French Beaded Hawaiian Ginger and Areca Palm by Lauren Harpster

How to improve your bead spinners – Plus several new patterns!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know that I have a lot of bead spinners. I collect them. I’m not entirely certain why I’m obsessed with them, but I am. 

After someone in our Facebook group posted a picture of their cute cupcake bead spinner (from a children’s beading kit), I just had to have one! 

When it arrived it didn’t spin as well as it could, so I added oil to the shaft on the base to see what would happen. And it became one of the smoothest, quietest, and longest spinning bead spinners I have. So I bought a second one. 

I really do like this spinner. I was impressed that it worked so well for something that is plastic and comes in a child’s beading kit. I like the low profile of the spinner because I tend to knock into them while I’m beading. I like the base, it’s nice and wide and prevents my spinner from rubbing against the edge of my working tray. I like the lid because it’s a lid, and a funnel that helps get beads out. It was a little staticky, but rubbing it with a dryer sheet helped. The only thing I don’t like about this spinner is the size. I wish it were smaller. As is, it fits 3+ hanks (100+ grams) in it, which makes it a high capacity spinner, despite it’s low profile. Smaller spinners work better with smaller amounts of beads. 

cupcake bead spinner

If you want to purchase this bead spinner, it’s on Amazon or at Target

The Amazon link above is an affiliate link. I do get a small percentage of sales if you purchase after clicking my link, but it does not cost you any extra. 

So I wondered if I could improve my other bead spinners by adding oil to the shaft. And I feel a little silly that I didn’t consider this as an option before, but I’m sharing anyways in case some of you also haven’t considered it before either. 

I pulled out my entire bead spinner army and oiled the shaft on each of them. Generally I returned ones that didn’t spin, but I’d keep ones that had a good enough spin to work. Those that wobbled slightly, no longer wobbled after oiling. Those that made annoying sounds while spinning, were now much quieter. Those that didn’t spin very long, spin longer. Those that already spun well spin even better. 

I oiled all my spinners and then realized that I should have made a video showing the before and after. And then I remembered that I had another spinner that wasn’t on my spinner shelf – a Beadalon Senior sized bowl. Luckily, it needed some help, so I was able to do a before and after video after all. 

Now, I can’t advise on exactly which oil you should use. I don’t know a lot about oils or oil + metal chemistry. For the first ones I used a scented perfume oil and it worked just fine. Just made my bead spinners very potent because I used more than you would normally use on yourself. For the others I used olive oil. 

Now I’ve done some googling since then. Some say olive oil is a great choice, some say it will gum up over time. But, searching oils like 3-in-1 and sewing machine oil said the same thing. I asked in the group if anyone had other ideas for what could be used to lubricate bead spinners. Here are some of the things that were listed: 

  • Mineral oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Teflon Spray
  • Graphite
  • Sewing Machine oil
  • Coconut Oil

I plan on testing Jojoba Oil, graphite, and another I found called Nexus Green Multi-Use Lubricant. It’s environmentally friendly, odor free, and non-toxic and has great reviews. I have very sensitive skin that’s prone to eczema and there’s some things I don’t dare touch for fear it will trigger another reaction. Last time I had a reaction none of my usual treatments helped and I had to get allergy shots to make it go away, so I’m even more wary now. 3-in-1 oil and sewing machine oil have warnings for skin contact so I’m not going near those. 

I’m assuming that oiling bead spinners will be a regular maintenance type thing where you have to clean them out and re-oil. I don’t know how often. That will likely depend on the oil you choose, your environment, and how often you use your bead spinners.  

Anyways, just wanted to share a little tip that helped me out this past month. 

New Patterns!

I am still working on the tropical wedding bouquet, and it’s taking a lot longer than I anticipated. Just don’t have much time to bead right now, mostly due to family stuff. My kids are finally out of school (which we’ve been doing at home) so hopefully I’ll have more time to work now that I don’t have to help them work through those lessons, and the big emotions that came with it. But here’s a little update picture on how the bouquet is going so far. 

I’ve finished the hot pink Hawaiian Ginger for the bouquet, and since I don’t need any other pieces to publish the pattern, I was able to get this one published. And I decided to bundle it with the Areca Palm. 

The Dendrobium and Pincushion Protea require me to make additional pieces that weren’t in the bouquet, but currently it’s hard to budget time to do those when I’m behind on the rest of the bouquet. So once I’ve gotten the bouquet done, I will devote a little time to finishing those. 

If you would like a copy of the Hawaiian Ginger + Areca Palm patterns, they are available in my shop. 

This past month I taught my new succulent designs as a bead-along in the Facebook group. Now that the class is over, I can offer the patterns on my website. So, French Beaded Echeveria and Sedum Stahlii are now available in my shop as well. The videos from my class will be uploaded to YouTube one at a time, starting June 7th. While the videos are free, I do greatly appreciate the purchase of patterns. Those pattern purchases support my free content, and ensures that I am able to continue offering some of my video classes for free. 

I decided after this class that I won’t be doing new designs as bead-alongs in the group anymore. I will only be doing previously published patterns from PDFs or books for those classes. Hopefully that will make it a little more fair for those who are not on Facebook. 

4 Comments

  • Barbara

    I like your article about the oils for bead spinners. I am very sensitive to chemical smells and have found it difficult to find oils that don’t bother my asthma. I use olive oil to spray most squeaky doors and chairs. But I found that a little vaseline on a cotton ball works best on the bead spinners. I use the cotton ball so that the vaseline doesn’t get gunked up inside the beadspinner.

    • Lauren Harpster

      Vaseline was one that was mentioned in the group as as possibility, as was coconut oil. I was wary to use those because they are solids are room temperature and I was worried they would make too much gunk inside the shaft. But I will try it with the cotton ball you mentioned on one of mine and see how it goes. Thank you for the idea!

  • kmatth7621

    Watching the video, it shows that the bowl isn’t balanced on the spindle, causing it to rub on both the spindle and the base. The lubricant helps a lot, but this should make it even better. Apply some polyethylene UHMW tape to the base or the bottom of the bowl and it should eliminate almost all of the friction between the base & the bowl. Amazon has it, but most hardware stores should as well.

    I hope this helps. I’ve been enjoying your group classes & patterns, as well as the blog, so maybe this can be a thanks for all you’ve given and shared.

    • Lauren Harpster

      It doesn’t rub on the base, it doesn’t touch at all. The bowl sits a good 1/4 inch above the base. Sometimes the bowls just aren’t perfectly symmetrical so they don’t balance properly, but all the grinding is coming from inside the shaft. If your spinner bowl touches and rubs on the base, you’re better off returning it and getting a new one.

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