Believe it or not that floral pendant in the above photo is made from polymer clay, not metal!
Not only that, but it took very little time to make. In this video I’ll show you how easy it is to make a mold of a button, or any found object, and then paint and color it to create your own personalized jewelry components.
I highly recommend that you find several items to make impressions of and paint, as it can be hard to know which ones will be your favorites when all done.
Here are a few of the products used in this project:
With all its glass, crystal and pearls, this week’s bracelet is quite fancy and elegant. The bead caps also serve to make it more elaborate.
You could get a more earthy look by using rustic looking beads, perhaps even try bead chips instead of the pearls. I just love the idea of clustering together a whole bunch of a smaller element to make them into something very different.
Slide a pearl onto each ball head pin and use either round nose pliers or 1-Step Looper to make simple loop dangles.
Onto bead stringing wire add: 3 7x9mm crystal roundels > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > 10mm pearl > bead cap > 10x13mm crystal roundel > bead cap > 10mm pearl >bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > loops of 16 pearl dangles > bead cap >lampwork bead >bead cap > 3 7x9mm crystal roundels.
Check length of bracelet. It should be 1/2-inch longer than your usual preferred length of bracelet. Add or remove beads as needed to make it this length.
To finish end: Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, a wire protector and the end link of length of chain. Slide wire back through crimp and flatten with One Step Crimper. Use crimping pliers to pick up a crimp cover and close over flattened crimp.
Repeat on other end of bracelet adding clasp instead of length of chain.
Some might say that memory wire use is the gateway drug into full on jewelry making addiction. I say: bring it!
Memory wire is one of those cool findings that makes everything SO much easier, how could you not love it?
Yes, I like making complicated, intricate designs, but sometimes it’s nice just to put together a quick and easy memory wire bracelet… or two.
In this video I tell you a bit about memory wire and give a few tips on how best to use it. But don’t be limited to just making bracelets. Consider these Swoosh Dangle Earrings that I made with memory wire a while back, and then let your imagination run wild.
Today I bring to you the first in a new weekly series. From now on every Wednesday I’ll have another polymer clay tutorial for you, focusing primarily on using this wonderful medium in jewelry.
Sure it’s fun to buy beads and use them to make beautiful things, but I hope to challenge you to make your creations even more personal and unique by making many of your own components.
This project begins with several basic sculpting techniques, so simple that you could get the kids involved! Instead of a razor blade you can give them a plastic scraper and use toothpicks in place of needle tools.
I hope you find this new series helpful. If you have ideas for videos, please let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.
By the way, the Garden Fairy House tutorial was published in the January/February 2015 issue of Polymer Café magazine. You can find back issues here. Just scroll down to that date and you’ll see “Garden Fairy House – By Sandy Huntress” at the bottom of the list.
I’ve been waiting for just the perfect project to use these frosted cracked beads. I love the way the broken insides look like little druzies with all their sparkles.
This design, which focuses on the beads and is quite simple, is perfect. As a bonus I show how quickly you can throw together a matching pair of earrings.
By the way, I went looking for a link for you for the beads I used, which I got at Michael’s and thought were glass. The link I found (below in the supply list) looks exactly like them but says they are agates. Either way, they’re quite striking and pretty.
Make a knot 5 inches from one end of 1 mm cord. Slide on a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer. Make another knot right next to the second spacer.
Make another knot in the cord 4 inches from first knot. Repeat pattern of adding a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer, finishing with another knot next to the second spacer.
Continue this pattern, having 4 inches between beaded sections, until all beads & spacers are used.
After adding final spacer do not make a knot. Instead knot the two cord ends together, leaving 4 inches between one of them and the nearest group of beads. Add a dab of glue to the knot and trim cords once glue is dry.
To make earrings:
Onto a headpin slide a 3mm spacer, 12mm bead, bead cap, spacer bead, hematite saucer bead and a 3mm spacer bead.
Make a loop with remaining wire and attach to ear wire.
Wrap suede cord 9 to 10 times around an object approximately 4 inches across. Slide loops off the object and insert an 8 mm jump ring to hold all of the loops. Use 26 gauge wire to wrap several times 1/4 inch below the jump ring to bind the tassel. Bend the end of the wire about 1/4 inch and tuck in between loops to secure.
Slide 24 mm bead onto an eye pin and make a loop at the other end of the eye pin with One Step Looper or round nose pliers.
Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp and a wire protector. Slide the wire back through the crimp and flatten with One Step Crimper or crimping pliers. Trim excess wire and cover with a crimp cover.
Onto wire slide 3 6 mm black beads and then alternate five chunky black beads with five crystal roundels with a number six seed bead in between each. Add one more chunky black bead and a 6 mm bead. Slide on one loop of the 24 mm bead and then reverse the pattern of beads and crystal roundels . Add a crimp, wire protector and crimp cover as previously.
Slide a 10 inch length of suede cord through 8 mm jump ring and fold back an inch of the cord. Bind with a 3-4 inch piece of 26 gauge craft wire. Trim excess suede cord. Attach loop to one of the wire protectors. Repeat to attach a 10 inch length of suede cord to the other side of necklace.
Insert end of suede cord into a cord end and use flat nose pliers to flatten each side over the cord. Repeat to add a cord end to other end of necklace. Atach a lobster clasp to one side and piece of chain to the other.
Add jump ring of tassel to bottom loop of 24 mm bead to finish necklace.
There are lots of different sources I use for my beads and jewelry findings, but the most convenient is my least favorite. The local craft stores such as Joann’s, Michael’s and A.C. Moore have plenty to choose from, but the quality isn’t always the best.
That’s why I was so happy to find the string of oval beads I used in this Desert Mesa bracelet. One of the beads was chipped and some on the string have funky inclusions, but I rather like them anyhow.
They were labeled “Assorted Stone Beads,” so I can’t tell you exactly what they are except that they are quite interesting and look great combined with warm colored agates and antique gold findings.
The best way to shop for jewelry making is to support your local bead store. Sadly, the only ones near me are too far to stop by regularly.
Instead I do I lot of my shopping for jewelry supplies online, here are a few of my favorites:
Note: Be sure your loops are large enough to fit around the 14mm links of chain you have chosen. This is why I recommend the One Step BIG Looper, as it makes 3mm loops.
Use chain nose pliers to grasp a 4.5-inch piece of wire 1.5-inches from one end. Bend wire at 90° angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop. Reposition pliers to finish loop. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
Slide a 20x15mm oval bead onto wire and repeat step 1 to make another wrapped loop, this time grasping wire just above bead before bending with chain nose pliers.
To make bead dangles slide each of your 6mm beads onto a head pin and make a loop with either round nose pliers or the One Step Big Looper.
Use chain nose pliers to open a 14mm link of chain and attach 3 bead dangles, your clasp, 3 bead dangles and the loop of one of your stone oval beads.
Open another chain link and slide onto loop on other end of your stone oval. Add three bead dangles to each side, then add another chain link.
Open the chain link just added and add 3 bead dangles to each side, plus the loop of another oval dangle.
Repeat the pattern of two chain links between each of the three stone ovals. Each chain link should have 3 beads dangles on each side.
Finish by adding the final chain link to the loop of the third oval bead, 3 dangles, your 1-inch length of chain and 3 dangles.