Oct 102017
 

Just because a piece of jewelry isn’t make of precious metals and gems doesn’t mean it’s not worth wearing. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s pretty or interesting to look at, I’ll wear it!

precious hearts necklace cover

That being said, there are times when it’s nice to have something closer to fine jewelry. Especially if you are thinking about gift giving.

The traditional definition of fine jewelry is that it’s about gold, platinum and diamonds. However, you might want to read this interesting article: Redefining Fine Jewelry.

costco pearl ombré necklace

Like I mentioned in the video, my idea was based on the above piece of jewelry available at Costco last Valentine’s day. I was curious to see how much it would cost to recreate this in all karat gold materials, thus making it truly “fine jewelry.”

What I found at Fire Mountain Gems and Rio Grande (choosing their best prices):

Grand total = $137.62

Of course, you still have to take into account shipping costs, that fact that you may left over quantities you don’t need, and your time and labor.

Looks like that Costco price was quite reasonable!

Here are the tools and materials for my rather nice, but slightly less posh version:

Personally, I’d be just as happy with a pretty, well-designed piece that is made of gold-filled materials, rather than all karat gold.

The only thing that would make a difference in my thinking would be knowing that solid gold jewelry doesn’t lose its value, and will be worth something in a financial crisis. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Precious Hearts Necklace-Swarovski Crystal and Gold Filled Findings Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Nov 152016
 

silver & gold crystal pendant cover

Today’s necklace began when I realized that my rhinestone spacers were silver plated while the cup chain that I wanted to use was gold in color. Most of the time I always feel like I have to use all gold or all silver and not mix them, but then I realized that the holidays are coming, It was then that I started hearing Burl Ives singing “Silver and Gold” from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and knew what I had to do. 🙂

So here’s a classy, sparkly and really quick to put together necklace for you today.

In the video I show how you can use the same design to make earrings or even turn it into a bracelet.

Tools and Materials:

  • Rhinestone cup chain, 6 to 10 inches
  • 3 eye pins
  • 2 3 hole 20mm spacer bars
  • cup chain connectors
  • 9 5 to 6 mm brass or gold beads
  • Necklace chain and clasp
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Wire cutters

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Silver & Gold Crystal Pendant-Video Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Sep 132016
 

autumn jewels

This necklace project was the result of a lot of playing around and experimenting, much of which I show in the video. I started out with just the general idea of making some similar elements on a wire jig and then connecting them together with beads to make a necklace.

It certainly wasn’t my intent to make something autumn themed, but the timing couldn’t have been better!

In the video I mention two Friday Findings videos I’ve done previously, one on wire jigs and the other is on pinch bails. Click on the links to check them out if you haven’t seen those videos already.

I hope that this video will not only give you the directions for making a project, but will also give helpful tips for creating your own designs.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Jewels Necklace-Jewelry Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 082016
 

tulip blossom necklace

Every time I see bead caps in this blooming tulip design I want to Buy. Them. All.  Something about that graceful organic shape just gets me.

Dangling Swarovski crystals on short lengths of chain from the center of the flower continues that elegant flowing feel. I also decided to jazz up the chain with a few crystals as well.

Did you notice that I only had a short piece of that long/short chain? Since it wasn’t long enough for a full necklace I used it for the center portion only, adding similar chain around the sides and back. Another great trick for using up what you have on hand!

The end cap that I used is the 22x15mm Antique Silver Blooming Tulip from ArtBeads.com. In the supply list I give links to several other tulip end caps in differing colors. Just be sure to double check which size you are getting as they vary quite a bit.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Tulip Blossom Necklace Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Dec 072015
 

brushed metal & pave necklace

This week’s necklace was inspired by one I saw a news anchor wearing. I liked it so much that I paused the video, took a screenshot and saved it for future reference. (Doesn’t everybody watch the news on a laptop?) 😀

I love the idea of the metal beads being the focus where they are usually accents. The metal beads and just a few paves really add some great sparkle.

I got the pave beads at my local craft store but below are links to the brushed metal puff beads from Fire Mountain Gems.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Brushed Metal and Pave Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 5 12 to 14 mm crystal pave beads
  • 14 12mm brushed round beads in assorted metals
  • 40 bugle beads
  • 20 4 mm crystal beads
  • monofilament stringing wire
  • two bead tips
  • 3 inch piece of chain
  • jump ring
  • lobster clasp

Tools

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • E6000 glue
  • awl

Directions

  1. String the end of monofilament wire through a bead tip from the back of the hinge to the inside. Tie enough knots on top of each other so the knot does not slip through bead tip. Add a drop of E6000 glue and close the bead tip.
  2. Onto monofilament wire string of pattern of a bugle bead, a 4 mm crystal bead, a bugle bead and either a brushed metal or pave bead. Repeat until all beads are used, ending with a bugle bead, a 4 mm crystal bead and a bugle bead.
  3. Repeat step one to finish other end of monofilament with a bead tip. Use the awl to help with placement of the knots.
  4. Attach length of chain to one bead tip loop and lobster clasp with a jump ring to the other to complete necklace.
Feb 162015
 

mojave sunrise necklace

This necklace uses crystal bicone beads  in a different sort of way, making strung wire shapes as accents. You could easily get creative with this, making bows or butterflies or other such things. I stuck with a simple loopy flower.

The copper findings work perfectly with this Swarovski crystal color mix called “Mojave.” It does indeed put me in mind of sunrises in the Mojave desert.

The colors in the mix are Light Smoked Topaz, Light Amethyst, Sand Opal and Indian Sapphire.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Mojave Sunrise Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 packages 4 mm Swarovski crystal bicone bead mix in color “Mojave” (90 beads total)
  • chain in necklace length of your choice
  • additional 9-inch piece necklace chain
  • 5 jump rings
  • clasp
  • 2 crimps
  • 16 head pins
  • 15-inch piece bead stringing wire

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers

See video for complete instructions. 

Jul 282014
 

I just love any project with the “how did they do that” factor.  This necklace fits that bill perfectly, with the illusion that the crystal beads are suspended on the wire.

floating-crystals-necklace-still

The secret is in the use of crimp covers, little doo-dads that disguise the flattened crimps and look like beads when closed.

Btw, yes, I did misspeak in the video, you only need two jump rings, not three. Also, I tried this on and think I’m going to add another 4-inch piece of chain to the other side. That’s the beauty of knowing how to make your own jewelry!

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Materials:

  • 3 pieces colored beading wire, 19 strand or higher, cut to 28-inches, 25 inches & 23.5 inches
  • 15 6mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads, Indian Pink
  • 30 crimp covers
  • 36 2mm crimp beads
  • 2 bead cones
  • 2 3-inch pieces 22 gauge craft wire
  • 4-inch piece chunky chain
  • 2 jump rings
  • lobster clasp

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bead design board
  1. Arrange the 15 Swarovski crystal bicone beads on the design board with six beads in the outer channel, five in the center and four in the inner. Space them out filling in between the 12-inch marks on either side of the board. (For 24-inches of beaded wire.)
  2. Slide a crimp onto the longest piece of wire and use chain nose pliers to flatten bead near the center of the wire.
  3. Hold a crimp cover with pliers and place the flattened crimp inside, squeeze the pliers gently to close to crimp cover.
  4. Slide a Swarovski crystal bicone bead onto the wire, then add another crimp and flatten the crimp on the other side of the crystal. Cover the crimp the same way as in step three.
  5. Slide on another crimp, place the first crystal down in its place on the design board, then slide the newest crimp up next to the nearest crystal. Flatten in place with chain nose pliers and repeat steps 3 & 4.
  6. Continue in the same manner to add all 15 Swarovski crystals to the wires, each with a flatten crimp covered by a crimp cover on either side.
  7. Hold the three strands up to yourself in a mirror and determine the desired length and position of each strand. Tape both sets of ends in place, leaving at least 1.5-inches of wire sticking out from the tape.
  8. Choose the shorter wire in one group of three and slide on a crimp. Slide the wire back through the crimp until there is a 1/8-inch loop of wire remaining. Flatten crimp with chain nose pliers.  Repeat with other two wires in the bundle, making each loop the same length. Repeat with other set of three wires & remove tape.
  9. Grasp a 3-inch piece of craft wire at its center with chain nose pliers and make a 90° bend.  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.  Slightly twist loop to open and slide on three of six loops made in step 8. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. 
  10. Slide a bead cone onto wire to cover all crimps. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cone.  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.   Slightly twist loop to open and slide on one end of a piece of chain. Close loop, hold with chain nose pliers and use another pair of chain nose pliers to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90° bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  11. Repeat step 10 to add a bead cone and a jump ring to the other end of necklace.
  12. Add lobster clasp with a jump ring to end without chain.
Nov 162012
 

The wonderful thing about crafting and making wonderful stuff is that the stuff we start with doesn’t have to be particularly amazing in order for the end result to be terrific.

This graceful crystal and wire  necklace started with just a strand of crystals that were on sale at my local craft store.

crystal-bead-and-wire-necklace-still-003

Add a bit of chain, a few jump rings and a little wire wrapping know-how, and you’ve got something rather special.

So, what simple stuff is in your crafting space, just waiting to be made into something amazing?

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • 11 crystal beads
  • chain in the following lengths: two at 7 inches, two at 1.5 inches, one each at 3.5 inches and 2 inches
  • spool of 22 gauge wire
  • jump rings
  • lobster clasp
  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Note: These are the supplies required to make the 32-inch necklace pictured, but feel free to adapt the technique to suit your own personal taste and materials on hand.

Instructions:

To make wire-wrapped bead:  

  1. Without cutting wire from spool, slide a bead onto wire. Grasp wire with round nose pliers 1 inch from end of wire. Form a loop around pliers (wires should be perpendicular to each other).
  2. Hold loop with chain nose pliers and coil wrap 1-inch end around wire. Trim end with wire cutters and tuck in. Slide bead up to meet coils.
  3. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead. Bend wire at 90-degree 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. Keep round nose pliers in loop and wrap wire several times around wire above bead. Trim off wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck end in. File wire ends smooth if necessary.

To attach length of chain or another wire wrapped bead:

  1. After completing step 1, slide end link of chain or loop of wire-wrapped bead into loop just formed. Proceed with steps 2 and 3.
  2. To complete necklace, make two sets of three wrapped crystals and two sets of two wrapped crystals. Alternate wrapped crystal units with smaller lengths of chain, using jump rings to attach when necessary. Attach a 7-inch length of chain to each end. Attach a lobster clasp to one end and a jump ring to the other to complete.