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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Sedore

Beginner Beaders- Where to start

You're browsing through Pinterest and you suddenly see a heart stoppingly beautiful piece of beadwork. You may think you could never do that but something keeps drawing you in. I know the feeling!

My advice is if you want to bead, shop smart. Plan your piece and shop for that piece only. Beads can get expensive and when you've been doing it as long as I have, if you haven't been careful, you might eventually need a whole room to store your supplies!

Here is my shopping list of essential supplies. This is everything you will need to get started. Go online and research beading patterns and choose a simple one for your first project. For beginners I suggest you start with something either applique or peyote. But, you do you.

Size 10 and Size 12 beading needles

Size 11 seed beads (Czech seed beads, Miyuki Rocaille or Toho)

Opaque beads

Silver lined beads

Matte beads (not shiny) I always have at least matte black on hand.

Accent beads- I use gold and clear silver lined and gold and silver galvanized. I commonly consider one of these as a third colour when making two colour earrings. They create striking contrast and sparkle.

Small totes to organize colour types,

Small glass or plastic bottles with screw on lids.

Shallow dishes to separate beads while you work, I use Pringles lids.

Heavy felt or Pellon for applique work

Sharp embroidery scissors (you will want sharp tips)

Hide or vinyl for backing

Glue without fumes, that dries clear. I use Weldbond.

White typing paper, colour pencils

I have definite reasons for why I choose to use specific things. For example, I love Pringles lids because they are shallow enough for my needle to pick up beads and they bend nicely for returning beads back into both tubes and bottles. I like screw on lids and clear plastic bottles because I don't like dealing with baggies that eventually tear and I have dumped enough bottles of beads to know that screw on lids don't flip out of your hand like pry off pill bottle caps do. Clear bottles because who has time to check every bottle to see what colour of bead is in there? We learn as we go.

Happy beading!

An early piece of applique, forest boletes barrette. I've made several versions of this one over the years.

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