Working on your first ever beads crochet bracelet and… too short! How is that possible and how can you know how many beads a beads crochet project needs? Today I share the formula on how to count a ‘string’ of beads.

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When checking out Pinterest, you’ll find a lot of awesome patterns for beads crochet projects. Some are very simple and some are really long with multiple colors and difficult pattern structures. But how many beads do you really need for a project and does the size of the bead influence this?

The beads

There is all kind of factors that influence the count of beads in a string. Size is one of them. When using 15/0 beads, you need more on a string than using 10/0. The bigger the beads, the less you need. This is not always the rule. When using a bigger bead after a row of many beads that needs to stand out. This bead is just one of many smaller beads and will lay on top of the others. For a sample, check the photo below.

You can only depend on the string if the beads are all the same size or don’t stand out so much from each other. For sample: if you mix 10/0 and 11/0, the length of the string will be ok.

The formula

The big question of this blog post: how to count how many beads you need? There is a simple formula that always works. Please keep in mind to string a bit extra, just in case. Ok, here we go:

Length x circumference beads in 1 row = how many inch/mt to string. 

For sample: Length: 15cm bracelet x 11 beads in 1 circumference = 165 cm (1.65 m) to string. I always count 10 cm more just in case. Rather have some leftovers on the string than to attach another piece to it.

So again, this time for a long neckless to wrap multiple times: 180 cm x 6 beads in a circumference = 10 m and 80 cm (so 11 meters would be ok).

Now you know how much to string in a project, but how about the number of beads? If you know how long the string needs to be, string 1 cm first of the beads of your choice. Now count how many beads cover this 1 cm. Multiply with the total of cm you need to string for the full project. Let’s say: 7 beads in 1 cm and your project has a total of 165cm: 7 x 165 = 1155 beads. If you are running out of a particular color: now you know how to count how many beads you need.

Flat versus diagonal

There is hardly a difference in length to string if you use the beads diagonal in your project or flat. For this reason, I always string a bit more to be sure of it but the outcome on how long the string needs to be, wouldn’t be that of a difference between flat or diagonal.

The bigger the beads, the fewer beads you need to cover up the full length of the string and the end product. If you need to string many beads, and they are of the same color: use a beads spinner. This is a simple spinner, through in the beads, set your needle in place, and spin it around. The needle will catch the beads and you can add rows and rows to your thread. Works a lot faster than picking up every bead individually.