Aug 15, 2017

Bead School Now Open

Those tiny little beads, known as seed beads, have been planted firmly into the Beadshop curriculum. To help beaders learn new bead weaving techniques, we’ve created a special place on Beadshop’s Web site just for them: Seed Bead School

Seed Bead School Inna Kit
Registration is not required to start learning at this school. Plus, you can work at your own pace and create your own homework and assignments. Begin by getting all the tools and supplies you need with the Seed Bead School Inna Kit. If you are new to working with seed beads, this kit is a fast and economical way to make sure you have all you need to get started weaving with seed beads. It includes a package of beading needles, which are thinner than regular sewing needles, as well as Clear Blue KO Thread, made of fine nylon, and beeswax, used to condition the thread so that it makes it easier to weave through the beads.  To also help you create an area to bead, this kit has a metal triangle tray to scoop and store your beads and a bead mat to work over. Additionally, the kit has a selection of seed beads in black, white, and a contrasting blue. This color trio will help you learn the basics. 

Chloe ~ Project and Sample by Emily Miller
Once you acquire some basic supplies and tools, you can take off from there and work through many of the free projects available on the Seed Bead School page. An excellent beginner project is the Beaded Berry Chain, a project developed by Emily Miller, who often appears with Kate during Beadshop's weekly Facebook Live Shows

Early Morning Ombre ~ Project and Sample by Emily Miller
Peyote is another lesson available at Beadshop's Seed Bead School. Currently two projects, Early Morning Ombre and Golden Ombre, are available as free downloadable instructions. For a limited time, these will also both be available in kit form, but they sell out quickly, so check Beadshop's selection of kits often and catch either after they are restocked.  

High Tea ~ Project by Emily Miller and Sample by Kate Richbourg
Seed beaders who are interested in adding another new stitch to their schedule will be ready learn Spiral Rope, which has three variations so far: High Tea; Fog Over the Bay; and All in Black + White. This rope technique can be used to make necklaces, bracelets, or anklets. Just adjust the total length of the piece as needed.

More projects are in development and will be added to Seed Bead School, so check back often. 

Aug 11, 2017

Free Tip Friday Silk Road Necklace with Boho Components!

Thanks for watching our #FreeTipFriday on FB LIVE. We had a lot of fun creating our NEW Silk Road necklace on air together. If you haven't watched it yet, here is the link to Youtube.

In addition to the Modern Woman Bib component, and Plum tassels, Kate used the following beads:

 The findings and stringing materials used:

You can follow along in the video for exact details on constructing the piece. Kate began by adding the dangles and tassels to the bib component.

You can find more details on wire wrapping using a headpin in our skill builder on Kate also referenced the how to wire wrap a briolette skill builder for tips on how she wrapped the tassels.

After completing the embellishment on the bib, it's time to string. Along with the techniques in this episode, find more tips on stringing with Soft Flex in our FB LIVE broadcasts Soft Flex 101 parts one & two as well as our skill builder; Using Crimps, Guardians, and Covers.

It is a fun and fast project to create! Thanks for watching and we'd love to see what you make using our fantastic bib components

Aug 10, 2017

The Tiara Challenge

We have a lot of fun here at’s certainly not all work and no play! And when our new Tiara Frames arrived soon after Kate’s Free Tip Friday video on beaded hairpins aired...well, a challenge was born!

We’ve created ours, now it’s time for you to create yours. Purchase a Tiara Frame in either Silver or Gold, and get beading! Use whatever you like, beads from your personal stash or our shop...we did! Take some beautiful photos (of both the tiara alone, and if you’re not camera-shy, of you wearing it!) and send them to us at, by September 30, 2017. Winners will be announced shortly after...with gift card prizes!
1st place: $75 gift card
2nd place: $50 gift card
3rd place: $25 gift card
Check out the beadshop team’s tiaras below for inspiration...will you wire wrap like Janice and Ivan? Create an ocean vibe like Cara and Louise? Use chain like Karen, charms like Grace? The possibilities are’re limited only by your imagination!

Baranduin - Rising

We often see inspiration in fire, the stars, the sun...Baranduin’s beautiful tiara uses wire to create a very sunny look!

I was inspired by an art piece I made years ago for a family gathering which was a wire wrap of a sun with feet.”

A multi-textured look of both color and shape, Baranduin’s “flames” are created using wires in different metal finishes and sizes. From one end of her silver Tiara Frame to the other the wires fan out. She’s used bronze, gold, silver, and copper...framing her beaming face, she really does look like a sun goddess.

Cara - Mermaid Dream

Cara started out with a palette inspired by the colors of beads in the “extras” boxes in the office. Looking for a way to add height, she started creating swirls with 16 gauge wire, though she wasn’t quite sure where the design would take her…

“The beads and pink pearls especially seemed like colors and baubles a mermaid would wear! The swirls seemed to turn into waves…”

Completing her look with with the gorgeous Tiffany Flower Czech Glass Button in Sea Green, Cara also added Silver Little Shadows and a host of pearls and baubles (some from her personal stash...don’t you wish we had those pink pearls??). It’s definitely a Mermaid’s Dream.

Drea - Myasthenia Princess

Drea has a confession to make...she is a princess-loving fool. So as soon as the words "Tiara Challenge" were out of Kate's mouth she was ready for this. 

The inspiration came quickly...Drea was recently diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, sometimes called The Snowflake Disease because it affects each patient so differently...but “beading is great therapy and this was a great project to energize me.” Using teal, the awareness color for MG, and a snowflake motif, Drea bead-embroidered patterns with superduos, seed beads, and 4mm fire polish. C-lon and True-2s Macrame’d up the sides kept the base simple.

Grace - Ornate Boho

Grace’s golden tiara was inspired by the bohemian look. “I love organic things that exude life and happiness.”

Using leaf charms and wire to build, Grace completed her piece by adding a hint of color to counterbalance all the gold: Czech Rollers in Champagne and Olive Copper paired with Sueded Gold Jonquil Fire Polish

The details are exquisite, even wire-wrapping the leaves and their "stems." Overall, it creates a look that’s powerfully feminine without being overly girly-girl...just like Grace.

Ivan - Prince Medley

Of course, Ivan had to join the challenge. Who says tiaras aren’t for men? While not a beader, Ivan certainly rose to the occasion by creating a jewel-encrusted band fit for a king.

“I was inspired by my teammates! While I don’t have as much beading knowledge, their enthusiasm was infectious.”

With mixed metals and a selection of Dakota stones (Devotion and Greek Moon), Czech Glass, and tribal Shadows beads, Ivan created an almost color-blocked design (so on-trend right now!) with his wire-wrapped patterns and colors. We think he knocked this challenge out of the park.

Janice - Charlotte

"It's really fun to encrust a tiara, bobby pin, hair comb, or even a bead with this style of wire wrapping.”

To get the symmetrical yet eclectic look, as Janice worked on one side, she set aside a like-bead for the other side. The Rhodonite and Rose Quartz Pavers are large but flat, so encrusting them with layers of wire and little beads is lots of fun. Janice rounds out her design with an assortment of pearls, Czech glass, and seed beads, all in pastel pinks and creams, and with a hint of blue for fun and interest. 

Named for her goddaughter, the Charlotte tiara is beading royalty.

Jen - Goddess

Jen gives “encrusted” a new meaning...a simple gold band is made anything but simple with a collection of 6mm Fire Polish in several colors inspired by one of the first mixes Jen made, "the midnight mix." 

Rather than neatly wire-wrapping a single row of beads around her tiara, Jen gave her beads a bit more freedom as she created layers and gives her crown texture and depth. 

This piece definitely has a Gypsy Goddess vibe, like a treasure chest of jewels just waiting to adorn your head. To recreate this color story, you’ll want to stick with a cool blue/purple family, and add hints of gold and brown for warmth.

Karen - Shadow Queen

Winter has come...and Karen is Queen of the North in this beauty. 

“I was actually inspired by the white walkers from Game of Thrones and my love of the icy white winters.” Known for its exceptional costuming, we think Karen's work could easily be featured on the show.

Her 16 gauge wire frame is draped with silver figaro chains, white moonstone chips, and a selection of 4mm fire polish in snowy whites and silvers, Karen’s tiara is a masterpiece. Using skull beads and a pentacle pendant from her personal stash, she really made it her own.

Kate - Deco Dream

Kate has always loved the hair ornaments of the 1920's. “When I was working on the design, I saw my Lalique Looming Cuff in Nymphs and thought I would continue that theme into my Tiara.”

Kate wanted something with a starburst silhouette since that is a very period style for hair ornaments. The color samples she strung up on eyepins for the FB LIVE broadcast were still together, so she started there and the design evolved onward. Coiling leather around a Czech Glass button, Kate’s bugle beads radiate outward...simply glorious. Check out her process on this Free Tip Friday broadcast.

Louise - Beaded Waves

Summertime is wedding time, and in California many couples choose the beach as their location to tie the knot. “The soft, delicate colors of the waves and sand inspired my tiara design for either the bride or perhaps the flower girl.”

Memory wire in the ring size was beaded with a collection of blue 2mm Czech glass and peachy seed beads, along with some Silver Little Shadows and Copper seed beads. The ring Memory Wire “spring”  gave dimension to the tiara and while Louise used silk flowers, she thinks fresh flowers woven into the memory wire loops would be even prettier.

Aug 9, 2017

Join Kate, Janice, & Drea at BeadFest Philly!!

Hey Everybody!

As mentioned on our FB LIVE broadcast, we are holding a little meet & greet at BeadFest Philly for anyone who would like to join us at the show.

Here are the details:
When: Saturday, August 19 at 4:30 PM

Where: Kate's classroom at BeadFest Philly.  Located in the big classroom area, Kate's classroom is number 16 and will be marked. Directions to the Expo Center in Oaks PA is at this link. You'll come in at the main show entrance and make your way to the classroom area and classroom 16.

Who & Why: Meet Kate, Janice, and Drea for drinks and snacks from 4:30-5:30. We'd love it if you'd wear or bring your jewelry made from tutorials! We can't wait to meet you!

If you do plan on joining us, or have any questions, drop Kate an email.

Admission to the show is not free, but BeadFest has kindly created a discount coupon for reduced admission to the show. Click here to purchase your show pass. Your ticket is good for all three days to the show. There is so much to do and experience at the show!

There are still a few spots left in Kate's classes at the show, click here for more info on how to enroll. We can't wait to meet you!

Aug 7, 2017

Connecting Components

Flower Child Antique Brass
Next to beads, jewelry components can help you add interesting design elements to your finished jewelry pieces. Components that work as connectors to the various elements that make up jewelry are especially useful, and they can come in very simple forms or have extremely elaborate details. Beadshop carries an assortment of connecting components and has recently added new ones to its inventory.

Flower Child Antique Brass is 30mm by 19mm in diameter and has four loops, two at the top and two at the bottom, that you can attach other jewelry elements to such as chain or wire. It is platted brass and hypo-allergenic, and, as always, Beadshop has made sure the plating is free of nickel and lead-safe (which means it meets California Proposition 65 requirements). This connector component is also available in an antiqued copper finish as well as antique silver finish

Boho Bib Antique Copper
For bigger and bolder looks, consider Boho Bib 70mm (pictured above) or Modern Woman 109mm (pictured below).

Modern Woman Antique Brass
Boho Bib comes in three antique finishes: copper, silver, and brass. The term "bib" refers to the fact that you can use this in the center of a necklace so that it hugs around the wearer's collarbone. With 15 loops on one side, this allows you to add a large number of drop elements such as wire wrapped briolettes

Step up the scale with the antiqued finished copper, silver, or brass Modern Woman, which has even more dangle element possibilities since it boasts 42 loops on the curved portion of the component. 

Madrid Gold 19 x 32mm Filigree Connector
If you are more in the mood to create classic style jewelry, then some of the connectors that have been part of the Beadshop site for some time may be a better fit. For example, Madrid (pictured in gold finish) is a beautiful filigree piece. Just use head pins, ear wires, and your choice of beads to make fast earrings that look amazing. 

No matter if you crave boho-chic or fun and flirty, connectors can open up your imagination!

Aug 4, 2017

Bead Size Clarification

Beads for jewelry making come in many shapes and are made up of all kinds of materials, from glass to metal to stones. Basically, almost any item with a hole through it constitutes a bead. One issue for beaders is making sure they have the right beads for their jewelry designs, and part of this requires determining the size of the beads used, both the outer diameter as well as the size of the hole through the bead. This can get confusing, especially when moving from seed beads to gemstone or crystal beads because the same rules for labeling the size of a bead do not fit all types of beads. 

Dakota Stone Beads

Gemstone and Glass Sizing:

Most gemstone beads and Czech glass beads are sized by the metric system and normally the size is identified by a number followed by “mm,” which stands for millimeter. So, for example, if you are purchasing round carnelian beads that are categorized as being 8mm in size, that means the outside diameter of the bead is approximately 8mm, and this measurement does not indicate the size of the hole through the bead. The larger the bead, however, the larger the hole through the bead will usually be. So 8mm gemstone beads will have larger holes than 4mm gemstone beads. 

Duracoat Galvanized Sea Green 8/0

Seed Bead Sizing: 

Many of the seed beads available at Beadshop are manufactured by the Japanese company Miyuki. Rather than use the same system for measurement that gemstone and crystal bead sizes are identified with, seed beads have an entirely different method. They are identified with a number, a slash, and a zero. Additionally, the larger the number the smaller the seed bead size, so this is opposite of the system used for measuring gemstone beads. For example, size 6/0 seed beads are larger than 11/0 seed beads

Experimentation is one of the best ways to become more comfortable with using different beads in different sizes. The more jewelry you make, the more confident you will be as you decide on the best size beads for your jewelry designs. 

Aug 2, 2017

Connections: 8.2.17

We never get tired of hearing how you’re doing with a project, what you love about Facebook LIVE, and how you connect with our learning, our team, and our worldwide beading community. It’s that connection that keeps us doing what we’re doing.

We wanted to give your submissions a real home; we believe they deserve it! So, we decided to create a special section on our blog for showcasing the work done by you, our viewers. We’re going to call it “Connections.”

We hope you enjoy seeing what others are doing. It’s inspiring to us, so we think you will be too. And, if you’d like to share what you’re doing, please send in your photos with an email to us at

If you haven’t yet joined us on Facebook LIVE, we are on every Wednesday at 10:30am PT. You can also watch us later in rebroadcasts on Youtube or on
~Drea (and kate and janice and emily and the whole team)

These first four beauties come to us from Shingle Springs, CA, where longtime viewer and customer Susan W. has created a Stretch Therapy and Poetry matching set in lush greens.
Check out our Green Color Collection to further inspire your next Green Project.

"Recently I decided to make bracelets for my friends and family. I ask them to go to, pick out a style and color, and I will create the piece from my bead stash, plus some beads from that I had to have.

I've been having so much fun!! And my friends and family are loving their pieces."

Su also showed off a second lovely Poetry design and a colorful Bits & Pieces. We love that she uses "made with love" charms on her can tell that each piece really is made with lots and lots of love! 

Thanks so much for sharing, Su! We can't wait to see what you create next!

Mireille B., from Quebec, has also been busily beading. She sent us photos of her really cool version of Across Cultures. Her personal touches give this bracelet a really natural, earthy vibe, and her pretty color choices are inspired! We are in love, Mireille!

"I use beads from my stash, including the Turquoise Picasso Rollers and the beautiful Little Shadows in Antique Copper. I change things up a bit by using wood beads in place of metal beads and a macramé closure. Thank you everyone at the for the endless inspiration and the quality products you offer."

Also used in this bracelet:

Tierra Heishi in Bright Silver and Antique Copper

Donna H. from Tallassee, Alabama, has been watching FB Live and creating her own versions of our ideas. She's made what we think of as a miniature Off The Cuff, using Full Chrome Bugles and Safari 8mm Rounds.

Her macrame and leather wrap bracelet incorporates some beautiful summer colors:

Donna used hemp cords, but her vibrant color story can be recreated in C-Lon using Venetian Red, Tangerine, Latte, Sky Blue, and Medium Brown.

Last but not least, let's show off a little something Debbie M. of Reno, NV created. She's taken our Nantucket 7-wrap Tahoe design and updated it with a Full Lotus Charm, Blue 6/0s, and metal sliders, much like she did with her USA-themed Summer Tahoe we shared a few weeks ago

I'm ending with a cliffhanger here...Debbie is in the middle of a major project, creating a series of four matching bracelets, including TWO Across Cultures, with a special theme and a special cause...stay tuned, because we'll be telling you all about them soon!  

Bead School Now Open

Those tiny little beads, known as seed beads, have been planted firmly into the Beadshop curriculum. To help beaders learn new bead weaving ...