When choosing a stringing material, it’s important to know the hole size of your beads. We list the hole size of all of our beads online, but how do you determine the hole size for beads from the bottom of your stash? I’ve wound up with plenty of beads from swaps or vintage jewelry that aren’t labeled with a hole size. Fortunately you can use today’s trick to figure out the perfect size of stringing material for your beads! You’ll need two things for this trick. The first is a chart that lists the conversions of American Wire Gauges (AWG) into millimeters and inches. We have a great copy of this chart on our website and you can see the chart I keep on my desk in the photo below.
The second thing you’ll need is a wire gauge key. My key has a labeled scrap of each commonly used gauge of wire. To determine the hole size of a mystery bead I run different diameters of wire through the hole until I find one that fits just right. Then I can look at my chart to find the diameter of the hole in millimeters or inches. For example, if my 22 gauge wire fits through a bead’s hole I know that a 0.5mm cord and a .019 beading wire can too!
Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen