Top Beading Teachers Share Their Favorite Beading Tools!

Jan 7, 2013

When I take a beading class, I pay attention to more than just the technique that the teacher is showing me. I always sneak a look to see what kinds of beading tools that teacher has. Because, after all, if you want to bead like a pro, there's more to learn than just a beading technique!

I asked five top beading teachers what their essential beading tools were. Of course, chocolate made the top of the list, but check out what else these great beading teachers (and a couple of Beadwork magazine Designers of the Year!) had to say about their favorite beading tools.

Jill Wiseman: My essential beading tool is my Bead On It Board, because I love the surface, the round and padded edges, and the round shape because there are no corners on which I can catch my beading thread!

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel: I always keep several different sizes of darning needles on hand when I'm beading. I use them to pick out knots, to nudge beads apart when I need to get my needle into a tight spot, and to herd beads that are trying to escape back into their nice little piles on my bead mat. (I'm a little picky about that!) 

Sylvie Landsdowne: My favorite bead scoop is a "crumb catcher" that I begged the waiter at the Chop House in Milwaukee for about 8 years ago. He was cleaning up the table with it and I said, "What is that? I want it!" He thought I was nuts, but with a little lash fluttering and southern girl thank you's I walked away with it. And you don't even want to know how many kitchen utensils are in my glass beadmaking studio!

Stephanie Dixon: There are two products that I absolutely can NOT live without and they are both made by Xuron. 1. 9200 -Model 9200 Tapered Head Micro-Shear® Flush Cutter 2. Kevlar Scissors (product 9180 -High Durability Scissor) - Cuts Fireline like no other product I know. I love the way both of these tools fit in my hand and they really do cut amazing well.

Nancy Cain: My macaroni needle puller. My pattern tester and friend Sharon Rawson designed them and I give them as little goodie bag gifts to students. Another one of my super favorite beading tools is my Tulip fine point awl. You can break 15o seed beads from inside the bead and not risk cutting the thread. I really can't pick just one beading tool!

Three Graces Collar by Jill Wiseman, 2013 Designer of the Year.

What else can you learn from some of today's top beading teachers? How about new beading techniques and great beaded jewelry designs using your favorite bead-weaving stitches? Check out the great new Designers of the Year in Beadwork magazine! For 2013, each issue will have amazing new beaded jewelry designs from Jill Wiseman, Smadar Grossman, Maggie Meister, and Sabine Lippert! Make sure you subscribe to Beadwork magazine so you don't miss out on a single beading project!

What's your favorite essential beading tool? Where did you first see it used or learn about it? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us about the one beading tool that you just can't live without!

Bead Happy,


Related Posts
+ Add a comment


Lynne Roy wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 5:34 AM

Where is my Stringing Magazine?  I sent in international costs last November or Octber and haven't seen it yet.  Lynne

karencnpr wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 6:35 AM

What on earth is a macaroni needle puller?!! Photo & description please!

MaryW wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 7:02 AM

Where can I get a macaroni needle puller? It sounds so intriguing.

hcgogan wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 7:24 AM

What on earth is a macaroni needle puller?  We need a photo!

Shardenblue wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 8:03 AM

I'd like to know what a pattern tester is, also! I guess my favorite tool is the large eye needle. It's a lifesaver for me- threading tiny eyes is frustrating for me and this lovely tool makes it a pleasure.

marymee wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 8:41 AM

I wish they would have posted pictures of their favorite tools instead of their pictures

Carol@633 wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 9:24 AM

My favorite non-beady tools are plastic spoons. I keep different shapes and sizes with my tools. They are great for fishing out a few beads from a container, chasing beads around a mat, scooping piles of seed beads to return them to their tubes--even those tiny, taster ones are useful.

on Jan 7, 2013 9:25 AM

I have two favorites. My curved top fine tweezers that pick up tiny beads and can pick apart virtually any knot and a demitasse spoon that I use for scooping beads out of my bead buddy.

jaqui8 wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 9:28 AM

I definitely agree with other comments that pictures would be welcomed or, at  least, detailed descriptions.  I have no  idea what a "crumb  catcher", "macaroni needle puller", or  "bead on it board" are and I want to know! My fav tool, hmmmm.... I use the black plastic tray from cheese party packs as a base for my bead mats. I cut to size if necessary. This lets me have as many projects going on as I have mats for. Also, I love the clear plastic containers that muffins, cookies, and such are sold in. Recycle, Resuse, Repurpose is a hot point with me, so these fit right in with that.  Jaqui

AnnP@43 wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 9:43 AM

I'm so pleased with the Designers of the Year 2013.  They are atop the list of my favorites.

on Jan 7, 2013 1:22 PM

sure wish you had also posted pictures of their fav tools.

tjzink2012 wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 3:35 PM

How can I find a "bead on it" board?  That sounds perfect because I am getting my thread hung up on the corners of my bead board all the time.  Thanks,  

Mary AlineJ wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 6:15 PM

You can find the 'Bead On It' board here ...

YvetteF3 wrote
on Jan 7, 2013 9:26 PM

I love my thread burner and can't imagine beading without it. I also use 1/4 sheet pans which I line with a bead mat to keep each of my projects on. I have a cookie cooling rack that I can stack the pans on so that I can have more than one project going at any time and keep my supplies separate.

Debbie@304 wrote
on Jan 11, 2013 1:10 PM

One tool I can't bead without is a very fine crochet hook.  It's invaluable for picking out stitches when necessary as it hooks the thread and doesn't break it.  It's also very helpful for positioning knots.  Thanks to everyone else who's added their ideas.  I'm looking forward to trying them.  

kellyboed wrote
on Jan 12, 2013 10:11 AM

I have a dentists pick, the tool that hygienists use to clean your teeth. I use it to untangle knots and to corral beads on my tray.

gertieanne wrote
on Jan 12, 2013 11:47 AM

Crumb Brush, Just do a search for a crumb brush or table brush.  I found mine at bed bath and beyond about a year ago.

LNw7 wrote
on Jan 12, 2013 9:21 PM

Try crumb "Scraper"  It looks like my bead scoop -- long and thin, which I adore, it really moves the beads around.  It's one of my favorite tools too.  I'd have to say my bead mat is another one.  It really holds the beads in place for me to pick up.  Simple things, but so necessary.

on Jan 14, 2013 3:23 AM

I also love my Bead On It board... but wouldn't be without my Thread Zap or bead scoop.

on Jan 14, 2013 3:23 AM

I also love my Bead On It board... but wouldn't be without my Thread Zap or bead scoop.

kaiser_vicki wrote
on Jan 31, 2013 4:48 PM

I agree with some of the other comments, what is a macaroni thread puller, how do you get one, pictures and purchase information woud have been nice

kaiser_vicki wrote
on Jan 31, 2013 4:48 PM

I agree with some of the other comments, what is a macaroni thread puller, how do you get one, pictures and purchase information woud have been nice

AngieCorby wrote
on Jun 10, 2013 11:19 PM

I found the perfect bead hole-enlarging tool at the dentist's office: root canal files!  I persuaded my dentist's friendly assistant to give me a whole set of used files, and they are SO useful - I can enlarge the holes in the most delicate pearls, shell beads, etc. without breaking them.  The only caveat is that unless you are very careful, it's easy to poke holes in your fingers!