Get your designs published

Learn more about how to see your original beadwork in print!
My first published project, A bead chain runs through it.

Did you know that Bead&Button magazine is always on the lookout for awesome new designs to entice our readers? Designs have changed a lot over the last few years with all the new bead shapes and multi-hole beads on the market. We love the new beads and the different designs they bring, but we also love projects using basic materials like seed beads, crystals, and pearls. We want to see it all!

Being published is a great way to get your name noticed in the beading world, and if you have a website, we list it along with your photo in the article. The best part is you get bragging rights for being in an international beading magazine with designers from around the world. Especially if your project makes it to the cover!

My second published project Tila tapestry

I know that some designers think their project would never get accepted into Bead&Button. And unfortunately, not everyone will, but you won’t know unless you try! I was one of those that thought there was no way, but friends kept encouraging me. I submitted two designs, and was ecstatic when they were both accepted!

That’s what’s nice about Bead&Button: you don’t have to be a well-known designer to be published. Like I said, we can’t take every project submitted. I submitted several more projects before joining the Bead&Button staff, and most of those were not accepted, so I know what it’s like to have your project turned down. It’s not fun, but it’s happens to everyone, and it’s just part of the business.

There are a variety of reasons your project may not be accepted.

 Your design may be:

  • too similar to something we already have scheduled
  • too similar to something that we have published in the past
  • something that we have seen done by another designer
  • too easy (or too complicated!) to publish as a project

We also look at the construction of the project. There shouldn’t be big gaps between the beads with thread showing, or beads that just don’t lay properly in the design. But sometimes there is nothing wrong with your design; it just doesn’t work with others we have already scheduled.

If you get turned down, don’t give up. Next time you have a new design, try submitting again. You can submit as many times as you want!

If your project gets accepted, now what happens?

You will be asked to submit instructions for your project. If you have never written instructions before, it can be a little intimidating. The best way to write instructions is to write them as you stitch the project. That way, you can take photos or do illustrations as you progress through the project.

Start out with how much thread you will need for the project including how long to leave the tail. Tell us what beads to pick up, how many, and what beads you are sewing into.

If there is more than one color of the same size bead, describe which bead you are using (the red one, color A bead, etc). If you aren’t doing illustrations, then be sure to take lots of photos of the project as you stitch it, including close ups.

When doing photos, here's an important tip: black, white, clear, and silver-lined beads don’t photograph well. Colors that are not too dark, in matte, metallic, and opaque finishes, work the best. Also, be sure to use a white or light background in a well-lit area. You can use a cell phone camera if you like, but do not crop or color-correct the photos.

Give us as much information as possible about each step of the project, and note which photos go with each step. Also include step-by-step instructions for attaching a bail and/or clasp. When you are done, if you have a friend that beads, ask them to stitch the pattern using your instructions before you send it to us. That’s a good way to see if you explained it well and catch any mistakes. Be sure to send us a complete list of all the beads used in the project, where you can buy the beads, and what the name and number of the bead is (example: Toho 211, bronze). If you send us more than one colorway of your design, send the bead color information for those too. Looking over the instructions in previous issues of Bead&Button may help you when writing your instructions too.

After everything is in, we will rewrite the instructions using the Bead&Button style, so the instructions are consistent throughout the magazine. We test the project to make sure it works, and provide any other needed illustrations and/or photos for the article. We will contact you if we have any questions during testing, and you will get to look over the article before it goes to print.

If you have more of a statement piece that you want to share with our readers, submit it for our Your Work page in the magazine. These designs are there to wow and inspire our readers, and it’s a great way to showoff your talents and the artistry of beading.

If you want to submit a project to us, go to the From the Editor section on, click on Submission Guidelines, and then click Contributor Submission. Only original designs will be considered for publication. We can’t wait to see the beautiful designs you submit!


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