Sunday, December 31, 2006

Basic Beading Projects

Beaded crafts are a perfect way to multitask. You can work on beading projects while you are traveling, watching television, or performing other mundane tasks. In fact, because beading can be so relaxing, it is something you will enjoy doing after coming home from work or spending time chasing kids all day. If you have thought of beading, you should begin with some basic projects so that you will know if you want to commit to the long haul.

The first basic project, which requires little in the way of investment, is the beaded wine glass charm. These charms can be pretty interesting and a great way to add a conversation piece to your wine set. They also make perfect gifts, and you can give people a number of sets so that they have them for different occasions. You will need to buy basic metal loops. You can get them for $2-3 at craft stores, and the bag will include about 20 or so loops. They are intended for earrings, so you may need to look in the jewelry section, but they work for wine glass charms as well.

Then you should get a few bags of beads that match each other. The beads should be small enough so that they are not in the way when people are drinking. A little clinking from a word charm is okay, but a charm with several large beads will not work very well. Once you have selected the beads, you will need to sit down and put them in the order you want them on the charms. Some people like symmetry and will want to create a set of four or eight all with the same design. Others will go for the same colors and types of beads but allow for more flexibility when it comes to the actual beading order.

Whichever you choose, you simply will put the beads onto the charm. Then you can use needle-nose pliers or craft pliers to bend the end of the loop if you would like. It is not necessary to do so as long as you can use your finger to bend it enough so that it will stay when put on the stem of the glass. Remember that you are using earring loops, which do need to be bent so that the beads do not come off while the wearer has on the earrings. In your case, however, you just want to make sure there is enough bend that the charm works.

Making a bracelet (or even using the leftover wine loops to create earrings) is the next option for you if you want an easy beading project. You will need to get some beads that will work and then follow the same process for putting the beads onto metal wire. For a necklace, you can purchase ready-made wire sets for necklaces, or you can get a roll of metal wire and clasps separately. Both options are pretty inexpensive and work for beginners, though you will need tools and metal glue or craft glue to put together the necklace end.

You can use the loops you have along with the necklace wire to create for yourself a matching earring and necklace set. These crafting projects are excellent gifts for any number of people who enjoy unique jewelry. You can make them in your favorite colors to go with outfits you have, or you can even try selling them at craft fairs.

Once you have mastered these two basic beading projects, you can move on to bigger projects. Sewing beads onto purses is a great advanced project for people who love beading. Other project
ideas are out there; you just have to look for them. Beading is a relaxing way to spend your free time. If you are disciplined and organized about the whole adventure, then you may just find that you have found a new love in your life.

Remember, of course, to be careful around any infants or small children with your beading projects. They are the perfect size to get stuck in the throats of little ones who are playing with the beads leftover. Make sure they are put away to keep your family safe.

1 comment:

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