How to Buy Beads

I recently found myself regretting my eagerness in buying beads- the reason being two of the plastic striped beads I bought were not pierced. I feel so bad each time I think of it..Sigh…I wish someone had told me to notice all these things, maybe then I would’ve spotted the flaws. I think it’s about time we stopped to consider before we buy beads. Here’s a list of points to consider before purchasing beads.

  1. Check the length of the beads for uniformity. See that they are not too heavy or too big (long) for stringing onto any eye pin or headpin if you want to make earrings with them.
  2. Carry a headpin or eye pin with you and ask the seller if you can place the bead on it to check the balance of the bead.
  3. When buying headpins or eye pins try and check to see that they are not bent or tarnished.
  4. When buying ear wires check to see that the end “eye” loop is present( In the packet that I bought there were three ear wires that didn’t have loops)
  5. The beads should be pierced and have sufficiently large holes or loops for stringing.
  6. The beads must have an even color and should not have any flaky bits.
  7. Check metallic beads for tarnished portions (unless you’re going for the antique look.)
  8. Check if the beads have sharp edges or cracks in the bead or near the holes for stringing. The beads should have rounded or ‘puckered’  ends (soft – not sharp).
  9. Textured beads should not have cracks in narrow areas or irregular bumps.
  10. Dots on round beads and other texture elements should be solidly attached. If you can flick the dot off the bead with your nail then the bead is not too sturdy .
  11. Powdery bead residue should not fall out of a bead when you tap it.
  12. Take a friend along to help you decide what to buy especially if you are color blind like me
  13. Study semi precious stone beads and pearls before you buy and always go to a reputed dealer.  A good book on minerals and semi-precious stones is worth the money you spend for it if you plan to buy a lot of them

Please feel free to add more points as comments.



Cell Phone Charms Two

I made this cell phone charm for myself recently just cos I was bored with my phone and needed a charm that wasn’t too noisy and didn’t squash in the side of my face when I use my phone.

Handmade Blue Cell Phone Charm
Handmade Blue Cell Phone Charm

I found an awesome blue crystal bead ( half of a pair of earrings I used to have- I seem to have lost the other half). I added some small white beads and a turquoise blue tube bead- also from another orphaned earring. I took the lariat or charm holder cord from a free charm I received from Vodafone at some college event (Yes I hound stuff like that….but who doesn’t?).

My colleague saw my charm and asked for one for herself..I had a nature theme in mind and was inspired by two more orphaned earrings- one with a brown tube bead and the other a light green crystal bead. I added two tiny white beads for balance so that the brown and green combo didn’t seem too “tree-like”. I gave this charm to her today and she has already put it on her phone!!

Handmade Green Cell Phone Charm
Handmade Green Cell Phone Charm

Do you like them?

My First Handmade Earrings

After 2 months of hard work, I am in a rut again…jobless and “benching”. As a result I have developed a new hobby – making what is referred to as “junk” jewelry. I made around 22 pairs of earrings in two nights simply because the wire wrapping bug bit me late at night..All thanks to S who so sweetly took me to Raja Thread Stores(RTS) in crowded Ranganathan Street and took care to see that I wasn’t trampled….

I was inspired to start making earrings by two people-

  • My friend Methodless Madness returned from the US bringing chocolates and even yummier Beads!!!She got me 3 packets, each one more awesome than the other, costing almost 10 $ (approx 441.391 Rs) worth of beads from San Jose. The deep brown hexagonal beads were so gorgeous I can’t tell you…I gifted one pair of earrings made from them to my friend, I am keeping one and am going to give the last one away to another friend. She got me some lovely irregular shaped beads that she calls “pomegranate” and some Moroccan-blue ceramic beads with lime green Chinese dragons on them. I have used 3/4ths of the pomegranate ones and they have been a huge hit so far. I haven’t used the blue ceramic beads cos I couldn’t get headpins/eye pins long enough to go through them with ample space to knot up.
  • The other person who inspired me does not know me and I do not know her personally…I stumbled on this post by Iaminchennai when I googled…She has a beautiful blog showcasing her many talents that include knitting and making ceramic beads. Thank you Iaminchennai- without your directions I would never have found the beads when I did.

Coming back to my earrings, I gave away about 5 pairs to my friends including S..

I took the rest of the earrings to my office on 1st September and my boss saw them..The next 5 minutes went by in a whirl as ALL of my earrings except the ones already booked for my friends were bought..Such an amazing feeling to have SOLD your designs however juvenile and amateurish they may be!And to think that the sale happened only because of your boss’ curiosity!
Here are some of the earrings I made.

My first Earrings

Just a Note: I haven’t had any professional training in Jewelry design. I watched some videos on You Tube and decided to try my hand at making wire jewelry..Of course it helped that I always had a thing for beads.

P.S: I went to Parry’s Corner this weekend to pick up more beads cos I used almost all the beads I bought from RTS. will post the shop details soon. Any idea about the best shops in Parry’s Corner for bead buying??

Comments on my work and directions to places where I can buy more beads are very welcome.