Every facet of beading is covered here. Not only will you showcase the beauty of beads on a wide array of projects, you'll also make some lovely beads of your own. As you learn the craft, you'll delight in the richness of the colors, the diversity of the shapes, and the wide assortment of techniques you're using.
You have the most flexibility when you create beads because you can tailor them to a specific project. Polymer clay is the most popular material, but you can also work with metal and wire, doweling, and paper. If you decide to use readymade beads, see how to personalize them with papier mache and other decorations.
Beads look especially pretty on jewelry and go well with many different types of outfits in a variety of styles. Create an unusual, sophisticated pendant from copper sheet beads - it's a great accessory when you go out in the evening. You'll be amazed at how just a few materials can be very effective. Or you might want something a little more casual. A combination of paper and little silver beads on a delicate wire chain would be perfect! Craft matching earrings in the same way. And for something really dramatic, an aquamarine chip choker can't be beat. All of the weaving is done by hand, and the design is built up in stages with glamorous results.
Beads are marvelous adornments on many other things besides jewelry. Go into any home decorating store and you'll fine lots of beaded accents. But there's no reason to buy any when you can create your own. Windchimes are fabulous hanging both indoors and out - they make a lovely sound and the dangling glass beads colorfully catch the light. A daisy candle holder is as fresh as a spring day, while a beaded picture frame adds glitz and charm to a room. Other projects include accessories for your wardrobe, such as a fringed scarf and a stunning evening bag.
Everything is so much more enchanting with some beading on it.
Sara Withers has worked with beads for many years, as a collector and maker. Her jewelry is sold in galleries, shops, and at exhibitions throughout the United Kingdom. She also enjoys teaching bead- and jewelry-making, and lecturing on all aspects of bead history. She is the author of five books on beadwork.