This is a review I wrote for Craft Critique two years ago- but as the holiday season starts up, this might be one of those craft tools that you might want to have on your radar for holiday gift giving!
The Beadalon Spin-N-Bead Junior is one of those little, low-tech gadgets that you see in the stores, think is kinda cool, and then can’t quite think what you’d do with it. I got to take one of these little goodies home from CHA Summer, and I admit it sat in the box for a while. However, not that I’ve got it out, it’s got my creative juices flowing.
This is what you get in the package- the bead bowl, the spinner base, and a curved needle.
Load your big-eyed needle with your preferred stringing material. You can use beading thread, embroidery floss, flexible beading wire…what ever works with the beads you are working with.
To use it,Â you take your loaded needle in one hand, give your little bead bowl a spin (just like a top), and angle the curved part of the needle to the curved part of the bowl. Also make sure the hook is going one way and the spinning bowl is going the opposite direction. This is always harder to explain than to show, to take a peek at the video we took at CHA, featuring Wyatt White from Beadalon himself:
Now, there IS a little learning curve to this. You need to practice getting the angle of the needle just right, as well as learning to flick your wrist “up” to keep the beads you’ve loaded on the needle..ahem.. ON the needle so you can push them onto your stringing thread. And you will experience some beads hopping out and scattering on the floor. However, it’s STILL a lot easier than loading a few beads at a time onto a needle by hand.
My kids were watching me do this, and I even let my 8 year-old son take a crack at it! He thought is was fun to do, and it was easy enough for him to master that he wants to make his Christmas gifts with it.
Since I’d been itching to try some bead crochet, I did a single crocheted strand that I turned into an ankle bracelet.
I’m just here to tell you that if I hadn’t had the Spin-n-Bead, there is NO WAY I’d ever hand-string all of those beads for that technique. I can honestly say that this cute little gizmo got me crafting in a whole new way.
I also tested it out using only 20 gauge wire, curving the wire around to make a needle. It also worked great. Wire flowers, anyone?
- Good price point (under $20.00 for the mini version)
- Low tech & easy to use
- Portable and fun
- Saves MAJOR time!
- Minor learning curve
- Extra bowls are not available individually- you have to buy a whole new set.
- Availability- haven’t seen them in big-box stores. Visit your local bead shop and ask for it, or Google it and order on-line.
- Not good for larger beads, irregular ones, etc. Stick with seed beads and “e”beads for best results.
I’m thinking that I’m going to whip up a few batches of ID badge holders for my kids’ teachers for holiday gifts. What would YOU make with it?
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