Gemduo Bracelet - free tutorial

Advice for getting started with bead weaving

We are currently half way through International Beading week. This is a great initiative from the Beadworkers guild to help encourage people to take up beading. Which always makes me think about the advice we give to new beaders who visit us in our shop or at bead shows. 

Kits provide a great way of getting started. They will provide you with a manageable project with all the materials and instructions included. This eliminates any worry about getting the right beads and thread when everything is new to you. 

There’s also a huge amount of resources and information out there. Including blogs, free YouTube tutorials, downloadable projects and your local Bead Shop. We have a whole section of our website dedicated to those new to jewellery making and beading, available here: https://www.mailorder-beads.co.uk/how-to-start-beading/

The Beadworkers guild have a lot of free templates aimed at a range of levels and all helping to promote beading. During International beading week they work with lots of designers from across the world who often provide free or discounted projects to tempt you try their patterns. It’s a great time to try something new. 

I have created an ideal beginners project which I’ve shared on YouTube. It is perfect for a complete novice. Sometimes when faced with fancy two hole beads they can look a little daunting. So I have designed a bracelet to use them in a very simple and effective way. I also talk you through how to work out the length you need to make your bracelet. 

If you are wanting to get in to bead weaving specifically and you’re not sure where to start I would recommend trying a range of different stitches. Either just playing with seed beads to get the hang of it, or a simple project. I personally would always go for a simple project when learning a new stitch. It gives you a greater sense of accomplishment and is likely to provide you with more details, like the size of beads, recommended thread and best needle to use. All things that until you start beading regularly you’ll not know. 

Here’s are some suggested basic projects using different stitches, perfect for beginners.  Brick stitch Diamond Earrings, Brick stitch hoop earrings, Right angle weave tassel jewellery, mini festive stars.

There are a few other pieces of advice I’d like to share: having taught beading weaving for many years to a variety of different levels and ages, there are a few things that are relevant to everyone!


You’ll see ‘tension’ talked about a lot, this something that may take a little while to get used to. It refers to how tightly you pull your thread when beading. Usually projects are aiming for a snug but not taut tension, so that there’s no gaps between beads with exposed thread. Some projects will require a different tension and they should state that. Like my Gemduo bracelet, this requires a relaxed tension (another reason it’s good for beginners) rather than pulling your thread really tight. 

Holding on to your bead work. You’ll develop your own way of holding your work. There’s no right and wrong way, there’s just what suits you – try different things to find out what that is. I hold my beading with my left hand and pick up beads with my right hand. I move my beading around in my hand a lot. Others and particularly those new to beading may choose to keep their work flat on a bead mat and move their mat around to help make it easier to see their work. 


Don’t be disheartened if things don’t work first time. Like anything you’re trying for the first time it can take practice. As you bead more and try new things your skills and confidence will build. And of course if you have any problems please do get in touch, Steph.

The Bead Shop During lockdown

We’re excited to welcome you back to The Bead Shop

As I write this it’s only a week until we will be re-opening our doors to welcome you back to The Bead Shop! In some ways it’s been a very long 4 months since we shut our doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In other ways it feels like the time has flown by! Back in March it felt like everything was falling apart both from a business and personal point of view. We had no idea how we would manage to keep paying everyone, mixed with worry about higher risk friends & family.
Continue reading We’re excited to welcome you back to The Bead Shop

How to create jewellery with leftover chain

How to create jewellery with leftover chain

Hi Alex here! If you’re anything like us at the bead shop you might have a collection of odd lengths of chain that you have no idea what to do with! I’ve created this blog post to show you how to create jewellery with leftover chain to hopefully inspire you to use utilise the chain you would otherwise throw away. Not only can you help reduce your waste but create beautiful things too.
Continue reading How to create jewellery with leftover chain

The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Limited
4.9
Based on 279 reviews
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Debbie Bryan
Debbie Bryan
07:50 30 Apr 20
I've been a customer at this creative haven since my days as a textile student 20 years ago! The staff are always so helpful and the online customer service is excellent too. Always an inspiring visit, reasonable prices too.
Cate Jones
Cate Jones
12:01 17 Jan 20
This shop and the people who work there are absolutely amazing! I order both online and via phone when I have a bigger order and they are so helpful. Recently I placed an order and it meant that they had to order some bits in because it was a big order and one or two items weren't normally stocked... by them. Rather than send me to another bead shop to get the non stock items, they put in a special order for me and went out of their way to make sure that all was done in one stop. They ship things quickly and securely and the packages are always well wrapped without being wasteful. In all, The Bead Shop (Nottingham) is one of the best bead shops around and I wish I lived closer so I could spend more time browsing the actual shop!read more
Jackie Harrison
Jackie Harrison
15:29 24 Dec 19
I contacted The Bead Shop for some advice and now wish we lived nearer! The advice I was given was fantastic and the parcel even arrived with a little extra something for my daughter and a lovely hand written note. The delivery was quick and the package well packed. Looking forward to many more... purchases.read more
Siobhan Somers
Siobhan Somers
20:23 17 Dec 19
I recently attended a beginners jewellery workshop at The Bead Shop in Nottingham, after being given a voucher for my birthday last year. I have fancied picking up a little creative hobby for a while, but what I hadn’t anticipated was just how relaxing it would be. I completely switched off to... everything else for 3 hours and it was so refreshing. Honestly think these workshops should be offered to big companies as a way to reduce stress and get their staff feeling creative. Can’t wait to come back for another!read more
Linda Robertson
Linda Robertson
12:26 12 Dec 19
I have had great service from this shop. I only needed a few beads to complete a project. Their delivery price was by far the best for a small order. They were dispatched quickly and were exactly as described. Would highly recommend.
Janice Arnold
Janice Arnold
06:56 21 Nov 19
Really pleased with my purchase, excellent service and the price was great I hunted everywhere for letter beads to put on my handmade wreaths Just placed another little order.
Joanne Johnson
Joanne Johnson
16:14 18 Nov 19
I recently visited the Bead Shop in Nottingham and was very pleased to be served by extremely helpful young lady. I am very much a beginner at Jewellery making and she identified everything I needed to make some earrings. She was also courteous and cheerful. I later tried to order some more... items using the mail order website but due to my lack of technological skills, I soon ran into difficulties. I telephoned the shop and a very pleasant gentleman talked me through the whole process (which incidently was very straightforward). I am grateful to the Bead Shop not only for the professionalism, patience and courtesy of their staff but also for the quality of their merchandise. Thank you and I look forward to my next visit.read more
Sam Self
Sam Self
10:23 17 Nov 19
Absolutely brilliant service! I ordered a few things and they arrived very quickly. The items were packaged exexcellently too. I have since contacted the shop about future workshops and nothing is too much trouble for these lovely peeps! Will definitely use them again.
Joe Ling
Joe Ling
16:08 13 Nov 19
They had the most amazing beads! Every shape and size you could imagine! They even had vibrating ones! Those made me feel the best !
Alyson Larholm
Alyson Larholm
09:54 10 Nov 19
I have used this company a few times and they have always been helpful, accommodating and really lovely too! When I've needed advice, they've also been very quick to look at photo's to help me work out what I need etc. Can't recommend them enough.
Kim Mitchell
Kim Mitchell
09:39 04 Nov 19
Keep returning to this company. Best value for money, quality of items and fast delivery. Highly recommended.
David Austen
David Austen
11:56 28 Oct 19
When I ordered the breakaway beads for the lanyard I have been making I got confirmation of the order in minutes less than 24hrs had notification that my order had been packed and sent and I received it in 2 days absolutely brilliant thank you so much for speed and good packaging no worries I... will be back again.read more
Alison Chase
Alison Chase
20:21 27 Oct 19
Beautiful products, excellent service, speedy delivery. .still loving The Bead Shop (Nottingham)! Great job everyone - Thank you!
Steve Wisker
Steve Wisker
13:33 24 Oct 19
as always very impressed with delivery. Will be ordering again soon, plus hoping to call in at the shop for a good browse. Thank you and keep up the good work
Hollie Cranham
Hollie Cranham
06:39 15 Oct 19
Really quick service and great prices! Really low postage costs too. My usual bead order shop closed, this was a light amongst many pricier alternatives!
Mo Beach-Morris
Mo Beach-Morris
14:42 01 Sep 19
I was recently trying to find a specific Beadalon item and discovered one version of it at the Bead Shop, one of the few places to sell these components at a competitive price. I mentioned on the site feedback that I would have liked this item in another colour, and much to my surprise, I... received a phone call regarding this item. The Bead Shop have now ordered this item for me, and I am beyond grateful. What superb customer service, certainly going above and beyond. Thank you Bead Shop.read more
Mairi McInerney
Mairi McInerney
14:17 30 Aug 19
First time I've ordered from them, and will definitely order from them again. They had the book I was looking for, and at a great price. Really speedy service too. It arrived the day after I ordered it, and I live in the Highlands.
Susan Horsman
Susan Horsman
18:44 27 Aug 19
They stock some unusual items, brooch to pendant converters, as well as a good range of beads and accessories. Service is always quick. A good place to shop.
Justyna Lewandowska
Justyna Lewandowska
06:27 09 Aug 19
Love this place! Such a nice atmosphere I love browsing through hundreds of beads. Great selection of jewellery making tools and findings.
Sue E
Sue E
14:24 06 Aug 19
Enjoyed an introduction to Jewelry making workshop this morning. Made a pair of earrings and a bracelet! Thank you Emma for a great workshop and your patience
sue truesdale
sue truesdale
14:11 18 Jul 19
Lovely bead shop that I miss now that I'm back in Devon. Great selection of beads and findings and great online service too. Thank you :)
yogicaspi
yogicaspi
21:21 20 Jun 19
Lovely quality flower beads. I’ve shopped here online a few times & I always find the process very easy, the service is very efficient too. I’ll definitely be back for more.
Frances McCarthy
Frances McCarthy
12:04 13 Jun 19
Great local shop with products for a wide range of skills. Knowledgable and friendly staff. Kits, beads, equipment and findings all easy to browse, lots of examples, and even workshops.
Nicole C
Nicole C
06:19 10 Jun 19
Stumbled across this wonderful site while I was shopping for some new delica beads and I was thrilled by the choice of colours and the different types of beads they offer at very reasonable prices. Their site is super easy to navigate and they have a very handy quick-add of various amounts of the... beads you want which makes it very quick to fill up your basket (much to the dismay of my bank balance!) Once I placed my order I chose 1st class post and they arrived within 2 days of placing it, I will DEFINITELY be buying from here againread more
Wendy Booth
Wendy Booth
23:26 01 Jun 19
I recently attended an 'Introduction to jewellery making' class here and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a nice,small group, which meant help was at hand when needed, and the instructor was really patient and knowledgeable. We left with a bracelet and a pair of earrings each that we had made... ourselves, which I am wearing with pride. Great value for money and a brilliant way to spend a Saturday morning -thank you.read more
Glenys Newton
Glenys Newton
06:01 24 May 19
Only ordered by post so far and have ditched the Amazon link now. Excellent service, price and quality. I had to phone in to amend some details, it was all done quickly and followed up.
CAROL REID
CAROL REID
13:57 12 Apr 19
I am new to bead weaving and having bought seed beads ,needles and a book to start I realised storage was an issue. I bought bead tubes and a needle case to protect my tools. I then saw the beginners kit so that went in my basket. The delivery was quick and by Royal mail, wooden needle case take... my new beading needles(can't find them anywhere else). The kit is beautifully presented and has what appears to be comprehensive instructions.looking forward to starting it. Will certainly be back.read more
Rosamund Bowler
Rosamund Bowler
09:05 12 Mar 18
Great little shop packed with everything you need to make gorgeous bead creations. We attended one of the bead jewellery workshops upstairs. There were 10 of us on a hen party day of celebrations. Our tutor, Emma was brilliant and we all made a pair of earrings and a bracelet to take home. With it... being a hen party she also allowed us to have cupcakes and champagne whilst we worked. It made for a very enjoyable afternoon.read more
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