The basic bracelet beading supplies 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.
Only a few supplies are needed to create a lot of different projects and a lot of different looks and all we need for this project, at the bare minimum, are just 4 simple components.
It's true. We would not lie, just 4 simple components that make up the list for your basic bracelet beading supplies to create your first bracelet. These components that help you achieve such a look are called 'findings'.
As you will learn, findings is a general term. Get use to hearing it and get use to saying it. Findings are the supplies that allow you to achieve a completed project. They are the secret sauce to making jewelry.
Some are the hidden treasures that gives your jewelry life...AND...there are a lot of findings to choose from. Findings are used to create the majority of all beaded projects.
We don't get too deep into this right now, it would take forever to cover the multitude of findings, you will learn them with each new project. We want to only introduce you to the essentials needed to make a basic bracelet happen.
So let's reiterate...we only need 4 very important findings to make our bracelet.
These basic bracelet beading supplies are:
The diagram here shows how each is used.
What is not listed are your choice of the decorative beads. The amounts will vary based on the style you choose to create and of course the size of the beads.
Make sure you have identified them before moving on...
Now, let's look at each finding much closer. Let's explore what each one is, exactly how they are used and the purpose for each one.
Each component, finding, 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 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 comfortable in your creating then you can decide for yourself which beading wire to use. There are several to choose from.
We 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 one out and with no one to show me in the beginning I felt paralyzed just deciding which to buy. We 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 we leave it to you to find the most suitable beading supplies for you.
We want to get you started...so for now we 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 clasp.
Again there is variety.....[you'll hear me say that a lot!]
Variety in style, design, colors and types of mechanism. Here are a few examples. In our tutorial we will be using the clasp called a 'toggle'.
There may be a variety in the choices of clasps, but there is not a variety in the purpose a clasp serves.
A clasp in intended 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 plays a very important role in jewelry making. 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.
So how you doing? Still with me?
The last topic on our list of supplies to discuss...
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, it's the jewelry jargon you will be using as you progress. It's there to help.
The selection of basic bracelet beading supplies or findings can seem rather endless and overwhelming at times. 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. More projects are coming that will incorporate these basic bracelet beading supplies.
Keep this in stride and move at your pace. It can be a bit overwhelming but we want to assure you that you are doing good and we will get you there.
Now that we have covered the basic bracelet beading supplies, follow the next steps we have laid out for you to continue this process. Read on to continue to learn how simple this process is.
It's okay if you don't have your supplies yet. It will come together for you.
Once you have all your materials then feel free to try your hand at your first beaded bracelet. We all had to start somewhere. See you on the next page.