Blog for Beaders

A creative place to share jewelry making information, ideas, and inspiration! Hosted by Artbeads


Entries from November 2011

Fun With Ring Top Embellishments!

November 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Here’s a fun new way to show the world your creative side with one of these fabulous rings! In anticipation of our newest ring toppers made for using with blank rings, our designers decided to create their own cool pieces! With a variety of shapes to choose from there’s no end to the colorful and personalized possibilities. Family photos, magazine clippings, fabric or paper scraps, cool postage stamps, comic book images…you name it, you can seal it in resin and wear on a ring. That’s just the beginning! With a charm and a dab of glue you can add dimension and more interest. We’ll show you how to complete your look in just three easy steps!

But first—and most important—decide which style of topper you like best and choose your image. Keep in mind the image you want to use and pick a shape that will work with it. You can then reduce your size with an image editing program like PhotoShop if needed. Now that you’ve decided which piece to work with, let’s get started…

Step One

After you print your image, lay a generous piece of wide cellophane (Scotch) tape across the back of the image. Smooth out any air bubbles with a popsicle stick or similar tool. Turn it over and repeat with a second piece of tape over the picture. Again, smooth out any bubbles. This will protect the image and keep the ink from running. You should now have an image sandwiched between layers of tape.

Trim your image to fit the ring topper frame. You may find it helpful to trace the frame border with a pencil, and then lay a separate sheet of blank paper over it and rub with the popsicle stick. This will trace the outline of your frame onto the blank paper that you can in turn cut and then place atop your image, making it easier to trim your picture to fit. Cut around the pattern, lay it over your taped image and then trim it to fit.

Extra Special Step

While you could use the topper as it is, we can’t leave anything plain! We used some Tulip Red Gilders Paste on our heart-shaped frame to give it a special touch. Do this step before you go any further, and be sure to allow twenty-four hours to dry completely. You can read our Handy Tip on how to use Gilders Paste if you need more help.

Step Two

Now the messy part! We used Gel de Soleil and a UV lamp to cure it. Another product you could use would be ICE Resin®. The Gel du Soleil was chosen because there is no mixing or waste, and the UV lamp cures the resin in fifteen minutes so there’s no time to wait.

With your trimmed background image in place in its frame, pour the Gel du Soleil slowly and carefully over the picture. You can watch a Handy Tip video about using resin available in the Learning Center if you need more help with this process. Allow this to dry or “cure”.

Extra Special Step

Add rhinestones or charms to embellish your piece and make it your own! These extra touches can also come in handy should a bubble spoil your resin—just glue a flatback on it! Some E6000 glue or two-part epoxy would be perfect for attaching components.

Step Three

The final step is gluing your ring topper to the desired ring. We recommend using sand paper to scuff the shiny surface of the blank ring prior to gluing. Apply two-part epoxy or E6000 on the topper back and carefully place it onto the ring base.

Now you’re ready to sport your new style! Play with your favorite colors and themes to create cool ideas for every occasion. You can even make personalized gifts for loved ones, too! Get your hands on our new ring top embellishments and blank rings and get inspired to design.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · New Product Introductions

A Victorian Christmas from the Learning Center

November 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Give your tree the nostalgic memories from winters past with this adorable ornament. The classic image of the ice skater combines with the antique oval pendant and the gorgeous Swarovski crystal rounds to create a work of art that is sure to become a holiday tradition! This simple idea is available in our Learning Center, along with over 900 other free jewelry making ideas and crafts—all with step-by-step instructions and a list of components so you can make your own! Learn how to make a holiday tree ornament that makes a wonderful gift or cherished addition to your tree.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas

What is Britannium?

November 29th, 2011 · 2 Comments

You may have heard some of your favorite jewelry components being made of britannium, or Britannia metal, but do you know what it is? Artbeads is here to inform you on what you may be wearing in your designs!

Britannia metal is a pewter-type alloy that is popular for its rich silver color. This metal alloy is comprised mainly of tin, about 93%, but also contains 5% antimony and 2% copper. First produced in 1769, britannium was first known as “Vickers White Metal” by manufacturers Ebenezer Hancock and Richard Jessop. After the discovery of electroplating with silver, this was used as the base metal for silver-plated household goods.

This lead-free material is highly popular! The Oscar statues given out for the Academy Awards are made from britannium plated with gold. Next time you wear your favorite britannium pieces, you could think of clutching your own Oscar!

So, essentially, this material is made from lead-free pewter. You can check out some of our popular lead-free pewter jewelry supplies now and start creating your own unique designs!


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Tags: Ask The Experts · Beader's Resource

Nunn Design Inspiration Winner!

November 28th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Congratulations to Carrie G. for winning our Nunn Design Inspiration Giveaway! She will receive an awesome prize package that includes a cool collection of some of our newest pieces from Nunn Design exclusively from Becky Nunn. We hope she has fun with her prize and finds the right inspiration for her next project. You can read her comment below. Thank you all for participating in our giveaway! We always enjoy learning where our customers find inspiration for their ideas. Stay tuned to read about our next contest coming soon!

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Tags: Just For Fun!

Black Friday Special

November 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Every year on this day, thousands of frantic shoppers race to the stores to get the best deals on gifts for the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year can sometimes turn into a nightmare if you get caught up in the Black Friday epidemic on the streets. Thanksgiving has marked the beginning of the holiday season in America since the 19th century, and retailers have clung to this idea for market value. Although the term “Black Friday” originally referred to the stock market panic on September 24, 1864, set off by a drop in the price of gold, these two words have now become synonymous with one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The justification of the term came from the black ink mark left on accounting reports for retailers when they made a profit—or the black mark on a shopper’s credit score for getting too much in debt.

This year for Black Friday, shop from the comfort of your own home and order online! We’ve got a massive 20% off storewide sale happening through the holiday weekend so you can save big on your favorite jewelry making and crafting supplies. Whether you want to give everyone homemade presents this year or are in need of a cool buy for an avid artist, has what you need! Use the coupon code ZZSAVE20 when you check out to get the 20% off savings.
If you want to greet everyone this year with handmade holiday treats, get inspiration from our collection of over 900 free ideas for jewelry making and crafts in the Learning Center. Find something to make everyone, from Grandchildren to a hard-to-shop-for friend. Check out our favorite holiday jewelry ideas and winter-themed crafts to make this year.

Looking for a handmade gift your friend can make something with? Try some of our handmade lampwork glass beads or Russian artist beads. Our lampwork glass beads are each made by hand with unique styles, shapes and colors. Their delicate glass components make them that much more special when used in a design. Or, browse our collection of hand-painted Russian artist beads! These magnificent works of art are crafted by the hands of skilled Russian artists who use solid gemstones as their canvas. Using only the finest hairs on a brush, these artists illustrate wonderfully detailed images onto a bead that makes a nice gift for anyone.

You can find so much more on our site to complete your holiday shopping. With our friendly customer service available seven days a week, we will be here to answer any questions you may have.

Information Source:

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Tags: Beader's Resource · Company News

iWanna iPad2 Giveaway

November 24th, 2011 · 4 Comments

This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winner!

Don’t miss out on your chance to win a brand new Apple iPad2 with Wi-Fi and 16GB in our iWanna iPad2 Giveaway! One big winner will be randomly selected to receive this awesome prize. Every avid jewelry designer should have an iPad2! From organizing projects to researching your favorite pieces, this device is perfect for the artist on the go. Use it to browse the Web and shop for fantastic Artbeads products, research hot trends in our Learning Center or get helpful how-to’s from our Handy Tip Videos. Enter now by visiting our official contest page. If you made Santa’s nice list you might just win this gift for yourself!

No purchase or obligation necessary to enter or win iPad2 Giveaway. Limit 1 entry per person. Open only to legal residents of the United States (excluding residents of Puerto Rico) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 18 or older as of November 24, 2011. See Official Rules for complete details. Void where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes ends on December 24, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. Winner to be announced on Christmas Day, December 25, 2011. Total prize value $499.00.


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Tags: Just For Fun!

Marilyn Monroe – A Diamond’s Best Friend

November 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

Photo Source: public domain clipart.

To help celebrate the new movie My Week with Marilyn about Marilyn Monroe, in theaters this holiday weekend, today we pay tribute to the woman in focus. Marilyn Monroe was definitely a style icon, from her glamorous dresses to the jewelry she wore in films and made famous. Many often think of Marilyn as having an enormous collection of designer jewelry, but in fact most of what she owned was costume jewelry.

There were two sides to this style icon: the parts she played on-screen as a diamond-dripping diva and her private role as a more modest lady. Let’s examine both.

Photo Source: wp clipart.

The iconic image of Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes sums up what we often think of when we think Marilyn. After the successful film, she helped promote fine jewelry lines by wearing their pieces. She continued to be a fashion and beauty icon in films such as There’s No Business like Show Business and Some Like it Hot. You can replicate her stunning style with the help of either dazzling Swarovski crystals or clear cubic zirconiapieces. You can learn how to make a necklace or get started making jewelry by visiting the Learning Center for free jewelry making ideas with step-by-step instructions.

Photo Source:

Although she was loaned many stylish pieces for her various appearances and promotions, her personal collection only consisted of a platinum and diamond eternity ring and a pearl necklace—both given to her by her husband, Joe DiMaggio. Her eternity band was set with 35-baguette diamonds and sold for $772,500 to an anonymous bidder. The 16-inch strand of 44 Mikimoto pearls was just as glamorous. If you feel inspired by the real Marilyn, strand your own pearl necklace with some of our freshwater pearls or elegant Swarovski Crystal Pearls for a remarkable accessory. Even though her personal collection of fine jewelry was minimal, Marilyn’s jewelry mainly consisted of costume jewelry. Costume jewelry is still a fine addition to anyone’s jewelry box, whether you’re a movie screen starlett or everyday woman.

Information Source: diamond legends.


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Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Nunn Design Inspirations!

November 22nd, 2011 · 8 Comments

In celebration of our collection on new products, our designers were inspired to come up with their own jewelry ideas. The cool winter months of the upcoming holiday season is what helped inspire these designs, too! Check out these two simple designs you can make with some of our newest products!

Sometimes in the winter months it’s hard to stay happy. The cool weather and shorter days can seem to put us in a sour mood, where we just want to stay inside. This Bee Happy necklace helps lift our spirits during the long season. Its cute focal is made using a Nunn Design large oval bee tag link, stamped with Posh alphabet letter metal stamps and finished with a mini silver-plated toggle clasp with flower accents.

The pendant also features lovely black and yellow Swarovski crystals with wrapped loops made from sterling silver head pins attached to the bee tag link using a spring ring. This makes it easy to interchange color patterns so you can wear this necklace all year long!

Gone away is the blue bird, but this cheerful sight can stay with you for winter with this Fly necklace. The Nunn Design small circle bird charm is decorated using a metal stamping technique with some of our new alphabet letter metal stamps in an Elegant style.

This charm is accented by darling Swarovski crystals, including one of the newest colors—Denim Blue. Two Crystal pendants are attached together to one jump ring and a Denim Blue pendant to another and both jump rings are attached to a closed jump ring. The accent pieces are all threaded onto a royal blue silk ribbon, with everything held in place using silver-filled round beads.


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Tags: Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Nunn Design Inspiration Giveaway

November 21st, 2011 · 348 Comments

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Carrie G! View the winner by reading our Winner blog post.

We’re super excited to bring you a special prize for our next giveaway! Becky Nunn from Nunn Design has given us a special prize package from her new Elements of Inspiration line of jewelry findings, including keepsake pendants and other fun components. This is a great chance for you to nab some cool new products from one of our favorite collections!

Leave a comment below explaining what inspires your designs this holiday season to enter the giveaway. One winner will be randomly chosen to win.

This giveaway begins today, November 21, 2011, and ends Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 11:59PM PT. Only one comment per person; must be 18 or older to enter. This contest is void where prohibited by law and open to US and Canada residents only excluding Quebec. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Prize valued at $75. No purchase necessary. Winner will be announced Monday, November 28, 2011.


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Tags: Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Dark Romance Giveaway Winner

November 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment

Congratulations to Shannon, a True Blood Eric fan, for winning the Dark Romance Giveaway! We want to thank everyone who participated in this fun giveaway. It was great to read all of the dreamy vampires and reminisce about our favorite vampire shows and stories. You can read about Shannon’s dream date vampire below.

Stay tuned for our next contest coming soon!

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Tags: Just For Fun!

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