Heishi beads are a type of Native American bead that is traditionally made out of shell or stone. They can be any size or shape, but are typically small and round. Heishi beads are strung together to create beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry.

To make heishi beads, you will need: -shells or stone -a drill with a small bit

-sandpaper -string or thread 1. Choose the shells or stones you want to use for your heishi beads.

Make sure they are all a similar size so that your necklace or bracelet will look uniform. 2. Use the drill to make a tiny hole in each shell or stone. Start with a smaller bit and then switch to a larger one if needed; the hole should be just big enough for your string or thread to fit through snugly.

3) Sand down any sharp edges on the holes you just drilled, as well as any rough spots on the shells or stones themselves. This will help prevent your string from fraying and breaking over time. 4) String your heishi beads onto your chosen material, knotting it securely after each bead is added.

You can make whatever pattern you like – try mixing and matching different colors of shells or stones for a unique look!

  • Gather your materials
  • For this project, you will need heishi beads, beading wire, and wire cutters
  • String the heishi beads onto the beading wire
  • Make sure to leave enough wire at the end to make a secure connection
  • Cut the excess wire off with the wire cutters, and make a loop at the end of the strand
  • Repeat steps 2-3 until you have made as many strands as desired
How to Make Heishi Beads

Credit: libbyandsmee.com

How are Heishi Beads Made?

Heishi beads are made by passing a thread through small, disc-shaped slices of shell. The process is believed to have originated with the Pueblo people of North America, who used shells from sea creatures such as oysters and clams. Heishi beads were traditionally strung together without the use of knots, creating long strands that could be wrapped around the body or worn as belts.

Today, heishi beads are still made using traditional methods, but they are also mass-produced in factories. Factory-made heishi beads are often made from plastic or glass, and they may be less uniform in shape than those made by hand.

Are Heishi Beads Made of Clay?

Heishi beads are a type of traditional Native American bead, typically made of shell or stone. While there are many different materials that can be used to make heishi beads, clay is not one of them. The word “heishi” actually means “shell” in the Keresan language, so it’s likely that the original heishi beads were made from shells.

Nowadays, you’ll find heishi beads made from all sorts of materials, including turquoise, coral, and even wood.

What Material are Heishi Beads?

Heishi beads are small, round beads that are strung together to create jewelry and other decorative items. They are typically made from stone, shell, bone or metal, and can be found in a variety of colors and sizes. Heishi beads have a long history and were first used by the native people of the Americas.

Today, they remain a popular choice for making handcrafted jewelry and other crafts.

What String Do You Use for Heishi Beads?

When it comes to stringing heishi beads, there are a few different options available. The most common stringing material is nylon, as it is strong and durable. However, silk or cotton can also be used.

It really depends on your personal preference and the look you are going for. If you want a more natural look, then silk or cotton would be the way to go. But if you need something that will withstand some wear and tear, then nylon is probably your best bet.

Polymer Clay Heishi Beads Tips & Tricks

How to Make Heishi Beads from Polymer Clay

Heishi beads are a type of small, round bead that is often used in jewelry making. They can be made from a variety of materials, but polymer clay is a popular choice because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. Here is a basic tutorial for making heishi beads from polymer clay:

1. Begin by condition your clay by kneading it until it is soft and pliable. This will make it easier to work with and will also help prevent cracking during baking. 2. Once your clay is conditioned, roll it into a long rope about the thickness of a pencil lead.

If you want your beads to be a uniform size, use a ruler or other straight edge to guide you as you roll the clay. 3. Cut the rope of clay into small pieces, each one about the size of a pea. These will be your individual beads.

Use a sharp knife or blade to make clean cuts – if the edges are jagged, your beads may not turn out as smooth when they are baked. 4. To add texture or design to your beads, now is the time to do it! You can use tools like stamps or carving tools to create patterns on the surface of the bead, or simply roll them in something like glitter or sand for added interest.

Just be sure that whatever you add does not have any sharp edges that could cut into the clay as you work with it. 5 Once you are happy with your beads, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake according to package directions for your particular brand of polymer clay (usually between 265 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit).


Currently, heishi beads are made using different materials such as wood, bone, and stone. The most popular material for heishi beads is shell because it can be easily drilled and shaped. Heishi beads can also be made from glass, but this is a less common method.

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