DIY -Mixed Metal Lotus Pendant

lotusdrops2Besides being super sultry against the skin, one of the things I love about this design is its simplicity to make and all the possibilities for customization. Once you make a pendant you’ll find yourself making a pair of earrings to match. There are many different component pieces out there just waiting for you to embellish them with beads and wire! Enjoy.

Tools Neededlotusmaterials

Flush Wire Cutters
Chain Nose Pliers, 2 pairs are helpful

Materials Needed
1 Lotus petal drop link
27 inches of 2mm rolo chain
11, 4mm jump rings
1, 5mm jump ring
1 Toggle clasp
Ten 2.5mm crystal rondelles
Five 2.5mm square beads
One foot of 26 gauge wire
Eight 2.25mm metal hex-cut spacer beads

Wiring the Beads to the Lotus Frame

Each segment of beads is attached to the frame with a 3 inch length of wire. The wire coils used to secure the beads to the frame wrap upward, toward the point of the frame, allowing for proper spacing between the bead rows. Steps1-2Step 1: Secure one end of the wire to the frame by laying the wire across the face of the frame and wrapping a 1″ tail around the frame, toward the top, three times. The resulting coil should be tight with each coil resting against the previous one.

Step 2: Using flush wire cutters, cut the wire tail off, close to the frame. If the wire end is sticking out, squeeze it down with a pair of chain nose pliers.

Step 3: String 3 crystal beads onto the wire and position the coil on the frame so that all three beads fit within the frame.Steps4-5Step 4: Secure the wire in place by wrapping it tightly around the frame three times, toward the top of the frame. Use the chain nose pliers to help pull the wire tight.

Step 5: Using flush wire cutters, cut the remaining wire close to the frame.addingbeadrowsStep 6: Continue adding rows of beads using the same techniques outlined in Steps 1 thru 5. Make certain that each row accommodates the beads within the spacing of the frame, adjust the number of beads if needed.

The pattern for each row is as follows:
Row 1: Three crystal beads (this row has been completed)
Row 2: Five 2.5mm square metal beads
Row 3: Seven crystal beads
Row 4: Eight Hex-cut beads

Adding the Chain Fringechainfringe

Step 1: Using wire cutters, cut the following measured length of chain: 2 pieces measuring 1/2″ each, 2 pieces measuring 3/4″ each, 2 pieces measuring 1″ each, 2 pieces measuring 1 1/4″ each, and 1 piece measuring 1 1/2″ in length.

Step 2: Organize the chains by size on your working surface so that the longest chain length is in the middle and the shortest lengths are on the outside edge. Organizing the chains ahead of time will make attaching them easier.

Step 3: Using chain nose pliers, attach the chain lengths to the bottom of the frame with a 4mm jump ring. Make sure to close the ring tight so that the chains do not fall off later.

Attaching the Necklaceaddingchain-clasp

Step 1: Using wire cutters, cut the remaining chain to 18″.

Step 2: Connect a 5mm jump ring to the top of the frame and feed the chain length through it.

Step 3: Connect the clasp to the last link of one end of the chain with a 4mm jump ring.

Step 4: Connect a 5mm jump ring into the last link of the opposite end of the chain.

 

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! Comment on this post for your chance to win a kit of materials to make your own. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on August 12th!

 

DIY -Chain Tassel Necklace

tasselnecklacesample2This tassel necklace has long been one of my “go-to” designs for whipping up a quick necklace to showcase my growing collection of rhinestone connectors. The double strand necklace helps to balance the fullness of the tassel fringe. Customize this design by using different styles of chain, mixing metal colors, adding additional chains to the tassel or playing with the length of chains used in the tassel.

Tools Neededmaterials3
Flush wire cutters
2 pairs of chain nose pliers
Beading awl
Ruler

Materials Needed
A rhinestone connector
40 inches of 1.5mm curb chain
5, 4mm jump rings
1, 6mm soldered jump ring
1 lobster clasp

Preparing the PendantMakingtheTasselPendantStep 1: Using wire cutters, cut four lengths of chain that measure 1″ long.

Step 2: Insert the tapered tip of the beading awl into the last link of each chain and use your fingers to force the link to stretch wider by pushing the link onto the wider point of the awl. *This is a great trick to use on any small soldered chain link to stretch out the link and make it large enough to accommodate jump rings.

Step 3: Using 2 pairs of chain nose pliers, attach each chain length to a 4mm jump ring. Close the ring tightly.

Step 4: Attach the jump ring from the previous step to the rhinestone connector with a new jump ring.

Attaching the Necklace

The necklace is made up of two 18″ chains and clasped together with a lobster claw and soldered ring. attachingthenecklaceStep 5: Cut two 18″ lengths of chain.

Step 6: Stretch the end links of both chains using the tapered tip of the beading awl.

Step 7: Attach both chains to the clasp set using a new jump ring. (One side will attach to the lobster claw and one side will attach to the soldered ring.)

Step 8: Using chain nose pliers, connect the two chains to the top ring of the rhinestone component with a new jump ring.

 

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! Comment on this post for your chance to win a kit of materials to make your own. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on August 5th!

 

DIY -Draped Fringe Pendant

drapechainpendantIn celebration of Baubles & Beads great July chain sale, I am excited to offer you another chain based project.  This one is super easy and super customizable.  Five lengths of chain are used to create a draped fringe around a centerpiece bead. The chain lengths can be made longer or shorter as needed to accommodate any size bead. I love how the spiral rope chain looks but with so many chains available, you can substitute just about any small link chain.

Tools Neededmaterials

Flush Wire Cutters
Chain Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Ruler

Materials Needed
2 1/2 feet of spiral rope chain -1.6mm
1 centerpiece bead -10mm (I used these)
1 eyepin -2″
2 jump rings -4mm or 6mm (21ga)
10 daisy spacer beads -3mm
1 clasp set -12mm or smaller

 

Stringing the Pendant Pattern

Step 1: Cut one piece of chain in each of the following lengths: 1″, 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″. These four pieces of chain will make up the fringe that surrounds the bottom of the bead.step02-03loopyfringe

Step 2: String the following pattern of beads onto the eyepin: 1 spacer bead, the 2.5” length of chain, 1 spacer, the 2” length of chain, 1 spacer bead, the 1.5” length of chain, 1 spacer bead, the 1” length of chain, 1 spacer bead, and the 10mm bead.

Step 3: On the opposite side of the 10mm bead, string: 1 spacer bead and the opposite end of the 1” chain. You will need to push the bead and the 1″ chain length closer to the open end of the pin in order to be able to feed the small chain on.

Step 4: Continue feeding the opposite end of the chains onto the pin, in order of length, with a new spacer bead strung in between each chain. After the opposite end of each chain has been fed on, finish the segment by stringing on a final spacer bead.

Making a Loop on the Opposite Side of the Eyepinstep04-06loopyfringeStep 1: Using the tip of the chain nose pliers, grab the wire against the last spacer bead strung. Bend the wire  against the edge of the tool making a 90 degree angle. (Using the tool this way will leave a small amount of space on the eyepin wire to allow the chains room to dangle freely.)

Step 2: Using flush wire cutters, cut the wire so that it measures about 1 centimeter from the bend.

Step 3: Using round nose pliers, gently shape the wire into a closed loop.

For an in-depth look at how to make simple loops, check out our archives on “How To Make a Simple Wire Loop”

Putting it All Togetherstep07-08loopyfringeStep 1: Cut two 8 inch lengths of chain.

Step 2: Using chain nose pliers, open one of the loops on the eyepin and attach a length of chain. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 3: Attach each side of the clasp set to one of the opposite end of the chain with a jump ring.

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! Comment on this post for your chance to win a kit of materials to make your own. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on July 31st!

Congrats go out to Sue for being the lucky winner of a kit of materials to make her own necklace using this tutorial.

How To Make a Simple Wire Loop

simpleloopsampleThe simple wire loop is the foundation of all wire jewelry. The process of making simple loops will introduce you to the main jewelry tools and when put into practice, allow you to link beads together for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Tools NeededtoolsforwireworkRound nose pliers are made up of two cylinder shaped jaws that taper to a small point. They are used to shape the wire into a loop shape. This tool should only be used when making a loop shape as the rounded jaws will dent and damage the wire if they are used to manipulate it in other ways.

Flush wire cutters are designed to provide a smooth flat cut across the wire. It is essential that each wire loop begin with a flush cut wire. Most flush cutters only cut flush on one side of the blade, the other side of the blade provides a bevel cut. A flush cut is achieved when the flat side of the cutting blades is facing the wire you want to keep.

Chain nose pliers consist of two jaws that are flat and smooth on the inside, rounded on the outside, and like round nose pliers, the jaws taper to a small point. Chain nose pliers are the real work horse when is comes to wire working tools. They are most commonly used to open and close loops and jump rings and make right angle bends.

Rulers are a wire workers best friend. Select one that features both metric and standard measurement.

Materials Needed
For simple loops we prefer practicing with half-hard 20 gauge wire. To learn more about wire sizes and hardness’s  check out our archived post on wire properties.

Making a Simple Loop

There are many different ways to make a simple loop. At the end of the day it is more about how your loops look, not how you went about making them. Please take care not to bend your wrist when shaping the loop or you can injure yourself. Instead rotate your arm until it can turn no further, release your grip on the wire, returning your arm to the starting position and then completing the loop in a second movement.

step1-3Step 1: Using chain nose pliers, make a 90 degree bend approximately 1 centimeter from the end of the wire.

Tip: Different measurements of wire will produce different sized loops.

Step 2: Using round nose pliers, hold the tip of the short wire end between the jaws of the pliers. With your other hand, grasp the longer side of the wire so that the thumbnail is under the 90 degree bend and the index finger is supporting the wire on the opposite side.

Tip: Finding the correct place to position the wire on the pliers can be challenging at first. The tapered jaws of round nose pliers allow one to make a variety of different sized loops and makes it easy to slide completed loops off the pliers. It may take several attempts to discover where on the pliers to make a loop. Once you find the perfect spot, mark the jaws of the pliers with a fine-tip Sharpie marker to keep you from guessing the next time.

Step 3: Begin shaping the wire into a loop by rolling the round nose pliers toward the right angle bend. (The resulting loop should always be shaped “on top of” the right angle bend.) Your arm will not be able to turn far enough to make the loop in one movement; it will take two separate movements to close the loop completely.

simpleloopIn our classroom we like to quip “you have to make 200 loops before you feel like you have made a good one.” Practice making this loop over and over until you feel comfortable making loops.

Making Wire & Bead Links

The trickiest part of making a simple loop on the other side of the bead is making a loop that looks exactly like the first one. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and mark your round nose pliers with a Sharpie to remind yourself where on the jaws of the pliers you made the first loop.  step4-6Step 4: String a bead onto the wire and position it against the loop.

Step 5: Using your thumb, push the wire against the top of the bead to create a 90 degree bend.

Step 6: Cut the wire so that it measures 1 centimeter long.Step7Step 7: Repeat Steps 2 & 3 above to complete the loop, only this time grasp the bead for leverage. Again, it will take two movements to completely close the loop.

Tip: When it comes to loops, consistency matters. It doesn’t matter if your loops are perpendicular to each other or parallel, so long as each link is the same. To adjust the alignment of a loop simply hold one loop with a pair of chain nose pliers and use your fingers to twist the opposite loop into the desired position.

Connecting Beads & Wire Links

Step8-9Step 8: Using chain nose pliers, grasp the open end of one of the loops.

Step 9: Twist the wire sideways, opening the loop just enough to feed the loop of another bead link into it.

Step 10: Using chain nose pliers, grasp the open end of the loop and gently coax it back into closed position.

That’s it! Repeat, repeat, repeat. To complete a piece of jewelry simply attach a clasp to the loops of the first and last bead link. 

 

DIY -Tri Color Chain Weave

tri-color-sample2

Wow, the bead store just received a shipment of new chain and the 4-in-1 chain has me so excited! If you have been following this blog for a while then you know I like to stitch things together, especially chain. The chain consists of a figure-8 links connected together by a large round link. The resulting effect looks very similar to flat 4-in-1 chain mail.  Chinese knotting cord is used to connect these chains side-by-side while adding a splash of color. The finished bracelet measures 7 1/4″.  Oh, the possibilities…enjoy and share your creations on our Facebook page.

Tools Neededtricolor materials
2 Pairs of chain nose pliers
Wire cutters
Hypo-tube cement

Materials Needed
1 1/2 feet 4-in-1 chain (can be all one color or use 6 inch lengths of different finishes for the tri-color effect)
2 yards Chinese knotting cord
1 D-ring toggle clasp
4 jump rings -6mm, 18 gauge
5 jump rings -4mm, 18 gauge
Medium twisted wire needles

Preparing the Materials

Step 1: Begin by cutting 3 equal lengths of chain that measure 6 inches each. Cut off the figure-8 link on each end of the chain so that the final link on each end is the larger center ring.

Step 2: Cut a 1 yard length of Chinese knotting cord and string a twisted wire needle onto it, doubling over one end by about a foot.

Weaving the Chains Together

The 4-in-1 chain is made up of figure-8 links that are connected together by a larger jump ring. The resulting effect looks very similar to flat chain-mail.  Chinese knotting cord is used to connect two of these chains side-by-side while adding a splash of color.

attachingcordStep 1: Rest two of the chains side-by-side so that the links of each chain are going the same direction.

Step 2: Attach the cord to the chains by feeding it through the first two side-by-side figure-8 loops. Leaving a 2 inch tail, tie the two cords together with a double knot.

Step 3: Feed the cord back through the same two links to secure the cord. (The first row of figure-8 links have now been connected together.)

weave1The basic weave pattern consists of wrapping the cord through two side-by-side links (this step keeps the chains flat) and then stepping up to the next row of figure-8 links by feeding the cord diagonally, between the two chains, and up through the next figure-8 link on the chain.

Step 4: “Step-up” to the next row by feeding the cord through the figure-8 link located one row up on the opposite chain. The cord will cross between the two chains diagonally.

Step 5: Connect the two chains together side-by-side by feeding the cord down through the corresponding figure-8 link of the opposite chain.

Step 6: Complete the stitch by feeding the cord back up through the figure-8 link of Step 4. (The next row of figure-8 links have now been connected together.)

twochainsStep 7: Repeat Step 4 through Step 6 until there is only one figure-8 link left to be stitched together.

Securing the Cords in Placeknot00Step 1: If needed, flip the piece over so that the beginning knot is on the side facing up. “Step-up” to the next row by feeding the cord through the figure-8 link located one row up on the opposite chain.

Step 2: Connect the two remaining figure-8 links together by feeding the cord around them twice so that the cord goes through each link two times.

Step 3: Feed the cord under the diagonally crossing cord from Step 1. (In the next steps, the cord will be secured in place by knotting it around this diagonal cord.)

gluetheknotsStep 4: Using a half-hitch knot, tie the cord around the diagonal cord.

Step 5: Make a 2nd knot around the same diagonal cord and pull the cord tight.

Step 6: Completely coat the knots with cement glue. Once the glue dries, about 10 minutes, cut off the excess cord close to the knot.

Step 7: Glue and cut the remaining cord from the knot on the opposite end of the chain.

 Adding Additional Rows of Chain3rdchain01Additional lengths of chain can be woven to either side of the finished piece. Use the same techniques outlined above to add a third length of chain.

Attaching the ClaspattachingaclaspThe clasp is attached to the center round link of each chain using a jump ring.

Step 1: Using chain nose pliers attach a 6mm jump ring to each of the outside chains and a smaller, 4mm jump ring to attach the center chain. Repeat on the other end of the bracelet.

Step 2: Use three 4mm jump rings to attach the toggle bar to one of the D-ring toggle components.

Step 3: Put it on, put it on and show someone!!!!

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! Comment on this post for your chance to win a kit of materials to make your own. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on July 22nd!

Update: Congrats go out to Angi M. for winning the kit!!

Instructor Interview- Kate Richbourg

Q & A with (the amazing) Kate Richbourg

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The famous & fabulous Kate!

Emily Miller, Baubles & Beads Class Director, interviews Kate Richbourg, one of our instructors here at the bead store. Kate is an educator, a maker, a new author, and jeweler.

EM: Kate, you wear a lot of hats, which is your favorite?

Kate: Well, my favorite hat (when not wearing an actual hat) is teaching. This my is 22nd year of teaching and helping students continue on their journey.

EM: When did you get started making jewelry and did you have a mentor?

Kate: I pretty much always made jewelry, my Gran had a box of junk jewelry and I played with that, of course with no special materials, stringing with dental floss! I was very lucky that my Mom and Gran were my early creative mentors; they put me on the road to doing something creative. In 1992 I got a job at bead store, selling beads, which led me to teaching. I started teaching at Baubles & Beads in 1993-94. Lisa Kaufman [the owner of Baubles & Beads] was instrumental at offering me opportunities to teach new classes. In the beginning, stores were big part of classes.

Check out Kate's Tube Setting class this summer at the store.

Check out Kate’s Tube Setting class this summer at the store.

EM: Was there a particular technique that was difficult to master?

Kate: When I got started there was not a lot of info out there, so I’m self taught. I’ve taken only a couple of bead classes. I didn’t know what was hard or what was easy. The first book I bought was The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight, it taught me a lot, it was my general teacher. I still refer to it regularly when stuck.

Kate in action while teaching a class.

Kate in action while teaching a class.

EM: Do you have a teaching philosophy?

Kate: Usually when you think about creating classes, you might think who is the class for? Beginners, intermediates or advanced students? I can take beginners to intermediate level in class by just jumping in and starting. At the end they say, “I made that!” There are no limits to what you can learn. I like to share lots of tips, some that might be advanced, but without telling them it’s advanced.

EM: What makes you happiest about teaching?

Kate: Part of it is a community of like-minded people. Creating with your peers is always fun; taking time to be creative while in class I get a lot of ideas of what to do next. The interchange between teacher and students as well as student to student.

EM: What essential items does your studio have?

Kate: My favorite thing right now is a rolling mill. I love to hammer, texture and flatten. The rolling mill makes me super efficient to shape and flatten, a lot easier than I could do by hand.

Tools are Kate's friends

Tools are Kate’s friends.

EM: What is your favorite material?

Kate: Well, that’s a loaded question… whatever material I’m working with at the time. Metal…then the first and original material, beads. A tie between metal and beads.

Kate's book is a fantastic entry level book into the world of soldering but even seasoned metalsmiths will discover helpful tips and hints.

Kate’s book is a fantastic entry level book into the world of soldering but even seasoned metalsmiths will discover helpful tips and hints.

EM: After a long day of teaching, what do you do to relax?

Kate: Put my feet up on the coffee table. Teaching takes so much out of you but is invigorating too. I sit and reflect, remember people’s names and projects. Sort of like a meditation, over what went well or could be improved.

EM: Predict something about the coming year in jewelry making and design, where do you see the next big trend?

Kate: I think that now that people are learning so many types of jewelry making, beading, metal, wire, putting all those techniques together in one piece. Distilling what students have learned into one piece. Metal is still strong. It’s interesting how fiber is coming into jewelry, fiber and unconventional materials in jewelry is pretty cool.

EM: If we could see a picture of your bench, what are you working on right now?

Kate: Right now I’m working on some chain necklaces. I’m preparing for an online class, so lots of chain, the simple loops and how to put it together. All chain, all the time, right now.

workinprogress

Work in progress.

EM: What else do you make besides jewelry?

Kate: Oh my gosh, I knit, sew, quilt, make a mess, I’ve been sewing and knitting since I was a little girl, it keeps my hands busy.

EM: Will you share your favorite quotation?

Kate: Yes, here in my studio I have some quotes on my wall. My favorite, favorite one is:
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein.

favquote

Inspirational quote.

EM: If you could go back in time to any era, which one and why?

Kate: I’m conflicted about going back or forward in time. The 20’s were this zany pause between the world wars where there was a lot of creativity: writing, art and I love the fashion. I’d love to see where we are in 100 years too.

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Like Kate, beads will never go out of style!

EM: What do you want to learn next?

Kate: Oh my gosh, I really want to learn how to engrave. I don’t know why. When you pick up a piece of old jewelry and see the hand engraving it’s just beautiful. I just picked up an ebook copy of an old book from the turn of the 20th century about hand engraving.

EM: Thank you Kate, for a great peek into your world!

Kate has been teaching jewelry for decades yet she always manages to bring us new ideas and products to play with. Check out her video below from Craftsy about how to use a torch (safely).

Connect with and learn more about Kate by visiting her blog:

Check out her blog: We Can Make That at Home

DIY -Spikey Bracelet

newstudsI love the idea of punk meets classic; in this case, spikes meet seed beads! The construction of this pattern uses clamshell bead tips at each end. Since the thread used to make the bracelet is very fine, I use a seed bead as a stop-bead inside the bead tip. This technique allows one to anchor the thread at each end by feeding the thread through the bead tip, then the stop-bead, and then back through the bead tip positioning the thread for another pass through the bracelet. When adding a new length of thread to the project simply knot the old thread to the seed bead and knot the new one onto the same seed bead. In the end we will glue the knots and conceal it all by closing the bead tip shut!

Tools Neededmaterials300
Round Nose Pliers
Flush Wire Cutters or Sharp Scissors
Chain Nose Pliers

Materials Needed
Size 10 beading needles
Fireline thread
Japanese size 8/0 seed beads
Japanese size 11/0 seed beads
16 Glass Spike Beads 17mm x 7mm
2 clamshell bead tips
2 heavy gauge jump rings
1 clasp
Hypo-tube cement

String the Base Row

Step 1: Thread the needle with a double arm’s length of Fireline. Double over the tail of the thread so that one side is about 1 foot longer, this will make the length  easier to manage.

Tie a stop-bead onto the end of the thread and string on the clamshell.

Tie a stop-bead onto the end of the thread and string on the clamshell bead tip.

Step 2: Tie a size 11/0 seed bead (stop-bead) onto the end of the longer thread, leaving a 4 inch tail.

Step 3: String through a clamshell bead tip so that the stop-bead rests inside the bead tip. Leave the bead tip open.

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String the beads to make the desired bracelet length. Secure the end of the bracelet by adding a new clamshell bead tip, followed by a stop-bead, and then string back through the bead tip and 1st spike bead.

Step 4: String the beads onto the thread in the following pattern: 1 spike, 2 size 8/0 seed beads, 1 spike. Continue stringing the bead pattern of 2 size 8/0 seed beads and 1 spike until the desired length of the bracelet is achieved. 16 spikes will make a bracelet approximately 7.5” long depending on the size of clasp chosen.

Step 5: String through the back-end of the 2nd bead tip.

Step 6: String a size 11/0 seed bead (stop-bead) onto the thread and then go back through the bead tip toward the beads.

Step 7: For added strength of the base row, string the needle and thread back through all of the beads and into the 1st bead tip. Anchor the thread by feeding the thread through the seed bead inside the bead tip and finally back through the bead tip and the 1st spike bead.

Add Seed Bead Embellishment to the Sides of the Spikes

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Add embellishment to both sides of the spike bead by stringing on six 11/0 seed beads and feeding the needle through the hole on the opposite end of the spike bead.

Step 8: With the thread coming out of a spike bead, string six size 11/0 seed beads. Feed the needle through the hole on the opposite end of the same spike bead. The seed beads will shape around the side of the spike bead. Repeat this step adding the same number of beads to the other side of the spike.

Step 9: Feed the needle through the two size 8/0 seed beads and the next spike.

Step 10: Repeat step 8 & 9 until each spike bead is embellished. When complete, anchor the thread by feeding the needle up through the bead tip, through the stop-bead, and then back through the bead tip.

Add Final Structure to the Base Row

Add structure by adding a size 8/0 seedbead in between each cluster of size 11/0 seedbeads. Repeat on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Add structure by adding a size 8/0 seed bead in between each cluster of size 11/0 seed beads. Repeat on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step 11: Working on one side of the bracelet; feed the needle through the nearest six size 11/0 seed beads on one side of the spike bead. String on a new size 8/0 seed bead.

Step 12: Repeat step 11 for the length of the bracelet to add structure between the seed bead embellishment on the sides of the spike beads. Anchor the thread in the clamshell and repeat Step 11 on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step 13: Knot the working thread to the stop-bead inside the clamshell.

Step 14: Secure the knots by dabbing them with GS Hypo-Tube Cement. Allow 5 minutes for the glue to dry then cut the thread ends with scissors or wire cutters.

Attach the Clasp

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Gently close the bead tips and use round nose pliers to round out and close the bead tips. Use chain nose pliers to attach the clasp to the bead tips with jump rings.

Step 15: Close the bead tips over the stop-bead and knots; first using your fingers and then giving the bead tips a final gentle squeeze with chain nose pliers.

Step 16: Using chain nose pliers, attach a jump ring to the loop of the bead tip and one side of the clasp. Repeat on the opposite side.

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! Comment on this post for your chance to win a kit of materials to make your own. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on May 1st!

DIY -Braided Hex Cut Bead Bracelet

hexcutbeadsbraidTools Needed
Scissors

Materials Neededmaterials
5 feet waxed linen cord
120(+or-) 2.25mm metal hex spacer beads
1 large hole bead

What fun!! This bracelet is made by incorporating beads into a braid of waxed linen cord. We have made a dozen of these using everything from size 8/0 seedbeads ( rounds, droplets, & even cubes) to 3mm faceted glass; really any small bead that will fit onto the cord will work.

Preparing the Cords

Step 1: Cut the waxed linen into two 30 inch lengths.

Step 2: Hold the two cords side-by-side and run your fingers along the two strands. The wax on the linen will make the two strands stick together as if they were a single strand.

Making the Clasp Loop05grouping

Step 3: String 17 hex beads onto the end of the two cords and position them in the middle of the cords. (If using a different bead to clasp the bracelet, adjust the number of beads used here to fit snugly over the bead.)

Step 4: Shape the beaded segment of cord into a loop. Secure the loop closed by tying both sides of the cord into an overhand knot. Make sure the knot is positioned against the beads before tightening.

Step 5: Separate the individual strands of cord and cut one strand off with scissors. Three strands will remain.

Braiding the Beads in Place06beads

Step 6: String about 30 hex beads onto one of the cords. Tie a loose knot around the final bead, near the end of the cord, to keep the beads from falling off the strand during braiding. Repeat this step on the remaining strands.

braid0

Step 7: Fan out the three strands. Beginning with the left hand strand, push a bead up against the overhand knot. Cross the cord over the front of the middle strand.

Step 8: Push a bead against the overhand knot of the right-hand strand. Cross the cord over the front of the middle strand.

Step 9: Continue braiding the beads in place by positioning a bead against the braid and crossing the cord over the front of the middle strand, alternating from left to right. Add (or subtract) beads as needed until the bracelet fits loosely around the wrist from the tip of the loop to the end of braid.

Finishing the Braceletfinishingthebraid

Step 10: Continue braiding the beads in place until the braided segment fits loosely around the wrist from the tip of the loop to the end of the braid.

Step 11: Secure the end of the cord by tying all three cords together into an overhand.

claspbeadending

Step 12: String a large hole bead onto the cords.

Step 13: Secure the bead in place by tying another overhand knot up against the bottom of the bead. Be sure to make certain that the knot is large enough to hold the bead in place. If not, tie an additional overhand knot on top of the one made in the previous step.

Step 14: Finish off each of the cords by stringing a single bead onto the individual cords and tying a single overhand knot to hold the bead in place. Cut off excess thread.  Vary the length of each of the threads for a tassel effect.

We love reading your comments! Drop us a line in the comment section and you qualify for a chance to win a kit of supplies used to make this bracelet. Winner will be chosen March 31st and notified via email. Good luck -BSG

DIY -Textured Swag Necklace

With so many new beads arriving in the bead store I was feeling the need to use them all, or at least as many as I could fit in one necklace! This necklace uses basic beading techniques to build a wonderfully scrumptious necklace that is surprisingly lightweight and ever so easy to wear. Mix and match your favorite colors and shapes to make a different design each time!finishednecklace

Supplies

Supplies

Tools Needed
Flush Wire Cutters
2 pairs of chain Nose Pliers
Crimp Tool
Ruler or tape measure

Materials Needed
5 1/2 inches 4mm rhinestone chain
1 pair rhinestone chain crimp ends
6 1/2 inches 3mm rolo chain
18 inches circle charm chain
16 heavy 6mm jump rings
2 end bars with 6 holes
1 large toggle clasp
1 strand (35pcs) 4mm firepolished glass beads
1 strand (42pcs)4mm Swarovski crystal pearls
3 packages (50pcs) 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones
1 yard Softflex wire, size .014″ cut into 1 foot lengths
Six tube shaped crimp beads, size 2mm x 2mm

Designer’s Tip: Each strand is strung or cut to length before attaching the individual strands to the end bars. The graduated appearance is achieved by adding 1/2 inch of length to each strand. Measurements must include any added length created by crimp ends or crimp beads but do not include the jump ring that the Softflex is attached to. This tutorial lists the exact number of beads used for each strand,  if you are using different beads use  following the measurement guidelines as follows:

1st strand: 5 1/2 inches rhinestone chain
2nd strand: 6 inches of strung 4mm firepolish beads
3rd strand: 6 1/2 inches 3mm rolo chain
4th strand: 7 inches 4mm Swarovski pearls
5th strand: 7 1/2 inches 4mm Swarovski bicones
6th strand: 8 inches circle charm chain

Preparing the Six Strands

Attach the crimp ends onto a 5 1/2" length of rhinestone chain.

Attach the crimp ends onto a 5 1/2″ length of rhinestone chain.

Strand 1:

  • Place one end of the rhinestone chain into the crimp end and secure it in place by using chain nose pliers to gently fold the prongs inward against the rhinestone.
  • Cut the chain so that there are a total of 20 links (or 5 1/2″).
  • Attach the second crimp end on the opposite end of the chain.
Close two jump rings. String the beads and secure a jump ring on each end with a crimp bead.

Close two jump rings, secure the Softflex to the jump ring with a crimp bead, string the beads and secure another jump ring on the opposite end with a second crimp bead.

Strand 2:

  • Using chain nose pliers, close two jump rings.
  • Feed a crimp bead onto one end of the wire. String through the closed jump ring and then back through the crimp bead so that the ring becomes “trapped” in the loop.
  • For a professional look, use a crimp tool to secure the crimp bead in place. (We made a great video on how to use this tool.) Alternatively one can secure the crimp bead in place by squeezing it with chain nose pliers.
  • String on 35 firepolish beads.
  • Feed a crimp bead and a closed jump ring onto the wire, then go back through the crimp bead so that the ring becomes “trapped” in the loop.
  • Position the crimp bead against the beads and secure it in place with a crimp tool.

    Prepare all six strands using the pattern described above.

    Prepare all six strands using the pattern described above.

Strand 3:

  • Cut the rolo chain so that it measures 6 1/2 inches in length.

Strand 4:

  • Use the same techniques outlined in Strand #2 only this time string 42 Swarovski pearls onto the wire.

Strand 5:

  • Use the same techniques outlined in Strand #2 only this time string 50 Swarovski bicones.

Strand 6:

  • Cut an 8 inch length of circle charm chain.

Assembling the Strands onto the End Bars

Attach each strand (in order of length) to one of the end bars with a jump ring.

Attach each strand (in order of length) to one of the end bars with a jump ring.

Each strand is attached to the end bars with jump rings starting with Strand #1, then Strand #2 and so on. The beaded strands use the jump ring already attached to the strand while the chains will require a new jump ring. This step is surprisingly difficult as the strands want to twist around each other and the jump rings seem to fly across the room. I prefer to assemble the strands on a flat surface in order to keep everything under control.

Connect the second side of each strand to the remaining end bar.

Connect the second side of each strand to the remaining end bar.

Finishing the Necklace & Adding the Clasp

  • Cut two lengths of circle charm chain that measure 5 inches each.
  • Use a new jump ring to attach one end of each chain to the top loop of the end bars.
  • Use a new jump ring to attach each side of the clasp to the opposite end of the chains.
Attach the remaining chain and clasp with jump rings. Wear & Repeat!

Attach the remaining chain and clasp with jump rings. Wear & Repeat!

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! When you make your version be sure to post a picture of it on our Facebook page for your chance to win the materials needed to make the brass version pictured above.

Winner will be chosen on February 27th so get beading!

DIY -Lattice Bracelet

latticebracelet

Beads & Supplies

Beads & Supplies

Tools Needed
Flush Wire Cutters
Crimp Tool or Chain Nose Pliers

Materials Needed
1 yard Softflex wire, size .014″
2 tube shaped crimp beads, size 2mm x 2mm
1 toggle clasp
11 Swarovski 6mm faceted round crystal beads
22 daisy spacer beads measuring 4mm across
5+ grams size 11/0 seedbeads

Designer’s Tip: This is a beginner level bracelet pattern.  The pattern is created by using a doubled length of Softflex wire and stringing through the beads in a figure 8 pattern. The 6mm beads can easily be replaced with any size or shape of bead. When using larger beads, the number of seedbeads strung between each lattice connection may need to be increased.

Attach the First Side of the Clasp

Step 1: Feed the Softflex wire through one end of the toggle clasp and position the clasp in the center of the stringing wire.

Step 2: Feed both ends of the wire through a crimp bead and position the crimp against the clasp. The resulting loop should be small but in no way constricting the movement of the clasp.

Step 3: For a professional look, use a crimp tool to secure the crimp bead in place.

Step 1 through Step 3

Secure one side of the clasp to a doubled length of Softflex wire with a crimp bead.

We have a great video on how to use this tool. (It’s a long video, jump to 2:59 for a quick review of how the crimp tool works.) Alternatively, the crimp bead can be secured in place by squeezing it with a pair of chain nose pliers.

String the Bead Pattern

Step 4: String 10 seedbeads onto each piece of wire.

Step 5: String 1 daisy spacer, 1 round crystal, and 1 daisy spacer onto one of the wire strands.

Step 6: Feed the other wire strand through the beads strung during the previous step in the opposite direction. This will create the figure-8 pattern.

Step 4 through Step 6

String 10 seedbeads on each wire. String onto one wire:1 spacer, 1 round bead, and 1 spacer bead. Feed the 2nd wire through the beads in the opposite direction making a figure-8 pattern.

Step 7: Repeat Step 4 through Step 6 ten more times or until the desired length is achieved.

Continue building the bracelet by repeating steps 4-6.

Continue building the bracelet by repeating steps 4-6.

Finishing the Bracelet

Step 8: String 10 seedbeads onto each piece of wire.

Step 9: Feed both ends of the wire through a crimp bead.

String 10 seedbeads on each wire. String both wires through the remaining crimp bead.

String 10 seedbeads on each wire. String both wires through the remaining crimp bead.

Step 10: Feed both ends of the wire through the loop of the second side of the clasp.

Step 11: Feed both ends of the wire back through the crimp bead so that the clasp becomes “trapped” in the loop and the wire ends are pointing toward the beads.

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String both wires through the clasp and then back through the crimp bead.

Step 12: For a professional look, use a crimp tool to secure the crimp bead in place. Alternatively, the crimp bead can be secured in place by squeezing it with a pair of chain nose pliers.

Step 13: Use wire cutters to cut off excess wire.

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Use a crimp tool to secure the crimp and cut off any excess wire.

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The completed bracelet!

WE LOVE READING YOUR COMMENTS!! Comment on this post for your chance to win a kit of materials to make your own. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on January 30th!

Congrats lilisgems for winning the kit. Be sure to watch for our next DIY with another chance to win something new. Suggestions are always welcome, what do you want to learn?

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