Additional Craft Information:
Beading and related arts and crafts work can be a fun and rewarding pursuit, however, there is a basic question of where to look for your supplies. Many people default to buying from local merchants, and this can certainly be rewarding. At the same time, finding where to buy beads online can be a real saver in money and also give great selection, as long as you prepare for a few risks.
DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape
DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers
The first benefit of buying online is that you get a ridiculously large selection of beads to choose from. Practically any style or variant of bead that you want is out there, and often the greatest challenge is simply sifting through all the sites until you find what you want. Whether you are looking for generic seed beads or a rare Czech glass bead, you will find it online…eventually.To make the search process easier, you may want to first shop in nearby retailers. Get the names of the beads that you want, then search for those online. This can at least get you on the right path and save some tedious searching.
The next benefit of online ordering is that you can usually save some money. Many merchants will let you order in bulk at near-wholesale prices, and even if you only order a few pieces, the individual prices are usually lower.
DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife
DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint
Unfortunately, ordering beads online is not all fun and games. There are a couple hazards to consider, starting with this: the only information that you have about what you are ordering is the picture and sometimes a description. This can lead to problems, as pictures can be doctored or the bead put in a certain light that makes it look better than it actually is. This can lead to great disappointment when you get your new package in the mail, then you open it up and realize that what you bought is not going to do the intended job.
There are a couple ways to manage this risk. The first goes back to using retail stores: check out what you plan to order online in person, then place the order. The next option is to only buy one of the bead online and examine it in person before you start ordering it in quantity. Of course, there is also the option of being liberal with returning beads…but this will rapidly eat up time as you run to the post office, so save this for a last resort.
Choosing to buy beads online brings a number of benefits, including great selection and often superior price. To make the most of it, you need to plan for the downsides–namely, getting beads that do not match what you expect and being forced to return them or absorb the costs–and you can make it into a quality experience. So, by all means support your local beads merchants…but consider online purchasing to augment your crafting.