Craft Book Review - The Beader's Handbook

Friday February 26, 2010

The Beader's Handbook
by Juju Vail
January 2008
Martingale & Company
Description:
Find all the beading know-how you'll ever need in this comprehensive, step-by-step handbook! Over 350 photos and illustrations spotlight scores of techniques--they'll take you from beginner to expert with the flip of a page. 

* Find inspiring ideas for featuring beads in jewelry, needlecrafts, home-decor accents, and more 

* Try wrapping and threading, stringing and weaving, creating fringes and edgings--even knitting and crocheting with beads 

* Find the perfect bead for any project with a "Know Your Beads" section, spotlighting over 100 bead types

Review:
I've been making jewelry and glass beads for about 10 years now and I've seen tons of "how-to" and informational books about beads and jewelry. The Beader's Handbook is great because it gives a little bit of information on a lot of different topics. If you want a good intro book to see all the different types of ways to make jewelry and to find about various types of beads then this is a great place to start!

I think it is great that the book only gives the basic supplies needed to start beading. I remember some of the books that I bought in the beginning completely overwhelmed me with the amount of stuff that I would need to buy to get started. The books were great overall but all the supplies listed seemed wayyyy expensive...in reality you can get started beading for less than $50  (even less if you go to garage sales and such :)

The basics are listed for: beading * wire working * jewelry making * bead stitching/weaving and stringing materials. The book also explains what various parts of jewelry are and what they are used for ie: earring wires and split rings.

You will also find the basics on how to do wire working, including a wire size chart, the different types of wire and their uses (including the hardness of the wire which is very important!)

When it comes to the jewelry making part (earrings, necklaces and bracelets) all the basic skills are shown and I also like the fact that they list the "standard" length of various types of necklaces and bracelets.

The book also shows the basics on how to make the following types of beads: wooden beads * polymer beads * fabric beads * felt beads and making beads out of smaller seed beads. Although it shows the basics, if you are interested in focusing on making any one of them in particular I definitely recommend buying a book devoted to making that certain type of bead.  

There is some info on stitching and weaving including a loom, peyote and off-loom stitching. A guide to Knitting and crocheting with beads is provided also. You can also find a lot of pages devoted to explaining all the different types of beads out there (there are a LOT) and semi-precious stones called "Know your Beads".

Overall a great book for beginners! Again, if you find a particular style of beading in this book that you really like, I definitely recommend buying another book that focuses on that style because it will provide you with more in-depth instructions. 

Happy beading!

Review copy sent by publisher and donated to school library.

7 comments:

Haleyknitz said...

pretty!! i love beads! it's been so long since i've beaded... :\

Jennie Smith said...

I just saw this one and it looks interesting. My mom is a beader... so this might just be a great gift for her! Great review!

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