Bead Star Design Contest

I love American Idol. I love seeing the rags-to-riches, dream-come-true type of experience of the contestants. I love arguing the merits of personality, singing talent, and stage presence with my co-workers–and teasing them that Jason Castro sang "Michelle" especially for me! I love the comments of the judges–and arguing with some of their opinions as I sit thousands of miles away in front of my TV. I love the unpredictable, cliff-hanger voting aspect. I love the corny, neon-glitter posters in the audience and their creative nicknames for the contestants like David Awwwwchuleta. There's only one thing that could possibly make that show better: beads.



Announcing Bead Star 

What is Bead Star? It's like American Idol–but better. You won't have to forgo your morning shower and stand in line with thousands of other sweaty contestants for days as you wait to audition. Simon Cowell won't be judging the finalists–the much nicer editors of Beadwork and Stringing will select them. Instead of phoning in your votes, everyone on Beading Daily–readers from all over the world–will get a chance to vote online for the winners. Instead of singers going on tour, the winning designs will appear in the pages of Bead Star magazine, which will be available in bead shops and bookstores in December.

Winners have the chance to donate their projects to an auction benefiting the American Heart Association's women's heart health initiatives. And instead of going to the Grammys a la Carrie Underwood, one beading superstar will receive a trip for two to beautiful Santa Fe for Bead Expo 2009, win tons of cool beading stuff from our grand prize sponsor, Fire Mountain Gems, and see his or her design featured on the cover of Bead Star magazine! (You can see all the sponsors on the official Bead Star website.)  How cool is that?

Ready, Set, Bead!

Read the official rules and get busy! The deadline for entry is midnight Mountain Standard Time (MST) on May 6, 2008. If you have any questions about this contest, please post them on the website.

Coming This Week: On Wednesday, Jean Campbell shares tips for beading while on vacation. On Friday, download an exclusive free project from the new book, Simply Modern Jewelry by Danielle Fox. 

Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website. 


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About Editor

I am the editor of Beading Daily.  My designs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Beadwork, and other publications.  If you have a great suggestion for Beading Daily, or just want to show off your latest project, send me an email!

31 thoughts on “Bead Star Design Contest

  1. Bead Star categories completely left out ceramic and polymer clay beads. I am bummed, as the necklace I want to submit is metal and ceramic, but not 75% metal. And there are shells and wood beads many use. How about an “any other bead material” category.

    Kathleen Edwards

  2. I love the idea of your contest. I really think it will be great, however I feel that you are leaving out a large part of the Bead community by cutting out any beadweaving. I myself do almost nothing but beadweaving and was a bit upset to see that my piece wouldn’t fit into the guidelines for the contest. I think you should remember the Beadweavers as well and support our Shinning Stars as well.

  3. I have a question about the Bead Star contest. It calls for simple construction – no peyote, etc. Is Macrame considered simple? I was thinking of a belt, with simple lark’s head knots between the chunky glass beads, tied off at each end with square knots and a long fringe. The skills are simple, and the beads are simply strung, with some knots to hold them in place and separate them. Does this sound like it fits the rules?

  4. Hey – why only simple designs? I specialize in Bead Embroidery and now I can’t enter. That’s not fair. How about another contest for not-simple items???? Hope to see one soon.

  5. What a fun idea for a contest! Although I do understand the disappointment coming from beadweavers, I really like that your new contest is calling for pieces with simple construction. I know a lot of newer jewelry artists who make beautiful designs using simple techniques. I also like that the winners will have a chance to donate their prize winning pieces for the auction. The American Heart Association is a great organization. I think you’ll find you have a lot of hard choices ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I love your contest idea. And although I do understand the disappointment of the Beadweavers, I think the focus on simple construction would be encouraging to new beaders. I’ve seen so many designs that might be simple, but are also beautiful. And, the American Heart Association is a great organization. I have a feeling, the judges are going to have to make some tough choices. Good luck with the contest!

  7. Hi Everyone,
    I was really thrilled to see the competition and was wildy thinking up ideas for designs, until I read that it is open only to residents of the US or Canada. With all your publications being widely available all over the world and with the high use of the internet I think this is terribly unfair and discriminatory.

  8. I hate to say it, but my initial excitement disappeared when I read no beadweaving. I’m sorry to see that we are being left out. Beadweaving is my great passion and I’m sorely disappointed not to have it as a category.

  9. Another disappointed international reader here – all the other big competitions are open internationally – Bead Dreams, Fire Mountain, Swarovski to name a few open ones.

  10. This contest really intrigued me until I got to the line in the rules…NO Beadweaving! I’m angry and amazed. What have I been developing my skills for all these years. Stringing and wirework are great skills as are others like metalwork and clay but to arbitraily exclude the backbone of the beading world is just crazy!
    Proud to be a beadweaver and one who likes to combine skills!
    Hoschton, GA

  11. I too am disappointed by the rules, although for different reasons.

    When I first read about the contest I became really excited having just finished what could be termed a ‘simple’ stringing piece which I am extremely proud of.

    I am a weaver and rarely string but had found a beautiful large clasp that screamed for a multiple strand stringing project.

    The big BUT is that the finished piece is a ‘kitchen sink’ design. A little bit of everything. Seed beads, glass, pearls, gemstones, etc.

    One of these days someone is going to hold a contest for just such a design. I understand concentrating on designs which might focus on the sponsers products but what’s wrong with having a category which might touch on a variety of products?

  12. Polymer Clay Bead Makers could still enter the Under $25 or Designs with a Heart categories. I can think of so many cool heart designs you could create, and these designs would be a nice contribution to the American Heart Association auction.

  13. Polymer Clay Bead Makers could still enter the Under $25 or Designs with a Heart categories. I can think of so many cool heart designs you could create, and these designs would be a nice contribution to the American Heart Association auction.

  14. I am also a beadweaver but I don’t have a problem with the ‘no beadweaving’ rule. I would welcome the challenge of creating a stringing/wirework design for a change – it’s useful to get out of your beading comfort zone once in a while. However, I’m a UK resident and can’t enter anyway, although presumably I’ll be able to vote on the entries while wishing mine was up there with them!
    What is the reason for non-US/Canadian beaders being excluded, please?

  15. Hi everyone,

    I’ve asked the contest organizers to address the concerns/questions raised. I’ll pass along the info from them as soon as I receive it.


  16. Thanks, Michelle!! I have another question – can we enter the same piece in multiple categories? The Macrame belt I am considering would fit in several categories.

  17. Sooooooo…..why do you have this limit in your star contest?…not beadweaving techniques (netting, peyote, brick, and square stitches, for example). Just wondering.

  18. How does the focal bead, or contrasting pendant factor into the 75% rule? What about findings such as spacers, connectors, cones, bead caps etc.? These items are necessary but could also be more of them than the theme beads. Please clarify. Thanks.

  19. Darn it, I’m in Australia, which means I can’t enter ๐Ÿ™ otherwise I would have entered the “stones” category…

    I understand why the contest has been limited to the US and Canada (is it Canada?? can’t remember now) but I feel like I’m in exile over here ๐Ÿ™

  20. I’ve talked with a few friends, and it’s unclear to us whether the design has to BE a star. I can’t think how I would string a star, but maybe someone else could. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So any design that meets the category requirements or only STAR designs that meet the criteria?

    Kate G

  21. From the marketing campaign being done around Bead Star magazine as a beading publication and the Bead Star Design Contest, it is not immediately clear it is specifically for bead stringing. This has caused a part of the beading community to be offended by the exclusion and implication that as beadweavers, we are not ‘Bead Stars’, ‘Winners’, or considered to be ‘the best and brightest bead jewelry designers”. Perhaps some clarification as to what the new magazine is about and who it is intended for would be helpful. I also love to watch American Idol, and though I have never read the competition rules, would like to think they don’t exclude specific song/music categories.

    Jann C.

  22. My Goodness!
    When I read this competition I thought Bravo..something different. I, too, am a weaver. Love something complicated that looks like it took years to make. This competition is a true challenge. To create a piece from simple techniques. Something new. Something stiking. A piece that is a competition winner. Let’s go folks…I have all these ideas running thru my head. What a spark!

    Thanks Interweave.