Whether you are looking for small glass beads, clear glass beads, or small beads for bracelets, there is always a nice selection of beads to choose from online. However, if you want the best deal for your projects, you have to hunker down and compute how much your budget is for your raw materials and figure out what type of quality you are gunning for.
Because for sure, like other types of materials for craftwork, the quality of the beads online will depend in part on their price, and the price itself is dependent on where you’re buying and the volume of beads that you wish to purchase.
The prices of beads on different platforms
If you’re looking for raw materials for your DIY bracelets or necklaces, Amazon is hands down the biggest platform for retail beads. There are different kinds of glass beads on Amazon depending on what you’re planning to do with.
Non-jewelry glass beads that are used for filling up vases cost $10.99 and up, while lampwork glass beads cost $13.98 per pack of 200 pieces. Lampwork glass beads are a little costlier because they’re harder to manufacture. Lampwork glass beads are created by melting together at least two layers of glass with different colors to create the unique swirling and banded patterns that are particular to lampwork glass beads.
Bulk glass bead kits that have premium color patterns (usually four or more swathes or stripes of color per bead) cost anywhere from $16.95 to $20 per pack of 120-140 pieces.
Premium glass beads are advertised as the best option for glass beads because their colors will not fade, and these beads are less likely to suddenly fall apart or crack especially when they’re being worn as jewelry. Most packs contain no less than 120 pieces of beads, and at least eight unique color patterns. The hole size for premium lampwork glass beads is 1.5 mm to 2.0 mm.
Crackle round beads
Another interesting variant of the traditional lampwork bead type can be seen in brands like Deoot. These companies sell crackle lampwork round beads. What differentiates these beads from the regular lampwork beads in other packs is they are rounded (like marbles) and have ethereal swathes of color that make them iridescent when used in jewelry.
Fortunately, this variety of the lampwork bead isn’t more expensive than the premium ones, and each pack of 400 pieces will only set you back $11. These beads measure 8 millimeters in diameter and have a hole size of 1.2 millimeters. They are recommended not just for DIY jewelry making but also for general crafts projects, quilting, fashion design/sewing, and more. Glass beads are truly a versatile raw material for fashion-related projects.
Crystal glass beads
If you are looking for beads that resemble gemstones right off the bat, you may want to look for beads like the briolette crystal glass beads. These beads are blown glass too, with one crucial difference: there are multifaceted, so each one has more than six faces that scintillate light when it strikes the beads.
These are perfect for DIY jewelry that aims to look unique and luxurious, without really running up the costs of production. And fortunately, multi-faceted crystal beads aren’t expensive at all.
They’re cheaper than lampwork beads and you can get a pack of 300 pieces for less than $10 on Amazon. Of course, if you will be looking for retailers on places like Etsy, the cost is likely going to be higher, because you will be dealing essentially with resellers or fellow artisans who want to support their craft by selling raw materials to fellow artisans.
Frosted glass beads
Do you love the idea of making jewelry with a frosted look? Frosted jewelry has never really gone out of style because they can still complement a lot of modern looks, from casual to formal.
Fortunately, you can source high-quality glass beads that are frosted and come in a variety of beautiful pastel colors. For example, a Craftdaddy pack of 500 pieces of frosted glass beads will cost you just $9 or $10, depending on the seller. Frosted glass beads measure 4-4.5 millimeters in diameter and have a hole size of 1 mm. Frosted beads are also recommended for a variety of projects, from making DIY jewelry to sewing clothes.
Glass seed beads
Glass seed beads are critical for making beautiful spacers and for filling up a design with low-cost glass beads. Glass bead packs are usually sold by the thousands (e.g. one pack is equivalent to 7500 seed beads). The seed beads will be segregated by color, and each color will have its divider in the larger box for the entire package.
Such beads usually measure 3 millimeters across and are glossy and transparent at the same time. You can get a pack of 15 colors for $10-$12. An even larger box containing 24,000 individual beads (approximately) and 24 distinct colors is also available for people who are sure of their plans for mass production. This quantity of glass beads will only set you back about $13-$15.
Assorted beads by the pound
For jewelry makers who want variety and excitement in gathering supplies for specific designs, there is always the option of buying mixed or assorted beads in bulk. For example, you can purchase half a pound of beads (mixed materials) and see what you can make of the mix later on. These prime mixes are quite cheap and they go on sale all the time. You can buy half a pound for about $10.
Cubed glass beads
The bead industry is constantly adjusting its lens and is constantly finding more ways to add variety to your bead collections. One of the more exciting updates we have seen so far is cube glass beads. Cube glass beads look like little chips of sapphire, rubies, and diamond and they look utterly perfect as raw material for jewelry. Cube beads come in packs of 750 pieces, and they are multi-faceted, too, which means they will scintillate light like gemstones.