I love a good collaborative effort, and Beadalon’s newest employee extraordinaire, Caroline Dunaway, is a wonderful Yin to my Yang! She challenged me to design a Mothers’ Day Birthstone Necklace with joined circles, and here is the result!
Wrap the beads onto the Quick Links using the 22 Gauge Artistic Wire and link them together with the Quick Link Connectors. Attach the Ball Chain Ends to the Ball Chain with Chain Nose Pliers, then use Jump Rings to attach one end of the Chain to the rings and the other to the Tag and Clasp.
Last November, I had the honor of being one of the guests for the critically acclaimed PBS Series, Beads, Baubles & Jewels with host Katie Hacker. My episode – 2405 Make These Tonight – is now on-line!
I love personalized jewelry, and this GPS necklace is a great way to celebrate a special place. Find your wedding site, birthplace, favorite vacation spot, house, or other memorable place at GPS Coordinates, and use 5mm Flat Artistic Wire and metal stamps (my faves are from ImpressArt) to stamp your coordinates for a one-of-a-kind celebration necklace or bracelet.
The Really Big Jig has a design area of about 11.25″ by 11.25″ and I love making bold necklaces in the round. You can weave with materials from Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire to ribbons and even pantyhose (!) on Kleshna’s Bangle Bracelet Tool. Check out the product pages on the Beadalon website for more information and videos.
When I demo at tradeshows (like BeadFest Philly coming up on April 8-10), many people who come visit the Beadalon Booth ask me about Crimping. Proper crimping can make the difference between an heirloom piece of jewelry and a poorly made design. In this video, I take it back to the basics formula for proper crimping:
We did it again! The Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool won the Craft and Hobby Association’s Hot Product Award for 2016. Kleshna, an international designer and all-around beautiful person, brought to Beadalon the idea for a tool to weave stringing materials together, and the rest is history!
Use Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire, Supplemax, Artistic Wire, or fibers to weave really cool bracelets in 3 sizes. Here’a a video demonstrating how it’s done. When you’re finished watching that, download the step by step instructions. Don’t forget to post what you make on the Beadalon Facebook page!
I am obsessed with Ear Jackets. Never heard of them? They are cool earrings that hang down BEHIND the lobe. Like, why didn’t I think of that first, and where have they been all my life, right?
So with all of my newest obsessions, I needed to find a way to DIY, ’cause that’s how I roll. Luckily, in my office here at Beadalon, I had all of the fixin’s to make the perfect DIY Ear Jackets. Inspiration struck, and I’m happy to be able to share with you!
Cut a length of 22 gauge wire about 7 inches long. Insert one end into the hole in the middle of the Findings Form and bend it against the back to secure. Wrap the wire up to the left of the small peg and around to the right of the top peg.
Wrap the wire down and around the last peg in the series of 5. Start the wrap to the inside – between the fourth and fifth peg, then counter-clockwise around each peg. Remember to let the Jig do the work and turn the Jig rather than the wire.
After you’ve wrapped the last peg, bring the wire up and rest it in between the small peg and the large peg.
Remove the form from the Findings Form by cutting the wire from the back of the form. Trim the extra wire from the loop. Wrap the long end around the loop. Use your fingers to gently shape the Form.
Use the headpins to add beads and attach to the loops of the Form.
Slip the top loop through the post, then add the ear nut. Tada!
And instructions for a smaller dangle:
For a smaller Ear Jacket profile, wrap around the smaller peg.
Continue wrapping counter-clockwise to finish the Ear Jacket.
Add dangles and enjoy!
I can’t wait to try out some of the other Findings Forms to make more designs!
They’re small, sometimes fiddly, but these little, rubberized beads are incredibly helpful in making snug designs that have movement. Originally designed to mimic the look of knots between pearls, the Bead Bumpers do that and oh, so much more!
Use a Square Bead Stopper on either side of your clasp to hide extra wire.
2. They take up the slack when you are adding a Magnetic Tube Clasp to finish your memory wire. You’ll need a little extra room to get the loop turned over and hidden in the clasp. Use a Square Bead Bumper on each end, and they’ll squeeze and release to minimize the exposed wire.
3. We all know that we should leave some “wiggle room” in our designs to minimize the beads from rubbing against the wire, but who likes exposed wire at the ends of our designs? Here’s where Bead Bumpers really shine. Add a few on each end, and their elastic properties will allow you to build in the “wiggle room” without the wire gaps.
Have you been using Bead Bumpers in your designs? Found any other great uses for them? Post your projects and ideas on the Beadalon Facebook page! Instagram more your style? Here’s the link!
It’ a little unassuming, perhaps easily overlooked, but don’t underestimate this powerhouse of a magnetic clasp!
My favorite way to use it is on the ends of memory wire (round or flat). Use Round Nose Pliers to turn a small half loop on the end of the Memory Wire, use a Chain Nose Pliers to flatten the loop as much as you can, then string the clasp onto the Wire so that the loop catches in the large hole. Add your beads until you reach the other side leaving about a half of an inch of bare wire to add the other side of the magnet. Making sure the poles of the magnets are correctly aligned, string on the second half of the magnet with the large hole facing away from your beads. Turn and flatten a loop on the end of the Memory Wire so it slides into the large hole in the clasp.
I’ve been making these for myself, and also giving them as gifts. The Magna Clasp is super strong, and makes for a beautiful bracelet that’s a cinch to put on and take off!