6 Good things to know while you shop
1. What our beading patterns include
- Step-by-step detailed instructions that are written in a clear and conversational style.
- Full-color close-up high-resolution photos of each and every step.
- A detail Materials page that itemizes all of the materials and tools you'll need to make the project.
- Most of our beading tutorials also provide a bead legend that shows you where each type of bead is located in the design so you know how and where it's used. Additionally, all of our newer patterns also include detailed bead color information, in case you want to duplicate one of our color samples.
2. Best patterns for beginners
3. Customizing your beading project (making to size, changing colors, bead shapes, etc.)
Sizing & length
Choosing your own colors
Everyone has favorite colors, and chances are that you have some different color preferences than we do. That’s why Cara and I go through the extra time and effort to make up several different color samples of each design (usually including at least one in warm colors and one in cool tones) so you can get an idea of what it looks like in different color schemes. However, you are not limited to any of the colors we use.
When you’re looking at beading projects to make, try to focus on the actual designs rather than the colors we used. That way, if you like the design, but wish it were in a different color scheme, all you have to do is substitute the bead colors we used with your favorite colors (that goes for the color and style of the findings as well).
Bead sizes & shapes
Most bead sizes and shapes are measured in millimeters and are universally consistent from one manufacturer to another. If a pattern calls for a specific size and shape bead, you can use any brand you prefer. You can also often substitute one shape for another - so long as they are similar and the desired shape still fits with the surround beads in the design (you want to avoid bead crowding or large gaps of thread between beads).
. Not only do seed beads follow a different sizing scheme (typically 15/0 through 6/0), actual bead sizes and shapes can vary widely from one manufacturer to another. These differences can wreak havoc in designs (especially, bead weaving projects) by dramatically changing the overall shape and appearance of the project. If a design requires a specific brand of seed bead to work out correctly, we specify that on the Materials page of the pattern. You are always welcome and experiment with a different type of seed bead, but be aware that your design may work out differently than ours and, in some cases, you may need to adjust your bead counts.
4. Sets, collections & coordinating designs
Some folks love to coordinate their jewelry, and Cara and I enjoy creating designs that can be part of a complementary set or larger collection. If our coordinating designs are similar enough, we will include instructions for how to make each piece in the same beading pattern and we will indicate that in the pattern's title, photo and description (for example: American Flag Necklace & Earring Pattern or Arachnophobia Spider Collection).
Otherwise, if the coordinating designs are substantially different (and the additional options and steps would make the pattern unnecessarily complex, long or overwhelming for most beaders), we will take the time to make a whole separate pattern for each coordinating piece (though some portions of the step-by-step instructions for coordinating pieces may be similar, or even identical, in places).
If a pattern was designed as part of a larger coordinating collection, the related patterns will appear in the Bundle and Save option, shown directly below the product description on each of the coordinating product pages, so you can get a discount off of any additional coordinating patterns you purchase at the same time.
5. Customer support & our Bead Happy Guarantee
We had a saying in our classes, "No beader is ever left behind!" If you're struggling with any section of a pattern, please reach out to us - we're always happy to help! That goes for any other questions or concerns you might have. Never hesitate to contact us - for any reason!
We want you to "bead happy". If you are less than thrilled with a pattern, for any reason, please contact us. At your preference, we'll either do our best to address your concern or issue you a full refund - no questions asked. That's our Bead Happy Guarantee!
6. Want to suggest a design for a pattern?
We’re constantly working on fun new beading tutorials and always appreciate hearing what types of beading projects you want to make. If you can’t find instructions on our website for how to make a particular design or technique, feel free to submit a suggestion to us.
Please note: Cara and I respect other designer's copyrights and will not copy anyone else's original work. If we feel inspired by your suggestion, and feel it may have a broader appeal to our customers, we may create a similar, but significantly different design of our own. We'll let you know if/when we come up with something so you can take a look at it. You are never under any obligation to purchase the pattern we design.