A subject not much discussed in articles about bead craft is what I like to all “optional equipment.” As expected, most of the articles on beadwork focus on the beading projects, or the beads themselves and lots of discussions rotating around patterning, color selection and so forth, but at least some attention should be given to the optional items of equipment, as they can make your life simpler and increase your enjoyment of bead craft in general.
The items I’ve in mind are:
I will outline what each of these can do for you as it relates to bead craft described below.
Fishing Line – If you are all out of silk thread and needing to crank out a bead craft project, normal fishing line can be subbed in for the good stuff. Or, if you are only making a temporary piece and want to save your silk thread for permanent creations, again, fishing line to the rescue! No bead craft toolkit could be without it!
Magnifying Glasses – This useful item will save you both time (reducing the time spent turning your beadwork into truth), and prevent eyestrain by bringing those very small, little pieces-parts into better focus. What’s not to like about that! If you just have one piece of optional bead craft tools, get these!
Cord Knotter – At around 10 bucks, this useful little item is the most expensive of the “optional bead craft equipment,” but well worth the money, particularly if you do any work at all with pearls. It assists with knot tying, and aids you get the knots right up against the beads, where you wish them to be (this can be a frustrating process when trying to get it right by hand). It might take a bit to get the hang of using it, but once you do, you’ll wonder how you & your bead craft projects got along without it!
Bead Tray – Amusing how anything as simple as a tray can make this type of huge difference to your bead craft projects, but it truly can! The most important advantage of a bead tray is that it comes with grooves for holding beads and the grooves are of standard shapes and sizes! So, while you’re making a necklace, just play with your pattern on the bead tray, get it exactly how you want it, and then all of your beads are already laid out in the exact pattern. Simply pick ’em up and string!
Again, while none of the items stated here are absolutely necessary, you will probably discover that you enjoy bead craft a good deal more with these time saving devices, and you can pick up the whole set for about $25. A small investment indeed for what they can do to enhance your bead craft experience, and the ways in which they can help you execute against your beadwork!
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