Beading Competitions

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high_stakes1_katie_dean_no_logo (800x532)Beading competitions are a great way to gain exposure for your work and challenge your skills. If you want a few tips about entering beading competitions, check out this article.

Below you will find details of some of the major beading competitions around the world, with links to rules and entry forms. The list is alphabetical. If you run a competition that you would like to see featured on this page, then please contact me.

Battle of the Beadsmith

This beading competition is run by Steven Weiss at the Beadsmith. It runs on Facebook, although can be viewed by anyone. Entry is by invitation and the competition is run in a ‘battle’ format, so designers are randomly paired and the public judges their favourite piece from each pair. The winning piece goes on to meet another opponent in the next round, and so on, until a winner is eventually announced. The standard of work is amazing, so do check it out. Even as a spectator, you will have the chance to vote for your favourites and gain a huge amount of inspiration. The beading is carried out between April and June each year, with Battle taking place over a number of weeks from June onwards.

Bead Dreams

Bead Dreams competition is run by Bead and Button magazine, annually. It is designed to celebrate and showcase bead artistry from around the world. There are several different entry categories and an entry fee is charged for each piece. The standard of entries to this competition is incredibly high.

Bead Star Awards

This competition is run by Beadwork magazine. It runs annually and winners are exhibited at the Beadfest event in Philadelphia in August, along with cash prizes. There are several categories for entry.

International Bead Awards

This beading competition is run by Perlen Poesie magazine and takes place every other year, in odd numbered years. The competition usually has a theme and invites entries across a range of categories. Finalists are displayed at the Beader’s Best festival which takes place in Hamburg at the end of August.

13 thoughts on “Beading Competitions

    • Hi Sally,
      The best thing is to look at the competitions and you are looking for two things. Firstly, by seeing the past results, you will see the standard of beadwork that is required. If your beadwork is of a similar standard, then the second thing you need to check is the entry rules and procedure. This differs from competition to competition, so make sure you check carefully. Then it is simply a matter of following the rules to send in your entry.
      I have included links to some of the largest competitions in the beading world, but there are many others out there too. Sometimes magazines run them, sometimes local craft groups, so just check around. If you are just starting out, then you may be more comfortable trying something local to you or something from a magazine.
      I hope that helps and good luck with your entries!
      Katie

    • Karen, this is just a page to tell you which competitions are out there. I can’t include dates etc as they rules and dates change year on year. So, please follow the links on the competitions you’re interested in. That way you can see what you need to do and when.

  1. Hello, I am looking for some guidance, pointers in the right direction. I have been making jewellery for many years and I have come to the point were I feel I need to get my jewellery seen and my name established for my designs. This is my year to grow. Is entering competitions a good move to make? I’d appreciate any advice

    • Hi Donna, that’s great to hear. So, are you looking to sell finished jewellery or to sell your tutorials? It’s tough earning decent money from selling jewellery as most people will recoil in horror if you try to charge a ‘realistic’ price for your work. So, you’ll mostly be lucky to cover materials cost. And if you are looking to sell finished jewellery, then yes, it’s great to be able to say ‘I won x competition’ – that certainly gives you some kudos. But most people buying your jewellery are not going to be watching the beading competitions, so it’s not necessarily going to benefit you in terms of getting seen by customers. Best way to do that is to work on marketing online and build slowly offline by starting to sell at craft fairs, or look at trying to get into a local gift shop.
      If you are looking to sell tutorials, then competitions are a great way to get your name known in the beading world. You could also consider trying to get your tutorials published in magazines. It’s still not ‘easy’ and there really isn’t a shortcut for getting around marketing yourself.
      I hope that helps a little – do ask more if you need to!
      Katie

  2. i want to ask if there is any beading contest for teens cause i know a whole lot of teenagers who do wonders with beads and lines so i really want to know….

    • Yes – actually, the biggest beading contest, ‘Bead Dreams’ does have a category that is just for under 25s. The competition has closed for this year – judging is currently taking place. Entry deadline is usually the end of March or beginning of April. Take a look in the beading resources and you will find a link to the Bead Dreams page. The competition is run by Bead and Button Magazine. It’s also worth checking any competition you hear about – some of them may have separate categories for young beaders. Or, why not encourage this talented next generation to enter – there’s no reason they can’t give the adults a run for their money!

  3. Hello I am very interested in beads and I want to participate in bead dreams . How can I take part in this competition?

    • You can also just do internet searches for beading competitions and see what comes up. There are lots of small competitions run by local bead shops as well as the big international events.

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