Often, we will get urge or idea for a project. Suddenly, or maybe even for several weeks, our need to craft something, takes over our ability to think about anything but that idea or thought. For me, my urges often lead to a beading project. It could be making a new necklace, bracelet, earrings, or even an entire matching set. Or maybe a beaded ornament at Christmas time. Whatever my imagination comes up with, I have learned through trial and error… Its MORE than just the beads. Depending on the project, there are a lot of other necessities involved in order to complete ones project. This is basically a check list, to ensure that, hopefully, you will only need to make one trip to the craft store, or place one complete order online, depending on where you purchase said items. I hope this helps you ensure that you have EVERYTHING you need, to start AND complete your project.
This, is probably the most difficult part of my decision, when crafting a jewelry item. There are SO MANY beads out there. All of which, will add a touch of beauty and uniqueness to anything you wear it with.
There are seed beads, bugle beads, Delia beads, faceted beads, crystal beads, lamp work beads, paper beads, pony beads. The list goes on.
If I have an event planned, and I know what I’m going to wear to that event, then of course, I decide what kind of look I want to go with that outfit, and purchase the beads that will complete that look. If I am going for an elegant look, my favorite beads to work with are Swarovski Crystal beads. These are a faceted bead made of leaded glass, and shine like brilliant diamonds. If I’m wearing a more casual attire, I will go with seed beads, or seed beads and bugle beads together. Whatever you decide, it will be perfect, because it’s your choice, your idea, and it will be unique and compliment anything you wear it with.
NEEDLES AND THREAD
There are different sizes of beading needles. It is important that you get the correct size for your project. If you don’t, the most common problem you’ll come across is that the needle is too large for the bead hole. You could thread your beads by hand, but that will take you a lot longer to complete your project, not to mention, wear on your patience. So, make sure that you look at the size of the needle you are buying. Needles can also be purchased in packages with an assortment of sizes.
There are also different sizes and kinds of threads. If I’m using thread, I prefer to by a waxed thread, as the beads slide on it easier. There is also elastic thread, if you want a stretchy bracelet or ring, or a choker. Depending on your project, you may want to use hemp cording. It all comes down to your project and preference.
FINDINGS, CLASPS, JUMP RINGS, TOOLS, ETC.
Findings are generally your hardware for your projects. Like necklace clasps, or jump rings to connect to a clasp, or you might prefer crimp beads, which are small metal beads that you crimp flat with beading pliers. Earring hooks, earring posts, spacers, headpins, are all considered “findings”. These are the most important components of your masterpiece, as these are the things that hold your jewelry or craft pieces in place. You can even get them in surgical steel for those with sensitive skin. Some findings you can get made of plastic. So the basis are covered for anyone, with any skin type.
Another important aspect of your craft, is making it as easy as possible. Working with small beads, that roll on every kind of surface, can be tedious enough. I prefer to have beading tools at hand. These are small tools, like pliers, wire cutters, bead organizer. These tools make your beading experience a lot easier.
BOOKS AND PATTERNS
There are literally thousands of free patterns on the internet of bead projects, jewelry, different kinds of beading stitches, and project ideas. Most have easy to follow directions with them, along with a picture of what the finished product looks like. A person can spend hours, looking through all the patterns online.
Your local craft store, has numerous books, with different kinds of crafting with beads. From books on jewelry making, to making key chain animals out of pony beads using an easy brick stitch (which is an easy and fun project for kids). There are books on making beaded ornaments, with easy and clear directions. All the books include a suggested scheme for the projects which include bead types, bead color, type of thread, etc. So, if you just feel like being creative, but aren’t sure what you want to make, the books are always a good start.
EASY IS MORE FUN
So, once you have decided what your project is, make a list of what you need. Be sure to include your findings on your list and the proper tools you will need. Having everything you need, will make your project a smooth process, and will prevent multiple trips to the craft store, or multiple purchases online. You especially want to make sure that you have everything you need, if you’re ordering online, as you pay a shipping fee every time you order, and you don’t want to pay a shipping fee more than once.
I hope that I have helped you make sure that your bead crafting, is a smooth and easy process. Whichever bead project you choose, will always be unique to you, as you choose your own colors, patterns, and crafts.
Happy Beading everyone!