Four Beading How-Tos You Need to Know

Little did I know when I first sat down to learn how to bead how many skills I would learn in the coming years! It makes you realize that there's a lot more to making beautiful beaded jewelry than just sitting down and stringing some beads on wire and attaching a clasp. It seems like there's always something new to learn when it comes to beading, whether it's working with the beads themselves, refining your jewelry-making techniques and skills, or developing your own sense of style and color.

Whether technical or artistic, here are my four top beading how-to's for anyone who wants to learn how to bead:

1. Learn how to set up a comfortable beading area. It's important to be comfortable when you're beading, not just because it means you can bead for hours at a time. It's also important to make sure that you are sitting properly, have good lighting to see your beads, and take periodic breaks to stretch and move. (Also make sure you check out Debbie Blair's fantastic blog about ergonomic beading tips!)
2. Know how to use your crimping pliers. Boy, if I had a nickel for every bad crimping job I've seen! It's not easy to learn how to make a secure crimp, but practice definitely makes perfect. Getting to know your crimping pliers makes a big difference in how your beaded jewelry looks and wears.
3. Know how to fix beads with too-small holes. Jean Campbell is one smart cookie, and I loved this blog of hers about how to fix beads with holes that are too small. I love stringing with gemstone beads, and when their bead holes are just too small to accommodate more than one pass of my beading wire, I break out my handy dandy bead reamer and widen that bead hole just a little bit.
4. Learn how to use a color wheel for your beading projects. This one seems to be a popular topic! Knowing how to use color is such an integral part of learning how to bead, I actually went ahead and took a private one-on-one course with one of my beading idols, Margie Deeb, to get a better idea of how I like to use color and to learn the basics of color theory. These days, whenever I sit down to start a new beading project, my favorite color wheel is never far from my beading table!

And I'll bet you can think of a dozen more! It really gives you more of an appreciation of everything that goes into learning how to bead, doesn't it?

Just take a look at all of the gorgeous beaded jewelry design ideas in Jewelry Stringing magazine, and I'll bet you can understand why learning how to bead really is an art. With the wealth of diverse and creative beading supplies available to us as jewelry designers, it really pays to have the skills we need to turn our ideas into reality. Subscribe to Jewelry Stringing magazine today and stay on top of what's new in the world of beads and jewelry-making!

What would you tell a beginner is an important skill to learn for learning how to bead? Leave a comment and share your suggestions here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


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