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Getting Started

When beginners first start beading, the question they usually ask is, "Where do I start?" Later questions are often "What beads should I buy?", or "How do I finish my piece?", but starting is often the hardest part of the whole process.

If you're new to beading, here are some ways to get started:

Find a piece you like

If the piece is complex, you may not be able to recreate it initially. With practice, however, you will! If you see the piece in a magazine, tear out the page and save it. It will inspire you!

Look at the piece carefully and see if you can determine how it was made. Do you see exposed wire? Perhaps the piece is strung? View our wirework and stringing techniques to see if they match your piece.

If you can't figure out how it's made, browse our techniques index to see if one looks similar.

Take a class

Most local bead shops have classes. Check local bead stores near you. If the classes you're interested in are full, see if the teacher is available for a small class with you and your friends.

Sometimes museums, cities, or arts centers offer classes in beading, as well as the YMCA or Boys & Girls Clubs. Check to see if your community is sponsoring such classes.

If you're not near a local bead shop, and this year's vacation won't take you near one, consider online classes. There are many online resources available.

Read a book

With the current popularity of beading, there are many beading books available to learn how to bead. Your public library may have a half dozen or so. (If not, ask them to order a few!)

Your local bookstore (or bead store!) may have beading books, also. Wander over and see what they have.

Or, you can search online for books. At your favorite online bookstore, search for beads or beadwork and see what wonderful search results return.

Search online for techniques

Beaders are a wonderful bunch! They want to share what they've learned with others. Several sites collect online information into one place for other beaders. For learning techniques, our favorites are:

  • (of course)
  • Purchase a kit

    Designing a new piece is the most difficult part of creating a piece. If this step intimidates you, start slowly by purchasing a kit. You can practice your new skills assembling the kit. When you're done, experiment with the design and create a new work of art!

    Ask a beading friend

    When in doubt, ask someone who knows! And your beading friend doesn't need to be local. Email a website or post a question in a forum or discussion groups: rec.crafts.beads or, for example.

    Most important, have fun!

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