There are tools that are absolutely essential when bead weaving and there are some that are very useful. I’m going to give you a list of these handy tools that you may want to have in your reach when creating jewelry.
A List Of Useful Tools
One tool that is a must-have for me when bead weaving is my thread burner. It’s one of my favourite tools.
The thread burner has a narrow tip that heats up and allows you to precisely cut both GSP and nylon threads. This tool allows you to get extremely close to your beadwork to remove excess thread. It eliminates those little thread tails that scissors leave behind.
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Seed beads are tiny and sometimes, trying to find the hole of a pearl with your needle can be a pain in the you-know-what. Use a magnifying tool such as a magnifying glass or clip-on style lens if you wear glasses and have difficulties seeing your work.
Beeswax can be used to strengthen thread and prevent fraying.
Originally, I had recommended that you use Thread Heaven to condition your beading thread but shortly after writing this, I saw a notice that it will no longer be manufactured!
Thread Heaven is a popular conditioner that protects your handmade jewelry.
The first way it does this is by cutting down on stress on the thread as you make the piece. This means the finished jewelry is less likely to break.
Secondly, it leaves behind an invisible coating that prevents your beading thread from fraying and tangling as you work and also, protects against environmental hazards like UV rays, mold and mildew. So, if you see Thread Heaven, snap it up before it’s no longer available!
Creating jewelry is fun but cleaning up… not so much.
Make life easier by using a scoop to pick your beads up off the bead mat. Simply dump them back into your containers and you are good to go!
If you don’t fancy buying a bead scoop, use a plastic spoon. It’s just as effective.
Bead Soup Jar
Sometimes, after creating your jewelry, all you have is a few beads left back. What to do with them?
Unless you plan to purchase the same colour and add the remains to it, a bead soup jar is very useful. Take any empty container and fill it with all your leftover beads. Then, when you have enough you can use them in beading projects.
The key to creating a great bead soup is to mix colours that look good together. For example, add various shades and finishes of green seed beads then, mix in some gold. The contents of the bead soup do not need to be the same size or even shape. Using completely different beads can actually create a very interesting and textured piece.
A ruler is a useful tool to have when beading. Use it to measure the recommended length of beading thread when following a pattern and to determine whether you have reached the desired length of a bracelet or necklace. I never work without one.
While bead weaving, it’s a good idea to have some pliers within reach. I regularly use both a flat nose and chain nose pliers. They are great for:
- Opening and closing jump rings that I use to attach my clasps or earring hooks
- Flattening the end of thread so you can easily pass it through the needle eye
- Getting a firm grip on your needle if you have difficulty pulling it through the beadwork
If you need pliers, I suggest purchasing a pliers set. It is often much more economical to buy a set with all the basic pliers than to get them individually. Some sets even come with extra tools like tweezers and bead reamers—both of which are very useful to have around.
I hope you found this guide helpful. The tools on this list are very practical but are not absolutely critical to bead weaving. If you do want to see a list of items that are essential, then see my post, 5 Essential Tools You Need For Off-Loom Bead Weaving.