What's Your Favorite Bead for Jewelry-Making?

Dec 18, 2011

We all love seed beads, that's why we're here on Beading Daily. But there are so many other beads that you can add to your bead-weaving and jewelry-making projects to make them more interesting! With new beads coming out from companies such as Miyuki (Tila beads) and Preciosa Ornela (Twin seed beads), it seems that there are more and more reasons to add to your growing bead stash.

Here are a few of my favorite beads for jewelry making and why I love them:

Seed beads are my go-to beads for all types of jewelry-making projects.

Seed beads. Well, of course! Seed beads come in so many different shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes that in my mind, you really don't need anything else for jewelry making. Add some sparkle with a silver-lined seed bead or add some texture with a hex-cut or charlotte. Part of my attraction to seed beads is their versatility: you can create a substantial beaded chain or rope with just a handful of seed beads and some thread, or you can use them to add a subtle dash of color to a strung jewelry-making project.

With all the colors and shapes of freshwater pearls available, is it any wonder why I use them so often?

Pearls. Whether they are crystal, glass, or natural freshwater, pearls are my second favorite bead for jewelry making. I use them in bead embroidery, for stringing necklaces and bracelets, and of course, for simple and classy earrings in an instant. These days, pearls seem to come in about as many sizes, shapes, and colors as seed beads, making it easy for me to include a few of them in whatever jewelry-making project I'm working on at the moment.

I love everything about vintage beads, whether they're made from glass or Lucite!
Vintage beads. Part of the challenge of working with vintage beads is color matching. Since many of the vintage beads in my collection were created fifty or sixty years ago, it can be hard to match their colors with modern seed beads. But the feel of vintage beads is unmatched by any other type of bead I've ever used. Just by looking at their shape and their finish, you can almost always tell a vintage bead from other types of beads!

No matter what your favorite type of bead for jewelry making, you're sure to find an episode in the 1500 series of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels that showcases it! Each episode of this groundbreaking television series, now in its fifteenth season, focuses on one particular type of bead, including crystals, hearts, wood, vintage, metal, and briolettes.Tap into the creative know-how of internationally known teachers such as Stephanie Dixon, Leslie Rogalski, Melanie Brooks, and Kristal Wick to find new ways to use your favorite beads!

Now you can download individual episodes of series 1500 of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels right to your desktop or laptop computer and start learning new jewelry-making techniques using your favorite beads in just minutes.

What's your favorite type of bead for jewelry making? Could you pick just one if you had to?

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

fverac wrote
on Dec 19, 2011 9:29 AM

havue u tried pearls and seed beads of eco ivory tagua beads? It'd be great if you write about them www.ecuadorianhands.com/beads-c-70.html

creativemoon wrote
on Dec 27, 2011 4:35 AM

It's hard to pick just one, but I love the bigger seed beads - not the really tiny ones (11), but the next step up (6).  They are great to work with and they make great spacer beads - and the variety of colors... wow...

Oh, and idea on the use of seed beads with the vintage beads... Since you are having a problem matching colors - instead of matching - try going contrasting...

I'm so happy I have so many beads now... never run out of ideas for my jewelry now! =)