[Video] 9 Essential Items For Beaders

I know many of my readers are intermediate to advanced beaders, but I want to have some more posts on the basics so we can corrupt invite beginners into our community and help them get started.

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  1. Project Box– Helps keep you organized and its portable if you want to take your projects with you. I prefer Snap ‘N Stack.
  2. Beads– Many basic projects can be completed using only size 11 seed beads. I have several free projects using a variety of beads that are suitable for beginners.
  3. Needles– Most of mine are size 10 or 12, and I’m not too picky on the brand. Size 12 has a bigger eye, and a good size to start with. I forgot to mention Tulip needles, which are stronger and don’t bend as easily. Those are great if you use them before you lose them.
  4. Thread– experiment and figure out what you like best. I prefer One G or K.O. but many beaders I know like Fireline. It’s a fishing line that is carried at sporting good stores and bead shops. I think 6lb clear would be a good choice to start with.
  5. Scissors– Sharp scissors are essential for thread, but grab a pair of cheap, kid-friendly scissors for Fireline.
  6. Scoop– I was beading for years and years before I discovered this! Really does make clean up a snap.
  7. Pen– For writing notes on your instructions, or sketches for ideas. I always have sticky notes or a sketch pad around, but any napkin will do. To make your own beaded pen like in the video, sign up for my email newsletter, and download the free Beaded pens eBook.
  8. Bead Mat– I use to put my beads in little dishes, but the bead mat keeps them from rolling all over the place. The case I referred to in the video is called a Design Save ‘N Go and you can check out my review on them here.
  9. Good Lighting– Essential to reduce eye strain and keep you beading longer and more comfortably. I love my Ott light! When you are choosing beads for your project, you want to look at them in good light to really see if you like how the colors play together.

Aside from the Ott light and the projects box, I can find everything at my local bead store. I would encourage you to choose your LBS first because they can also share their wealth of knowledge as you learn.

What do you think? What do you think of my list? Is there anything you would add? Please share with us in the comments below. I read and appreciate each one!

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • avatar Ralonda March 21, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Where is THAT like button?! Awesome!

  • avatar meg March 21, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Thanks for the video. I’m just starting out with beading, so I have a lot to learn. I have an old goose-neck lamp that I use. I replaced the regular lightbulb with a fluorescent dayllight bulb, and the difference is amazing.

  • avatar Lori Clarida March 21, 2013, 12:54 pm

    Very nice video! Where were you when I started beading and had to find out all this stuff for myself???

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 21, 2013, 12:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing, Meg! I’m glad you liked the video, and let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you :)

  • avatar Patty March 21, 2013, 12:58 pm

    I loved this video, good information!!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 21, 2013, 1:00 pm

    Ralonda- a little to your left :)

    Lori- I feel the same way since I didn’t know anyone else who beaded. I learned the hard way, but I’m happy if I can help someone else!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 21, 2013, 1:01 pm

    Thanks, Patty! I appreciate your feedback.

  • avatar Sherian March 21, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Very nicely done! You did forget the wax or thread heaven for those of us who tangle or break our thread. Also…where did you get those wonderful bead tube holders?
    I’m super happy to see you online and helping other beaders!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 21, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Thanks, Sherian! Yes, I could have added wax in there, but I forgot since I don’t really use it. Definitely worth mentioning, thank you! For the holders- Google “Bead Pavillion” and choose your favorite supplier :)

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 21, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Just got a wonderful email from Ruby, and her list has 19 things on it! A few from her list: Wax and Thread Heaven, origami box for threads, Hypo cement, roll up tape measure for wrist measurements etc. and a metal ruler to measure the progress of your beadwork since the roll-up may be too flimsy.

  • avatar Bette Greenfield March 21, 2013, 2:54 pm

    I like to use a Thread Zapper when I need to get a very close thread finish. I find that is is neater easier to use instead of scissors when I use Fireline.

  • avatar LoriF March 21, 2013, 3:30 pm

    I definitely vote for Thread Heaven and wax (they are two completely different things, for you newbies) also, and the Thread Zapper is also really useful. I’d also add a pair of good quality chain-nose pliers (or 2) for when you’ll inevitably need to do a closure or….just pull that needle through a tight bead!

  • avatar Loretta March 21, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Very good vidio Mandi. I learned the hard way myself but i bought me some of the plastic display trays that are about 3/4 ‘ deep and also the display pads but turned out the velvet pads didn’t work so i cut off about 2″ of the bead matt to fit the tray to work on, i also left the display pad in for height.
    Work great for me.

  • avatar Erin Simonetti March 21, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Great list Mandi! Even the ideas of added items, listed inthe comments sections, will be very helpful. But, hey, let’s add a “Loom” too! It is a one time purchase, for your bead studio and can round out your beading skills.

    I felt compelled to add this thought, mainly because I was just talking to so done, about this very supply.

  • avatar meg March 21, 2013, 6:46 pm

    Mandi – What’s your favorite way to store your seed beads? I see that you have a lot of beads in tubes, but what do you do with seed beads that come prestrung or in bags?

  • avatar Sherian March 21, 2013, 8:27 pm

    Thank you so much for the info on the bead storage. I’m going to order a couple of those.
    Do you ever have a problem getting the beads out of the tube they came in? Static electricity?

  • avatar Barbara Brown-Wyche March 21, 2013, 10:06 pm

    This is so cool!! Thanks so much for the helpful tips. Michaels carries a great variety of Ott lamps, get the coupons and get a good deal on them.The tulip needles are great for detailed projects, more durable. Getting beading board my next order from firemountain gems,great tips, thanks

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 22, 2013, 5:36 am

    Bette- I love my thread burner, too! Thanks for mentioning that :)

    LoriF- Can you tell me more about why you like to use both. I use “naked” thread, hehe. I’ve used the pliers method= awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    Loretta- a friend told me that beading trays are as varied as the beaders themselves! You have to find what works for you. Thanks for sharing what you did to help give someone else an idea!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 22, 2013, 5:38 am

    Erin- I would love to have you so the show to sell everyone on a loom 😉 Sharing your amazing work would start a loom revolution!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 22, 2013, 5:50 am

    Meg- I like to have as many of my beads in tubes out on my table as possible. I’m more likely to use them if they are in easy reach. However, in those Snap N Stack cases, I referred to, I have one for each of these- bugles, 15s, 11s, 8s, and 6/0 and up. They are all in baggies or tic tac type boxes. I hope that helps!

    Sherian- I do run into that problem occasionally. I try to shake them into submission, adding back in some beads to help knock the other ones loose, hehe. Hope that helps!

    Barbara- Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m happy you will be getting a bead board! You will love it :)

  • avatar Becca March 22, 2013, 6:18 am

    Mandi – this is awesome! Great tips, thx for sharing your insider wisdom. <3

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 22, 2013, 6:24 am

    Thanks, Becca!

  • avatar Marilou March 23, 2013, 11:19 am

    Nicely done!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth April 2, 2013, 7:55 pm

    Thanks, Marilou!

  • avatar Cindy Allen May 24, 2013, 7:53 pm

    Thanks for the helpful hints! I always use fireline, but I am going to order the one G thread right away! So thank you!

  • avatar josephine July 10, 2013, 1:00 am

    Hi Mandi!

    I find your posts very helpful, especially for beginners like me.

    I would like to ask a question about organizing beads. What is the best way to organize beads? Should the beads with the same color, size, etc. come together in one box snap on box or do you have any tips I can follow for a better organized workplace? I somehow find it difficult to organize the beads I have. I would really appreciate your help on this. Thank you so much!

  • avatar Twinkle April 20, 2014, 4:29 am

    I’ve found a small ruler or tape measure to be very helpful when making bracelets and also an old pair of tweezers.

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