Beading: Materials for Getting Started

Geo Beats
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Beading: Materials Needed for DIY - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. You actually do not need a lot of materials to get started for basic beading which is one of the things that makes it such a fun and awesome hobby, but you do need a few things in front of you and in your work space before you start. First you need something to put your beads on, and there are a couple of options for that. The first one is one of these guys which is a little Valex bead mat. These are really nice because you can put round beads on these and they do not roll away. Something that will help you with your designing is this. This is a bead board. And a bead board has a channel in which you can lay out your design so that you can actually preview your design before you string it, and it has these nice indented channels. So, once again, you are not chasing beads under the coffee table. You need a few simple tools to get started. You need three pliers. You need a chain nose pliers, a round nose pliers, and a good wire cutter. Your chain nose pliers are for grabbing and holding wires. They are also for squashing your crimp beads. Your round nose pliers are for helping you make your perfectly rounded loops on earrings and wire out projects, and your wire cutters, of course, are for cutting your wire. If you are just doing basic stringing with your stainless steel stringing cable and your crimp beads, you really only need your chain nose pliers and a wire cutter and if you do not have a wire cutter handy, you can use a finger nail clipper as well. You need a few simple findings as well. Findings is the beading term for things like clasps, and ear wires. All the bits that make your beaded jewelry functional. There are lots of different types of clasps that you can use. Three really common ones are your lobster claw, your toggle clasp and your hook and eye. All three of these function exactly the same as far as how they get attached to your beaded piece, it is just a matter of aesthetics. Which one you think looks the prettiest and which one works the easiest for you in your design. If you are doing basic stringing you need something to string onto and that is your 49 strand stainless steel stringing cable. It comes in a variety of diameters. A good starter size is the medium, which depending upon the brand of the cable, is either probably going to be 0.18 inches or 0.19 inches. That size will fit on the majority of beads out there. So if you are just going to keep one spool in your bead box that is the size to do it. If you are going to do any wire out projects like earrings or chain necklaces you are going to need a couple of additional supplies. If you are going to use chain necklaces, you are obviously going to need chains. Chain is usually sold by the foot or in a package and there are tons of different styles and tons of different metals out there to choose from. You are also going to need head pins. Head pins are the little sticks upon which you place your beads so that you can then put them onto your chain or onto your earrings. If you are going to do earrings you also need some ear wires. Ear wires also come in a variety of different styles and a variety of different metals. With your ear wires make sure you consider if you have any allergy issues in your ears before you decide which ear wires to choose. Another handy dandy little bit that helps with your basic beading and is an absolute necessity are these little guys. This is called a bead stopper. What a bead stopper does is it clips onto the end of your stringing cable while you are stringing your beads so that your beads do not fall all over the floor when you forget that the end of your necklace is open and you pick it up to go try it on in the mirror. You can also use Scotch tape for that same purpose but sometimes it leaves a sticky residue on your cord which these guys do not. And that is it. Just a few simple supplies and you are ready to go.

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