10 Ways to Save Money on Your Beading Hobby

Hey beautiful! In today’s video, we will discuss 10 ways to save money on your beading and jewelry making hobby, so you can spend less, and create more. There are many more ways to reduce spending, re-use materials, and use up scraps, so please feel free to share your additional tips and tricks with all of us in the comment section down below! 

10 Ways to Save on Your Beading Hobby:

1. Don’t under-estimate bead soup. Keep a container of miscellaneous beads, and use them in versatile bead soup projects. Some examples of uses for bead soup include: bead embroidery, wire hoop earrings, and to use in a single bead embellishment at the end of a piece of a necklace extender chain. Here is a video from a while back which includes finished bead soup jewelry pieces.

bead soup

FireLine Beading Thread

2. Save scraps of pricey beading thread, such a FireLine, and use the scraps for testing stitches, small projects, or when you simply need to add in a very small amount of thread to complete a piece.

When I am left with anything greater than approximately one foot in length, I skip the trash bin, and add the thread to a repurposed PotomacBeads subscription box, which houses my salvaged thread.

3. Have a project that you made a while ago that you no longer wear and/or want? Or maybe your skills have improved since making it? Take apart the unused finished piece, then re-use the beads. How many craft hobbies can you name that allow you to re-use the materials?!

4. Use wire? Save scraps of smaller gauge wire (thicker) to make simple jump rings and ear wire findings. Depending on the quality of the wire scraps, and the length of the segment, you could also use the wire in DIY connectors, beaded links, and handmade clasps.

See these posts to see two tutorials for DIY ear wire findings:

How to Make DIY Earring Findings

How to Make Marquise Earring Findings

Marquise Earring Findings_Orchid and Opal 1

5. Participate in Bead Swaps, like the group I have set up on Facebook, to trade beading materials. Swapping is an economical way to get rid of the beading materials you won’t use for things you will, and yo will only have to pay a small amount for the shipping cost.

If you have local beading friends to trade with, that’s great too!

6. Get organized! Have you ever found yourself purchasing something, only to find out you already had that item in your stash? You are not alone. This situation makes you spend unnecessarily, and wastes precious time too. Get organized and you will have a much better handle on what you have.

Be sure to check out the eight-part bead bead storage and organization series on my blog.

7. Use up those beads that have been collecting dust in your stash. Instead of always buying new beads to match a new project (unless you want to!), find projects to match your beads! Perhaps start with those beads you’ve had sitting around forever.

Search YouTube, Pinterest, Google, for example, for that particular bead shape, and see what projects pop up.

8. Adapt a pattern to the beads you may already have. Want to make a SuperDuo pattern, but only have Twin beads? Try substituting! Don’t have an exact color seed bead, but have something similar? Just substitute! The worst case scenario is that you will need to take apart the project, but at least you won’t be out any additional money.

Note: Substituting similar beads doesn’t always work, especially if a pattern is very specific, and is dependent upon the exact beads used in order to get the desired result.

9. An ounce of prevention… Preventing tarnish in the first place is much simpler, cheaper, and doesn’t waste time. Trying to remediate tarnish after it has occurred does not always result in a piece that looks brand new again. Store findings in zip top bags, or air tight containers, to keep the metal shiny and bright. While you are at it, store finished pieces in air tight containers as well.

See this video for additional tips and tricks for preventing tarnish:

10. Make gifts for others using the beads you know they will enjoy more than yourself. For example, do you have materials on hand in a color you can’t stand? Is there someone else you know who is crazy about that color? Why not use up those beads to make personalized handmade gifts for people who will treasure them?!

This post may contain affiliate links, which may provide me with a small amount of commission at no cost to you; however, the thoughts/opinions I have expressed are 100% my own.


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Instant Download Beading Patterns:

Find the growing collection of instant download beading patterns for my original beaded jewelry designs. All patterns are accompanied by a corresponding, free beading tutorial video in case you would like to refer to video instruction while you bead. 

Simply purchase a pattern, and after checkout the link to download the PDF document instantly will be available.

You may easily search the Orchid and Opal Design Index for the name of the pattern you have purchased, and follow the linked image to find the blog post that contains the video. 

Beaded Jewelry Inspiration:

The jewelry in this category may be sold, but I am usually able to recreate similar designs, upon request. Viewing out of stock jewelry pieces also provides a helpful archive of beading inspiration, and a way to see past jewelry creations that have travelled to new homes. Many pieces include materials from past bead subscription boxes that I have unboxed on my YouTube channel.

I am humbled to say that the pieces found in this category have been shipped to satisfied customers in practically many corners of the world!