Fabulous bead project ideas that don't take forever to complete. Our favorite styles are the trendy, classic, adventurous, the colorful and sophisticated. Most projects can be completed in 1-2 hours, a short afternoon or evening. You will also find information about beading techniques and helpful tips. We offer convenient online shopping at www.BeadBee.com.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Perfect Tool for Quick and Consistent Wire Wraps

Here is a tool that will make the finishing touches a lot easier and improve the quality of your craftsmanship - the flat nose plier with a tip.

These pliers come with 1mm, 1.5mm or 2mm tips and are perfect for getting into tight spaces. These pliers will also guarantee the same size coil every time when you use these pliers to create your bend before looping - see photo. Use the narrower tips for smaller gauge wire such as 28 or 26 gauge and the 2mm tip for 24 gauge wire. For project that require a large number of wraps, these pliers will allow you to work quickly yet with consistent results.

If you have more questions about these pliers, please give me a call!

You can purchase these pliers online at BeadBee.com.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beads & Links on Chains, Especially on Long Necklaces

Longer necklaces have become very popular (they are great for certain body types to slim down your figure or create the illusion of height), thus, more and more beaders are making their own stylish designs using links, chain, beads and pendants.

I have been asked this question so many times so I am posting a quick note in case anyone else wants to know - the question is, how to avoid the pointy dip at the bottom of a long necklace.

Sometimes this is intentional, but sometimes, depending on the design, we want to maintain that nice smooth, loop shape of the necklace.

The answer is simple - gravity and weight. It looks great on the design board or on paper - really cool chunks and links at the bottom of your necklace, but if not constructed the right way, there will be a pointy "V" at the bottom of your necklace.

Tips:

  • Avoid single heavy pieces at the bottom of your design, they will act as a pendant and weigh the whole piece down
  • Wire wrap smaller components together to create the look of heavier, chunkier components. Wire wrapping to link these pieces together will give them more movement and the ability to maintain the curvy, loop shape at the bottom of your necklace
  • Distribute beads and components evenly to avoid asymmetry and an uneven look
  • Trial and Error - you don't really know how your piece will look until you try it on, depending on the design and placement of your beads and links, the length can play a big role. Beware that the necklace will hand differently on different neck size and people of different heights.
More beading tips and project ideas.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Swarovski Crystal Beads - combining them with other materials


I am often asked for recommendations of other materials that would be suitable for use with Swarovski crystal beads.

One of the best things about Swarovski crystal beads is that they are extremely versatile and can be dressed up or dressed down. They can be used to add a subtle hint of sparkle or be dominant in a piece.

My first piece of advice is that anything goes with Swarovski crystal beads as long as you can design it right. This may seem a bit vague, but it will keep your mind open to all possibilities.

Next, here are a few key principles of design that will help as well (in no particular order):

  • Sometimes I find that Swarovski crystal beads are "too perfect" to mix with certain gemstones. In this case, I have done several things: 1) mix a whole assortment of shapes, colors and sizes in order to "blend" the natural materials and crystals (see photo of green gems necklace above), or 2) consider asymmetrical Swarovski beads such as cubist, helix, or cosmic shapes.

  • Choose your findings carefully. The right style and color of findings can be the last detail that pulls your design together. Sometimes it's as simple as choosing the right toggle clasp.

  • I have seen Swarovski crystal beads beautifully combined with Wood Beads, Czech Glass Beads, Toho Seed Beads, Gemstone Beads, Pearls, and Sterling Silver. Because the colors of Swarovski crystals are so brilliant, be mindful of the color combinations that you are creating as you design your piece.

    Take a look at our Color Palette for advice and recommendations on creating pleasing color combinations. Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Adorable Personalized Embellishments!

I haven't had much time to scrapbook lately, but recently, a lot of scrapbookers have been buying alphabet beads from our store, and I just couldn't resist putting together some personalized embellishments and taking the opportunity to catch up on my scrapbooking projects.

I posted ideas on our Scrapbooking ideas page, which also include layouts from Alex's sorority scrapbook where she used alphabet beads and sports beads in a really adorable way.

Beads and charms are also a really nice way to create personalized greeting cards and gift wrapping.

Let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas of your own.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beading for Beginners: What Tools Do I Need?

I think that beading is a great hobby because it is very scalable. What I mean is, that you can start very simple, with no tools at all, except a pair of scissors. Then as you get more involved, you can add more tools and supplies as needed. It is not necessary to go out and buy a whole bunch of tools and things that you don't need or don't know how to use.

I have defined different levels of beading, the tools and supplies that you need, and what you can make with the tools

Simple is a great way to start dabbling with beading. All you need are beads in your favorite colors and stretch cord. A ruler is helpful so that you know how many beads to string on and you will need scissors to trim the stretch cord after you tie a knot. Then you will be able to string a fun bunch of stretch bracelets. It's a great way to spend a few hours with girlfriends, daughters, and sisters.


Beginners
- there is no need to be intimidated, beading is fun, so please enjoy it!

There is a lot you can do with beads but take it slow and learn a little bit at a time. To start, I would recommend just a few basic things. It seems like a long list, but most of these items are relatively inexpensive and will make your beading experience easier and more enjoyable.

Bead stoppers
- these are are springy clamps that you attach to one end of your string so that beads don't fall off the back end while you are stringing on the beads

Crimp Beads - these are little tubular beads. When compressed with a crimp tool, they will secure the clasp on your bracelet or necklace

Crimp Tool  - compresses crimp beads, we have illustrated crimping instructions on our website, but most of the time there are instructions on the packaging.

Bead Mat - this will pad your work space and keep beads from rolling off onto the floor.

Bead Board - this is a board with a U-shaped groove. Lay your beads in the groove to design your piece before stringing. This allows you to arrange and rearrange the beads until you are happy with the design.

Flexible Beading Wire
- this is a quality, multi-purpose stringing materials that is great for stringing bracelets, necklaces, anklets and even making earrings. When using flexible beading wire, you will need crimps and a crimp to attach clasps and findings.

Findings (clasps, jump rings, crimps, etc.)
- this term refers to clasps jump rings, ear wires and mainly metal components

Flush Cutter - needed for trimming excess stringing material

Chain Nose Pliers
- just a handy tool to have to give you an extra pair of hands or help with picking up items.

Last, but not least - you will need BEADS!!! There are so many to choose from, half the fun is hunting for beads in uniques shapes and colors.

Beading blogs, books and magazines are a great way to get ideas and teach you to visualize how beads will look together as you are designing.

In a future blog post, I will talk about more advanced skill levels - Intermediate, Advanced & Obsessed!

Monday, October 11, 2010

8th Anniversary Celebration at Bead Bee - 20% off and Cake Decorating Contest

Thank you for many years of loyalty to Bead Bee. We have had so much fun learning and sharing with you! This year, we are celebrating with a CAKE DECORATING CONTEST and offering giving 20% OFF during our week long 8th Anniversary celebration! More details below!

We kicked off our celebration with an adorable flower cake decorated with bees! But we would love to see your delicious creations! During the month of October, we are accepting entries for our CAKE DECORATING CONTEST on Facebook. To enter, please be our fan on Facebook and post one (1) photo of your decorated dessert. Please upload only one photo per fan. At the end of the month, one dessert (and fan) will be randomly chosen to receive a $25 Bead Bee Gift Certificate. (If you don't have a Facebook account, you can email us your photograph to enter).

We have also posted a 20% off coupon below. Have fun shopping from all of our great beads, findings & supplies including Czech glass beads, alphabet beads, number beads, acrylic beads, charm, a variety of stringing materials and more!

Visit our online bead store to start shopping!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Book Mark

Beaded bookmarks are completely customized by the beads and the charms that you choose, so you can make each one truly unique.

This design features beaded dangles at the end of satin ribbon. The satin ribbon is flat so it fits perfectly between the pages of a book. The book mark is decorated with beaded dangles that are attached to a large ring that connects the beaded dangles to the ribbon. You can have fun combining different types of ribbon with different combinations of beads and charms.

We have created this design for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but you can adapt this beaded book mark design for any occasion. They are great stocking stuffers and wonderful gifts for teachers & book worms.

Simple instructions to create this beaded book mark are available on our website with detailed photographs. All you need to know is how to use crimp beads and a crimp tool.

To purchase products featured in this blog post, use the following links:

FlexRite Beading Wire
Sterling Silver Crimp Beads
Czech Glass Beads
Pink Designer Bead Mix
Silver Pewter Hammered Ring
Vertical Hole Alphabet Beads

Pewter Charms

Click here for more ideas for Bead projects for Breast Cancer Awareness

Friday, October 1, 2010

Look for our beads on TV... Extreme Makeover Home Edition

We have been anxiously waiting for this episode to air so we can see how the EMHE designers have incorporated our beads into the Lutz Family's new home. We sent them all types of beads and we can't wait to see what they have done!

After the show airs, we will post photographs, so stay tuned!

Watch on ABC, Sunday, October 3, 2010, 8/7 central.


After you see this episode, let us know what you think (post your comments)! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bead Bee in Real Simple Magazine

Pick up the Fall 2010 of Real Simple Family Magazine for great party favor ideas for all of your fall and holiday festivities! Bead Bee's bead kits, featured in this issue (p.24), are perfect for creating personalized gifts and party favors such as bracelets, necklaces, book marks or key chains.

To shop for the bead kits seen in Real Simple Magazine enter keyword Real Simple Bead Kits into the BeadBee.com search bar, or click here



Blog readers get an extra 10% off our Real Simple Bead Kits! Use coupon code: realsimple
(Offer expires on December 31, 2010)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Simple Beaded Keychain for Every Skill Level


Hand made beaded keychains are simple to make and are a great activity for both kids and adults. Many people have created them as fundraisers or as gifts. All you need are large hole beads and alphabet bead beads to spell out a special message. No tools are necessary except for a pair of scissors.

Click here for detailed illustrated directions on How to Make a Beaded Key Chain

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Heritage of Inspiration: Creating Jewelry with Czech Glass Beads

Hello Everyone!

For this blog, I wanted to focus on the beautiful Czech Glass Beads that you can find at Bead Bee. The reason I'm so interested in these beads is because they're linked with my heritage, and I wanted to find out a little bit of history on them.

In essence, Czech Glass Beads were made from the ideas and demands of people all over the world. In the mid 1800s, Czech "sample men", as they called them, would travel the world trying to figure out what kinds of beads people wanted. They took back their notes and sketches to their home factories where the beads were produced. After a while, technological advances made it possible for Bohemia to mass produce pressed-glass beads. As a result, by the 1920s Czechs became the main bead exporters of the world.

I created a memory wire bracelet using turquoise Czech flower glass beads, jet Czech petal beads and tortoise Czech fire polished glass beads. For added detail, I added antique copper spacers. I picked these colors because I haven't seen these colors used together on jewelry. This bracelet can be worn dressed down with a white t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops, or dressed up with that "little black dress" you save for special occasions. Please leave questions and comments to let me know what you think!

Brianna

Brianna is our guest blogger for this Spring/ Summer season - welcome Brianna! Click here to send Brianna message or leave a comment.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Girlfriends & Beads

Beading is such a nice hobby to share with your friends and family. Last Saturday, my beautiful and awesome friends Brianna (our guest blogger), Bethany and I spent the afternoon beading and then went out for a delicious dinner. We talked, laughed and shared ideas.

Bethany made a precious pink lanyard to wear at her new job.

Brianna created a gorgeous Turquoise Flower Cuff Bracelet, see her blog post for details on making this bracelet for yourself (coming soon).

I created a gorgeous pendant necklace featuring a Thai silver rose pendant surrounded by gemstones, you can see it in this blog post: Rose Bouquet Necklace

Tell us how you have fun beading with your friends and loved ones, please leave a comment!