Tile beads are flat squares with two holes through each bead, so they can be joined top and bottom. Each bead measures about 5mm across each side. There are two major manufacturers: Miyuki company (Japan) calls this brand ‘Tila’ beads, while Preciosa Ornela (Czech Republic) brands them ‘Tile’ beads. The two hole design makes life very interesting from the perspective of working with these beads. Having to deal with two holes instead of one adds the problem of how to keep thread paths concealed – if you just pass directly from one hole to another, then your thread will show. You can disguise your thread by using size 11 or size 15 seed beads to cover the thread path, or you can work on creating specific patterns with the tile beads so that they join seamlessly without thread showing. The effects created with these beads can be very different – you can go for a brickwork look …or line them all up to create spacing between patches of smaller beads, or just dot them singly in a design. Click on the images to link to the tutorials for each design. I have also worked on tile bead designs that work with the twin hole beads to create very three-dimensional thread paths. I created this tile bead and twin hole bracelet, basically just using stringing techniques, so it sounds easy to make. In fact, the combination of two holes in each bead creating the layers, makes this a bit of a brain teaser to being with. Happily I made a repetitive design so that once you’ve mastered the first element, you just need to do more of the same! As with all other beadwork, it really helps to use different colours to distinguish where you’re going. Tile beads are available in a wide range of colours and finishes, so it’s worth taking a look at this article on choosing bead colours if you’re just getting started with these new beads. They’re great fun to use though and I love the look and texture of tile beads, so have a go at some of my patterns and I hope you enjoy them.