When making silicone bead keychains, one of the most important decisions is choosing the right size beads. The bead size you select will impact the weight, look and feel of the final keychain. There are a few factors to consider when deciding what size silicone beads to use for keychains.
The most common silicone bead sizes used for keychains range from 3mm to 12mm. The smallest beads around 3mm create lightweight keychains with a delicate, dainty appearance. These tiny beads allow for more detailed keychain designs. Medium 5-8mm beads offer versatility for all kinds of keychain styles, both simple and complex. Large 10-12mm silicone beads make bold statement keychains that are chunky and have visual impact.
To determine what silicone bead size is best for your keychains, think about the overall style you want to achieve. Delicate and detailed keychains are best made with 3-5mm beads. For keychains with letters or images, 5-8mm beads both allow for detail work while maintaining visibility of the design. Standard keychains featuring patterns, shapes or solid blocks of color work well with 6-10mm beads. Oversize and artisan-style keychains are stunning with large 10-12mm beads.
Ideal for hanging from backpacks, purses and bags
The keychain's intended use is another consideration for bead size. Keychains made with small 3-5mm beads are ideal for hanging from backpacks, purses and bags. Their lightweight design won't weigh down bags or jackets. Bulkier 8-12mm beads work best for keychains not attached to bags, such as car keychains or decorative pieces. Their heft makes them substantial and satisfying to hold.
When purchasing silicone beads for keychains, look for quality beads with thin walls and consistent sizing. Keep in mind that bead size numbers aren't standardized across all suppliers; always check bead measurements in millimeters. For variety, consider stocking a range of both small and large bead sizes. Mixing together beads of different sizes can yield interesting textures and dimensions in a single keychain.
Silicone Bead Keychain Supplies
Crafting silicone bead keychains requires just a few simple supplies beyond the silicone beads themselves. Essential items include beading thread or cord, sewing needles, pin backings and jewelry glue.
Beading Thread and Cord
The best beading thread for silicone bead keychains is nylon coated stainless steel wire. It comes waxed or unwaxed. Waxed wire offers a smoother threading experience. Unwaxed wire provides a better grip for holding beads in place. Popular brands like Beadalon and SoftFlex make high quality beading wire for keychains.
For a cord option, an adjustable 49-strand stainless steel beading cable works well. It's soft and flexible yet strong enough for keychains. Alternatively, consider a tough nylon cord or waxed linen cord. Avoid cotton thread as it frays and weakens easily.
Sharp steel beading needles allow you to pierce smoothly through silicone beads. Long needles are ideal for multiple passes through beads. For threading beads, a curved needle can be handy. Some beading needles have a fused plastic coating to protect beads from scratches.
Pin backings or jewelry findings turn completed keychains into wearable items. For lightweight keychains, opt for small magnetic backings. Bulkier keychains benefit from large pinch-style rubber backings with strong gripping power. Other options include lobster clasps and key rings.
A strong jewelry and bead glue helps secure the first and last beads on a keychain. E6000 and Hypo Tube are excellent glue choices for bonding silicone. Applying a small dab inside the first and last bead prevents loss of beads if the wire cord breaks.
Optional tools like bead mats, pattern boards and tweezers can also aid in sorting and threading beads for keychains. Craft stores offer a full selection of beading supplies for stocking up.
Silicone Beads for Keychain Making
Silicone beads offer many advantages for DIY keychain making. Available in every color, silicone beads are flexible, durable and waterproof. Best of all, they're easy to thread into custom keychain designs. A few techniques help make working with silicone beads a breeze.
- Use a bead mat or lipped tray to prevent beads from rolling away while you work. Pour beads from their packaging onto the mat to sort colors before threading.
- Start by cutting a 24 inch length of beading wire. Attach one end to a needle and seal the last few inches of the other end with clear nail polish to prevent fraying.
- Plan out the bead pattern first on a pattern board or by reference to a keychain diagram. Sort beads accordingly in groups to make beading faster.
- Thread beads onto the wire in your planned order. Pass through each bead twice to secure them firmly. Keep tension on the wire while beading to prevent gaps between beads.
- For longevity, put a dot of glue inside the first and last beads. Then attach a pin backing to finish. Add additional jump rings or key rings as needed.
- When changing bead colors, tie a simple overhand knot between sections. This helps maintain the proper bead positioning.
- Take care not to pierce your finger while pushing the needle through tight beads. Use pliers or tweezers to grip small beads for safer threading.
- Check bead spacing consistency and test keychain durability frequently as you bead. Squeeze the keychain gently to set the beads before closing up the loop.
With practice, you’ll perfect your technique for making flawless silicone bead keychains. Let your creativity run free with color combinations, textures, and designs.
Silicone Bead Keychain
For both craft hobbyists and small business owners, silicone bead keychains are fun and easy products to make. Their bright colors and ability to be customized with or without embedded images make them popular fashion accessories. Durable silicone bead construction allows them to stand up through daily wear and tear. When skillfully crafted, these eye catching keychains can also become great handmade gifts or profitable merchandise.
Key technical elements to creating quality silicone bead keychains include:
- Choosing beads large enough for stability. Go with at least 6mm for standalone keychains or 4mm for keychains attached to bags.
- Threading beads snugly to minimize gaps that could lead to breakage over time. Be sure to string through each bead twice.
- Securing end beads internally and externally for reinforcement using jewelry glue inside and pin backings outside.
- Selecting beading wire type and thickness designed specifically to handle the keychain’s weight and use.
- Using steel beading needles that can pierce through silicone with ease to prevent thread damage.
- Knotting between bead color segments to keep the overall design preserved.
- Testing keychain durability by stretching slightly and compressing beads together before securing ends.
- Verifying all glue is totally cured before putting any keychains into use. Glue may take 24 hours to fully harden.
Simple yet skillful construction allows silicone bead keychains to feel substantial in the hand while remaining flexible. Keychain makers can showcase their talents through signature styles, personalized name beads, and unique color themes. A high level of beadwork and finishing will keep customers proudly displaying these handcrafted keychains.
Silicone Bead Keychain Kit
For beginners seeking to get started with making silicone bead keychains, convenient kits offer an affordable option with all the essentials in one package. Typical components provided in a silicone bead keychain starter kit include:
- Assorted colors of 3mm - 10mm silicone beads, usually at least 10 grams of each color
- Several yards of nylon coated stainless steel beading wire
- A pack of steel beading needles in multiple sizes
- A selection of jewelry findings like pin backs, jump rings, key rings and memory wire
- Jewelry glue or E6000 adhesive
- A bead mat for sorting beads
- Pliers or tweezers for gripping beads
- An instruction guide on keychain making techniques
These kits come in budget-friendly prices ranging from $10 - $30. They provide enough materials to make approximately 5 to 10 keychains. For those wanting large volumes of supplies, individual bulk bead packs along with beading wire spools can be purchased separately as well.
Bead sizes and colors offered
When selecting a starter kit, pay attention to the variety of bead sizes and colors offered. Look for kits with popular bead sizes like 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm so you can experiment with different keychain styles. Containing a minimal of 5 colors gives you plenty of design options.
Premium kits may also contain extras like pattern boards, crimp beads, and ribbon. Check that the kit includes enough beading wire and jewelry findings for finishing multiple keychains. And ensure there are at least a few large gauge beading needles for working with chunkier silicone beads.
With practice, beginners can progress from using kits to sourcing beads and materials individually for lower costs. Either way, silicone bead keychain kits remove the guesswork and provide convenience. In no time, you’ll be crafting impressively professional custom keychains.