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Essential beading supplies every crafter needs

needles

Whether you’re a professional jewellery maker or just love to create special items for loved ones, you’ll always need to have some basic supplies on hand to help your finished pieces look perfect. To make sure you’re properly kitted out, we’ve listed some of the most essential beading supplies that you should always have in your craft kit:

1. Beading needles

Ever tried threading beads by hand? You’ll soon get eye strain unless you’ve got these valuable beading supplies in your kit! Beading needles are not like regular needles – they come in a range of sizes to work with different beads, and have a narrower eye, designed to help you thread beads more easily.

2. Beading thread

Along with needles, another important part of your beading supplies will of course be beading thread! This is not the same as regular sewing thread – beading thread is smoother and stronger, and is designed to craft jewellery with. You can find thread in a variety of materials, including silk and nylon, as well as different thicknesses and colours.

3. Thread conditioner or lubricant

This might seem like an odd one, but if you’re making lots and lots of beaded jewellery, you’ll soon find that thread can become weak, or even worse – get tangled up! Thread conditioner can be used to lubricate and strengthen thread, to ensure beads come on more easily, and that the thread will not weaken and break over time.

4. Bead trays

If you’re working with lots of different beads in a variety of colours and sizes – especially if you’re the kind of crafter with multiple projects on the go – then bead trays are an absolute must have. You can use special trays designed for crafters, or any small container to hold your different beads carefully. Whatever you use, a bead tray will help keep beads safe and separated from each other, making beading far more easier.

5. Bead scoop

Using a proper scoop might seem unnecessary, but if you’re trying to take out tens or even hundreds of beads by hand from a big container, you’ll soon find that trying to pick them out by hand can get pretty tiresome! A bead scoop is a convenient and mess-free way of getting at your beads – and you can easily put them back into containers with them too.

6. Spotlight

Our final two essential beading supplies are all about making the task of working with fiddly little beads much easier. If you find yourself squinting to see what you’re doing, a small spotlight will make it much easier, by illuminating the area you’re working on.

7. Magnifying glass

When you’re using extremely small beads and are trying to find that miniscule hole, it can get quite difficult! A magnifying glass will make beads much easier to see, and speed up the process of beading.

 

These are just some of the basic essentials you’ll need when working with beaded jewellery. As you continue, you’ll naturally expand your collection of supplies. Have fun!

 

Jewellery Making Tools

To create jewelry you need a few essential instruments. Using high-quality instruments will ensure beautiful and durable jewelry pieces. The following information details the most important ones you should have to hand.

Beading Scissors
Beading scissors are used for quick and easy cutting of bead cords and thin threads like nylon thread or elastic thread. The scissors should be used ONLY for soft materials: wire, tiger tail and other hard materials will wear out these scissors. Their razor-sharp blades and small tips are perfect for delicate work and snipping in tight places.

Tweezers
Tweezers are tools used for picking up small beads and findings that are not easy to grasp by hand. They are great for creating small knots on nylon thread.

Side Cutter
Side cutters are used for cutting lengths of soft wire, tiger tail, cupchains, loopchains and for triming head pins and eye pins. Their maximum cutting capacity should not be exceeded in order to prevent damage to the cutter. The jaws are pointed and angled to be almost parallel.
Memory-wire Cutters
Memory-wire cutters are specially designed for cutting steel wire or any hard wire – for example memory wire. The shears leave a clean, safe-to-handle, straight edge.
Chain Nose Pliers
Chain-nose pliers are used for many different kinds of jewelry making tasks, like attaching findings, closing bead tips, opening and closing jump rings, flat crimping, forming wire and making angled bends. Their jaws are semi-round with flat surfaces where they meet. The smooth jaws have slightly rounded edges and tapered tips.

Crimping Pliers
Crimping pliers are used for applying crimp beads and tubes, which are closed and secured through this easy-to-use hand tool. It makes the crimp bead or tube appear round and feel smooth, getting rid of sharp edges. The lower-position grooves crimp beads and tubes closed with one firm grip and the upper-position grooves round off edges with another firm grip for a professional finish. Always use medium crimping pliers for crimp beads sized 2,3 mm and above and crimp tubes sized from 1,8 mm and above.
Flat Nose Pliers
Flatnose pliers are used for wiring, especially for making wider and broader bends in wire, for making angled bends, for straightening and flattening out metal, for opening and closing jump rings, for flat crimping and for general holding of components and supplies that cannot be held easily or precisely by hand. Both jaws are flat with a smooth surface that will not mar or scratch wire.

Round Nose Pliers
Round-nose pliers are used for shaping wire, for example creating different sized loops and making round and curved bends in wire, headpins or eye pins. Their jaws are round, tapering from the pivot to the tip. Attention: The jaws may leave unwanted dents on wires due to their small pressing point.

International Ring Sizes Chart

measure ring size with a finger strip chart
To create your own ring sizer, print and cut the strip below. Insert the narrow end of the sizer through the “cut here” slot. With numbers on the outside, place the loop around your finger, and pull until the fit is snug but comfortable. In order to print the ring sizer on this page, be sure that your printer is set to 100%.

finger size strip

 

inches
mm
US
British
French
German
Swiss
Japanese
Hong Kong
1 3/4
44.5
3
F
44
14
4
4
6
1 25/32
45.2
3 1/2
G
45
14.5
5 1/2
6
8
1 13/16
46
4
H
47
15
7
7
8.5
1 7/8
47.6
4 1/2
I
48
15.5
9
8
9.5
1 15/16
49.2
5
J
50
15.8
10
9
10.5
2
50.8
5 1/2
K
52
16
12
10
11.5
2 1/16
52.4
6
L
53
16.5
13
12
13.5
2 3/32
53.2
6 1/2
M
54
17
14
13
14.5
2 1/8
54
7
N
55
17.3
15
14
15.5
2 3/16
55.6
7 1/2
O
57
17.8
16 1/2
15
16.5
2 1/4
57.2
8
P
58
18
18
16
17.5
2 5/32
54.8
8 1/2
Q
59
18.5
19
17
18
2 5/16
58.7
9
R
60
19
20
18
19
2 3/8
60.3
9 1/2
S
61
19.5
21 1/2
19
20
2 7/16
61.9
10
T
62
20.3
22
20
21
2 1/2
63.5
10 1/2
U
63
20.8
23 1/2
22
23
2 9/16
65.1
11
W
64
21
25
23
24
2 19/32
65.9
11 1/2
X
66
21.3
26
24
25
2 5/8
66.7
12
Y
67
21.8
27 1/2
25
26
2 11/16
68.3
12 1/2
Z
69
22
29
26
27
2 3/4
69.9
13
27
28

 

UK
diameter
mm
circumference
mm
American
A
11.5
36.25
0.5
B
12.3
38.64
1
C
12.7
39.90
1.5
D
13.1
41.15
2
E
13.5
42.41
2.5
F
13.9
43.67
3
G
14.3
44.92
3.25
H
14.7
46.18
3.75
I
15.1
47.44
4.25
J
15.5
48.69
4.75
K
15.9
49.95
5.25
L
16.3
51.24
5.75
M
16.7
52.46
6.25
N
17.1
53.72
6.75
O
17.5
54.98
7
P
17.9
56.23
7.5
Q
18.3
57.49
8
R
18.7
58.75
8.5
S
19.1
60.00
9
T
19.5
61.26
9.5
U
19.9
62.52
10
V
20.3
63.77
10.5
W
20.7
65.00
11
X
21.1
66.29
11.5
Y
21.5
67.51
12
Z
21.9
68.77
12.5
Z+1
22.3
69.99
Z+2
22.7
71.31
Z+3
23.1
72.57
Z+4
23.5
73.83
Z+5
23.9
75.08
Z+6
24.3
76.34
Z+7
24.7
77.60
Z+8
25.1
78.86

Wrap Pendant Loop

You can use wire for fixing pendants and also beads.

Wrapped Pendant Loop

When working with pins – either head pins or eye pins – it is the wiring technique that is used.

Instruction:

  1. Thread the beads onto the pins.
  2. Make the loop.
  3. Cut off excess head pin material with a side cutter.
  4. Attach the newly formed loop to another loop or any other findings such as earring loops

    Plain headpin loop

    Plain Headpin Loop

    Wrapped headpin loop

    Wrapped Headpin Loop