Just starting out in your beading career and not sure what you need? The shear amount of different tools available can be overwhelming. Also the type of jewelry that you plan on making will ultimately determine what you need. If you’re working with seed beads you’ll need a few different things than someone making fashion jewelry.

When I first started I worked with seed beads and my tools consisted of bead thread, needles, thread conditioner and an assortment of seed beads. Yep that’s it. When I made the change to fashion jewelry my tool needs changed a lot. One of the best things that you can do is make sure you have the right tool for the job. It will save you a lot of frustration while you’re learning… you’ll be frustrated enough just learning sometimes! :)


Assorted beads – You can never have too many beads!! There are glass beads, wood beads, metal beads, crystal beads, seed beads, lampwork beads, shell beads etc.

Bead stringing material - There are several types of materials available for bead stringing.

Findings – Clasps, crimps, earwires, head pins, eye pins

Round nose pliers – Used to close loops, hold small components, open and close jump rings, and wire wrapping

Side cutters – Used for cutting wire or cord.

Crimping pliers – Used for closing crimps on necklaces and bracelets.

Chain nose pliers – Used to hold components, open and close jump rings and bend wire.

Flat nose pliers – Used for bending wire, holding components without marring them, flattening wire and opening and closing jump rings.

Bead board – Used to lay out your jewelry design.


Micro crimping pliers – Used for micro crimps on illusion necklaces.

Jumbo crimping pliers – Used for larger crimps on leather and thicker cord.

Knotting tweezers/awl – Used to knot silk and other threads, especially important when using pearls.

Bead reamers – Used for enlarging bead holes.

Needle files – Used for filing rough edges off metal pieces.

Split ring pliers – Used to hold open split rings and save your poor fingernails from cracking and breaking.

Memory wire cutters – A must have if you’re working with memory wire. Memory wire is too hard for regular cutters.

Nylon jaw pliers – Great for working with wire as it won’t mar the wire. These are also very good for straightening wire.

Bent chain nose pliers – Used like regular chain nose pliers with the exception that the tip is bent making it easier to get into small or tight places.

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