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DIY: Spruce Up Your Home With Some Beading

Beading is becoming an increasingly popular hobby amongst children, teenagers, and adults in the United States. Men and women alike are discovering the beauty and fun involved in creating beaded jewelry, clothing, and accessories, and there are now thousands of workshops around the country dedicated to teaching beading techniques. If you would love to make a beaded curtain or tablecloth but just don’t have the time to make it to a beading class, look no further! Here are some tips that will provide you with the essential techniques you need to add some sparkle to your home!

 

Getting Started with Beading

Before you can start beading, it is important to become familiar with the basic supplies that you will need to create a beautiful accessory for your home:

Choosing Your Beads
There are literally dozens of different types of beads available from many different countries around the world. Each type of bead has a different shape and style and can add a special look to a particular project. Some of the most popular types of beads include:

 

  • seed beads
  • metal beads
  • lampwork beads (glass beads)
  • semi-precious beads
  • pearl beads

 

Each of these types of beads comes in a variety of different colors and sizes. Bead sizes are defined by a special number – the larger the number, the smaller the bead. It is recommended that beginner beaders start with the largest sized beads available, because these are the easiest to manipulate.

Choosing a Needle
If you are interested in beading a piece of fabric or cloth, such as a curtain hem or tablecloth, you will need a special needle in order to complete the project. Beading needles tend to be made of wire and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Bigger needles are designed to be used with bigger beads, while smaller needles should be used with smaller beads. Beginners should try to find a needle that is a size 10 or 12.

Choosing Your Thread
There is a wide variety of threads and wires available for beading projects. Some of the most popular include:

 

  • Nylon: Nylon thread is not only good for heavy-duty beading, but it also stands up to sunlight and chlorine bleach (which makes it perfect for outdoor use)! Widely available, nylon thread also allows for extra flexibility because it has a built-in stretch.
  • Nymo: Nymo thread is a brand of thread that is non-twisted and available in a variety of thicknesses. It is of high quality but may not stand up to heavier beads, so use it for beading projects that are fabric-based.
  • Upholstery: Upholstery thread is excellent for crochet projects that involve beads. Because this thread is not stretchy, it ensures that all beads stay in their proper place.
  • Necklace Wire: Necklace wire is made out of flexible metal and is excellent for creating jewelry and home accessories. It is easy to work with and relatively inexpensive.

 

 

How To Make a Beaded Curtain

Beaded curtains are making a comeback, and can add a really beautiful accent to your living room, bedroom, or even your dining room. All you need to create a dazzling beaded curtain is:

 

  • a curtain rod
  • brackets (to hang the curtain rod)
  • a bunch of assorted beads
  • several eye hooks (at least 20)
  • string
  • pencil and ruler
  • scissors

 

How To Make the Curtain:

 

  • Begin by measuring your curtain rod. Divide the curtain rod into several equal parts (approximately 20) and mark off each section.
  • Screw in your eye hooks at each marked position. These will be used to suspend your beads.
  • Cut your pieces of string (one for each eye hook that you have screwed into your curtain rod). Cut them two inches longer than you want your curtain to hang (generally, curtains are 75 inches in length).
  • Tie a knot in one end of each piece of string.
  • Begin beading. Continue beading until every string is loaded with beads. Leave two inches at the top of the string to hang on your curtain rod.
  • Tie each beaded string on to a separate eye hook.
  • Mount your brackets and hang your curtain rod.
  • Enjoy your dazzling new beaded curtain!

 

 

Beaded Wineglass Charms

Planning a party sometime soon? If so, then why not add a little extra sparkle to your wine glasses with some beaded wineglass charms. These charms are easy to make and can help partygoers identify which glass is theirs! All you need to make 12 wineglass charms is:

 

  • one large wire hoop (approximately 3 inches in diameter)
  • 12 ¾ inch wire hoops
  • glass beads in assorted shades and colors
  • round nosed pliers
  • 12 ½ inch gold headpins

 

How to Make the Charms:

 

  • Begin by placing the 12 ¾ inch hoops in front of you.
  • With your pliers, bend the straight end of each hoop into a hook. Place the hoops aside.
  • Determine your bead pattern. Each wine glass charm should have different colored beads, because they will be used to mark off everyone’s drinks. Try to use about three beads per wine glass charm.
  • Thread the beads onto your 12 headpins.
  • Using your pliers, bend the end of each headpin so that it forms a loop.
  • Thread each of your headpin loops onto your ¾ inch wire hoops.
  • Use your large wire hoop as a storage place for all the wineglass charms: simply thread each charm onto the larger wire hoop, and bend the straight edge over with your pliers.
  • Get ready for a fabulous party!

 

 

Beaded Lampshade

Give your bedroom, living room, or hallway an added glow with this beaded lampshade! All you need to get started is:

 

  • one lampshade (any size, shape, or color)
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • assorted beads (aim for different colors, shapes, and sizes)
  • .
  • crimping beads
  • large needle
  • beading wire
  • wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers

 

How To Make the Lampshade

 

  • Using your measuring tape, determine the circumference of the bottom of your lampshade.
  • With your pencil, make a mark at ½ inch intervals around the lampshade. At each of these marks you will hang some beads.
  • With your needle, punch a hole through the lampshade at each of these marked points.
  • Cut a piece of wire with your wire cutters. You can make the wire as long or as short as you want, but keep in mind this wire will hang down from your lampshade, so it is probably a good idea to keep it around 3 to 6 inches in length.
  • Knot one end of your wire. Thread the wire through one of the holes in your lampshade, and pull the knot tightly against the back of the shade. Carefully string your beads, in any order that you like, onto your wire. Then, place a crimping bead onto the end of the wire and with your pliers, press into place. This crimping bead will hold all the other beads onto the wire.
  • Cut enough pieces of wire for the rest of the holes in your lampshade. Bead each piece of wire as you did above.
  • Place your lampshade on the base of your lamp and watch it glow!