Otherwise they’re soft. Also, I noticed sometimes I end up with little spaces in the finished work. Big enough there’s a hole big enough for a bead. So what I do is later add a bead to that space. So far it has worked out pretty well. I guess my tension is too tight in some places and too loose in others. But they end up really cute. Do you have any advice about ending up with the little holes in some places?

  8. Hi again

    I think I made some of my Atom Beads with the wrong bead count – too few beads. I just did one with the correct amount and there were no holes!! They are soooo cute!!

  9. Hello again.

    I guess I am not good at following written directions!! Shame on me!! I should not skim through your clear directions! I realized later that when I was supposed to be going through 2 beads at one stage, I was just skipping 1 bead and going through 1 bead – creating a hole or weak point. When I corrected my incorrect technique, the beads have shaped up perfectly and I am loving them even more. They would make great spacer beads between some larger beads I am making. But, they are perfect in themselves. So tiny, so cute!

    When all is done, I will post a link to my web site so you can see the tiny beads and how I used them. And they are still very, very cute and very easy to make!

  10. Hi Pamela! Sorry for my late reply, but I’m glad to hear that you figured out where you were going wrong. Yes please post a link here, I would love to see what you make with these beads!

  11. Pingback: Ideas con Abalorios | La Creativa Blog

  12. Thanks for sharing your tutorial, I haven’t tried beaded beads yet, but the idea of small ones to dangle from a chain or wire for earrings sounds like a project I could get into quickly.

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