Dare to be YOU!
Introduction to Brandlady.com
Make your own Jewellery
AND DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVE SIDE: HOW TO GET STARTED
Beading and jewelry making is a hobby that is fun, rewarding and practical. Not only do you get to explore your creative side, you can create one-of-a-kind pieces that you can wear or give as gifts.
Beading is a simple hobby to get started with and you can begin immediately without taking a series of classes or spending an excessive amount of money on specialty supplies. Beading and jewelry making is also therapeutic and is a great opportunity to bond with a sibling, daughter or friend. Here is some basic information to get you familiarized with the hobby and basic things that you will need to get started.
The great thing about beading is that you can start slowly, just buy what you need and learn as you go. You can start with a few simple things and build your collection of supplies as you become more experienced. The most basic materials required to get started are: beads, a bead design board which allows you to design and visualize your jewelry before stringing it, a bead mat to cushion your work surface, bead stoppers which clip onto one end of the cording so the beads donít fall off as you work, findings, and stringing material. If you use stretch cord, all you need to finish your piece is a carefully tied knot and some super glue to add extra strength to the knot. If you would like to attach clasps to your bracelets and necklaces, then all you need is flexible beading wire (instead of stretch cord), a crimping tool and flush cutters. Other tools that may be helpful, but may not be necessary unless you are doing wire work, are flat nose pliers, round nose pliers and other specialty pliers which are available insets or purchased individually.
When choosing your stringing material, you will find many options. Your choice of stringing material is important in so many ways as it can affect the look of your design as well as its strength and structure. One of the most common types of stringing material is flexible beading wire. It is basically stainless steel "mini" cable coated with nylon. Flexible beading wire can be found in several widths and colors offered by several brands such as Soft Flex, Flex-Rite and Beadalon. The flexibility and strength increases with a higher strand count. Strand count ranges from 7-49 strands. Crimp beads and a crimping tool are required when using this type of material. As you get more involved in the hobby of beading you will discover countless types of string and cording and learn new techniques for using them.
Visit your local bead store for the best selection of beads and supplies. They will also offer a better selection of findings such as clasps (single or multi-strand), toggle clasps, jump rings, cones, bails, connectors and other components. You will also be able to find a large array of beads, chains, stringing materials and other useful supplies. Your local bead store will also be able to provide specialized advice and offer classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced level beaders.
If you prefer to teach yourself, your local library and bookstore will have books and magazines that contain instructions and detailed photographs. The internet is also a valuable resource for project ideas, tips and techniques. There are many online bead stores and blogs that offer super advice and information.
Joyce Lee is a jewelry designer with over 15 years of experience in jewelry design and production. Ms. Lee also enjoys teaching jewelry making classes to children and adults of all ages. Visit www.beadbee.com for project ideas, instructions, and materials. Additional ideas & tips can be found at Bead Bee's blog. Joyce's artisan jewelry can be seen at Bead Bee Boutique