This post is sponsored by Jewellery Maker.
What’s your vote on craft kits? I’m still pretty 50/50. Some of them are amazing and fuel creativity, while others feel a bit cookie cutter and restrictive.
When Jewellery Maker said they have a new range of DIY kits, I wanted to try one for myself. The kit touts itself as “everything you need in one box to take you through the basics”.
And since I had never made a seed bead bracelet before, I just had to put that claim to the test! Scroll through to get my 5 top tips for working with seed beads so you have an easier time than I did figuring it out for the first time.
Check out the video for the full unboxing, the making process in just a couple minutes, and the highs and lows of the process. (There was a pretty major oops at 9min 49sec.)
I went to a jewellery class with my mom nearly ten years ago so I knew how to attach clasps and use the crimp beads, but that was as far as my memory went. Verdict? This kit is absolutely beginner friendly. Once I got over the hurdle of attaching the first jump ring and crimp bead, the beading process was really calming. It made 10 minutes feel like two.
The kit has LOADS of extra materials. It’ll keep even an experienced jewellery maker occupied. You get several packs of quality Miyuki beads, much more than you need to make the bracelets it’s based around. After making my bracelet I’ve hardly made a dent in the materials!
To sum up the kit, it includes:
- Miyuki seed beads in colours black, white, silver lined, turquoise, and “lavender” (aka sparkly mermaid scales)
- Dark grey Fireline thread
- 4 beading needles
- Silver plated basics kit (21pcs including clasps, crimp beads, chain, etc)
Is the price worth it? I compared the prices of buying everything individually and the price of the kit at £19.95 is really good value. The two big tubes and Fireline thread are worth roughly £18 on their own. Plus it’s nicely curated and has enough to try a little bit of everything.
The only downside was that because the kit doesn’t tell you how long the bracelet will be, you have to guess or test it. I made a string of the bead design to get a rough idea of how long the bracelet would be. My wrist is smaller than average, so keep that in mind if you’re making this specific kit too.
FYI, my bracelet is 6 3/4 inches (17cm) long.
Miyuki Delica silver lined crystal – look at that sparkle!
5 tips for seed beading
Straight from the mouth of a beginner – I’ve literally just been there, so I know how helpful it would have been to know these things straight off!
1. Use a sharp set of cutters
It took me 45 minutes from start to finish to make my bracelet. (I know this, because I filmed it. You can see the process boiled down to a couple minutes in the video above!) No joke, 15 minutes of this was struggling with cutting the threads. You have to cut them three times throughout the process of making the bracelet. My dull clippers (with jagged edges and all) made the job way more work than it needed to be.
2. Hold the beading needle near the bottom
This means you have more needle between your fingers and the beads – which made it much easier to keep them on the needle!
3. Work on a textured surface
You’ll see I used a bit of calico fabric to work on. This kept the little beads from rolling everywhere as I worked. Even when they jumped a little bit the texture of the fabric grabbed them right away. Phew!
4. Make sure everything’s well lit
In the video above, the room I was in had loads of natural light. That night I tried to do some more beading but the area I was working in had crap lighting. Cue headache. It’s not very fun to squint at tiny little beads. I’m considering a magnifying glass like they showed on the Jewellery Maker YouTube video about the kit.
5. Kick out the cats.
Yeah, I think this one is a bit self-explanatory really.
Get a free tool kit!
Jewellery Maker have a fantastic offer for you – use the code CraftFingers to get free postage AND a free tool kit when you buy one of their DIY kits. Offer ends October 14th 2017. Take advantage of some nice sharp cutters, don’t spend 15 minutes cutting the thread like I did. Shop here!
Have you ever made your own jewellery before? I love bracelets but don’t wear them very often as I find it tricky to find cute designs that fit well. I think DIY is the way to go! There are a ton of beads left from my kit and I think I might just know what to do with them…
I might even have to try some bead embroidery!
Lots of crafty love,
P.S. Don’t forget to use your special offer CraftFingers on the Jewellery Maker website Shop DIY kits.
P.P.S. Here’s the video again if you missed it!