In my other life as a paper crafter, I'm dedicated to using up all of my creative leftovers - using the teeniest, tiniest scraps of paper so that there isn't any waste. But, in my life as a beader, I have to admit that I'm not so fantastic at using up the beads that are left at the end of a project!
So, in preparation for this month's leftovers feature, I went in search of some tips, techniques and tutorials for making the most of your leftover beads and I thought I'd share.
Create A Bead Mix - There are many, many projects that call for the use of a bead mix, so rummage through your bead-stash and dig out all of those tubes with teeny, tiny amounts of beads left in them. Our very own Liz Reed wrote an amazing article on Making A Bead Mix which will help you to make a start.
Create A Bead Soup - Take the idea of a bead mix just a little bit further by including larger beads such as cube beads, bicones, drop beads, pearls and druks. If you're new to creating, or using, bead soup I'd recommend a visit to Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party where inspiration will abound!
Use Other Materials - Dedicated bead-weavers can overlook the potential of combining their beautiful beads with other materials such as cord, ribbon, buttons and chain - but this is the perfect way to stretch your beads and create some beautiful texture.
Substitute Beads - Don't discount a pretty pattern just because you don't have the exact beads it calls for - you may have the perfect substitute amongst your leftover beads. Check out Beading Daily's article on Bead Substitutions In Seed Bead Patterns and extend the life of those leftovers.
Join The Earring Along - Regular visitors to our Facebook Group, will know that several of us are creating a pair of earrings each week (though some of us are still catching up!) in an effort to try new stitches and techniques. But, let's face it, we all earrings are also the perfect way to use up those leftovers! Either use your leftovers straight away to make earrings that match your latest bracelet or necklace, or dig around in your stash to come up with some potential pairings.
Tutorials - If you still need a little bit of inspiration, then check out some of these simple, but sweet tutorials.