If you have a beader on your holiday list, perhaps you have considered giving them beads. It would be important to note, most beaders have very eclectic tastes therefore making “more beads” a somewhat difficult gift decision, but there are a lot of appropriate gifts out there for beaders.
What is a beader? Beaders are hobbyists who enjoy stringing, collecting, or decorating with beads. It is a hobby that has been popular since ancient and prehistoric times when man used beads to decorate ceremonial clothing, as money, and as a traditional jewelry medium. Beaders today enjoy jewelry making, tapestry creation, and simply collecting the tiny baubles. Here are some great gift ideas for beaders:
Bead and Button Magazine – Bead & Button Magazine is a monthly publication offering bead projects, articles, retailer information, and plenty of technique how-to’s. and plenty of interesting things for beginners to advanced bead enthusiasts. A year subscription includes six issues for $28.95.
Firemountain Gems Gift Certificate – The gift of beading is a well appreciated holiday sentiment for beaders of every type. Sold in increments from $25 through $500, a gift certificate from Fire Mountain is an amazing gift that truly tells your favorite beader that you really care about them. Fire Mountain Gems is an amazing place to buy beads, supplies, books, and gifts. Carrying glass, natural, and acrylic beads as well as a wide array of findings, organizers, tools, and instructional books, Fire Mountain is a popular beader’s favorite. Every time I have personally ordered items from them, the item came professionally wrapped and quickly shipped, so Fire Mountain has my vote for the best place to buy bead stuff.
Book – The History Of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present by Lois Sherr Dubin is more than just a historical book. There are over 100 photos and illustrations through 136 in depth pictures reflecting over thirty years of study and research into the symbolic, the traditional, the religious, the aesthetic, and the legendary history of beads and bead work. Any beader will find this book fascinating. It is available in both soft cover and hardcover editions.
Beader and Jeweler Tools – Online tool stores like ToolsGS carry entire lines of craft and specialty tools including beading tool sets. They offer a Bead Stringing Kit, a Tri-Cord Regular Bead Stringing Kit, as well as hand tools to make beadwork easier. A set of SORBY Beading Tools, like those available from Woodcraft.com provide those who make their own beads with a lovely five-piece set of shaping tools. But if you want to give a fun toolkit perfect for the novice beader, consider an Ergonomic 5-Piece Plier set from Auntie’s Beads. It includes a flat nose, round nose, and bent chain set of pliers along with a side cutter and chain nose pliers with cutter edge. This is a very cool bead tool kit of essential items, perfect for beaders.
Loaded Tackle Box – One of the neatest gifts for beaders is the gift of a loaded Tackle box. Check out Beadie’s Beadwork for a full line of tools and needles to put in your tackle box for your favorite beader to finish filling. Why a tackle box? Well, a tackle box is the perfect thing to store beads in. High end tackle boxes like those from L. L. Bean prevent shifting of beads through their classic tiered design, and beads become quite easy to find as well. Fill the bottom layer with tools and accessories like bead stoppers, a beading blanket, needles, and tiger tail beading wire.
Bead Board – The Beadalon Flocked Bead Board is one of the very best bead boards out there. If your beader loves making jewelry, this bead board is tops. It has six separator bins and a neat grooved tray for beaders to design the perfect necklace or bracelet. The item is white and is a definite beader must-have. Nordic Needle’s Bead Palette is a great bead board with nine closeable compartments, a magnetic needle station, and a flat mat for non-jewelry projects.
Sort Tray and Bead Scoop – When you are dealing with an assortment of beads, one of the best things to have handy is a sorting tray. The triangle sorting tray and Tiny Tin Bead Scoop available from 2beadornot2bead are small enough to make great stocking stuffers, but important enough to be great gifts by themselves. Any beader would love receiving a few sorting trays, whose design is specifically made to prevent beads from rolling. Finding King carries an essential guage, tweezers, scoop, and sorting tray kit perfect for busy beaders.
Lamp – The Ledu Electronic Ballast Desk Magnifier Lamp from Greenlightoffice is a compact flexible desk lamp with a lens. The arm is gooseneck, so it has a multitude of positions available. The magnifier has a hinged lid to prevent scratches when the lens is not being used.
Loupe – Jewelrysupply.com carries a full line of magnifying loupes to make your favorite beader’s hobby a little easier. Whether you are looking for a 10x magnifier or a multi lens doublet, Jewelrysupply.com has several colors and styles to choose from.
Mirrix Beading Loom – A Mirrix loom is a precision-engineered wonder made out of several types of metal. Basically Mirrix Looms are special pieces of equipment used for weaving beads or tapestries, available for purchase from Wollery. From desktop size through a large $38″, the Mirrix is considered the Cadillac of beading looms, and is certain to be a hit for professional beaders.
Whether you choose tools or toys for your favorite beader, chances are any gift will be appreciated. Have a Happy Holiday Season!