Once you've chosen a basic bead stringing material from the endless list of options out there in the beading world, you then have to consider some of the other components of bead stringing:
1. Select one or a combination of several stringing methods:
Slide the beads on the string and tie the ends together.
Slide the beads on the string and add a clasp.
Knot between each bead if using thin synthetic or natural threads.
Use crimp beads for security when attaching a clasp.
2. Choose a beading needle. (You may not even need one!)
With flexible strings and small beads, try a big eye needle--two pieces of steel joined at the ends to form a single needle. The large eye closes to fit through the beads. Big eye needles can also be used with non-traditional stringing materials, such as ribbon or yarn.
Twisted needles are made from flexible wire that has been doubled over and twisted together, with a little loop left in the end that forms a collapsible eye. They are very flexible and easy to thread.
For small beads (especially seed beads) and when using thread to string your beads on, use a beading needle. They resemble sewing needles but are usually longer and thinner. The sizes of needles are indicated by number; the most commonly used being #10 and #12. Beading needles differ from ordinary sewing needles because the eye is narrower to allow passage through a bead. The higher the number, the smaller the needle's diameter.
Less flexible beading materials (like wire) require no needle, as the beads will slide right on your string.
3. Select a basic bead-stringing surface to keep your beads from traveling:
A great tool for laying out your design is a beading board. Just line beads up and insert your stringing material.
A beading tray works in a more low-tech way. Pour your beads in the tray, line them up along the curved edge, string, and pour leftover beads back in their container.
A bead mat helps prevent beads from rolling off your work surface and provides a cushion for your hands.
The most accessible surface is simply a low-pile towel or a square of felt. Your beads don't roll around, and clean up is easy.
Planning on stringing seed beads? Check out a seed bead spinner. Just give the tool a twirl, stick in your threaded needle, and the beads slide on.
Basic bead stringingisn't hard. Just pick your stringing material, beading method, a needle if needed, and a surface to work on. But first, get yourself some great beads!