Ah, the joys of craft beads, big beads and little beads, made of glass, plastic or wood…no matter which, beading is a load of fun for both children and adults. Beadwork can be simple or extravagant, cheap or expensive, depending on what kind of supplies you purchase and what you’re intending to design. No doubt about it though, working with beads provides hours of enjoyment.
Most types of beadwork today are incorporated into jewelry designs, such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces, but craft beads are also used in a variety of home décor designs and sculptures that are created with macramé, yarns or Native American crafts such as dream catchers and medicine wheels.
Throughout the history of mankind, beads have been used as a form of personal adornment, as money, as trading goods and as a way to decorate possessions and homes. Beads can be utilized in more crafts that most people imagine, and the number of ways beads can enhance a project is only limited as to their size and materials.
To work with craft beads, most people need a few simple tools, including round and flat nosed pliers, wire cutters and various types and sizes of tweezers. To attach beads to one another or to other surfaces, a crafter will need some type of wire, usually called jeweler’s wire, in addition to a crimping tool.
If you don’t care to use wire for your craft beads projects, many people like to use silk threads that come in a variety of colors and thicknesses. Nylon or synthetic threads are also commonly found in the tool kits of those working with beads, as does a product called French wire.
If you’re interested in making jewelry, the best thing to do is to pick up a book at your local library or bookstore and learn the lingo, the tools and the methods of creating beautiful and useful designs that people will be proud to wear.
You may also need to purchase design and layout boards for working with jewelry, as well as a variety of clasps, hooks, earring studs and backings as well as various kinds of wire. Drawers to organize your craft beads and tools are also handy to have, and can make your bead designing endeavors a lot more organized and orderly.
For others, working with beads isn’t so involved. Creating Native American crafts requires small glass beads, if you’re going to create designs on a loom, which then can be sewn to moccasins or clothing, but larger, plastic or glass beads are also used in the creating of beautiful dream catchers and medicine wheels that are extremely popular in the Midwestern and southern United States.
Craft beads can be cheap or expensive, depending on the materials the beads themselves are made out of, as well as the quantity that you are purchasing. Some more expensive beads are made out of pearls, bone and horns, while others are made of gemstones or organic materials. Craft beads are definitely loads of fun to work with, no matter what you’re designing.