Advantages of Bead Kits

Kits are a pretty hot commodity in our beading community, and I love to buy them, bead them, and create my own. Jill Wiseman started posting on her status when she was makingthekits (yes, all one word) and now others in the Facebook beading community post the word as well. There is also a nice range of difficulty of kits from basic beginner to advanced. So what is it about the little bags of beads, smartly labeled and complete with instructions? Well, in this article, I try to answer that question by outlining the advantages and benefits of bead kits.

Tila Tornado Kits, available when the Bead Circle Kit Store launches September 1st!

  1. Everything You Need– Kits include everything you need so you can jump in and get started on a project without worrying about putting it aside later because you lack materials to finish it. For this reason they are also portable, so you can throw it in your bag along with your basic beading supplies, and take it on vacation or to a bead society meeting.
  2. ONLY Get What You Need– When you buy a kit, you get the quantity of beads you need for the project instead of buying strands or tubes with standard amounts. This makes budgeting easy and prevents overspending on unnecessary supplies.
  3. Accessibility– There are times you want to learn a specific technique or design, but there are no classes available, or you can’t travel to learn from a specific instructor. Many designers and instructors offer kits on their own websites or other websites making them more accessible to a wider audience.
  4. Fun with Colorways– Beading a kit in which the designer has chosen the color palette offers several advantages. It can help you break out of your color box, or presents you with interesting color combos you haven’t considered before, or helps you see a color used in a new way. For advanced beaders, it may be difficult to tell from the picture and supply list which color or type of bead goes where, and it may be easier to do it in the designer’s colors first before choosing your own color palette.
  5. Experience New or Not Readily Available Supplies– Learning to work with new materials is enjoyable and helps you expand your beading repertoire. Sometimes these materials can be hard to find, or your local bead store may not carry them. Examples are CZs or maybe a specific piece of filigree, and the kit will include it so you can try it without having to track it down.
  6. No Expiration Date– Another great thing about kits is they will wait patiently for you to work on them. I’ve talked about decision and no-decision projects before, and kits are great when you want to get in a zen state of beading along without making any color or bead decisions.
  7. Support Your Favorite Designer– Many designers and instructors make a living from selling their kits. When you support them with a purchase, it enables them to come up with more designs and kits. Also, many designers are also willing to give extra help beyond the instructions if you get stuck. I would be happy to do that for any of my kits.

These are mostly logical reasons to buy a beading kit, but I believe there is an emotional element as well. I know for myself and my bead sisters, it goes something like this: I see it, I love it, I want to wear it, I buy it! Then, all the logical reasons justify the purchase, hehe.

What do you think? Tell us what you love about kits. Do you purchase kits for any of the reasons listed or is it a certain “something”? Please share with us in the comments!

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • avatar Nancy Dale August 23, 2011, 8:19 am

    I agree with all of the above, and now I want to go and grab a new kit right this MINUTE!!! :)

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth August 23, 2011, 8:58 am

    Thanks for commenting Nancy :) I felt like that while I was writing the post!

  • avatar Mary McMahon August 23, 2011, 7:11 pm

    Funny you should write about this right now. Just went to Beadfest in Philly and bought three of Jill’s kits because I LOVED them. Would have bought more, but decided I needed to show SOME restraint, but I know they are out there waiting for me in the future. All your reasons are good ones–I concur, but that last one–emotional is by far the most compelling reason.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth August 23, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Thanks for chiming in Mary! Jill’s kits tend to have that effect on us, hehe. After reading your comment, and the more I think about it, emotional is my main trigger for kit buying, too! : )

  • avatar Suanough August 24, 2011, 1:08 pm

    Can’t wait!!!

  • avatar Mary McMahon August 24, 2011, 1:11 pm

    It will be great when your kits become available. The countdown for many of us has begun–any teasers available for show now–just to whet the appetite mind you.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth August 24, 2011, 7:12 pm

    Thank you, ladies! I appreciate the support and there may be another sneak peak. 😉

  • avatar shirley September 4, 2011, 5:30 pm

    Mandi, I do have a question about wearing other peoples designs. I don’t sell my stuff, but if I did, and was wearing something I had made from a kit, and had someone ask me about it, how do you handle that? Obviously, you would first tell them it was made from a kit from one of your favorite designers, but then what if they want you to make one for them? Not sure how I would feel about purchasing a kit, making it, then reselling….
    Thanks, Shirley

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth September 7, 2011, 9:17 am

    That’s a sticky question Shirley! I would default to not selling a piece you made from a kit unless you contact the designer and they give you permission. When I think about my own work, sometimes I would be okay with it and sometimes I wouldn’t. One reason is I still sell finished pieces from certain designs.

    Luckily, many designers are starting to state specifically what you can and can’t do with their designs. A pattern I just purchased says you can’t copy, teach, share, or sell the pattern but you can sell what you make if you give credit to the designer.

  • avatar manicbeader September 11, 2011, 5:02 am

    Yes,Kits are the best thing since sliced bread. I have many still to do, but never have the time to compete. Vive les kits ,is what I say

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