Want Great Jewelry-making Tips? We Got 'Em!

Jan 10, 2014

Years of trial and error in my beaded jewelry-making endeavors have proven to me that the best tips for beading come from people who love to bead! And looking through the last seven years of jewelry-making blogs here on Beading Daily, I see that there is no shortage of great -- and free! -- tips, hints, and advice for everyone who loves to bead. Whether you're a seasoned expert and professional designer, or you're just getting started learning how to bead, take a look through these six great blogs and articles available here on Beading Daily.

1. Thread is Cheaper Than Frustration.  Boy, Liz Smith was right on when she imparted that bit of beading wisdom to Michelle Mach back in 2008! Beading thread can play all sorts of tricks on you, from fraying and snapping to securely knotting and finishing your threads. And don't forget to protect your favorite four-legged friends from stray beading thread and beading needles that might fall off your table or bead mat while you're working!

2. Stitch Pro: Threading the Needle. And once you have some of your thread woes sorted out, get some excellent advice from Jean Campbell about how to get that thread into the tiny eye of your needle. No matter if you're an expert beader or just starting out, there will come a time when you'll be happy you read these tips for threading your beading needle.

3.Tips for Building Beaded Structures. Beadwork magazine Designer of the Year Maggie Meister creates some incredible beaded structures using just seed beads, needle, and thread. Imagine where you could take your beaded jewelry-making designs if you tried some of these techniques for combining beading stitches! Being inspired by Maggie's fantastic beaded jewelry-making projects, as well as the dimensional beadwork of Diane Fitzgerald, I've been inspired to experiment with creating three-dimensional structures through bead-weaving in the coming year.

4. 11 Ways to Wear a Rope Necklace. I love making beaded ropes out of seed beads, and this--- even if you make your beaded ropes out of seed beads, these classic ways to wear a rope necklace will inspire you to, well, make more beaded ropes! Beaded ropes are great jewelry-making projects for those times when you know you want to bead, but you just don't know what to bead. Pick your favorite tubular beading stitch (mine is herringbone), grab a couple tubes of seed beads, and go for it.

5. Best Beadwork Advice: Pithy Tips From the Pros. If you want to hear it straight from the designers, this collection of great tips and advice from the August/September 2013 Beadwork magazine contributors includes tips on creativity, practical advice for making fabulous beadwork, and looking for inspiration in unusual places.

6. Bonus: 50 Great Beadwork Tips from Beadwork Editors. Covering everything from reading charted beadwork patterns to taking care of yourself while beading to setting up the perfect beading space, you'll want to print out and post these 50 tips from the Beadwork editors so that you can refer to them for inspiration and information. Sometimes, there's nothing more inspiring than learning a new bit of beaded jewelry-making information that can help to make me a better beader!

Looking for great beaded jewelry-making projects, product reviews, artist profiles, and yes, more great beaded jewelry-making tips from the pros? Check out the 2012 Beadwork Magazine Collection CD. You'll get all 6 issues of Beadwork magazine from 2012 in digital format, exactly as they were printed, on one searchable CD. It's the perfect way to clear up a bit of space in your beading room or studio, and you can print out just the pages or projects you want! Better yet, the 2012 Beadwork Magazine Collection CD is also available to download instantly, so you can have a full of year of Beadwork magazine on your favorite desktop or laptop computer in just minutes.

What was the best bit of beaded jewelry-making advice you ever got? Do you remember who shared it with you? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and let's share our best tips and advice for beaded jewelry-making with each other!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

Teajaye wrote
on Jan 10, 2014 2:51 PM

I love every tip I've gotten in the past & I look forward to many more in my future. I've gotten them from various sources. Unfortunately I've been so busy looking for a job, raising my kids, and going to school my bead supplies are still packed away.

on Jan 10, 2014 2:59 PM

I am a hobby bead person, and don't have money to buy many things besides the materials to make things or tools. Occasionally I will purchase a download on sale $4.00 or less, but then find they don't get made, don't have the right beads, forget to make a need list for specific project. I bought one magazine, love the stuff, but I don't learn well from the drawings, so must download stuff with video from now on.

I really need more tips on easy string beading, like the how to thread small eye needles, what weight of thread will even thread, or go thru what bead holes. Even which beads could substitute for another,bead, a project for more mix-matched left over beads. Even an overall gauge on thickness of thread and wire- which is finer, which weight is heavier, what works best for braclets, necklaces, earings.. Or, one inexpensive $4.00 video with all this. Most of it I can find online on Utube, but that doesn't lead me back to buying my beads from you.

Thanks for asking.  Mary from Indiana

on Jan 10, 2014 4:38 PM

Best threading the needle tip EVER:  I couldn't thread a size 12 beading needle no matter what I did--finally resorting to having my husband slice the eye wider with a razor blade and using hemostats to hold the thread while using magnifying glasses!

Until I my teacher gave me BEADALON BIG EYE NEEDLES.  They are 2 1/4 inches ling and have a long slit in the middle which stretches out to hold the thread and springs closed after you have inserted the thread. They are closed at both ends and stay firm. These work for all Fireline thread and down to size 15 seed beads. A real life saver.

meowbeads wrote
on Jan 11, 2014 2:19 PM

Hi--  I didn't think I had anything to contribute, but I actually have  a couple of tips that really helped me.  I remember the total frustration I had at the very beginning!

I use Fireline:  It's usually available at the local bead store (or WalMart, in the white "crystal" color, in the FISHING LINE section), and be used in the 6lb form for just about any stitching project with needles in size #10, #11, #12, (and in the 4 lb size I can thread a #13).  I've learned that beading wax or Thread Heaven DOES help with tension. The most important thing I found by myself:  by taking a FLATNOSE plier and squeezing it, while pulling, the last 1/2 inch or so of thread, it will make a flattened end that fits through the needle eyes fairly easily.   Fireline does not need to be stretched before using and is more resistant to fraying due to sharp bugles or crystals.

The second thing: when making a wrapped loop, after snipping off the excess wire with my toenail clippers (I didn't/ don't have enough extra money to buy a reliably precise flush-cutter; the ones I bought were less than $10 and were WORTHLESS!), a crimping plier can make perfectly rounded/tucked-in wire ends on the wrapped loop. Just use the "rounder" part of those pliers, which is the slot near the tip.

Lastly, I've found out the hard way that unless a bracelet is made for a certain customer, when the wrist size is known, it really is better to end them with a split ring and then attach both a separate clasp and a safety chain.  Otherwise, I've often found out that: A) the bracelet doesn't fit the potential customer/recipient, and/or B) the lovely clasp somehow dislodges and the bracelet disappears.  (I LOVE the custom stitched clasps, but if I intend to sell or give the bracelet to an unknown person I can now feel more assured they will be happy in the future.)

I hope this helps someone just bitten by the beading bug!

Oh yeah!  Different authors end the thread differently, but a surefire way, without plugging up a bead that might need to be gone through again, is to just go back into the weave and repeating the thread path 3 or 4 times, and then snipping the thread close to a bead.