Thursday, March 31, 2011

Craftside's Recycled Plastic Bottle Heart Necklace Tutorial and Free Book Contest

By on Thursday, March 31, 2011 1 Comments

The popularity of making jewelry from recycled materials continues to rise and with it, clever tutorials from many designers. Craftside's recycled bottle heart pendant tutorial requires a die cutter like the Sizzix and stamping with Staz-on inks. 

The result is an awesome pendant necklace few people would be able to guess the source of the focal. The inclusion of an arrow element through the heart was inspired from Tammy Powley's new book, The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making: More than 700 Large Format Color Photos.

Jewelry Design Tip - Bali Sterling Silver and Crystal Earrings

By on Thursday, March 31, 2011 7 Comments

Remember my arm chair travel post about How Bali Silver Beads are made? Well, I was in for a treat as Auntie's Beads sent me samples from their Bali Beads section. I've only used pewter or zinc spacer beads before so these will really add to the value of the earrings I made. I used the lovely green Chinese crystal rondelles I didn't use from the last shipment and added some Swarovski bicones of my own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Wire Wrap Bails Tutorials

By on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7 Comments

Not too long ago, a reader wrote to ask if I had come across a tutorial for wire wrapping bails.  I didn't but since then, I have come across these relatively easy tutorials for beginners.  If you have a bail forming pliers (see past tutorial post), I highly recommend it for some of these how-tos.

One outstanding free tutorial is the Snap-Set Pendant by Anne Lemons for Art Jewelry Magazine (Update : no longer available).   The ready made snap setting will take appropriately sized faceted gemstones. There is space at the back to thread the wires through to form the bail and decorative wire work.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Native American Inspired Jewelry by Miju

By on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6 Comments

Miju on Etsy is the brain child of Mike Giles and Judy Lawrence who hail from Montreal, Canada. They specialize in making distinctive laser cut wood jewelry.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bead and Save's $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway Winner!

By on Monday, March 28, 2011 1 Comments

Many of you really have an incurable form of bead addiction. You want more!  The most recent giveaway from Gail and Karen of Bead and Save has netted one lucky winner.

There are all sorts of luscious beads to choose from such as these new Pandora style beauties shown here.

New URLs for Jewelry Making Tips and Jewelry Business Tips

By on Monday, March 28, 2011 5 Comments

Cleaning Supplies for Spring CleaningSpring Cleaning by Chiot's Run via FlickrI've been spring-cleaning! My Jewelry Making Tips hub page has become so long that I have had to split it into two, at least for now. The Jewelry Business Tips hub page is for aspiring jewelry sellers. Please change your bookmarks accordingly!

Tila Bead Jewelry Tutorials

By on Monday, March 28, 2011 5 Comments

I'm a huge fan of Japanese beads. I appreciate the precision manufacture but I also like the range they do like cubes and triangular beads.

I now have a new favorite - Miyuki's double holed square tile or TILA beads. This shape is relatively new from the company and a wonderful addition to any bead worker's collection.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How to Make Recycled Bracelets from a Handbag

By on Sunday, March 27, 2011 8 Comments

Are you like me, a handbag hoarder?  I love bags and cannot bear to throw them away.  One super way to recycle the material from handbags is to turn them into jewelry.  The recycled bracelet tutorial from Kalleen of the At Second Street blog  is utterly brilliant! Who knew one old handbag could yield so many awesome bracelets?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review - Mixed Metal Mania

By on Saturday, March 26, 2011 5 Comments

If you've been making jewelry for a while, sooner or later you will probably wish to venture into some metal smith techniques such as hammering, soldering and riveting.  The latest book I received from Kalmbach Publishing is just the ticket to learn more.

Mixed Metal Mania: Solder, rivet, hammer, and wire exceptional jewelry by Kim St Jean stands out among the many metal smith books I have seen. That's because she is also a highly experienced teacher, a veteran of many sold-out workshops at different venues.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Orb Folding Blue Tooth Ring

By on Friday, March 25, 2011 3 Comments

The advances in wearable technology seem to be rolling out pretty fast. This merging of high tech equipment with jewelry is definitely one of the hottest trends (see my past post on Trendhunter 2011 Pro Trends Report). People love their gadgets but who wants to look like a dork?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Make Ladder Stitch Beaded Ring Tutorials

By on Thursday, March 24, 2011 7 Comments

This ladder stitch tutorial by Sarah over at Operational Tackle That Bead Stash is delightful. It's easy and fast. It incorporates any focal beads such as these Swarvoski pearls beautifully. As the mission states, it does indeed use up some more of one's bead stash!

Elizabeth Taylor - Her Lifelong Love Affair with Jewelry

By on Thursday, March 24, 2011 8 Comments

Elizabeth Taylor
Many of you may have already caught the news that one of Hollywood's icons, Elizabeth Taylor, just passed away at the age of 79.

She will be remembered not just for her film achievements but her flamboyant life. She loved the many men in her life but she also loved jewels and fine jewelry.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Make Woven or Braided Wire Bracelet Tutorials

By on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 6 Comments

Wire wrapping is a popular technique. But have you considered wire weaving or braiding? It's a bit like braiding hair.  Large clamps are used to secure all the wires at one end before the weaving begins. Variations can be achieved using mixed metals or even using twisted wire.

RaNDoMLeiGH has a super copper braided wire bracelet tutorial on Instructables.  The wire came from the hardware store. What's lovely about this design is the twisted wire edging.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beading Daily's Free Crystal Bead Jewelry eBook

By on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3 Comments

Every now and then Beading Daily puts out free project eBooks (you do have to register. also free on the site). This latest edition of 5 designs is delightful not least because they use crystals a lot.  Crystals are not only popular inclusions but they make the work go faster! Not every one is that thrilled with tiny seed beads.

Modern African Bead Jewelry by Jewellahry

By on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8 Comments

Without a doubt, the African contribution to bead jewelry and art has been tremendous. But what do modern young African designers create these days if not the traditional patterns? Well, I got to find out when Susan Ellah contacted me and introduced her line called JewELLAHry on Facebook.

Ellah as she prefers to be called, is still young at 23. A self taught beader based in Nairobi, Kenya, she started selling her jewelry locally after people kept asking where her earrings came from!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bead and Save's $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway

By on Monday, March 21, 2011 58 Comments

They're B-A-A-C-K! The twins, otherwise known as Gail and Karen, are sponsoring another giveaway. This time for a $25 gift certificate towards beads and supplies from their shop, Bead and Save.This giveaway is limited to US and Canadian residents.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gemstone Jewelry Design Inspirations

By on Sunday, March 20, 2011 5 Comments

Erica is a budding jewelry maker who simply adores gemstones.  She has a great eye for them. She brought  a strand of gorgeous tourmaline gemstones to a workshop. She then used the rondelle cut beads with copper beads and clasp from Debbie (Widget Beads) collection to great effect in the following necklace design. The copper really does compliment the rich multi-colored hues of tourmaline.

A Secret Look at Mogok Ruby Mining in Burma

By on Sunday, March 20, 2011 5 Comments

2009 04 19 - 4689 - Washington DC - Natural Hi...Image by thisisbossi via Flickr90% of the world's rubies come from Burma (Myanmar) in a region called Mogok. It's known for rare pigeon's blood rubies, blue sapphires and other gemstones.

Foreigners are not allowed there. No wonder as the military regime's disregard for human rights and downright cruelty knows no bounds (see my past post about Burma's Blood Rubies).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How to Make A Seedbead Resin Cabochon Necklace

By on Saturday, March 19, 2011 5 Comments

This necklace looks like a pretty multi-chain affair. What I really liked about the video tutorial is the way the instructor, Kristal Wick created cabochons with seed beads and picture frames or ready made bezels. She used ready mix resin to set the seed beads in place.

Doll House Chair Jewelry Display

By on Saturday, March 19, 2011 5 Comments

Now that the hustle and bustle of the end of year peak selling season is over, you may be plotting what to do for later this year. I am pretty sure jewelry displays would be on many people's to-do list.

Making your own is not only fun and economical but a really spectacular or unusual one will help draw people to your stall.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Decorating and Texturing Fabric Beads with Lace

By on Friday, March 18, 2011 4 Comments

It really pays to experiment and play with your beads! Rachel of Treasure Me discovered how to texture fabric beads the easy way with some small pieces of lace! Awesome idea! Check out her blog post entitled Rosebud and Lace Covered Fabric Beads.

Horror Movie Inspired Jewelry Designs by Missy Industry

By on Friday, March 18, 2011 3 Comments

Sugarskull Ring
I rarely watch horror movies because they scare me silly. But I am definitely not afraid of the macabre inspired jewelry designs by Canadian artisan, Missy Industry on Etsy - just simply wowed.

Her jewelry pieces are just amazingly well done and are to be admired for the skill and vision of the creator. She is so good at her craft she quit her day job back in 2004. There is clearly a niche market which appreciates her particular style!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How to Make Embroidered Bib Necklace Tutorials

By on Thursday, March 17, 2011 5 Comments

When I saw Cyndi Lavin's "In Winter, My Garden Dreams" embroidered bib necklace, my jaw dropped! The level of detail is just breathtaking.

She used a Brazilian dimensional embroidery style.  Perhaps those of you who are proficient needle workers will already be familiar with Maria Freitas' book, The Art of Dimensional Embroidery which inspired Cyndi?

She has generously written a tutorial for it. To keep the length of the post down, she divided it into Part 1 and Part 2. Cyndi has included other helpful resources should you be inspired to come up with designs of your own.

Another delightful embroidered bib necklace is by Taylor of MaryJanes and Galoshes. It's called the Embroidered Gem Necklace because she cleverly sewed the shapes of faceted gemstones!

Other Needle Work Inspirations
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review - Bead Tube Jewelry

By on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3 Comments

Tired of making ho-hum jewelry? One way to come up with unique designs is to learn a new technique. The other way is to explore the skills you already have and exploit them in new and original ways.

Kalmbach Publishing recently sent me Nancy Zeller's awesome new book, Bead Tube Jewelry: Peyote and brick stitch designs for 30+ necklaces, bracelets, and earrings which is a perfect example of the second approach.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Make A Lucky Penny Necklace

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4 Comments

It's almost St Patrick's Day. May the luck of the Irish rub off on you! So this super Lucky Penny pendant necklace tutorial by Michell of Girl in the Air is just the thing.

Awesome Bottle Cap Jewelry by Kotik Design

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 5 Comments

Many jewelry artisans make bottle cap jewelry. Just check out Etsy and Artfire and you will see what I mean. But the bottle cap jewelry by Yoav Kotik of Kotik Design are outstandingly different. Bold, contemporary and one class act.

The bottle caps, mostly beverage and beer ones, come from different places. These are then carefully polished and molded into what he calls his "precious metals" collection. An apt title for a super eco or recycled jewelry artisan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Button Jewelry Tutorials to Inspire

By on Monday, March 14, 2011 8 Comments

Many of us have some sort of button collection. So here are more tutorials to inspire you to use up your stash! If you'd rather NOT use buttons, remember Swarovski has all sorts of two hole beads for the extra bling factor!

One of the easiest ways to make a button necklace is demonstrated by Yellow Blackbird's funky Retro Button Necklace Tutorial. I am planning to make one for myself!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lady Nancy Astor and the Sancy Diamond

By on Sunday, March 13, 2011 4 Comments

Virginia- born Nancy Langhorne Astor (1879-1964) came from humble stock but grew up to become a Viscountess when she married Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor (1879-1952). This beautiful woman went on to make history as the first female Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons.

Her Southern Confederate family became impoverished after the American Civil War. Her rough, tough, hard-drinking father, Chiswell Langhorne struggled to provide for his family for many years. It wasn't until Nancy was in her early teens that he finally struck it rich in the railroad business.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Easy Way to Alter Metal for Mixed Media Jewelry

By on Saturday, March 12, 2011 1 Comments

There are lots of metal findings out there. Some people prefer shiny metals. Others like the look of vintage brass or copper where the metal is deliberately patinaed to give it the appearance of age. The mixed media route is yet another option.

How to Decorate Wooden Beads Tutorials

By on Saturday, March 12, 2011 4 Comments

Wooden beads are light weight and easy to customize. They can be dyed, painted or covered over with fabric.

Over on Edie's Fashion Factory blog is a fun dyed wooden bead necklace tutorial by Kristal Wick.(Update - link no longer works).  Rit Dyes were used for the triple stranded focal. One more clever idea by Kristal is the use of additional clasps in the front so the wearer can choose to wear the necklace with 1, 2 or 3 strands!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jewelry Made From Real Vegetables

By on Friday, March 11, 2011 8 Comments

Potatoes were the last things I thought of when I first saw Julie Usel's rings. Felt maybe. But these are indeed potatoes which have been carved, dried and colored. She is not the first person I have come across who makes potato jewelry - check out my past post on Spudz.

Image by Julie Usel

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Make Cracked Egg Shell Patterned Beads

By on Thursday, March 10, 2011 3 Comments

Food Inspired Jewelry
Part 1 of 2

Don't these beads look vintage?  But they are not. They are resin beads which have been embellished with alcohol inks and cracked egg shells.  The inks are also used to dye the pearls so they match the tiles!

Awesome Crochet Bracelet Tutorials

By on Thursday, March 10, 2011 9 Comments

I've done wire crochet bracelets before but there is an additional appeal to yarn crochet jewelry - no risk of metal allergy. Yarn jewelry is also soft to wear and the color options are infinite. So here are some of the best crochet bracelet tutorials to inspire you.

jewelry making tutorial

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coiling Wire to Create a Crystal Ball Necklace Design

By on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12 Comments

When I first got the latest batch of beads from Auntie's Beads' Glass Beads section, I went, "Disco ball!"  No prizes for guessing why.

The crystal encrusted wooden ball as well as some of the rondelles and bicones were a topaz color with a hint of pink. They also sent a peridot green strand of rondelles as well with a lovely AB coating which I have set aside for a future project. These lovely crystals are from China.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Straw Flower Bracelet or Necklace Tutorial for Kids

By on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 2 Comments

You know when some youngster goes “I’m bored!! “ Well here is an inexpensive tutorial on how to make straw flowers.

All it takes is several of them strung together perhaps on stretch or elastic cord for colorful bracelets and necklaces.

Improbablecog's 3D Printed Jewelry

By on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 2 Comments

Mythical flying beasts. Fantasy gardens. Futuristic designs. That's what the amazing jewelry of ImprobableCog on Etsy conjures up on seeing it.

The Design- Primate (as he calls himself) behind the creations is Noah Beasley who is an industrial designer, artist, maker and tinker.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Evie's Tool Emporium $25 Certificate Giveaway Winner!

By on Monday, March 07, 2011 4 Comments

It looks like a lot of you need tools perhaps even more than beads!  The response to last week's Evie's Tool Emporium giveaway was great.

Some of you are new to jewelry making. Others are hoping to expand their repertoire of techniques. But I would like to reassure Karen that once you try out a new tool, the fear factor disappears!

Wire Name Writing Pendant How-to Tips

By on Monday, March 07, 2011 7 Comments

Last year, I tried making my own wire name pendant and hunted around for some tutorials. This form of wire work sure requires practice and a firmer wire, not soft tempered.

Most of the wire artisans judge the distances required to make the letters purely by eye and experience. If free form work is still not on, check out the Wire Name Pendant tutorial by Faith on Cut Out and Keep which illustrates a simple solution. Don't you just love her DIY wire wine glass charm?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Amazing Wire Wrapped Beaded Masks

By on Sunday, March 06, 2011 5 Comments

New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in North America. It's such a unique place with a fascinating history. It's the birthplace of jazz and the cuisine? Fabulous. While I have never been during Mardi Gras (too wild for me!), I recall seeing tons of masks for sale, often with feathers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How to Make Broken China Jewelry the Easy Way

By on Saturday, March 05, 2011 8 Comments

All the previous broken china jewelry featured designers I`ve written about (see below) solder the metal edging. If you are not ready to learn soldering yet, there is another way to incorporate a broken china pendant in your jewelry design.

St Patrick's Day Inspired Swarovski Jewelry Tutorials

By on Saturday, March 05, 2011 6 Comments

Whenever it's March, I always think it's time to make something green in time for St Patrick's Day! Here are some new easy tutorials to inspire you using Swarovski crystals. (For past tutorials, see link below).

My favorites are the tri-color necklace and bracelet which honor the Irish flag!  The green represents the Irish nationalist tradition of Ireland and the orange represents the Orange (Protestant) tradition in Ireland, with white representing peace, or a truce, between them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Have You Tried the Byzantine Chain Maille Weave Yet?

By on Friday, March 04, 2011 10 Comments

Although the Japanese style chain maille weaves are easier to learn, the Byzantine one is also suitable for beginners. Debbie M (not my co-instructor) is an experienced beader who had never done chain maille before.

She was a quick learner and made this bracelet well within the time allotted for a workshop using 18G 5/32" bright aluminum rings.  Debbie was able to work with both tools in her hands AND not put the work down!

Chinese Finger Trap Necklace Tutorial

By on Friday, March 04, 2011 6 Comments

PS I Made This has a tutorial for this clever necklace made by cutting up Chinese finger traps! She uses glue and twine.

The Chinese Finger Trap is toy or practical joke item going back hundreds of years. It is also known as the Chinese finger puzzle or handcuffs. The tube is a biaxial braid of bamboo - a helically wound affair.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bejeweled Crowning Glories for Weddings Or Which Tiara will Kate Middleton Wear?

By on Thursday, March 03, 2011 11 Comments

Tiaras are by far the most glorious head pieces for brides. But not all brides are into the princess look. I especially loved British artisan and instructor, Angela Smith's alternative to a tiara - this lovely bead and Swarovski crystal fascinator. It's such a unique design for special occasions.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Use Bead Tips, Clam Shells or Calottes Tutorials

By on Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2 Comments

Bead tips are usually used at the end of projects to attach onto clasps as shown in this picture.There are two types of common bead tips. One is a small metal cup with a metal hook to one side (below left).