3 Beading Tools That Aren’t
Despite all my fancy German-made jewelry-making pliers, magnifying lenses for bead embroidery, and other beading tools that help me create my beaded art, there are a few beading tools on my desk that don’t really look like they belong there.
1. Cardboard paper towel tubes. Back in the day, I learned how to make peyote stitch amulet bags using a cardboard tube from the center of a roll of toilet paper that had been covered with a plain piece of white printer paper. Some of my friends questioned the use of a toilet paper tube – not terribly hygienic, eh? – but the fact remains that these are immensely helpful when stitching large pieces of tubular beadwork. Because they’re hollow, they’re easy for me to hold on to, they’re cheap and easy to come by, and you can cut them open and re-size them by taping them back together. These days, I stick with the cardboard tubes from the inside of the roll of paper towels, trimmed down to size for easy handling.
2. Rubber jar openers. When it comes to getting my beading needle through a tight spot, I usually prefer to use my jewelry making pliers. But when I’m traveling, it’s not always easy to get a pair of jewelry making pliers on an airplane. (True story: I once had a package of beading needles confiscated by airport security. Really.) So if I’m in a pinch and my needle is, too, I use a little slice of a rubber jar opener to tug that needle through so I can keep on beading.
Unlike a pair of jewelry pliers, that I can usually force through a tight spot and might result in a broken bead, a piece of a rubber jar opener used as a beading tool lets me know what my beading needle is just not going to fit through this particular space. It saves me a lot of time in trying to fix broken beads!
3. Movies and music. Do these count as beading tools? I would argue that they do. Unless I’m hanging out with friends and have some lively conversation to stimulate my mind while I’m beading, I like to have my favorite movies and music playing in the background. Since we don’t have a t.v. in my house, we take advantage of online streaming services to watch movies and listen to music. I don’t think I could bead in complete silence, so these services are an important part of my creative process! (Plus, you never know when you might feel the need to stand up and dance in the middle of a great beading project. Right?)
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The next time you sit down to work on a beading project, take a look around at all the things that go into that project – not just the beads, thread, and needles! Can you think of some other can’t-bead-without-them beading tools that are slightly unusual? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share them with us!