Mar 032017
 

ff wire protectors

Wire protectors are one of those jewelry findings that I definitely could have used way back when I first started making jewelry. As you’ll see in the video from the examples of my fails, they are especially useful when making jewelry with thread, but serve wonderful purposes when using bead stringing wire as well.

As with most of the findings I show you they come in all the standard finishes: gold, gold plated, silver, silver plated, copper, gunmetal, etc.

I don’t often find these at the local craft stores,  and if they do have them they’re often of poor quality and you don’t have many choices of finish. So I usually buy mine online. Although they only cost a few cents apiece, they add a great deal of value and longevity to your jewelry!

Below are a few of the different finishes of wire protectors that I like to keep on hand.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How Wire Protectors Will Save Your Jewelry! Friday Findings video at YouTube.

Nov 102014
 

tribal swirl bracelet

Sure we’ve had fun making our own jewelry, but have you ever thought about making your own beads?

Just think of the possibilities,  you can choose any colors for the base, any colors for the accents, make them any size and shape you want. What’s not to love?

In this video I’ll show you how to add the swirl pattern that gives these beads their tribal feel. I highly recommend using metallic or pearlized clays for this step. I’ll also show you how to make perfect, consistent size & shape beads using a bead roller.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Tribal Swirls Beads & Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials for beads:

Materials for bracelet:

  • 6 9 mm x 16 mm oval beads (purchased or made yourself with tutorial)
  • 7 4 mm glass bicone beads
  • 14 4 mm x 6 mm copper rondelle spacer beads
  • 2 inches copper chain
  • lobster clasp
  • jump ring
  • 11 inches bead stringing wire
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers

See video for complete instructions.

Apr 102014
 

Who says jewelry has to be all one thing or another? This fun bracelet is half beaded and half dangly charm bracelet. It’s also a fun way to use your stash.

half n half bead & charm bracelet still

My furry little friend, Cheech, makes a cameo appearance helping me out with those cat & bird charms. 🙂

You can watch the Half Bead-Half Charm Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • 3-4 inches chunky chain
  • 3-8 charms
  • head pins and/or jump rings as needed to attach charms
  • 5-10 approximately 10mm beads
  • 6-11 spacer beads
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp bead covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • bead stringing wire

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • ruler

Instructions:

  1. Determine desired finished length of bracelet, subtract 1-inch for the clasp. Divide this number by two and string beads and spacers onto the beading wire to that length.
  2. On one end of the wire string a crimp bead and a wire protector. Slide an end link of chain into the wire protector and slide the wire back through the crimp bead. Use chain nose pliers to flatten the crimp and cover with a crimp bead cover. Use crimping pliers to gently close the crimp cover.
  3. Repeat step two on other end of beads, adding round end of toggle clasp instead of a link of chain.
  4. Check fit of bracelet on wrist and remove links of chain to make bracelet the  correct length. Use a jump ring to attach bar end of toggle clasp to last length of chain.
  5. Attach charms to chain with jump rings.
  6. If necessary, slide charms onto head pins. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead.  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 open and insert link of chain that you want charm to dangle from. 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.