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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

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!

How my Grandmas embroidery has inspired me

The Bead shop string of pearls embroidery kit

I have been surrounded by embroidery in one way of another my whole life. My Grandma was a keen sewer, embroiderer and textile artist. She was part of the Embroiderer’s Guild in Blaby near Leicester where her and my Granddad lived. The work she produced was amazing and the older I’ve got, the greater my … Read more

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.

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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