Monday, October 25, 2010

Beads #3 counting your beads

      I have been asked, how do you know how many beads are in a gram or an ounce, not the size that is intimidating, but the weight when it comes to buying.  I think this is a question I never think of since I always buy larger quantities of beads, but can see how non-beaders would not want thousands of the same color, so I will try to address it here.

     One comparison is, a paperclip weighs one gram and there are approximately 28.35  grams in one ounce. If all you need are just a few, look for sites that sell them only by the gram, (which can be hard to find, as they require a minimum purchase and will require you to purchase  a $$ amount often resulting in several colors or beads you weren't looking for)  or visit second hand shops and pick through the  jewelry department, things with beaded trim, any old fabric selling separate with beads, etc,  and cut that apart. Sometimes you can find a piece of beaded trim at your local sewing store, or Walmart if you are in the states, for under a buck and just get a couple inches of that with several colors of beading on it yet not a ton of beads. 
     Another idea is, take a couple girlfriends or get an online group together, and do a swap, maybe 5 to 10 people can buy 1 color each and you can  each divide up your little treasured bag and then you are not stuck with an entire ounce of just one color you won't need.  A good guesstimate is about a thousand beads or so for an ounce.  

The following information was cut and pasted directly from :

Please stop in their site and browse their catalogue,and refere your friends, without their information I would have had a very dificult time explaining this.

What Size Are They?
Seed beads sizes are listed as "11/0" or "6/0" and the like.   These very loosely refer to how many beads per inch it would take, if you lined a particular size up against a ruler.   Thus, "11/0" means that there are 11 beads per inch.   "6/0" means that there are six per the inch.    Thus, the smaller the size-number, the larger the size of the bead.
6/0 seedbeads are apprx. 4mm
8/0 delicas are approximately 3.3mm
8/0 seedbeads are apprx. 3mm
11/0 seedbeads are apprx. 2.2mm
11/0 (same as 12/0) delicas are apprx. 1.8mm
15/0 seedbeads are apprx 1.5mm
Carol Wilcox Wells, in her book THE ART AND ELEGANCE OF BEADWEAVING, gives a well-researched answer to the question How Many Seed Beads?    Using black opaque seed beads from one particular manufacturer, she came up with these numbers:
15/0 seed beads         290 beads/gram
11/0 (same as 12/0) delicas       190 beads/gram
11/0 seed beads         110 beads/gram
8/0 seed beads             38 beads/gram
6/0 seed beads             15 beads/gram
15/0 seed beads           24 beads/inch          9 beads/centimeter
11/0 (same as 12/0) delicas        20 beads/inch         7 beads/centimeter
11/0 seed beads           18 beads/inch          7 beads/centimeter
8/0 seed beads             13 beads/inch          5 beads/centimeter
6/0 seed beads             10 beads/inch          4 beads/centimeter
15/0 seed beads           330 beads/sq. inch         54 beads/sq. centimeter
11/0 (same as 12/0) delicas      285 beads/sq. inch         42 beads/sq. centimeter
11/0 seed beads           216 beads/sq. inch         35 beads/sq. centimeter
8/0 seed beads             108 beads/sq. inch          20 beads/sq. centimeter
6/0 seed beads              70 beads/sq. inch            12 beads/sq. centimeter
An amulet purse that is 2" x 2 1/2" in size, would be 2*2 1/2*2 in area, or 10 square inches.  (2 sides of 2x2.5 inches).   10 square inches would use, for example, 2850 delica beads (15 grams).
NOTE:  The sizes and weights for seed beads with different finishes and/or from different manufacturers will vary considerably, so you should take these numbers as a guide, not an absolute.

I hope this helps explain weights some :)

1 comment:


    I have been reading your posts about beads and appreciate all the information you put on your blog. That was a lot of research. I'm always clueless when it comes to buying beads. I usually pick up a little of this and a little of that and hope it works for my projects.

    I'd love a chance at your give away. Please enter me. My e-mail is lawecki at verizon. net
    Have a grea day!


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