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The Lima Beads Blog News, Contests, Fun & More


Stay up to date with the latest Lima news, contests, announcements, promotions, and more—all on the blog.

Crossword Puzzle Bonus Update

Posted by Steve on February 02 at 10:56 am

Crossword Puzzle BonusThe Crossword Puzzle Sale of 2012 ended with a bang, and we’d like to thank everyone for playing along. We’re doing a mad rush through all the bead shows in Tucson right now, but we haven’t forgotten about the bonus prizes. We’ll be contacting and announcing the winners in the next 24 hours… so keep your fingers crossed! We’ll be posting an update right here on the blog.

Good luck!

Lima is Headed to Tucson!

Posted by Steve on January 27 at 02:49 pm

Lima CactusThe Lima Beads offices will be officially closed from Tuesday (1/31) – Friday (2/3) next week for our annual trip to Tucson for the big gem and jewelry shows. Last year was my first year making the trip, and it was waaaaay bigger than I expected. You can’t possibly prepare yourself for that many beads.

Shipping and Customer Service

During these 4 days, you’ll only be able to reach us by email. A small (and super dedicated) portion of our team is staying behind, so orders will continue to ship, but it may not be as quickly as you’re used to. If you need something urgently in the next week, be sure to place your order by Monday (1/30) and if it’s super time-sensitive, it would be a good idea to choose UPS as your shipping option.

Stay Tuned for an Update

We’ll be sending along an update next week, so stay tuned! Don’t forget, the Crossword Sale ends on 1/31–and watch the blog for an update on the winners of the bonus prizes. Adiós!

Holiday Hint #8: Handcrafted Gift Tags

Posted by Matt on December 08 at 01:17 pm

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

Give your handmade gifts the wrapping they deserve! Forget about the box and the paper, the tag is what can really separate your wrapping job from the pack. Using supplies that you already have at home, you can easily make handcrafted holiday gift tags for that special someone.

On the paper tags, I just cut out some shapes with nice, thick paper and covered them with varying combinations of alcohol ink, acrylic paint and stamps. The hardest part is waiting for the ink to dry before you can write anything on them. I used a refillable ink pen for the lettering, but a permanent marker would work just as well. To finish it off, use ribbon or hemp to attach the tags to your gifts.

As an alternative to the paper tags, consider picking up a few letter pendants from The Lipstick Ranch. I embellished this letter ‘K’ with a couple of wire-wrapped charms and some twisted hemp. The best part is that you can also use it as an ornament!

Shell Pearls at Lima Beads

Posted by Kevin on November 23 at 12:51 pm

Shell pearls are an alternative to cultured and glass pearls. They look and feel more genuine than glass pearls and offer the consistency of size and color that can be difficult to achieve with cultured pearls. Shell pearls exhibit the weight and feel of a natural South Sea pearl. They’re available in an array of beautiful colors.

Shell Pearls

Shell Pearl BucketsHow they’re made

The production process for shell pearls is similar to the process that crystal companies use to make glass pearls. The major difference is that glass pearls have glass in the center and shell pearls have a solid carving of real seashell at their core. Stone cutters cut and polish pieces of this giant shell until they More Shell Pearlshave a perfect shape (10mm round for example). Once the piece of shell is finished, they’re ready to coat it. The coating, which is made in the USA, contains genuine mother of pearl that has been ground into a fine powder. This mother of pearl content is what gives shell pearls their deep luster. The coating process is what differentiates some shell pearls. All Lima Beads shell pearls have a thick multi-layer coating that ensures durability and high luster.

Great things about shell pearls

Shell Pearl Core

The core of a shell pearl

Genuine look and feel: Because they have a real seashell at their core, shell pearls look & feel more genuine than glass pearls.

Resilience: Shell pearls are more resistant to sweat, perfume, and other contaminants that commonly affect cultured pearls.

Availability: The controlled manufacturing process ensures that we can continuously restock items in the same shapes and colors.

Shop our Shell Pearls >


Holiday Hint #7: Christmas Tree Jewelry

Posted by Ali on November 23 at 11:53 am

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

We are always so focused on making jewelry for ourselves that we might forget to make jewelry for our tree! I wanted to make garland for our tree, so I took 2 different spools of hemp and cut 13′ lengths of each. Knot a loop at the end to be able to secure to a branch. Randomly string on large crystals or large sparkly beads by knotting them on each side. As you go along about every 10″ or so, knot a couple scraps of ribbon to add some fullness and contrast to the sparkle. It’s easy and super quick! Your tree jewelry will look beautiful on your tree or wreath–or you can give it as a gift. (I’m keeping mine!)

Handmade Holiday Garland

Handmade Holiday Garland

Holiday Hint #6: Lists, lists, lists…

Posted by Ali on November 22 at 11:44 am

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

If there is any time to turn into a crazy list maker, now is the time. Those magnetic pads for your fridge are great. I make lists for everything this time of year. Between Thanksgiving being next week, preparing Christmas presents, getting ready to decorate the house, entertaining, and going to holiday parties I have no time left right now to process a complete thought or idea … so I make lists.

I have a list for:

  • what I am making for Thanksgiving dinner
  • what I need to make each of the dishes and what I need to purchase for them
  • who is getting a gift & what they are getting
  • what I need to decorate inside
  • what I need to decorate outside
  • what craft projects to do with the kids
  • whom to make cookies for
  • … and the lists go on

Any other list makers out there!

Holiday Hint #5: Never Get Caught Empty Handed

Posted by Ali on November 17 at 05:01 pm

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

Have you ever been in the unfortunate situation of being the recipient of a gift without having anything to give in return?

Make a few extra gifts to have on hand. Keep them in your car, or in your purse. Everyone likes a simple pair of sparkly earrings or a “match everything” multi color bracelet. These gifts can even be made with your extra beads and findings, so you don’t have to spend more money than you have to!

Holiday Hint #4: Handling “Helpful” Kids

Posted by Ali on November 10 at 12:24 pm

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

I am always trying to find a spare second at home when I can try to be creative. Lately this task has become even harder with Payton not consistently taking an afternoon nap and Christmas gift creations looming. She loves to try an help me make jewelry, but isn’t always all that helpful, so I came up with something easy for her to do at my desk while I work on my own designs – button jewelry. I have a couple cigar boxes full of vintage buttons with big holes that make it easy to string hemp or twine through. She loves this because they are colorful and sparkly and she can do it all by herself. I love it because she stays preoccupied so that I can think straight and design something myself.

Payton's Vintage Button NecklaceHere is a necklace that Payton made the other day. I made a loop clasp for her to put the final button through as closure.

Materials needed:
2′ hemp or twine
old buttons or even big hole beads

Holiday Hint #3: Hang your Ornaments in Style…

Posted by Ali on November 03 at 01:42 pm

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

One of the things I don’t look forward to during the holidays is reaching my hand into that dreaded box of pointy ornament hooks, only to stab myself and ruin the spirit. This year, I’m taking a different route using some beads and leftover Artistic Wire.

With just a few inches of Artistic Wire and some sparkly helpers, you can hang your ornaments in style. Check out the tip on making ornament hangers on the Tips & Techniques page!

The Results Are In!

Posted by Matt on November 01 at 02:41 pm

I think the scariest thing about these Fresh Pick Challenges is how creative our customers are! When Steve gave everyone the ability to create their own Fresh Picks, we weren’t sure how it was going to go. I think this goes without saying, but it’s been wildly successful.

Here are the four lucky Fresh Pickers who came out on top of the latest Fresh Pick Challenge:

Best Composition: Artful Accents’ “October Skyline

We had a hard time picking just one for this category because there were so many picks with great composition. The more I look at this pick, the more I like it. You can tell just how much care went into picking each and every product. Just look at how that Lillypilly Verde Patina Copper Sheet works so well with the Red Creek Jasper!

Best Use of Color: D Gooding’s “PumpkinHead is Snoring

I would bet that D Gooding was taking a shot at the “Best Story” prize for this one. Even though it was a finalist for that category, we really liked the bright, pumpkin-esque colors. If you haven’t already read the story, I suggest you give it a read.

Best Story: Kitty Chicky Cat’s “origami garden

“The perfect hostess; gentle as a dove, with the willow’s grace, welcoming as a warm embrace. Yet she is mournful as the wind that ever caresses her dwelling place and cold as the stars that light the eyes of her pretty face.” This story literally gave me the chills. I think I’m going to have nightmares about being folded up into a pretty little lily…

Top-notch storytelling aside, this is a great-looking pick!

People’s Choice: Mary S – Sweet Chick’s “Pumpkin Vines

I’d have to agree with all of you on this one! Great composition, great use of color and beautifully crafted. We’ve come to expect this level of creativity from a seasoned veteran like Mary. She has almost 350 Fresh Picks under her belt!

The winners will receive their $25 Gift Certificate code in an email from me within the next few hours. If for some reason you don’t get the message, just let me know in the comments.

Again, we really appreciate everyone who contributed to make this contest so successful. Hopefully, we’ll have another one of these up our sleeve in the coming months.

Holiday Hint #2: Make it Personal

Posted by Ali on October 27 at 03:37 pm

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

With all of the great mixed-media jewelry supplies out there right now, it’s more fun than ever to create something that has a personal touch. This year, I’ll be designing some pieces that contain resin components, keepsake pendants, stamped blanks, and other personalized pieces.

Resin and keepsake pendants are fun because you can include anything you want, as long as it fits. It could be a photo, a birthstone, or even a little note, or any other little trinkets that have sentimental value.

If you’re comfortable with tools, stamping blanks is a great way to give a personalized gift. You can write anything you want and then texture the blank, or use gilders paste to add some color.


Here are some links to items that help you make it personal:

Fresh Pick Challenge: Halloween 2011

Posted by Matt on October 26 at 09:55 am

It seems like this is becoming somewhat of a Halloween tradition around here. To keep you busy during Scream Week, we decided to resurrect the Fresh Pick Challenge! There will be 4 prizes, one for the winner of each of the following categories:

  • Best Composition: The overall composition is one of the most important qualities of a beautiful Fresh Pick. It’s what makes Fresh Picks so unique. Creating the best possible color & texture arrangement is key to winning this category.
  • Best Use of Color: When it comes to beading, is there anything more important than color? It doesn’t necessarily have to be all spooky colors. You can use things like your favorite Halloween candy, a costume that you remember wearing when you were younger, or even your favorite horror flick for inspiration.
  • Best Story: We know how you love to write stories to go along with your Fresh Picks. That’s why we’re going to read each and every description that you take the time to write. It could be a scary story, a tale about your favorite childhood Halloween memory, or anything else your creative mind comes up with :)
  • People’s Choice: We want our Pickers to make the call! The Fresh Pick with the most favorites will win this prize. Even if you’re not submitting a pick, be sure to add your favorite fresh picks to, well, your favorites!

With the exception of the people’s choice winner, the Lima Beads team will choose the winners of each category. We’re excited!

The Prizes

The winner of each category will receive a $25 Lima Beads gift certificate. Also, there is a special prize for the winner of People’s Choice: A beautiful assortment of gemstone beads, pendants and pearls!

If you can’t quite tell from the photo, there’s Carnelian, Amethyst, Kyanite, Amazonite, Peru Rhodochrosite and more!

When you’re ready to submit your Pick, just select it from the drop-down menu in the comment form below. You’ll be able to choose from your 10 most recent picks. Choose the one that you’d like to submit to the contest and “Voila!” Not sure what a Fresh Pick is? Find out on the Design Your Own Fresh Picks page!

Let me lay down a few ground rules before you get started:

  • Only one (1) submision allowed per person. If you make multiple submissions, only your most recent one will be counted.
  • All Picks must be submitted as a comment on this blog post by Monday, October 31st at midnight.

Here’s the Tricky Part

You have to use at least one product from ONE of these categories:

Czech Glass Coins Czech Glass Coins
Luster Silver Crystal Beads Luster Silver Crystal
Red Creek Jasper Beads Red Creek Jasper

IMPORTANT: You DO NOT have to include one product from each category! We’re not that cruel. :)

We’re not done yet! You also need to include at least one product from our Artist Beads section. We have hundreds of artist beads and we think they’re the most creative beads in our entire shop. They should help to inspire some awesome picks!

All you have to do is create a new Fresh Pick and upload it in your comment below. Time to pick!

Holiday Hint #1: Gift Brainstorming

Posted by Ali on October 20 at 02:29 pm

This post is part of a series for the 2011 Holiday Season… Follow along on the Holiday Page!

It’s always around this time every year that I start to feel the stress of holiday gift making. This year, I’ll be making an untold number of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for all the wonderful ladies in my life. They all have different tastes, styles, and favorite colors.

Over the past few years, I’ve come up with a way to get my thoughts organized and my creativity flowing. I start by making a list of everyone that will need a gift. Then, next to each of their names I write down everything I know about their style and fashion preferences — what they like to wear, where they fall on the funky-to-conservative scale, where they like to shop, their favorite colors and anything else I think will help me design something they’ll love.

Starting off with this list has served me well. It has helped me design gifts that are well-received, decide which beads and supplies I need to purchase, and last but not least, it has helped me get a grip on just how much work I have to do before it’s too late!

I hope this helps. If you have something that works for you, please share it in the comments!

A Call for Halloween Designs and Fresh Picks

Posted by Steve on October 06 at 01:28 pm

Here’s to all the creepy creatives on the Lima Beads site… we want to have a little fun this Halloween, starting with collecting some Fresh Picks and Designs that are scary, spooky, or just plain fun like those odd-shaped pumpkins carved with big silly faces. We’ll be featuring these Fresh Picks and Designs on at our Halloween HQ for the rest of the month. We think it’s going to be a cool source of October inspiration!

Here’s how to participate…

To join the fun, start by designing a Fresh Pick or uploading one of your beading designs to our Design Gallery. There’s an easy way to specify that your new pick or design should go on the Halloween 2011 page. If you’re uploading a design in the Design Gallery, you’ll see the following option when filling out the entry form:

If you’re designing a Fresh Pick, first finishing adding all the items to your pick. Then go to the My Fresh Picks page. You’ll see a choice next to each of your picks that allows you to choose the Halloween promotion. Just like the bottom of this example:

You can always go back and choose the Halloween promo later, so don’t feel like you need to finish everything in one sitting. One last thing… only picks that area created in September and October 2011 will be featured on the Halloween HQ page. No fair using “creativity of old” this season :)

As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments. And have fun!

Call for Creepy Creativity…

Posted by Steve on September 29 at 01:24 pm

Lima's costume last year...

Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. No, I’m not just talking about visiting the local cider mill or U-Pick pumpkin patch. I’m talking about getting scary-creative with your halloween designs. This year, we’re going to put your “creepy creativity” on display… but we can’t do it without you!

Next week, we’ll be putting up a page on our site that features halloween-themed designs from the Design Gallery, as well as Fresh Picks with a halloween twist. We’re not sure exactly how we’re going to gather them all up yet, but we’ll make an official announcement next week (so you don’t need to begin creating anything immediately unless you’re super excited about it). Check back here on the blog for more info next week!

Using Multiple Discount Codes

Posted by Steve on September 22 at 11:40 am

I’ve got some news that will make some long-time Lima Beaders happy. After a lot of thinking and a little elbow grease, we’ve lifted the restriction of only one coupon code for every order! We hope this makes shopping at our web site just a little bit easier.

The Back Story

If you’ve taken part in our promotions like the Easter Egg Hunt or the Crossword Puzzle Sale, you’ll know that we occasionally offer coupon codes that can save you money on certain items on our web site. In the past, we had a rule that you could use just one coupon per order–which ended up being a big hassle once in a while. So, we decided a while back to change the rule, and we recently launch an upgrade to our web site that accommodates this change.

How it Works…

Here’s the scoop. If you have a couple coupon codes, just enter them on the bottom of your shopping bag one at a time. After you enter each one, the total at the bottom of your bag will update with a summary of how much you’re saving. Every penny counts! Plus, we made it so you always get the maximum discount for every item. So if you have a “10% off charms” coupon and a “15% off Vintaj” coupon, you will get 15% off any charms made by Vintaj. In other words, each item can have one discount applied to it, and the highest discount wins.

Want to try it?

OK, OK. I know. You want try it out, but you don’t have 2 discount codes? I can help there, too ;) If you sign up for our e-mail list, you should get a coupon to save on regular price items across our site. That’s one. And I had a special coupon code made just for this blog post. If you enter coupon code RE98432, that will save you 15% off all regular priced metal beads in our shop. This coupon will expire on September 30, 2011 (just a few days away), so don’t want too long to try it out.

A final word

We really strive to make our web site a pleasure to browse and shop, and we hope this makes it a little easier along the way. If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment below or send us feedback. Thanks for being a Lima customer–and keep your eyes on this blog in the coming months for more announcements, promos & contests.

Steve’s First Buying Trip

Posted by Steve on September 01 at 01:22 pm

Over the past 7 years at Lima Beads, I’ve had to play a lot of different roles–from packing orders, to answering phone calls, to managing the web site. But until this month, I had never gone on a buying trip… and boy, that was an experience!

It all started innocently… I had other business in the city where one of our suppliers has a showroom, so Kevin asked me if I wouldn’t mind stopping by their shop and picking out some items. It seemed easy enough, so I said “of course” and planned to spend some time picking through beads.

A familiar sign...

I’ve spent enough time digging through boxes of beads at our own warehouse, so I figured I would be prepared to pick out some sparkly additions that our customers would enjoy.

I had a long drive ahead of me, so I packed a bag, hopped in the rental car, and rehearsed my strategy while humming along on the expressway. I knew I would have about five hours to pick out beads, so I wanted to find a handful of new additions, plus some trusted favorites that we’ve carried in the past. Lo and behold, near the start of my trip, I passed a road sign that gave me a chuckle: “Lima Rd.” I figured it was a good sign!

When I arrived, I was really shocked at how many beads there were! I only made it through a portion of them by the time I had to leave. There were so many sparkles in one building! I picked out a selection of beads that I really hope you’ll love, and we just added them to the web site this week. Check them out! And if you don’t love them, you know who to blame (you can blame Kevin :) ).


$500 Contest Winner Announced…

Posted by Steve on July 06 at 06:24 pm

One of the great pleasures of our jobs here at Lima Beads is to surprise one of our customers with the news that his or her name has been drawn as the winner of our $500 shopping spree. I personally had the pleasure of contacting our latest winner, Beth from Cleveland. Congratulations again, Beth!

Every few months, we select a new winner for the $500 shopping spree. Sometimes, the lucky winner is a little skeptical, and might call us back just to make sure. Other times, there might be a few days that go by and we don’t hear anything… only to find that the winner was on vacation–and very surprised when checking their messages upon their return! In Beth’s case, she celebrated with a “happy dance,” which we thought was pretty awesome.

Congratulations again, Beth! We hope you enjoy your beads. For everyone else, head on over to the contest page and you can enter the next one. We’ll announce the winner here on the blog. Happy beading!

The Perfect Time to Try Resin

Posted by Kevin on June 30 at 01:33 pm

All Resin is 20% off through Wednesday July 6th. Get yours now! If you’ve never used resin before, it’s easy! You can create custom components to make your designs your own. We’ve added several tips & techniques today to help you get started.

Today, we’ve published several new tips & techniques to answer some of the most frequent questions we get about resin.

Technique 1: How to seal materials for use in resin

Before using porous materials like paper or photos, you need to seal them with a crafting glue to prevent the resin from seeping in. This technique will tell you everything you need to know. See it now.

Technique 2: Preventing bubbles in your resin

This is the #1 question we get about resin. Bubbles are annoying, but easy to prevent. See how.

Technique 3: Fixing a surface mistake

Lima Studios Crystal Clear Resin is self-healing. If you make a mistake, you can always sand the surface and paint a new layer of resin over it. No one will ever know! See the technique.


Fairy Deals for Fairy Day!

Posted by Steve on June 24 at 10:23 am

Hi everyone! In celebration of Fairy Day, we’ve got some special deals for you! Fairy day is the “official holiday for fairy collectors, believers, artisans and the young at heart.” You can read more at the Fairy Day web site… and don’t miss Ali’s blog post on the Fairy Doors in Ann Arbor (where the Lima headquarters is).

Special Fairy Deals

We have 10 fun fairy items on sale below, and here’s how it works: you have until Sunday night (6/26) at midnight to add these items to your shopping cart and place your order. After Sunday at midnight, the prices to back to normal. And the only place to get the special price is right here in the blog (they are listed at normal price everywhere else on our site). These items are available on a first come first served basis, and we can’t offer rain checks–so don’t wait to get your fairies!

Happy Fairy Day! And remember to place your orders by Sunday night!

Green Girl Pewter 1000 Wishes Fairy 18x43mm

Green Girl Pewter 1000 Wishes Fairy 18x43mm

Piece: $6.00 (-7% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

Green Girl Pewter Fairy Button 23x21mm

Green Girl Pewter Fairy Button 23x21mm

Piece: $6.00 (-15% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

Green Girl Pewter Dragonfly Fairy 63x57mm

Green Girl Pewter Dragonfly Fairy 63x57mm

Piece: $11.96 (0% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

Green Girl Pewter Forget-Me-Not Fairy 16x22mm

Green Girl Pewter Forget-Me-Not Fairy 16x22mm

Piece: $6.00 (25% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

Stampt Antique Gold (plated) Fairy Door Link 18x6mm

Stampt Antique Gold (plated) Fairy Door Link 18x6mm

Package of 2: $0.75 (21% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

TierraCast Antique Copper (plated) Fairy Wings 5x13mm

TierraCast Antique Copper (plated) Fairy Wings 5x13mm

Piece: $0.44 (-47% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

TierraCast Antique Gold (plated) Leaf Fairy Charm 10x21mm

TierraCast Antique Gold (plated) Leaf Fairy Charm 10x21mm

Piece: $0.90 (12% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

TierraCast Antique Gold (plated) Woodland Fairy 11x25mm

TierraCast Antique Gold (plated) Woodland Fairy 11x25mm

Piece: $0.90 (12% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

Vintaj Natural Brass Whimsical Nouveau Fairy Charm 17x25mm

Vintaj Natural Brass Whimsical Nouveau Fairy Charm 17x25mm

Piece: $1.20 (0% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

Vintaj Arte Metal Fairy Flight Link 42x35mm

Vintaj Arte Metal Fairy Flight Link 42x35mm

Piece: $2.16 (-60% off!)

This expired on June 27. Watch for more deals soon!

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