How to Bead Like a Designer Of the Year

Have you ever wanted to learn how to bead like the pros do? Maybe you've wondered what kinds of tips and advice a professional beader would have for someone who wants to turn their hobby into a second career? Well, I asked a few of the wonderful Beadwork magazine Designers Of the Year for their favorite tips and advice for beaders — just like you — who want to learn more about the process of designing beadwork.

Jill Wiseman
Laura Andrews
Sabine Lippert
Christina Neit

Jill Wiseman: Professional beaders have to take notes as they work — documenting not only the design, but also the bead colors they use. I have an Excel spreadsheet I call my "Ingredients List" to keep track of the specific beads that go into a project, where I got them from, and the cost.

Laura Andrews: Be passionate about your beaded jewelry designs! Create and share designs you truly love and are proud of. Know your customers' expectations when it comes to beading patterns and bead kits, and do your best to exceed them.

Sabine Lippert: Let there be light! Lighting is so important for me — I use the full-spectrum daylight lamps, not just small spots, to really see the bead colors correctly. Warm light makes the colors fade away. Your beading surface is important, too. I prefer heavy boards, that don't move, even when you touch them accidentally, like Bead On It Boards. Don't try to save a few dollars on your beading tools. When choosing a pair of jewelry-making pliers, try to buy them from a local bead shop so that you can see how they fit in your hand before you buy.

Christina Neit: When it comes to beading like a professional, I think that tension, quality beads, and having a consistent body of work are what matter most. I've seen what looks like nice beadwork from afar, and then when I look closely at the work, I notice a lot of thread showing, or you can see fraying thread poking out between the beads. Make your beadwork look great up-close — if you can see a flaw in a macro shot, you should take a closer look at how you're working. Tension is important, too, and that goes for for bead embroidery as well as off-loom beadwork. In bead embroidery, it certainly is possible to cram too many beads on the surface of your embroidery medium or pull your thread too tightly. Be consistent with the quality of your work in all of your beading projects and designs! 

Tap into the creativity and innovation of all your favorite Designers Of the Year when you get your Beadwork Designer of the Year Ultimate Collection. You'll get three of our favorite instructional videos by Melanie Potter and Jean Power, three eBooks full of the best Designer Of the Year beading projects, and six additional beading projects by our talented Designers Of the Year! Get your Beadwork Designer of the Year Ultimate Collection and see what you can learn from these master bead artists.

Bead Happy,


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