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.

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.


  • 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.