Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Themed Bead Necklace Charms, Ornaments or Earrings

The holiday season is fast approaching and I was asked for a simple
yet beautiful beading project perfect for the holidays.

The angel pendent can be used used as an ornament, necklace charm or a
pair of earrings.

You will need the following:

Round nosed pliers

Wire cutters


A large triangle or tearshaped bead or finding for the skirt

A pair of wings or a bow shaped finding for the wings

A round bead (preferably swarowski crystal) for the head

A bead cap or spacer bead for the halo

To make the Angel

Take the headpin and string on the skirt, then the wings, then the
head and then the halo. Taking the round nosed pliers create a loop
at the top and then wrap the wire around the base of the loop. Use
your cutters to trim off the excess wire. You can then attach an
earring wire and make it into an earring, string it onto a necklace to
make a charm or loop a string to the top to make it a christmas tree

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Memory Wire Bracelet Jewelry Instruction

How to make a memory wire bracelet.

You will need the following:

Memory wire (bracelet size)

Beads (preferably round beads similar in size to each other, we recommend 8mm beads)

Wire cutters

Round nose pliers

To make your bracelet:

This is one of the easiest projects to make and perfect for the beginner beader.

Decide how many strands you want your bracelet to be. If you decide you want the bracelet to be two stands, cut off two loops of the memory wire, however, add about two inches of wire to your measurement before cutting.

Using a beading board, lay out your design. Measure your wire along the beading board and then lay out your design making it two inches shorter than the length of your wire.

Using your round nose pliers make a loop using one inch of the wire at one of the ends of the memory wire. The video will show how to do this in greater detail.

String your beads onto the wire using the end of the wire that does not have a loop on it. Once you have strung all the beads onto your wire, using the remaining wire make another loop at the end of the wire using your round nose pliers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Charm Bracelet

A few days ago I received a call from a bridesmaid wanting to book a jewelry making bachelorette party. She told me that the bride wanted the current top bracelet trend because the bride was very stylish. I told her I would get back to her and went to do my research. From what I’ve seen, the top bracelet trend for fall 2009 is a charm bracelet. From charms, to glass beads, to pearls and crystals, this trend can be adapted for any occasion. The next day I happened to be at an art/jewelry show. Sure enough, there were charm bracelets everywhere. I felt so inspired that I went home and made one. I met with the bridesmaid to show her my sample and she was thrilled and said that was the perfect project for the bachelorette party. If you would like to make one too, this is how to do it.

To make a charm bracelet you need the following:

A length of sterling chain about the side of your wrist minus the size of your clasp

6 mm split rings (anywhere from 5-9, one for every bead/charm)

5-9 charms or beads

1 sterling silver toggle clasp

Bent nosed tweezers

Needle nosed pliers

Using the pliers, open one end of the chain, thread one end of the clasp and close the chain loop. Do the same for the other side.

Fold your bracelet in half so that you see where the centre point is. Lay your bracelet down and put your centre charm or bead below the centre link. Then design the rest of your bracelet, make sure you space the charms evenly. If the spacing is not even and you are left with an extra chain loop, arrange the charms so that the extra loop is next to the clasp, not between the charms.

Using the tweezers, gently open the ring and slide the chain through (the video shows how to do this). Continue doing this until all of the split rings have been attached.

Then attach the charms to the split rings. Open up the split ring the same way you did earlier, slide the charm on, and close. Continue doing so until they have all been done. If you are using beads, thread the bead onto a headpin with the head at the bottom, using the pliers create a bend on the other end of the wire, thread on the split ring and then wrap the wire around the base of the bead.

I hope you enjoy your new bracelet as much as I am enjoying mine.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pearl Chain and Ribbon Necklace

You will need the following:

16mm glass pearls

Large chain

Organza ribbon (2 meters)

10mm jump rings

Long eyepins

Chain nose pliers

Flatnose pliers

Round nose pliers

Cutter pliers

Using the flat nose and chain nose pliers, separate the links in the chain from each other. You will need approximately eight separated links. Then, take one of the glass pearls and thread onto the eye pin, measure and cut off the excess wire on the side with no loop and then create a loop using the needle nose pliers. Make sure the loops on either side of the glass pearl are the same size. Continue doing this for the remaining glass pearls.

Now it is time to start assembling your necklace. Take a jump ring, open it up and thread one of the loops on the pearl onto the jump ring. Next thread one of the chain links onto the jump ring and close the jump ring. Now put a jump ring onto the loop on the other side of the glass pearl, add a link and close the jump ring. Continue doing this until the necklace is the length that you require.

At this point you can either add a chunky toggle clasp or the organza ribbon. I prefer using the organza ribbon because necklaces with ribbon on them are one of the top trends for fall 2009. Trim the edges of the organza ribbon into a v shape so the ribbon does not fray. Take the piece of ribbon and fold it in half (the ribbon should be the desired length when folded), then thread the ribbon onto the link at the end of the necklace using a larks head knot. Do the same on the other side. When you wear the necklace tie the ends into a bow. The bow gives it a beautiful feminine touch and contrasts the chain link, you can also adjust the length of the necklace when wearing it, based on how big of a bow you tie.

Friday, May 8, 2009

2009 Spring Bead Jewelry Designer Trends

I recently gave a presentation on designing jewelry. The audience really enjoyed it so I thought that I would do a posting on it for all those novice jewelry designers out there.

When I design a piece of jewelry, the first thing I do is research the colour trends for the upcoming season. That way I know that the piece I make will match the clothing that is currently being sold in the stores. Each season, Pantone surveys the designers of New York Fashion Week to collect feedback on prominent collection colours, colour inspiration and colour philosophy. I check their results and then I start creating jewelery.

According to Patone, the Spring/Summer 2009 fashion palette includes pops of vibrant colour which represent the optimism of new life that comes with the spring season. This is combined with sophisticated neutrals and a spectrum of fresh greens.

Pantone lists their top 10 spring '09 fashion colours as:

Palace Blue, Lavender, Super Lemon, Dark Citron, Vibrant Green, Lucite Green, Salmon Rose, Fuchsia Red, Rose Dust and Slate Gray Blue .

I also research the fashion themes of each season by checking out the fashion shows on TV or online and reading the fashion blogs. The themes for spring 2009 are floral (i.e., using beads with flowers in them or using flower clasps), romantic (i.e., using pastel shades such as pinks and purples), and ethnic (i.e., using beads with bold prints on them in bright colours in ethnic tribal inspired prints). I also noticed a lot of chain being used on accessories, so I try to put chain in many of my designs.

Lastly, I use the principals of design when designing jewelry so that the finished piece looks stunning. The principals of design are repetition (doing some kind of a pattern), balance (using similar sized beads throughout the piece, making sure one side of the necklace balances the other), contrast (using colours that contrast each other to make the piece stand out), texture (using similar textures so that the piece flows) and colour. All of these elements help to define the final product.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bead Cell Phone Charm

I recently saw a cellphone charm that I absolutely loved, so I decided to recreate it for myself. This is a a quick and easy jewellery making project that only takes a few minutes and looks amazing when completed.

This is how I made it.

For this project you will need the following:

1) 2" head pin.
2) 2 glass beads.
3) 1 5mm swarowski crystal.
4) 4 silver spacers.
5) cell phone charm holder (these can be purchased at most craft stores or bead supply stores).

You will also need a pair of needle nosed pliers.

First take the 2" head pin. Holding the head pin, thread the first spacer. Next, thread one of the glass beads, then thread another spacer. Thread the swarowski crystal and then another spacer. Finally, thread the remaining glass bead and the last spacer. Using the needle nose pliers create a loop at the top of the head pin. Slightly open up the loop that you just created and insert the end of the cell phone charm holder. Close the loop at the top of the head pin using the needle nose pliers.

Good luck.

Below is the pic that inspired my cell phone charm.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Environmentally Conscious Bead Parties

We will be adding a “green” party package to Beading Buds. This package is an environmentally conscious alternative because we use beads made from recycled glass, reusable beading boards and encourage parents to use the jewelry the kids make as the loot bag, therefore eliminating all the plastic and other by-products that are usually in loot bags and other party favors.

While researching for beads made from recycled glass, I came across a company in Africa that explained how these glass beads are made. I found it fascinating and encouraging that beads are being made out of old glass.

This is how the beads are made. Recycled glass is crushed by hand. Dyes and colours are not added so the glass that is being crushed has to be the colour that you want the beads to be. Once you crush the glass, the mixture is called a "fritt". The fritt consists of mainly crushed glass, but some larger pieces can be left as they melt down during the baking process. Before the fritt is poured into the moulds, the moulds are coated with a fine mixture of kaolin clay and water to prevent sticking. The moulds are placed into a special machine that heats up and when the right temperature has been reached the bead making artisan takes out the moulds. He uses two awls, one to hold down the mould and the other to shape the bead, he also uses one of the awls to make the hole for the bead. This has to be done quickly before the glass cools. When the beads are completed every single bead has a slightly different shape and size to it because each bead is made by hand. Below are some pictures showing the different colours of the beads and what the beads look like.

Recycled Glass Beads

Friday, February 6, 2009

Baby Name Bead Bracelet

I recently had a baby girl and since I am a jewellery designer and a first time mom, I just had to make my daughter her first piece of jewellery…so I made a baby name bracelet.

The following materials are needed to make the baby name bracelet. Flat nose pliers, tiger tail wire, a sterling silver lobster clasp, (6) 6mm swarowski crystals, sterling silver letter beads, (6) 4 mm sterling silver beads, (2) 6mm silver beads,(14) sterling silver spacers, (2) sterling silver crimp beads.

To make the baby name bracelet, put the crimp bead on one end of the tiger tail, loop through one end of the lobster clasp and thread back through the crimp bead, squeeze the bead using the flat nose pliers. Thread 3 of the swarowski crystals, 3 of the 4 mm silver beads, 1 of the 6mm silver beads and 7 of the sterling silver findings onto the tiger tail. I suggest the following pattern, sterling silver spacer, sterling silver 4 mm silver bead, sterling silver spacer, crystal, sterling silver spacer, 4 mm sterling silver bead etc. Thread the 6mm sterling silver bead and the sterling silver letter beads to spell out your baby’s name. String the remaining crystals, sterling silver beads and spacers repeating the same pattern as you did on the first side. Attach the other part of the lobster clasp to the tiger tail using the crimp bead and flat nose plier the same way you attached the first part of the clasp when you started the bracelet. Trim the tiger tail at each end using a pair of scissors or cutting pliers.

HINT, if your baby’s name has more than 6 letters, omit the 6mm sterling silver beads.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to make a one bead wire ring using gold or silver wire

First you measure your 24 gauge gold or silver wire. The beading wire should be 14 inches, a normal ring is 10 inches and then the four extra inches are for the extra wrapping to make the ring thicker and sturdier.

Put the bead that you are using for your ring at the halfway point of the wire. Fold the wire right against each side of the bead to hold the bead in place. Start the ring as a size 8 using a ring sizer tube. Wrap wire around 2 times each side to give you four bands. Keep your bottom wire on the bottom and your top wire on the top. Then wrap each of the two wires around the bead at the front until you end up with a short piece of wire on each end. Then slide the ring of the ring sizer tube.

Wrap the short piece of wire along each end of the ring. Make it look clean by squeezing it with the end of the flat nosed plier. Use a nylon jaw pliers to straighten out the wires so they lie flat. When done trim off the ends with a cutter. It is better if you end your jewelry piece at the top of the band. Then hammer it slightly to make it sturdier.

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