Bringing Beadworkers Together - 28th July to 5th August 2018

We really want to bring as many beaders as possible together during International Beading Week, to celebrate our passion for beads and to have some fun! What better way to celebrate than in the company of like-minded people doing what we love best, beading?

International beading week is all about getting together with other beaders in your local area. Here are lots of ideas of how you can get involved in IBW. And make sure to take a look at our Bead Bombing page to find out how you can help us to make this a really special celebration: let’s spread the beading bug together!

Beading groups

  • Organise a special meeting during IBW and celebrate together.
  • You don’t have to meet at your usual venue, why not meet at one of your members’ homes and have a garden or tea party?
  • If you don’t have a local shop taking part in IBW, invite an internet trader to visit your group for the day.
  • Organise a ‘Round Robin’ at your meeting by getting members to bead one item and then pass it on to the next member to add to. This would be a great way of making your own beaded chains (see our Bead Bombing page for ideas and free patterns).
  • Have an open house, invite beginners to your meeting and share your knowledge.
  •  Organise an exhibition of your work to show to the public. This could be held at your meeting venue, the local library or another public venue that offers exhibition space.
  • Find out what’s happening in your local area during IBW. There may be another craft event or show you can participate in to spread the word.
  • Get together with your nearest beading shop and organise an event together (see our Bead Traders page for shops taking part).
  • Invite your local IBW Ambassador to your meeting and celebrate together.
  • Celebrate in style and create a party atmosphere at your IBW event by organising a raffle, a quiz, a display of members’ work or share a meal together.
  • Decorate your meeting venue with beaded and paper chains to create a celebratory look (see our Bead Bombing page for ideas and free patterns).
  • Set members a challenge by giving them a pack of beads or a theme to bead to and vote for your favourite piece at the end of the day.

Individual beaders

  • Take a look at The Beadworkers Guild website and see if there is a beading group near you that you can join.
  • Visit your nearest beading shop and join in their celebrations for IBW (see our Bead Traders page for shops taking part).
  • Invite a friend over for the day and introduce them to the joys of beading.
  • If you have access to Skype, why not have a ‘virtual’ beading day with your beading buddy?

And remember to keep an eye on our website for events happening around the country during International Beading Week.

Invitation to groups 

If you didn't make one last year, we would like you to make a beaded 'flag', with your group name and location, to add to our Beadworkers Guild Bunting. So many people ask us where their nearest beading group is when we attend shows, so we thought why not have this information loud and proud on display?

The idea is that we have a BWG flag as per sample shown, followed by a slightly larger group flag. It would be fantastic to have more on display at the Guild's AGM in May to promote International Beading Week. So if you fancy joining in contact Sylvia Fairhurst ( to register your intention to make either a group flag or a BWG flag or perhaps even both! You can also download the charts from this link.

IBW Ambassador: Bianca van der Molen (Roosendaal, The Netherlands) 

Around 10 years ago I caught the virus of beading. Since 6 years I began focusing solely on Beadweaving. I taught myself to make tutorials, became a published beader in a few magazines, opened up my own Etsy store and became a member of the Beadsmith Inspiration Squad. I am hoping to encourage other people to pick up that needle and to get them beading.

IBW Ambassador: Sarah Gwyer (The Cotswolds UK)

It's fantastic to be a part of the first International Beading Week. As a contemporary artist I have found beads to be by far my favourite medium. Beadweaving and bead embroidery is often overlooked and it's lovely to help bring new audiences to beadworking. Throughout IBW week and in the run up I shall be highlighting contemporary artists and designers who use beads in their work and the incredibly intricate designs that can be created.

IBW Ambassador: Cath Thomas (Switzerland)

I am a Dutch girl living in Switzerland. My love of beading and the shared love of the craft via Facebook is what connected me to the world, beyond the walls I am secluded to, and became the foundation of very meaningful friendships. International Beading week is all about bringing the art of beading to more
people. I love this idea conceived by the Beadworkers Guild. It is truly an honour to be chosen as an ambassador for this event. Beading can save our sanity. It is a beautiful art form that can be done in a small corner of a room, on a plane, in a car. It offers just the right escape when we need it. We can get immersed in the creative process and be swept away in the act of making beauty. I created a group on Facebook where people from all horizons, the world of passionate beaders around this planet, would feel encouraged to participate in this week of beading frenzy.

IBW Ambassador: Fiona Scott (UK)

I’m honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador for International Bead Week 2018. Since entering Patty McCourt’s Bead Shop some 8 or so years ago, I have become somewhat of an addict to beading. I love the camaraderie of the international beading world, so many people that are happy to share their knowledge and skill. I love experimenting with new beads and the challenge of designing for competitions – sometimes I can’t sleep for thinking of different ways to bead something.

I am relatively new to pattern designing and selling and have just dipped my toe into the world of Etsy (BeadcreativebyFiona). Sometimes though, it's just nice to bead and see where it takes you.