Bead-Making Lab Review


Bead-Making Lab Review

Bead-Making LabBead-Making Lab Review
By: Heather Powers
Gifted by: Quarto Publishing Group
Reviewed by: Dana Byerwalter, Editor,

A year in beads! Spend each week exploring the Bead-Making Lab, a fabulous book containing "52 explorations for crafting beads from polymer clay, plastic, paper, stone, wood, fiber, and wire." Author Heather Powers has pulled together 52 stunning DIY bead projects, designer spotlights, and interviews with bead enthusiasts to create a comprehensive guide to creating your own DIY beads at home.

Choose your medium and begin! Bead-Making Lab includes nearly any medium available for making your own beads. Cork, shrink plastic, glass, wire, and more: these materials can be used in creative and crafty ways to make truly one-of-a-kind beads and jewelry! As the synopsis states, "Bead making truly represents the entire range of craft in miniature", and this couldn't be more true.

The introduction covers the ways in which you can use this book, and a list of tools follows to prepare you to get started. Each "Unit" or section features a different genre of material. Start with clay, a fan-favorite material with nearly unlimited possibilities! This material is guaranteed to hook you. Paging through this first Unit with its 14 "Labs", I was astonished by the unique ideas shown. Learn how to create a beautiful ombre effect with the clay in Lab 2, or learn how to make the intricately Woven Stripes in Lab 6. Do consider going through the book week-by-week to practice each design and become a bead-making expert!

I love Unit 2, Paper and Cork. I've always loved paper crafting, and reading and writing are my favorite hobbies; so, crafting with magazines and poetry excerpts seems like a marvelous way to incorporate some of my favorite loves into my jewelry. I love Lab 20, Poetry Beads (p. 58). The beads are so simple to make and the book page design is just stunning. The Stacked Beads in Lab 22 (p. 62) are similarly bookish and lovely.

The following units include Plastics, Backyard, Fiber and Textiles, and Wire. Each medium varies in popularity, but the effects are so beautiful! I remember using shrink plastic as a child, but you can make stunning jewelry for adults with this medium, too. Backyard is a wonderful section for the nature enthusiast, and fabric and wire are both gorgeous elements to work into your jewelry making.

For a charming foray into the world of making your own beads, explore Bead-Making Lab. Learn the art of crafting in miniature and amaze friends and family with your one-of-a-kind creations.

What is your favorite jewelry making material to work with and why?

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