The cords of different colors that are made of rubber, to put on memory wire, can be used as earring backings. You simply cut a pair of small pieces, and you have instant backings! The whole in the tubing is just the right size for the size of earring wires.
When you need to pick up those tiny beads and just can't seem to get a hold of them. I found that using tape, either regular or double-sided, and wrap it around your pointer finger of the opposite hand you're holding the needle, eyepins, etc, it makes it so much easier to do. The tape not only picks it up but holds it still so you can thread it.
When threading needles, instead of bringing the thread to the needle, hold the very tip of the thread between thumb and forefinger and lower the eye of the needle onto the thread. I find this technique much less frustrating.
The Bead Buddies® with the plastic grips--I found that the slick plastic was hard to hold onto even with the little bumps on them. So I used a nail file and filed off the bumps and glued on VELCRO®, cut to size.
I use cake pans (9x13 or 8x8) to put my beads in while I'm beading. I line them with felt or tea towels to keep the beads from rolling around. You can scrunch up the towel into sections to keep bead groups separate.
When doing mass production of earrings (i.e., 24 pairs for a cheerleading squad), I put all the beads on each headpin and line then up "assembly line" style. I place a rubber earnut to hold the beads in place until I go back to form the loop and attach it to the earwire. There is no reason you couldn't do this for any pair you're making; doesn't have to be for a large number. I find them easier to use than beadclips.
When threading a small needle for beading seed beads, the one thing that I find works is to take a small drop of clear fingernail polish and dab it on the end of the thread. Then take your forefinger and thumb removing the excess polish and making a fine point tip on the thread.
I keep a chunk of regular wax around not just for keeping my thread from fraying, but heat it up just right, thread the wax like a bead, and it's a great bead-stopper! Just make sure it's cooled off enough not to melt to your needle!
I made an inexpensive bail using a 3" eyepin. I uncurled and straightened the end, measured the length and folded the wire in half using my round-nosed pliers. At this point I added a jumpring to the bend. Holding the assembly by the jumpring I measured up about 1/3" from the jumpring and used the round-nosed pliers to bend the two wires forward 45 degrees. Then I bent both wires into a large curve backwards with the round-nosed pliers until the wires met the jumpring. I draped the wires over my necklace after I spread the wires apart in a "V" so that each wire lay on either side of my center bead on the necklace. I grasped the necklace at the center bead and used my flat-nosed pliers to wrap one of the wires around the bail above the jumpring in a downward wrap. This traps the second wire. I then wrapped the second wire in a upward motion over the previous wrap. Clip both ends if needed. The bail looks good from front and back.
If working with polyclay and you want to give an antiqued look to an item, after baked and cooled, get a glaze used for bisque. You place it aside for 10-15 minutes then wipe. Then use clear fingernail polish or a resin and cover it. Glaze collects in the creases and gives piece more dimension.
If you don't have a big eye beading needle, then just use a length of soft wire. Put your thread through one end then squeeze together, put a dab of super glue to the tip of the other end to hold the two pieces. It works perfectly for me. Thanks.
I have another suggestion for Terri, who asked the experts on Tuesday, about using a broken briolette. I had one and I glued it to a silver bead cap. Before I glued it, I used a head pin to make a wrapped loop out of the top of the cap and then glued the broken tip of the briolette into the cap. It is now beautiful, the broken edge doesn't show and I don't have to worry about stressing the repair.
If the stretch elastic breaks on your bracelet or necklace, use single or doubled strand bobbin elastic (used in sewing and "honey-combing" clothes) to replace and rejuvenate your bracelet or necklace. Finish the knot with a dab of glue.
When making a necklace using wire/coated thread, use a plastic earnut as a temporary end (as a placeholder). I found this great when seed beading--for the beginning tail and then when you put down/pick up your project again.