An Introduction to Beading

Being a fan of all things small, fiddly and shiny, it was only a matter of time before I had to try beading. It wasn’t something that initially came to mind when I was looking at other thread based crafts, but beading without thread is only going to make a sparkly mess on the floor.

I somehow ended up far, far down a YouTube hole and came across some beautiful beadwork videos. These were all a bit too advanced for a complete beginner, so I started to do a little research and came across plenty of simple beginner tutorials on the Beads Direct website. Many of these let you add everything you need to make the project in a single click, which is great if, like me, you literally have no idea. If you have more time or you want to play around with the colours, then you can look and add each component to you basket.

There are also a wealth of free tutorials on YouTube and a couple of my favourite channels are Jill Wiseman who is very clear with her instruction, has a website (US based) and also sells some beautiful PDF patterns. I also like Spoilt Rotten Beads for the same reasons, and they are UK based, so better for postage for me! Other websites I’ve found good for supplies are Spellbound Bead Co., The Bead Shop, Stitch ‘n’ Craft and The Bead Store. The Bead Store is one to keep in mind for Tierracast pieces, which are quite hard to find in the UK.

One big bonus for beading is that there’s very little kit required. Once you have a pack of beading needles, you are pretty much set; just thread and away your go. I have invested in both a beading board and a beading tray, plus a basic set of pliers. If you just want to see if you enjoy this craft first, you can lay down a tea towel to use as a mat and keep your beads from going all over, and there are plenty of projects which do not need any tools to complete.

Pliers come in useful for attaching jump rings

If you just want to play around with some beads, you can learn the Peyote stitch, Brick stitch and the Herringbone stitch which will give you a good base for building your abilities. Stitch ‘n’ Craft have some lovely Miyuki bead sets, which would also be perfect for playing around with.

So far I haven’t bought any beads in bulk, and I’m getting things for the projects I have in mind. One of the main reasons is that although beads aren’t particularly expensive, the cost can soon mount up, especially if you are buying larger Swarovski crystals. If you are making smaller pendants, however, you will have plenty of seed beads left over for future projects, so I feel that any higher initial costs will level out.

Once the pendant is finished, I still have plenty of beads for my stash

Finally, let me share the projects that I’ve already completed, and I’ll link to the pattern if you are wanting to have a go for yourself. The first one was this Blue Lake Pendant, although I think I’d use a different colour other than white if I make another, as it looks a bit toothy! Also note that I did need some pliers to attach the jump rings. The other project was this cute Magatama Pendant, where you use Peyote stitch to secure the Swarovski crystal in the centre. No tools needed for this one!

I’ve ordered a few books and patterns to learn more about this craft, so I’ll write a couple of reviews and share my projects once I’ve worked through a few.

If you were interested in starting beading, but didn’t know where to begin, I hope this has been helpful.

Until next time,

Happy beading!

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  • Reply
    Ashton @artemis.36
    3rd October 2019 at 11:59 am

    I love how informative your posts are Rob. They are bad for my bank balance though! I have yet to try this but it’s been on my to do list for a while, I’ve only tried chainmaille jewelry so far. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next

    • Reply
      3rd October 2019 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed reading and I love to share my crafty obsessions! I’ve been looking at wire jewellery too, there’s so much to learn!

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