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Get Creative With Beads & Jewelry Making Supplies

Beads and jewelry making supplies encourage you to explore different patterns, color combinations, and textures. Besides being a good way to spend a rainy afternoon, colorful Czech glass beads and shiny findings allow you to make gifts for others or something stylish for yourself. Before you jump right into beading and jewelry making, it is important to know which supplies, tools, and beads you need in order to begin making your first project.

Some equipment and supplies for beading and making jewelry

To get started making jewelry with beads, you'll want to have some basic supplies and tools on hand, including:

  • Seed beads: These small, cylindrical beads may be made of plastic, Czech glass, or crystalline glass.
  • Beading needles: This type of needle has a narrow eye and thin body. The higher the size number, the thinner the needle.
  • Beading thread: The thread options include nylon and polyethylene. They are stronger than sewing thread and do not fray when cutting or passing through the eye of the needle.
  • Needle-nose pliers: These facilitate picking up small beads and findings.
  • Beading scissors: These types of scissors have short, sharp blades that easily cut through the thread.
  • Findings: These connect or finish a piece of jewelry. They include jump and split rings, lobster clasps, barrel clasps, caps, head and eye pins, and bead covers.
What do bead sizes mean?

There are two types of bead sizes. Seed beads and Japanese cylinder use aught sizing. The options include 15/0, which is the smallest, to 6/0, which is the largest. Other types of beads, such as lampwork, triangle, pony beads, and bugle beads, use a millimeter measurement of their length or diameter.

How difficult is making a beaded necklace?

Before you begin making a multi-strand beaded necklace, it's wise to find out which skills are needed and whether beaded necklaces are complicated. If you can thread a needle, you can start with a simple off-loom woven necklace. The even-count peyote stitch works well for beginners. After you've mastered that stitch, try the odd-count peyote stitch. It requires more dexterity with the beading needles at the end of each row. You also have the option of making a beaded necklace on a loom. With a loom, you use beading thread or wire held in place at the warp, and you add beads as you weave with the weft.