What Are The Different Types Of Beads?

Regular beads are available in a wide range of materials, styles, and colors. They often appear in the main body of beaded jewelry, and they are usually chunky and vibrant enough for use as individual decorations on earrings. Seed beads are smaller than regular beads, and pony beads are smaller still. Jewelry makers often use these small beads as spacers, and for creating interest through contrasting sizes. Charm beads are the most flamboyant beads. They are the largest type, and their carved or painted designs make them ideal for use as the focal point of a jewelry piece.

What Bead Materials Are Available?

Plastic beads are the most common and inexpensive. They vary in color, size, and finish, but they are lightweight and often have lines from the molding process. They are useful for learning how to make beaded jewelry, or for making children's craft projects. Glass beads are as versatile as plastic beads, but their sparkle makes them look more valuable. The most expensive types of beads are gemstone beads, pearl beads, and metal beads. Metal beads have a satisfying weight, and it is possible to plate them with silver or gold. Pearl beads are usually real pearls, and gemstone beads are often semiprecious stones; but consumers need to check carefully, as some of these beads are just polished glass or plastic made to look like materials that are more expensive.

What Is A Beading Board?

For beginners working with loose beads, a beading board is a useful tool. The board comprises a series of ridges in a curved formation, with measurements marked along the sides, and a selection of wells for storing beads. The board makes it easy to lay out a jewelry design, switch colors, and measure the length of the piece, while preventing the beads from rolling over the table. To use the board, simply place the center bead at the zero position on the curve, and then lay out the pattern as desired.