When you are just starting out in hand-crafting jewelry, finding the right kinds of beads can be confusing. Knowing what the different kinds of beads and what they bring to the table is the first step to making beautiful pieces. Using these 10 tips, you will be able to know which jewelry beads will best suit your projects and designs.
#1 – Pearl
These are less pricey than natural pearls and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Great for giving a polished or high-quality look, you can use them in strands that are single or multiple for necklaces, knotted for bracelets or attached them to hand-crafted ring designs.
#2 – Crystal
These are highly stylized and fancy jewelry beads that have a great shine and look to them. These beads are a little pricier, but are relatively easy to find. Made from either synthetic or natural crystals, they can be used in birthstone, religious or other crystal specific pieces.
#3 – Pandora
Also known as European beads, these are large holed beads that come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes, thickness and materials. Great for making larger necklaces or bracelets, they may have a core made of different metals including gold plating, sterling silver and pewter.
#4 – Shamballa
These jewelry beads are generally used in a variety of religious articles including rosary necklaces and bracelets. Shiny, the meaning behind the Shamballa bracelet is directly tied to the color that is used
#5 – Gemstone
These are stones that come from semi-precious stones. Some may be included in the crystal beads others will listed as a gemstone only such as hematite and turquoise. All of the birthstones will most likely be listed in both of these areas.
#6 – Wooden
These are great for making natural pieces. Coming in a wide variety of shapes and tones, they are very durable and becoming more popular with hand-crafters.
#7 – Liquid
These are tiny tubes of gold or silver that will look liquid when they are strung together. These can give a piece a unique look.
#8 – Shell
These beads are naturally formed and cut or man-made synthetics. The most common are those found in the Puka Shells found in many Hawaiian leis and necklaces.
#9 – Glass
Crystal beads can be included in this category, but there are also a wide range of other glass beads that can be found. These can be whimsical to the high-fashion and can be used in a variety of pieces.
#10 – Plastic
These are great for kids to begin their hobby of hand-crafting jewelry or other items. The size, color and look variety is so large, only the sky is the limit with these beauties.
As a beginning hand-craftsman, whether for your own personal use or as a business, knowing the different types of jewelry beads available will give you a starting point in selecting and designing your unique pieces.