CraftOptics Telescopes for Beading

As someone who has suffered from migraines and eye strain, I'm always looking for beading tools to make my beading time easier on my eyes. Someone once suggested to me that I try a pair of drugstore magnifiers or reading glasses, but because I'm near-sighted and only need corrective lenses for driving, they didn't do much more than aggravate my headaches.

Then I saw one of my beading friends wearing a pair of these strange-looking glasses called CraftOptics. She told me that not only were they fantastic for reducing eye strain, but she also noticed that her back and neck weren't as sore after a long session of beading. I could hardly wait to get my hands on a pair of them, and I wasn't disappointed.

Improving the Way I Bead with CraftOptics

It took a little while to get used to wearing the CraftOptics telescopes, but once I did, I noticed that my posture while beading was much better, too. It struck me as I worked on a piece of tiny bead embroidery one afternoon that I wasn't hunched over in my chair, my neck wasn't bent at an odd angle, and I wasn't holding my beadwork right up against my nose. The muscles in my arms, neck, and lower back all felt much better at the end of a long beading session, most likely because I was able to sit comfortably and not have to scrunch my arms up near my face.

Whenever I had an all-day beading session in the past, I almost always woke up with a headache the next morning from eye strain. (My husband used to call them "beading hangovers". Whatever you call them, they were no fun.) But once I started using the CraftOptics on a regular basis during my beading sessions, I noticed that I wasn't getting those "beading hangovers" anymore, most likely because I'm reducing my eye strain. 

Now, even if you do wear corrective reading lenses, you can still have them put in to a pair of CraftOptics. The reason is that the type of magnification provided by the CraftOptics is different than the reading lenses. CraftOptics telescopes provide magnification so that you can see more detail at the correct working distance. When used with your regular prescription lenses, they provide enhanced magnification. The CraftOptics telescopes are not a substitute for your reading glasses — they are a welcome addition that make it possible to see incredible detail while you work.

CraftOptics are the same type of telescopes that are worn by dentists and surgeons to help them see better. So why not use them for bead-weaving and jewelry making, too? They make those tiny little 15o seed beads look like 8o seed beads!

I don't want to say that the CraftOptics were responsible for improving my bead embroidery skills, but when I used them while working on my Beading For a Cure piece, I noticed that my lines of bead embroidered backstitch were much straighter than before. I noticed that it was much easier for me to see where I was stitching as I came up through the back of my bead embroidery medium. Was it all due to the CraftOptics? I'd have to say, yes.

My favorite unexpected benefit of using CraftOptics when I'm beading? How easy they make it to untangle knots in my beading thread! No, really. Think about how difficult it can be to see the center of a little tiny knot in the middle of your Fireline or your Nymo beading thread. When I have the CraftOptics on, I can clearly see right down the center of that little knot so I can stick my beading needle into it and loosen it! It's so easy, it's almost ridiculous.

CraftOptics telescopes start at $399.00 (without corrective prescription lenses), but in my opinion, they are most definitely a worthwhile investment for anyone who is passionate about beadwork and wants to feel better while beading.

You can get more information about CraftOptics by checking out their website. Contact the company for more information and to find out if CraftOptics are right for you!

Bead Happy,


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Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

One thought on “CraftOptics Telescopes for Beading

  1. Hi, Jennifer–thanks for the info! I have a question about these.

    When you are working with them, are you able to see the beads lying on your work surface also? Or are these only for the work in your hands that is closer to your eyes? Does this make sense? I tried another brand of magnifying gear that gave me a great image of my work in my hands, but when I’d lower my needle and gaze to my work tray to pick up another bead, those beads lying there were out of focus. So I either had to move the eyewear out of the way or bend down very close to the work tray to pick up the bead. Does this make sense? Thanks! Candy