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Is it the end of the road for Swarovski Crystal beads?

Swarovski Inspiration box

You may well have heard the rumours in beading circles about Swarovski ending production of their crystals, Or watched Steph’s video on our social media on the impact of this for beaders & jewellery designers. I spoke to Swarovski earlier this week to clarify the situation and wanted to share this with you.

How to make a reusable Snowflake decoration

Snowflake decoration

I love snowflakes, they’re a natural phenomenon, each one unique and sparkly and their shape lends themselves so well to loads recreating it lots of different crafts. You can see our Swarovski snowflake kits here. One simple and effective way to create a reusable snowflake decorations is to use a snowflake wire form.Produced by Beadsmith, … Read more

Kids Craft Ideas for Half Term

Halloween jewellery making

With plans disrupted this half term and many of us spending yet more time at home, we have gathered together some kids craft ideas for the school holidays! With Halloween parties and trick or treating off the cards, it doesn’t mean you can’t make some spooky Halloween decorations. This pre-printed Halloween Shrink Plastic sheet comes … Read more

Top Tips From My First Time Using Polymer Clay

Tiny Twister Lolly - polymer clay

Hi, I’m Eloise! The newbie here at The Bead Shop. You may have seen me on our Instagram or in store recently. I’ve recently really got into making items from Sculpey clay. So I thought I’d share some top tips from my first time using polymer clay.

When my partner first found The Bead Shop, coming home with a pile of leaflets on workshops and crafty info along with my first pack of polymer clay, I couldn’t have guessed that only months later I would be a member of the lovely team here!

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

The Bead Shop During lockdown

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.

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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.

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Inspiration for how to decorate natural wooden beads

Inspiration for how to decorated natural Wooden Beads

Sometimes being faced with a blank canvas, whether it’s an actual canvas or a bead, can feel a little daunting. So I thought I’d share some inspiration for how to decorate natural wooden beads. Sometimes wanting to find the right colour to go with a particular garment can be enough to spark your inspiration. I have been known to paint my own beads for that very reason.

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How to use Bead Stoppers for Jewellery Making

How to use a Bead Stopper The Bead Shop Nottingham

It’s a small thing, but being able to stop your beads sliding off your thread as you are working makes a big difference! That’s where bead stoppers come in very handy. These little springs temporarily grip onto the end of your thread or beading wire. You just squeeze the ‘ears’ at either side to open up the spring, put the thread in between the coils and let go. The stopper grips onto the thread, preventing your beads from falling off. When you are ready to put ends onto your jewellery, just squeeze the ‘ears’ again to open up the spring and take your thread out.

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Needle felting for the mind

Needle felted Rain bow brooch

Hi, Alex here!
For a while now we’ve been wanting to produce a new needle felting kit to add to our ever growing collection of crafting kits here at The Bead Shop. Steph and Emma are our needle felting experts but we wanted to aim this kit at complete beginners. So for the production of this kit I thought I’d have a go! Needle felting is something I’ve always wanted to try. Inspired by seeing Emma’s adorable needle felted bunny Ralph, I was keen to get involved and I also had a slight ulterior motive… 

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How to make your own Mala Beads

Knotted Mala Bead Necklace

Buddhist prayer beads or malas are a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited. They are similar to Catholic rosary beads used in prayer though they tend to have 59 beads and finish in a cross or crucifix. Misbahah are muslim prayer beads, usually in strings of 99 beads.

Mala necklaces consist of 108 beads plus a 109th Guru bead and are used to count the number of times a mantra or breaths are repeated.

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The history of 7 Market Street Nottingham

History of 7 Maret Street nottingham

7 Market Street Nottingham is a beautiful Victorian shop and has been The Bead Shop’s home for the last 14 years. I fell in love with it when we first looked around it in 2005 and have been fascinated by its history ever since. I knew it had always been in the care of various independent shops but had never quite been able to piece together all of its history.

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What you need to know about healing crystals

What you need to know about healing crystals

Have you ever wondered about the benefits of healing crystals or which birthstone is associated with each month? Semi-precious gemstones have been used in jewellery and accessories for Millenia. But some people believe semi precious stones and gemstones have specific meanings and uses. Recently there has been a renewed interest in natural crystals and their potential healing qualities. They are thought to help balance energy and enhance wellbeing. Semi-precious gemstone beads can not only be used to make beautiful jewellery, but the stones themselves may have many benefits and properties.

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How to make your own beaded felt bowls

Hi Steph here, I thought I’d show you how to make your own beaded felt bowls! You may have seen these beautiful bowls in our bead shop or on our social media. We launched them for our 20th Birthday party back in January. We wanted an alternative to the plastic tubs that customers use to collect their beads in whilst shopping. We had been on the look out for a while, but hadn’t found anything suitable. That was until I visited the Nottingham Yarn Expo last November where I saw these fun bowls on Joe’s Toes stand. They are a Yorkshire based company producing DIY slipper kits as well as a few other fun felt items.

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Swarovski Crystal Birthstone Jewellery

Learn how to make Swarovski crystal birthstone jewellery as gifts and presents using simple jewellery making techniques. 

Traditionally, birthstones are natural gemstones that are associated with particular months. Jewellery made using these stones is often given as Birthday gifts.  With stones including emerald and diamond, you can imagine these materials are often out of many people’s price range.

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Fun craft projects so you can keep the kids happy!

Kids Crafts from household items - The Bead Shop Nottingham Blog

I was going to be teaching a series of craft workshops for kids during the Easter holidays at Handmade Nottingham. Unfortunately Covid-19 has other ideas so these have been postponed until the Summer holidays. However I thought as everyone is going to have to be creative in keeping their children entertained at home it would be helpful if I shared the projects with you.

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Did you know you can hire our beautiful workshop room?

Hi, it’s Steph here to talk about our workshop room. It’s a lovely, bright, airy space in our listed Victorian building in Nottingham City Centre. It retains many of its period features like the fire place, coving and picture rail. Though probably its biggest asset is the wonderful, bright big bay window.

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We’re hiring! Want to join our team?

We currently have 2 part time vacancies to join our team as a sales assistant.

Sales Assistant 

We are looking for 2 enthusiastic creative individuals to join our friendly and knowledgeable team as a sales assistant. No two days are ever the same and even after working her for several years they’ll always be new skills and techniques to learn.

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My 20 favourite things to do in Nottingham!

The Bead Shop Hot Chocolate

Hi it’s Hana here, I’ve noticed recently that we’re getting more people coming to visit us from outside Nottingham. I’m not sure if it’s because there are now less bead shops in the UK or because beading and crafting are becoming more popular. Either way we often get asked what else there is to do and see in Nottingham so I thought share some of my favourite places with you.

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SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS – Innovations Launch – Light & Shadow

Swarovski Innovations Launch – Light & Shadow 2017

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before about how excited we get here at The Bead Shop every time Swarovski launch their new ranges. They send us small boxes of joy with sample pieces of new crystal cuts, bead shapes as well as sparkling new crystal and pearl colours.

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Trio Challenge – thinking outside the box!

Soft Flex trio beading wire packs

Thinking outside the box, is one of those odd phrases I’m never entirely sure what people mean when they say it. However I do believe I found myself “thinking outside the box” when the brand new SoftFlex Trios arrived. I wanted to do something a little different with them, my initial thought was to do some simple stringing with some of the colourful wires on show, however the small snippet of an image on the front of the trio set led me down a different path.

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Swarovski Ceralun Clay : Top Tips

Swarovski Ceralun example jewellery

Swarovski Ceralun clay is a wonderful media that allows you to make simple jewellery with maximum impact. The clay comes in 2 parts (resin & hardener), when equal amounts of each are mixed together it forms a clay that can then can have Swarovski crystal chatons, diamantes and stones set into the surface.

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The Evolution of a Design

Candy Bead Rosette Necklace Kit


Hello it’s Steph here. I teach a lot of the workshops at The Bead Shop and design quite a few of the kits too. I regularly get asked how do I come up with my designs so I thought I’d share a little insight as to how our latest design got developed into a kit, which originally started life as a workshop.

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Happy New Year!

The Bead Shop New Year

We hope you’ve all had a great start to the new year. If you’re anything like me you’ve already been asked “have you made any resolutions” way too many times. It’s not something I really do myself, I have in the past but inevitably they lead to disappointment in yourself when you’ve not achieved those ridiculously unrealistic challenges you set yourself. Instead, I have made a resolution with myself to not feel guilty for spending time doing the stuff I love and what I love is creating things!

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Christmas Crafting

The Bead Shop Earrings

With the holiday season creeping up on us I’ve been getting crafty with our Christmas charms. We regularly make our Christmas charms into earrings for customers who want something to jazz up their outfit for their Christmas parties and they are always popular. But I wanted to use the charms to make something a little different.

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Pretty in Pink

The Bead Shop Glass Beads

Hello Steph here! Some of you may already know how much I love right angle weave (RAW), particularly if you’ve been on any of my workshops before. It’s such a versatile beading technique and one that looks more complicated than it really is. We’ve taught many people how to make a right angle weave bracelet on our basic jewellery making class and everyone is always surprised by how easy and relaxing it is to do.

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