Most beading books include a mix of patterns but call for very specific beads and materials. So if crafters don't like the beads used in the projects, or don't have them in hand, they won't enjoy the projects, no matter how beautiful they are. But Susan Beal has untangled this knotty problem. "Bead Simple "is the first work of its kind that offers stunning jewelry patterns that can be completely customized with a variety of beads and stringing materials. Based on simple, yet effective beading techniques, this strikingly illustrated pattern guide includes 50 glittering designs, each featuring two bold variations for a total of 150 projects that can easily be achieved with different materials or tweaks. This book finally offers jewelry-makers the versatility to let their unique personalities shine through.

"Bead Simple is simply fantastic, proving that with a few tools, a couple of easy to learn techniques, and the guidance of Susan Beal's wonderful eye for color and texture, anyone can make beautiful handcrafted jewelry. The projects are absolutely inspiring, and I can't wait to get started myself!" — Debbie Stoller, bestselling author of Stitch 'N Bitch

Order the Book

You can buy it at Powell's BooksAmazon, Barnes and Noble. Or just stop by your favorite bookstore !

Book Resources

Beads, tools and supplies

Berger Beads (vintage and new beads, rhinestones, stampings, and materials)
413 E. 8th St., Los Angeles, CA
Beyond Beads (semiprecious, glass, and vintage and new charms)
1251 Howard St., San Francisco, CA
The Buzzard Brand (vintage and hand-cast charms and findings galore)
Dava Bead & Trade (vintage and semiprecious beads, findings of all types)
1815 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232

Eloxite (jewelry blanks, beads, and tools)

Fire Mountain Gems (glass, semiprecious, charms, metal, and more)

M & J Trimming (lace, ribbons, trims, and buttons)
1008 Sixth Ave., New York, NY

Metalliferous (vintage and new beads, charms, and chain, plus tools and findings)
34 W. 46th St., New York, NY

Michael Levine (fabrics, buttons, and ribbons)
920 Maple Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Ornamentea (beads, ribbons, charms, and miscellany)
509 N. West St., Raleigh, NC

Rings and Things (metal and findings of all kinds)

Rio Grande (semiprecious, metal, and tools)

Toho Shoji (beads, chain, charms, and crystals)
990 Sixth Ave., New York, NY

Vintage, secondhand and unusual pieces

Search Etsy and eBay for specific things you’re looking for, or browse a whole category.

Estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores are an amazing resource for vintage pieces, too.

And you can find all kinds of unusual things to work with at hardware stores or in your recycling bin!

Guest Designers

I was so lucky to have 39 of my favorite designers contribute pieces to Bead Simple! Here’s a list of everyone who is part of the book.

Tanja Alger lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, son, and two stepsons. In her spare time she loves to garden, draw, and look after her family’s menagerie of cats and chickens.

Jennifer Bonnell is a born and raised Jersey crafty girl with a penchant for all things sparkly, and the author of DIY Girl. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband, their cat, and her monstrous stash of craft supplies.

Cathy Callahan is a crafter who draws inspiration from crafts of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Her website is

Nicola Corl is a hairstylist and make-up artist who lives with her husband, Neal and three children, Henry, Maisie, and June in Portland, Oregon. Any crafting projects are undertaken in the middle of the night!

Stacy Elaine Dacheux enjoys writing, baking pumpkin bagels, and drawing pictures of lions with astronaut helmets. Her projects can be found at

Natalie Zee Drieu is senior editor of CRAFT Magazine and web editor of the CRAFT blog. Her personal blog, Coquette, expresses her love of fashion, style, technology and crafts.

Nancy Flynn is a writer and crafter who lives in San Francisco. She is co-editor and the author of Jeaneology: Crafty Ways to Reinvent Your Old Blues.

Diane Gilleland, also known as Sister Diane, organizes the Portland Church of Craft. She also produces CraftyPod, a podcast and blog about making stuff.

When she’s not crafting lesson plans, Fiona Gillespie knits, sews, quilts and visits the second-hand and vintage shops of the world.

Betsy Greer is a writer, thinker and crafter living in North Carolina. When not busy making things, she writes about the ethical side of crafty life at

Alexis Hartman is an illustrator and self-proclaimed remedial crafter born into a very crafty family in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at

Wendy Jung, The Singing Librarian, designs sweet and simple accessories using vintage buttons, shiny beads, and unique souvenirs from the past, found at She earned her moniker while working at an interior design firm, organizing their library and taking liberties with the office intercom.

In 2003 Leah Kramer created the online community as a haven for people who love to make stuff but who also love to break the traditional rules of crafting. She’s also the author of a book on kitschy crafts from the 1950s and 60s called The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts.

Faythe Levine works under the moniker Flying Fish Design, based out of Milwaukee, WI. She also owns a brick and mortar shop called Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery, is the founder of Art vs. Craft and is the producer and director of Handmade Nation.

Meredith MacDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys all manner of domestic arts, especially sewing, knitting, baking, and collecting Blythe dolls. Her work can be found at

Bethe Mack is an enthusiastic crafter, part-time actor/musician, reiki healer, and chihuahua lover. She divides her time between Portland, Oregon and the rest of the universe.

Jessee Maloney-Townsend resides in Baltimore City, Maryland, where she designs one-of-a-kind jewelry in her home and runs her online shop

Sarah Minshall is a quilter, crafter, knitter, and maker of all things fabric-related. She keeps tabs on what she makes at her blog, Hip to Piece

Kathy Cano Murillo (a.k.a The Crafty Chica) is a book author, TV personality and syndicated newspaper columnist. She is addicted to glitter and all things sparkly, and runs the

Megan Nicolay is the author of Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt ( and a founding member and secret craft agent for the Department of Craft ( She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her sewing machines, typewriter, and her teacher man, Luke.

Torie Nguyen is a member of PDX Super Crafty ( and the owner/designer of Totinette Accessories ( In her spare time, she co-organizes the Crafty Wonderland sale in Portland and helps her husband Quentin with his t-shirt company,Monsieur T.

Shannon Okey is the author of the Knitgrrl series, Spin to KnitFelt Frenzy, and many other crafty books. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where her studio is filled with sweaters just waiting to become other things.

Rebecca Pearcy is the designer and founder of Queen Bee Creations, a handmade accessories company that’s been in business since 1996. She loves sewing, knitting, gardening, cooking, and making music.

Jennifer Perkins keeps herself busy running her online jewelry company Naughty Secretary Club, being a member of the Austin Craft Mafia, hosting Craft Lab and Stylelicious on the DIY Network and producing the Stitch Fashion Show and Guerilla Craft Bazaar.

Linda Permann is the founding Craft and Decorating Editor for Adorn
 and blogs at She loves making things, reading, thrifting, and visiting national parks.

Christy Petterson is a crafter, designer and writer from Atlanta. She is co-editor, organizes a craft market called the Indie Craft Experience, creates her own line of clothing and accessories, a bardis, and in between all the craftiness she enjoys working full-time in public relations.

Tricia Royal hails from San Francisco, California. An artist, fashion designer and writer, she is obsessed with sewing, knitting, crocheting, and thrift shopping. Her fashion-focused blog and website live at

Julian Quaresima is in elementary school in East Meadow, New York. He loves drawing, karate, playing with his friends, and making jewelry with his Aunt Susan.

Jenny Ryan is a kitsch-and-cupcake-obsessed artist and crafter living in Silverlake, California, with her cartoonist husband Johnny and their two insane cats, Kang and Kodos. She is the owner of and moonlights as the organizer behind Felt Club, LA’s popular indie craft fair.

Southern California artist Laura Stokes runs Charcoal Designs, a showcase for her vintage-inspired designs.

Jenn Sturiale crafts, tinkers, writes and codes using fabric, paper, wire, computers and lots of glue in Brooklyn. She is a founding member of the Department of Craft, and her work can be seen at

Kayte Terry is a stylist and crafter living in Brooklyn with her husband and her rabbit/muse, Potato. Find out more about Kayte’s crafty exploits at

Raised in Montana in a family of artists, Caitlin Troutman has been making things since she can remember. After going to school for painting she found herself in the woodshop.

Nicole Vasbinder lives in Petaluma, California and is the designer of the Queen Puff Puffhandbag and accessory line. She also teaches sewing and crafty business classes throughout the Bay Area.

Jessica Vitkus wrote a recycled crafts book called AlternaCrafts, developed projects for the “Martha Stewart Living” TV craft department, and has written for several of Martha’s magazines. She lives in New York’s East Village with her blacksmith/sculptor/Texan boyfriend, and embroiders whenever possible.

Kelly Wiglesworth is a writer and yoga teacher living on California’s Central Coast who’s been making jewelry for more than ten years. She brought her bead bag as her luxury item on the first season of Survivor, and used the hemp rope to lash a hut together, invisible thread to catch fish, and made necklaces and bracelets for everyone with shells she found on the island.

Jessica Wilson is a color junkie, a hoarder of kitsch and an erratic baker. A native Californian, she currently lives in the Los Feliz Village with her ukulele-playing better half, who often teams up with her to craft the night away.

Emilie Zanger is a Chicago writer and the former DIY editor of Venus Zine. Her day-job alter ego is a restaurant publicist, so it’s no surprise that her favorite crafty pastime is concocting elaborate meals from her numerous cookbooks. Emilie and her sister (and talented co-contributor) Jessica grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio.