How to start Bead Weaving

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This might seem like a strange topic for a blog post. Surely it’s obvious how to start bead weaving? But what do I mean? Are we talking about starting in a technique, or are we talking about getting into this craft? Well, I’m writing this because I have a lot of beginners following on here. I remember how I felt as a beginner, and I wanted to do something to try and help out. So, let’s see if I can explain some more…

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Once upon a time…

All good stories begin that way and if you’re trying to work out how to start bead weaving, that’s no exception…

I want to start by taking you back to my first foray into bead-weaving – all the way back in 2002. This isn’t going to be a post all about me. I’m hoping that you’ll see yourself reflected in this.

I stumbled upon beads completely by accident. I saw a book with a front cover showing a really cool project and I thought, ‘I’d love to make that!’ So, I bought the book, I bought some beads, and I started trying to follow the instructions.

That all went well enough – the project turned out ok and I was really chuffed with myself for learning something new. Mind you, it took me about 10x as long to make that first beading project as it would take me to make the same thing now. So, I’m not saying it was all easy. I made plenty of mistakes and that first sample was far from perfect.

But it was a great first step. It led me to try more projects, buy more books and quickly become thoroughly addicted.

Herringbone bangle beginner beading kit. Perfect to learn how to start bead weaving!Click here to get this beginner Herringbone bangle kit

The questions

The thing was, as I went blindly into this, I had absolutely no idea about anything. It was a revelation to find out there were so many different techniques.

I remember deciding to make some jewellery and going into a bead shop to buy a clasp. Well, when I got there, I found a choice of at least 20 different clasps. How on earth did I know which one I should buy?

When I first started reading beading patterns in magazines, I saw them refer to ‘Miyuki’ beads and thought, ‘what on earth is that?’ I had no idea that there are different brands of beads. Obviously, I realised that pretty quickly, but I still didn’t understand that the different brands are really quite different. So, it was a long time before I ‘twigged’ that when a designer says to use ‘Miyuki’ beads, and I grab my pack of ‘Matsuno’ because I don’t have any ‘Miyuki’, the project might actually not work!

When my beadwork wrinkled, or was too loose, I didn’t know if it was me, or the beads. I wasn’t familiar with ‘tension’.

I could go on and on for pages, with similar questions and little points of confusion.

Click here to get this beginner kit and learn tubular Peyote with these cute bangles

Does this even matter?

Well, you might be reading that and thinking, ‘so what?’

To be honest, it wasn’t a huge deal. I somehow muddled along through. Back when I started out, the internet wasn’t so much of a ‘thing’, so I didn’t have the benefit of social media groups. I learned a bit from classes, but mostly I learned from my mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a brilliant way to learn. It may also account for the times when I find, now, that I do things a little ‘differently’. Nobody showed me, so I figured out solutions to problems.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, I positively encourage people to do that. Don’t be afraid to try something and see what happens. Don’t get ‘stuck’ in the idea that there is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ way to do things. (In fact, that reminds me, there is really only one rule you need to follow and you can find it at this link!)

But, on the other hand, some of those mistakes cost me time and money that I could have avoided losing. So, that set me thinking: what would I have liked to have had access to when I started out.

That’s the rationale behind this website, but even that isn’t perfect! So, I’ve evolved to try and improve the way I help others learn how to start bead weaving…

How to start bead weaving…and save time and money!

I have so much information on here now that it can be overwhelming when you start. How do I know that? Well, from those of you who have joined my ‘Better Beader’ email list and been kind enough to tell me where your ‘pain points’ are!

The vast majority of responses have explained that they are beginners, wanting to find out how to get started.

The simple solution…

So, I thought, what if I pulled this huge collection of information into a little course?

That’s precisely what I’ve done here. So, I’ve broken things down into logical sections. You get to find out all the basic information, but in baby steps and in your own time. It’s a lot to take on board all at once, but broken into sections, it becomes more manageable. You can just dip in and out. You don’t even have to follow in the right order. Focus on your most pressing questions to start with!

Maybe that’s understanding more about the beads you’re using. Or perhaps learning new techniques. Or, maybe you want to find out where to get patterns? It really does cover so much, across the board.

So, if you’re just starting out – or recently started – take a look and see if that might help you to save time and money in the long run. Remember that saying, ‘knowledge is power’? Well, by taking a little time to read and discover in the beginning, you can fast-track your way to more successful beading projects.

You don’t have to make the same mistake of using the wrong brand of bead and finding your project just won’t work. You can get some great tips on tension before you’ve got into bad habits that will be hard to correct. And so, the examples go on…

If that sounds good to you, then here’s that link again. Fast-track your way to success by gaining a little knowledge as you begin… Click here to learn how to start bead weaving and avoid some of those common mistakes!

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