Sep 22, 2017

Free Tip Friday: Making Wire Beads with Kate

Thanks for watching today's #FreeTipFriday. It was fun making wire beads with you.

For this technique you'll need the following tools:
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Flush Wire Cutters
Nylon Jaw pliers
Tape Measure

And the following materials:
18 g wire
6mm, 8mm and 10mm round beads or beads of your choice.

I also used earwires, headpins and eyepins to turn the components into earrings.

Check out the #FreeTipFriday video for the step-by-step directions. I'd love to see how you adapt this fun technique to your designs. -Kate

Sep 20, 2017

Facebook Trunk Show!

Hold on to your hats, everyone! This is huge.

Kate's hosting a Facebook Trunk Sale and we have all the details for you right here.

Janice showing off some Trunk Show goodies!

Here is how it will go... Kate will make a single post to start the sale. This will not be a live video. In the comments Kate will post a photo of each item, how many we have, and the price. Comment underneath the photo with how many you want to buy. Comments to claim product are taken as first-come, first-serve according to what Kate sees on her computer screen. Kate will let you know she's seen your claim with a "like."

Once you've finished shopping, email us at with your PayPal email and we'll tally up your total and send you a PayPal request. At this time we will only be accepting payments for FB Trunk Show purchases through PayPal.

Shipping is $6.95 Flat Rate to US addresses $13 International (including Canada) for as many goodies as you can fit in that box!! 

These beads are not available on our website and they are not eligible for any sales or coupons we may have going on in our shop. These are all priced for a trunk sale so you are getting HUGE savings! And please note... all sales are final.

Who: Kate and YOU!
What: The Ultra-Fabulous Trunk Sale 
When: Thursday, 9.21.17 at 10:30am PST
Where: The Facebook Page
How: Items for sale will be posted in the comments! 

Mix Up Your Beads

There's nothing like a beading cocktail to mix up your jewelry designs, and beadshop has started whipping up a mix of beads each month for you. Start collecting all the mixes now and enjoy this easy way to add amazing color to your jewelry pieces. Each of our Monthly Mixes are available for a limited time, so make sure you sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications of new mixes when they first come available. 

Strawberry Lemonade
Strawberry Lemonade started it all this summer as the first mix of beads in this new collection. Use this mix as part of a pretty Float Away necklace. 

Summer Sky
Summer Sky came next and is made up of eight different bead choices. Blues and greens are always popular selections when it comes to beading designs. For project ideas, consider our free Soft Flex 101 projects. 
Harvest Time
Finally, Harvest Time is our most recent addition to the Monthly Mixes collection. Use these to create some of the wonderful Looming Projects available on See how Kate used it in a #FreeTipFriday broadcast this Summer.

Sometimes it can take just as long to decide on the color of beads you plan to use as it does to actually bead a jewelry piece. Each mix starts with an assortment of color combinations to  inspire and save you time and help you get right to the beading as soon as possible. 

Sep 8, 2017

Free Tip Friday: Harvest Time Wrap

Hey All!

What a fun time on Free Tip Friday today! I am so glad you enjoyed the broadcast for Harvest Time Wrap.

It's a great way to stretch your creativity and use up some items in your bead stash. Or better yet, grab our newest Monthly Bead Mix and get stringing!

The finished piece I made measures 60 inches total. It wraps three times around my neck or nine times around my wrist. It's a perfect layering piece. 

As promised, here is the materials and tools list for what you will need to make your own wrap.

1 tube Harvest Time Seed Bead Mix
1 strand Drops- Jade Picasso
1 strand 6mm Melons- Champagne Turquoise Picasso
1 length Wheat Chain- Antique Copper ( I used about 8")
1 spool SoftFlex .014- Golden Bronze
1 pkg Beadsmith Crimp Tubes- Copper
1 pkg Wire Guardians- Antique Copper

Check out the #FreeTipFriday broadcast (posted below) for all the how-to details.

 Learn stringing and patterning techniques

 Link chain using wire guardians and crimps.

Drops add color and texture to the design.

Watch the broadcast below and let us know what you make! We'd love to see how you are inspired by this piece.

Sep 6, 2017

Connections: 9.6.17

Hello again, dear friends! I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing long weekend! If you spent some of that time beading, be sure to send me your work, I'd love to feature it in a future Connections post. Just email them to me at the customer service email: As for today, we’ve got some really stunning pieces to show off, so pull up a chair and get ready to be inspired!

Happy beading!

From Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, comes Lynn C. and her beautiful blues. A simple pair of earrings using our Tide’s Out in Marina matched with some beads and components from her own stash, they really do stand out. Love those patterned jump rings, Lynn! And your wirework is impeccable--perfect coils make a piece look so professional. 

Let me just preface this next submission from Lynn as being a favorite of mine…I am a Superduo fan, but I am also a fan of fancy knots! And this knot is so gorgeous…what a fantastic way to end and begin a ladder bracelet! Lynn told me it’s called a Josephine Knot, and with Josephine being my grandmother’s name…well, I had to learn how to do it! Lynn was kind enough to send me a diagram she found on Pinterest…mine don’t look as perfect as Lynn’s, but I did give it a try! Lynn’s beautiful Seashore-inspired wrap uses Picasso Turquoise Blue and Silver Superduos (try Full Labrador if you'd like to make a similar design), Metallic Grey 1.5mm leather, and Fireline—which we just started carrying in the shop!

“I've been making the ladder bracelets for a good many years but I have learned some great tips from Kate and Janice's broadcasts and the project lessons.  As the saying goes, ‘Even an old dog can learn new tricks!’"

Next up is some pretty looming sent in from Sheila A. in Arroyo Grande, CA. Using our Strawberry Lemonade Monthly Mix and some turquoise and gold beads from her own stash. Would you believe this is Sheila’s first loomed piece? It’s so very well done. She used an Endless Loom and says “all in all it was great fun and a rewarding experience.”  Our newest Monthly Mix, Harvest Time, is just out! We think it'd look great loomed or woven, and takers? Show us your work!

Debbie M. from Reno sends me her version of our project Homewood. She’s changed the button to our Giant Sunflower, and she’s also mixed up the pattern sequence and added some short sections of macrame, which all looks really great! She’s also added in some Empathy in Picture Jasper to use as charms, those heart-shaped jaspers are beauties! Debbie likes to create a project in our color ways first to learn, then to re-create or adjust in her own colors and styles. It's a great way to learn a technique or project and then make it your own.

Debbie also created these leather earrings. How cute are these? They’re very light, she says, which is great for women wanting a larger or longer earring without the weight. Black leather, a pair of foldover crimps, and some Shadows and Sliders…easy-peasy! This is a great way to use up some leftover leather that’s too short for a bracelet. Smart, Debbie!

Kendra D. from San Geronimo, CA, sent Kate a photo of her completed Brick Stitch project after watching Emily’s FB Live Broadcast. The stitch was a challenge for her…or so she claims. It looks perfect to us! We’d never have known! Kendra has a few pearls of wisdom for us and anyone else starting bead weaving: “I would encourage using matte 8/0 seed beads, even with the tension issue, I found them easier to see and maneuver. I also watched the video over and over to see how the first row of brick stitch was done…ie from what angle did the needle enter the beads. I used a shorter, squatter size  #10 needle so I could see it enter and exit ‘cleanly’ through a bead or a stitch.”

Good tips, Kendra, and thanks!! Using full Tilas in Mustard, Picasso Seafoam Green 8/0s, and her own button…this is a great work of art! 

One question we are asked often is “what’s a good men’s bracelet?” While we do have a few projects that are easily unisex, we have the Herringbone Ladder single wrap that was designed for men. Debbie G., our resident St. Louis Cardinals fan, made one of these and then adjusted the design to make two more. She makes them for her adult sons, which we think is really sweet!
This first one is straight out of Lauren Hartman’s Herringbone Ladder project. Using Picasso Opaque Coral Red Superduos and 8/0s on the edge, dark brown leather and a button that looks like a Buffalo Nickel coin.

These two of Debbie's own design are very cool. Rather than add beads on the outer edges of the Superduo herringbone, she’s added a bead in the center. It’s still a chevron look but with a distinctive flair. We’re loving it! She says they're a silver-lined clear 8/0, which would give a little shine without being feminine. It's like a racing stripe...what guy wouldn't like that??

These two use Crystal Bronze Fire Red and Jet Picasso Superduos, respectively. They also both use a clear 8/0 in the center, and Natural leather, and Debbie's own buttons. Your sons are lucky guys, Debbie!

Thanks, as always, everyone, for sending in your beautiful work. If you would like to be featured, too, send your photos to me at with "Connections" in the subject line.

Sep 5, 2017

Queen of Beads

Cara - Mermaid Dream
Are you busy designing your entry for beadshop's Tiara Challenge? Hopefully, at this point you have at least decided which frame to use, silver or gold, and you are well on your way to finishing and submiting your entry by the deadline, which is coming up pretty soon!

Once you finish your beautiful tiara, what next? Who will be the recipient of this beaded piece? If you are looking for suggestions, here you go:

  • Gift the beaded tiara to a friend. What about a BFF who needs a little pick me up? A bead-encrusted headpiece made by you will definitely put a smile on her face.
  • Then there is the person on your gift list who has everything. I bet she doesn't have a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted tiara.
  • Do you have any brides-to-be in your family? Ask if you could create something for her for her bridal shower, bachelorette party, or even her wedding.
  • An upcoming event could warrant a crown. Drea made her tiara in the same colors as the awareness ribbon for an upcoming fundraising walk.
  • Any young girl in your family would more than appreciate a crown to wear. Do you have a little princess in your life who would enjoy the magic of your beaded creation?
  • Finally, there is no need to gift it at all. Keep it for yourself. After all, you deserve it.
Janice - Charlotte
If you are still looking for some creative inspiration to get your tiara underway, make sure to take a look at The Tiara Challenge blog post. You will see the tiaras made by beadshop staff, and all the rules for entering are listed there as well. 

Oh, and of course, one big reason to join in the fun is the possibility of winning. Winners will be announced shortly after the September 30th deadline and awarded with gift card prizes: 1st place: $75 gift card; 2nd place: $50 gift card; and 3rd place: $25 gift card. 

Aug 25, 2017

Free Tip Friday: Wire Rings and Buttons!

Hey Gang!

I am so excited to share this fun and easy technique for making wire rings. All you need are a few materials and tools and you are on your way!

You'll need the following tools:

Materials needed:

Buttons. I used the following:

Czech Glass


I used a variety of wire, but mostly 16 and 18 gauge for the ring bands. I wove with 26 and 28 gauge and used Gilding Matte 11/0 Seed beads to embellish the weaving.

I think the results are really great and it's so easy to create a ring for every finger! (Plus... they will make great holiday gifts! It's never too early to start gift making.)

Check out the entire FTF video below and let me know what you make! I'd love to see it. Email photos to kate at beadshop dot com.

Have fun!

Free Tip Friday: Making Wire Beads with Kate

Thanks for watching today's #FreeTipFriday. It was fun making wire beads with you. For this technique you'll need the following...