10 Trendy Focal Beads & Pieces for Your Jewelry Design

Beaded jewelry is created by stringing beads onto a thread, cord, or stringing wire to create necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other types of jewelry. Focal beads are a key element in beaded designs, and they come in an array of materials and styles.

In this piece, we will take an in-depth look at focal beads and share 10 trendy focal beads and pieces from our collection at Cherry Tree Beads for your next jewelry design.

What is a focal bead?

A focal bead is a pendant or bead in a piece of beaded jewelry that is the center of attention. In a bracelet, a focal would be a charm or larger bead at the center of the jewelry design. In a necklace, it would be the pendant, charm, or centerpiece hanging from a headpin or bail, or a larger bead at the center of smaller beads in the design. Common materials chosen for focal pieces include gemstone, lampwork glass, and wood because of their ability to stand out and catch people's attention.

Top 10 Trendy Focal Beads and Pieces for Jewelry Design


A cabochon is a carved gemstone piece that does not have a hole. These usually have a flat back and a dome-shaped or rounded front. Cabochons can be faceted or smooth. Since they don’t have a drilled hole, cabochons are perfect for wire wrapping or silver smithing designs.

Crystal Focal Pieces

Crystal focal pieces are faceted glass beads with unique reflectivity and brilliance. Our crystal beads come in different shapes and sizes so that you can create beautiful and creative jewelry pieces.

Check out our YouTube video for a tutorial on wire wrapping a glass crystal focal bead.

Gemstone Pendants

Gemstone pendants are the perfect way to add natural beauty to your necklace. Each of our gemstone pendants has its own unique inclusions with natural combinations of color and patterns. Our gemstones are cut into a variety of shapes and sizes for you to choose from. Some of the most popular shapes for gemstone pendants are teardrop, oval, coin, and hexagonal points.

We specialize in gemstones and we take pride in offering the highest quality gemstone focals. Many of our gemstone pendants are carefully designed by our team with unique shapes and stones. We work hand-in-hand with factories to design our own one-of-a-kind pendants.

Each of our gemstone pendants is a beautiful work of art that will make your jewelry piece stand out.

Green Girl Studios

Some of our most popular focals come from the amazing designers at Green Girl Studios! Cynthia Thornton and her husband Gregory Ogden create incredible pewter charms and focals with original designs. Each charm is intricately hand carved and cast. We love the whimsical yet earthy vibe of Green Girl's products and are lucky enough to share Western North Carolina as our home.

Check out our full collection of Green Girl Studios focals here!

Wood Pendants

Wood pendants have an earthy, bohemian aesthetic when used in jewelry design. Many of our wood pendants are made through laser carving for a precise and detailed finish. While most of these pendants have a natural wood color, we love incorporating bright-colored wooden pendants into jewelry designs.

Glass Bottle Pendants

Glass bottle pendants are the perfect pendant for aromatherapy and fragrance enthusiasts. These are perfect for putting essential oil or perfumes into the glass bottle, infusing your favorite fragrances into jewelry designs.

Jewelry Charms

Add personality to your jewelry with charms! We have a wide variety of charms to include in your necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Our charms are made with silver pewter and green bronze finishes. From sports, astrological symbols, animals, holidays, and more, the best way to personalize jewelry is to use charms.

Stainless Steel Components

Stainless steel jewelry components are one of our most popular products! We have so many different styles, from celestial to whimsical and so much more. Our stainless steel components come in two finishes: natural silver and 18-karat gold plated. Stainless steel is a much-loved metal used for jewelry design since it doesn’t turn color or tarnish.

Matte Glass Pendants (sea glass style)

Our gorgeous sea glass pendants are custom-made from matte glass to imitate the beauty and charm of natural sea glass. Some shapes are simple rectangles or triangles, while others have an asymmetrical, natural nugget or freeform shape. The colors are gorgeous and versatile. You can check out our selection of matte glass pendants here.

Handmade Glass Pendants

These lovely handmade glass pendants are made by Tari Zarka, the owner of the Aspiring Artists of the Earth (AAOTE). These glass pendants are shaped like little drops and are sure to make your necklace stand out from the crowd.

Check out our selection of handmade glass pendants here.

Styling Focal Beads and Pieces

Focal beads can be used in all kinds of jewelry design, including earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. When choosing a focal piece to use in your jewelry design, there are several elements to consider. Size, material, and style are all important aspects when designing with focal beads or pendants

First, decide what type of jewelry you’re making to help you determine the type of focal you’ll need. This will narrow down the size of the focal you should choose. Large focal pieces are best for necklaces, since they may be too heavy or bulky for earrings or a bracelet. A tiny charm would be lovely styled on a bracelet or earrings, but may be too small to make a statement necklace.

When choosing a material, consider your personal style. Crystal and glass pendants have an elegant sparkle and shine. Shell and matte sea glass-inspired focals are ideal for summery, beachy looks. Natural materials like wood and gemstone have a boho, earthy aesthetic.

If you’re designing jewelry for a formal event, gemstone and crystal are perfect. Wood and shell are great for more casual or boho jewelry.

Focal beads can finish off many necklace designs beautifully, but some elements may clash. Before choosing a focal bead, check that it matches the colors and overall feel of your unique design.

How do you hang a pendant on a beaded necklace?

The drill orientation of the hole, will determine the best way to hang your pendant. If the focal is drilled side to side it can be strung directly onto your design once you have beaded the first half of the necklace. If the focal is through-drilled you will need to either string it directly onto the strand or use a headpin making a loop at the top to attach it to the stringing wire. If the focal is front to back drilled you can either use a pinch bail or a jump ring to hang the pendant from the center of your necklace.

Whether you are adding the pendant to a handmade jewelry design or a finished necklace or bracelet, it is the perfect way to express individuality through your accessories.

gemstone pendants

Choose Cherry Tree Beads for Amazing Focal Pieces

We've got you covered at Cherry Tree Beads, whether your design style is bohemian, glamorous, or beachy. We have a wide selection of focal beads in various styles, shapes, and sizes.

Check out the Cherry Tree Beads focal collection, or contact us today!

Jul 22nd 2022 Abby Carlson

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