Without jewelry, pearls would be nothing but oyster gallstones, and treasure chests would contain nothing but dirty back issues of The Economist. Embrace the power of bling with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $60 toward jewelry-making classes and supplies at Brooklyn Bead Box in Brooklyn. Students must be at least 13 years old.
Brooklyn Bead Box offers daily classes and supplies for aspiring beadists of all levels. In the 90-minute beginner's crimping class ($35), students create a secure and stylish crimped necklace or bracelet and learn how to attach clasps to strung beads, all while chanting in sync with a shaman, a gorilla, and two musicians.
Construct your own lobe candy in the 90-minute beginner's earrings class ($35), which demonstrates the fashionable yet deadly hangman's noose, a basic staple of jewelry design. More ambitious bead weavers can string their way up to a two-hour square-stitching course ($40), in which they will create their own tightly stitched beaded ladders while learning how to add thread to a clasp.
All classes include the necessary tools, but students must bring in beads they have liberated from the jewelry box of a curmudgeonly aunt or purchase some from Brooklyn Bead Box's overflowing stock. The shop carries glass and semiprecious beads sold by the strand or individually, as well as findings of 18-karat gold, sterling silver, and freshwater pearl.
Brooklyn Bead Box
Brooklyn Bead Box arms crafters with beads and findings that run the gamut from simplicity to statement pieces, with prices starting at pennies to accommodate diverse project budgets. Semiprecious stones, unlike boulders covered in glitter, make for classic jewelry shining next to Swarovski crystals on strands and hanging solo. Clasps and beading tools finish jewelry makers' handiwork, and instruction books and large-holed beads give beginners a foothold in the art.
Beaders can also mingle with peers in one of Brooklyn Bead Box's 13 classes, each capped at four students to allow instructors to individualize attention and curb the antics of class clowns. The curricula cover topics ranging from introductory techniques to the more complex arts of crafting wire cuff bracelets or beading hoop earrings. For further beading camaraderie, up to 12 kids can celebrate a birthday at the shop while hand making their own accessories.