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 I have tutorials here 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!

Copyright info: This is a free tutorial and must not be sold, made into kits or published in any shape or form. You may sell any finished beadwork that you create using this tutorial. You may teach this design to others but do not remove my details and copyright information. Please give me credit as the designer.

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Posted on October 14, 2012, in beaded beads, beads, freebies, tutorial and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

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

  2. My pleasure Nancy : ) Enjoy!

  3. Fantastic tutorial liz! You are so kind ((hugs)) xxx

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this, lovely lady. I’ll be sure to try it soon! x

  5. Great tutorial Liz. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’m looking forward to making some. xxx

  6. Great Tut, will definitely give this a try soom. Thanks

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. guday ma plz hw can i get daily tutorial on my mail box,thx in anticipation.

  10. Sorry, I don’t post daily tutorials!

  11. Pamela Takeshige

    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?

  12. Hi Pamela, I haven’t tried it to be honest but it might just work as this is such a tiny bead! I’d be interested to hear how you get on with them :)

  13. 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?

  14. 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!!

  15. Pamela Takeshige

    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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. My pleasure Charlene! These would look great on the end of chains. I hope you enjoy making them if you decide to have a go :)

  19. buen tutorial gracias

  20. thanks for this great tutorial. please what do you mean by “step up” had me confused. please explain.

  21. Thanks for your comment TruelyTopaz. If you look at the second photo of the tutorial you’ll see that I’ve already added all the darker blue beads so I’m at the end of the row and I’m passing the needle through the first bead that I added in that row without adding any more beads (this is called ‘stepping up’). The thread is actually coming out of the pale blue bead from the previous row. If you don’t step up then your thread won’t be in the correct position to start the next row. I hope that helps, it can be a little difficult to explain!

  22. Thank you for the tutorial and for the note about the copyright. I don’t want to link to this in any way you don’t want me to but I would like to “find” you again. Would it be alright to pin your About Me page to one of my boards with a note about this tutorial?

  23. Hi Laura,
    Thank you so much for asking, it really means a lot! Yes I’m happy for you to do that. Alternatively you can Pin the image of the finished earrings with a link to the blog post. I don’t mind anyone doing that, I just don’t want the whole tutorial to be posted elsewhere :)

  24. Would it be correct to say that there are 7 rows of beads??
    Rows 1 and 2 have 4 beads each.
    Row 3 is an increase to 6 (1, 2, 1, 2).
    Rows 4 and 5 are 6 in normal peyote.
    Row 6 is a decrease to 4.
    Row 7 is 4.

    I just wanted to confirm as I am a little confused about the last step.

    Thanks. I love these tiny beads!

  25. Yes that’s absolutely correct Pamela! The last step is just sewing through the 4 beads to bring them together :)

  26. This is wonderful. Thank you very much for sharing this excellent tutorial. I’m saving it to my private board. Debbie

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