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Terry and Tony in South Africa. Two South Africans working from home in East London in South Africa since early 2008.

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Beading with Beads from Cheap Jewellery Instead of Loose Beads

Why buy loose beads to do your beading work when you can buy cheap jewellery and use those beads instead? Loose beads can be quite expensive but have you seen how cheap some beaded jewellery items are?

colourful loose beads

dyed coconut shell beads – colourful loose beads

With so many gorgeous beads to choose from, and with so many craft and bead shops at your disposal, not to mention so many online places that sell beautiful and large collections of different beads too, it is very tempting to spend a lot of money on loose beads.

If you’re selling the beaded jewellery items you make, surely you’d like to make a little more profit than you are making now? Next time you’re out and about, keep your eyes open for shops that sell cheap jewellery items like beaded bracelets and beaded necklaces.

colourful beaded bracelet

colourful beaded bracelet

You can also look out for traditional African or South African beaders selling their jewellery at roadside stalls and craft markets or flea markets.

Count those beads on a cheap necklace or cheap bracelet. Look at the prices. Compare those prices to the prices for the same amount of loose beads you would normally buy for your beading work.

two bracelets

Two bracelets that cost R15 each at a shop in East London in June 2013

loose beads obtained from two bracelets

Loose beads obtained from two bracelets equals R30 worth of beads

The bracelets and necklaces you see may not even be cheap or tacky, but may have just the type of beads you like or have been wanting, that you haven’t been able to find loose.

sorted dyed coconut shell beads

Sorted dyed coconut shell beads removed from two bracelets that also had a few other shapes of coconut shell beads on them

Now that you’ve started noticing cheap jewellery items wherever you go, you may be asking yourself how it is that some shops, places, or people can sell such cheap jewellery and still make a profit. Shops and people may be ordering their beads or jewellery in large quanitites from other countries like China or Taiwan, or from whichever country they can order bulk jewellery or beads at discounted prices. If you don’t own a shop or don’t need huge amounts of jewellery or beads, ordering jewellery in bulk at discounted prices is not the ideal option for you.

cheap bracelets and necklace

5 bracelets and 1 necklace that cost R113 in total (necklace was R40 near the Gonubie boardwalk)

sorted loose beads

all the sorted loose beads obtained from 5 bracelets and 1 necklace

Yet you still want to cut down on the costs of your loose beads – so buy cheap jewellery and use the beads from those items when you make your own jewellery.

beads sorted into packets

coconut shell beads sorted into packets

Do not let the look of some cheap jewellery items put you off buying them. The jewellery items as a whole may look tacky, but remember that you are buying the beads, and not really the tacky or cheap jewellery items themselves. Look at individual beads on those tacky and cheap jewellery items, and imagine how they would look on a smart item of jewellery that you make.

You know that with your creative beading skills and jewellery making skills you can use just about any bead, beautifully. You may even be using only 4 or 5 beads from a cheap bracelet or cheap necklace to make one new smart bracelet, adding your own smart or creative finishing touches that you usually add.

wire bookmark using ribbon and beads If you’re using only 4 or 5 beads to make some of your beaded jewellery items, just think: you could make 10 of your own beaded jewellery items or craft items using the loose beads of a cheap bracelet or cheap necklace that has 40 to 50 beads on it.

Or perhaps you don’t even make and sell bracelets or necklaces with your beads and you rather use them for homemade decorations, bookmarks, greeting cards, gift tags, or for decorating the wrapping of a gift – you only need a few beads for that, and you can get many from the purchase of just one or two cheap bracelets or necklaces.

Perhaps the beauty of your own beaded jewellery is more in the chains or cords that you use, or in the fancy or interesting clasps that you use, or in the specific style of jewellery or craft items you make, or in the creative ways you make your beaded jewellery items, than in the beads themselves.

Try to restrain yourself from buying all “possibly useful” cheap jewellery items – that may end up costing you more than buying your usual loose beads. Make sure buying the beads you want on existing cheap bracelets and cheap necklaces really is cheaper.

If you’re certain they’re cheaper than your usual beads, then make use of these loose beads you remove from cheap jewellery items, and you can make more profit when you sell your own smarter and more creative jewellery items, than you usually do.

© Copyright Teresa Schultz 2013

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