The one question that first entered my mind when I first started making beaded jewelry was; is there any certain kind of bead that I should be using to make my jewelry with?
The answer is: NO
While there are lots of different shapes, sizes, textures, and materials that beads are made from, your preference and design, is what makes your works of beaded art, unique. And we, as individuals, are unique. So, why shouldn’t our beading crafts and jewelry be a one-of-a-kind as well?
In this article, I want to go over some different kinds of beads that are available to you, for your beaded jewelry ideas.
BEADS, BEADS, AND MORE BEADS
If you go shopping for beads, it can be overwhelming with so many shapes and sizes. And of course, all kinds of different materials, which include glass, wooden, clay, plastic, shamballa style, shell, metal, pearl, semi-precious stones, and Swarovski beads.
I want to point out; choosing the beads that you want to create with, is entirely up to you. There’s no right or wrong here. It’s simply a matter of your preference and imagination.
Generally, I choose my beads by what catches my eye, and then start looking for other colors or shapes, that I think will compliment my focus color or scheme.
So, lets go over some of our choices:
These beads are very short pieces of chopped glass cane that are heated until they form smooth shapes, usually round. The most commonly available are Chinese, Czech or Japanese. Japanese are top quality and very consistent, Czech middle quality and Chinese are cheap irregular beads. Also in the seed bead family are Delica beads, square beads, triangle beads, bugle beads and hex beads.
Bugle beads are tubular in shape and are cut to various lengths. The bugle beads are part of the seed bead group as they are available in very small sizes and are really useful for creating delicate seed bead jewelry. There are plenty of bugle beads available in different colors, finishes and twists. They are sized in length by using the numbers 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 5 with 0.5 being the shortest. The diameter of a size 2 and 3 is equivalent to a size 11 seed beads.
Crystal Beads (Swarovski)
Crystals are crystal beads made out of leaded glass and have a high shine. They are usually faceted for additional shine. The most commonly known crystals are Swarovski Elements but there are Czech crystals too which are of good quality at a cheaper price. Often used for wedding dresses and tiaras, crystal beads are most commonly used for special pieces of jewelry.
These glass beads are made in the Czech Republic, where the tradition of craftsmanship in glass-making goes back centuries. This glass is also referred to as Bohemian glass or Bohemia crystal.
WOOD, PEARL, SEMI PRECIOUS STONE
Wood beads are a nice addition to a piece of jewelry. One usually sees wood beads used for macrame, but they do make lovely pieces of jewelry. There are many varieties of design with wood beads as well. If you are new to making beaded jewelry, I highly suggest that you try using wood beads, at least once. You may just be amazed at what a beautiful piece they can make.
Some of the common of these are, alexandrite, agate, amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, lapis lazuli, moonstone, opal, pearl, peridot, rose quartz, spinel, tanzanite, tourmaline, turquoise and zircon. They can add a flair to whatever piece you may be working on. While they are not considered to be “precious”, they are all quite beautiful, and make your beading craft more unique than the next.
Pearls are always a beautiful addition to any attire. They can be worn with anything dressy, to anything casual. Feoux pearls come in a variety of colors. Fresh water pearls can be found easily, for purchase online, and are surprisingly reasonable when it comes to cost. They say that diamonds, are a girls best friend. The Pearl, has to come in second place, as it’s natural beauty, not unlike the diamond, stands out in a crowd.
WHAT ABOUT BEADS?
I hope that this has helped you understand that the possibilities in your creativity, are endless. And, as mentioned above, there is no right or wrong way to bead jewelry. Whatever is appealing to you, will most definitely appeal to others.
Beading, is relaxing and fun, and fulfilling craft. Even the beginner can easily make a piece of jewelry, that looks just as good, if not better, than anything you can purchase in the store. And, handmade items, always mean so much more to the recipient.
Have a great day, and HAPPY BEADING!