I’m going to write an article for BeadingHelpWeb entitled “Beading on a Budget” and talk about some of the things you can do to keep from breaking the bank while you make pieces for yourself or others.
One of my tips is going to be to NOT skimp where it counts. I mean, you can buy beads at rummage sales, tear apart old jewelry or go through the clearance section at Michael’s all you’d like, but buy good quality stuff when it comes to your beading wire and findings (crimps, clasps and rings). That’s your foundation, and while it may not be sexy to buy sterling crimps, you WILL see the difference.
The cheap stuff will not last. And sometimes it won’t even work right. Classic example: I was in the throes of making Gone Wild bracelets, but ran out of head pins. I ordered quality head pins from Rings ‘N’ Things, but “couldn’t wait”. I bought a whole slug of headpins at a local hobby store, at 50% off, nonetheless!!! What a bargain, right?
WRONG. I spent more time fighting wrapped loops with those darned headpins than if I’d have waited three days for my R&T order. The cheap pins wouldn’t wrap neatly, and if they did, the end of the pin would break off long before I was done. I was surprised that I had any hair left after that experiment!
Same thing with cheap crimps. If they even crimp for you (I’ve had them just flat out BREAK when attempting to crimp), chances are they will slip, and if you were unlucky enough to be wearing the jewelry when it does, you’ll have beads and stones all over the floor.
So spend where it counts. It’s kind of like building a house…you don’t want to go cheap on the foundation or the wiring, even though it’s not nearly as much fun as buying paint or wallpaper. 😉