Using Lower Quality Beads
by Judy Larson
Most of us are always on the lookout for a bargain and have probably purchased or been gifted some lower or promotional quality beads. Many of those beads are probably languishing in a box somewhere, waiting to be used. Some of these beads can't be used because they are chipped and/or cracked, have flat sides, have little shine, are not matched in shape or size, and are not drilled well. But we just can't bring ourselves to get rid of them. So how can we use them?
Giving the eye something more interesting to look at can make all the difference. Draw the eye away from the lower quality beads with the sparkle of crystal faceting. The unexpected addition of more rustic metal components normally not combined with crystal beads can also help immensely. The eye has so many wonderful things to look at that it won't stop to see the negatives while looking at the other more positive elements.
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies being used and the space you are working in.

Add an extender chain to the rustic silver link. The length of the extender chain is personal preference.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
For a more rustic look, all the silver components used to make the bracelet should be patinated. Leave more patina than you normally would on all the pieces as this will add to their rustic nature and tie them together. This, however, is personal preference.
Cut two 10" pieces of beading wire.
Using a 2x2mm crimp tube, attach one end of one beading wire to one loop on the rustic link. Make sure the short wire tail is long enough to fit through three beads. Also make sure the holes in the beads at the beginning and end will accommodate two thicknesses of beading wire. Crimp the tube using Magical Crimping pliers.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
String crystal beads interspersed with small rustic silver slide beads onto the beading wire. This bracelet is meant to fit a small to medium/large wrist. Use the ruler measurements as a guide to help decide how many beads from your stash you need to use.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
Add a closure to the other end of the beading wire. Make sure the beading wire is not pulled so tightly that the bracelet will not drape nicely. Crimp the crimp tube with the Magical Crimping Pliers. Trim the beading wire tail.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
Lay out promotional or lower quality beads for second strand. Decide where to position three faceted drops on the strand.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
Attach the second beading wire to the loop on the rustic silver link. String the beads on the beading wire. Adjust the number of beads used to match the length of the first strand. Attach the end of the strand in the same manner as in Step 6.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
Using a faceted bead, make a dangle and attach to the end of the extender chain.
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads
All done and ready to wear!
Judy Larson's Using Lower Quality Beads - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, Beads, designs with beads

Materials

Soft Flex Beading Wire--Medium--.019
BDC-419.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.50
  • Gold Club Price: $11.63
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Sterling Silver Crimp Beads 2x1mm - Pack of 100
K10-21
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $4.94
  • Gold Club Price: $3.71
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Tools

Wire Wrapping/Beading Work Station
G16-43
  • G16-43
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $87.97
  • Gold Club Price: $65.98
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Form Dart Flush Cutters - Pack of 1
G2-16
  • G2-16
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $8.95
  • Gold Club Price: $6.71
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Design, Beading