Mid October a surprise arrived in the mail, a bead kit from PRIMA Beads. I was asked to give my opinion of this product and finally here it is, “Jewelry Class in a Box!” Pearl Collection.
Although I don’t usually assemble jewelry from kits, perhaps that is why I was a bit hesitant (I design my own jewelry), there are times when I either lack motivation, can’t decide ‘what’ to create, what colors to choose or just don’t feel creative, so a kit is a welcome change of pace. And those bauble earrings for the holiday were calling, lol. If you are new to jewelry or have been wanting to create something fashionable, or live in a remote area or can’t visit the nearest bead shop for a class or the class is too pricey, then a kit like this is perfect to learn at your own leisure. PRIMA Beads offers a variety of classes in a box. Their chain class looks alluring…
“Jewelry Class in a Box!” includes everything a beginner would need to create several follow along projects, even good quality multi functional round-nose pliers with cutters. Taking things out of the box there is even a plush reusable bead mat which provides the ideal work surface as it prevents round beads from rolling off your table. Of course it didn’t save my fumble fingers from promptly dropping a crimp bead on the carpet, nowhere to be found, but fortunate for me, for the extras included so save me from having to look with a magnifying glass on my hands and knees, lol. Saved my back too.
There are Pros and Cons to everything. Like I said, I was pleased that there were extra pins and beads. A few of the beads were stuck together or needed cleaning with a pin to unplug the holes for stringing, especially when using the elastic. I ended up with a few beads left over and breathed a sigh of relief. The tigertail while tightly coiled (3 inches or so of the ends are wrapped around the coil and needed to be snipped off), the rest of the coil straightens with the weight of the beads. The photographic and pictoral instructions along with text are easy to follow and understand.
The biggest downside is perhaps that this kit lacks consideration for those with nickel allergies. So many are severely affected by this metal, not being able to wear certain fashion earrings because of major skin reactions and yes, the earring hooks, jump rings and pins contain nickel (you can test with a magnet…magnetic = nickel) and you may want to use alternative nickel free supplies. The clasps, chain and charms are non-magnetic and are nickel-free. One needs to remember this is a ‘class’, to learn various techniques, so the quality is not High-High grade. Just like any beginner class, one wouldn’t use sterling silver when first learning to crochet wire, copper would be a better alternative. Still, the overall supplies make for some pretty jewelry.
After using this kit, one could use the pattern again, perhaps with some lovely quality beads and supplies from PRIMA Bead. Their catalog is beautifully laid out. Over 3,500 products and even includes PROJECTS! a bead size and wire size chart, approximate bead counts in both metric and inch and other helpful charts. Their website also has techniques and tips. The supplies they carry are quite unique and they have things I haven’t seen elsewhere. PRIMA is located in Florida and they offer volume discounts as well as FREE shipping in the USA.
I especially like this set, with cute Key and Lock charms, but wouldn’t you agree the earring baubles are just perfect for the Holidays? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you you!!