We all know that making jewelry can be a rewarding experience, and it’s easy to get started. But sometimes the basic supplies can be expensive, or difficult to find. For this reason, we’ve put together these tips on creating beads from materials that you probably already have around the house — coffee filters and string!
Use Hypo-Cement Instead of Nail Polish
It’s easy to reach for your bottle of transparent nail paint to bind the ends of your prayer beads or stretch bracelets. Instead, use Hypo Cement. Keep one in your jewelry making kit at all times. Drying nail polish and other glues might damage your fibers because they are so hard. Drying Hypo Cement gives your elastic or stringing material good movement while still providing a firm solid hold.
Do not use fishing line for your beaded jewelry. It is a waste of good stringing material, and the knots will come loose. Beadalon is a nylon coated stringing material that is stronger than fishing line. It will provide you strong, long-lasting pieces of jewelry. It is strong, and easy to use, and it does not come untied easily.
Use Coffee Filters for Stretching Jewelry
Coffee filters & paper towel scraps are used in place of money when stretching rings. Use two layers to give the string something to hold onto as it expands and contracts with the ring. Beads also work as a spacer when adding them along the line; they hold the string in place while it expands and contracts with the ring.
Using Free Stuff for Beads
You can often find things that are perfect for beads around the house. Items like match sticks and soda tabs can be used to add small accents to your beaded jewelry designs. To make the jewelry, wrap your beads with a string that you have tied to a small stick (such as a pencil). Attach small beads or other beading accessories before tying the string.
Leave Slack When Crimping Ends
Before you crimp the end of your stringing material, leave about three extra inches for the crimp. This will leave enough slack for you to put the crimp on, and allow room if you have to cut the stringing material a little shorter after crimping. It’s very important not to have too much slack in your crimped ends because they won’t hold as well.
Use an Awl to Open Jump Rings and Connectors
Jump rings are great for making sturdy bracelets. Use an awl to open them so that you can slide the jump ring over a stringing material such as Beadalon. Find all the tools needed for jewelry making here.
If Possible, Buy Precious Metal Beads
If you prefer to use pre-made beads, then purchase precious metal beads. They are much stronger and will last longer than non-precious metal variations. However, they are more expensive. If you can’t afford that type of bead, then buy as many beads as you can afford and connect them with stringing material instead of metal clasps and connectors. You can learn all about birthstones in our latest article.
When Using Elastic or Stringing Material, Cut it Straight
When cutting your elastic or stringing material, cut it straight. Try not to cut it at an angle. Cutting it straight will get you the most out of the material so you don’t waste any and have to buy more. Ideally, you should cut your stringing material longer than you will need. Then, when finished with the project, trim it off straight. You can then use it for other projects.
Use Beadalon for Stitching
When using Beadalon for stitching, be sure to only stitch through the “v” shaped holes. If you used an awl to open one of the holes, then you must use a needle to sew through the hole and not through the side of one of the “v” shaped holes. Doing this is not good because it could poke a hole in your bead and ruin it.
Creating beaded jewelry is a fun and rewarding experience. However, you need the proper supplies in order to complete the projects you will want to make. You don’t have to run around town looking for quality materials that are inexpensive; use things that are readily available, for example coffee filters and string or fishing line. Also, using something like Hypo Cement instead of nail polish will save you money in the long run.