I have been on a roll this week! i haven't had this much inspiration for different jewelry styles in a long long time. Makes me sad though because the more creativity I find, the more items I make...the less beads I have, Lol. Times are tough here at the Wilson household, so I am having to find clever ways to find beads to replenish the stockpile. Well...."stockpile" :P.I have been working with the materials I have had since before closing shop in 2010....with a few extras i bought this week.
Something that I do when I am hard up for bead materials is check out the jewelry section of stores. You'd be surprised how much you can save by scouring the clearanced bracelet sets or those loooong necklaces. Some stores put several bracelets together in one package. I found one that had 4 different bracelets, 2 of which had atleast 4 charms on each. All for $5. Glass beads at that! Now had these been plastic beads, painted or not...I wouldn't have seen this as a deal. But they were shades of green and gold, and they worked well together. They were elastic so I could take them home, cut the elastic and sort them in my little plastic baggies. The filigree charms could be used to make earrings as well.
Be sure to also check out your local Goodwill or Salvation Army (or any thrift store). I have found several large necklaces beaded (no spacers, chains, etc. just a beaded necklace with clasp, which you can also re-use!) marked for around $3. These are around 18" necklaces. Compare the length and size of these necklace beads to the prices at any store that sells beads and you'll discover it's cheaper that way! :)
If you are in need of new findings, or possibly discovering new findings....I've found it's cheaper to buy online from supply sellers (etsy or wholesale websites, though those websites may require you to buy a certain amount to save). Personally, I enjoy buying findings ahead of time through supply sellers on etsy. If you know what you want, find someone with a good deal and speak to them about the exact quantity / color / shape etc that you want! It's so much better than buying only what your stores have to offer. Plus, more variety!
I hope you find this helpful in some way :) I'll be doing some more "Ways to Save" posts in the future as I come across them :) If you get a chance, hop on over to my etsy shop and take advantage of my 10% off sale I am having now through December! Happy Holidays!
- xo Elizabeth