With beading being the ever growing hobby that it is, beading supply stores have sprung up all around many towns. It is not difficult to find a beading store in your area.
When searching for a beading supply store, use the yellow pages and find one nearest you. Ask your beading buddies for a reference. Make a connection in your area so that when you are searching for just the right stone you can call and be waited on with no hesitations.
Beautiful beads attract people to the magazines that sell beading supplies. Subscription to many of these bead magazines will give you a well for your beading supply. Find what you are looking for and so much more in the convenience and privacy of your home. Many will offer no shipping and handling fees to attract the customers.
Classes are offered at many stores to entice new customers and get people hooked on beading. When purchasing the beading supply for your class, many times a discount is offered if the supplies are purchased at that store. Ask about this next time you take a class.
Some beading supplies for a class may include, needles, thread or wire, beads, of course and a clasp. If you are working with wire your beading supply may include the tools in which to clip, crimp, and hold the wire. These supplies do not have to be expensive. Many craft stores offer coupons in which to use to cut the cost even more.
What's better than making jewelry? How about saving money on jewelry supplies while you're doing it? Beads, wire,metal sheets, charms, stones and tools can add up to a mighty sum. And don't get me started on the precious metals like gold and sterling silver! These metals are skyrocketing in price aren't they?
I love silver and gold, but I find I can't afford them anymore - at least not regularly. Rising market prices don't have to bring you down though. They really are a blessing in disguise if you're willing to challenge yourself to try you never would have thought of when silver was relatively inexpensive.
I've made a bunch of happy discoveries in my quest to save money on jewelry supplies and I'm pleased that the challenge has prompted even greater levels of creativity than ever before. I've compiled some money-saving tips for you, the thrifty jewelry artisan, that don't break the bank.
1. It's good to shop around
Us creative folks tend to be quite loyal, but there is nothing wrong with looking outside your usual supplier for your beading needs. There are a lot of great sources online and offline that have weekly and monthly coupons, deals and discounts, free shipping, and great products. Signing up for newsletters will alert you to deals when they happen, and sometimes these sales and discounts are offered exclusively to newsletter subscribers.
2. Buying in bulk can save you a bundle
This doesn't only apply to rice and toilet paper. You'd be amazed of how much you can save by buying a certain amount of beads, wire, chain... and you'll need this stuff eventually, so in the long run, you save time too!
3. Copper, Steel, and Brass are metals too
Sometimes artisans that sell jewelry think only silver and gold can command the kind of retail sales prices that can actually pay the bills but that is not always true. I must admit, I do have a special place in my heart for sterling silver, but the possibilities of brass, copper and steel beads, charms, and findings should not be overlooked. There are a number of well respected and renowned artists making beautiful jewelry using these metals in their work. And the variety of beads and findings in these metals are growing by leaps and bounds as silver and gold continue to rise in price.
4. Watch for Garage Sales
Other people's junk is a jewelry maker's treasure. Don't necessarily look at an item "as is". Old costume necklaces are a great example. Remember that everything can be taken apart and used for its spare parts.
5. Check out Thrift stores
Other than bell-bottoms and romance novels, there are other great finds in those mothball-smelling treasure troves. They are one of the best places to find old costume jewelry, and I'm talking CHEAP! And if you're really lucky and determined, you might even find some actual vintage pieces.
6. Think outside of beads
Ever heard the term greencraft or eco-jewelry? Go green in your hunt for jewelry making components by reusing and recycling. Jewelry can literally be made out of anything, so look around! Old CDs, bottle caps, Christmas ornaments, games pieces, and old watch parts are great components for creative jewelry. Reusing and repurposing will save you money and result in a truly one-of-a-kind piece.
7. Go to a Hardware Store
If you need wire, chains, links and the like, head to the source! Amid countless racks, rolls and hardware bins you will find jewelry making supplies and fixings at rock-bottom prices. You will also find other things you can't live without, such as storage bins and baskets, small hand tools, torches and daylight lightbulbs for your photography setup.
Some last words of advice before you run off to shop for supplies. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, aren't we? Here's what I mean: We don't want to spend too much, but when we get to the store everything seems so shiny and beautiful, and there are such great deals too! Before you know it you've blown a wad of cash on stuff you didn't plan on buying until you saw them.
The best money saving tip I can give you is plan, plan, plan! Make a list (and stick to it), a spending limit (that you don't go over), and a reward for being so disciplined (or maybe even a price you need to pay if you have poor follow-through!). If you are particularly challenged in these areas, let a friend or a spouse know your plan and ask them to help keep you accountable. Better yet bring a friend or a spouse who is bored to tears by beads - you're more likely to quickly get what you need instead of lingering and browsing if you know that someone is waiting for you to finish up.
Nowadays, people are often seen collecting Gemstone Beads. Some people buy these to design their own jewelry. On the other hand, there are many people who treat these as collectibles. The popularity of these beads has increased by leaps and bounds. These have also become very popular among the people belonging to fashion fraternity. Many women believe that these beads are synonymous with style. Stylish women like to accessorize themselves with these beads. There are a lot of imitations available in the market. Therefore, it is important that you check the quality beforehand. Furthermore, you can consider the following factors before making a purchase:
Color - These beads are available in different colors. You can opt for the one that is available in your favorite color. For instance, if you like white color, you can go for opal or quartz. Similarly, if black is your favorite color, you can buy onyx.
Purpose - If you are planning to buy gemstone beads for making jewelry, you should always opt for the durable ones. For instance, you can buy blue topaz or sapphire. You should not buy fragile beads for making jewelry.
Size - These beads come in various sizes. You need to decide whether you want a big one or a small one. The smallest bead is known to have a diameter of 2mm. On the other hand, some of these can also have a really huge diameter (read: more than 20mm).
If you want to buy something different, you can opt for Freshwater Pearl Beads. These are loved by everyone. Stylish women consider these to be really attractive. Therefore, these beads are often used for decorating jewelry pieces and other accessories. Before buying these items, you should keep the following factors in mind:
Source - Some vendors might sell you artificial beads at a cheap price. If you want to buy genuine items, you should ask about the source. Commonly, these beads are sourced from mussels. Furthermore, these can also be obtained from mollusks.
Price - These beads can be really expensive. Therefore, you need to be really smart to find out some cheaper options. However, it is advisable that you do not buy low-quality beads. You can search for reliable online portals. These portals would help you in buying these items an incredible price.
Specifications - You can easily buy freshwater pearl beads in a large number of colors. Furthermore, these are available in several shapes. Therefore, you need to take a decision regarding the specifications.