Stringing beads is one of those simple pleasures in life that almost anyone can enjoy. It doesn’t require a lot of skill to begin, but when it comes to making beaded jewelry, it certainly can’t hurt to have some experience under your belt! Start with simple patterns like, how to make simple beaded anklet and once you’ve mastered the basics, go to more advanced patterns. From there, it won’t be long before you’re making beautiful jewelry that anyone would love to wear!
In addition to great beads, you need a few stringing and hand tools. At the minimum, you need a pair each of round nosed and flat nosed pliers, a crimping tool for fastening clasps to jewelry, wire cutters, jeweler’s tweezers for picking up and holding beads in place while you work with them, clasps, stringing materials and needles. Selecting beads for your project is the fun part! There are so many kinds! Handmade glass beads, pearl beads, wooden beads, brightly colored plastic beads, beads made of semi-precious stones and metals, crystal beads, and the list goes on and on! In fact, just looking at beads can inspire the creation of original designs! But, getting your feet back on the ground, start simply and work your way up.
Nylon and other synthetic strings, such as mono filament (a/k/a fishing line), are less expensive than wire or silk thread, but they can be cut or frayed, and unlike wire, they stretch and have a tendency to curl, especially at the ends, making it difficult to securely knot and attach clasps, fasteners and other jewelry findings. It’s best not to use synthetic threads with beads that are more than moderately abrasive or beads with too-large holes. Because of its resilience, ease of use and the variety of bead materials it can be used with, jeweler’s wire is preferred by many bead jewelry makers, while those who work with small, smooth beads, other than glass, prefer silk thread because it is small enough to fit through the holes of smaller beads. Wherever your beading fancy lies, you can be sure there is a string for it!
There is nothing quite as frustrating as having a nearly completed piece of jewelry and find that you don’t have enough beads to finish! This is why you should buy all the project beads and supplies you need, plus a few extra beads and needles, at once. When you buy everything you need at once, you eliminate the chance of not being able to get more beads at crafts or discount stores because they are sold out, or that you will have to wait a few days for a warehouse shipment to arrive. Buying from crafts and discount department stores is handy in a pinch, but you pay for that “convenience.” A far better way to purchase beads and other jewelry supplies is through a crafts supplies wholesaler. An Internet search will turn up dozens of crafts supplies wholesalers, but you should take time to comparison shop, because some who claim to be wholesalers are actually retailers in disguise. Buying from an online wholesaler is the quickest, easiest and, often, least expensive way to purchase bead jewelry supplies. You have the advantage of being able to comparison shop, browse at leisure, order and pay for your supplies all from your home PC! It’s one of the most popular and cheapest sites so try to use eBay to find cheap beads.
Your workspace should be comfortable, well-lighted and preferably isolated from the main parts of your home. Choose a comfortably high stool or chair and a spacious flat-topped work bench or table. You need sealable containers to keep your beads, small tools and supplies neatly organized and within easy reach. Other things you need storage space for are patterns, completed projects, and larger hand tools. One of the great things about having a separate workspace is that you can hang enlarged pictures of your favorite hand-made jewelry on the walls, make long strings of inexpensive beads, or allow your children to make them, to loop along a wall or from the ceiling or use any other decorations yow want! This makes your studio a comfortable, fun and inspiring place in which to make your bead jewelry!