New Bead Shapes or Classic Bead Shapes

new bead shapes

Beading has seen a lot of changes in the past few years. In 2010, Miyuki released Tila beads. Preciosa Twin beads came out in 2011, and were followed by SuperDuo beads soon after. Since then, we’ve seen two-hole tiles, triangles, lentils, and crescents, among others, plus spikes, domes, buttons, and more. And they’re still coming! We’ve got beads with three holes, four holes, and six sides. It’s hard to keep track of them all!

Many designers have embraced all the new beads because they found they could do so much more using these shapes than they could with the classic beads, and there has been an explosion of new designs created worldwide. With classic beads, designers sometimes have a hard time coming up with something new and different. Now designers see a new bead shape and can’t wait to play with them to see what they come up with!

But recently, we have been hearing that some readers want projects using just the classic beads like seed beads, crystals, and pearls. They don’t want to go buy the new bead shapes because they already have a large stash of the classic beads. We do continue to feature some projects that use just these beads but it is getting harder and harder to do so because we get more project submissions using new bead shapes than classic beads, and many of the classic bead submissions are too similar to other projects that we’ve published in the past. So what’s a beader to do?

We know that figuring out what all the new beads are can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive to buy them all. Some shapes, like SuperDuos, are here to stay, but some don’t seem to be popular for very long and just fade away. When the new shapes first started coming out, I bought them all and in several colors. Some of those shapes really haven’t caught on. I still love the new shapes, but I’m a little more selective now. Here are some suggestions for working with new bead shapes:

  • If you see a pattern you really love using new beads, buy just enough beads in one color to make the pattern. If you like the pattern, next time you buy beads, pick up another color.
  • Wait until you find a few patterns you like using the same shaped beads, and then order enough of one color to make all the projects. That way you won’t have left over beads in several colors.
  • Look for projects that only use one new bead shape and also use classic beads in the pattern. That way you can still use some of the beads from your stash.

New beads are a trend in beading that is not going to go away anytime soon. Enjoy the classics, but explore with a couple of new bead shapes too. By being selective about which bead shapes you use and how many you buy, you can enjoy the new bead shapes without breaking the bank.

FIND MORE: two hole beads

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