It all starts with an idea. A little spark inside your heart moves to your mind, quickly relaying impulses to your fingers to get designing. You compile every piece, every component, together on your table and lay them out in a pattern. Sometimes you put things back, other times you smile at the idea that is soon to be real. But is something missing? You pull a small charm out of a drawer, one you’ve been saving for just the right piece. You place it in your pattern, and like a puzzle piece, it fits perfectly!
Okay, not all of our designs get to take this beautiful journey. But, with the right jewelry charm, any idea can come together. How do you find the perfect charm? It depends on three key factors: who it is for, what the occasion is, and what kind of design will it be a part of. Let’s break down each of these.
Who it is For
If you’re making a design for someone you know, try and use a charm that matches that person’s personality. If they’re a cat lover, try using a cute cat charm. You could even use alphabet beads to spell out a special message that only you two would know. There are a number of different charms, so zero in on what about them you want to highlight. If it’s a design for you, then determine what this piece is going to mean to you.
What the Occasion is
This may help narrow down the perfect charm, too. If you’re making a design for Christmas, find your favorite Christmas charms. If it’s for a birthday, spell out the name or use a picture frame charm to capture a memory.
What Kind of Design Will it be a Part of
This one’s simple: Are you making a bracelet, necklace, earrings or using the charm in a crafting project? You don’t want to use a big charm that practically looks like a pendant on a single-stranded bracelet, so determining the type of design will help narrow down your charm selection.
These helpful tips are merely suggestions, and we do encourage you to think outside the box. If you want to put a Christmas charm on a friendship bracelet that’s great! The best part about making jewelry yourself is that you get to decide what it looks like. If you’re still stumped and searching for a starting point, browse our Learning Center for jewelry and craft ideas.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has made many people lose sight of what’s special about this time of the year. This year, instead of a gift purchased on impulse, give a gift from the heart: one made by loving hands that embraces its recipient in thoughtfulness and creates a lasting memory. We want to take you back to a time when gifts were more meaningful, when holiday family traditions were as much a gift as the box with the shiny bow. Our Holidays from the Heart series will provide you with gift ideas, decoration tips and more to prepare you for the most wonderful time of the year—full of good cheer and heartfelt traditions you can pass on to future generations. Each week until the end of December we will bring you inspiration for heartfelt gifts, fun family projects and party hosting.
Start getting into the holiday spirit with ideas that take minutes to make! You’ll be ready to start sipping cider while designing by the fire with our creative suggestions. Let’s start by personalizing a design for every special someone in the simplest way—with a charm.
Gift Charms for a Happy Holiday
Greet guests with a warm cup of cocoa or apple cider in a cozy mug accented with a charm! This tiny accent is perfect for your holiday parties or as a gift for someone special. Create cute holiday-themed pieces using our holiday charms or personalize them with charms to represent each family member with a cute animal or symbol. Make mug charms or wine charms that are sure to be conversation starters at your next party.
A Gift for Kids or for the Kid in You
Make a darling charm bracelet for the little ones in your life with their favorite animals and colors, using this charm bracelet idea as inspiration. Jewelry that jingles and jangles will delight kids and the wearable gift will make a lasting memory. Pass on the project—let the kids get in on the fun by letting them pick out charms that they want to use to make a present for Grandma, Aunt or cousin. You can pretty it up with colorful crystal beads thread onto head pins and finish with wrapped loops.
A Gift to Inspire
Share the holiday spirit with jewelry for someone special, like this rosary bracelet. A gift of encouragement and inspiration is a gentle reminder of the importance of prayer, and you can make your gift special by using beads in soothing colors or findings in precious metal. Spiritual gifts carry with them something more than words can say, especially when it’s handmade and comes from someone with love.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy and slightly spooky project, try our Haunted Pumpkin Earrings. These cute chandelier-style earrings feature sterling silver components that are complemented with just enough color for a tricky treat! Read our free instructions on how to make Halloween earrings in the Learning Center, and don’t forget to browse our fun Halloween page for more Halloween jewelry supplies and ideas.
Free-flowing lines, organic shapes and bold coloring are the perfect blend for a timeless design movement—Art Nouveau. This artistic style began in Europe during the late 19th century that took influences from nature, although the forms take on a more abstract journey. Literally meaning “new art” in French, this movement is best known for its use of organic shapes and dramatic, curving lines. You can find floral hints throughout its many forms expressed through paintings, glassware, furniture and architecture. The 20th century brought the geometric Art Deco movement, distilling the Art Nouveau influence in western cultures; however, Art Nouveau continues to be popular in Europe and has become the influence for jewelry in western culture.
Art Nouveau jewelry puts a spin on the movement with the use of handcrafted silver pieces and nature-themed components. Popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Art Nouveau jewelry included themes like flowers, birds and plants. The jewelry is meant to demonstrate a piece of wearable art more than a piece of fashion.
You can find Art Nouveau jewelry in various forms and interpretations, but the common theme you’ll find is fluid and organic. See if you can find the Art Nouveau influence in your designs.
Are you ready for Oktaboerfest? In anticipation for this weekend’s festivities kickoff we’re here to show you some cool new design guides from SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. Whether you want a show a little German love or celebrate with massive style, you’ll find an idea that creates just the right amount of eye appeal. Browse each link below to view the PDF file.
Ready for fall? It officially begins this weekend, so make sure your outfits are primed for pumpkin spice latte sips and leaf pile jumps. Watch our new video below or view our 2012 Fall Trends page to find the style that’s right for you!
Welcome to International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Yes, September 19 has become the permanent date for this fun holiday. John Baur and Mark Summers created the concept of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on June 6, 1995. While playing racquetball, they began to talk to each other in Pirate-speak”. After leaving the court, they decided that there was a need to create this day. After much thought, Mark Summers selected September 19th as the date. This was his wife’s birthday. So, he thought it would be an easy date to remember. And so, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was born.
Get your hands on some booty and make a quick idea for the celebration. Stock up on all things pirate at Artbeads!
Let out your inner pirate and see how long you can stay in pirate speak! Here’s a quick pirate joke for you:
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?…………..Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Celebrate nutrition and the most important meal of the day all month long! September is Better Breakfast Month, a time to focus on your favorite breakfast meals and what you can do to make it better. Incorporate craft and jewelry ideas into your celebration for more fun. Make a necklace with cutouts of your favorite cereal boxes or create instructional tips on following the food pyramid. Get the kids involved and ask them what they like for breakfast! Give them a project to collect pictures of their favorite breakfast for a collage. There are dozens of ways to make sure you have a better breakfast all year long.
Explore how to bring new life to old components, like our designers did in this Violet Victoria necklace. Using Gilders Paste and Swarovski crystals they turned an antique brass-plated piece into an elegant design. Learn how you can recreate this idea or put your own twist on it with the free jewelry instructions in our Learning Center.