Panopoly Creations

Big Holes (and How to Work With Them)

Nope, that title’s not a euphemism. I’m reposting my response to a question on the Etsy forums, from another member who asked why the holes in ceramic beads are relatively large in comparison to other beads:

Generally speaking, the holes in glazed ceramic beads have to be a certain size because the only way to glaze the entire outside of the beads is to string them on short lengths of high-temperature wire, which is a standard thickness. Thinner wire would sag and ruin the beads in the kiln.

I recommend stringing ceramic beads on beading wire instead of thread/floss. You could also try putting a dab of epoxy glue inside the hole of the bead when using thinner stringing materials, which should hold it just as well as knotting would.

The heads on headpins are often too small for the bead hole. The best solution I’ve found is what I did with these earrings: Below the bead that’s too big for the headpin, place another bead that is small enough to stay on the pin, but larger than the hole in the bead above it. If the small bead is the same color/metal as the pin, it might even look like you’re using a fancy ball-head pin!

MsAnomaly also suggests:
“If the holes are too big on a bead, I ‘stuff’ it! What I mean is: insert a thin bugle bead or even some very small round beads inside the large hole. It keeps the large-hole bead nice and straight on the line, and prevents it from ‘wobbling’ and looking off-center. Since the small beads are inside the hole, you can’t even tell they are there!”