My Top 10 Beading Supplies for Bead Stringing
Long ago and far away, I started learning how to bead by stringing beads. It really began when I was still in kindergarten, and my mother would give me bags of beads and buttons and a shoelace for me to play with. My earliest beaded creations were quite fashionable for 5-year-olds in the late 1970s, but thankfully, my style has evolved into something more artistic.
When I’m shopping for beads, I’ll make sure that I always have certain beading supplies on hand for my bead stringing projects. Bead stringing has become my “in between” jewelry-making technique when I need a break between bead weaving projects, and lately, I’ve been playing with all kinds of great new beads and findings. No matter what I’m working on, though, I make sure to have a healthy supply of these beading supplies handy when I sit down to work on some new beading projects.
1. 2×2 crimps in a variety of metals. Used to be a time when I used sterling silver almost exclusively in my bead stringing projects, but as my style has developed, I’ve added gold-filled, copper, and brass crimps to my stash of bead stringing supplies.
2. Colored bead stringing wire. Gone are the days when I settled for using the same grey bead stringing wire! I’ve discovered how much fun colored beading wire can be as an accent to my bead stringing designs.
3. Crimping pliers. I bought my first crimping pliers for just a few dollars, and they didn’t last very long. When I was able to, I purchased a great high-quality crimping pliers, and it’s been my faithful companion for many years now.
4. Jump rings in a variety of sizes and metals. Never underestimate the usefulness of jump rings! I like to keep an assortment of jump rings in colors to match my crimps and clasps, in sizes ranging from 4mm up to 8mm.
5. Magnetic clasps of all kinds. Have you noticed all the beautiful shapes and styles of magnetic clasps available these days? They’re a far cry from the original tiny barrel-shaped clasps, and I love them for their simplicity when finishing a bead stringing project.
6. Combination pliers. I’ve had my combination pliers for years! One jaw is rounded, the other is flat like a chain-nose pliers, and they make it so much easier for me to create lots of wrapped loops or simple loops in what feels like no time at all. No need to stop and put down my pliers between steps!
7. Glue. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had trust issues with glues in the past, but after discovering the Super New Glue from EuroTool and my trusty E6000, I make sure that I have both of these in my beading supplies for my stringing projects.
8. Stretchy cord. It seems like stretchy cord is all grown up! Between my favorite gossamer floss-like stretchy cord for making gemstone mala bracelets, and my new appreciation of Power Cord for heavier gemstone beads, I can’t imagine not having a couple spools of each in my stash of beading supplies.
9. Cutters. Whether I’m cutting my beading wire, a length of leather cord, or trimming a wrapped loop, I’ve got a pair of cutters for every use. My Xuron Fireline cutters work great for trimming and cutting leather, and my heavy duty flush cutters are always nearby for cutting beading wire and wire head pins.
10. Leather cord. Ever since I got my hands on a few lengths of that incredible “licorice” leather a couple of years ago, I’ve been finding ways to incorporate leather into my bead stringing projects. And lucky me – I can find leather in a huge array of colors and thicknesses from most of my favorite online bead suppliers!
Ready to spruce up your autumn wardrobe with some fashion-forward new jewelry? Take a look at the Fall 2015 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine. You’ll find much more than the 17 fresh new jewelry designs – you’ll also find information about new beading supplies and beading tools, artist profiles, and dozens of design ideas for beaded bracelets and earrings. Get your copy of the Fall 2015 Jewelry Stringing magazine and get busy beading! (Make sure you check out the new Challenge department – if you’re feeling inspired by the great designs inspired by the kit of beads and findings from Nunn Designs, you can get your own kit in the Interweave Store!)
Do you have any jewelry stringing essentials on hand at all times? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your favorite beading supplies with us!