Many people ask me about where do I get my design ideas from or where do I get my beads patterns. I am sharing you the top three site I use. Yes, the sites are in Japanese. If you can't read Japanese, don't worry. I will show you step by step how to get to the important pictures part. If you find one you don't understand, I can help you as well, just email me the picture and I would love to help to translate and troubleshoot for you.
#1 Parts Club
Parts Club is one of the biggest seller of beads and handmade accessories in Japan. Their free "recipes" are absolutely the best out there in my opinion.
If you use google translate, it will automatically translate some of the site's writing into English. If you scroll down, you will see the section you can choose by items or difficulty.
I clicked on bracelet, now it will show me pages of bracelets.
On its actual pattern page, it will show the picture of the product, how long does it take and then the detailed pattern in Japanese (It's an image, so google can't translate those) If you are an experiences beaded jewelry maker, you should be able to read this without problems and guess out what things are. For example, 3mm, 5mm beads or the red arrow means start point etc. If you feel like you are missing something important, you can always ask a me or a Japanese friend to translate for you.
The site also gives you a list of materials you need for the project and you can purchase from their online shop. Or you can just go to your favorite craft store and grab similar things. Some special materials are only available in Japan, so if there is a Japanese craft store near you, it would be great. If not, you can probably find substitute for most of the materials.
#2 Beads Factory Japan
Beads Factory is another big handmade craft website. It has a similar layout as the Parts Club. Their pain instructions are written in Japanese, but they are not pictures. So Google can translate them for you. :D
Kiwa Seisakujo is another beads, chains and accessories supply website. Their patterns focus more on grouping pre-made components. I like to make things from scratch, so I prefer the other sites more. The advantage is that they have all their free patterns on YouTube! So you can watch video and follow as well. They also tell you how much does each items costs to make (of course, if you purchases materials from them) It would be generally slightly cheaper if you buy bulk.
Has this the post helped you? I wish you tons of fun with these free patterns. Next week, I will do a blog about how to adapt and change the original pattern design to create something you new.