As soon as you read the title of this article you're probably already on board with the idea of using promo beads in your designs because the idea appeals to you as a great way to help keep the cost down. Okay, you say, "Tell me more and show me how." Promotional-quality beads are also known as "commercial" or "C" grade quality and were originally used by jewelry manufacturers so they could offer jewelry at a lower price. The trade-off for the lower price is an occasional bead with some flat spots or mild irregularities in the drilling. But most of these beads, sold in packs of 10 strands, work just fine. Many jewelry designers will gladly put up with the minor inconvenience of using this grade--such as rejecting beads that don't match up well with the others, positioning beads or using other elements to hide their defects--in return for the significant price savings.
You can create a design that's inexpensive and make it look like beaucoup bucks. Here's a simple, but effective use of 6mm white howlite promo beads in a bracelet with Hill Tribes fine silver beads and macramé leather cord.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads jewelry designer Rose W. used 4mm black silk stone promo beads along with 4mm and 6mm red "malachite" promo beads for her bracelet and earring set. Rose says, "I love using these beads! You get so many beads and they're so affordable. A few of them need to be used in more casual or basic designs, but most of them I can use even in high end jewelry pieces."
Promo beads work as great fillers or spacers. And you have lots of design choices because they are available in a variety of colors and materials. Here we present two designs using promo beads from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads jewelry designer Esther P.
Design Idea C82F with brown snowflake jasper promo beads
||Brown snowflake jasper promo beads in 4mm and 6mm rounds were used by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads jewelry designer Jude W. for her double-strand necklace and earring set. Jude wants you to know: "I love working with promo beads and being able to have 4, 6, and 8mm sizes to choose from to build and design interesting variations. The amount of beads I won't use is minimal. Also, the wide selection of gemstones in the promo beads allows me to use them in many different types of styles and combinations with other beads and components."
She used 4mm and 8mm round cherry "quartz" glass promo beads in her design idea of earrings with gold-plated "pewter" beads and gold-plated bead caps.
Esther's triple-strand bracelet, uses 6mm and 8mm sodalite promo beads that work well with Swarovski crystal beads and antiqued brass-finished steel chain.
Esther explains how easy it is to work with promo beads: "When coming across any imperfections using promo beads the majority of flaws can easily be covered with a bead cap. They can also be used in the ‘behind the scene filler beads' without detracting from your design. The savings that using promo beads gives you can be used in a more expensive, eye-catching focal to increase the appeal."
You can easily find promo beads on the Fire Mountain Gems website in the left navigation under Beads. Promo beads free you to explore more inspirations--and just think of the great prices you can pass along to your customers!
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