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Topic: A Beginner's Supplies..  (Read 19383 times)
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HardCandy63
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« on: September 25, 2005 02:33:07 PM »

ok, so i'm totally new at beading, i've only made a couple single-strand necklaces. boring, i know. So, i was wondering, if i'm going to start making other cool stuff (multi-layered neckalces, dangly earrings, etc) what should i buy? toggles/clasps? spacers? what kind of wire/cord? beads everyone should have? what about jump rings & chain? head pins? ahhhhhh it's all a-whirl in my head.
thanks!
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Godwin
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005 12:53:59 PM »

Can I hop onto your thread and ask if anyone knows of a place to find a bead spinner (do these actually work?) for less than $50?  Can I make one?
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HardCandy63
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005 04:04:23 PM »

what's a bead spinner? & of course you can.
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Ayn
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2005 04:30:36 AM »


Hi HardCandy63 --

If I were more-or-less just beginning to get into beading (and of course I was once, & I wish someone had suggested this to me) ...
FIRST I'd go to as many fairly large bead-seller websites as i could possibly find --  www.firemountaingems.com is just one of mannny online bead places -- and spend a few hours total *simply looking over* what-all there is out there. 

Then I'd sign up for a few catalogs from anywhere that offers them -- yep even if there's a small fee, although at several large places besides FMG the catalogs are free.

Before you start 'amassing' annnnything, you really really really do need to 'become familiar' with the gazillion different things that are available for beadstringing purposes, & particularly what's specially made to use with or to work with what.

~~ I do have just a few small tips from long personal experience too:

[1] Definitely stick with a TRUE beading wire, such as SoftFlex/Soft Touch, or Accuflex (which FMG sells).
High-quality tru beading wire ain't exactly cheap, but for nearly all beadstringing purposes it's the easiest & also the most reliable thing you can possibly use.
 I believe you can even use Soft Touch with pearls, even if you want to do the traditional knotting in between each -- though pls don't quote me on that as I very seldom work with pearls myself.
 
[2] Definitely get a good crimp tool. In fact I'd suggest 1 regular size & 1 micro size, so you can decide which is better/easier for you.
Some bead places, such as FMG for one, cheerfully accept returns if you really don't think you'll use the othr size, but if I were you I'd keep 'em both.
Sure you can smash crimps with a plain ole pair of workshop pliers -- but creating a *proper* crimp that will work well & last well requires the specially designed crimp pliers.
 
[3] Definitely stick to sterling silver or 10k-14k crimp tubes. Okay again not the cheapest crimp tubes out there, but again, they're easier to work with & are far more reliable than base metal or plated metal.  And 'do' use crimp 'tubes' rather than the round ones called crimp beads.

~~ As for clasps, you just happened to hit upon a longtime personal favorite of mine... the toggle.
To me they're the easiest to work with as well as the easiest for the wearer to use (well, okay the've always been the easiest for ME as a wearer to use!).  Most of all I love the fact that it doesn't matter if a piece 'turns around' & clasp shows because the toggle clasp is actually a 'design element'.
However ... admittedly, much as I totally adore them, toggles may not be suitable for 'every single' piece you'll want to make ... so just remember that it's important to suit the clasp to the weight & the style of whatever you're designing or making.
   
-----------------------------

Hi Godwin --

Personally I think bead spinners are a huge pain in the u-know-what (but then, I'm retired, so the time it might take to handstring little beads ain't nothing to me, lol) ...

but anyway here's a link to one way of making your own bead spinner :

http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/beadspinner.html

« Last Edit: September 28, 2005 04:33:37 AM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
HardCandy63
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2005 08:10:18 AM »

whoa, thank you! that was so helpful! if you don't mind me asking (& sounding totally stupid) what's a crimper? what do you use them for?
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smokingmonkey
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005 09:18:33 AM »

We talk about them here:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=52091.0

A few people have made them, I made mine with a plastic container and a fat knitting needle. I also put a hole in the lid of the container to slide it onto the needle, and use it to store the beads in-between working on them. (But that's because I've been making multiples of one style/one color.)

Also, here's a pretty good resource for different jewelry making techniques:
http://www.wigjig.com/jewelry-tools/WJU/techniques/alpha.htm
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Ayn
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2005 06:31:16 AM »


Hi again, HardCandy63 --

For a bracelet or necklace strung on true beading wire such as Softflex or Accuflex:  a "crimp tube" holds the loop at each end of the beading wire. Those loops are what one attaches to the two clasp parts of the bracelet or necklace.  A crimping tool is used to close the crimp tubes properly.


OH and here's one other really/truly/honestly necessary beadstringing tool I forgot to mention:
at least one -- preferably two -- round-nose pliers.

This is sort of like needlenose pliers *BUT* both of the working ends are smoothly & completely rounded -- no flat pats, no roughened parts as with the usual hardware store type pliers. (You may notice that just about all good quality round-nose pliers made for jewelry work happen to be "black" instead of the usual hardware-store silverish metal; I have no idea why this is, though).
Round-nose pliers really are essential for easily/properly/prettily making attachment loops or otherwise shaping headpins or wire -- and this time I do mean regular "real metal" wire instead of beading wire.


Well hmmm ... speaking of headpins (yeah jump rings too) ... those might be things one could indeed start 'amassing' at the very beginning, almost before one even knows what to do with them.
I sure wish I HAD amassed them myself -- and I mean in seeeriously enormous quantities -- *before* silver & gold prices hit the stratosphere where they are nowadays.  Sterling & gold beads too ... siiigh, dontcha just hate "shoulda-coulda-woulda" things like that.


Also -- whenever you see beads that you instantly adore & just 'know' you'd love to work with -- you 'could' go ahead and get them -- especially if, say, they happen to be on sale.
However, one reason I wish I had NOT done this sooo often right at the beginning is : for some strange reason I consistently & seriously underestimated the "number" of beads I'd need in order to make the things I like to make.  And since almost all he beads I was buying early-on were vintage types, there's very verrrrry little chance of ever finding more.
Of course earrings could be one solution there since most don't require as many beads as a bracelet or a necklace ... but (again for some strange reason) I truly genuinely honestly 'despise' making earrings, lol... so mostly I used them up for things such as charmlike dangles on bracelets.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2005 06:35:02 AM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
HardCandy63
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2005 04:55:09 PM »

thank you, Ayn, you're so helpful! why do you hate making earrings?
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Ayn
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2005 03:18:28 AM »


Hi again, HC ... I'm not really sure why, lol ...

Certainly isn't because I hate to wear them -- I alllways have a pair of earrings on, at all times under all conditons.  Think I was probly born with earrings on!

Might possibly be because I'm an (-!ahem!-) "older person", and hands/eyesight both tend to get a bit wonky as one ages.
So making smaller jewelry items -- and using smaller beads & stuff -- is just harder, more time-consuming, &/or more annoying for me, you know?
All I know for sure is that, for whatever reason, I'd *lots* rather make necklaces.
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HardCandy63
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2005 04:55:01 PM »

ahhh, i see. earrings are why i wanted to start making beaded stuff in the first place...my life is so hectic i figured i needed some relaxing time to just...cool off & make something pretty:)
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Ayn
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2005 10:49:38 AM »

Hi again HC -- oh sure, I understand!

For me, making jewelry usually is a superb way to relax -- well, as long as I'm not making it as a gift or to sell tho, because then I tend to get a bit "anxious."

Hope it works for you too. Quite a number of yrs ago when I was going through one of those pretty horrible life periods, jewelrymaking (no particular type or technique just the basic idea of plenty of brain creativity & hand activity) was actually suggested to me as a potential relaxer by a couple of doctrs, including even a psychiatrist!
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Tressa
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2005 08:31:45 AM »

When I first started I went a little crazy and bought tons of stuff.  Here's what I would recommend.

Tools:  Pliers (round nose, flat nose), a crimp tool, and wire cutters.  Sometimes you can buy sets for about $15 at craft stores.  If you plan on using memory wire you may need memory wire cutters.

Wire:  Either Beadalon or Accuflex  (don't buy the cheap stuff)

Beads:  Try buying assortments of different colors, shapes and sizes.  Glass beads are easy and inexpensive to start out with.  Try buying some "E" beads, seed beads, crystals, silver spacers, etc. 

Findings:  Crimp tubes (sliver or gold are easier to work with), head pins, earring wires (french hooks) , jump rings, clasps (buy a few different kinds - toggle clasps, spring clasps, and maybe some lobster or torpedo clasps....try them out and see what you like best).

Storage:  Bead boxes really help keep things neat.  If you can't see your beads or find them you probably won't use them.

Bead board:  I like the multistrand kind.  You can use a towel instead but the board is really handy.

Books:  I recommend picking up a basic beading guide.  They are good to have around for reference.  Beading magazines are also good to browse through for idea.

Anyway...hope this helps!







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HardCandy63
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2005 04:46:18 PM »

thank you! & ayn, the theraputic qualities of any crafts..beading, knitting, whatever, are always so theraputic, i'm suprised more people don't reccomend it.
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Tressa
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2005 06:35:19 AM »

I truly genuinely honestly 'despise' making earrings, lol... so mostly I used them up for things such as charmlike dangles on bracelets.

Hi Ayn,

You're not alone...earrings are not my favorite thing to make.  For some reason I have a hard time with them.  They always seem to come out lopsided.....

Maybe I just don't have the patience.  But I sure like to wear them.  Hmmmmm....maybe I should give it another try.
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SoftFlexGuy
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006 03:46:54 PM »

Ayn,

  You never fail to give great advice.    Grin

  You mentioned Soft Touch on pearls necklaces - perfectly acceptable, all of our wire is flexible enough to be knotted and Soft Touch has a nice drape, but if you are designing a traditional pearl necklace, I would say stick with silk and keep it traditional.

Happy Beading!
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dogperson
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2006 04:48:17 PM »


Books:  I recommend picking up a basic beading guide.  They are good to have around for reference.  Beading magazines are also good to browse through for idea.


any books/magazines in particular?

this thread is making me scared of earrings - and thats what i want to start this whole beading nonsense to learn how to make!

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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2007 04:43:12 PM »

dogperson - don't despair, I love making earrings! One of my favorite things to make because they are small, but allow so much creativity and personality in such a little package!

HC - this runs completely contrary to the thread, so others may disagree, but I built my collection over time, so I could spread out the expense. There are always "bits left over" that can be incorporated into future projects, and just like that..your collection grows until one day you realize that you have a problem =) I mean, a great stash. I also think that the tools you will want/need will depend entirely on personal style, and what you want to do - and I think these can be added as you develop you interests as a beadworker, too.

However, in order to develop an eye for what you want to do, and what tools you'll need in order to do it (and even what substitutions you will make), you'll need to familiarize yourself with what's out there. You could buy a book, but I also highly recommend going online and just spending some hours browsing - there is a wealth of information readily available.

There was a gal named Emily who used to run the about.com's Beading website. She left years ago, but I believe the woman who took over filed all of Emily's old posts, which include lessons on peyote stitch, commanche stitch, freeform peyote tips, square stitch, even netting and neat things like dutch spirals and african double helixes (all with clear illustrations, etc.). I strongly encourage you to go through these. I learned a lot of just plain beadwork engineering from those pages. I think all of the original gallery pages might still be there, too. Loads of inspiration!

happy beading!
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JennyPenny
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2007 11:39:05 AM »

I keep a stock of various widths of hemp and lots of head pins and eye pins. That way, I can make earrings if I want to, or I can make necklaces. Those are the easiest things to make when you are starting out.
When I started making wire jewelry, I started with a make your own earring set that I bought at a Michael's craft store. The set had four different kinds of earrings and step by step instructions on how to make them. That really inspired me, and it was only 5 bucks. All I needed were some wire beading tools, which are also inexpensive. I just bought a nice bead tool kit and I am addicted to making earrings! I hope this helps!
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RondaS
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2007 08:49:07 PM »

if you don't have a beading board, a cheap piece of felt will work - or a towel - but I recommend the board if you can get it

another thing I don't see mentioned is a flat nosed pliers - the long thin kind - I find them very helpful when twisting wire or shaping head/eye pins for holding the pin steady while I twist on the round nosed pliers

I got a really cute set of miniature pink tools at Hobby Lobby or Walmart or somewhere - came in a carry case with tweezers, needle nose, flat nose, covered flat nose, round nose, jump ring spreader and a wire cutter, all in about half size of regular tools - got it for traveling and now I use them all the time. The only thing I needed by way of tools other than what was in that kit, was a pair of crimpers

Also, if you want a less expensive but sturdier solution to bead and finding storage, hit the department stores in the fall and winter to get empty plastic tackle boxes on clearance - they usually come with carrying cases in sets or as a separate organizing box. A nice way to stay organized is to keep one sort of thing in one box and another in a different box (all my mellifiori is in one storage container, all my metal spacers and bead caps in another set, etc) - and since they come in all sizes this will work for anyone no matter how much stuff you have accumulated

and do shop around in the stores, on and off line! Sometimes online is the only place to get what you want, and sometimes you can get a great bargain locally - just remember it is only a bargain if you are REALLY going to use it (maybe not today, but sooner or later)!

doing a small project is a lot different from putting together a base for working with beads long term, be sure you know what you are after and your own expectations for future beading projects!

Blessings!
Ronda

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Brightest Blessings!
mstngnettie
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2007 12:25:32 PM »

Just to go back to the getting started aspect, most craft stores that sell bead tool kits also sell assortment packages of seed beads and basic beads. Thats a great way to start your bead collection. Its also has built in storage which is always a plus. You can also get small (2x2) storage bags that also work well for storage! These also come in large quantities(250). These stores also sell findings in large quantities at cheap prices.
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Jlry-Lv-R
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2007 08:49:22 AM »

I agree with Ayn bead spinners are a pain never could get the hang of it myself and I personally love to sort beads.

As for the beginner beadier, tools are extremely important. You don't have to buy high end in the beginning but stay away from the 1-3 dollar tool bin at the swap meet these tools "mar" to easily.

I started beading at 8 years of age and still have stuff from when I was a kid. Amassing materials is fun and good but you'll find after awhile you will over whelm yourself if your not careful.

Ayn is right about beads you love especially if their old Czech beads make sure you buy enough for a large project. When I was bead money poor I would buy beads I loved by the 10 or 20 batch, well that was usually never enough for what I needed as I did pretty detailed projects.
So now I have thousands of small quantities of beads that I also use for charms etc. but the point is I would have really liked to make something bigger. I wish I would have bought less smaller quantities and focused on a few larger batches.
There are so many places to buy beads from nowadays that its mind boggling just really crazy. If you live some place where there is multiple bead stores go "window" shopping and compare. Remember that pictures can be deceiving so you want to learn the difference between the grades of beads you buy a good example of this would be the Milifore Bead
a milifore bead from Italy very high quality
a milifore bead from India a lot lower quality
the difference is one is smooth and one is bumpy however in a picture they can look very similar
Start learning about the different makers of beads.
also a common rule most glass beads made in India are "sand cast" this is an older and more inexpensive way to make beads that poorer country's use. So when you see glass beads from India advertised you'll know the quality is probably not as good as Italian, Bohemian, Austrian,Czech etc.
The Bead Museum in Glendale AZ has good information and you can get questions answered go to their website and check them out.
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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2007 07:27:51 AM »

Thanks for all the information...I want to get into beading.  I'm so happy I found this post and board!
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Jlry-Lv-R
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2007 08:04:02 AM »

Your welcome! Beading is a lot of fun and rewarding as you don't have to stop at jewelry but can make so many things. Also I learned alot by joining a bead society in my area. most of the ladies were a lot older then me and I learned so much from them it was great fun. Also if you want to learn about the history of beads sign up for the "Center for Bead Research" news letter very informative stuff.
sincerely
V
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IndefatigableL
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2008 08:50:02 PM »

This is a totally crazy question, but I can't find an answer to it. Let me preface this by saying I have never, ever made any jewelry (except for one necklace when I was 6 or so on cotton string), and I'm just starting out! Say I just wanted to string beads. Not with chain, not doing wire and making little loops on either end to connect to other things, but just beads. What would I string them on? Pearls go on silk, would I do glass beads like that? I'm looking at firemountaingems.com and they have fireline thread, nylon thread, silk thread, kevlar (which just seems awesome to me, but then I am in the Army), sinew... What would I use to just make an all bead strand necklace?

I know it's an absurdly simple question, which actually might be why I can't find the answer.
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Jlry-Lv-R
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2008 06:51:46 AM »

First, there is never any dumb questions. As they say the only dumb question is the one left unasked.
Stringing has become so "complicated" if you are a new beader and looking at supplies. I am an old-school beader who learned on string and thread. Which you can still bead on. They sell it in any bead store.
Most people use it only for seed beading but you can still string with it as long as you know who to tie knots and you don't cut it with crimps. It is a very cheap way to go and works well.
All the really old necklaces used to be strung this way and they last 50-60 plus years. However, with that said softflex works very well for sing strand or double or triple. You can buy it in light,medium or heavy and all you need is a pair of flat nose pliers to crimp a crimp bead with if you do not want to invest in crimping pliers. Its durable and doesn't "kink" like fishline.
Do you have any books on stringing? If not you can go to firemountain gems and a few other websites and they have instructions on how to do the ends for softflex, or just hit me back and I would be more then willing to provide detailed instructions.
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IndefatigableL
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2008 11:58:01 AM »

Thanks! I'll look into books for now. I already ordered two, but they are not on stringing specifically, so once they arrive and I look them over, I'll probably look into more.
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Jlry-Lv-R
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2008 12:13:04 PM »

You might be interested in a book called "Beaders Companion" it is a nice little but thick book that is easy to travel and take with you. Mine rides in my backpack.
This excellent little book provides bead identification, size, wire size, material or component identification and also gives instructions on stringing, knotting, working with wire and beading.

Its very affordable and informative. The way it is set up makes it easy to use and is good to take with you when shopping for materials.
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IndefatigableL
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2008 12:26:23 PM »

Cool, I'll definitely look into that!
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fusbdgt
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2008 08:20:05 PM »

I love to make earrings hardcandy!!! i think that it's probably b/c my attention span is so short but don't be afraid of them.  unlike some of the other posters i personally am not a fan of the necklace making, i just feel like i'm not that entirely great at it. everyone has such good advice 4 you.  i too would probably look for someone in the airea that had the same interest in learning to bead or that already does, i'm always so inspired when working with another beader, and many times you can learn much from each other even in your experimentation.  you never know someone that you already know may be into beading and they are looking for someone to be crafty with! i didn't realize how many people are crafty till i started talking openly about how much i loved it!
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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2008 05:11:45 AM »

I buy anything and everything I can get my hands on when I see it. That way, when the time comes and you need a certain finding or tool for the job, you don't have to stop and go shopping...the work is already done. It's addicting tho, so beware!
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beadstoyourheart
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2009 07:18:25 PM »

Hi there,
you can found lots of cool stuff on my website @ great prices.

www.beadstoyourheart.com

hope this will help.
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beefishie
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2009 11:37:58 AM »

You most deffinitely need a bead design board. It helps me so much with organizing my designs!
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infiernodeashly
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2009 09:51:34 PM »

Can I hop onto your thread and ask if anyone knows of a place to find a bead spinner (do these actually work?) for less than $50?  Can I make one?

Walmart sells them for like $20 I think.
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BeadinFluff
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2009 05:39:44 PM »

I'm sad that some of you don't like bead spinners! I personally love mine but have only used it when it comes to wire for making french beaded flowers. I used to make them by stringing each bead by hand and it would take me near a half an hour to string enough beads to make a single petal!

It's all about the curved angle on the end of your wire. I've never had any luck with the actual hooks that usually come with the spinner. I have always quickly bent the end of the spool of wire myself. I have also found that the closer I hug the wire to the edge of the bead spinner, the more luck I have.

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Babs_c
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2010 08:28:26 AM »

Can I hop onto your thread and ask if anyone knows of a place to find a bead spinner (do these actually work?) for less than $50?  Can I make one?

I think bead spinners are an aquired taste but if you haven't got one already just search on amazon they have them for around $25 Smiley

Babs
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Pan-Gaia Designs
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2010 02:26:50 PM »

I know that it's late to post, but after reading this, I wanted to mention the ultimate place to get some very odd stuff:  Home Depot.

According to my friends, I could open a small bead shop of my own with all the bits and part's I've accumulated.  In order to organize the stuff, I went to Home Depot and picked up a bunch of the stacking plastic containers that have a whole bunch of little drawers in them. It makes creation easy - just grab the drawer and go. I can lay out the drawers on my workbench, make what I want to make, and then put them back.  Best of all, they are interchangable, for the most part, so if you find that some things are more commonly used, you can just keep them on a shelf near you.

Home Depot also has other things that Jewelry makers may like:  Welding rods, soldering irons and solder, flashing in aluminum and copper colors, different kinds of organizers/toolboxes for things, pegboard on the cheap, etc.  Personally, I'm always shocked that more jewelry makers are willing to pay huge amounts for what is essentially the same thing - but without the construction coloring. 
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gloria.smith279
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2011 04:22:27 AM »

If you're new to beading I would recommend checking out AGrainofSand.com. They have everything you could need to start out (beads, clasps, chain, and wire, etc.), plus they have an amazing collection of unique vintage beads for inspiration and motivation!
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tanyaheart
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2011 05:38:49 PM »

Check the Hobby Lobby sales ads every week. They regularly have findings 50% off and a 40% off coupon for whatever else you need. Other supplies like tools, storage bins, etc. go on sale every couple of weeks, as well. When making earrings, I prefer the leverback ear wires.
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Vicky Violence
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2011 02:39:59 PM »

Guys! I really hope you can help me!

I'm much of a n00b when it comes to beading/jewelry findings etc, (so I'm not even sure if I'm in the right board here  Cheesy) but I was wondering if these silver thingies have a name?



I tried searching for bead caps but those are for threading and not for like... Pendant making.

Sorry again guys as you can tell I'm totally clueless  Cheesy
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false intentions and a life so  pretentious
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« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2011 11:06:14 PM »

From the looks of it, that is a bead cap. I think the stone is only partially drilled and there is an eye hook glued into the hole. So it would go from bottom up: partially drilled stone, bead cap, eye hook glued into the stone, jump ring.

Hope that helps!
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Vicky Violence
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2011 04:15:23 AM »

From the looks of it, that is a bead cap. I think the stone is only partially drilled and there is an eye hook glued into the hole. So it would go from bottom up: partially drilled stone, bead cap, eye hook glued into the stone, jump ring.

Hope that helps!

Ah thanks! I did find exactly what I was looking on ebay under "bead cap with loop". Sometimes it's just that easy!
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JewelrySupplies
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2012 04:39:42 AM »

ok, so i'm totally new at beading, i've only made a couple single-strand necklaces. boring, i know. So, i was wondering, if i'm going to start making other cool stuff (multi-layered neckalces, dangly earrings, etc) what should i buy? toggles/clasps? spacers? what kind of wire/cord? beads everyone should have? what about jump rings & chain? head pins? ahhhhhh it's all a-whirl in my head.
thanks!

Start with a set of jewelry making tools. In the beginning, buy supplies based on the project you are working. In most cases, you will often buy multiples of most smaller components. As you gather more and more extras, you will need to buy fewer components for similar beading projects.

As others have stated - do a little research and learn about what's available and it's usage.

Best of luck...
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RJB
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2014 01:36:30 PM »

Bead spinners make life so much easier! I have seen them for a lot less that $50. Message me and I can find the link for you Smiley
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