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10 Beadweaving Books To Check Out
During the course of my beadweaving ventures the past few years, I have read a number of books on the subject. I wanted to share some of my favorites with everyone. The majority of these books are exclusively or nearly exclusively about beadweaving techniques such as peyote stitch and right angle weave. Some books are suited for intermediate to advanced beadweavers only, but many of the books have techniques that are appropriate for beginners as well. Even if you are a beginner, don't be afraid to pick up any of the books on this list. You will gain inspiration from any of them. Happy reading!
1) Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher
This is one of the first beadweaving books that I ever used. Cypher does a great job covering a lot of the basic beadweaving stitches with detailed written instructions and illustrations. I was often frustrated by the photos of finished products because they often contain variations of some sort that are not detailed in the instructions. I am a visual learner when it comes to crafting techniques so I found this confusing. If the instructions are for a peyote cuff with a beaded bead clasp, that's exactly what the photo should show. If you want to include photos of other variations, that's fine, but we should see at least one photo like that, too. Suffice it to say that this book was not able to be all inclusive guide for me to start beadweaving but it is still a valuable resource for beadweavers.
2) Getting Started With Seed Beads by Dustin Wedekind
Unlike Cypher's Mastering Beadwork, Wedekind does a much better job sticking to the basics in this book from Interweave's Getting Started series. Between these two books (and looking at tons of photos of beadweaving online), I was able to start teaching myself to beadweave. Although I like having more step by step illustrations or photos than either book provides, Wedekind does a great job explaining the basics. You have everything you need to start experimenting with stitches. Wedekind has a nice selection of non-jewelry beadweaving projects as well.
3) Seed Bead Fusion by Rachel Nelson-Smith
Nelson-Smith has some of the best step by step photos that I've ever seen. If you are interested in tackling some intermediate projects and are not ready to make up your own designs yet, this is a great book for you. I love Nelson-Smith's color palettes as well. Whether or not you use any of her techniques, you will come away from reading this book with inspiration. I like her projects as well. Many of the bracelets/cuffs are variations of each other. Once you've made a couple cuffs, you'll get the hang of her designs pretty quickly. It's very original stuff, though. I especially love the way she combines different stitches within the same projects.
4) The Beaded Garden by Diane Fitzgerald
This is an all around solid book. The directions and pictures are both good. Fitzgerald does a nice job presenting simple flower/garden components and then explaining how to put them together to make more complex projects. Once you've mastered any of the basics, it's easy to take these components and integrate them into your own projects as well. The projects in the book are not jewelry projects, but if you are a jewelry artist like myself, you'll be able to learn techniques that you can use for jewelry as well. If you're interested in exploring non-jewelry beadweaving, then this book is definitely right up your alley.
5) Beader's Color Palette by Margie Deeb
This is one of the few books on this list that is not exclusively beadweaving. Although many of the projects do contain beadweaving, there is so much more to this book than that. Whether or not you're even interested in making any of Deeb's projects, you'll get so much from the color palettes. Deeb does a wonderful job explaining how she created each palette while also teaching you how to create your own color palettes from photos or natural elements that you experience first hand. Her projects are great, too. Most of them are pretty ambitious but have very good directions.
6) The Art of Beaded Beads by Jean Campbell
Who doesn't love beaded beads? And there are so many fun uses for them. Campbell has projects for a wide variety of beading levels so there's something in here for everyone. Most of the photos are good. I have made several of the beads myself and was not super impressed with all of the directions. One project leaves out a pretty crucial step altogether. If you have any beadweaving experience, you will most likely be able to figure out any confusing steps from the photos. If you already make beaded beads, you will get inspiration for new color palettes, design patterns, fringe techniques, or shapes.
How to Make a Beaded Bead
7) Making Designer Seed Bead, Stone, and Crystal Jewelry by Tammy Powley
I actually have a compilation book by Powley called Making Designer Jewelry using Gemstones, Crystals, Beads, and Stones that I got from the bargain section at Barnes and Noble. It includes more designs than this book on Amazon, but this book does have some of the same projects. Regardless, I like Powley's work and her directions. She covers so much more than beadweaving. Like Fitzgerald's Beaded Garden, Powley does a good job explaining how to make different jewelry components (i.e. wrapped loops) and then put them together to make various projects.
8) Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving by Laura McCabe
This is definitely an intermediate to advanced beadweaving book. I was inspired to pick it up because I love using fringe and embellishment techniques in my own work. If you have a weakness for these things, too, you won't be disappointed by this book. Like many other books on this list, if you're just looking for inspiration, McCabe will certainly provide it.
9) Beading with Right Angle Weave by Christine Prussing
I adore right angle weave and have been working with it for over three years now. A lot of the projects in this book are still way over my head. That does not mean that it isn't a solid beading book because it is. It's just not what I need at this point with my own beading. It's a great book for more advanced beaders and an inspirational source for the rest of us.
How to Create a Right Angle Weave - Beading
10) 200 Beading Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets by Jean Power
This is not a project book, but instead, is a good book to keep on hand for reference if you do any sort of beadwork. Even experienced beadweavers still have questions from time to time or are unsure about how to approach new techniques so it's always good to have some reference materials around.
More beadweaving resources from the author.
- Czech Glass Dagger Beads: Patterns and Stunning Jewelry Inspiration
In this article about Czech glass dagger beads, I provide a number of beading patterns as well as other jewelry examples with daggers. I include lots of photos and resources.
- Beaded or Beadwoven Rings: Different Uses for Jewelry and Accessories (Includes Free Patterns/Tutori
This article is about beaded or beadwoven rings. I detail how they can be used for pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more as well as on their own. I also include patterns and further resources.
- Herringbone or Ndebele Beadweaving Technique: Versatility, Patterns, and More
This article details the versatility of the beadweaving herringbone stitch, including possibilities for bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. I've included lots of links for patterns (free and for pay) and other resources.