A lot of young women are into knitting these days – but let’s face it – a sweater isn’t the most thrilling thing to show off to your friends. And frankly, who has the patience? But how about spending two hours of your craftilicious time and having a striking piece of beaded jewellery to style? Now that’s more bling for your homemade buck!
The great thing about this project – as with all DIY projects – is that you can make absolutely whatever type of piece you like. Have a penchant for a purple pendant? You can make that. Got a thing for a jeweled ring? You can make that, too. And whatever beaded jewellery you make will not only meet your exact specifications, but it will be
unique in the world. You’ll never walk into a party and find another woman wearing the same earrings.
Start with buying some jewellery making supplies. You can pick up wooden beads, glass beads, or other types of beads – whatever works for your project. Before you buy your jewellery making supplies, be sure to plan out your beaded jewellery making idea. Do you want a long necklace? A short pair of earrings? Most projects require filler
beads, accent beads, thread or wire, and clasps or hooks of some sort. The type of jewellery beads you purchase will also determine the style of your piece. Wooden beads will give it an earthy or tribal feel.
Glass beads will have a more delicate, sparkly sensibility. Of course, there are many varieties of both wooden beads and glass beads – so take a look at what’s available at your local and/or online retailers.
Not sure where to get started? How about with some crafty vocab about jewellery making supplies?
Filler Beads – These are beads that you buy lots of which serve as a background or to “fill in” the bulk of your beaded jewellery. For instance, in the movie Avatar, the Pandora styled beads used as filler beads were same-sized blue and green beads.
Accent Beads – These beads are special, eye-catching pieces which should draw the eye. They are the showpieces – the part people will remember. In the Pandora styled beads of the Na’vi people, large globular beads or orange feathers were the accents.
String – You probably know what string is, but did you know how many different types you can buy for making beaded jewellery? String comes in tough plastic and stretchy elastic varieties. Many retailers offer string in bright colours like red or pink that can be an integral part of your design. By stringing your beads more loosely on your
jewellery, you can allow parts of the wire to show. You can also place knots along the string, to hold the beads tightly in place on your jewellery, while leaving parts of the coloured string open. The string on the Pandora styled bead jewellery was not visible, as it was covered by tightly packed filler beads.
Wire – If you are making a piece of beaded jewellery that you want to hold a stiff shape, then you should string your wooden beads or glass beads along a wire. Clasp – The part that ties two ends of your beaded jewellery together. These come in at least a dozen different varieties including Hook & Eye, S-Hook, Springring, Bead, Button, and Filigree. Make sure you pick a clasp for your beaded jewellery that is appropriate for how you are going to use it. A clasp that requires two hands to fasten is a
poor choice for a glass bead bracelet.