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100% recycled plastic beads – fun & quick jewellery examples

100% recycled plastic beads - Jewellery Examples

We’re really excited to start stocking these beautiful 100% recycled plastic beads. Available both in our Nottingham Bead Shop and online on our website. We really love them, not only do they make use of otherwise discarded plastic (they’re all made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic). But also the use of different plastics together have … Read more

Re-creating a favourite necklace – see the end results

Leila's Finished Necklace - Re-creating a favourite necklace

Last week one of our customers Leila joined me for a 1-2-1 session to start re-creating a favourite necklace. Leila’s already a keen beader and makes stunning brick stitch and fringed earrings (a technique learnt in another 1-2-1 session last year). She also has a keen eye for beadwork and has picked up some gorgeous … Read more

The Bead Shop Teams creative inspiration using our Rubberised Acrylic Beads

Beaded Sunflower Necklace - The Bead Shop Teams creative inspiration using our Rubberised Acrylic Beads

When you work in a bead shop you can’t help but get excited about new products & the endless possibilities with them. It was no different when our new Rubberised Acrylic bead range arrived last week. So as everyone’s creative cogs whirred into action I thought I’d share our creative inspiration on using our Rubberised … Read more

What is Paracord and what you can you do with it?

fishtail knotted bracelet

You may well have heard of Paracord, without really knowing what it is and what you can do with it. As the name suggests, it is used to make parachutes. Made from Nylon, it is very strong and durable. It is created from several fine cords, with a woven cover, it gives it extra strength … Read more

Mix it up – Christmas Jewellery and Decorations

Mix it up - Christmas Jewellery and Decorations

Believe it or not, our Christmas Czech glass mix is popular ALL year round. It is often used in our introduction to jewellery making workshop, to create earrings and bracelets. Collectively all the beads make a lovely festive mix with greens, reds, golds, creamy pearls and silver shades. When you pick out the individual beads … Read more

Autumnal vibes – here’s some great crafts for a cosy night in

Felt Fox Kit

September signifies so much for me. Back to school vibes, Autumn (my favourite season) cosy evenings on the sofa crafting. Decorating my house with autumnal foliage. Planning my hand made gifts for Christmas and of course Halloween. There’s something so fun about crafting and decorating your home for Halloween and Autumn. I’m no expert but … Read more

Where to start your beading journey

where to start your beading journey blog post

As it is International Beading Week, which is designed to share the joy of beading with others. As well as hopefully encourage more people to try this creative art form. We wanted to help complete beginners to discover the love of beading. As it can sometimes be overwhelming. There’s often different opinions of where to … Read more

Why brick stitch is better than peyote stitch

Why brick stitch is better than peyote stitch might seem controversial statement. Especially since I would say that Peyote stitch is my favourite stitch. It’s easier to teach, and satisfyingly quick to bead, once you’ve got going. However there are some things that brick stitch is just better suited to. For example when you’re making … Read more

Silversmith & Sculptor Claire Zwozny-Bestwick – Guest Tutor

Meet Silversmith & Sculptor Claire Zwozny-Bestwick

We have a guest tutor, Claire, joining us at the end of February to teach a 2 part copper clay workshop. So I took the opportunity to find out all about Claire and her work; “Often, I’m introduced as my business name ‘CRZyBest’ and that’s great, because I am Claire R. Zwozny–Bestwick I’m an eco-friendly Silversmith & Sculptor, … Read more

Christmas gift guide for the bead and craft lovers in your life

We often get asked in the shop for help choosing gifts so we thought we’d put together a Christmas gift guide for the bead and craft lovers in your life. We’ve each chosen a product we think would make a great gift or we’d love ourselves.  Hana’s gift suggestion My gift suggestion would be the Around … Read more

Raising funds to fix vandalised shop front

When we arrived at the shop on Monday morning we were confronted by our large window having been smashed. We believe it happened on Saturday night and unfortunately having a shop in the middle of a busy city centre this is something we have to contend with. We are fortunate that it has only happened … Read more

Threads for Beading and Stringing

Collection of threads - Blog post Threads for Beading and Stringing

Have you ever wondered what the best thing to string beads on is? Or which thread to start bead-weaving with? We will go through the different types of stringing materials and beading threads and what jewellery making techniques they can be used for. Beading Wires for Jewellery Making Beadalon, Soft Flex, and Soft Touch are … Read more

How I approach designing with 2 hole beads

Original Ginko Bead Design - The Bead Shop Nottingham

I’m often asked, particularly when I’m teaching workshops “How do you come up with your designs”. So I thought you may find it interesting to find out how I approach designing with 2 hole beads. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. We have just added the lovely 2 hole Ginko beads and 2 … Read more

Big changes are coming to The Bead Shop

Table and chairs ready for our Cafe in The Bead Shop

We have some big changes coming soon to The Bead Shop so I wanted to talk through what’s happening and why. It’s a bit of a long post but a really important one. As a lot of you know we’ve been going as The Bead Shop in Nottingham for over 21 years now. Whilst the … Read more

Beading on a loom

Beading on a Jewel Loom

Beading on a loom is a great place to start beadwork. It’s how I first played with beads, with a bead loom kit I was given as a child. A familiar story with many I have spoken to in workshops too. I thought it would be useful to collect together all our resources to help … Read more

New Preciosa crystal bead range; our first impressions ahead of our launch

preciosa beads category image

Obviously we were quite shocked and upset by the seemly abrupt decision by Swarovski last year, to stop producing loose crystals for the DIY market. There was lots of initial panicking, from both us, having many kits which use Swarovski components. As well as customers who use a lot of Swarovski in their own businesses, … Read more

My Trials & Errors experimenting with Glow in the Dark Polymer Clay

glow in the dark sculpey ghost

I was so excited when I discovered that Sculpey make a glow in the dark polymer clay, and in Premo too! Premo is my personal favourite as it’s stronger and more durable than Sculpey III. After a quick google image search, I was sold. It looked like it really did glow in the dark, and brightly too! I just had to see for myself. So, I had a go at making a few bits and bobs; a Halloween ghost (of course), some sweet charms to test out some adorable new cutters, and a simple octopus (why not!?)

Basic Jewellery Findings; from Bolt Rings to Leverbacks

Beginner Guide to Findings

I often describe findings to complete beginners as the nuts and bolts of jewellery making. They connect and join pieces together, finish items and fundamentally complete jewellery and makes it functional. There are lots of types of findings, but we wanted this beginners guide to findings to give you an outline of the basics to get you started!

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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