Seed Bead Bracelets

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 Little Wonders

If there is one type of bead that I have not purchased tons of- it’s seed beads. Don’t get me wrong, they do have two holes in them so I own a variety of them –  but they sort of mystify me. They just seem so fussy and hard to work with.  I mean Aikos, Bugle, Charlottes, Delicas, Dyna-mites, Farfalla, Matsuno, Miyuki, Pony,  Toho, Unica  – these little beads have their own language assoicated with them!  And sizing – well that is another thing.   11/0, 6/0  – what is that all about?

I’ll chalk up my confusion to simple inexperience in working with them.  I generally like to make bracelets and other jewelry that gives me instant gratification and I can complete quickly.  The seed bead thing just looks like it takes a long time so I have pretty much left it alone.  I use seed beads here and there as accents – but never as the star of the show.  I do, however, totally marvel at intricately beaded pieces.

Here are some gorgeous cuff bracelets made by Tamara Scott that actually make me want to go out, take a class and get my peyote stitch on.  Tamara sells tutorials and kits with all the supplies to make your own. Tempting.

I usually associate seed bead stitching and weaving with less than hip and trendy jewelry.  But these cool cuffs have changed my mind about that!  Now all I need is more time and patience and maybe I could pull something like this off!


I know there is a large seed bead niche of jewelry makers out there.   Do you have the skill and patience to work with these tiny little beads?  What is the best priced resource for seed beads you have found?

12 Comments

  1. Has anyone used Artbeads.com for supplies before?

  2. Yes – definitely. They are good.

  3. I love those little things! I have a lot of gemstones and other big beads but keep getting drawn back to seed beads. I have used Artbeads but think they’re on the high side, price-wise. If you want the best deal (I have done my homework here), the thing to do is go to FireMountain and put everything you want to order into a “favorites” list (not shopping cart). Then you go to jetbeads.com and place the order through them. He will get you at least one price break higher than you would get at Fire Mountain (they have the pricing differential 1-15 items, 15-50, etc.). I have saved a ton by going through them and am a very very satisfied customer!!

  4. Thanks for the tip Sally! I have wondered about using Jet. So far, I have waited and ordered large quantities from Fire Mountain and saved up my wish list and placed large orders myself or with a friend. I am glad you have experience with him.

  5. I have the same problem with seed beads, they just never seemed my “style”. I have a stash of them for my daughters and their friends to design elastic bracelets which are fun, but recently I have been following a “seed beader” blog (don’t know her or have any relationship to her, but LOVE her take on seed beads) check out some of these twists on seed bead bracelets
    http://labellajoya.blogspot.com/2011/04/tumbling-tiles-and-stars.html
    http://labellajoya.blogspot.com/2011/04/studio-friday-why-not-saturday.html
    http://labellajoya.blogspot.com/2011/04/sutdio-saturday-newness-in-shop.html

    Also, I love Art Beads, I have yet to receive anything I didn’t love from them. They are pricier but for unusual items and pearls and gemstones I have gotten some beautiful supplies. I’ll check out jet beads…didn’t know about them. I order in bulk from Fire Mountain a lot as well.

    • Yes she has a cool twist on seed beads combining them with lots of other materials. I like that! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Tracy
    I usually use seed beads for accents only, like you. I don’t know the first thing about seed beads really nor do I have the patience to work with such tiny beads. However, I DO love seedbead work such as Marcie’s as mentioned by Krystin. And these Tamara Scott bracelets are out of this world. WOW…talk about stunning!! I wonder how long a bracelet like one of these would take to make?

  7. Wow, you nailed my thoughts about seed-beading. I love some of the pieces but the lack of instant gratification always let me shy away from diving deeper into the serious seed-beading business. And I also find seed-beading patterns sometimes a little bit dowdy But the pieces you have pointed out are adorable and really worth a try.

  8. I think that you read my mind, Tracy! I have no patience for seed beads, and those little 15/0 24kt gold plated charlottes that I bought (I mean 15 is bigger than 6 right?) made me go half insane, and lose my eyesight. They are the reason that I wear reader glasses when I bead, but I call them beader glasses! I love these examples, and think there are artists out there who do really cool and hip things with seed beads… Julianna Cannon of Julsbeads and Marcia Abney of LaBella Joya and Emma Thomas of FredBean’s Nook come to mind! I am just happy to admire them and buy from those master rather than try my own.
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

  9. Yes Erin those ladies have it goin’ on with seed beads. I love how they mix the seeds with other materials. BTW – I am feeling like I may need some “beader” glasses soon as well! Like that term!

  10. Holy CROW woman, those are amazing! I have NO patience for seed beading. I buy it from other awesome designers.

  11. These bracelets are soooo beautiful. how I wish I had the patience.

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