Our favourite online store had a sale on seed beads last week, and we were just tickled pink! We’ve been waiting for this sale for a really long time! Especially me, since I use a lot of seed beads in my jewellery. We’ve placed our order, and we can’t wait to receive them goodies.
I love seed beads. In fact I adore them. They’re essentially tiny little beads, most commonly cylindrical or bugle shaped. Tiny though they may be, they add so much to a piece, and are often used as embellishments in pieces. I’ve only recently started working with them, and names like Miyuki, Czech and Toho are finally starting to sound familiar to me.
I’ve never really worked with Miyuki seed beads, but I’ve ordered some this time. You get your usual round beads, but they also have these really pretty shapes (Magatama beads) and I can’t wait to use them.
Tohos are my newest experiment with seed bead jewellery making. They have slightly larger holes than your usual seed beads, and they come in really pretty colours and finishes – transparent, frosted, matte, opaque, marbled. I just love them. The larger bores allow for more flexibility in my macrame projects.
Czech seed beads are an old favourite. They come in single colours, or (my favourite) in gorgeous mixes. I ordered a whole bunch of those as well from the aforementioned favourite store. Heeheehee.
As much as I love using seed beads, it took me the longest time to familiarize myself with their sizes. They are usually labeled as ‘number/0’ (number-aught). The higher the number, the smaller the diameter of the bead. Threw me back to the confusion I felt regarding aperture size and f-number and all those perplexing things we needed to know for our photography course back in college! So, a bead sized 8/0 is has a larger bore than a bead sized 11/0. The diameter size determines what sort of beading wire or cord you need to use, or vice versa. I use a lot of cord and thread in my jewellery, which are thicker than normal beading wire, and so I usually use either 8/0 or 6/0 sized beads because of their wider diameters.
I’ve added a link to a very helpful size chart here just in case any of you want to buy some of these lovely little things and I hope you have as much fun experimenting with them as I do!
(None of these photos belong to me, I take no credit for them.)