How to Make a Bead Hole Bigger

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Things You'll Need

  • Bead reamer

  • Tweezers with rubber prong tips

  • Water

Pearl beads usually come with tiny holes that may require enlarging for some crafts.

Crafting enthusiasts know that it is not uncommon to try and thread a bead onto a string or wire only to discover that the hole in the bead is too small. This problem is especially common with pearl beads that come with very tiny holes meant only to accommodate very thin thread. Luckily, most craft stores sell a handy and relatively inexpensive tool called a bead reamer that is designed to help you drill larger holes through your beads.


Step 1

Grip the bead with tweezers. If possible, use tweezers with rubber prong tips to avoid scratching the bead. Position the bead so that the hole is not covered by the prongs of the tweezers.

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Step 2

Dip natural beads, such as pearls and beads made from precious stones, in a bowl of water. The purpose of the water is to minimize heat friction, which increases your chances of cracking the bead, as you begin to drill a larger hole. You will continue to hold the bead under the water as you widen the hole. Skip this step if you are using artificial beads.

Step 3

Insert the narrow tip of the bead reamer into the hole on the bead. Begin to slowly and gently rotate the reamer with a very small about of downward pressure.

Step 4

Continue to rotate the reamer until you have reached the desired hole size. The longer you continue to rotate, the wider the hole will become since the reamer grows wider the farther up you go.


Wash away and discard of any dust left over on the bead or the reamer to avoid getting it in your eyes at a later time. There is always a risk of cracking the bead when drilling a bigger hole through it. Do not attempt to enlarge the hole on a bead that is especially important to you; if you must, do so with extreme care.


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