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Important Beading Terms

Beading is a creative endeavor that uses small, decorative objects on a thread or string to create jewelry, art and designs. Many people choose to pursue this activity as a hobby, though many people have made it a career. Creating necklaces, bracelets and art this way is a fun and useful enterprise. Here are some important terms in beading.

  • Clasp – This is a metal fastener that links the two end pieces together. It usually has two pieces, one female and one male. The male part will be inserted into the female part and lock into place.
  • Cloisonné – This is technique that is used in metalworking that uses compartments within the metal by soldering thin silver or gold wires on their edges. This separates out the patterns which are then filled with enamel or gemstones.
  • Millefiori – This is a special technique that produces beautiful, interesting patterns on glass. They come in a variety of colors and shapes. It is an ancient technique that is still used to create beautiful necklaces and bracelets.
  • Seed – These are spherical, uniform in shape and come in a variety of sizes and materials, like gems or pearls. Seed is also a colloquial term for those that are smaller in size. They have very small centers and require the use of a specialized long, narrow needle. They are considered the smallest in their class. Starting at size five or six they are classified as pony, and increasing in size as trade or crow.
  • Spacer – The purpose of these items are to separate the beads from each other. They are usually metal, glass or plastic and come in a variety of colors, lengths and widths. They are created to be less noticed than their neighbors and are incorporated into many jewelry patterns.
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    Boston Bead Company -Cambridge
    23 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
    We are a full service bead store that offers only the finest beads, gemstones, pearls, and gem findings in our inventory. We also offer jewelry creation classes and repair services.
    (617) 868-9777
    10 Front St, Salem, MA 01970
    Boston Bead Company is a full service bead store located in historic downtown Salem, MA. We offer an ever-changing selection of the finest beads, gemstones, pearls and findings from around the world. We offer an extensive schedule of classes, parties and jewelry repair services.
    (978) 741-2323
    Bead Addiction
    2000 Main Street, Walpole, MA 02081
    2000 square feet of beading and jewelry making supplies. We host classes, birthday parties, and ladies night out. We carry many name brands and beads from around the world.
    (508) 660-7984
    Dines Suzanne
    333 Washington St Ste 515, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 227-9911
    Lalo Stores
    255 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 437-6666
    Pear Tree The
    1298 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446
    (617) 277-9330
    Ancient Moon
    409 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472
    (617) 926-1887
    Life's A Bead
    404 Trapelo Rd, Belmont, MA 02478
    (617) 489-7222
    Bead & Pearl
    1185 Walnut St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461
    (617) 558-3577
    Doughboy Babygirl Paracord
    31 Franklin St, Lynn, MA 01902
    (617) 216-6956
    Pflora Beads & Such
    355 Turnpike St, Canton, MA 02021
    (781) 828-0655
    15 Stockwell Dr, Avon, MA 02322
    (508) 580-8881
    Built by Beads
    1245 Worcester St, Natick, MA 01760
    (508) 655-5940
    Legacy Beads
    474 Main St Ste 2, Wilmington, MA 01887
    (978) 694-1600
    C Thru Glass
    191 South Ave, Whitman, MA 02382
    (781) 447-0949

    Making your own beaded jewelry is a great way to save money on items like necklaces and bracelets. From seed to glass to plastic beads, there are plenty of options for expressing your personal style. When you are thinking of making a necklace or bracelet, you should first decide on a design so you know what supplies to get. You will probably need to buy wire and clasps, as well as the beads and charms. Or, you could get gold or silver chains to use. You might also want to get spacers if you plan on following a pattern. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make gorgeous jewelry. This craft is easily pursued using cheap materials made out of plastic or glass. If you want to make gem stone jewelry, consider going to a wholesaler. Many will sell loose gem stones such as crystals, diamonds and pearls for less than a regular shop. If you can’t afford gems, consider faceted rhinestones or sequins to add some sparkle to your items. Working with beads takes patience as the little pieces can be challenging to place properly, but stick with it. The proper tools can be really helpful, such as good pliers and a magnifying glass. If this is your first time making jewelry, consider following a pattern to help you get going. Whether you want to make seed jewelry or want to work with diamonds, there is a project for you. Working with beads is a great way to pass the time and make something you can cherish forever.
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