General Question

jca's avatar

Beaded jewelry makers: Where do you buy your beads and other jewelry making stuff?

Asked by jca (26762 points ) January 9th, 2012

I am going to try to learn how to make jewelry. I am wondering where other Flutherites who do jewelry making buy their beads and other jewelry making stuff. I bought some findings and threads and pliers at Walmart, but for the real creative part, which is the beads, what are some good places (either stores or sites) to shop?

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

At bead stores. Look for them in your local yellow pages or online. The shopping for stuff is half the fun!

bkcunningham's avatar

There are several women I’ve recently met who are beaders. They purchase their supplies at local bead/craft stores. My sister-in-law’s mother took up making jewelry from beads a few years ago. She makes amazing pieces by purchasing cheap jewelry at yard sales and taking it apart. Honestly, it is prettier and more unique than anything I’ve seen from the local crafters in my community who frequent the regular bead stores for their pieces.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Check for local Bead shows also look for Rock and mineral shows. Wholesale prices and purchases usually require a tax permit and business license.

YARNLADY's avatar

Wal Mart might be OK to start for practice jewelry, but for gift and sale quality, you need to go to your local bead specialty store, or as @bkcunningham says, repurpose used jewelry from the charity thrift stores.

jca's avatar

@YARNLADY: yes, the Walmart stuff is just to learn how to put on clasps and to become familiar with handling the findings and pliers and stuff. My goal is to learn how to do it and then make some purchases of nice gems and beads and really get creative. You have to start somewhere, ya know?

marinelife's avatar

@jca Local bead stores often have classes, and their proprietors will show you techniques.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My Native American friend that does beadwork buys her beads locally, or makes her own from traditional sources. She won’t buy online or out of a catalog because she doesn’t trust the photos to be the true colors and textures she would get.

jca's avatar

@marinelife: one of my coworkers is showing me techniques. People that do it say it’s easy and you don’t need classes, but I will check out the store to look at beads and get ideas.

Soupy's avatar

My sister purchases her beads at markets and bead stores. I buy her wire, clasps, and those hook thingies for earrings from ebay.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t know how I missed this question! I go to Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn’s, and online I like Fire Mountain Gems.

I’ve never taken a class. I definitely don’t think that’s necessary. Looking in instuctive books (mainly for inspiration) is nice though.

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