For me the absolute best part of jewellery making is choosing and buying the beads and supplies. One of my favourite ways of spending a rainy afternoon is searching or hunting for beads for my website and for my personal stash.
There are several ways to buy beads in the UK
The Bead Shop
Perhaps the most obvious is the bead shop. If you have an excellent bead shop in your local area make use of it especially if you are a beginner. Spending time in your local bead shop is a great way for a beginner to get to know all the different types of beads and findings, all beadining and jewellery making supplies in fact!
Some local bead shops run beading and jewellery making classes. These are an ideal way to learn new skills, improve the skills you have and meet like minded people.
Buying beads and supplies online is perhaps the easiest way and usually the cheapest. You can shop in your PJs in the middle of the night if that's the most convenient for you. You can spend hours browsing and choosing the perfect beads for your designs and you don't even have to leave the comfort of your sofa.
Bead shows or fairs are another good place to buy your beads. They can be more expensive when you add on the admission fee most bead shows charge. My advice is, be prepared bead shows can be very tiring and very hard on your purse! It's very easy to spend a lot more than you intend. After all its so difficult to resist those pretties when they are right under your nose....isn't it
There are many bead shows around the UK. UKbeadfairs.com has an excellent events calendar for UK bead fairs and shows.
You will probably find you buy your beads for a mixture of all three
Wherever you buy from...Happy bead shopping!