Reader Photo Gallery Giveaway, Week 3: Show Us Your Best Crystal Beading Projects!

Ootheca cuff by Rachel Nelson-Smith

It's December 1, and that means it's time to start thinking about all those glittery crystal bead jewelry pieces that we're going to wear for the holidays!

True, I don't usually wear a lot of beaded jewelry made with crystals. I love to buy crystals, and I love to look at them all nestled in my bead boxes, but when it comes time to design a project using crystal beads, I'm usually at a loss. I'm slowly incorporating more crystals into my beading projects, mixing them with some of my favorite materials like Lucite and gemstones, and I'm always looking for more inspiration and ideas for ways to use crystals.

How Do You Use Crystals?

I started seeing the potential for using crystals in my beading projects when I put together a series of kits from Rachel Nelson-Smith. Rachel uses fantastic and innovative variations of right-angle weave to combine structural bead-weaving with just the right amount of sparkle.

When I use crystals in my beadwork, I tend to go for an all-or-nothing approach. Constructing entire flat chains from crystal beads (with a few seed beads thrown in for good measure) isn't exactly budget-friendly, and it's a little more blinged-out than my usual look, but I love the look of mixing different shapes of crystal beads to make a flashy beaded chain.

And believe it or not, tiny crystal bicones also make beautiful accents to gemstone beads and cabochons. My favorite earthy-colored gemstones like carnelian, amethyst, quartz (which is actually a natural crystal), and onyx get a little pick-me-up when I throw in a handful of those sparkly little crystal bicone beads!

How to Enter our Reader Photo Gallery Giveaway

Take a picture of your best beading projects using crystal beads, including beaded jewelry, accessories, or home décor made using crystal beads.  

Next, make sure that the picture is saved on your computer and is no larger than 6MB. Go to your account and log in. Under the tab 'Galleries' click on 'Reader Photo Gallery.' Select the Thumbnail option. Then with the Upload File selected, search your computer for the picture and then click Save. Be sure to fill out all of the fields in that window and click Save when you are finished.

Make sure you tag your photograph with at least two tags: the first should be "crystal beads". Any other tags should be descriptive of the piece, like "beaded necklace" or "beaded handbag". This will let us be able to find your photographs easily in the Reader Photo Gallery!

Next, make sure you "Like" Beading Daily on Facebook. Every weekday, we'll share a photo from our Reader Photo Gallery on Facebook. If it's your photo, you'll be entered to win a weekly prize!

This week's prize is a copy of Beading Projects: 18 Beaded Gifts — A Beadwork Magazine Project Book, edited by Jean Campbell. If you're the kind of beader who loves giving beautiful beaded gits, this is a great book to have in your library! And just in time for the holidays, you're sure to find at least one great beaded gift idea for someone special.

If you need some help with your photographs, we've got some resources here to get you started:

Have fun! Stay tuned to Facebook to see if you're one of our featured artists during the week, and check back next Saturday to find out the theme of next week's giveaway!

Bead Happy,


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