seed beads

Sizing Seed Beads

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Because seed beads are so small, they sold in hanks instead of single strands. Hanks are units of 8 to 14 strands varying from 8 to 20″. In some cases, they are sold repackaged in tubes, bags, or other containers, in quantities of 5 to 40 or more grams.

You’ll find that it’s a better deal and value to buy seed beads in hanks, as not all beads weigh the same, so one 5 gram tube of 3/0 seed beads may have a higher or lower count of beads than another 5 gram tube.

When buying seed beads or when trying to figure out how many you will need for your projects, you’ll want to considered the different sizes. Unlike most beads, seed beads are not measured in millimeters, but in aughts.

The higher the bead measurement, the smaller the bead.

1/0 –   6.5mm
2/0   – 6.0mm
3/0   – 5.5mm (pony beads, crow, roller beads)
4/0   – 5.0mm
5/0   – 4.5mm
6/0   – 4.0mm (popular “e” bead)
7/0   – 3.4mm
8/0   – 3.1mm
9/0   – 2.7mm
10/0 – 2.3mm
11/0 – 2.1mm
12/0 – 1.9mm
13/0 – 1.7mm
14/0 – 1.6mm
15/0 – 1.5mm
16/0 – 1.3mm
17/0 – 1.2mm
18/0 – 1.1mm
20/0 – 1.0mm

For one-inch, you can fit about  4- 3/0 beads, 8- 6/0 beads, or 18- 15/0 beads.