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My most favorite way of using my laser cut wood frames is to fill them with beads!  This tutorial shows you how to add beads - think seed beads, small gemstones and crystals - using Fireline and wire.

There are a number of advantages to wood frames.  Firstly, they are natural and organic. It is an eco product - you can recycle it at the end of its useful life. Baltic birch, which I use, is a fast growing tree and is grown in a sustainable manner. 

Baltic birch is a superior plywood hence a favorite of woodworkers and for laser cutting.  All the layers are birch unlike a lot of other plywood where the core is some other wood.


You can just seal it and use it in its original color or stain and paint it in any color you wish.  Unlike metal frames, wood frames have some grain on the surface even after sanding, which means any wrapped thread or metal is less likely to slip.

If you choose to leave it in its natural color, the edges are attractive.  Just remember you should not leave unfinished laser cut wood as is because it will get grimy with use. At the very least, seal it with a varnish.

See this tutorial on how to seal, paint and stain wood jewelry.

I have several shapes to choose from which come in two different sizes. The larger size is suitable as pendants and statement earrings. The smaller size can be used as small pendants or earrings. Also check my Etsy for other designs - I am slowly uploading new laser cut wood supplies and finished jewelry as I go along.


USING FIRELINE

The beading is very easy.  I used a beading needle, 6 lb Fireline in the dark color, 8/0 seedbeads and my smaller rectangular frames which I had previously stained a dark walnut color.

Leave a long, 6 inch tail.  Add a stop bead but you don't have to if you are careful.  I picked up 3 beads and laid them such they filled the open space.





I then took the Fireline behind the frame and passed the needle through the same 3 beads, from right to left.

I wrapped the Fireline on the left side of the frame and then threaded through the same beads going from left to right.  I then picked up the next set of beads, repeating the double pass.
Progress up the frame in the same fashion until the open space is filled.

End by creating a loop around the pair of threads which wrap around the frame. Complete the half hitch knot. Pass the needle and thread through the beads to the other side and do another half hitch knot. You can repeat this half hitch knotting further down. Cut off the thread.

Do the same half hitch knotting with the thread tail at the beginning.

Add ear wires (or a bail if you are making a pendant) and you are done. Check the link below for tips on how to make ear wires and eliminate jump rings when working with wood findings and other materials.

Here is a tear drop pair of earrings with a "nude" look.


I do not recommend using Fireline for some of the larger frames - the round and the square.  The thread, even when doubled or tripled, is just not firm enough to span the distance. So pick smaller frames if you still want to use Fireline.

As you can see, the beading sags in the profile view. You will have to use wire for the large heart, round and square frames.

USING WIRE

Wire is not only more rigid than thread, it can be manipulated into different shapes as you can see from the next two designs.

I used 26 G Parawire in silver, seed beads and crystals. I cut a length of wire.  This will vary depending on which shape you use. A rough estimate is the distance spanning the open space plus 2 - 3 inches on either side to do the wrapping.

Begin by wrapping one end of the wire around the frame. The wire end should then wrap around the main length of wire a couple of times.


Add beads and then wrap the wire around the other side of the frame. This wire end then wraps twice around the wire that is carrying the beads.

Trim the wire ends and tuck down any protruding wire using your chain nose pliers.

Then repeat with additional rows.


You can see the advantage of wire over thread with the completed earrings - I was able to form arches of beads.


Purple waves rule for this pair of earrings!


Packaging and Shipping 

My packaging is as eco friendly as possible - over 90%. You should be able to recycle the paper board mailer (example here) and cardstock carrying the supplies.  I have to use small zip locks to keep the wood dry and to help you and me see what I packaged!  Perhaps one day, I will be able to get hold of recyclable clear bags.

The packages are also flat to keep mailing costs as low as possible. I do not make anything from the shipping - just recovery costs.




Before You Go:

Disclosure
This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
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 Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Wire JewelryTips  -Jewelry Business Tips 

4 comments:

  1. Wow!! You are quite the wonder woman, Pearl. Can't live without your blog - the first thing I look at every day. But now you are really getting busy with laser cutting, selling, packaging, and mailing. Really excited to see the shapes for beading so just ordered a few. Congratulations!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the order Wayne. I am having a lot of fun laser cutting. For the first time since I began making jewelry, I have found my niche. More ideas coming in the pipeline!

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  2. These frames turned out so versatile! One could make so many different designs by filling them with beads!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Easy Peasy with wonderful results!

    ReplyDelete

You're AWESOME! Thanks for the comment and feedback. You do make a difference on my blog!

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