Wednesday

Beading

Joyfully Home asked me what do you need to start beading. I am by no means a professional jeweler. I use stuff that I find at the craft store, nothing fancy. I the same beads & tools for my necklaces and for my canvas wall hangings.

Here are some suggestions:
This is a great starter tool set: the 3 Piece Mini Tool Set . It includes a Chain Nose Pliers, Round Nose Pliers and Wire Cutter. It is around $10.

Wire comes in different gauges, the smaller the number the thicker it is. I use 20, 24, 26 and 28 gauge the most, they are about $1-2 a spool. You can get wire in different colors, but I like the silver the best. Wire is good for making individual parts for a necklace, but if you want a full beaded necklace you will need Nylon coated stainless steel stringing wire. It is tough like wire but very flexible.

You will need what is called 'findings'. You can get a starter box of findings for about $6-8. Findings are the earing wires, clasps, spacers, head and eye pins - all the bones of making jewelry. You will also need crimping beads if using the stringing wire.

Of course you will need beads. Beads of all sizes come in little packets, on strings or in boxes usually in coordinated colors. Fancy beads are more expensive and you don't get many in the packet. Beads are often glass, stone or plastic. I like glass beads best, they are bright colors which appeals to me. I like to buy beads in assorted packs, which are good for finding random beads, but not so great if you find a size/color you want to repeat in a necklace.

You may need a bead storage tray once you get lots of beads. They are about $2 a piece. I buy the little packets of beads and then pour them into the trays, I am up to 5 trays! Buying beads can become an addiction :) When I am about to bead I pull these trays down and spread them around the table with the lids up so I can see what my choices are.

If you are working with wire you need First Aid tape to protect your fingers :)

I am sure there are lots more tools and supplies you can buy, but this has worked for me so far.

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