Ask This Librarian – Beaded bookmarks

Today’s question is about creating beaded bookmarks. The person asking says:

I wanted to bead a bookmark. What resources would I need to start learning how to do this? (I’ve only beaded jewelry before).

My first thought, looking at this with the intention to answer it, was “What kind of beading?” – there’s beading on string, on wire, or bead weaving. I sent a note to ask which – though if I hadn’t had an easy way to do that, I would have just given some general information on all three.

She said:

Bead wire or bead weaving. What’s bead weaving? That sounds cool.

My answer:

There are a number of different ways you could go about it: some people use a metal pre-made bookmark blank and attach beads to that. Some create the beads and wire portion for both ends and attach it to ribbon to form the actual bookmark. And there are all sorts of other creative designs out there!

It looks like the book Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beading (by Georgene Lockwood) has instructions for creating a wire bookmark as well as a number of other projects.

A few sets of online instructions:

To answer your question about beadweaving – it’s a technique that involves threading seed beads onto thread. You can make either three-dimensional shapes (tubes) or flat ones (suitable for a bookmark), and because of the number of small beads, you can do really detailed patterns. Some techniques require a bead loom (quite small!), others are done without a loom.

You might find the links below of interest:

Both have links to other resources, books, and materials that can take you further.

My process:

My first thought with this was that I wondered whether she was used to using wire in her jewelry making, or thread – since they’re two quite different techniques. On the other hand, people often try both, so I decided to treat this the way I would an email request while working as a librarian, which tends to default to offering resources and encouraging the person to come back if they need more in a particular direction.

Once I had that information back, I went to Google, since I knew there are any number of great online crafting sites out there.

Search terms:

  • beaded bookmark (lots of hits, both for bookmarks for sale, and other styles)
  • beaded bookmark wire (better)
  • making a beaded bookmark wire (much better)

From there, I looked at links, weeded out those that didn’t have clear instructions or new information, and found the best few examples of what seemed like the most common styles.

Total time, about 20 minutes of searching (mostly waiting for things to load, and waiting a couple of windows where flash videos wanted priority over the rest of my computer: I didn’t include those pages in my links.)

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Hi, I’m Jen

Librarian, infovore, and general geek, likely to write comments about books, link collections, and other thoughts related to how we find, use, and take joy in information.

I'm the Research Librarian at the Perkins School for the Blind

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