Whether you’re interested in making beaded jewellery for fun or are thinking of selling finished pieces (or both!), the art of jewellery beading is incredibly rewarding. This simple beading for beginners guide is here to help get you started, including tips, best practices and choosing the right tools for the job.
Choose what style of jewellery beading you want to try
There are a variety of different types of jewellery beading techniques to try. The most straightforward form of beadwork is bead stringing – but this doesn’t mean it’s the simplest! Stringing beads involves carefully applying beads to beading wire, string, cord or leather, resulting in a single strand, multiple strands or braided strands that make excellent necklaces, bracelets or earrings.
Other types of jewellery beading include off-loom beading where a needle and thread are used, or loom beading using a device called a beading loom that helps you to weave beads to form a beaded fabric. There’s also bead embroidery where beads are sewn or stitched onto fabric or backing, a method that can also be used to make a beautiful item of jewellery. Each type of beadwork requires different tools and techniques, so do some research and find the style of jewellery beading that interests you most.
Learn the terminology
Probably one of the most important aspects when it comes to jewellery beading is learning the terminology. Before you purchase anything, it’s good to research what you need and understand what it is used for.
Knowing the difference between a “head pin” and an “eye pin”, or what “findings” are and what they are used for, or understanding the different thicknesses of beading wire and what you would use 7, 19 and 49 strand beading wire for, are all things that will help you in the long run. It’ll save you time, expense and any frustration when jewellery beading. The last thing you need is to start your creation and find you have the wrong item or get to the end and haven’t used the right beading wire for your project when bead stringing.
We can help you. As a leading online beading expert, CJ Beaders are here to help answer any questions you have about jewellery beading. If you’re stuck, our friendly team are on-hand to offer advice and expertise.
Purchase some jewellery beads
It won’t surprise you that like the various types of beadwork, there’s also a huge variety of beads for making beaded jewellery. Two of the most popular types of beads for jewellery making are Japanese beads and Czech beads, both of which come with their individualities. Japanese beads such as Miyuki beads are uniform in size and shape and Czech glass beads have a greater range of shapes available - and no less beautiful.
Depending on the jewellery beading style you choose will also determine the type of beads you’ll require. Working with small or even tiny beads is often known as seed beading because this method more often than not uses particular beads called seed beads that can be woven together, but seed beads are also used in bead embroidery, off-loom beading and loom beading. There are also various styles of bead, from drops and pearls to spacer beads and tila beads.
Bead Stringing generally means putting beads onto a single strand of cord or beading wire and generally (though not always) uses beads that are 4mm or larger.
We stock a huge variety of beads for jewellery making in all sizes, shapes, colours and materials. Some of our most popular beads are Miyuki Delicas (small and delicate) and Czech Charlottes (with a single cut facet adding sparkle) for creating truly unique beaded jewellery.
Invest in good quality tools
From flat nose pliers and round nose pliers to crimping tools and tweezers, spinners and pick-up tools, equipment is key when it comes to making beaded jewellery. Just like it’s a good idea to learn the terminology, having an idea of what you need and why you need it will help you. Not only is it important to purchase the right tools, but investing in good quality equipment that is well made will last longer and, more often than not, higher quality tools actually make the art of jewellery beading easier.
At CJ Beaders we stock a huge variety of jewellery beading tools from some amazing brands including Xuron, Beadalon, The Beadsmith, and more. Browse our shop online or contact us today to find out more about the tools you need for your jewellery creation.
Master a few basic skills
Before you can become a jewellery beading expert, it’s a good idea to learn a few of the skills required to making beaded jewellery. Whether you’re bead stringing, bead weaving, loom beading or using bead embroidery in your jewellery, it’s important to find out how to perform some simple beading techniques so that making beaded jewellery is the pleasurable experience it should be.
For example, when seed beading you’ll likely need to know how to create a loop in wire using pliers. Learning this in advance could save you a whole lot of trouble while jewellery beading. Remember, practice makes perfect! You won’t master the art of jewellery beading right away, but the more items you make, the better and more creative your designs will become!
Have a dedicated workspace
Last but certainly not least, dedicate a special place at home where you can bead jewellery. Jewellery beading is a delicate task that requires concentration and a variety of tools, so keeping an organised workspace with everything within easy reach will make beading even more enjoyable. After all, making beaded jewellery is first and foremost an art form and should be a relaxing hobby, whether it’s a pleasant pastime or business.
Giving yourself a designated area will also help you when picking up where you left off. If you’re interrupted mid-flow or need to stop to collect the kids from school, you can leave your beaded jewellery somewhere safe and begin again when you get a moment.
We hope this guide will give you the building blocks you need to begin your journey with making beaded jewellery. As experts in jewellery beading, we’re here to answer any questions you might have and help you choose the right materials for your project. Contact us today on 01202 798151 or fill in our online contact form – we’d love to hear from you.