The basic bracelet beading supplies, or findings, that are needed for your beginning projects will be our topic for discussion.
We'll start at the very beginning, keeping this simple and at a minimum.
Just a few supplies creates lots of different projects and looks. But all we need, at the bare minimum, are 4 components.
Sound too simple?
There are lots of components that make up findings or beading supplies, but only 4 make our list for the basic bracelet beading supplies.
As you will learn, findings is a general term used for the vast selection of components and supplies that are used to create the majority of beaded projects.
Pictured below is a diagram of our basic bracelet, picture above, along with the list of the basic bracelet beading supplies that are needed in addition to the decorative beads.
Do you see each one?
Now, let's look at each component or finding much closer. Let's explore what each one is, exactly how they are used and the purpose for each one.
Each component is important and has a role to play in the bracelet.
The first on the list of basic bracelet beading supplies is the...
Different types of stringing materials may be soft flexible stringing wire, nylon cord, elastic, leather and a variety of threads i.e. silk, mono-filament or polyester..
These are all flexible materials that allow your jewelry to flow and move with your movement.
It will be important to familiarize yourself with your supplies and materials as you progress beyond the basics. Not all materials are created equal. You will have low end, high end and everything in between for quality of product.
As you progress you will learn the difference between all of these stringing materials shared here and other type materials not shared here.
For now, though, let's begin with a basic stringing cord that I like starting all beginnings with, for your first project...flexible beading wire.
The particular brand I introduce, and encourage you to use in the very beginning, is called 'Soft Flex Beading Wire'.
Soft Flex Beading Wire, is in my opinion, a professional grade beading wire. This wire wears well, will last a long time and is relatively affordable for the quality you receive.
A 30' spool may run you approximately $10 to $15; you will use 12" for one single strand bracelet; that makes approx 30 bracelets for one spool. 30 bracelets divided by $15 equals .50 cents for a 12' cut...that is affordable quality. [please remember these are approximates only]
I introduce you to this specific brand in the beginning for one reason...to get you started.
The quality of flexible beading wires are not the same and I don't want these beginning steps frustrating you and creating a stumbling block to get you moving forward. Once you are creating then you can decide for yourself which beading wire to use.
I cover Soft Flex Beading Wire in more depth to help you understand what you're getting.
It was a huge learning curve for me to figure this out and with no one to show me the way I felt paralyzed just deciding which to buy.
I don't want that for you.
As you gain your bearings and become more familiar with your process, your materials, your style of beading, then I leave it to you to find the best beading supplies suitable for what you will be doing.
I just want to get you started...so for now I would encourage you to follow these recommendations to keep you moving forward through the beginning steps.
Next on the list of basic bracelet beading supplies is the...
Again there is variety.....
Variety in style, design, colors and types of mechanism. Here are a few examples. Our tutorial will incorporate the 'toggle'.
There is a variety in the choices of clasps but not in the purpose a clasp serves, which is to hold your jewelry together while you are wearing it.
I think you get the idea.
Our next finding on our basic bracelet beading supplies list...
Crimp beads are the most important component to a bracelet or necklace. A crimp bead is 'the' finding that holds it together.
It's the glue [just in behavior] that keeps the beads from falling off the bead cord...
It's what holds the clasp to the bead cord that's holding the beads all in place...
It's the secret ingredient that keeps the entire piece of jewelry together...
Like all the categories of beading there is variety.
There are selections and choices in different metals, colors, styles and sizes as well as choices in different functions of crimp beads.
We will explore more about crimps as we move into other projects beyond the basics.
In the meantime, if you might like to read more on crimps now, here is a good article I found from the Soft Flex Company titled 'All About Crimps'.
I found it helpful, you may too.
So how you doing? Still with me?
The last item on our list of basic bracelet beading supplies...
Beads are the eye candy of your jewelry projects. I want you to look more at these delicious treats.
Let's talk in more detail of the basics of beads. We'll look at shapes and sizes of beads, hole sizes of beads, things you will need to look out for and even some fun, helpful bead charts.
So visit there now before moving on to any of the tutorials, which is coming up next.
Count it as part of your basics to beading reading....basics to beads.
If some of these words are new to you and you would like to read more then be sure to visit the bead terminology page for reference.
The selection of basic bracelet beading supplies or findings can seem rather endless and overwhelming at times. But it's important to remember this is just the basics, for you, the beginner.
As you progress through and start moving beyond the basics, more findings will be introduced, discussed and examples provided for you and lots of projects coming that will incorporate these basic beading supplies and more.
But keep this in stride and move at your pace.
Don't be concerned if you have not gotten all your bracelet beading supplies and tools together, go ahead and peek how simple this process will be.
Once you have all your materials then feel free to try your first beaded bracelet.
If you have any questions then contact me. We all had to start somewhere and I am here to help.
See you on the next page.