To start beading, the basic materials that you will need are: needle nose pliers, scotch tape, beading wire, crimp beads, wire cutters, a clasp of some sort and the actual beads you will be creating with.
The needle nose pliers can be purchased at any hardware store. I use needle nosed pliers to crimp the crimping beads. Many people market and sell a crimping tool.
I have found in my experience that the crimp that the crimping tool makes does not hold as well as when you use a set of pliers to smash the crimp bead.
A crimp bead is a round metal bead (best if you use sterling silver or gold) that hold the wire in place after you have attached the clasp.
You can start to make your own designs with a minimal investment. The beading wire, crimp beads, wire cutters, clasps and the beads themselves can be purchased from local beading stores or online resources.