Style Snapshot: Morse Code Bracelets and Jewelry

by Leslie McLane, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Morse code bracelets and other jewelry is a growing trend that sends a clear message of style. It doesn't take much to decipher why Morse code jewelry is popular and why you will enjoy creating bracelets, necklaces and pendants with a word or phrase.

Style Snapshot: Morse Code Bracelets and Jewelry

What is Morse Code?

The history of Morse code begins with the creation of the telegraph, which revolutionized long-distance communication in the 1830s and '40s. Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail--who were part of the team that engineered the telegraph--developed a code for transmitting simple messages across the telegraph. Each letter of the English alphabet is assigned a set of dots or dashes. Originally, the code was sent over as these dots and dashes, but it was quickly realized people could translate the code faster just by listening to the clicks and so a more pronounced beeping sound was implemented.

The length of a dot is one unit and a dash consists of three units. Now, how to tell the difference between parts of the same letter and a new letter? The space between parts of the same letter is one unit while the space between letters is three units. To then space out words, the space between each word is seven units.

While Morse code is not used as widely as it once was, it's still highly recognized. Morse code is most used in aviation and aeronautical fields as well as the US Navy and Coast Guard. Morse code has even been used as an alternative form of communication for people with disabilities. Lately, Morse code has been turning up in a stylish field: jewelry.

Why Make Morse Code Jewelry?

Many people who wear jewelry want something with a personal message, a story, something that speaks to them on an individual basis or in relation to someone else. Morse code jewelry provides such a message for customers to wear and gift to those they care about. Morse code jewelry is highly customizable: you pick the message, beads, thread color, etc. Another reason Morse code jewelry is gaining popularity is the ease of which it's worn since the designs are minimalistic (similar to Barely There Jewelry Chain), yet impactful. And lastly, Morse code bracelets (especially) are unisex, making these designs great for men and women.

Style Snapshot: Morse Code Bracelets and Jewelry

Making Morse Code Jewelry

Pick Your Message
There are a few themes we've noticed with Morse code bracelet and necklace messages.

Popular Morse Code Jewelry Phrases
  • Familial titles
    • "Sister" or "Brother"
    • "Daughter" or "Son"
    • "Mama" or "Mother" (We've seen mother and daughter matching sets)
    • "Dad" or "Father" (We've seen father and son matching sets)
    • "Grandma"
    • "Godmother"
    • "Aunt" or "Auntie"
    • "Big Sis" and "Little Sis" matching sets
    • "Twin"
    • "Family"
    • Names of children
      • Each name on a headpin dangling as part of a pendant
      • Multi-strand bracelets or necklaces with each strand center as a child's name
      • Seen with birthstone bead dangles as an added personal touch
      • Or, use birthstone colors for bead colors to create the names themselves (which is an idea that can be applied to many other Morse code messages as well)
  • Friendship
    • "Friends"
    • "Best Friend"
    • "Soul Sister"
    • "Bestie"
    • "My BFF" or just "BFF"
  • Weddings
    • "Bridesmaid"
    • "Maid of Honor"
    • "Mrs." and "Mr." sets
  • Affirmations
    • "Live Love Laugh"
    • "Survivor" (often seen with an awareness charm included)

      Item H20B2735FN awareness charm, SURVIVOR

    • "Strength" or "Strong"
    • "Brave"
    • "Fearless"
    • "Courage"
    • "Be Bold"
    • "Persevere"
    • "Peace"
    • "Namaste" (a lotus charm would coordinate perfectly)

      Item H20B8964FN lotus charm, NAMASTE

    • "Happiness"
    • "Beautiful"
    • "Shine"
    • "Dream"
    • "Hope"
    • "Imagine"
    • "Believe" or "Believe You Can"
    • "Wish"
    • "Luck" (horseshoe, clover or other lucky charms are fun to use alongside this word)

      Item H201600JC clover charm, LUCK

    • "Freedom"
    • "Trust"
    • "Faith"
    • "Blessed"
    • Short Bible verses or the chapter name and verse number
  • Romantic (though some of these can be used platonically as well)
    • "Love"
    • "Always with You"
    • "My Love"
    • "My Person"
    • "Soulmate"
    • "I Love You"
    • "Be Mine"
    • "To the Moon and Back"
    • "XOXO"
    • "Forever"
  • Other
    • "Teacher" (with an apple charm included would be perfect as a gift)

      Item H203776FD apple charm, TEACHER

    • "Congrats"
    • "Thanks"
    • Names
    • Zodiac signs (fun to use beads in birthstone colors with this one as well as star charms)
    • Sorority sisters "Big" and "Little"
    • Fandoms (names of favorite characters, superheroes, catchphrases etc.)
Pick Your Beads and Thread

Now that you know what word, words or phrase you want to use, use the International Morse Code chart to figure out the number of dots and dashes you'll need (and in what order). This will give you an idea of how long the design will be and whether you want to make a bracelet or necklace. Next, choose which beads you'd like to use. Seed beads and bugle beads work especially well for Morse code jewelry since the seed beads work as dots and bugle beads work as dashes. Of course, any small beads such as micro beads and liquid silver or tiny gemstones, Swarovski® crystals, etc. will work fantastically. Feel free to include small additions such as charms or birthstone bead dangles.

Seed and bugle beads

For stringing material, choose a strong thread, thin cording such as hemp or even very thin chain. Creating links from eyepins and using chain for the rest of the bracelet or necklace is another option. Leave the stringing material as is to show the color and texture, or thread on a single color of beads to cover the thread and really bring out the colors of the beads used as letters. Braided strands have also been seen to give the bracelet a bit of thickness.

Tips for Making Morse Code Jewelry

Lay out Morse code messages in a bead board before stringing so that everything is in order when you begin. Be sure to double check the letters are correctly laid out before stringing and before tying off your threading or finishing your loop on headpins/eyepins; this is definitely a "measure twice, cut once" type of design. When selling Morse code jewelry, it's usually a good idea to include a tag, necklace card or some other indicator that spells out what the message is. Use both the word and Morse code letters in a visual format near each other along with the jewelry so customers can easily browse the selection of phrases you have. If you're willing to do custom Morse code jewelry, have a few examples near a display of International Morse Code with an indication of "custom" or "your code here."

Bead boards

Morse code jewelry sends a message of appreciation, making it perfect for creating in celebration of national holidays such as Mother's Day, birthdays, special occasions and just because. There's never a wrong time to create a thoughtful handmade jewelry gift for someone special.

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