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Jewelry Making 101: All About Beads

By: Catherine Fox

If you're just getting started with jewelry making, this handy guide will teach you everything you need to know about jewelry making supplies, specifically beads. You can learn how to make jewelry in no time once you read our guide.


Seed beads: Seed beads are great for fillers, but you can also incorporate them into your beadwork and loomwork. Size 11 and size 6 are the most common. As for colors, I would recommend getting some in black, white, clear, and a color of your choice.


Bugle beads: I use bugle beads mostly for spacers, but occasionally I incorporate them into my beadwork. I would recommend getting a couple hanks in either black or white.


6mm and 8mm round beads: These are great for general use. I like to purchase faceted as well as smooth. Get some beads in clear and several other colors of your choice.


Pearl beads: These beads are completely optional – it all depends if you like pearls. You can either buy the real thing or buy some imitation pearl beads made of glass.


Wooden beads: If you like to make organic or earthy looking jewelry, then wooden beads is a must. You can either purchase 6mm round beads or find a value pack with a mixture of different sizes.


Designer beads: Any beads that are unique and large are what I call “designer beads”. I love lampwork beads the most because they are literally art in the form of a bead. The reason why I include these beads in my list of bead recommendations is because you need to understand that beading is about having fun. Yes, you need your staple beads like 6mm round beads, but having a few beads that are truly unique is what beading is all about: having fun.

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