DIY: Spider Pendant

baublesandbeads-spiderpendantsI love how the spiders begin to take over my garden with their webs every October. They serve to remind me that Halloween is just around the corner. Luckily my daughter has a good sense of humor and we often try to “scare” each other with fake spiders around the house. She was delighted when I brought home a couple of these beaded versions. Luckily, I am excited to make many more!!

Preparing the Wire Legs and Building the Body

baublesandbeadsspiderstep1Step 1: Cut 4 pieces of wire measuring 5 inches in length. Wrap the center point of each wire around a scrap piece of wire, tightly. This step will make a loop in the center of the wire so that it can later be strung onto the body of the spider.baublesandbeadsspiderstep2Step 2: Feed the following pattern of beads/wire onto the headpin: one 12mm bead, all four wire legs, one 10mm bead.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep3Step 3: Using round nose pliers, make a simple loop above the 10mm bead. If this technique is new to you we have a tutorial for that too, it will change you life (at least where earrings are concerned.)

TIP: If you are using coated wire and your pliers nick the finish simply use a Sharpie marker to hide the blemish.

For a Spider, It Is All About the Legs

The front and back legs of the spider are slightly shorter that the four middle legs. baublesandbeadsspiderstep4Step 4: String the following pattern of beads onto a front leg wire: 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep4-2Step 5: Cut the wire 1/4″ from the last bead. Secure the beads in place by turning the wire under, into a loop, with round nose pliers.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep4allStep 6: Repeat Step 4-5 on all four front and back legs.

baublesandbeadsspiderstep5Step 7: String the following pattern of beads onto a middle leg wire: 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 1 seed bead, 1 3mm bead, 1 seed bead, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads, 1 bugle bead, 2 seed beads.

Step 8: Cut the wire 1/4″ from the last bead. Secure the beads in place by turning the wire under, into a loop, with round nose pliers.

Step 9: Repeat Step 7-8 on all four middle legs.

baublesandbeadsspiderfrontStep 10: Using your fingers shape the legs slightly to make the spider look more realistic.

And bam! you now have your first spider pendant. My favorite chain for this color combination is a black/gold cable chain or keep it simple and string this spider on a black leather cord.

Show off pics of your beaded spiders on our Facebook page. Our staff will choose a favorite and send that lucky winner a $25 BaublesAndBeads.com gift card! We will choose the winner on October 31st 2016. Good luck.

DIY: Summer Chain Stack Necklace

ChainStackBaublesandBeadsSummertime jewelry ensembles require simplicity both in assembly and wear. Designs that feature chain provide the best of both worlds. We love this simple stacked necklace design that incorporates colorful glass beads with charms & chain. Make the design your own my using mixed metals, changing up the chain styles, using different lengths of chains and charms to set a mood.

materialsChainStackBaublesAndBeadsMaterials Required

Assembling the Three Chain Strands

Baubles & Beads Summer Chain Stack Necklace Step 1Step 1: : Cut the cable chain to a 18” length (or longer if desired). This will be the shortest strand. If needed attach a jump ring to the charm so that when it is strung onto the chain the charm faces forward.

Baubles & Beads Summer StackStep 2: On one end of the snake chain use chain nose pliers to fold each side of the fold over crimp securely against the chain. For best results, fold one side down snugly then fold the second side down over the first side. If any chain protrudes at the loop end simply cut off the excess chain with wire cutters.

TIP: Securing one end of the chain before stringing on the seed beads will ensure the beads don’t accidentally fall off the chain later.🙂

Baubles And Beads Summer StackStep 3: Cut the snake chain 2” longer than the first chain. Embellish the chain by adding color with size 8/0 seed beads. The amount of beads you use and the pattern is up to you. For reference we strung on about 6 inches of beads. Secure a fold over crimp onto the unfinished side of the chain. This will keep the beads from falling off the chain during final assemble.

TIP: Traditionally when making a multi-strand graduated length necklace each strand should vary in length by 2 inches.

baubles and beads summer stackStep 4: Cut the rolo chain to measure 2” longer that the snake chain. This is the longest strand. If needed, attach a jump ring to the charm so that when it is strung onto the chain the pendant faces forward. String on the final charm.

Attaching the Chains Together

BaublesAndBeads.com Summer Stack Step 5Step 5: Feed one end of each chain onto a jump ring and close the ring with chain nose pliers. Repeat this step on the opposite end of the chains making certain that the chains do not twist around each other in the process.

TIP: Soldered chain links can be stretched larger by inserting a tapered beading awl into the end link and gently forcing the awl into the link. By stretching the link in this manner the jewelry designer does not have to compromise durability when using small linked chain.

Step 6: Attach a swivel lobster clasp to one of the rings used to connect the chains together. Swivel style clasps help keep multiple strands from twisting during wear. On the opposite side of the necklace attach one additional ring and close it tightly.

TIP: Using additional rings to attach the clasp keeps the chains out of the way when putting on or taking off the necklace.

BaublesAndBeads.com Chain Stack Brass

Let us know what you think by commenting below. On July 18th we will randomly select a winner from the comment list to win the Summer Chain Stack Necklace in Silver! Good luck and happy summer beading!! (UPDATE: Congrats to Elaine who rocked the party and won herself one of the samples.)

DIY: Beads And Leather Wrap Bracelet

BeadsAndLeatherBraceletTutorialMaterials Needed:
40 inches of 1.5mm or 2mm leather cord
1 card of size #2 nylon thread with a needle attached
1 strand of 3mm hex-cut metal beads
1 shank style button that measures 15mm-30mm

Tools Needed:
Light duty flush cutters
1-2 Big eye needles, 2 ¼” in length
G-S Cement glue
2 clamps (optional)
A wooden work tray (optional)

Chan Luu-style bracelets seem to allure all of us. Who can resist a bracelet that wraps around your wrist multiple times displaying your favorite beads. I hope this tutorial will get you started with a new wrap bracelet obsession. Be sure to check out the very end of the tutorial for great tips on changing up the beads, # of wraps & more!

Attaching the Clasp & Preparing the Bracelet for Some Bead Action

Attach the Button www.baublesandbeads.comStep 1: Center the button on the leather cord and tie an overhand knot to hold it in place. Make sure the button can move freely on the leather loop.

Step #2 Remove the entire length of the thread from the card. String the big-eye needle onto the end of the thread that does not already have a needle attached.

TraySetUp www.baublesandbeads.comOptional: Some people prefer working this bracelet up with the use of clamps and a wooden tray. Fasten the button to one end of the tray with a clamp. Then secure the leather cords to the opposite end of the tray with another clamp, leaving a bit of space between the two cords for easy access when adding beads.

Stitching the Beads to the Leather

Step2* The photos display two colors of thread to make each step of the bracelet a bit easier to understand. In real life we are using just one color of thread.)

Step #3: Center a bead on the long length thread and position the bead in between the two leather cords, against the button, with the thread resting across the front of the leather cord.

Step #4: Bring one side of the thread (black thread in picture) around the outside edge of the leather and up thru the center, between the two leather cords.

Step #5: Using the needle, feed the same thread thru the bead hole and crossing over the front of the leather on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step #6: Repeat Step 4 & Step 5 with the other thread (purple thread in picture). Pull both threads to tighten the stitch.

Step4 Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #7: Bring one side of the thread around the outside edge of the leather, up thru the center, and resting in front of the leather on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step #8: String a bead on the same thread and position the bead in the space between the two pieces of leather.

Step #9: Feed the opposite thread around the outside of the leather, thru the bead hole, and crossing over the front of the leather on the opposite side of the bracelet.

Step #10: Pull both threads to tighten the stitch.

step5 Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #11: Continue securing beads in place by repeating Step 7-Step 10 until the bracelet wraps around your wrist two times. For an ideal fit make the bracelet long enough that the starting bead and the ending bead touch when wrapped snugly around your wrist.

Securing the Threads & Finishing the Clasp

The threads are secured in place by tying a surgeons knot with the two threads. If the bead hole is big enough the knot can be hidden inside the hole (a good reason to use large hole beads at the start and finish of the bracelet). Small hole beads require an alternate finishing technique, read on for more details.

Finishing Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #12: Flip the bracelet over and feed one of the threads back through the bead. (black thread in picture)

Step #13: Wrap thread from the previous step around the needle of the other thread two or three times.

Step #14: Feed the needle thru the bead and slowly pull the thread through the bead.  The “wraps” around the other thread will tighten into a knot that will be pulled inside the hole of the bead. If the bead hole is large enough repeat Step 13 & Step 14 again.

TIP: Beads with small holes will not accommodate multiple threads to be passed through with this technique. An alternative way to finish this bracelet is to simply knot the two threads together on the outside of the bead. The finishing knot will be exposed but can be worn on the inside of the bracelet. Most people prefer this method as it is super (duper) easy and for the most part the maker is the only one who notices the exposed thread.

Step #15: Glue the knot and allow it to dry. When the glue is dry (yes, wait for it to dry) cut the threads.

Loop Closeure of Wrap Bracelet www.baublesandbeads.comStep #16: Tie the two sides of the leather into an overhand knot positioned the knot close to the final bead stitch.

Step #17: Leaving enough room to accommodate the size of the button on the opposite end, tie a second overhand knot with the leather cords. Check to make certain the button fits into the loop before tightening the loop.

Step #18: Cut the ends of the leather approximate ½” from the knot. Or string a couple embellishment beads onto the individual leather cords and make an additional knot to keep them in place.

TIP: Light-duty flush cutters are an excellent way to easily cut through heavy cording materials while providing for a clean cut. These light-duty cutters are traditionally used to cut through the silk cord through between knotted pearls. The flat side of the cutter provides protection from damaging the bead while the blades cut cleanly through the fibers. They are also excellent for cutting soft wire up to 18 gauge.

Beads And Leather Wrap BraceletTips & Tricks

Cutting Leather Cord for Additional Wraps: Additional wraps require using a longer length of leather cord, thread, and additional beads. A general guideline to cutting the appropriate leather length is as follows: 1 wrap: 24 inches, 2 wraps: 40 inches, each additional wrap will require an addition 12 inches of leather. Remember we all have different sized wrists; play it safe by using a bit more leather than required.

Using Small Hole Beads: Small hole beads are exciting and it can be hard to limit yourself to beads with large holes only. When selecting smaller hole beads a thinner thread is required. I like Superlon or Nymo Size D for their excellent color selection. You may also need to use a finer needle. We like to use a size #10 needle for Nymo and Superlon.

Adding a New Thread: When making bracelets with more than two wraps additional thread will be required to complete the project. If you are using large hole beads simply knot off the old threads, glue & cut. Add the new thread by feeding one end through the last bead stitched, centering the thread, and resume beading like nothing happened.

(Winner has been notified and Kathy was one lucky beader! Thanks everyone!)Win a kit of supplies to make the wrap bracelet pictured at the top of this DIY. Simply pen a comment below for your chance to win. Winner will be notified January 5th, 2016. Good Luck!!!

DIY: Leather & Chain Kumihimo Braid

KumihimoBracelets1 BaublesAndBeads.comAncient technique meet contemporary materials in this great Kumihimo braided bracelet design. Mixing leather and chain has never been so easy; add a flashy clasp and 30 minutes from now you will have yourself a new favorite bracelet. A bit of wire wrapping experience is helpful to get professional looking results but the braid itself is super easy when using the handy braiding disk.Kumihimo Braid Materials Baubles & Beads

Securing the First Side of Cords & ChainSecuring Cords Baubles & BeadsStep 1: Cut all cords and chains to length.

Step 2: Tie an overhand knot at the center point in each of the leather cords.

Step 3: Using a length of the wire, feed the wire through the center of the knot on the cords and the center link of the chains. Position the cords & chain about 3” from the end of the wire.

Step 4: Cross over the two sides of the wire directly above the cords and chain. Secure the cord & chain to the wire by wrapping the short wire end around the longer tightly, two times. Cut the short wire tail flush against the wraps. The ends are now secured.

Wire Wrapping the End Cap in PlaceWireWrappingEnds Baubles&Beads

Step 5: Feed an end cap onto the end of the wire, hiding the wire connection.

Step 6: Feed on a daisy spacer bead for embellishment (optional).

Step 7: Make a wire wrapped loop on the end of the wire. (Later we will connect the clasp with jump rings.) Cut the remaining wire flush against the wire wrap.

Preparing the Cords and Chains for Braiding
There are four large black dots on the disk. These dots signify the starting position of each of the cords & chains. Our braiding material will be split up into 2 pairs of cords and 2 pairs of chains that will be positioned opposite of each other. Notice how the braiding disk has little slots that are numbered, while braiding we will moving along the disk in a counter clockwise fashion.StartingPointofBraid Baubles & BeadsStep 8: Position the secured end into the center of the disk, pointing away from you, and divide the cords and chain into pairs.

Step 9: Position the cords into the slots beside the top and bottom dots.

Step 10: Position the chains into the slots beside the dots on both sides.

Braiding the Cords & Chains
When braiding, try to maintain a consistent tension. The resulting braid should be centered in the middle of the disk hole. The resulting braid will be very tight and will require loosening for accurate length measurement.Step11-12 Baubles & BeadsStep 11: Bring the top right cord downward and position it into the bottom right slot of the disk.

Step 12: Bring the bottom left cord upward and position it into the top left slot of the disk. Turn the disk one quarter turn to the left (clockwise).Step13-14 Baubles & BeadsStep 13 Bring the top right chain downward and position it into the bottom right slot of the disk.

Step 14: Bring the bottom left chain upward and position it into the top left slot of the disk. Turn the disk one quarter turn to the left (clockwise).

Step 15: Repeat Steps 11-14 until your braid measures approximately 2.5 inches in length. Always complete the braid with the chains crossing over.LoosenTheBraid Baubles & BeadsStep 16: With the braid still positioned on the braiding disk, gently roll the braid between your fingers to loosen it. It should nearly double in length depending on the tension of the braid. The clasp and findings take up a lot of length in this design. An 8 inch bracelet is made up of about 5.25 inches of braid, ideal for a 6.5 inch wrist. Adjust the length of the braid to fit your needs.

Securing the 2nd Side of the BraidSteps18-20 Baubles & BeadsStep 17: Keep the braid on the disk. Tie the top right cord and the bottom right cord together into a tight double knot. Tie the two remaining cords together in the same way. Apply glue to both of the knots and allow the glue to dry.

Step 18: Cut the ends of the leather cords against the knots. Apply a bit of glue to the cut ends for added strength. Give the glue time to dry.

Step 19: Remove the chains from the braiding disk. Gather all four chains upward, above the leather cord knots.Finishing2ndSide BaublesAndBeads.comStep 20: Using a length of the wire, feed the wire through one link of each chain directly above the knots. Cut off the excess chain.

Step 21: Position the chains about 3” from the end of the wire. Bend the wire in half where the chains are attached to the wire. Secure the chain to the wire by wrapping the short wire end around the longer wire tightly, two times. Cut the short wire tail flush against the wraps. All ends are now secured.

Step 22: Repeat Steps 5-7 to position the end cap in place.AttachTheClasp BaublesAndBeads.comStep 23: Connect the clasp to the wire wrapped loops with jump rings.

Hooray! You’ve made your first Kumihimo braid. For your next project may we suggest using all leather or all chain in contrasting colors.

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!!

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 (Alternatively you can use any round 6mm bead to replace the spikes)
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!

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