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Bead Loom.

Q: My wife is wanting to get into bead-work on a Loom... Does anyone have any thoughts on this subject? Where do I get a Loom? What ones are good and easy to use?

A: I have been happy with my Vertical Loom from 'Cindys Crafts', you can go to my website to see a picture of it: For starters, I think any cheap loom will do, or even a piece of cardboard that thread is wrapped around. I've had great luck with an inexpensive Bead-Loom I bought at 'Tandy Leather'. It's a Twin-Beam Loom, and it cost me under $30.00. Also, to get started, I went to my local craft store ('Michael's', I think) and I bought a Bead Loom used to teach kids how to bead. It was great to get started, it had easy instructions and had beads included with it. I went through this recently, so I'll share what I encountered. I bought the first bead loom I found which was in a craft shop (the only one even remotely close to me). It's a "bow" loom, and while it's possible to weave on the thing, it's a lot more difficult than it needs to be. The reason? The Loom acquires the shape of a "bow" (or a crescent), and therefore has to be held, because you can set it down and have it stable. This means you can only work with one hand. This is doable, but frustrating in the extreme. It wasn't very expensive - about $8.00. A couple of days ago, I found a different style Loom in (of all the places - I NEVER would have thought) 'Ames' department store. This Loom has a stable base of metal tubing. Wide diameter dowels with screws and wing nuts hold the warp threads taut, and a pair of springs at either end of the Loom are used to guide the warp threads (that is, you thread through the coils of the springs). This is MUCH easier to handle, as it can be set down on a table or a lap thingy and it's stable. Then, you can use both hands to do your work. It's also twice as wide as the 'Bow Loom', which gives you more options regarding the width of your piece, and it was only about $6.00. I realize this is not any kind of fancy machinery (I can hear some of you snickering out there), but it's a good and inexpensive way to try out looming to see if it's something you want to pursue. I expect to play with the thing for a couple of months, and then decide if I'm "smitten" enough to invest in something more professional. You can purchase a large size 'Bead Loom' at I just ordered mine, and the price was 1/2 of what the local place here wanted. Also, if you want to start with something simple, 'Tandy', 'Wal-Mart', and 'K-Mart' all have the small children's loom to get started on. Heck, I still use mine for small pieces.