Try these six beading tips to avoid frustration and eye strain when making jewelry.
As you age, your vision just doesn’t seem to be the same anymore. You might struggle to see fine print or the world might look a bit blurrier than it did before.
I’ve been wearing glasses for the majority of my life so I know how frustrating poor vision can be. But, that doesn’t mean that it has to prevent you from bead weaving.
Of course, it all depends on how bad your eye sight is but here are some beading tips that should help you if your vision isn’t as good as it used to be.
6 Beading Tips For People With Poor Vision
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1. Have Good Lighting
Whether you have 20/20 vision or not, working with a great source of light when bead weaving is crucial. It’s a good way to take care of your eyes and protect them from eye strain.
So, I highly recommend working during the day in a well-lit room and using a bright task lamp at night.
2. Use Larger Beads
11/0 and especially 15/0 seed beads can be very hard to see and certain colors and seed bead finishes make it even more challenging.
If you realize that you struggle to see these tiny beads, stick to larger sizes. You can even scale up the sizes that a beading pattern requires e.g. use 11/0 instead of 15/0 and 8/0 instead of 11/0.
Just make sure you’re consistent. You can’t just change the size of one bead and use the other sizes a tutorial recommends. If you change one, you change them all or you risk the pattern looking completely different than the designer intended.
Remember that the finished piece of jewelry will be chunkier than if you stick with the smaller beads.
3. Pick Colors Appropriately
If you have poor vision, using brightly colored beads and ones that highly contrast with each other will make it easier for you to see them.
Also, opaque bead finishes are always easier to see than
When selecting colors for a bead weaving project, choose wisely and make sure the shades and finishes you pick will be easy on your eyes.
4. Use Easy-to-Read Labels
Add big bold labels to your beading supplies. The labels that usually come on bead weaving materials are printed in some pretty tiny fonts and they may fade over time.
Stop struggling to read the labels and add your own, written in permanent marker. Doing this also means you won’t have to guess what’s in the bead tube after the label fades.
5. Get Your Eyes Checked Annually
Getting your eyes checked frequently is smart even when you don’t have a history of poor vision. But, it’s especially important when you do already wear prescription glasses or contact lens.
You need to make sure that you’re wearing the correct prescription and that your vision hasn’t worsened over time. Not doing this means you might be putting unnecessary strain on your eyes.
6. Magnify It
When you have a problem, the wise choice would be to avoid magnifying it. But, in this case, if the beads are your problem, it might just help to make them bigger.
One way to do that is by using magnifying lenses. Use a simple standalone magnifying glass, one that’s built into a lamp or magnifying eyeglasses that were made just for you.
Craft Optics is eyewear complete with your prescription or reader installed, plus high resolution magnifying telescopes attached. They even have a bright light included that shines directly where you need it while working.
Now, if these sound like a luxury item, they definitely are. Starting at $449 (at the time of writing this in 2019) for a non-prescription pair, they’re not exactly budget friendly. But, if you love beading and other crafts like quilting and cross stitch and you’re tired of struggling to see what you’re doing, they may be worth the investment.
If not, and you just want a simple magnifying glass, click here to see my recommended beading supplies.
These beading tips should help anyone with poor eyesight and hopefully prevent eye strain as a result of your hobby.
Carolyn Ingram says
It also helps reduce eye strain to put the beads you are working with on a contrasting surface – for example, dark beads on a light mat. I use a piece of bead mat or velveteen display board for easy pick-up. I also find it is useful to put the beads I’m working with in separate piles on the pick-up surface, with similar colors separated by contrasting colors.
Yes, that’s very true. Thanks for that tip!