95 Pages full of tools, tips, techniques, and creative ideas. This is more than just an idea book – it’s packed full of information on different types of beads, tools & materials needed to enter the world of beaded jewelry creation, information on how to set up your workspace, and ends with a page full of creativity tips to “get you past a creative dead end.” Stringing Beaded Jewelry is a great resource for anyone interested in learning the art of jewelry making. Step-by-step, clear, easy to understand instructions which include color photos guide you through creating a variety of different styles of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I was happy to at last learn the proper way to work with my wire/jewelry pliers and my collection of assorted findings. The color photos of each project had me eager to head off to buy beading supplies (much to my husband’s despair……). The projects feature everything from glass, metal, plastic, clay, ribbon, suede, and something I never knew existed but can’t wait to find – wire mesh for jewelry making! The color combinations of Karin’s projects are all lovely, but I must admit I was most drawn to the beautiful assortment of projects featuring my favorite shades of blues & greens. This book retails for a US price of $21.95, which I feel is a great value for the knowledge and inspiration contained in its pages.
-Cindi Bisson, WhenCreativityKnocks.com
Where was this book when I was first trying to learn to make jewelry with my lampwork beads? Life would have been SO much easier! One thing I love is that Karin Buckingham, the author, stresses selecting beads based on what you love, and your budget rather than trying to recreate the exact pieces in this book. The point is learning the basics, learning the basics, learning the basics.
So, how is this accomplished? First, you need to learn and acquire the basic tools, beading supplies, and most importantly, beads. Then you go to project #1 and you start. All you need is beading wire, crimps, 4 spacer beads, clasp, and a single strand of all the same beads, plus wire cutters and needlenose pliers. The point is to learn the basics of stringing a necklace. This can seem daunting the first time, this book is written in such a way as to make it seem super easy and fun.
The book is divided into four main sections with a total of 35 projects after the basic tools and supplies are covered. The first section is Stringing Projects, then Connecting Projects (basic wire techniques), third is Fiber Fun, and last is called Extra Goodies. Many of the projects include extra tips and design alternatives.
Each section of this book begins with the easiest project and each project builds on the previous project. This is particularly obvious with the Stringing Projects section. Again, project #1, you string on all the same beads and add a clasp. Project #2 you learn to string an alternating pattern of 2 different beads, one big, one small and learn the small beads set off the larger beads. Project #3 builds on the alternating pattern. #4 shows how to string graduated beads, #5 shows how to add a focal section and build off that. Ultimately, you learn how to create multistrand and assymmetrical pieces (a look that's VERY hot right now).
The second section (Connecting Projects) is all about learning how to open and close jump rings (and create a chain with that skill), do wire wraps and make dangly fun jewelry.
Fiber Fun covers how to knot pearls, knotting larger cord as part of a design using big beads, using cord to create multistrand yet airy projects, how to use leather cord, ribbon, and my absolute favorite of the book-wire mesh necklace.
The Extras section is a mish mash of different things that include how to create a chain extender, headpins, wire earring findings, your own custom clasps and a bead board. I believe this may be the first time I have read a jewelry book that gave instructions for how to create a nice sturdy bead board.
The last page of the book has a GREAT page called 10 tips for getting past a creative dead end that has some excellent suggestions for everyone.
The photos in the book are excellent and well lit. The instructions are very clear. I'm telling you, if you have always wanted to learn how to make your own jewelry, this is an excellent first step towards that goal.
-Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Because I sell jewelry and beading tools and supplies in my store Purveyor of All Things Creative, I get a lot of questions from beginners asking "what is the best beginner book out there?" Until now, I really couldn't come up with a title that I could really recommend. And then along comes The Absolute Beginners Guide to Stringing Beaded Jewelry by Karin Buckingham. This book is the perfect introduction for those who want to learn how to string beaded jewelry.
Beginning with a Basics section that covers beads, tools, findings, and your workspace, Karin's book then moves into 35 projects ranging from simple stringing to knotting and connecting beaded segments. The projects are divided into four sections: Stringing, Connecting, Fiber Fun, and Extra Goodies. Don't miss the sidebars because they contain valuable tips and information that will help you become a better jewelry artisan. I especially loved the 10 tips for getting past a creative dead end.
The close up photography, detailed instructions and attractive projects make this the first book I will recommend to beginners who want to learn bead stringing. There is information here, too, that will benefit more advanced beaders who a looking to refine their techniques.
-Charlene Anderson, charleneanderson.typepad.com
I teach beginners so I recognize the challenges for those who are just starting out making jewelry. Two issues stand out for newbies - how to design and how to finish. It helps to be taught the "tricks of the trade" to save time and avoid being frustrated.
So if you are a rank beginner and can't come to our workshops, you may be interested in the book I just received from Kalmbach Publishing for review. It's The Absolute Beginners Guide: Stringing Beaded Jewelry by Karin Buckingham. A good beginner book is an excellent resource to have handy when you are working on your own.
It's one of the best beginner books I have seen. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who asked. Granted people learn differently - some prefer demonstrations, others classes with an instructor to bombard questions at. But for those who can work with books, I'd say this one does cover the basics and more. For the casual hobbyist, this book is probably sufficient.
The book is organized logically and includes designing tips. I noticed at the beginning of each project, at the top of the page, the objectives are laid out clearly. For e.g. "How to finish a multi-strand necklace and balance patterns". Another project had this, " How to measure and cut chain, attach dangles and attach a clasp".
There was however, one project finish I felt could be better. Although wrapping wire around the doubled up end of a flat suede cord at the clasp end is fine, it's hard to do it neatly with round cords. I would rather use a cone to hide the end or make coiled wire ends myself. However, it was just a small point in what is an excellent book. The other cord projects were well done.
There was a range of techniques covered - multi-strand, charm bracelets, cords including adjustable closures basic knotting in between beads even a simple chain maille project. Some wire work was also included which should challenge a beginner - how to make ear wires and clasps.