where to buy beads

Making a Vintage Beaded Necklace

Making a vintage beaded necklace isn't as strange as it first may sound.  Vintage kind of means "old", and how can you make something old?

By making a necklace from vintage beads and findings, of course!  And you don't need to pay an arm and a leg for them either, if you know where to find them.

purple-pink-white-beaded-necklaceI made this particular vintage beaded necklace with beads taken from various necklaces from the 60's and 70's.  It's all done in shades of pink, purple, magenta and white.  Some of the beads are shiney, some are matte.   The clasp is also vintage, and it's adjustable.

Finding the Supplies

Ah, finding the vintage bead supplies is actually much easier than you think.  I haunt the vintage jewelry section on ebay and look for necklaces from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  I'm checking for necklaces made with pretty beads and unusual clasps.  Yes, I take it all apart and reuse!

I have found some gorgeous crystal necklaces with wonderful 2 and 3 strand clasps.  And while the crystals are probably not Swarovski, they do glimmer and shine.  And I have found them in some very unusual shapes as well.

I've had my share of disappointments as well.  A necklace that I thought was going to be a real beauty turned out to be pretty sad. 

vintage-beaded-necklaceBut on the other hand, I've always been able to salvage something.  And I have had some that I thought were just nice turn out to be knockouts!

And I rarely pay more than $3 for a double-strand necklace, from which I get beads and a clasp and sometimes earrings to boot!

Keep in mind that vintage also tends to mean plated, when it comes to clasps and spacers.  Still, some of the plating includes a rhodium finish which still glows bright.

In this particular necklace, I chose to use some gold plated findings, most of which were harvested from other necklaces.

Hunt Down Those Vintage Beads for Your Own Necklace!

Check out yard sales and for that matter - your own jewelry box (who knows what's lurking in its depths)!

I get 95% of my vintage beads and findings from ebay, so I'll leave you with some goodies to ponder. 

Vintage 18 Piece Necklace Lot Pink Pearl Bead Graduated Multi Strand PRETTY YY9
Vintage 18 Piece Necklace Lot Pink Pearl Bead Graduated Multi Strand PRETTY YY9
$68.00
Time Remaining: 12d 9h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $68.00
Vintage mix pearl black bead jewelry lot 7148 Trifari
Vintage mix pearl black bead jewelry lot 7148 Trifari
$2.00
Time Remaining: 13d 19h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $2.00
10 Vintage  Modern Shell Bead Costume Jewelry Necklaces Lot 957
10 Vintage Modern Shell Bead Costume Jewelry Necklaces Lot 957
$7.95
Time Remaining: 11d 13h
Buy It Now for only: $7.95
Indian Native American Beaded Bead Necklaces Bracelets Lot People Vintage
Indian Native American Beaded Bead Necklaces Bracelets Lot People Vintage
$19.99
Time Remaining: 27d 4h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
Vintage LUCITE BUBBLE BEAD NECKLACE LOT Choker  Long Clear Blue Disc Jewelry
Vintage LUCITE BUBBLE BEAD NECKLACE LOT Choker Long Clear Blue Disc Jewelry
$12.95
Time Remaining: 17d 9h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $12.95

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Bead Buying and Supply Sources

I don't know about you, but I love virtual on-line bead shopping. And yes, I do very much enjoy going to bead shows and fondling the merchandise, there aren't a whole lot of shows where I live. For that matter, there aren't many bead shops close by, either!

Lampwork and Swarovski

So, the internet, and especially ebay, are my shopping companions. Ebay especially I love for two items: [nmslink:lampwork beads,artisan lampwork beads] and also [nmslink:swarovski beads,Swarovski bead mixes].  Honestly, outside of a bead show, you can't find a better selection of artisan lampwork beads than on ebay.

Sterling Silver

Then there are places like Monsterslayer where I enjoy buying sterling products -- beads, clasps, wire, etc.  Not a high-tech site, for sure, but the prices are great!  (And the more you save the more goodies you can buy, right?)

Gemstone Beads

Buying gemstone beads is a bit tricky.  In the beginning I bought a lot of my gemstone beads at the online stores you see advertised prominently in the beading magazines.  Then I went to some gem and bead shows and saw what I had been missing (in other words - a lot).  So these days, I try to buy hands-on whenever possible. 

I did find one place online I was impressed with, though -- Stones 'N Silver.  I bought a few loose gemstone beads to try them out, and I was pleased enough to go back.  The blue lace agate beads I bought were especially yummy!  Come to think of it, maybe it's time I go back again for more goodies like their beautiful leopardskin jasper.

Miscellaneous Beading Supplies

OK, other supplies.  Yep, now is the time I use those big bead places like Fire Mountain -- stringing supplies, Delica beads, glues, needles and other miscellaneous items.

Lampwork Bead Supplies

And lampwork glass.  I do an awful lot of glass shopping on ebay for glass as well, especially the [nmslink:vetrofond,Vetrofond odd lots].  Then of course I am on several email lists for various small glass suppliers, so when I get word of a sale....  😉

Eye Candy For Today

Right now I'll leave you with some beady eye candy from Sisters Beads on ebay.  I do so enjoy looking at their auctions, and I hope you do, too.

[nms:lampwork beads sisters,7,1,25]