Aug 152017
 

Have you ever purchased beads or charms just because you liked them, but without any idea what you were going to use them for?

starfish charms earrings cover

Since I don’t have unlimited funds I try not to purchase things without at least an idea of what I’m going to do with them, but sometimes you just have to go for it and trust that the ideas will come later!

That’s what I did with these starfish beads. I purchase them at Michael’s, they come on a strand of 12 beads, four each in antique copper, antique gold and antique silver finish.

They would make a really cute dangly charm bracelet just by stringing them onto head pins with some other beads and hanging them all from a bracelet chain, but that seemed kind of obvious and I’ve made lots and lots of charm bracelets.

Sooooooo….

In today’s video I give you ideas for using many of your beads and charms in unique ways and I’ll also give you tips for making your earrings hang nicely and keep your charms facing the way you want them to.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Starfish Charm Earrings-Jewelry Design Tutorial video at YouTube.

Nov 182016
 

ff hook clasps

You can be certain that one of the first purchases a new jewelry creator will make is for some kind of clasp, unless all they ever plan to make are earrings.

Hook clasps are one of the most basic closures for bracelets and necklaces, but there are many variations on the theme. In today’s video I’ll show you several examples of types of hook clasps, give you some tips for purchasing them, and also show examples of different ways you can use these findings, sometimes not as clasps at all!

clasp

This clasp by Karisma by Kara’s Etsy shop is nice enough to use as a focal point.

Here are a few of the clasps I showed in the video as well as a few others I think would be fun to use.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Choosing & Using Hook Clasps-Friday Findings 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. ūüôā

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.

Oct 212016
 

ff tube clasps

Tube clasps (also known as slide clasps) are a nice way to finish multi-strand bracelets as¬†they are not only secure, but keep the strands of beads separated rather than gather them down to a “V” shape at the ends. Also, you don’t have that one inch or so of space that a traditional clasp usually takes up, so you see more of your beaded design.

Although these clasps are used primarily for bracelets, you could use one for a necklace. You might have to make the outer strands longer in order to account for the curve of the piece going around the neck.

Here are links to several different tube clasps for you to choose from for your next jewelry project:

The bracelet I show in the video is my Gunmetal & Crystal bracelet, if you’d like to see how it was made. ūüôā

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Using Tube Clasps In Your Bracelets & Jewelry video at YouTube.

Apr 182016
 

imperial jasper bracelet (1)

This bracelet design is similar to ones I’ve done before, combining single strands of larger beads with smaller ones on multiple strands. It’s easy to do, and an interesting look. It’s also a great trick for¬†stretching a few special beads to make¬†an entire piece of jewelry. ūüėÄ

The silver stardust beads bring out some of the silvery gray color in the jasper beads. I’d considered¬†using black beads as an accent, but thought they were too stark.

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Imperial Jasper Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Aug 102015
 

blended colors  bead necklace

For this week’s jewelry project¬†I show you how to take any two colors of seed beads and blend them together into a beautiful¬†necklace. I’ve been on a turquoise and copper kick lately and I absolutely LOVE¬†how this came out.

If you were to use two colors next to each other on the color wheel (such as blue and green) the effect would be subtle and lovely. Use colors opposite each other (such as purple and yellow) for a dramatic look.

The bead stringing takes a little bit of time, but if you watched my Bead Spinner video last week you’ll know how you can do this much faster.

blended beads necklace chart

Here’s¬†the chart that I showed in¬†the video, just help clarify the order of things.

You could do this on a smaller scale for a bracelet, or change any of the section lengths to suit your needs.

blended necklace knotted

And here’s a bonus tip that I discovered. The beaded portion of this necklace is quite long, about 27 inches. If you want to shorten it a bit,¬†a¬†fun way to do that is to tie a¬†loose knot with¬†all the strands. I put mine slightly off center and think I’m going to love wearing it this way.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Blended Colors Bead Necklace Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 3 24 gram tubes of 6/0¬†seed beads of one color
  • 3 24 gram tubes 6/0¬†seed beads of a second color
  • 6 36-inch pieces of bead thread, such as¬†Nymo Nylon Beading thread
  • 2 bead cones
  • 2¬†4 mm beads
  • 2 eye pins
  • clasp
  • jump ring
  • 6 inch length of chain

Tools

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • super glue
  • needle threader
  • funnel
  • small dish
  • Bead Spinner
  • optional: extra curved needles for bead spinner, six would be ideal

Directions

  1. Tie all six lengths of beading thread together at one end with an overhand knot.
  2. String 5 inches of color A onto each of the six strands.
  3. Mix together one tube of each color and string 5 inches of these mixed colors onto each of the six strands. Set mixed colors aside.
  4. String 6 inches of color B onto each of the six strands.
  5. String 5 inches of mixed colors onto each of six strands.
  6. Finish by stringing 5 inches of color A onto each of the six strands.
  7. Open an eye pin and tie ends of six strands around eye pin. Close eye pin and tie strands again to knot. Dab with super glue and allow to dry.
  8. Repeat on the other end of necklace, making sure beads are all snug against the first end.
  9. Onto each eye pin slide a bead cone and a 4mm bead. Use round nose pliers to make a loop, trimming excess wire with wire cutters.
  10. To one loop attach one end of the chain. To the other loop attach your clasp with a jump ring.
Jun 232015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 06 24 woyww rainbow hearts

On this week’s work desk you can see that I’m working on planning an upcoming jewelry making video for my YouTube channel. I was working on the next dragon, but that’s been shoved aside while the dragon is pre-baking in the oven.

That purple case on the left is my Swarovski crystal case, and I’ve pulled out a rainbow of heart crystals for my next jewelry tutorial.

You can see in the lower center¬†front I’m also trying out different beads, crystals, pearls and even trying leather and silk to see which will work best with what for what I have in mind. Lately I’ve been about a month ahead with the jewelry videos, so if you want to see the final project, check back in four weeks. ūüôā

In the upper left is yet another kumihimo project. After doing the Kumihimo video series on my YouTube channel, I suddenly can’t stop making them! So far I’m up four bracelets and a necklace with more planned. I’ll post pics¬†on my Instagram when this one is done.

That‚Äôs¬†what’s happening¬†this week. Wondering why I‚Äôm sharing a photo of my desk?¬†It’s a¬†fun blog hop game we play over at Julia‚Äôs called What‚Äôs on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

Feb 232015
 

pink & purple chain bracelet (1)

Sometimes it’s fun to dig through the bead stash and pull out bits & pieces of chain, some orphan beads & put them all together in a pretty piece of jewelry.

pink & purple chain bracelet (2)

The gold chain and charms tie in all the differing components of this bracelet to make a varied and interesting whole.

What bits & pieces are in your bead collection that might work together?

Happy creating and enjoy the video!

You can watch the Pink & Purple Chain Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 10 8-10mm beads
  • 12 6mm beads
  • 5 charms & 5 jump rings
  • (or make your own charm dangles by adding assorted metal beads to headpins)
  • 3 different styles of chain 6-7 inches of each (or use a variety of small bits and pieces)
  • 20 gauge wire
  • 12 headpins
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 split rings

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

See the video for detailed instructions.

Oct 202014
 

citrine nuggets bracelet

Consider this bracelet excellent practice for making wire wrapped loops. You’ll need at least 40 to make it so¬†full.

Other than the time it takes to make all your bead dangles, this is a fairly simple bracelet. The truly fun part is shopping and digging in your stash to choose the assortment of beads.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Citrine Nugget Bracelet Video Tutorial over at Youtube.

Materials:

  • 12 12-16mm citrine nuggets
  • 12 small metal bird shaped beads
  • 16 other beads
  • assorted seed beads and spacer beads
  • 40 head pins
  • 22 gauge wire (if you have any top drilled beads)
  • 7 inches seed beads or small beads (less than 3mm)
  • 8 6mm bicone beads
  • 10 inches bead stringing wire
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • clasp
  • jump ring
  • 2-inch piece chain

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • fine point sharpie
  • sliding gauge
  1. Use sliding gauge to determine size of your seed beads or small beads. Slide gauge out to slightly larger measurement and mark that point on your round nose pliers with a sharpie.
  2. Slide citrine nuggets, bird beads and other beads onto head pins along with assorted seed and spacer beads to make 40 bead dangles.
  3. For each bead dangle use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers at sharpie marked point and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop. Hold loop with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  4. If you have any top drilled beads ¬†cut a 3-inch piece of 22 gauge wire.¬†Slide wire into hole of bead, leaving ¬Ĺ inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend. Bend longer remaining wire at 90¬į angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop at sharpie marked point. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps, or in ‚Äúmessy wraps.‚ÄĚ
  5. Sort your bead dangles into seven approximately equal piles.
  6. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your chain to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Test to make sure crimp is holding and trim excess stringing wire. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  7. Slide onto stringing wire a 6mm bicone bead, enough seed beads to equal 1-inch with the bicone and one pile of wire wrapped bead dangles. Repeat until you have added 7 sections of beads & bead dangles. Finish with another 6mm bicone.
  8. Repeat step 6 to add a crimp and wire protector to the end of stringing wire.
  9. Use a jump ring to attach clasp to the wire protector.
Nov 142013
 

More often than not we are inspired by materials. ¬†Catalogs and conventions tend to overwhelm with the sheer volume of ideas. ¬†But can’t you usually pick up just a simple component, like a length of chain or some beads and have the beginning of an idea?

urban-girly-bracelet

That’s how this bracelet started, with just the chain.

urban-girly-bracelet-2

Sometimes designing is about asking what if.  What if this edgy, industrial chain had girly pink beads on it?  What if we added LOTS of bead dangles?  What if we had a huge, funky clasp?

urban-girly-bracelet-close-up

Sometimes the answer is, “Nah, don’t bother. Yuck.” And sometimes it comes out pretty cool. ūüôā

How about you?  What inspires you and what is your design process?

Watch Urban Girly Bead Dangle Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6.5 inch length of chunky chain for bracelet base, the one I used has 8 large links
  • large lobster claw clasp
  • 40 assorted beads of your choice, I used a combination of pressed glass bicones, lampwork glass, faceted metallics, frosted round glass beads, glass cube beads and white ivory look beads
  • 40 assorted bead caps to fit your beads
  • 40 headpins
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers, optional (for rounding over wire wrapping)

Directions:

1.  Note the thickness of the large links in your bracelet chain.  Find the point on your round nose pliers that will make a loop large enough to fit over the large links. Use a sharpie, if you like, to mark that point on your round nose pliers.

2 ¬†Slide a bead and a bead cap onto a headpin.¬†Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers at marked point and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop.¬† Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose or crimping pliers to tuck in end.

3. Test to make sure your loop will fit over the chain link, then repeat step 2 for all 40 beads, bead caps and headpins.

4. If some of your beads (like my blue ones) are too big for the head pins, feel free to add a seed bead and/or a spacer bead to hold it in place.

5. Use two pairs of chain nose pliers to open a large link of your bracelet chain.  Add five bead dangles to each link, three on one side and two on the other. Repeat to add dangles evenly along entire length of chain.

6.  Attach lobster clasp on one end of bracelet chain.