A bead may be just a crafting accessory for many people, but for serious jewelry designers, it is something that is much more than that. Beads make an integral part of a number of projects and if it is jewelry designing, then they are the elements to which the most attention is drawn. Whether it is a jewelry making project, kid's art and craft or sewing, beads are the most popular choice. Whatever the beading project, they can leave an impact that cannot be replicated with other embellishments. Because beads are so versatile and have so many uses, jewelry designers and crafters often find themselves buying wholesale lots.
A look into the past reveals that beads were among the first pieces of art that were used by humans. However, it must be kept in mind that at that time bead making equipment and tools were not available and therefore there was no access to manufactured beads. Still people used to create beads out of a number of objects. Wood was one of the most popular choices in those days. Found objects such as bone and shells were also commonly used in the creation of beads that would then be strung together to make necklaces and bracelets. As humans became more sophisticated over the years, beads were made with more purpose. Artisans would handcraft beads and sell them. Then as beads started gaining popularity, new methods were introduced to mass produce beads in factories.
Today, beads are widely available in every shape and size to suit any type of project. Wholesale beads reflect all varieties and are mainly distinguished by their price and quantities. In terms of price, wholesale beads are more affordable than individual beads making them a smart choice for bigger crafting and beading projects. The advantages of buying wholesale beads are obvious, but there are a number of things that you must consider before you buy. This can help you understand your options and then make the right decision.
First of all, it is important to understand the full range of possibilities which can include understanding things like appearance, shape and size of the beads. You must evaluate wholesale beads and make basic determinations regarding the types of beads you are looking to purchase. Things that you need to consider include:
Material - Wholesale beads are available in a range of materials including glass, acrylic, crystal, gemstone, metal, wood and many others.
Size and shape - they are available in various sizes and shapes. Seed beads are among the smallest beads which are mainly used in crafting projects. Although the sizes vary, most are kept less than one inch in diameter. This makes using them in jewelry making and other projects easier. They are available in many different shapes with rounds, hearts, squares, ovals and flowers being the most common.
Buying beads for jewelry making is something that is becoming more popular, as people realize that they do not have to be confined to the jewelry which they find in the mainstream shops. Making your own jewelry is an excellent way to show off your creative side, whilst also saving money compared to the prices which you will pay for readymade pieces from high street stores. If you want to save even more money when you buy beads for jewelry making, here are some top tips to stretch your pennies.
Online Auction Sites
Online auction sites are a great place to pick up a bargain, so long as you know you limits and are prepared to stick to them. It is often possible to pick up beads for jewelry making at fantastic prices, so long as you are prepared to watch auctions and bid at just the right moment. Although you may end up losing out on some beads you really like, internet auction sites are often filled with a wealth of items which you cannot find anywhere else.
Thrift stores often sell old beads which are no longer in production or job lots of beads in which a few of the beads are damaged. Although a few of these beads might not be useable, it is often possible to find bags with hundreds of beads that do still make the grade. These shops are great places to look for retro styles of beads for jewelry making.
Wholesale bead suppliers are excellent places to look for beads if you think that you will need large numbers of supplies. Although you may end up with a lot of beads if you shop at wholesale suppliers, the cost per bead will be amazingly low. If you are planning on making jewelry to sell, then wholesale suppliers are an excellent choice, because they stock a wide range of top quality products at affordable prices.
Recycling beads from your old jewelry can help you to save money and will allow you to use beads or components which may not be available anymore. If you are no longer able to wear one of your favorite pieces of shop bought jewelry because it is broken or damaged, then you can easily recycle the beads from it, in order to transform it into something completely new and original.
Make your own
There are plenty of kits available which provide you with everything that you need to make your own beads. The most common kits available are those for making clay beads or acrylic beads. Using these kits may take time, but they will mean that you are able to create beads which no one else in the world will have. It is also possible to use tools to bore holes in items, allowing you to transform items into "beads" for jewelry making. Once you have begun to get the hang of bead making, it is possible to create some wonderful, bespoke pieces of jewelry.
Maybe you had the same experience I had when beading jewelry and clothing became so popular. I walked into my favorite craft store to purchase some beads and tools to get started making the jewelry that was beginning to adorn the arms and necks of many of my friends with great anticipation. What I didn't anticipate was the cost of the beads, especially the ones I liked best!
Many of us have turned to the resources on the internet to order in larger quantities and get much better prices. What I enjoy most is that the resources are at my fingertips and I can find what I need much faster than going to the store. If I'm being totally honest, I also enjoy doing it in my pajamas with a cool drink beside me and my feet propped up!
But a word of caution should be given here before you give up the "in-store" purchase in favor of internet shopped. You're going to have to learn about the beads and be sure you know what you're looking for before jumping in to make a purchase.
Following are a few things to consider:
Type of bead: Depending on your project, you'll want to determine what type of bead will work best. Some types of beads are:
and many more.
You should also consider the appropriate type of bead for your specific purpose such as:
Craft design (such as flowers and stems)
and so on.
You'll also want to learn the sizes of the beads you'll be using for your projects to be certain you order the correct sizes. If you're as talented as I think you are, you'll be able to use your beads no matter the size, but most of us are on a budget and need to be sure we get just what we need. Excess beads, however, can be used in so many ways. We'll soon post an article with some great ideas on how to use those beautiful "leftovers."
If you are able to, find different ways to view the beads you are considering ordering. Turn the lights on or off and check the color. Move your laptop to another room. You can even change from one internet provider to another (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) to see if the viewing is different. What looks red in one light may really be more burgundy that the fire engine red you're hoping for.
So before you order online, be sure you know what you really need as far as color, size, type of bead, and quantity. Also carefully check the shipping costs before you finalize your order to be sure you're not surprised when the total amount of the charges appears. And check the return policies such as deadlines for returns, who pays shipping, etc.