Get Your Sparkle On: Tips for Bead-weaving with Crystals

Dec 6, 2011

The Ootheca cuff by Rachel Nelson-Smith is a perfect example of how crystals can provide sparkle without being front and center.
I love bead-weaving with crystals, but I don't think I do it often enough. (Somehow, it just doesn't work for me to wear a crystal bracelet or earrings while we're mucking out our chicken coop or stacking fire wood.) But for the occasions where I do need something sparkly and sophisticated, I certainly have quite a selection of crystal and bead-woven jewelry to choose from!

Crystals need to be treated differently than other beads when you use them for bead-weaving because some of them can have sharp or rough edges that will wear or cut through your beading thread quickly. And after you've spent hours stitching together a piece of beautiful crystal jewelry, you don't want it to fall apart after just one wearing! Take a few precautionary steps to protect your bead-weaving when you use crystal beads, and you'll have a piece of beaded jewelry that you'll be able to wear for years!

  • Use the right thread. Try to avoid using nylon beading threads like Nymo or Silamide when you're bead-weaving with crystals, since these threads can be cut easily on the edges of a crystal bead. If you have to use nylon beading threads, use a double thread or make several passes through the bead. Fishing line-type threads like Fireline and WildFire are my preferred beading thread when I'm bead-weaving with crystals.
    I buffered these crystals with seed beads when I stitched up this right-angle weave pendant chain.
  • Buffer your beads. Because the edges of those crystal beads can wreak havoc on your beading thread, try to buffer your crystal beads with seed beads. String a seed bead before and after you string your crystal bead to keep the thread as far away from the edges of the crystal bead as possible.
  • Easy does it. If you're trying to wiggle your needle through a tight spot that involves a crystal bead, don't force it.Trying to get a needle where it just doesn't want to go is a recipe for disaster on a good day, but there's nothing comparable to the sinking feeling you get watching a crystal bead break in the middle of a beading project. 

Are you ready to start incorporating more crystals into your bead-weaving? Fabulous Peyote Jewelry with Crystals will get you started! It's an amazing eMag that combines the best of both the print and digital formats with patterns and supply lists you can print and videos that you can watch to actually see these bead-weaving techniques in action. Download your copy of Fabulous Peyote Jewelry with Crystals and get started on one of these nine stunning crystal bead projects tonight!

Do you have any tips to share for working with crystals in your bead-weaving?  Leave a comment and share them here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

on Dec 15, 2012 1:19 PM

In addition to using natural crystal and gemstone beads when you are making jewelry, you might also want to incorporate crystals and minerals in their natural state. A lot of custom jewelers are doing this, and it often involves wrapping tumbled stones and individual crystals, clusters and rocks into your creations.  Go visit a rock shop and look around.  If you happen to be in New York City,  ROCK STAR CRYSTALS, a store in midtown Manhattan in the beading district carries gemstone beads as well and over 140 different crystals and minerals from around the world. For more information, go to www.rockstarcrystalsmanhattan.com or call them at 212 675 3065. Picking out the individual crystals by hand is a lot of fun and spurs creativity!