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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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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
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
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
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
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.
To get a closer cut when finishing a project and cutting the string, I like to use nail clippers rather than scissors. They cut closer and more easily than scissors without leaving any excess thread showing.

- Christina from Florida
This tip is in response to the question of the day about knots getting pulled into beads while disassembling a necklace.

Another method of avoiding pulling the knots into the bead is to use a craft knife or utility knife to cut the knots away rather than scissors. The thinner width of the blade will produce less pull against the cord than a pair of scissors.

- Josh from Arkansas
I use a lot of translucent line to string with. I don't know if this is new but I take a bright colored fingernail polish and dip the end of the line into it and allow it to dry and then when I am stringing I can see the end of my line better. Paint would also work.

- Mary from Georgia
Needle Threading

If you are having difficulty threading your needle, try turning the needle upside down, so you are threading from the other side of the hole. Most needle holes are punched, so one side of the hole will always be smoother than the other!

- Alison from Australia
A Corky Break

When beading with a needle or Tigertail™ and need to store it for a day or two, cut a small piece of flat cork and press needle or Tigertail™ end into the cork. The beads won't slip off.

- Glenda from South Africa
Threading Crimp Beads onto Powercord®

Take a foot of 20# Fireline®, loop in middle, go through crimp bead, put Powercord® through the loop, then pull back through the crimp bead. Take out Fireline®. Crimp bead.

- VC from Oregon
Make Your own Beading Needle

I have just started beading, and was getting frustrated trying to get stringing material on the needle. By the time the thread went through the needle, the bead wouldn't slide on because the thread was too thick where it overlapped through the eye of the needle. I twisted the thread and applied some glue to the end so it acted like a self-needle when it dried and that solved the problem.

- Judy, OR
Non-flame Wax Melting

An easy way to melt your wax when using to coat thread is to hold the corner for a few seconds against the openings in a metal lampshade (you don't want to actually touch the hot bulb). The heat from the light bulb does a great job of melting the wax. Place the thread with your finger on top of the wax so it sinks into the wax and push some of the melted wax onto the thread.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Adding Thread to a Project

When you feel like your thread can go no further and you only have about 3 to 4 inches left, stop making fringe. Thread a new length of thread onto a new needle. Bring the needle through the next bead in the core. Pull the thread through until you have a 3-inch tail. Knot the new tail and the old thread together. Add one more fringe using your old thread; pass the needle through the next core bead, then knot the old thread and your new working thread together.

As the size 8 seed beads begin to fill with thread, you may find it's harder to get your needle through - pull the needle with the chain-nose pliers if you need help.

When you're done adding fringe, end your thread by working back through the core to the last thread tail you have. Make a surgeon's knot with the two thread, then continue passing the thread through a few size 8 beads, making half-hitch knots as you go.

When you're done, trim all thread ends. Place the crimp covers over the crimp beads and then close them gently with chain-nose pliers.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Thread Tip

Cut thread on an angle for easier threading. This will make it easier to thread through small needle eyes, as well as prevent it from fraying.

- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip
Easy Wax Melting

If you wax your thread with beeswax, melt a corner of the wax just to soften it up. This way when you run your thread through it the wax won't cake up and your thread will stick together nicely.

- Yvonne Cornelius, Jewelry Crafts, March/April 2006
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