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Free Beading Workshops in London
Beading is a very popular pasttime - as well as a lucrative business. Whether you're looking for a new hobby, or to start your own business working from home, free beading workshops in London can be a great way to explore beads and beading and make a piece of jewellery.
My own experience with learning to make jewellery started with a 3-hour free beading workshop. Having never been interested in beading before, I simply spotted the free beading workshop and was at a loose end, so went along. That day sparked a fabulous new interest and I walked out of the bead shop clutching a fabulously sparkly new necklace and matching earrings. Needless to say, I was back within two weeks for a repeat!
There are many free beading workshops in London, usually held at a bead shop - and each offering a different range of beads, findings and charms which you can use to create your own unique piece of jewellery for yourself, or as a gift.
The skills you learn will set you up instantly to be able to go away and start your own craft business, recreating what you've just made, but using different blends of beads. As your business grows, you can go to more free beading workshops to experience and learn new techniques and tips before, perhaps, enrolling on more jewellery courses to expand your knowledge over time.
If you know of more free beading workshops in London, leave a comment and they can be added here!
What Happens at a Free Beading Workshop
You'll find you sit round a large, communal table and you'll be introduced to the range of beading wires that you'll use to thread the beads onto.
Next you'll be introduced to findings. Findings are simply the pieces you put at the end of your jewellery, to secure them/finish them off and to turn the beads into jewellery. Findings cover everything from jumprings and clasps, through to ear wires and ear posts.
Necklace and Bracelet Findings
If you're making a necklace or a bracelet, the findings you're most likely to need are:
- A jumpring, for the wearer to use the clasp
- A clasp
- Wire guards, to protect the beading string as it is bent round at the ends
- Crimps, to hold the beading string in place and hold the two ends together
If you're making earrings at your beading workshop, then the findings you'll typically be introduced to will be:
- Ear wires, to go through the ear of the wearer.There are other options though, for non-pierced ears.
- Headpins, these are sometimes used to thread beads onto if your earrings are to dangle
- Jump rings, these can be used to attach headpins to the ear wire, or as a way to attach other parts of your earrings to each other
Everything that you need will be provided by the free beading workshop - and you'll typically pay only for the beads and findings you choose to use. Sometimes the findings you want might be in a small pack, in which case you'd buy the pack and have some to take home with you to make your own earrings.
Tools You'll Use at a Beading Workshop
When you're making necklaces, bracelets and earrings, you'll need a few, basic tools to be able to hold your work and fix the ends off securely.
It's usual to use pliers when you're making beaded jewellery. Pliers are used for several functions and you'll discover that there are several types of pliers, each of which perform different tasks.
Chain Nose Pliers
- Chain Nose Pliers are typically used to tuck away the end of the beading string when you're finished your jewellery. As they have a slim end, they can be handy in some designs to get hold of the end of the beading string.
- Crimps hold the ends of the beading wire together. Beading wire on a necklace, for example, will typically come out of the final bead, go round the wire guard (the loop at the end), then be fed back into the end 2-3 beads. A crimp bead is placed after the last bead and the wire goes up through the crimp bead, round the wire guard, then back throught the crimp bead - the crimp bead now has the beading wire going through it twice and crimping pliers squash this down the middle, so each part of the wire is separated from the other, then the crimping pliers are used to squash the two halves together. Done correctly, it's this crimping action that holds the end of your beading wire - and all your beads - in place. So they're pretty important.
Beading Plier Sets
You can pick up the pliers you need, individually, over time, but a better option is usually to buy a set of pliers that contains all the pliers you need, all usually inside a handy carrying case, so you keep them all together and tidy.
Plier sets can work out cheaper (and handier) than buying them individually - you can buy individual pliers in the future, once you know which ones you really want and want to start investing in some top brand names.
Several free shop demos each month introducing you to new techniques.
Beadworks: Covent Garden, London
Beadworks run an exciting range of free beading shop demos every week at various times in Covent Garden, London
If you know of any more free beading workshops in London, leave a comment and they can be added to this list.
It seems that free beading workshops are difficult to find, although most beading workshops where there is a charge are quite affordable.
My own first beading workshop was free and it launched me into this whole new interest in learning to make jewellery. I simply had to pay for the beads and findings I used. There will always be a cost to going on a beading workshop because you will be using beads and wires and findings, so these, at least, have to be paid for.
The rewards are immense though - as you'll discover either a great new hobby, or a way to create hand-crafted gifts for friends and family at a fraction of the cost of buying gifts - and for many it's a great new career and business making beaded jewellery for resale!
There are fewer free beading workshops in London these days, as providers have started charging for the time. This is a pity as free beading workshops is how I got started with jewellery making in the first place. I didn't even know about making jewellery until I saw a Free Beading Workshop advertised just 15 miles from home and I had nothing else to do that day, so went along... and now look where I am! Hooked!
If you are in London and offering free beading workshops, leave a comment to be added to this list - PLEASE :)