Three Great Beading Tools for Learning How to Bead

Aug 15, 2012

There are certain tools that no beader should be without when you're learning how to bead. Things like a good set of jewelry making pliers, a good pair of wire cutters, a beading awl, a sturdy bead board or work surface, and a good tape measure or ruler are all useful when you're learning how to bead. But there are three more tools that I recommend beginning beaders invest in when they are learning how to bead.

Color Wheel Without a doubt, the beading tool that I used the most when I was learning how to bead was my color wheel. If I was trying to figure out if two different beads worked well together color-wise, my color wheel was indispensable. The color wheel that I prefer to use is small enough that I can tuck it into my handbag when I'm shopping for beads so that I can compare colors and create color palettes for beading projects on the spot!

If you don't know how to use a color wheel, you can check out the little tutorial I wrote about how to use your color wheel to get started. Even if you don't know anything about color theory, you can still learn how to use a color wheel for your beading projects.

Sketchbook As you progress and learn more new beading skills, you'll find new ideas popping into your head, and you'll definitely want a place to write them all down until you can work on them. Over the years, I've gone through many sketchbooks, and I always make sure that I've got a small notebook and portable set of colored pencils tucked into my bag.

You can also use your sketchbook to store photographs, samples of fabric, or fibers that inspire you.

Task Lamp If there is one piece of beading equipment that I think everyone should invest in, it's a good task lamp. I've had a table top Ott-Lite for over ten years now, and I take it with me when I travel to bead shows and beading classes around the country. Having good lighting available, especially when you're learning how to bead, means that you'll enjoy the time you spend beading and you won't be as likely to develop eye strain or headaches.

If you're new to beading and are looking for some great ideas, tips, and resources for beading projects and beading tools, look no further than Jewelry Stringing magazine. Each issue is full of timeless beading projects that range from easy to more challenging -- perfect for a new beader looking to improve their skills and explore the use of new beads and materials! Right now, all back issues of Jewelry Stringing magazine are on sale until August 17, 2012 in the Beading Daily Shop. Take advantage of this special sale and stock up back issues of this fabulous resource and learn all there is to know about how to bead!

What beading tool would you most recommend to someone who is just learning how to bead? Leave a comment with your recommendations here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,





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wendyawitt wrote
on Aug 15, 2012 8:05 AM

Clear glass baby jars, jelly jars, and even clear glass pretty jars at the thrift stores make wonderful containers to 'hold' those beads you know look great together but just don't have the time at the moment.  I got 6 beautiful clear glass jars w/pretty lids and they have beads I plan to use to make certain items and some even have misc beads that don't into any category and they look great as display pieces!!  If you're a Beader, show off those pretty beads!!  

Wendy Witt

At Your Witts End Jewelry Designs and More

lovetobead@3 wrote
on Aug 15, 2012 8:27 AM

Hi Jennifer,

Your colour wheel is quite different from the one i have, tried to zoom in on it to see which company produces it, but it came in blurry.  Could you tell me where or what m.ake?  The one i have does not have all the colours around it.

Thanks Sandra

on Aug 15, 2012 6:41 PM

Good lighting is a must and for those that need to better SEE what thier working on, a headmount magnifier is a great help. I use mine all the time. My kids broke mine and I immediately ordered another.

Another item I find useful are like picnic trays big enough to fit the bead mats on. I use them to work on different projects and to move from place to place. Or them wooden trys people use to serve food on.

Happy beading from Babs in Alaska.

on Aug 17, 2012 1:03 PM

I agree with all of your ideas, but the one you didn't mention that I love is a small flashlight, for tracking down that bead you dropped on the floor..... LOL

Betty Winslow, Bead Soup Chef @

on Aug 22, 2012 11:34 AM

For anyone who is interested in purchasing that color wheel, here's a link to where you can get one online: