Bead Substitutions

Feel free to make substitutions and play with the patterns as much as you like. The most important thing is to keep the size of the beads the same. This may be simple in theory, but it's a bit more complicated than it sounds. For instance, if you're weaving beads together within a design, try not to mix Japanese seed beads with Czech seed beads. While both beads may be listed as the same size – for illustration purposes let's say 11/0 – the two different types have a slightly different shape.

Japanese Beads

The Japanese beads are slightly thicker in the middle and are more even in shape, as well as having a slightly larger hole. These are great advantages, but the color variety is different, and the likelihood of finding many colors of Japanese seed beads in garden variety bead stores is low.

Czech Seed Beads

Czech seed beads are less expensive and are offered in many great colors, but they do vary in thickness, so your woven piece might not be perfectly even unless you carefully toss out the thinnest or thickest ones. All of the projects illustrated here required no tossing out of beads, so if they're good enough for you, you should be fine.

Delica and Other Beads

Finally, the wonderful but definitely expensive alternative to seed beads are the Delica beads and other Japanese cylinder beads. You are welcome to use these luscious large-holed wonders, but be forewarned: while they are beautifully even in size, they are a different shape and proportion than Czech seed beads. The finished product will definitely look different, and will either be squashed or elongated, depending on whether you're using brick stitch or peyote stitch.

Beads in The Author's designs

Delicas are great, but as the designs submitted by the author are meant to be as accessible as possible – both supplies and expense-wise – the supplies listed are Czech seed beads, which are available in most bead stores.

Larger Beads

As far as the larger beads, particularly if you stay in the same size range, feel free to substitute plain round glass beads (often referred to as druks) instead of fire polished rounds, crystal instead of fire polished rounds, semi-precious stone instead of crystal . . . well, you get the idea.

Bead Colors

The issue of colors also needs to be dealt with. This is a rather sticky one which has caused the author no end of expense when she has ordered through the mail. The color that one kind of seed or glass bead is listed as in a catalog or over the Internet may be listed under a different name or not offered at all by another vendor.

Ordering From the Same Vendor

When the author decided to try a different color of blue for the movie version of Ravenclaw, she liked the looks of the colors “Capri Blue” and “Montana Blue”, so she ordered seed beads and fire polished rounds in both colors. To her surprise, she found that the only ones that matched each other were the Montana Blue seed beads with the Capri Blue fire polished rounds, while the Capri Blue seed beads and Montana Blue fire polished rounds were the odd ones out. And this is all from the same vendor!

Ordering From Different Sources

If you order from more than one source it's even more confusing, as there is no guarantee that a bead listed as a particular color from one vendor will match at all the same named color from another. An Emerald Green the author got from one vendor was perfect for Slytherin, but Emerald Green from another source was too blueish, and Christmas Green not only looked better, but was almost the exact same color as the Emerald Green from the first source.

Colors in the Author's Designs

Due to what has been explained above, the author has a giant dilemma when listing the bead colors in her projects, because you might not get something that looks like what's in the picture even if you order the exact same color of beads that the author has listed. Unless you have the funds to order several shades of colors of beads and then use the ones you like best, the wisest idea is to make your choices in person at a bead store where you can see for yourself whether it matches what you want.

Bead Finish

In terms of choices there's also the finish of the bead to consider, particularly with seed beads. In terms of the beads listed in the author's designs, there are no likely discrepancies: silver-lined is silver-lined, although the author vastly prefers square-holed to round-holed.

Instead, here is the part where you get to fiddle with the design. For instance, the author chose to use metallic gold in her Gryffindor House color designs when the color gold is indicated. My reason goes back to my knowledge of heraldry, where the color yellow represents the metal gold, and the color white represents the metal silver.However, in the Hufflepuff design she used yellow or gold silver-lined seed beads instead, which was an artistic choice.

So in short, it's up to you. For instance, say that the silver-lined beads are a bit too shiny to go with your hand-knitted POA House scarf, choosing a transparent seed bead would lend a more subtle tone to the jewelry, possibly highlighted with a silver-lined for the secondary color to liven it up a little bit. Similarly you might disagree with using a metallic as the secondary color. If so, you can perhaps use a gold silver-lined instead of the metallic gold. This is fine, and makes a fun experiment.

The author personally experimented with using silver-lined beads for both the primary and secondary colors of Gryffindor, but found that it looked a little flat in comparison to the depth and contrast of using two different finishes.

Also, if you want to add some extra flash to the beads, you can use a rainbow iridescent finish to the seed beads, not to mention an AB finish on the fire polished rounds or the crystal. So long as you can afford to buy the beads, feel free to play.

Bead Findings & Threads

The last issue is in the findings category. For instance, on several of the earrings, the author used long-shank French ear-wires to make custom beaded ear wires for the earrings. However, you can skip that and use regular French ear-wires, lever-back earrings, or post earrings with a loop below the ball.

Although the author favors the use of pre-waxed Silamide thread to weave beads, you can substitute it to Nymo, or any other beading thread you favor, as long as it's not too thick or stiff.

Also, in any project that uses eye-pins, if you're accustomed to making the loops yourself you can substitute regular wire and do both loops yourself. You also have the option of doing wrapped loops for greater security if you have the skill to do so.

Also, although the author use Sterling Silver and Gold-Fill findings frequently, you can substitute items in gold or silver-plate to reduce costs.

Color Suggestions for the Four Houses

Hogwarts Crest Hogwarts Crest Hogwarts Crest

Now onwards to basic color suggestions for the four Houses. Although technically these are the author's personal preferences, they are based on the Coats of Arms of the different Houses.


Gryffindor Crest Gryffindor Crest Gryffindor Crest Gryffindor Crest

Primary color


Secondary color


Seed beads

Dark Red or Ruby

Metallic Gold, Topaz, or Medium Gold

Fire-Polished Rounds

Ruby or Dark Ruby, certain shades of Garnet

Metallic Gold, Topaz

Swarovski Crystal

Siam, Light Siam. The robes match Burgundy

Crystal Aurum 2X, Topaz, Crystal Brandy

Semi-Precious Stones

Garnet, darker shades of Carnelian

Citrine, Amber, or Hessonite Garnet


Hufflepuff Crest Hufflepuff Crest Hufflepuff Crest Hufflepuff Crest

Primary Color

Yellow or Gold

Secondary Color


Seed Beads

Yellow, Light gold, Med Gold, Light Topaz

Black Opaque

Fire Polished Rounds

Bright yellow, Dark Jonquil, Light Amber, Amber, Light Topaz

Black Opaque

Swarovski Crystal

Light Topaz, Citrine, Crystal Brandy, Crystal Champagne,

Jonquil, Jet. The robes in the movie are border on Lime.

Semi-Precious Stones

Citrine, Yellow Calcite, Amber

Onyx, Blackstone

Book Ravenclaw

Book Ravenclaw Crest Book Ravenclaw Crest

Primary Color


Secondary Color


Seed Beads

Cobalt Blue, Sapphire Blue, Montana Blue, Capri Blue

Metallic Bronze, Dark Topaz, Dark Gold

Fire-Polished Rounds

Cobalt Blue, Sapphire Blue, Capri Blue

Metallic Bronze, Dark Topaz

Swarovski Crystal

Sapphire Blue, Dark Sapphire, Cobalt, Capri Blue

Crystal Dorado 2X, Topaz, Crystal Copper

SemiPrecious Stones

Iolite, Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite

Amber, Pyrite, Smoky Topaz, Smoky Quartz

Movie Ravenclaw

Movie Ravenclaw Crest Movie Ravenclaw Crest

Primary color


Secondary Color


Seed Beads

Montana Blue, Capri Blue

Metallic Silver, Crystal Silver-lined, Grey

Fire-Polished Rounds

Capri Blue, Dark Aqua

Metallic Silver, Crystal Silver-lined, Grey

Swarovski Crystal

Capri Blue, Dark Sapphire. The robes match Montana Blue

Crystal CAL (Comet Argent Light), Black Diamond, Crystal Satin, Crystal Silver Shade

Semi-Precious Stones

Apatite, Iolite, Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite

Labradorite, Crystal


Slytherin Crest Slytherin Crest Slytherin Crest Slytherin Crest

Primary Color


Secondary Color


Seed Beads

Dark Green

Metallic Silver, Crystal Silver-lined, Grey

Fire Polished Rounds

Christmas Green, Emerald

Metallic Silver, Crystal Silver-lined, Grey

Swarovski Crystal

Emerald, Medium Emerald, (robes match Turmaline)

Crystal CAL (Comet Argent Light), Black Diamond ,Crystal Satin, Crystal Silver Shade

Semi-precious Stones

Green Tourmaline, Malachite, Green Aventurine

Labradorite, Crystal


Cindy Wells' introduction was taken with permission from HarryPotterCrafts.

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.