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Topic: A Beginner's Supplies..  (Read 24586 times)
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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.
« 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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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005 04:04:23 PM »

what's a bead spinner? & of course you can.
« 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 :


« Last Edit: September 28, 2005 04:33:37 AM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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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?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005 09:18:33 AM »

We talk about them here:

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:

« 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
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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?
« 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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« 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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