For almost every project I've ever made, I wind up with a small pile or two of leftover beads. If you find yourself accumulating lots and lots of tiny little plastic bags or boxes that only have a few beads left in them, here are some ideas for you to use them up.
01 of 06
Make Some Bead Soup
Almost everybody I know loves bead soup. What is it? Bead soup is just a mixture of related (or random) beads, thrown into a large container. You can make soup by pouring leftover beads into a small jelly jar or a medium sized plastic bag. When you need a great variety of beads for a project, you can just take a scoop of soup and get beading! You can also choose to color-coordinate your bead soup - keep one jelly jar for each color: red, blue, orange, green, yellow, black/white and brown!
Whe...n you make your bead soup, anything goes - toss in pressed glass beads, seed beads, bugle beads or pearls and gemstones.
Beaded jewelry made from bead soup is easy and fun to make!
02 of 06
Make a Bead Mix
I love using Delica beads, but when I get them from a kit, I always end up with just a few beads of each color left over. One of the things I like to do is similar to making bead soup - I'll combine the leftover Delica beads and make a bead mix.
A bead mix is different from bead soup in that it usually only includes seed beads. Bead mixes are great for bead crocheted ropes and other projects where you need a lot of seed beads in lots of different colors.
03 of 06
Trade Your Leftover Beads in a Swap
Something else I like to do with my leftover beads is trade them with my friends. Sometimes, I'll find myself with just a few gemstone beads or seed beads, and I'll offer them for trade with someone who has another bead that I might need. You can arrange your own trade through a beading message board online or at your local bead shop.
04 of 06Earrings are a great way to use up leftover beads. Since earrings don't usually need a lot of beads to make, you can whip up a great pair in no time with your leftover beads. An added benefit is that beaded earrings make great last-minute gifts for friends and family.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06If you have a friend who wants to learn how to bead, why not put together a beading kit for them and include a few bags or tubes of your leftover beads? Giving your leftover beads away to a friend who wants to get started beading is a great way to get someone else started in beadwork and will help them start their own bead stash! (And you never know - they might return the favor.)
06 of 06
Other Ideas for Using Leftover Beads
- Donate them - schools, churches and arts organizations might be able to use a small box or two of beads for their art classes.
- Have a giveaway - if you have a blog, hold a giveaway and use the beads as a prize
- Make a bead repair kit - this is an idea that is recommended by Marcia DeCoster. Put together a small set of beads for each project you make, label it, and keep it in a safe place. This way, if you have to make repairs to any project, you'll have a set right there that you can use.
- Use... them to learn a new stitch or technique - use leftover beads to make small samples or swatches of new beading stitches.
- Fringe - use lots of different beads to make some wild and funky fringe!