Glass pendant with inset flower for $3 at Butler Hill Beads. Low cost, pretty, easy to make. Everything a necklace should be. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Shopping Siren last beaded something when she was 9.

It was a necklace, the beads were a pearly blue and I gave it to my mom. The string broke after two hours of wear. Beads showered to the floor and scattered underfoot.

She was out dancing at the time.

I’m sure the injuries were minor. Probably.

Thereafter, I stuck to friendship bracelets and other soft pieces unlikely to launch an attack. My jewelry making was, obviously, uninspired.

Decades have passed since then and I’ve grown — and learned to tie a better knot — and I’m ready to try again. Ready for itty-bitty seed beads and giant glass beads and sparkling Swarovski crystals. Ready for stamped metal and intricate charms.

Ready for Butler Hill Beads.

It looks tiny, but the little shop on Minot Avenue in Auburn has three rooms filled with jewelry-making tools and supplies. Whatever you need to make a necklace, bracelet, earrings or ring, they probably have it.

Warning: If you do not want to make a necklace, bracelet, earrings or ring before you walk in, you definitely will after. You know how watching a cooking show makes you hungry? Butler Hill Beads makes you hungry for creating.

Also, it sells necklace clasps. Huzzah!

• Ginko beads, $4 per container

Dozens of dual-hole glass beads that fit together like tiny puzzle pieces, which makes them perfect for creating, say, an intricate bracelet. Like maybe a purple and silver bracelet? I happen to love purple and silver. Just in case you’re wondering.

• Handmade beads, $12 to $45

Artisan clay beads in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, presented at Butler Hill Beads now as part of a special trunk show. Is $40-plus a lot of money for a single red bead with gold details? Yes. Did the artist spend days designing and handcrafting said bead to perfection? Also probably yes. So that’s like 62 cents an hour, if you think about it. Buy two!

• Metal shapes, 25 cents to $9 each

Small metal pieces as basic as a flat gold circle and as fancy as a colorful flower with raised petals.  I’m sure they are great for things. And stuff.  I don’t know what things. Or which stuff. But that’s why you’re the jewelry maker! Get with the making.

• Paw print metal button, $3 each

Little silver-colored button with a black paw print stamped in the middle. Both adorable and useful. You know that button you’re missing off your favorite cardigan? Get a paw print! The button you need on your coat? Paw print! The button that disappeared from your blouse? Paw print! You also might want to figure out how you’re losing so many buttons all the time.

• Sea glass beads, 5 cents each

Teeny tiny beads made of colorful sea glass. To inspire thoughts of surf and sand even when everything is covered in snow.

• Rainbow moon stone, $24

Not a bead or adornment of any kind. Just a really pretty, smooth, fist-sized white rock. For soothing energy and inspiration as you pull together your latest masterpiece — whether that masterpiece is a chic, multi-layered necklace or a perfectly spaced spreadsheet.

•  Glass ring, $8

Clear glass rings with swirls of color inside, like a marble. Just be careful when trying these on. One ended up being too small for me and for a panicky 30 seconds I envisioned a trip to the ER where they would log my chief complaint as: “Couldn’t figure out how to take off ring.”

• Glass pendant with flower inset, $3

About an inch round, this clear pendant features an orange or yellow flower blooming in its center. Slide onto your favorite chain or cord for an easy, “I made this!”

Pair with:

• Clasps, $2.50 to $8

A worthy investment. Believe me.

• Skull chain, $1.40 per inch

Super light, silver-colored chain made of teeny, tiny flat skulls strung together. Great for Halloween — which Bag Lady tells me is now fewer than 100 days away. I know! I didn’t believe it, either.

• Earring findings, 20 cents to $2.75

Earring components in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Like, if you need a thin, silver, squiggly earring on one ear and a wide, gold, straight earring on the other, this is where you want to go. New fashion trend!

• Clocks, $9

Little working clocks that you can attach to a bracelet to make a lovely watch or string on a necklace to make you the next Flavor Flav.

Best find: Jewelry making classes, free to $45

So you walk in the shop, swoon at all cool things and then go home, dejected because you don’t know what to do with all the pretty pieces? Take heart! Butler Hill Beads offers classes. Learn basic beading one day, make a boho bracelet the next. Some classes run weekdays, others run weekends, all with a variety of times. Classes do not include supplies, so you might want to browse through the shop and grab a few things that look interesting. Here, I’ll shorten the list for you: All. The. Things.

Think twice: Micro suede bracelet kit, $7.50

A Butler Hill Beads kit that includes the micro suede band, clasp, glue and charm. An easy starter kit that would be perfect for a kid. You? You can more creative. You can design intricate accessories made of wire and stone and blue crystal.  You can be the master of your own jewelry domain! Just go easy on the dance floor.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who want to bedazzle their collars) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].


Comments are not available on this story.