Sarcasm Talks Bead Boards!

True story!
True story!

Helloooo again my fellow beaders! It is good to be back among you, even if it is just from the sidelines! This whole crater-in-the-arm-thing has left me with an infection of such grand proportions that I am unable to bead. It is simply too painful. Soooo, I thought I would bring you something I had been putting off for a while anyway – a comparison of bead boards that I did. Now I’m not wanna-be-Prez-Trump-rich, so I could only compare two, but I hope you find it informative anyway!

My first beading board was the “Bead on It!” beading board (BOIB). You can purchase those at Potomac Bead Company or Beyond Beadery in several prints and sizes, or over at Fusion Beads in their signature hot pink in the same variety of sizes. According to the label on the back of my first two boards (a 6×11 and 8×11), they have a 2008 copyright, and a trademark patented in 2010. Not sure what their copyright is for, as copyrights only cover works of authorship, for example – screenplays, books, bead patterns! My last BOIB just had a tag on it that simply said “Patent®.”

But, when a beader can’t bead, and isn’t interested in what’s on tv anymore, she surfs the net. And when I went looking for that patent (cuz I got all curious and nosy when there was no Patent number and WTH else am I supposed to do with my time if I can NOT bead! grrrrrr), I found out that no patent has ever been issued, or for that matter, even applied for prior to March of this year, and even then it was rejected last month (taking less than 39 minutes of government time per the application – gotta be thankful for that, what with our taxes being so high!) on July 6, 2016. Besides the name “Bead on It” being considered “merely descriptive,” her submission did “not show the applied-for mark in use in commerce…Specifically, the current specimen of record merely provides contact and fire safety information about the goods, but does not show use of the applied-for mark in connection with the actual goods.” For more information please go HERE. The BOIB people do however, have six months to file a response to the USPTO’s decision.

Now, color me an amateur sleuth, but in checking even further, I found out you may only use the registered trademark symbol (®) if your trademark IS actually registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to the 8/13/16 edition of The National Law Review, The Federal Circuit has held: “The improper use of a registration notice in connection with an unregistered mark, if done with intent to deceive the purchasing public or others in the trade into believing that the mark is registered, is a ground for denying the registration of an otherwise registrable mark.” Copelands’ Enterprises Inc. v. CNV Inc., 945 F.2d 1563, 20 USPQ2d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 1991). Presumably, the same conduct would sustain a petition to cancel as well. Although, the statutory support for the broader focus is unclear, it appears that an intent to deceive the USPTO is not required, so long as there is an intent to deceive the relevant public regarding registration.” Sheesh that was long-winded and way more than a beader cares about!

12 inch Round - This is the same exact one I have
12 inch Round – This is the same exact one I have

The second product, The Bead Wrangler by Ree Stanley of Belles and Beaux, is a much more affordable alternative that is available in 18 prints, your choice of mat/surface color, and with free monogramming. Purchase is available online through her Facebook page HERE or her website. Shipping is priority flat rate of either $7 or $14, depending on board size. I ordered my board with specifics as to mat color (Chartreuse, gray, lt turquoise), with the free monogramming, and had my board just two days later.

Outer Fabric:  The BOIB is available in several prints – if you purchase from Potomac Beads or Beyond Beadery. If you are just purchasing from Fusion Beads, then all you get is Hot Pink.  The fabrics feel like a velour jacket against your wrist and hands while you are beading.  The Bead Wrangler Bead Boards are available in 18 prints, including 10 animal prints, 2 designer prints, and 6 other cute prints. Strictly a matter of customer preference here. I do think the Bead Wrangler boards are sewn better, but that is probably due to coming from a former seamstress.

Inner Surface Mat: The first few BOIB’s I had were made with a very nice chenille/vellux type material for the surface mat, but the last few I purchased (including my $120 Round board) were done in a spongy, almost foam rubbery type material. They were not as nice as the earlier BOIB’s I had, and showed dirt quite badly, not to mention not being as bead friendly. The Bead Wrangler allows you your choice not only of surface material (chenille vs. vellux), but also COLOR! So now I have one with a gray surface, one with a light turquoise color, and two with Chartreuse! With the BOIB I only had tan with the nicer, earlier surface mats, and then nothing but white with the foam rubber. Another plus for the Bead Wrangler is you can get them monogrammed with your name (or whatever) for free. Once again, a matter of preference.

Function:  Both the BOIB and the Bead Wrangler turn the beads hole side up with just a light shake. The nice thing about the Bead Wrangler that was a massive plus over the BOIB for me was that the beads do not get caught in the crevices between where the surface and the bumper edges meet. That was very irritating with the BOIB, having to continuously scoop them out of the crevices with your triangle, fingernail, bead scoop, or whatever was handy. The BOIB board is MUCH heavier than the Bead Wrangler, by almost two pounds on the large board.  It feels as if it’s made out of a dense plywood, versus the lighter wood that the Bead Wrangler lady is using. Both boards have non-skid bottoms to keep them from scooting around your work table while you are beading, but for lap beading, I personally prefer the lighter Bead Wrangler board. I think it is a matter of preference on that.

Price:  For an 11×17 rectangular or round board, the BOIB price is $120.00, 9 inch round and 8×14 $59.99, 8×11 $49.99, and 6×11 $32.00.  The Bead Wrangler’s 12×14 large board is $50.00, 10×12 is $40.00, 12 inch round $65.00, and 8 inch round $35.00.  That is a huge difference if you are a beader who would rather spend your money on beads (or food, rent, etc.)!

I liked my BOIB’s, or I wouldn’t have had four or five of them, but I absolutely LOVE my Bead Wrangler boards and you won’t even be able to pry them from my cold dead hands! (I told my hubby to bury them with me – they do have my name on them!) I think that there are different beaders preference for both boards, same as there is for Toho and Miyuki, Precocia and Swarovski, you get the drift.  Do your own experiment and leave me a comment below with your results!

Look, regardless of who makes what, a bead board is still just a tool, really the U.S. Patent Office kinda nailed it when they called it a “convenience item.” It is no different than using Wubbers instead of Lindstrom pliers, Black and Decker or Craftsman tools, or wearing Old Navy vs. Levi jeans. It’s a tool, and as such is part of retail trade, and will be made by a lot of people. I hope to be able to broaden this comparison to others.

For those of you waiting on my “Penny Pincher” tutorial, please just bear with me. This infection is kicking my butt and I just have not been up to working much, which is why I did not blog last week. Please remember I love hearing from you in the comments though. Maybe this week I can use my arm for something other than holding a computer mouse and get back to beading!

Until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!


50 thoughts on “Sarcasm Talks Bead Boards!”

  1. Thank you for the information on the different bead boards. It is very helpful to know this without having to purchase all of them. I pray the infection is gone soon, you sound like a kid trying to get back outside to ride your bike again. Have a great day.

  2. Hey girl
    liked your article about the boards Made total Sense. I made my own boards years ago. And figured out I did like the dirty mats either so I figured out a way to change them out. Wonder if I can patent them ? Pls let me know if there is anything I could do to help you. I know this is a hard thing to do when you’ve got a bum wing Hang in and know all you gotta do is ask
    cc or Carol ??❤️

  3. I have 2 of the Bead Wranglers. I bought them when she was on etsy. I never even considered the BOIB because the prices just felt like a rip off to me. I love my BW boards and the free monogram is such a plus to their boards. Now Ms Ruby Lockwood will also be selling boards out of Canada she trying for beginning her sales at the end of this month. Shipping will be very reasonable also. BOIB really gave Ruby a hard time when she first started making theses boards but like you she did her homework and also found out BOIB had no leg to stand on against her. Hope your feeling better soon. As always thanks god the great info.

    • Thank you, and I have heard of the Bead Pad on Big Cartel and plan on doing my research on those, although last I heard, Ruby’s boards were just made out of steering wheel covers, so I think I will pass on hers. It is my understanding that several bead board makers have received “threatening” letters and/or emails regarding their products, but as the Patent office says, it “merely describes a purpose.” Every tool has a purpose of some kind. Retail is a fierce business, but without competition we would be paying sky high prices on every freaking thing. Thanks so much for stopping by, and your kind words!

  4. Now to put in my two cents: I purchased the original Bead on It Board, and when it arrived, the color was too dark for me to bead on, so I sent it back. and I paid for the return shipping. I sent her a pre-paid envelope for her to send me out a different color, but she wouldn’t use it, as she also makes money on the postage. Therefore, I was not too fond of her. (I had a head injury, so I keep everything in my life LIGHT). Without knowing too much about all this, I though that if you change a design by 20%, then you can take credit for it.

    • I’m really sorry you had a bad experience with the BOIB people. It is not good business to do customers wrong. I hope they at least sent your envelope back so you could use it for something else.

  5. I find it funny that some of the same people that consider it a mortal sin to make a bead-weaving design that even resembles another designer’s project do not hesitate to purchase a knock off board product (regardless of whether the patent was ever registered or not).

  6. Another difference not mentioned here is that the bead on it board is made by the original designer who doesn’t get paid for any of these knock offs. I personally think this behavior is unethical, with or without trade mark or copy right. I hope the company and designer will be able to get together and maybe together they can improve and provit from a product we all love. I love my bead on it board, not only for the quality but also because I know with every one I buy, I support the original designer.

    • I don’t see the others as knockoffs, considering that they of different sizes, materials, and overall design. Even the U.S. Patent Office recognized it as a tool, and merely something that was “to be used while beading,” not any kind of a design. Others making this tool is no different than Coke and Pepsi, Levi’s and Wrangler, or Kraft and Borden. In retail, it’s going to happen, especially when you make a tool.

      • You are right just ask your self if you think it is ethical and then make the decision to do what ever you want to do we all know about coke and Pepsi now you now what is happening with the bead on it board we all have to decide for our selves and we all have to know the whole story that’s all.

      • I understand what you are saying. And what I am saying is I made a comparison. I explained there was no patent. I gave my opinion. It’s my blog and I can express whatever I choose, however I choose. Thanks for stopping by!

      • And I thought it would be nice to add some information to your wonderful and insightfull comparison, I have no idea if you are aware of the situation with the bead on it board and if you are I think your review was not complete, and then still it is up to the consumer to make their choice, I just didn’t think your review was complete and this needed to be added

  7. Thanks for such a comprehensive explanation. I don’t own any of the bead boards, just vellux mats. I do have a travel snap together bead board sold by the big box stores. I bead at a desk, so I’ve never felt the need for the bead boards. I’ve seen several folks talk about how strongly BOIB reacted to anyone else’s version. And how quickly all the ‘big names’ rallied behind them. All that gave me enough of a sour taste to not want to purchase one, even without the prohibitive cost involved. I’d just much rather spend my budget on beads.
    So sorry about your arm! A friend had the same diagnosis, and it took several months to completely heal, so don’t be worried if it seems slow.

  8. Thank you for the great information on BOIB and the Beading Wrangler beading boards. I have often wondered about the different ones and you did a fantastic job of explaining it.
    I hope your arm is well soon and you get to feeling better.
    Again, thank you for the information on copyright and beading boards.

  9. Thanks for the great review. I love the BOIB and have two. Some of my students have the Bead Wrangler version. My first board was called a Bead Pad and sold by Ruth Ann Miller.
    I purchased a tiny 6″ one first to see why everyone liked these things so much. Ok, quickly hooked. I purchased more from Ruth Ann. I like them. One plus is the bottom is that anti skid material. Then I purchased a BOIB and find my favorite size is a 6×11. That works for me most of the time. Ruth Ann does not produce a Bead Pad that size exactly. It seems the Bead Pad is a bit less expensive in some sizes. The material for the roll is a stronger material than the BOIB or the Bead Wrangler board. It also comes in different colors. No matter which you select they are great and a big improvement over the old mats.

  10. I think it is a combination of the material and that the surface is sort of ‘bouncy’, that makes MOST of the beads turn hole up. I must have 15 different types of beading surfaces, including many sorts of plastic serving trays, from the circa 1960s scalloped round tray to a defunct school cafeteria tray, many colorful serving trays that must have first been available at a dollar store, but were in my thrift store for 10 cents, a couple of wooden, rectangular, short sided ones that began as lids to wooden boxes (about a foot wide by 18″ long), and many lids to metal tins, round, rectangular and square. The plastic trays stack, so I can keep beaded doll colors and embellishments separated. These are long term projects, and I work on them as I can or will, so need multiple trays (yes, I am one of those who actually put away the beads from jewelry projects, when finished LOL). The round, scalloped tray is my favorite for taking to bead retreats, as it is large enough to hold all the packets, tools and loose beads for projects, yet gives me enough room at the beading table for my tablet(instructions are usually on it), water and snack, without crowding others. The tins are for short term travel: car trips, plane trips, visiting friends to bead. All the beads, tools and necessary bits fit inside the tin, and I can easily carry multiple tins in a soft bag, without worrying about things mixing up or dumping into the bag. On all these examples you will find velux material glued to the beading surface, and in the case of the tins, on the bottom of the tin, as well, to protect tools and loose crystal strands from getting scratched. I use regular white school glue, with an old, crappy school-type paintbrush to apply the glue, then push the cut velux onto the surface, let dry, and bead away! If the velux ever gets worn. and it will, with time and use, I just spritz the surface with water, let it stand for 5-10 minutes, then peel off the velux, add some more glue, and apply a new piece of velux. I’ve had bad enough luck with chenille clothing, with bits coming off (can you say ‘red armpits’???) that I don’t think I’d ever try using that for a surface. I would not ever be happy with a surface I could not replace, either, not even for the cheaper version. However, a beader friend came up with her version, which I think is quite clever and within most folks’ reach. She used a small pet bed, for a cat, I think, added a thin round board she bought for a song at one of the big box craft stores, using her 40% off coupon they send out almost weekly, then covered that with a piece of velux, cut slightly larger than the board. In sequence, pet bed on bottom, board inside bed, on top of middle, velux on top of that. She says the beads stay 90% upright (although why that is an issue, I don’t know- mine are probably 80% upright on my boards when I dump them out, and a slight jiggle gets the rest upright, AND mine never travel into the cracks on the sides!!), she can easily pull out the velux to wash or replace, and her total cost (she did buy the pet bed new, but with a coupon) was around $14. The velux came from an old blanket she found at a thrift store, and will serve to make many covers, for less than $5 original cost. I’ve seen the pet beds at the thrift stores for around $2, the board, without coupon, is $3, and you can use the large beading mats from bead stores, for about $3. So, you can do it yourself, that way, for less than $10. Check with your mom….odds are either she, or someone she knows, has a velux blanket they never use (because they tend to slide off the bed onto the floor LOL).
    Whatever brand, type, style or cost of beading surface you prefer, just bead happily!

  11. Oh gosh Becca, I sure hope your crater is all healed soon! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. As for your homework WOW that’s alot of info. I’m thinking BOIB might not be getting their patent. It’s too bad if their product really was a one of a kind thing and it was all an honest mistake, but if not then I guess they made their bed. Anyway, thanks for the comparison and get well soon!

    • Thanks Valerie, I hope the darn thing shrinks up too, myself! As for them being one of a kind, I think my comparison, plus the others available out there show they are not. I just wish they would stop sending nasty letters to them, threatening them!

      • Yeah, it’s one thing if they actually have a patent that they are defending, and if they had applied for it years ago like they should have they would have a leg to stand on, but it’s as it if they screwed up and all they have is an “APPLICATION” as she herself says in her nasty letter, now she’s just out of luck. If she has other things that she has invented then I hope she learned something from this and gets her patent first before she starts saying she has one. Back when they started making them they may have been one of a kind but to late now. I heard about one lady that showed her board on youtube, that her husband had made for her. She wasn’t selling it or anything just showing a nice gift from her husband and she got one of those nasty letters.I think BOIB has brought alot of grief on themselves with their attitude, but that’s just my honest opinion.

      • I received an email today from someone that received one of HER nasty emails. I just was like, WOW, after reading what SHE (Deidre Pyatte) wrote to them! I honestly do not know how she sleeps at night, especially after making that post.

  12. I got a BOIB in a kit and I like it. No complaints but it is the smallest one so I made 3 more using pet beds and I love them so much. I actually have one more to try to make I just have not had time to make it. Hope you feel better soon

  13. After 3 doctors and 6 antibiotics I was sent to an infectious disease doctor who took a culture and determined the exact stain of infection I had. A single med and 6 weeks finally cleared it up. All to say, if no one has taken a culture, please do. It will save you from extended pain. Hope all goes well for you.

  14. Hi, Becca!
    Sorry your arm is still sorry! Just for fun, I know of another board from across the pond that had been around a while. Check out Silaba Crafts boards here: …they’ve got some that we don’t have..I have been in touch with them, and they do ship to the US for 12 pounds (no fancy little L thing on my keyboard). Check them out. I’m planning am order, and they said 2 or 3 boards would ship for that. Let me know what you think.

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