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 -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!!

Customizing Vintage Style Stampings

Options: it’s why we all like to make jewelry. A lot of people ask us what you are supposed to do with stampings that have no hole. To that we say punch one! It all started when Heather made a pair of earrings using our Baroque Flower Stamping. So how does one make a stamping into a customized component? It’s pretty simple…. you will need a marker, some stampings or a metal blank, and hole punching pliers.

Use a marker to mark where the desired hole will be made.

Use a marker to mark where the desired hole will be made.

Position the tip of the hole punching pliers on top of the mark and squeeze.

Position the tip of the hole punching pliers on top of the mark and squeeze.

And easy as pie, you now have a custom placed embellishment hole!

And easy as pie, you now have a custom placed embellishment hole!

Add a few more holes and some bead embellishment to create a one of a kind design.

Add a few more holes and some bead embellishment to create a one of a kind design.

Here is another example using a Pine Cone Spray Stamping to make a pendant. It’s interesting how we all perceive things differently – I would have made my holes so that the pine cones pointed downward. I guess I have a new project on my hands! 🙂 PineConeSprayHere I used a 6 Petal Flower Stamping and folded the petals downward over the sides of the bead. Many stampings are soft enough that they can be manipulated by hand or with the aid of tools. This allows for yet another customization of your designs.BeadCapAnd now… well worth all the scrolling is my favorite store sample made by Kathleen Hazard, a former instructor and store manager.  This centerpiece is made using our Detailed Angel Wings Stamping.  She made 18 holes in the piece and then used jump rings to attach two lengths of 2mm double link rolo chain to each hole. I love this sample so much that I am hoarding it. It’s currently hanging on the wall right next to my desk!samplechainnecklace

Check Out Our Favorite Style Blog

One of the perks of working in a bead store is that inspiration often just walks right up to you. I have been following the DIY projects of Honestly…WTF’s blog for a while now and just love, love, love her style. In addition to jewels she also has tutorials on some nifty crafty projects.

-BeadShopGirl

Shell Earrings

How To Attach A Clasp With Crimp Beads

brac12

Tools Needed
Crimping pliers
Chain nose pliers
Flush cutter

Materials Needed
Beads!
2 Crimp Beads
2 Crimp Bead Covers
1 Clasp
Soft Flex in a size that fits through the hole of the beads

We recommend the following to select your size:
Very Fine (.010″) – Precious stone or very small holed beads
Fine (.014″) – Semi-precious stone beads & pearls
Medium (.019″) – Glass beads
Heavy (.024″) – Heavy large-holed beads and metal.

Attach the First Side of The Clasp

Step 1: Cut a piece of Soft Flex wire 3 inches longer than the desired finished length.
Step 2: String on a crimp bead followed by one side of the clasp.
Step 3: Feed the Soft Flex wire back through the crimp bead trapping the clasp on the resulting loop.
Step 4: Push the crimp bead close to the clasp, keeping enough room for the clasp to move freely. (The loop of Soft Flex might be about as big as the crimp.)

claspcrimp1      claspcrimp2

Take a closer look at the jaws of the crimping pliers. There are two crimping stations. The inner one has a dimple in the center, this dents the crimp bead and is used first. The second section is oval shaped and is used to fold the crimp bead over itself, this section is used second.

crimpingplier

Step 5: Insert the crimp into the inner section and squeeze the tool until the crimp is dented inward.
Step 6: Turn the crimp on its edge (a quarter turn to the left or right) and crimp it again using the outer station of the pliers.
For added security, we recommend squeezing the crimp a final time with chain nose pliers.

crimp2     crimp2     crimp3

String on your beads!
If the holes in the beads allow you to tuck the tail of the Soft Flex under a few beads, do so. If not, cut the wire with the flush cutter as close as you can to the crimp.

buryends

Attach The Second Side of The Clasp

The second crimp is secured using the same techniques as the first crimp.

Step 1: String on a crimp bead followed by the second side of the clasp.
Step 2: Feed the Soft Flex wire back through the crimp bead trapping the clasp on the resulting loop.
Step 3: Pull the excess wire until the crimp is positioned between the final bead and the clasp with no excess wire showing except the loop that the clasp is attached to. Be careful at this step to allow for proper tension, although you don’t want excess wire to show, you also don’t want the wire to be too tight.
Step 4: Crimp the crimp bead using the crimping pliers and chain nose pliers to secure it in place.
Step 5: Trim excess Soft Flex wire close to the crimp or bead.

2ndend    crimptrim

Add A Crimp Bead Cover
Crimp bead covers are optional but provide a professional finish.
Step 1: Place a crimp bead cover around the crimp bead
Step 2: Gently squeeze the crimp bead cover closed with chain nose pliers until it forms into a rounded ball.

pliercrimpcover     braccrimpcover2     braccrimpcover

Wear, gift, & repeat!

DIY -Woven Chain Mesh Bracelet

This bracelet feels so good around the wrist! It is easily customized by adding more or less strands of chain, our favorite width is made up of 7 strands.

finished4

Tools Needed

Twisted Wire Needle
Hypo Tube Cement
Scissors
Chain Nose Pliers

Materials Needed

A materials kit is available Here

2 Feet 3mm Rolo Chain
2 Yards .8mm Chinese Knotting Cord
4 4mm Jump Rings, 18ga thickness
1 Toggle Clasp

Weaving the Chain Mesh

Step 1: Cut the chain into four equal lengths of 6 inches, don’t worry if the chains are off by a few links from cutting.

Step 2: Place the twisted wire needle onto the cord end. Using the needle, feed the cord through the 2nd link of each chain length. Leave a 4 inch tail to be woven in later.

Step 3: Using the needle, feed the cord into the 3rd link of each chain. Make certain the chain strands do not twist when weaving the cord in place. Each row of links should rest in the same direction across the row, alternating with the row above.

Step 4: Continue weaving the cord through the links of each successive row until the desired length is achieved; usually about 5 1/2″ of mesh weave. Do not weave the cord through the final row of links just yet.

Feed the cord through the links of the chain, one row at a time.

Feed the cord through the links of the chain, one row at a time.

Attaching the Clasp

Step 5: Using chainnose pliers, open a jump ring and feed it through the two center chain links. Close the ring tightly so that the ends of the ring are flush.

Step 6: Open a new jump ring and connect it to the jump ring of the previous step and the ring on the clasp. Close the ring securely.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 5 & 6 to attach the clasp on the opposite side of the woven mesh.

chainmesh22

Attach the clasp with jump rings to the two center chain links.

Securing the Cord Ends

Step 8: Using the needle, feed the cord through the 1st row of chain links. Secure it in place by feeding it back through both the 2nd and then the 3rd row.

Step 9: Cut the cord flush against the chain mesh. Apply a dab of Hypo-Tube cement glue to the cord end to glue it in place and keep the ends from fraying.

Weave the cord back through several rows and glue in place.

Weave the cord back through several rows and glue in place.

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