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Topic: Beginning beader desperate!  (Read 1664 times)
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« on: November 28, 2006 05:31:51 PM »

Hi everyone!  My name is Kayla, and I'm completely and utterly new to the craft of beading (you know, except for those little bead kits you get as a ten year old).  I have a few questions and am desperate for help!

Quick synopsis of my situation:  I've been wanting to design jewelry for a long time now, and only when I stumbled upon the most amazing beads and rocks store (appropriately named Beads and Rocks!) did I finally get the kick in the butt I needed to throw myself into it.  It was so inspiring; I spent what felt like hours looking at every single bead and charm and rock in that store and my head was swimming with ideas!

Then it dawned on me -- I know absolutely nothing about technique or materials.

My questions:

Are there any in-depth (but not completely overwhelming) online tutorials for beginners that you know of?
What books would you recommend for the beginning beader?
What other resources could you recommend?
Is there a certain jewelry type I should start with and work up from?

Or, if you lovely people could answer some specific questions directly:

What are the materials needed to start off?  What are their uses?
What is the difference between the different types of wire?  Are certain types of wire used for certain types of jewelry?

What do I absolutely need to know before attempting to bead?

I ideally want to start with earrings, since I'm.. well, I'm obsessed with pretty dangly awesomely lovely earrings, but I want to create all types of jewelry.

I know I'm throwing a LOT out there and asking a LOT, but this would absolutely mean the world to me.  Anything anyone can offer, I'll be thoroughly grateful.  :]

Thank you so much!! <3
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2006 03:25:48 AM »

try this thread


the is info there that may help you Smiley

sl x

VISIT www.myspace.com/morsbags OR www.morsbags.com for more information on helping rid the world of plastic shopping bags - make your own environmentally friendly bag!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006 09:52:27 AM »

There's also this big thread for Beggining beaders: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=55058.0

You can also try magazines like Bead & Button - almost every issue offers tutorials.  Bead & Button also has a forum on their website, which can be a valuable resource.

And most often websites that sell beads also have technique & how-to areas.

Smiley Good luck!

www.RJBeads.etsy.com - beads and jewelry making supplies! **SALE ALERT**

« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006 01:12:48 PM »

You guys are great, thank you so much!!
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006 01:51:24 PM »

I've got some beginner's projects at http://beadwork.bellaonline.com and a few reviews of some great books for beginners, I'd also really recommend the Learn2Bead list at yahoo groups, the moderator does a new "lesson" every week or two in a different seed bead technique.

« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006 03:40:08 PM »

I don't know if any of the threads other people have mentioned link to these sites, but the best info I found when I was brand new was at




The second link is part of the website for the company I buy all my findings from. They sell in bulk, but if you get into beading enough you can just stock up. Their quality is great, the findings are packaged really well, and they always throw in a couple small candies. Rings & Things rocks! Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006 07:05:55 PM »

To just start out, you'd be very well off to shop at a bead store, that way you won't have to shell out $$$$$ for a large quantity of something you may never use.  As far as beading books go, there are hundreds of very good books with great designs, just flip through them next time you're in a bookstore, or even the library...I don't really recommend buying a lot of books--flip through them for ideas, but if you were to own them, chances are you wouldn't get much out of them past a certain point.  I would tell you to check out BeadStyle magazine.  There are a lot of projects geared for beginners and every issue has a section of basic techniques.  Plus--a single issue is very inexpensive.  As for stringing matierials, I say cheaper is better.  A spool of 12lb test fishing line will take you a long way.  Wire and cording can be pricey to start and for a person who's learning, fishline is a durable but still strong and professional option. 

« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006 08:37:56 AM »

I would spend a little time looking around at jewelry, and see what you really like, then work on that for a while before moving on to other techniques. Do you really love the look of wire? Does beadweaving, like peyote or seed bead spirals, fascinate you? I got into too many things too fast, leading to some frustration and too much spending, because I was determined that I learn everything, all at once! But I would have been much better off focusing for a while, then moving on. I have gotten there now, feeling reasonably competent, but 20/20 hindsight- I have a few things hanging around that I never used.
Stringing is great to start, but is almost too fast- I got into much more intricate work to slow me down and reduce material cost (I mainly seed-bead).
I think classes are great in the beginning, although there are so many books out there now, they are pretty much as good.
Good luck!
Sophisticated Hippie
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2006 03:28:11 PM »

I agree with the poster advising to start off slow and master one thing at a time.  You will build your skills and your confidence.  You will also figure out what you like to do and what works with your style and brain.  I have a very had time trying to follow specific project ideas but I like to combine a little of this with a little of that.

BeadStyle is owned and published by the same company as Bead & Button.  My opinion is Bead & Button gives you more for your money.  They have very good instructions to include pictures and sources.  Before I bought a subscription I would get my copies at JoAnn's and use the 40% off coupon to make it affordable.

As far as online instructions and sources I like FMG (Firemountain Gems)  At the bottom of their home page are 3 buttons for different types of information.  As you have time check out each source.

What ever place you start, with a book, magazine or online source, take your time.  Dont get brain overload.  I find each time I open B&B or go to FMG I learn a little more even in areas I have gone over before.

I do disagree with cheaper is better.  I recommend going middle of the road for quality to start out with.  Many of the cheaper products can create frustration from poor results and may not be durable.  My personal favorite stringing wire is Beadalon.  Some people think its expensive and others will only use Softflex/Softtouch.  All stringing materials come in different weights for different types of beads.  This is something you learn as you go along.

Set a budget for yourself and complete one project at a time.  To get some of the best help and advice is to shop a privately owned bead store.  The chain stores rarely have experienced people working in the depts.  Sometimes they will have classes by people with experience and that can be a good place to get help.

The message boards here are fantastic for help especially if you can post pictures with your questions.

Some posters prefer to only respond on the message boards.  I'm happy to help through private message or the boards.

If you visit myspace, they also have groups and boards for beading and jewelry.  I post on both.  I think someone also mentioned Yahoo groups.  I dont have any experience with them but I have found some useful information at http://www.about.com

Welcome to the wonderful addictive world of beading!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ~Benjamin Franklin
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2006 05:53:09 AM »

Sophisticated Hippie is so right about not getting cheap supplies. Honestly? I almost gave up on beading, and bad supplies were the reason. Needles, inconsistent beads.. sometimes needles marked "beading needle" are either too fine to thread easily, or too thick right around the eye to bead with, and cheap beads have uneven holes that can be hard to get needles through.
I use size 12 English needles for almost everything, and silamide now. YMMV, for me, Nymo, which was the standard when I started beading frayed too much, and made me very frusterated with the whole process.
Shala-Addicted to beads for a decade and counting!

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