5 Tips for Protecting Your Eyesight When Bead Weaving

The more I bead, the harder I find it to see all of the little beads! It’s like a curse. Those size 15° beads are just so small and after multiple passes, it seems impossible to find the right one to go into next! But I don’t want to give them up, as I love their look. If you’re like me and you’re looking for ways to keep beading and not strain your eyes, and you don’t want to increase the size bead you’re working with, I’ve found a few tips to share. In honor of National Eye Exam Month, here are five tips to protect you eyesight when bead weaving.


1. Use Lots of Light

I’m the worst about beading with a lamp and find I prefer to bead with just an overhead light. I’ve learned, to protect your eyesight, we should always be sure there is sufficient lighting in the beading area. I have found a lamp or daylight bulb, even during the day helps, especially when the beads are dark or have a metallic finish.


2. Bead During the Day

Many of us have “day jobs” and can’t necessarily bead during working hours, however, natural light is one of the best ways to keep your eyes from straining. If you have a window, try to take advantage of it, or better yet, find a nice place outdoors. Carol Cypher loves to bring a tray with a project out to the table in her yard, it can be inspiring!


Tamara Honaman and Merle White with their CraftOptics at Bead Fest Tacoma.

3. Magnification

Those tiny little beads are a bit easier to see with a little magnification. Lavon Peters, Managing Editor of Beadwork magazine, suggests reading glasses, a desktop magnifier, or CraftOptics to help keep your eyes safe in her post “Tips I Learned While Stitching Our Latest Beadwork Beading Kits.” It really does help!


4. Rest Your Eyes

Eyestrain can be very serious and lead to greater complications. Therefore, it’s important to rest your eyes every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds. If you’re like me and need to refill your coffee or just take a walk, resting your eyes from intense focus comes pretty naturally. However, if you’re working on something important, it can be difficult to remember to look away and give your eyes a break. Think about setting a timer or when you get to the next step of a project or design, just take a quick rest, your eyes deserve it!


5. Get an Eye Exam Once a Year

It may be hard to admit your eyes are changing, but everyone’s do! To keep up with the changes and prevent damage, it’s important to get your eyes checked on a yearly basis. I’m guilty of waiting too long, trying to use up all of my contacts before going again. However, I always find myself regretting it as I strain my eyes to see even the instructions in Beadwork magazine! I am getting my eyes checked for National Eye Exam Month, and I hope you do too.

Do you have any more tricks and tips for protecting your eyes? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below and then check out our newest “eye” project in Beadwork, October/November 2018 when you subscribe!

Happy beading!
Marissa Bouska
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine

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