Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Bead Shopping Part 2: Purchasing Larger Beads

I am a bargain shopper. I am always looking for a deal and beads are no exception to this rule. If you go into a craft store or a bead shop you will realize that beads are not cheap. Depending on the beads, you can spend $50.00 on beads and come out of the store with a very small bag of beads and wonder, “Where did my money go?” This is why it is important to know where and how to shop in order to get your best beading dollar value, without compromising quality.

Just like seed beads, there are many types and sizes of larger beads, swarovski crystals, pearls, glass beads, and Czech crystals to name a few. And depending on the beads, they can be rather pricey. Since most of my beaded jewelry is created using bead weaving techniques, rather than bead stringing, I mainly use larger beads as accent beads. The larger beads that I favor are size 6/0 and size 8/0 seed beads. I also like to work with high-end glass beads in sizes 2,4,6,and 8 mm. Occasionally I will use pearls or glass pearls and Czech crystals.

I can usually buy large tubes of size 6/0 and size 8/0 Czech seed beads for under $3.00 a tube at bead stores or craft stores. However I usually purchase them from a bead store because bead stores have a much better selection than craft stores. I have seen hanks of the larger seed beads sold on e-bay but not in any of the bead stores or craft stores that I frequent. And, I also prefer to by my larger beads in volume too. Both the bead and craft stores where I shop sell larger beads strung on a strand of monofilament. The craft stores have almost as good a selection as the bead stores but the prices are about 25% less than the bead stores. Bead stores also sell individual beads. I have found it is less expensive to buy a stand of beads than to purchase them individually. I buy individual beads if I only need a few for a project, or if I am making something special.

Swarovski crystals are very beautiful, very sparkly, and very expensive. I have not used them yet in any of my beading projects. Both the bead and craft stores I patronize sell swarovski crystals. The craft stores do not have as good a selection of crystals as the bead stores. Also, the bead stores have better prices on the crystals. I have not as yet priced swarovski crystals on E-bay or Internet bead stores, because like I stated previously, I have not had occasion to use them.

This all of course is my own personal bead shopping experiences. Depending on where you live, and what kind of beading you do, prices for beads may be different. It is just important to know where and how to get the best value for your beading dollar without compromising quality.

If you get the chance, visit my website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guest book.


Lesley said...

Do you ever use wholesalers to purchase your beads? I use wholesalers to purchase my fabrics and have found some really good ones. There's probably some for beads, too.

Princess said...

Great post with interesting info on beads. Thanks for sharing.

Mare said...

Thanks for all the helpful info.

TroubleX2 said...

I'm definitely going to check out the "Bead Between the Lines" website. I love beaded jewelry.

miss_moneymaker said...

I love making jewelry and anything to do with beads. I just never find the extra time to do much.

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