Editor's Picks: Top 5 Resources to Teach Yourself How to Do Beadwork

I've always been one of those "do it yourself" kind of people, particularly when it comes to crafting. I think it must run in my family because my grandmother, who never used any kind of books or patterns for her crochet, made beautiful and cozy sweaters, hats, scarves, and gloves for my sister and me when we were kids. So it sort of made sense that I wanted to teach myself how to do beadwork, and I know there are lots of other people out there like me!

But boy, there are things that I wish I had known then that I know now. I can remember spending hours and hours stringing necklaces and bracelets, only to have them fall apart because I hadn't finished the ends properly or I had used the wrong kind of stringing material. Had I been able to refer to Jean Campbell's book Getting Started Stringing Beads, I would have learned how to make durable (and beautiful) beaded jewelry a lot faster!
Next, I wanted to teach myself how to do off-loom beadweaving. I didn't know the first thing about seed beads, except that they were small, and it took forever to pick them up off the carpet when our dog knocked over my tiny bead tray. I had no clue about the different kinds of beading threads, beading needles, and all the other beading tools and supplies that you need to make beautiful beadwork. Years later, someone gave me a copy of Dustin Wedekind's book Getting Started with Seed Beads, and it's now a book that I recommend to my students when they tell me they want to teach themselves how to do beadwork.
If you already have a firm foundation in basic off-loom beadweaving stitches and want to explore more variations of them, then Carol Huber Cypher's Mastering Beadwork is the book for you. Carol takes seventeen different off-loom beadweaving stitches and gives both comprehensive instructions for each one and then shows you how to create beautiful variations for each. The projects are both simple and inspiring, and the best part is that the materials are probably things you already have in your bead stash right now!
So now that you have all this beading knowledge under your belt, what do you want to learn next? Why not check out Jean Campbell's Steampunk Style Jewelry video for some new and creative ways to use all sorts of beads and supplies to create unique steampunk jewelry? You'll learn basic wire and jewelry-making skills such as cold connections, resin techniques, and drilling to use your own personal found objects in one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
Finally, if you're ready to branch out into the world of metal clay, which can be great for making your own unique metal beads and findings, watch Susan Lewis as she gives you all the basics of working with metal clay in Exploring Metal Clay Basics. Before you start working with precious metal clay, you'll definitely want to see Susan's recommendations for metal clay tools, saving money when working with metal clay and ideas for giving your metal clay pieces a professional look.

Are you ready to teach yourself new beadwork skills and techniques? Take advantage of the Interweave StashBuster sale and save big on all of these titles and many more in the Beading Daily shop.

Have you taught yourself how to do beadwork? What's your best advice for someone else who is looking to teach themselves beading or jewelry-making skills? Share your tips and stories here on the blog!

Bead Happy,


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