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Simple Tips

Have a great beading idea, technique or time-saving tip? View helpful tips from other beaders and submit your own to share with the worldwide jewelry-making community.

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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.

- Heidi
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.

- Trinna
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.

- Denise
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.

- Sydney
Loop-closing pliers work great on closing the stardust crimp covers!

- Beth
Lost a button? Have a shirt that reveals a little too much but safety pins look weird or are too hard to pin?

Use any flat-back crystal, pearl or focal bead with a tie tac finding! Now you have an easy to place, stylish "button" anytime you need it!

- Karen
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.

- Joan
When designing a necklace, I hold a few beads aside for matching or coordinating earrings. No more using up all the beads in the necklace with nothing left to make earrings!

- Mary
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.

- Karen
You can stain white plastic focals and pendants with a container of just brewed black tea. Let it cool to warm so the plastic doesn't melt and soak it for 2-3 hours.

- Sydney
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.

- Yvonne
To help in picking up small beads use finger cots. You can get these at your local pharmacy. They are used to protect finger wounds. Put one on your index finger and thumb.

- Lynn
Instead of a knotting tool I use a bead-tipped straight pin. After inserting the pin through the knot I push the end into a small piece of soft wood, gives great control and tight knots.

- Donald
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!

- Victoria
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.

- Denise
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.

- Penny
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.

- Carol
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.

- Sandy West
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.

- Cecilia from Singapore
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.

- Kathie from the U.S.
139 Items(s) Found.
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