Bead Craft is a simple and fun hobby that anyone, of any age can enjoy. The beauty of it is that it's so easy to learn the basics, and with only a minimal investment in materials and supplies, even a complete beginner with absolutely no prior experience can begin producing striking finished pieces.
Although the basic mechanics are simple and easily mastered, there are many layers of subtlety and nuance to be found within the hobby. One of those layers of subtlety takes the shape of the staggering variety of bead types that one can base a project around.
Beginners who are just venturing into an exploration of bead craft will likely want to begin simply and as inexpensively as possible (no point in buying hundreds of dollars worth of expensive semi0precious stones at the outset, only to discover that it isn't really for you), and the hobby lends itself well to this approach, as beads for the beginner are found in great quantity and variety at most major chain retail outlets.
A trip to your local Wal-Mart or similar store will reveal ample supplies of inexpensive plastic beads to practice basic designs with, and while most bead craft veterans prefer silk thread for stringing, simple fishing line can be used to good effect in most cases.
If you don't want to be quite so limited in your early foray into bead craft, national art supply chain stores such as Michael's offer good supplies of metal findings, glass and wooden beads, and these can be combined in a near infinite number of ways to stunning effect.
Although there is some specialized equipment that can make your bead craft experience a bit easier and more efficient, these are not really necessary for the absolute beginner. Once you've completed a few projects, if you find you're enjoying yourself, a minimal investment can get you fully outfitted with various "tools of the trade" that veterans of bead craft employ in the execution of their ideas.
Once you've determined that bead craft is your kind of hobby, you'll invariably want to search out increasingly exotic beads for your projects. This is where the specialty shops will become important. A specialty shop will carry exotics like Czech glass beads, a variety of faceted beads in a multitude of sizes and colors, and a good selection of semi-precious stones, and other surprises besides.
After you have gained a bit of design experience, and especially if you decide you'd like to start giving your creations as gifts or selling them for profit, you'll likely find yourself relying more and more on specialty shops.
Ideally, you'll have one of these in your local area, but if not, there are a number of reputable vendors online who carry impressive inventories of beading supplies.
Start simple, start small, and if you decide bead craft is for you, there are tons of resources available, both on and off line!
To learn more about this and related topics, see Bead Craft