February 14, 2007


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.


  1. Shona, thank you, thank you, thank you. And 'seeing' it all in your picture helps as I'm a visual learner...I'm pumped about getting started on this!!!

  2. Anonymous9:13 PM

    doh!! First aid tape for your fingers--who knew?

    thanks hon, that's a great tip! Also thanks again for the hello-- you have inspired me to get off my behind and post more to my photo blog. I will work on that this weekend.


  3. My daughter was making bead necklaces in a frenzy yesterday. A new friend from wales sent her some gorgeous beads. It is interesting how art carries over to so many mediums.

  4. Anonymous7:26 AM

    You can also put the first aid tape onto your pliers, so it won't leave marks your wire :)

  5. This is very useful. Thank you! I am an expierenced beader. I had a lot invested in my collection. Unfortunately it was all STOLEN! So now I am flat broke and have to replace EVERYTHING!


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