All-in-One Beading Buddy by Mary Stori, C&T Publishers

Reviewed by Julie Tiu

Image from C&T Publishing

You may recognize Mary Stori from HGTV’s Simply Quilts and Sew Perfect, but if you don’t, not to worry. You’ll enjoy the introduction! She and C&T Publishing created this pocket reference book, in a fan deck format, in 2005. Their wish: to create “The Ultimate Beading Reference Tool”, and it falls nothing short of it with 78 Beading Stitches and step-by-step instruction.

They were on the cutting edge of the bead craze that’s taken hold in the last few years. Can you tell by the amount of aisles in the craft stores devoted to beads and findings? So, is this book for the beginner, intermediate or advanced crafter? For beading projects, quilting, embroidery, or home decor? I say, all of the above! The book reads in true reference style, with tips and how-to’s. There’s a bonus value finder included, too, for finding contrast between beads and backgrounds.

The book includes a well-thought out “Let’s Get Started” section including tips on supplies, a breakdown of bead types, and knotting. In the “About Beads” section, Stori shares this very useful tip regarding colorfastness that I was not aware of, “… beads are often dyed, or have had finishes applied. Test by soaking a few in warm, sudsy water for an hour or two. Rinse and compare to the original bead.”

I’ve played around with beading for simple projects like bookmarks, and who hasn’t made a simple necklace from just a string of pony beads or seed beads? But, I’ve never really followed a written beading pattern before (I like to reverse engineer most of my projects). It was time to try a few new stitches from the book.

Some nylon beading thread and my tool of choice, a floss threader.
Trying out “Squiggle”
Fun little earrings, though I needed to adjust the tension a bit.

Next up, I needed to repair my very intricate beaded purse. And what I thoroughly enjoyed about the reference book was the fact that I found every single stitch on this purse. Really!

Lastly, I found some more inspiration from the “Fringes and Dangles” section.

A dangle to dress up some well-loved heels…
… or three dangles.

This book is a valuable tool for any bead enthusiast at any level, “The All-in-One Beading Buddy shows easy-to-follow instructions, and photo examples covering a large range of beading techniques, plus helpful information…” That’s it in a nutshell!


  • Great pictures for all 78 stitches including visual index.
  • Easy-to-follow instructions and technical drawings.
  • Very portable size.
  • Helpful tips.


  • Fan-deck format a little awkward for me when using the reverse side.
  • Stitches could be marked with beginner, intermediate, or advanced stitch designations.
  • No actual projects included in the book (but that’s not the intention, either).

This book starts at $16.95 (without shipping or handling) at the C&T Publishing website. And, there are also online resources on their website for teachers interested in using this book as a text for teaching.

How would you use the Beading Buddy? Is this something you’ve stashed away and want to crack open again? Share with us your beading triumphs or disasters in the comments!


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6 Responses to All-in-One Beading Buddy by Mary Stori, C&T Publishers

  1. Avatar
    Anita June 29, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    What a cool way to learn beading. Stunning projects!

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    Toucan Scraps June 29, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    ooooh that looks like so much fun. How would I use those beads … jewellery making, embelishing bags, insulin pump pouches and other medical equipment covers for my daughter, upgrading clothing, general gifts, altered projects …. ooh the possibilities

  3. Avatar
    Sandy June 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    I would love to win this – I am stuck on the beginner level and need a little help getting to the next level. I would learn to make bracelets, and I’d love to embellish a sweater for my darling mother! I could also embellish purses and holiday decorations – so much to bead… so little time!

  4. Avatar
    Jan Castle June 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Have never tried beading…this looks like just the thing to learn to do this craft!!! Would love to use it with card making too.

  5. Avatar
    construction_julie July 1, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Thanks for the comments, all!!

  6. Avatar
    Painthorse Lady July 5, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I am just starting out on jewelry making & this would be awesome! Mostly, I would use it to add to my sewing projects to add to my collection. I am trying to get enough crafts made for a booth to raise funds for my rescue horses!