How to Cost Jewelry Made with Seed Beads?

by Horatia Henderson.

How to Cost Jewelry Made with Seed Beads? - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I would like to sell jewellery I have made with seed beads, but am wondering how best to cost an item?

Do I go by weight of seed beads used?

Or is it better to count the seed beads used?

Obviously counting will take a lot of time but my weighing scales don’t have the accuracy of less than 10-20 beads.


Horatia Henderson

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  • Horatia, could you measure how many seed beads per inch or per centimeter in the finished piece? Then you could simply measure the length of the section(s) of seed beading, and multiply by the number of beads per inch or per centimeter. Would that be faster or simpler?

  • Horatia says:

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I think that would work when I do it in a straight line but not when I’m weaving in different directions. Definitely helpful though. Cheers!

  • Vicki P says:

    If you make a lot of pieces using seed beads, it’s well worth the cost of a small digital scale. I crochet jewelry with fine gauge silver wire, my costs are much more accurate now that I weigh the spool of wire before and after creating the piece. The same with seed beads. If the seed beads come to me measured by weight (in a baggie or a tube), I measure by weight. Look around online for a reasonably priced scale. Mine is a Gemoro Platinum X500, about $40. Good luck!

  • Evie F. says:

    While I have a healthy dose of OCD and know the cost of every bead or finding I use, I estimate seed beads by how much of a tube or package I used for a project. For me it isn’t cost effective to use more time trying to be 100% accurate for what usually is the least expensive part of my work. Also, in my cost sheets for necklaces and bracelets, I factor in $2 per piece for all the costs you have but many times can’t assign to a single piece…shipping fees, gasoline, parking at the wholesale shows, a forgotten item, etc.

  • Horatia says:

    Thank you all, your comments are very helpful. I’m just getting all my costs right as far as I can then I can start to sell!

  • Bobbie says:

    Cost of materials is one factor, but as another seed beader I urge you to remember to factor in the cost of your time. Seed beading is a time-intensive artform, and where you may only have $15 in material costs, you may have 25+ hours of labor. Don’t shortchange yourself!

  • Joey says:

    While I think it’s important to not get caught on the raw materials side, booth space, etc., I think the most important thing to consider is your time, energy and creativity. That is the most valuable thing you bring to the table. Most artists sell themselves short when considering how much to price a piece. Consider the time you spend and what your market is. You will know what your market base will bear as well. If you make something worth $100 but are trying to sell it at a PTA event, you may not have the right customers looking!!! (no offense to people who are shopping at a PTA event, but sometimes these shoppers are looking for $10 – $30 items).

  • I agree with Joey and Bobbie. Figuring in your time is very important, but to me, the original “DESIGN” is worth alot. A piece could be very simple, but a gorgeous, creative, one-of-a-kind design! Your “creativity” should be taken into account, not just the material and your time.

    One of my Etsy shops includes the rubber stamp designs that I create for making my Fine Silver pendants. I could sell the rubber stamps for much less, considering the cost of materials, but the TIME involved in creating each “original” design is worth much more. When someone buys one of my rubber stamps, I give them the “rights” to use my original design, however they wish to do so.

  • Sandee Jene says:

    Most of my seed beads are purchased from the same vendor and therefore are about the same price when purchased. So for costing I have set up a scale 2550 and < count. This is quick and easy for me and all of my pieces are evenly priced.

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