Monthly Archives: November 2010

Types of Beads

Walking into a bead shop can be a wonderful experience – so many colors, shapes and designs. It’s almost impossible not to get incredibly inspired, and it’s just as hard to walk out without having spent more than you intended! But when you’re confronted with so many beads, it can be helpful to have some idea of what the different types of beads are, and how they’re used. That way you can choose the right sort for your project.

Seed Beads

Probably the most widely used beads, seed beads are small, round or shaped, and can be made from almost anything. The most common seed beads are made of glass or plastic, but you can also get them in wood, pearl, jet, metal and so on. There are a huge variety of sizes and shapes available, which is very confusing. The smallest seed beads are often referred to a size 10 or 12, and slightly chunkier ones are size 8. Because they’re so small, they’re great for decorating garments, using in almost any type of jewelry design and in most types of sewing and embroidery.

Bugle Beads

A bugle bead is a long tube shaped bead, made from plastic, glass or metal. They can be anything from 2mm (1/16″) to 5cm (2″) long. The most popular is a size 2 bugle bead, which is around 5 to 6mm (1/4″) long. These are also great for sewing projects, and can be very effective in certain types of jewelry as well. They’re often used as flower stems in sewing projects, or can be used to lengthen a fringe.


Although not exactly a bead, sequins are often used together with beads in sewing projects. They are round pieces of plastic or metal, and either have a hole in the center or to one side. They can also be either flat or cupped. The most common sequin style is a 6mm (1/4″) cup sequin. Generally sequins are used as decorations for garments and sewn items. The ones with center holes are sewn in rows or individually for the right effect, and the sequins with a hole on the side can be used to form clusters that hang or in fringe work.

Center Beads

A center bead is used as a feature bead in the middle of a jewelry piece, a sewing design (such as a flower), the end of a dangle, or to complete a row of beads. Basically almost any bead that doesn’t fit into another category and is larger than standard beads can be loosely classified as a center bead. They come in plastic as well as glass and metal, but if you’re using one as a feature, it may be better to go with glass or even crystal, because they last longer and are more beautiful to look at then plastic.

Oval or Rice Beads

Named because of their oval shape, these beads are generally used as a spacer in dangles or as a feature in sewing. They can produce some interesting effects when used in jewelry. The most common size is 1cm (1/2″) long, and they come in all sorts of colors and materials.

This is only a quick look at the main categories of beads. Once you start exploring a bead shop you’ll realize there’s far too many types of beads available to fit them into a few categories. Still, this guide should at least help you get an idea for what types of beads are available, particularly if you have a project you’re planning to make which asks for a specific type of bead. Have a great time beading!

-By: Felicity Walker

If you want to learn more about beading, click over to Felicity’s site at To read Felicity’s Ultimate Bead Lover’s Guide, go to

Beads – Size Matters

Picking out beads is one of the most enjoyable parts of making your own jewelry. There are so many color combinations, complementary beads, beautiful handcrafted beads and unique beads; it’s easy to get lost in the process of looking at beads.

As easy as it to get lost playing with beads, there are a few facts that are helpful to know about beads. When you are armed with a little knowledge about beads, you’ll have an easier time reading instructions or have a conversation about beads with a sales person. So let’s look at one of the basics of beads – their size.

One of the best things about beads is that they are consistent in sizing. Not all the beads are the same size, but most use the same method of sizing. Most beads are measured using the metric system; they are sized in millimeters.

For Americans who have desperately been trying to avoid converting to the metric system, this may seem a little intimidating. But before you know it, you’ll be thinking in millimeters.

Most bead stores lay out their bead inventory in small individual compartments. Usually, the compartments are labeled with the size of the beads and the type of beads. For instance, you’ll see a compartment labeled “4 mm blue agate”.

Beads – A Brief History

What do you think the earliest recorded use of beads is – is your first thought perhaps beadwork created by the Egyptians? Yes, there certainly were a lot of beaded items in Egyptian times, but beadwork has been found dating back to the Stone Age (the Upper Paleolithic period). Beads were added to rudimentary clothing; these beads were made of shells and ivory. Of course, the beads weren’t as finely crafted as later beads, but still, they were beads. So even in caveman times, men and women were interested in improving their clothing and appearance with the use of beads.

The beads that we tend to think of as traditional beadwork are called seed beads – because of their small size they resemble seeds. These beads were used in early beadwork – the work of the Egyptians.

The Egyptians used a type of bead called faience beads. Our seed beads today are made of glass, but Egyptians were using beads long before the invention of glass. Their faience beads were made from quartz particles fused together. A glaze was applied over the quartz. The beads were then woven or strung into a variety of jewelry and clothing.

Beaded necklaces were found in the tomb of King Tut. Other beaded items in his tomb were a pair of slippers he perhaps wore as a child and a hassock. It’s unusual for ancient beadwork to survive since it was strung on cords made from leather and cloth, which tend to disintegrate with age. We are fortunate to have these few examples to give us a perspective on the history of Egyptian beading.

Some religious texts from India refer to beads being woven into hair and into horse’s tails. These references were recorded around the 9th century BC. And beads were also widely used throughout Asia in ancient times. There were beaded items found in temples in Japan that date back to 800 A.D.

Early beads were fashioned from shells, ivory and stone. Early Egyptians valued the beads according to the stone that was used to create the beads. Different stones were thought to have different properties.

Lapis Lazuli, a beautiful blue stone, was believed to protect the wearer’s health. This stone was often fashioned into beads, as were carnelian, feldspar, amethyst, turquoise and jasper – many of the same stones we use today.

Glass was introduced as a component of beads around 1480, when Venice began drawing glass tubes and turning them into beads. Once the technology for pulling glass tubes was invented, it was easy to suddenly produce thousands of beads, all uniform in size, color and shape.

Modern jewelry and beading certainly benefits from the advances made in the production of beads, but there’s no doubt that even today, an individually handcrafted bead can be the star attraction of any beading piece.

-By: Felicity Walker

The author recently released ?The Ultimate Bead Lover?s Guide?. To find out more, check out for more information.

Helpful Tips on How to Start Beading

Do you remember the popularity of love beads in latter 1960s and ’70′s? Everybody wore bead earrings, wrist and ankle bracelets, and of course, several strands of long bead necklaces that swayed and rattled out their message of peace and love with every movement the wearer made. Well, beads are back! If you’re looking for a hobby that brings out your creative flair, reduces stress and ends in fun creations that you can wear yourself, give to kin and buddies, or maybe to sell for extra money, stringing beads is the pastime for you.

Not only is basic beading and polymer clay jewelry making easy and fun, but it does not cost much to start. A wide selection of beading supplies are readily available at crafts and art supplies stores, cut price stores and specialty bead shops that carry both basic beads and the dearer beads that are frequently used by pro beaders. Many beading supply warehoused will mail free color catalogs to you, on request. A search for beading supplies online will give you many great resources for what you need to start beading.

To start on beading, you’ll need a few basic tools and supplies. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need :

Beads : The lovely fancy beads, made of glass, wood, semi-precious gemstones, hand-painted and cloisonne are so terribly tantalizing for beaders at any talent level. However, mistakes made while using finer beads like home made glass beads can be costly. Avoid unnecessary expenses by starting with easy plastic beads. They come in numerous different shapes, colors, sizes and styles. Kick off with plastic beads in a few of your fave colors. Jewelry made from cheap pony beads are a great hit with youngsters and teens. Experimenting with your beads will teach you color coordination and how to apply the finishing touches. After you become more talented, you’ll be able to work with those tantalizing fancy beads.

Clasps : Findings is a second name for jewelry clasps, clamps and closures, and can be acquired at most stores that sell beading supplies, both off and on the web. There’s a wide variety from which to select, and newbies should begin with the less expensive findings. Most findings products have instructions on the package, however again, advice can be discovered in beading catalogs or mags sold online or in crafts stores.

Crimping Beads : Crimping beads are made from flexible metal that are squeezed shut to help to keep clasps attached to jewelry. An critical item to beaded jewelry projects, crimping beads are gold or silver and are available in different sizes.

Tools : purchasing the correct tools for your beading is a must! At the most simple, you’ll need round-nosed pliers that may be used for crimping. If you can afford it, add smooth edged needle-nosed pliers, a bead crimper, light wire cutter, wire straighter and jewelers tweezers. These tools are not required, but they do make stringing beads easier. Before making a purchase, choose the size and style of tools that best fit your hand, and ensure that your hands are strong enough to simply use the tools.

Beading Boards : Beading boards make selecting and measuring beads and working with multiple strands far easier. Most beading boards are made from plastic and are provided with a device that measures in inches, millimeters, or both. Though any divided plastic tray can be used, a beading board is highly recommended.

Stringing Materials : These come in a variety of sizes and types. Beading strings are made from silk, nylon, leather rope and coated wire, solely to cite a couple. Fishing line ( mono-filaments ) is more cost effective than many other kinds of string, but newbies may need to use flexible wire. It is easier to use, and doesn’t shrink, stretch or curl. Working with thread requires special large-eye or curved needles made for beading, and can be found in most stores that sell beading supplies.

-By: Gary A Capps

Being organized is important to the success of your business and if you are looking for help getting more organized then our beaded jewelry software is guaranteed to help. We have some free jewelry business tools and a jewelry book that will help you improve your jewelry business.

The Joy Of Craft Bead Jewelry

The latest rage sweeping the country is to have jewelry made from different types of beads in assorted sizes, colors and textures. The more beaded jewelry the better as you can change the appearance of your outfits to be more dress-up or causal.

You can purchase beaded jewelry from local stores or you can make your own by using craft beads. Local craft shops such as Michaels, AC Moore and others offer a wide selection, superb quality and low prices for the beads they sell. Whether you are a novice or experienced working with beads, you will find the beads, findings, wires, threads, tools and everything else you need to create stunning jewelry and decor pieces for your home.

Craft beads can be plastic pony beads, fabric beads, paper beads, pearl, glass, to Swarovski crystals and everything in between. Stores that carry beads usually carry a wide selection of literally thousands of different types and sizes of beads.

Some of the more popular types of craft beads include Bead Heaven, Elegance Collections, Crystal Innovations, Better Beads, Elite Better Beads, Fancy Finery, Westrim, Blue Moon and Bead Gallery assortments. There is also a wide selection of Bead and Jewelry Making Kits that are perfect for people just starting to work with craft beads. These kits provide everything you need along with detailed instructions to get help you start and complete your project.

As with any craft, you will need to purchase the proper tools and equipment. These can be purchased individually or in sets. If you are not sure you want to invest this much money on a craft that you are not sure you will want to continue doing, you may want to take a special training class offered at your local craft store. They will have tools available for you to use and if you decide to continue working with craft beads, you can then purchase the extra supplies needed for your new hobby.

Your craft store will also be able to provide you with great ideas on bead projects. Whether you take their in-store classes, work independently with a prearranged kit, or if you buy a book, the ideas for your own craft bead jewelry will be unlimited. You can make sets that include your necklace, bracelet, earrings, and pin and each set will be uniquely yours, which is a one-of-a-kind jewelry set.

You may think that you do not have the talent to create your own jewelry or home d

Beaded Jewellery Is Colorful And Mesmerizing

The notion of fashion in world exists from the Roman era. The difference is that the priority of the type of jewelry has been changing. Some years ago gold was popular while right now variety is the name of the game. Every person is capable of creating his or her own fashion statement. Nothing but attitude matters in the world of fashion. If you can carry yourself with ease whatever you are wearing, that way you are a fashionable person. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a sparkling diamond or as simple as beaded jewelry, attitude is all that matters.

Change is the essence of the fashion world. Unlike the traditional ones like diamonds and pearls, beads are gaining popularity. It gives a different look and style to the person who endures them. Beads are colorful, elegant and mesmerizing. They are small and dainty ones which are entwined with threads giving rise to a colorful extravaganza.

In Beaded Jewellery, beads varies in different sizes from millimeter to over a centimeter or several centimeters in diameter. The materials used for making these beads typically can be of glass, plastic and stone while beads made up of bone, horn, ivory, metal, shell, pearl, coral, gemstones, polymer clay, metal clay, resin, synthetic minerals, wood, ceramic, fiber, paper, and seeds are also popular and are in demand. If we go in the historical facts about the origination of the beads then first known facts are of pair of beads reported 100,000 years ago which were made of Nassarius shells. Therefore the beads are the most historical jewelleries ever reported.

Only beads reckons one of the most varied kind of jewelry. They are available in different styles such as Chevron beads ,Cloisonn

And The Bead Goes On

Memories of the ’60′s – love beads, hippie beads, beads on a string around necks and wrists, homemade, handmade, swinging with long hair and flowered skirts. Beads were such a strong fashion element of that decade. The subject of beads is a vast one and the hippie incarnation was just a small part of beading history. It is thought that our early ancestors were stringing sea shells as early as 30,000 years ago and the first beads, that developed as a significant trading item, were likely made from seeds. The many materials and methods used in making beads have resulted in an infinite variety. When raw materials of stone, metal, glass, plastic or resin combine with assorted artistic and cultural influences, the bead is in very little danger of becoming boring.

Even with the vast choice of beads available there are a few cautions that should be noted when it come to using beads in your knitting. Along with beads, anything that can have a hole drilled in it or have a shank attached can be successfully worked into your garment. This would include items such as buttons, small charms, mirrors, or even coins. The first consideration is weight. Adding bead ornamentation to your knitted garment will add extra weight whether attached with an embroidery method or knitting in the bead. The trick is to find the beads in the right weight and quantity without causing your garment to sag. So decisions must be made as to what size of bead to use, how many, and is it suitable to the yarn weight. The size of the bead hole must also be considered. A larger bead hole may cause the bead to hang loosely with a dangling effect, unless that is the intent. A bead hole that is too small will not allow for passage of the yarn thickness that you have chosen. Before you begin, it is always best to test your bead choice through whatever cleaning process the finished garment will have to undergo. Join a few of the chosen beads to a knitted swatch and wash or dry clean. Check the sample carefully for dye leakage or staining on your ground fabric.

Beads or decorative objects should be threaded onto the yarn before you begin knitting. If you are working from a chart which will require specific placement and a certain color order, remember that first is last. The first bead to be strung onto the yarn is the last bead to be placed in the knitting. Joining a marker on the yarn to indicate row changes is also helpful. It is advisable to practice the threading and knitting in of the bead to know how the bead will “sit” on the knitting. The proper placement can vary with size, shape, the way the bead is threaded, and direction of the bead hole. Beads can be knit on a variety of stitches but to start, practice on knit stitches, working as follows: Knit to where you wish to place the bead, bring yarn and the bead to front of work, slip the next stitch purlwise, take yarn to back of work, leaving the bead at front, knit the next stitch.

If this experiment gets you hooked on beads, there a number of books which outline the fascinating history of beads as well as tempting projects. A classic standby, both encyclopedic and inspi

rational, that will give you wonderful lessons in the history and classification of beads is “The Book Of Beads” by Janet Cole and Robert Budwig (Simon and Schuster). A more recent offering from Lily Chin, “Knit and Crochet With Beads” (Interweave Press) will walk you through specific beading and knitting projects.

Placing beads on your knitting can add additional layers of color and texture to your knit and purls, not to mention triggering all those flower child memories.

Beaded Handbag: The Ultimate Fashion Statement For You!

A beaded handbag can make a great accent piece to your stylish clothing. They range from small, seed bead covered clutches to handbags made of larger beads that are perhaps a carryall, so you can match your sleek party dress with a black beaded clutch, or try a larger beaded handbag for your day in skimpy spaghettis, Hawaiian shorts and flowery flip-flops at the beach.

Beaded handbags can be bought at many bag and purse stores, as well as occasionally be found at accessories stores. Or you can go hunting for one at arts

Beads, Beads, and as I Live and Bead – A Little about Organization and Storage

English: bead

Spanish: cuenta

French: perle

Italian: perla

Dutch: De kraal

Portuguese: conta

Chinese: “OZ