Saturday, February 28, 2009

Inspiration Tip: Reuse and Recycle

There are so many types of beadwork, and so many different kinds of beaders, that no two workbenches, desks or beading tables look the same. Of all the tools that one can find in our special beading zones, nothing is more unique to the artist as their inspiration book.

Some of us like to keep a notebook to jot down ideas and sketches. These are great to keep next to the bed for those middle-of-the night inspirations. You never know when you’ll come up with the perfect way to use that special art bead you’ve been saving.

Another great way to save and store ideas is with a scrapbook. It’s easy to clip and paste photos, printed paper and other tid-bits that may one day become the basis for an amazing piece of beadwork.

The best thing about an inspiration scrapbook is that it can rescue paper from being thrown out. Before any magazines or flyers end up in the recycling bin, I always clip out any pictures or color schemes that I like and paste them into my scrapbook.

Making your own inspiration book is easy. All you need is a photo album or notebook and some glue. To keep my inspiration book organized, I used markers to color-code the pages. This way, I can easily flip to a section full of color ideas when I need help deciding how to use new beads.

Fashion magazines are a wonderful source for clippings. There’s usually at least a handful of interesting jewelry designs within the pages, as well as great photos of clothes and fabrics for color and texture ideas. Because fashion mags are on top of the trends, they can help inspire designs that fit current styles.

The possibilities don’t end with fashion magazines either. Anything with good quality photos is worth perusing for design ideas. Landscapes, flowers, wildlife and culture articles are often full of colorful and interesting photos that can help get the creative juices flowing.

So, the next time you see a magazine about to be sent off to the paper-mill, rescue it! You never know when you’ll find your next great inspiration.


  1. Great tip! I don't keep an ideas journal & I know I should. I've got a stack of mags for recycling, I think i'll go through them 1st thanks!

  2. Great ideas! I also tear inspirations out of magazines make collages - some great color combos have resulted.

    I like your color wheel of seed beads.

  3. Magazines are so great for crafts, aren't they? In school we used to cut out photos and then paste half to a sketch pad and fill in the other side with a drawing. There's so many great ways to reuse them.

  4. I keep an inspiration folder in my browser bookmarks. I save any site or page that looks like it might spark other ideas. I also keep a notebook, for physical paper and sketching. However, I find the 3x5 cards I carry around end up being used the most.

  5. An inspiration bookmark folder is a great idea. I usually just add everything into one broad "beading" folder. It can get a little confusing when it's time to look for something.


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