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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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    Usrey's Rock Bin
    72445 Highway 101, Lakeside, OR 97449
    (541) 759-2321
    Usrey's Rock Bin
    72445 Highway 101, Lakeside, OR 97449
    (541) 759-2321
    Sage Place
    525 11th St Se, Bandon, OR 97411
    (541) 329-0303
    Michaels
    780 Nw Garden Valley Blvd Ste 170, Roseburg, OR 97471
    (541) 464-8038
    Waterlity Studio Jewelry & Beads
    595 Highway 101, Florence, OR 97439
    (541) 999-6308
    Waterlily Studio Jewelry & Beads
    1901 Highway 101 Unit 1, Florence, OR 97439
    (541) 997-7339
    Bead Mecca
    425 S Main St, Canyonville, OR 97417
    (541) 839-6688
    Bead Merchant The
    300 Sw 6th St, Grants Pass, OR 97526
    (541) 471-0645
    Nelson The Rocky Feller
    1509 W 6th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402
    (541) 687-8100
    Baker Bay Bead Co
    35655 Shoreview Dr, Dorena, OR 97434
    (541) 942-3941
    Harlequin Beads and Jewelry
    1027 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401
    (541) 683-5903
    Azillion Beads
    1011 Valley River Way Ste 108, Eugene, OR 97401
    (541) 338-8311
    Tortuga Trading Company
    260 Sw Highway 101, Waldport, OR 97394
    (541) 563-7474
    The Bead Addiction
    1449 Mohawk Blvd, Springfield, OR 97477
    (541) 357-5004
    Bead Niche The
    15608 Highway 101 S, Brookings, OR 97415
    (541) 469-5839


    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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