Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mount Sinai Bead Party Fundraiser

We recently did a fundraiser to raise money for Mount Sinai Hospital
in Toronto.

A group of 8 year old girls contacted us telling us that they had
started a beading club to make bracelets to sell at Mount Sinai
Hospital and all proceeds raised would be given to the hospital.
The girls wanted to know if we could teach them how to make bracelets.

We thought it was a great idea and a great cause, so we had a beading
party with them where we taught them how to string beads using
.45 mm tiger tail wire and we finished off the bracelets with silver plated
toggle clasps using the crimping technique.

Below are some photos we took showing the bracelets that we made.
We had a great time with the girls and wish them much success in
selling their bracelets for this great cause.

Check out some additional pictures at our Mount Sinai beading party gallery.

Mount Sinai Fund Raising Bead Party

Charity Bead Party

Monday, November 3, 2008

How to make a wire-wrapped bracelet

Video reference: Aunties Beads

This video shows how to make a wire-wrapped bracelet. This is the type of beading project that we do at our adult bead parties. It is absolutely stunning when completed.

The tools that you need are a round-nosed plier, chain-nosed plier and the nibbler tool. This bracelet looks best if you use large beads and 6mm spacer beads. The amount that you will need depends on the size of the wrist that you are making this bracelet for. You will also need 7mm closed jump rings, a sterling silver 22mm gage wire and an s clasp.

First thing you do is take the wire and make a loop using the round-nosed pliers, slip on a jump ring, and then start wrapping the wire at the base of the loop three or four times.

Next string onto the wire your spacer bead, large bead, and another spacer bead. At the end of the three beads make a loop, put in the jump ring and wrap the wire around three or four times. Keep doing this until you have the desired length of your bracelet. Remember, depending on the size of your clasp you may want to make your bracelet a little bit shorter because the clasp adds length.

To add the clasp, make a loop at the end of your bracelet, put one end of the s clasp in and firmly close it with your chain -nosed pliers. Make a loop at the other end of your bracelet. This loop will slip on the other end of the s clasp to close your bracelet while you are wearing it.

Watch the video to see a more detailed step-by-step tutorial of how to make this bracelet.

Happy beading!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Developmental Benefits of Beading for Children

by Kimberly Voaden, OT Reg. (Ont.)

As an Occupational Therapist with over 5 years experience working with children of all ages, I can endorse beading as an excellent leisure activity, promoting childrens' development in the following areas:

Fine Motor Skills:

Grasping: Various sizes of beads promote different grasps. Larger beads often promote the "3-jaw chuck" grasp, similar to holding a large pencil or marker. Smaller beads encourage children to use their pincer grasp, thus strengthening the small muscles of their hands.

In-hand manipulation skills: Many components of making a beaded craft increase strength and coordination in the small hand and finger muscles. For example, picking a bead up from the beading tray, and then manipulating it in one's hand until it is pinched between your thumb and finger, involves translation, shift and rotation movements of the bead within the hand.

Visual Perceptual Skills:

Visual discrimination, Scanning, visual memory: The child must be able to remember the beading pattern to determine the bead they want to use. Once they know what bead they want, visual discrimination assists them in selecting the bead that fits their mental image of the desired bead. Finally, the child must scan across many different beads before finding the desired bead.

Visual Motor Skills:

Hand-eye coordination: Threading beads onto a string involves bilateral coordination of the child's hands, and requires their eyes and hands to work together.

Cognitive Skills:

Planning: What style of necklace does the child want to make? What pattern will they choose? Where are all the needed to complete this beading activity? By answering these questions, the child develops his/her planning and problem-solving skills.

Math skills: How long will my necklace, bracelet, or keychain need to be? How many beads do I need to complete this project? How can I create and maintain this beading pattern? Encouraging children to think through these functional math problems is a motivating way to improve academic skills in this area.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Important tools/pliers for the beginning jewelry designer

Chain nose pliers are very useful in many different aspects of beading. Such as opening and closing jump rings to wire wrapping.

Flat nose pliers have broad jaws which are useful for flattening wire and putting sharp angles in wire work. They can also be used to flatten crimp beads.

Side cutters are required for cutting wire and other beading material. The sharp tips/ends allow for access to even the smallest of bead work and snip away any unwanted bits.

Round nose pliers are great for looping or wire wrapping due to their rounded ends. The tips/ends are a smaller width which allows for smaller loops. As you work your way down the round nose pliers you can make bigger loops as the rounded width expands.

Bent nose pliers are useful for finalizing any loops or wire work due to their angled tips/end which allows access to hard to reach places in your bead work.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How to Use a Bead Board in the Creation and Maintenance of your Jewelry Project

Beading Boards are an essential tool in any jewelry making project. They help organize, store and plan your beading piece.

Grooves along the edges (and sometimes interior) allow for placement and organization of your jewelry design. There are also small compartments that are used to store beads. Be sure to store your clasps and other beading accessories within these compartments for future use.

Numbered references along the board are used to measure the length(s) of your piece in inches.

Once you're satisfied with your design, place bead stoppers at both ends (if using the stringing technique) to prevent beads from falling off.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Online Beading Guide

For all your beading inquires please check out our new Online Beading Guide at You'll find lots of useful beading related items and topics necessary in the start and finish of a beading project. We plan on adding much more to this guide so please check back regularly to view all of these useful beading updates.

We also plan on adding a beading directory of only the best and most relevant beading and jewellery making sites. Feel free to contact us if you'd like to have your link added.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Basic Wire Work Jewellery Making Technique

1. Cut a four inch piece of wire (size depends on your preference).
2. Grip the wire at the end. The wire should not extend beyond the pliers. It is sometimes helpful to mark your pliers about one eigth of an inch from the tip to remember where to begin your loop.
3. Hold the stem of the wire with your fingers and roll the wire toward your fingertips, keeping pressure on the stem to hold the shape of the angle.
4. If you are unable to turn your wrist any further, release the wire, keeping them in the loop, rotate backwards and turn a bit more until the loop meets the stem.
5. You have completed the first loop.
6. Place a bead on the wire.
7. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4.
8. By attaching several more of these links you can create a beautiful bracelet, necklace, or earring link. Remember when opening or closing a loop twist it, do not spread the circle open.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How to Use Crimp Beads


How to use crimp beads with jewelry pliers, when making your own beaded jewelry.


1. Gather your supplies. When you are ready to attach a clasp (or any end-piece you are using in your design, such as a jump ring, or extender chain),first thread the end of your wire through a crimp bead.
2. Loop the wire through the clasp or extender chain, and then fed back through the crimp bead, forming a loop. It is a good idea to leave a tail of wire at least a couple of inches longer than you think you need so you will have some wire to work with.
3. Slide the crimp bead up close to the end of the clasp or end-piece. Check the crimp bead and make sure it is not too close to the clasp or end-piece. You want to have a small loop around the clasp or end-piece, but not so small that it holds the clasp so tightly that it cannot move freely.
4. You have two choices to close your crimp. If you have a crimping tool or crimping pliers, follow this next step (5). If not, follow the next step for chain nose pliers, below (step 7).
5. You are now ready to squeeze the crimp bead shut. Place the crimp bead in the back channel of the crimping pliers, closest to the handle. Squeeze the pliers closed, gently but firmly. This will both flatten and place a dent in the crimp bead.
6. Place the dented crimp bead on it's side in the front channel of the crimping pliers, closest to the end. Basically, position the crimp bead so that it looks like the Letter C. You are positioning the bead upright like this so that when you close the pliers and squeeze, the bead will be folded closed right on the dent (bringing each end of the letter C together). Squeeze gently but firmly and make sure your crimp bead has tightly closed around the wire. If necessary, use pliers to make it close tighter. Tug gently to make sure the wire doesn't pull free. Continue with Step 8.
7. Using Chain Nose Pliers (flat nose). Using regular flat or needle nose pliers works to close crimp beads, too. There is only one step to closing the crimp. Simply grasp the crimp bead with the flat section of the pliers. Squeeze gently but tightly to smash the crimp bead flat. Check to make sure the crimp bead is tightly holding the wire so it won't pull free.
8. String your beads. Thread your first bead onto the wire. Thread both pieces of flexible wire through the bead hole if possible. Use your flush cutters to cut the cord off as close as possible to the bead. Thread the rest of your beads according to your design until you reach the other end.
9. When you are ready to attach your final clasp to the end of your piece, thread the crimp bead and clasp just like before, but now you will want to tighten all of your beads by pulling on the tail end of the loose wire. This will snug all your beads up together, leaving no gaps in your design. If you need more leverage to pull the wire tight, use your pliers; one to hold the clasp and the other to grasp and pull the wire. Crimp your final bead, and you're finished!


* Sometimes, you just don't get a perfect crimp. It either didn't fold over nicely or the wire pulls loose. If this happens, cut the crimp bead off the end, and just start over again with a fresh new crimp bead. This is another good reason to leave yourself a little extra wire to play with on the end of your design.

Friday, May 30, 2008

From Crimp Beads to Wire Wrapping Techniques: Stay Tuned For An Online Collective Of Beading Insight

There are quite a few beading and jewelry making sites that cover an enormous amount of related topics. From crimp beads to wire wrapping techniques you’ll find an overwhelming selection of sites.

Over the next few weeks we plan on posting YouTube tutorials that explain different beading techniques and the process involved in completing a jewelry making project from start to finish.

One particularly useful site is It is maintained by Tammy Powley who is an author of several books such as ‘Making Designer Bead and Wire Jewelry’ and ‘Jewelry and Beading Designs for Dummies’.

For all you beading novices you might find her section entitled ‘Beginners Corner’ useful
. You’ll come across helpful beginner hints on topics such as crimp bead size vs. size of beading wire to the foundations of bead stringing.

Please stay tuned and let us know if you can suggest some other sites that amateur jewelry artists might find useful.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Swarovski Vs. 'Regular' Glass Beads

When creating your first beading/jewelry project, the option and choice, that might come to mind is Swarovski Crystals or Glass Beads.

Swaroski Crystals have an elegance and majesty of fine European design You purchase a refined feel of beauty known across the globe. Its trademark and reputation are world class and recognizable.

On the other hand, you can select a glass bead that is defined by its unique appearance and personal appeal.

It really comes down to personal preference and/or budget.
If you desire the authentic look and feel of a known and recognizable brand. Swarovski is the way to go.

However, if your taste is more towards a unique flavour catered to your own tastes, glass beads may be your choice.

One of the great things about beading is the fun and excitement of selecting your own beads. You’ll come across an infinite amount of choices which will inevitably come down to one thing … what your overall feel of the piece should be.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Beading Party Galleries

Please take a look at our growing gallery of beading party pictures at We're looking at complimenting these parties with an options to "make your own" beading party. More details will follow over the next few weeks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Everyone,

Mother's day is always a great time to make something unique and special for Mom. Whether it's a fancy necklace or a simple key chain you'll find that Mom will always appreciate that extra something you personally made with love and affection.

Let us know if you've made something special this year. We'd love to show off your beading Mother's Day gift.

Beading Mothers Day

Monday, May 5, 2008

Basic Beading - YouTube Video

Take a look at the below YouTube clip. It's a great tutorial for those just starting the beading journey and is something that we suggest our novice beaders look over before attending one of our beading parties/classes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Beading Parties and General Beading Needs

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Beading Buds,

I would like to introduce this blog as a creative destination in beading and beading related topics. We plan on centralizing this fine art form for all you web savvy beading designers. Please feel free to visit our site at It's a site that shows our commitment to the beading novice and is a spring board to all that is beading and the imagination that explores it. I hope that as an online community we can share our expertise (without hesitation or great reserve) the beauty of our creative designs and our skills as artists. I hope you will feel free to contact us at and detail your creative beading experiences and/or thoughts.

With only the Warmest Regards,
The Beading Buds.

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