Important Beading Lessons I’ve Learned So Far

In the past month or so, I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with beading, and I don’t see that love fading anytime soon.  But like any passionate relationship, there have been times when my beads and I haven’t gotten along so well.  I find myself occasionally throwing a nipper tool across the room or yelling curse words at innocent little seed beads.  Still, slowly but surely, I have learned tidbit after tidbit that has made my bead blunders fewer and farer between.  I thought I would list a few beginner beading tips here and maybe save some poor ring mandrel out there from bead-abuse.

1.   Always over-estimate the amount of beading wire or chain you’re going to need.  I’ve had to pull off my beads and start over with a longer piece a few too many times.

2.   Crimp covers can be your best friend.  They are easy to use (just use your pliers to squeeze them over your crimp bead) and hide the ugly part.

3.   When you’re working with wire, run it through your hands a few times first.  This is supposed to warm the wire and make it more flexible.  I don’t know about that, but it’s important to show it who’s boss.

4.   On that note, wire wrapping is difficult.  Be patient with yourself and remember that it will take practice.  Be ready to end up throwing away a little bit of weird looking, kinked wire.  You might want to use the cheaper stuff when you’re first learning.

5.   After you crimp your wire at the end of a necklace or bracelet, string it back through the first several beads.  This makes your piece stronger and helps hide where you trimmed off excess wire.

6.   Ever wondered how you tie off a piece of elastic so it won’t come apart?  Well I did.  Turns out you just tie a regular knot, but you put a few drops of strong glue (like hypo cement) on top to secure it.

7.    Be an organized beader.  It will relieve your stress.  You can get little plastic bead organizers all over the place (I got a few from Wal-Mart for around 4 dollars).  Put your gold jump/split rings in one compartment, your silver in another, separate your crimp beads and your crimp covers by color.  Put your Swarovski Crystal in one compartment and your Czech glass in another… you get the picture.
Good luck and happy beading.

Kelly McCoy, Auntie’s Beads Designer

Kelly Henderson

Kelly Henderson is a jewelry designer and editor of the Auntie's Beads blog. When she's not beading, you might find her chasing her one-year-old son, Sawyer, watching bad reality TV or reading a good book.

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