Types of Beads Archives

Religious arts & crafts

Religious arts & crafts allow artisans and crafters the opportunity to showcase the symbols of their faith, and the opportunity to craft an expression of their faith into tangible form. In this manner, religious arts & crafts provide a way for the faithful to proudly acknowledge their beliefs, and profess their love for their god or gods. Religious arts & crafts usually do this by referring to their religion’s main textual tenants or predominant symbols.

Which religions use arts & crafts to express belief?

Religious arts & crafts, as commonly thought of in western society, is concerned primarily with Christianity. For this reason, the common symbols of Christianity – the cross, fish and loaves, angels, Jesus Christ, etc. – are commonly incorporated into American arts & crafts. Another popular theme is to incorporate scripture quotations. Of course, Christianity does not have a monopoly on religious arts & crafts; arts & crafts are well known within the Jewish tradition, for instance. Jewish arts & crafts typically focus on the most widespread symbols of Judaism, and include the Star of David, menorahs, and other icons of the belief. Jewish sayings are also frequently featured on Jewish arts & crafts.

Ideas for religious arts & crafts

Religious arts & crafts are designed to serve as decoration for one’s home, office, vehicle, or church. Although religious features could be showcased in virtually any type of arts & crafts, these are some popular ideas for religious arts & crafts used for decoration:

1. Beaded Crafts: With a set of beads and string, pipe cleaners or safety pins, the devotee can create cute, creative religious arts & crafts. The possibilities for these crafts are almost endless, and are great for the whole family. These beaded crafts can be designed as jewelry, decorations, and other adornments. Virtually any religious symbol is possible with this versatile craft idea, from the Star of David to the Shroud of Turin.

2. Paint Your Own: Try to let your creative side out and paint your religious items for decoration and display or even for use in a religious service. Special ceramic paints are great to use for painting, decorating, and personalizing ceramic crosses, angels, and even scenes from the Bible. Personalize these paintings with names, birthdays, and scripture to make wonderful personalized gifts.

3. Cross Stitch & Embroidery: While it may take more skill and expertise, with a bit of practice most devotees can become experts and creating needlework arts & crafts. Religious needlework is especially noteworthy as it can combine both graphical images of crosses, angels, doves, and Bible scenes, as well as scripture, Bible verses, and other words of inspiration. Some more popular options for religious arts & crafts using cross stitch and embroidery include religious pillows and Bible covers.

4. Stained Glass Arts & Suncatchers: Stained glass art is popular for religious arts & crafts since stained glass is usually associated with churches and places of worship. This does not mean that you need to be a church to afford stained glass art. Far from it, inexpensive stained glass kits are readily available in most hobby and craft stores, and can be used by those without any previous experience.

5. Ornaments & Window Hangers: Ornaments and window hangers are often quite simple to create – in the absence of specialized skills, all you need is some imagination and a dash of creativity. Ornaments may be designed specifically for the Christmas season, or may be year-round crafts that can be hung anywhere, even from your rearview mirror. Look on the Internet for some fun ideas for religious ornaments, hangers, and other crafts.

6. Handmade Jewelry: Most religious people will happily wear the symbols of their faith as a personal reminder of their faith and devotion. Handmade religious jewelry is very popular, and can include anything from resin angel earrings to homemade metal crucifixes. Brooches, necklaces, and bracelets are also very popular, and while they are generally designed for women, men are becoming increasingly comfortable wearing fine handmade crucifix necklaces.

Looking for resources for making religious arts & crafts

Many arts & crafts shows will feature quite a bit of religious crafts and artwork. While there are rarely shows designed specifically for this niche market, a very high percentage of artisans & crafters feature work that includes a religious focus. If you are not able to attend any shows, do not give up hope. When looking for other ideas for religious arts & crafts, head to your local Christian bookstore or specialty shop. These stores will almost always maintain special sections dedicated to arts & crafts supplies of a religious nature. These stores also typically have arts & crafts ready for purchase and gift giving. If you are more adventurous, go to a hobby and arts & crafts store and convert a secular hobby kit into a testament of your faith.

Mary Amos loves arts and crafts and has been creating beautiful projects for years. See her exciting new ideas for religious arts and crafts at Religious Arts and Crafts, and be sure to visit Arts and Crafts for more fun projects !

Author: Mary Amos
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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African trade beads owe their unique creation to the need of traders plying the route between Africa and Europe and the affinity of Africans for beads of all types. European merchants created these trade beads to barter items of value from African people. Some of the items found in Africa that were particularly coveted by the Europeans include gold, ivory and palm oil amongst other region specific things.

The history of African trade beads can be traced back to the 15th century, when Portuguese traders reached West Africa and discovered that the people of Africa attached a lot of importance to beads made from a variety of items such as iron, gold, ivory, bone, organic things etc. Simultaneously, the European traders also discovered that the land was full of resources that Europe was in desperate need of.

Resultantly, the shrewd business minds of the traders decided to use beads made from glass as leverage to barter goods and raw materials with Africans. The material of glass was picked out primarily because the continent of Africa was still to discover glass working techniques, and its people were found to be in awe of the exquisite glass beads that the Europeans showed up with. An alternate name for these items is slave beads as they were used to barter slaves in addition to basic goods and services. These African slave beads were also known as aggry beads.

During those times, although the whole of Europe was rushing to produce them and siphon off the maximum amount of African resources, the leading producers were artisans from the city of Venice that is famous for its rare and unique glasswork even now. Other leading African trade beads producing centers of Europe include Bohemia and the Netherlands. The most popular type of African slave beads is the millefiore form that can be translated into the ‘thousand flower’.

In terms of the current day and age, African trade beads have become items that have a lot of value owing to their exotic nature and intriguing history. As per some historians, the African slave beads became popular in the western countries during the decade of 1960 which saw a lot of people from the US and Europe traveling to Africa and discovering the beauty and value of these African slave beads. Resultantly, jewelry made from African slave beads was transported back to the western world where it immediately captured the fancy of the majority of consumers.

Furthermore, it should be noted that there was no standard production of African trade beads and they were produced on the basis of particular demands instead. This has resulted in individual African trade beads items that draw their value from the fact that there is no other item like it. Therefore, the originality and the unique workmanship are the driving force behind jewelry made of these famous African beads becoming extremely coveted in the present day.

If you want more information about African jewelry then check out this great African Trade Beads website or another alternative is this African Trade Beads blog with plenty of advice.

Author: Conan Jason
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Today Pandora beads are well known and highly regarded as top selling and high quality jewelry. It is considered of high standard. It’s beautifully created and worked jewelry. The Pandora beads first originated in Copenhagen, Denmark, and then made their move out of Europe into the United States. Pandora beads jewelry is basically charm beads bracelets where you chose the charm beads on them.

The idea for Pandora Beads jewelry originated from Greek mythology. What they did is take the story of Pandora’s Box and took inspiration from it, hence the name. This is the story of Pandora’s Box:

Zeus was very upset at Prometheus for taking fire from the immortals and later giving it to the mortals. He wanted to punish him and the mortals for this so he thought up of a plan. He created Pandora, the first woman. She was given different features and gifts. Different Gods offered her different things. One gift that she was given was a necklace by Charites, the goddess of charm. She was also given a box which she wasn’t allowed to open.

However, one of the other gifts she was given was curiosity. She couldn’t resist the urge, and eventually opened the box. By opening the box she released all that is bad and evil in the world. The only thing still left in the box was hope and inspiration.

Pandora Beads Jewelry then took the idea of Pandora and her box, and what was left over. They took the hope and inspiration and created charm beads that are put together to create beautiful charm bead bracelets. What’s beautiful and interesting about Pandora Beads is that you can create completely original jewelry, whether for gift or for yourself.

Pandora has since gone a long way from the stories in Greek Mythology and Copenhagen, Denmark. Today Pandora’s beads and charm beads are a popular household name. They are perfect for any occasion and creating completely original and artistic gifts. Wonderfully inspired and recreated, the choices of different charm beads are endless and leave room for creativity. There are new and beautiful Pandora’s beads coming out every day, so there is something for everyone, it’s only a matter of knowing and looking for what you want. There is no doubt and question as to why Pandora beads are so popular, they have taken over the jewelry world by storm.

Aya Wilkinson is the the writers of aClickAhead, the only Corporate Gifts offering page one listings for the most popular keywords in your industry, you can benefit her experiences as a leading writer on Charm beads

Author: Aya Wilkinson
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When you hear the word “beads,” do you immediately think of jewelry? Or do you think of Rosary beads or some other non-jewelry use of beads–beaded dresses, headbands, belts? Perhaps you think of a country and western outfit, a studded, head-to-toe piece of jewelry.

The first thought that enters your mind when you hear the word “beads” may date you and give away your age faster than physical attributes. If you’re a product of the 50′s, your mind may wander to pop beads, those plastic pull apart, pop together baubles that have risen in value from pennies to $20, $30 or more. If you’re a product of the 60′s, you may think of “love beads,” which complemented the long-haired, unkempt look, or your mind may wander to the long strands of beads that once adorned inside doorways in Haight Ashbury with sounds of The Mamas and the Papas blaring in the background. Thanks to television, it’s difficult to forget the beaded belts of the 70s.

From Ancient Trade to Modern Computer Applications

Beads predate the mid-20th century by eons. Remember the abacus? Of course, you can’t actually remember back 2000 years unless you possess powers unknown to this author, but you can remember learning about the abacus in school. In Europe, Venetian glass beads and German metal beads served as currency in trade as early as the 16th century. Beads also played a central role in Native American jewelry.

Bohemia (aptly named) was the center of the European bead trade from as far back as the Middle Ages. Through the twists and turns of history, bead making moved to Bavaria and now, has once again found its home in the Chezk Republic, in the Bohemia area, home of Swarovski Austrian crystals.

In 1990, Native American traditional beadwork intersected with computer sciences. Several college campuses introduced a pilot program in which beadwork shaped the foundation for courses AutoCad and other design program courses for Native American students. The popularity and applicability of these courses continues today.

Modern Beads

Now that we’ve strolled down memory lane and taken a quick look at vintage beads, beads no longer in production, where do beads fit into today’s jewelry scene? They’re everywhere you look from casual chokers and necklaces to fine Swarovski Austrian crystal designs.

Think beyond a single strand of beads. Start by thinking of a single strand of beads from which a pendant dangles. From there, think pins–yes, pins adorned with beads, beaded bracelets, barrettes, earrings, etc. In fact, think beyond jewelry to purses and other accessories. If you look closely at your surroundings, you’ll find beads everywhere.

The Many Faces of Beads

Another thing that you might rethink is the composition and shape of beads. Today’s beads come in a myriad of shapes and materials, with Austrian crystal topping the list. Today’s look du jour of transparent, translucent and iridescent beads don the bodies of the rich and famous along with everyday mortals. Venetian glass beads often encapsulate swirls within the beads for a unique, timeless quality.

The latest in fashion trends includes little beaded silk purses. While you wouldn’t want to cover yourself in head-to-toe beads unless you’re auditioning for a singing gig in Nashville, a silk beaded purse with a complementary beaded necklace turns an ordinary evening outfit into a walking work of art.

Open your eyes and look for one-of-a-kind, handmade beaded jewelry. It’s everywhere, and it’s calling your name.

M J Plaster is a successful author who provides information on shopping online for beads and jewelry in general. M J Plaster has been a commercial freelance writer for almost two decades, most recently specializing in home and garden, the low-carb lifestyle, investing, and anything that defines la dolce vita.

Author: M J Plaster
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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I was in my local bead shop the other day and browsing through all the new pendendants they had gotten in when I saw a woman on the other side of the table who was piling on pieces like there was no tomorrow. Most of them were cross pendants of one form or another, most were sterling silver but a few were made of jade or some other colored stone. I said hello and we started talking. It turns out she was teaching a class at the local senior center on how to make your own prayer beads just in time for Easter. But then she told me that she normally makes her own Rosaries and regularly sells them at craft shows and church bazaars!

I came home and started looking into this and it turns out the the Rosary is just one of many different types of prayer beads one can use in a variety of different faiths and religions.

In fact, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam many different faiths of Christianity and even some Native American and African faiths and cultures all use different types of prayer beads! And since over 75% of all Americans claim to follow some sort of faith, whether it be an organized church or simply a belief system, it would only make sense that a lot of people would be interested in beads which could help them celebrate their spirituality.

Prayer Bead are not really bead jewelry in the typical fashion sense, but rather the beads are usually used as a counting mechanism where the person says a prayer or thinks about certain things for each bead on the string. Prayer beads can be made out of just about any material, including cheaper material like glass and plastics to more expensive materials like crystal, stone and some unique wood.

There are lots of bead jewelry artisans making prayer beads on the Internet, but not very many are going to craft shows or local artist fairs. This means the market is wide open if you’re going to try to expand your jewelry business with prayer beads.

If you’re going to make prayer beads then I suggest you pick you craft shows carefully, do your homework and think carefully about packaging. You’ll want to make sure you are creating bead pieces that are faithful to whatever faith the beads are used by, and you might want to go to a local house of worship and show your wares to the people in charge there. Some churches and other places of worship will even bless your items for a nominal donation!

Prayer beads in particular often come with sample prayers, instructions on use or even a written history of the prayer bead tradition for a particular faith. I suggest you carefull research this and always include something written with each set of prayer beads you sell. You could even put that information on the back of one of your business cards for repeat business!

Laura Kay runs http://www.beadboard.net, a Bead Jewelry Resources Blog that highlights bead jewelry resources, supplies, artisans, design ideas and more! She is a bead jewelry artist who delights in exploring all aspects of bead jewelry, from new ideas to new designs to new trends in what is hot now.

Author: Laura Kay
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Want a really nice craft for your older kids to do or for yourself? Paper beads are a great way to make stunning and unique gifts for their friends or themselves with very little money involved. (We all love that!).

All you need are some old colorful magazines, or even newspaper works if you like that black and white look.

Tear out the page you want to use, and mark off one inch strips, or you can approximate.

Draw a line from the top corner of one of the one inch strips to the other corner and cut it out, you will have two very long triangles.

Cover your paper in white glue on the wrong side, and then take a round tooth pick and begin to roll your paper very tightly make sure it is pressing right into the glue. (This part will be a bit messy).

Then stick the tooth pick into the top of an egg carton or piece of cardboard to dry. You can dip your paper beads into varathane or glaze to harden them and protect them, and these paper beads will look shiny and just like porcelain beads.

Once you have all your beads, you can start threading them to make necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more. You can get all the jewelry making supplies quite cheap online or in your local discount store. Each paper bead will be unique and different. You could also have themes, like using newspaper, or the same type of color pages.

This is a good way to get rid of some old magazines, and have fun at the same time.

http://www.make-crafts-for-cash.com/paperbeads.html click here for a free video on how to make paper beads and have fun and make some unique jewelry. Article and website by Diane Palmer

Author: Diane Palmer
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Clay beads are very versatile. You can make almost anything with the clay. You can mold it into any shape you would like. You can use clay tools or even a simple toothpick to enhance your design or add a little texture. Dress your design up with other types of beads. You can even use glass beads, metal beads, or wood beads.

Here are some clay bead making ideas; however, the possibilities are endless. You can make beads to reflect different holidays or seasons. Try your favorite sports teams or colors. Do your school mascot or school colors. Reflect the colors you see in the mountains or the beach. You could even do ones to reflect your wedding colors and give them to all your bridesmaids as gifts. Use these beads to reflect your personality and who you are.

You could just do a basic solid color beads to reflect the colors of the rainbow. Then you could take those colors and swirl them up to create a whole new look. It is amazing how you can just change a beads appearance just by changing the shape or mixing the colors around. It can be lots of fun to create your own jewelry.

You can use these beads to make a necklace, bracelet, pin, key chain, earrings, backpack charm, bag charm, or paper weight.

Try to make your first clay bead and see what design you come up with. I guarantee that you will start coming up with endless ideas.

Come up with your own clay bead designs everyday. If you would like to see more designs or get more information please check out my clay bead site.



Author: Theresa Light
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For those who have started to enjoy jewellery design, the next step is to create some of your own beads. To do this you will need a few tools to get started as well as a bit of flair to be creative! If you already design your own jewellery then the chances are you have an idea of the kind of beads you want and already have the creative part down. The tools are not that difficult to come by, especially if you are just planning to make beads on a small scale.

When you begin making beads, it is probably a good idea to start off with the least expensive tools you can find. You may eventually find that you do not enjoy making beads anymore or you may find it to be too difficult. If you don’t make a huge investment, you can give it a try without worrying about the financial outlay.

The first thing that you should consider is the type of beads that you are interested in making. You may want to start off with clay beads to get some design ideas. With clay you are able to combine colors and make some really unique beads for your jewellery. There are clays that are available for purchase in a huge variety of colors and that will be able to harden and dry right in your home oven. Make sure that the pans and materials you use are specific to your bead making only. Many people also use a food processor or pasta maker for combining colors and you should make sure that you only use these pieces of equipment for working with the clay.

If you are going to be making glass beads, the most important piece of equipment you will need is a kiln. However, it is not requisite to you buy a kiln initially. You can melt glass by using a special torch that will focus the heat directly on the piece of glass you are melting. There is a large range of safety equipment required for making glass beads. The temperatures that are used would require you to be very careful whilst making the glass beads. An injury from these kinds of temperatures could be very serious.

Once you have worked with your beading equipment for a while and have got used to it, you may be interested in purchasing some of the more expensive equipment, such as a kiln. These can range in price from a few hundred pounds for a small one to thousands for the larger varieties. Cost will obviously depend on the size and the temperature range of the kiln. Choose one that you will find the easiest to use and has all of the safety features that you need.

Making your own beads is a great way to further your own jewellery making efforts. You will also find that if your beads are unique and beautiful, other jewellery designers may be interested in purchasing them from you. Glass making is an art form and you might find that you have a flair for making these tiny works of art.

About the Author

To find out if you are a guru at jewellery making, see a wide range of beads at this wonderful website – http://www.e-beads.co.uk. There is enough selection on the site for even the most avid of jewellery makers to have lots of fun!

Author: Frank William
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Walking into a bead shop can be a wonderful experience – so many colors, shapes and designs. It’s almost impossible not to get incredibly inspired, and it’s just as hard to walk out without having spent more than you intended! But when you’re confronted with so many beads, it can be helpful to have some idea of what the different types of beads are, and how they’re used. That way you can choose the right sort for your project.

Seed Beads

Probably the most widely used beads, seed beads are small, round or shaped, and can be made from almost anything. The most common seed beads are made of glass or plastic, but you can also get them in wood, pearl, jet, metal and so on. There are a huge variety of sizes and shapes available, which is very confusing. The smallest seed beads are often referred to a size 10 or 12, and slightly chunkier ones are size 8. Because they’re so small, they’re great for decorating garments, using in almost any type of jewelry design and in most types of sewing and embroidery.

Bugle Beads

A bugle bead is a long tube shaped bead, made from plastic, glass or metal. They can be anything from 2mm (1/16″) to 5cm (2″) long. The most popular is a size 2 bugle bead, which is around 5 to 6mm (1/4″) long. These are also great for sewing projects, and can be very effective in certain types of jewelry as well. They’re often used as flower stems in sewing projects, or can be used to lengthen a fringe.


Although not exactly a bead, sequins are often used together with beads in sewing projects. They are round pieces of plastic or metal, and either have a hole in the center or to one side. They can also be either flat or cupped. The most common sequin style is a 6mm (1/4″) cup sequin. Generally sequins are used as decorations for garments and sewn items. The ones with center holes are sewn in rows or individually for the right effect, and the sequins with a hole on the side can be used to form clusters that hang or in fringe work.

Center Beads

A center bead is used as a feature bead in the middle of a jewelry piece, a sewing design (such as a flower), the end of a dangle, or to complete a row of beads. Basically almost any bead that doesn’t fit into another category and is larger than standard beads can be loosely classified as a center bead. They come in plastic as well as glass and metal, but if you’re using one as a feature, it may be better to go with glass or even crystal, because they last longer and are more beautiful to look at then plastic.

Oval or Rice Beads

Named because of their oval shape, these beads are generally used as a spacer in dangles or as a feature in sewing. They can produce some interesting effects when used in jewelry. The most common size is 1cm (1/2″) long, and they come in all sorts of colors and materials.

This is only a quick look at the main categories of beads. Once you start exploring a bead shop you’ll realize there’s far too many types of beads available to fit them into a few categories. Still, this guide should at least help you get an idea for what types of beads are available, particularly if you have a project you’re planning to make which asks for a specific type of bead. Have a great time beading!

If you want to learn more about beading, click over to Felicity’s site at http://www.beading-is-fun.info To read Felicity’s Ultimate Bead Lover’s Guide, go to http://www.ultimatebeadloversguide.com

Author: Felicity Walker
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Glass beads are mostly used for decorating our handicrafts, home decors, fashion accessories and jewellery. You can make certain jewelleries like necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings out of beads. Nowadays beads are usually used by jewellery designers in creating unique and elegant jewelleries. They are made of a variety of materials such as glass, corals, terracotta, shells, wood and metal. The most common glass craft beads are the acrylic and fire polished glass beads. These are used by many jewellery designers for they have certain qualities that look absolutely stunning in making jewellery.

Glass craft beads are processed under lamp working method. This method starts by preparing the mandrels first then heating the glass rods in the flame until it melts. Wind the molten glass to the mandrel then continuously rotating it in the mandrel until you have formed the base bead. And once the bead is done it goes right into annealing process. Annealing process is done after the glass has been formed; it prevents it from cracking due to extreme heat. The span of this process depends on the thickness and type of glass used for beadmaking. Then once it is finished then it is now ready for designing.

You can make a variety of coloured glass beads like blue, red, yellow, brown, black, white, pink and violet. You can turn them also in different shapes like round, square, oval, teardrop, heart, cylindrical or tube. That is why glass rods are used for making glass craft beads because of varieties of shapes and colours that you can choose from. In glass craft beads you must also know the different materials used for making these types of glass beads like pliers, mandrels, glass rods, cutters, bead release, torch, fibre cloth or vermiculite and many other more. You must provide all these materials and must follow carefully the procedures to make your glass craft bead making successful.

Now you can make your own glass beads at home and can even decorate your home with these kinds of beads. Bring out your talent by making beads for making jewellery, who knows you might be a jewellery designer someday. Start making one now and fulfill your dreams in making different beads.

Tiffany Leffler is a glass beadmaking expert.
Learn Ground-Breaking Secrets Of Making Your Own Glass Beads!
Discover more information about Glass Craft Beads, visit http://www.glassbeadjewelrymaking.com.

Author: Tiffany Leffler
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