THOSE are Beading Supplies?

Yep, we beaders are definitely a creative and thrifty bunch. When it comes to our beading supplies, there are lots of items that we "borrow" from other crafts that work just as well when it comes to our beloved beads!

Recently, I discovered a few really great beading supplies and beading tools that do double-time as supplies for other crafts and hobbies!

Yes, we beaders can get pretty creative when it comes to our beading supplies! Pictured above: fishing line cutters, plastic rings (used for crocheted potholders) and floss bobbins.

Thread bobbins. I hijacked these beading supplies from the cross-stitch and embroidery section of my local craft store. These handy little plastic thread bobbins are perfect for when I start a project with an extra-long length of beading thread. I wrap the thread around the bobbin starting in the center and use the first half. Then when I'm ready to start beading the other side of the project, I just unwind the thread, add a needle and go! No worries about adding a new thread. You can find these thread bobbins in both plastic and cardboard. (I prefer the plastic ones because they hold up longer.)

Rapala fishing-line cutters. A few weeks ago, my husband was looking for something to cut the fishing line on his favorite fishing reel, and his eyes fell on the Rapala cutters on my beading tray. "Rapala?" he spluttered. Well, of course it makes sense: since I use Fireline for pretty much all of my beadweaving projects these days, these scissors are the perfect cutters for me! You can find these scissors at most outdoor stores in the fishing section. (Right next to the Fireline.)

Tackle boxes. And speaking of fishing gear – one of my all-time favorite bead storage and carrying cases is this soft-sided tackle box that I found in a local department store. The big advantage here was the price: it cost me less than half of what I would have paid for a similar carrying and storage case had I purchased it through a regular beading supply company. Another benefit of this tackle box/bead storage bag is that it has lots and lots of pockets for my color wheel, sketchbook, extra pens, and other beading supplies!

Another reason to hit the outdoor supply store with my husband: I scored my favorite tackle box/beading tote!

Dental floss threader. These beading supplies can come in handy for keeping your teeth shiny and clean, too! A few years ago while pregnant with my son, I discovered that using my dental floss threader was a great way to get my beading wire through a tight spot. (One of many things that I discovered while dealing with pregnancy-related insomnia during the long nights of winter!) To use a dental floss threader, slip your beading wire through the large hole, leaving a short tail. Insert the long end of the threader into the bead and pull gently until the beading wire is through the bead. These beading supplies are great for when you just need that little extra "oomf!" to get your beading wire where it needs to be.

Plastic craft rings. My mom and my grandmother used to make crocheted potholders, and they made a LOT of crocheted potholders. Consequently, we always had lots of these little plastic rings around the house when I was a kid. Well, in her latest book, Rachel Nelson-Smith has come up with a brilliant use for these little rings: bead around them and make them into custom beaded toggle clasps for your beadwork! They are the perfect size for necklace toggles, and you can use either herringbone stitch or right-angle weave to make easy custom toggles for all your handmade jewelry projects!

Take a good look through your bead and crafting supplies: which of your beading supplies is pulling double duty? Leave a comment and share your favorite "unusual" beading supplies with us here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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