FAQ

Q. How “Green” & Ethical is Spoilt Rotten Beads?

A. At Spoilt Rotten Beads we take environmental & ethical issues very seriously, our motto is “Good Beads, Doing Good”

We are constantly looking for greener ways to package our beads. Our Internet Orders are packaged in Jiffy Bubble Mailers made from paper sourced from sustainable forests. We have a large recycling bin outside our shop into which we put all our paper and cardboard. If you order from our website you’ll also see that we often send out your internet orders in reused cardboard boxes as we know all crafters are nothing if not thrifty. We also serve only fair trade tea and coffee in our workshops.

We do not sell any natural coral beads as this contributes to the destruction of the worlds beautiful coral reefs.

We donate a percentage of our profits every year to charity – In 2014 we donated £500 to the Potters Village child crisis center in Uganda and £600 to Mission Direct which builds schools and homes in developing countries. In 2013 we donated £1000 to Oxfam’s campaign to help all girls in Pakistan attend school. In 2011 we donated £1500 to War on Want who fight for the rights of workers in developing countries, in 2010 we donated £1000 to UNICEF’s Child Protection fund and in 2009 we donated over £700 to charity, including £500 to War on Want and various other small amounts to local charities including local Pre-Schools and Cancer Charity Fund Raisers.

We also purchase a beautiful range of fair trade beads including Jabulani Beads & Kazuri Beads.

Q: What are Bead Bucks™?
A: Every time you shop online at Spoilt Rotten Beads you earn Bead Bucks.

  • Earn 1 Bead Buck every time you spend £10 in one single online transaction (Bead Bucks are not earned on P&P charges).
  • Online customers may redeem their Bead Bucks once a minimum of 12 Bead Bucks points have been accrued.
  • 12 Bead Bucks equates to a discount of £6.00 online at full retail price.
  • For detailed Terms & Conditions click here

Bead Bucks are only redeemable online and cannot be spent in our Haddenham shop.

Q. Do you offer any Wholesale Discounts?

A. Yes we do! Order over £100 and you’ll receive a 10% automatic discount, and order over £250 for an automatic 15% discount – your discount will automatically be applied at the checkout online! Sadly we’re unable to offer wholesale discounts on our Metal Clay products.

Q. Help I want to start making jewellery but I don’t know where to start?

A. Relax you’re in good hands! Everyone who works at Spoilt Rotten Beads makes jewellery and we’re here to help and guide you along at every stage of your new hobby.

Click here for your FREE printable Jewellery Making Instruction Booklet with all of the basics that you need to begin making jewellery!

We’re happy to give advice over the phone, our shop number is  01353 749853  and we’re open 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturdays.

Before you pick up the phone please read the information below;

Recommended products for new beaders:

Bead Weaving:

Peyote stitch is one of the building blocks of many bead weaving designs so this is a great place to get started. We recommend the book Peyote Stitched Jewellery Done in a Day which is packed with 15 beginner level projects.

You’ll also need some beading thread – we love Fireline braided beading thread which is very resistant to tangling or S-Lon D thread which is great if you want to match the colour of your thread to your beadwork. You’ll also need some needles – size 10 are a great place to start. Then it’s just down to the beads and findings. Size 11/0 and 8/0 Miyuki Seed beads are widely used in lots of projects so a good stock of the basic colours in these sizes are a great place to start. If you fancy adding some sparkle to your pieces then we’d recommed either Swarovski Crystal bicones or Preciosa bicones both in the 4mm size.

You’ll also find video tutorials and our vast range of FREE downloadable patterns a great way to get you started. Do feel free to give us a call on 01353 749853 if you’d like any more advice or help.

Bead Stringing:

The Basics of Bead Stringing, it’s not a very glamorous looking book (just a little paperback) but it does have lots and lots of easy to follow diagrams and all of the information that you need in order to start making your own jewellery – such as crimping (that’s how you attach wire to a clasp), wire wrapped loops (that’s how you make earrings and attach dangles and charms to bracelets).

You’ll also need some beading wire, tools, crimps and clasps and beads of course!

Wire: We sell Beadalon wires simply because they’re the best wires on the market – the generic name for beading wire is Tiger Tail but you’ll find anything sold as Tiger Tail is very stiff and kinks easily. Beadalon is very strong, it’s made of several strands of steel wire woven together and then given a plastic coating. The more strands of steel there are in the wire the softer and more flexible the wire is so a 19 Strand Beadalon wire is softer than a 7 Strand Beadalon Wire. We use Beadalon 19 Strand in most of our designs but 7 Strand is a little more economical.

Tools: You’ll need a set of tools (Round Nose Pliers, Flat Nose Pliers, Snipe Nose Pliers & Side Cutters), and also a pair of Crimping Pliers. The Crimping pliers come with a handy set of instructions on the back which shows you how to use them.

Crimps: You’ll need some crimp beads to attach your wire to your clasp.

Findings: These are all the components that you use to make up your jewellery such as clasps, jump rings, earwires and headpins

Beads: This bit’s down to you! Choose from Seed Beads, Czech Mates Beads, Semi-Precious Stones, Czech Glass Beads, Freshwater Pearls, Swarovski Crystals, it’s pretty much unlimited but you might want to check out some of our free beading projects for some ideas to get you started.

Q. Do you have a minimum order value?

A. No we don’t, you can order as much or as little as you like, at Spoilt Rotten Beads there is no minimum order value!

Q. How long will it take to dispatch my order?

A. We aim to dispatch orders within 48 hours of their receipt (not including Sat/Sun). Most orders are sent by Royal Mail 1st Class.

We try to keep our stock levels as accurate as possible, however with such a large inventory it is inevitable that from time to time we may run out of certain items. When this happens if we know that we will have more stock arriving within the next 7 days we will hold your order and dispatch it as soon as all the items come into stock. If the out of stock items will be longer than 7 days we will refund you for the out of stock items and send your order straight away.

Q. Are all of your Sterling Silver items hallmarked 925 & if not why not?

A. We buy all of our Sterling Silver items from reputable suppliers several of whom we have been doing business with for many years. The law requires items described as Sterling Silver to carry a hallmark if they weigh more than 7.78g. The vast majority of our items weigh far less than this and as a result are not required to be hallmarked. However many of the findings that we sell such as our Sterling Silver Earwires are hallmarked 925. Some of our Sterling Silver items are handmade by craftsmen in Turkey & Indonesia and do not carry hallmarks (as they weigh less than 7.78g they are not required to do so). In order to re-assure ourselves & our customers as to the authenticity of the items we sell we periodically test items for their silver content using nitric acid.

Q. I have purchased some multi holed beads (superduo beads, miniduo beads, candy beads, quadratile, kheops, chilli etc) and a few of my beads have only one hole – is this normal?

A. With any multi holed bead it’s always a good idea to check the holes on your beads before you start your project as it is normal to find some beads with only one hole. This often happens more with beads that have a coated colour as the colour is applied after the bead has been manufactured and at times one of the holes can become blocked. Sometimes it is possible to use a bead reamer to open up this hole again, but this is not always possible and you may need to discard these beads. As with any product that you are dissatisfied with you are always welcome to return it for a full refund or exchange.

Q. How safe and secure is shopping online at SpoiltRottenBeads.co.uk?

A. Your details are extremely safe when you shop at www.spoiltrottenbeads.co.uk. All customer details are kept on a secure server which is kept secure by a separate Firewall. Except for giving address details to the Royal Mail for delivery of goods we never share your details with any third parties.

We offer our customers the choice of three different payment methods – Credit/Debit Card, Paypal or Telephone Payment:

SagePay – a highly secure payment provider, certified by Trustwave (All transactions are processed over a 128 bit encrypted secure connection).

Q. Do your products contain Nickel?

A. All of our products comply with the EU Nickel Directive. The basis of the EU Nickel Directive is that for a nickel-containing product to be a possible cause of allergic contact dermatitis it needs both to be used in close and prolonged contact with the skin and to release considerable amounts of nickel when in such contact.

The directive is a large and complex document, but can be simply put as follows:

Items intended to come into contact with BROKEN skin are restricted to a mass of 0.11% nickel.

Items intended to come into close and prolonged contact with skin are restricted to a release rate of 0.2ug/cm2week of nickel.

Q. What is your refund policy?

A.  If for any reason you are not completely satisfied you may return the goods within 14 days of purchase and we will be happy to offer a refund, less deductions for P&P. We do not accept returns of beads which have been taken off their temporary string.

Damaged, broken or incomplete orders must be made verbally within 30 days; no responsibility can be accepted after this period. This does not affect your statutory rights. The goods must be returned in the original condition, with proof of purchase. When returning items you MUST contact us first – either call us on 01353 749853 or email customerservice@spoiltrottenbeads.co.uk. When returning items you are strongly recommended to obtain proof of posting as we cannot accept responsibility for parcels lost in transit. Current EU Hygiene regulations mean that we are unable to exchange or refund earring findings.

Please note that if the value of the items that you’re returning takes your total order below our free P&P limit then the amount you will be refunded will be the value of the goods returned less the relevant P&P charge due on your order.

Q. What is your exchange policy?

A. We are happy to accept exchanges, simply return the unwanted items to us along with details of your order number, full name and address and details of what you’d like instead. Please remember to include your telephone number as we will need to contact you to take payment for P&P.  P&P on exchanges will be charged at a minimum rate of £1.50 and may be greater for large or heavy items. We recommend that you return your items by Recorded Delivery as we can’t be responsible for items which are lost or damaged in the post.

Q. What is your privacy policy?

A. At Spoilt Rotten Beads we take your privacy extremely seriously, you can view our privacy policy here.

Q. Do you run jewellery making courses and workshops?

A. Yes we do! Click here for more information on our beaded jewellery making courses and Art Clay Silver workshops

Q. Do you post to BFPO addresses?

A. Yes we do, we charge our normal UK shipping charge of £2.25 for BFPO shipping and shipping is free for BFPO and UK orders over £30!

Q. How do I find you?

A. We’re just 20 mins outside of Cambridge in the pretty village of Haddenham. Click here for store opening hours and directions

Q. What is the mission of Spoilt Rotten Beads?

A. Spoilt Rotten Beads exists to provide quality beads and jewellery supplies at the best possible price, and to help new beaders learn the craft of jewellery making. We also strive to run our business in an ethical way (see environmental & ethical policy above).

Q. I’m trying to source a particular kind of bead which you don’t stock, will you be able to get it in stock for me?

A. Just email us at customerservice@spoiltrottenbeads.co.uk with the details of what you’re looking for and we’ll let you know if we can buy it in for you. At Spoilt Rotten Beads we’re constantly expanding our range of beads and findings and are always really keen to hear customers suggestions for new products.

Q. How many beads do I need?

A. Use this chart to determine how many beads you’ll need to complete a uniform bead strand

Bead Size    Length of Strand

1″ 7″ 16″ 18″
3mm 8.3 58 132 148
4mm 6.3 44 100 113
5mm 5.1 36 82 92
6mm 4.2 29 68 76
8mm 3.2 22 51 57
10mm 2.5 18 40 45


Q. What do the “/0” numbers beside the seed and delica beads mean?

A. Seed beads are sized in aughts, which are different than millimeters. No one seems to know exactly what an “aught” is but the bead sizes are in inverse proportion to the size of the beads. A size 15 is very small, and size 6 is big.

Aught size – mm diameter
6/0 – 3.3
8/0 – 2.5
11/0 – 1.8
15/0 – 1.3
11/0 delica – 1.8

Q. What are the hole sizes of seed beads?

A.All of our seed beads are made by Miyuki in Japan and have the following hole sizes:

15/0 Seed Bead 0.7mm

11/0 Delica 0.8mm

11/0 Seed Bead 0.8mm

8/0 Seed Bead 1.1mm

6/0 Seed Bead 1.5mm

Q. How many beads on a 16 inch strand?

A.   Below is a table showing the approx number of round beads on a 16 inch strand:

Round 2mm = 203
3mm = 136
4mm = 100
6mm = 67
8mm = 50
10mm = 41
12 mm = 34

Q. What is Sterling Silver?

A. Sterling silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. Most silver jewellery is made using sterling silver because pure silver is too soft and needs a stronger metal like copper to preserve its ductility (capable of sustaining large plastic deformations without fracture). For more information on UK Hallmarks please click here.

Q. Why does Sterling Silver tarnish?

A. The natural tendency for sterling silver that is alloyed with copper is to tarnish after exposure to oxygen. This is normal and is expected from sterling silver. There are various silver cleaners and polishing cloths on the market that can remove tarnish from sterling silver. To reduce tarnishing store your beads in an airtight container along with some silica gel to reduce the humidity – humidity will speed up the tarnishing process

Q. What is Gold Filled and why is it more expensive than Gold Plated?

A. It is a layer of 10Kt or better gold mechanically bonded under heat & pressure to one or more surfaces of supporting base metal, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. The finished product has a surface layer of gold of the appropriate karatage, which is very thick compared to rolled gold plate or the heaviest electroplate (gold plated) material. Unlike Gold Plated items, Gold-Filled items are generally considered life-time products, and the gold layer will not quickly wear off, as it will in electroplated products.