Blog for Beaders

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

beads



Whether you’re looking for how-to videos, places to find new jewelry trends or information on how to best sell your jewelry, this section is exactly what you need. We hope each post makes your life as a beader a little easier.


Bead Storage Solutions

June 2nd, 2016 · 2 Comments

Experienced beaders and novices alike are always trying to find great ways to store their jewelry-making supplies. Whether you work in your own studio or take some space on your kitchen table for designing, it’s easier to work when your supplies are organized, easy to access and visible! Elizabeth Ward came up with the Bead Storage Solutions system with all of these factors in mind.

Bead Storage Solutions tray

These trays feature removable clear containers in a variety of sizes. The containers close individually and can slide around within the tray, meaning you can group your components however you want and move them with ease if you need to rearrange! The tray also comes with a clear lid, which will keep the smaller containers in place if traveling (and you’ll still be able to see your beads). A sheet of labels is included with the 45-piece Bead Storage Solutions assorted storage tray set and the 82-piece tiny container storage tray, so you can keep everything organized. Here’s a tip for easy labeling: use the sticker from your Artbeads order! Just take the label off of your order bag and place it on the lid of the container you want to use.

We love this system and so do our customers! Here’s what Artbeader “piasm” has to say:

My bead collection has grown rapidly, and with each wave of new beads, I invent new ways to store them…This compact, sturdy unit has, so far, been a delight. All of my 15/0 and 11/0 beads are now stored compactly in 3 stacking units that sit right beside me at my work area, making it an ease to mix and design. These clear little containers, that open and close in a snap…take up a mere fraction of the space. My work space tends to get crawling with beads of a hundred types between designing and trying different techniques and projects, but this setup seems to keep my space so tidy and prevents runaway beads. The tray cover adds to tidiness by preventing dust (and cat hair) from settling between work sessions.

Artbeader Carole loves the storage system because “it’s neat, compact and easy to find what I’m looking for.” Take a look at how she’s using her Bead Storage Solutions trays:

Carole's Bead Storage Solutions Trays

All of her beads are easy to see and perfectly organized!

Artbeader Rael loves the system because the containers are “easy to grip to remove from their tray…Each little container is securely locked and slides into place and then they are covered by a locking lid for extra security.” Rael not only uses the locking lid for extra security – she thinks it makes a nice extra bead tray while you’re working, too! Here’s another tip from Rael on how to use those labels: “I’ve used the stickers that come with the box to write the size and color. I keep a sticky note inside the lid to write down the colors I am short of.”

Bead Storage Solutions Tray

You can purchase the Bead Storage Solutions tray and containers separately to mix and match the storage options you need for your stash! Find tiny, small, medium and large containers that slide right into any Bead Storage Solutions tray! containers

Artbeader “RagdollMama” loves these containers: “The flip top on these containers is so secure but easy to open and durable enough that if you drop a container it doesn’t shatter or spill the contents all over the floor!”

It’s clear that these trays are the way to go if you want an organized work space! Now you can add to your system with the Bead Storage Solutions work in progress tray.

Bead Storage Solutions Work in Progress Tray

This tray includes a bead design board and a foam bead design board cover. With this tray, you can take your works in progress on the go and they will stay secure between beading sessions! Since this tray is the same size as the other trays in the system, it is stackable. You can easily add it to your system.

Try out the Bead Storage Solutions trays for yourself and see how they can keep your beads in order, while still allowing your creativity to flow! Already using the Bead Storage Solutions system? Leave a product review to let us know how you like them or share with us on our Facebook page.

Save

Save

Save

[Read more →]

Tags: Artbeads.com Customer Product Reviews · Beader's Resource · New Product Introductions · Top Rated Products · Top Rated Products & Reviews

Making Mini Beaded Chairs

April 18th, 2016 · No Comments

Mini Beaded Chairs

Beads are fun to play with, whether you are making jewelry, home decor or some other kind of craft. Artbeads recently discovered the art of making miniature chairs with beads thanks to Noreen M, an Artbeads.com customer. Noreen has made many beaded chairs over the years and now her goal is to revive miniature beaded chair art by sharing the instructions and diagrams she has spent hours and hours creating. Here is Noreen’s story on how she got started making these cute little chairs:

In the 1950s, when I was a child, my mother made miniature chairs about 3 inches tall using seed beads and thin wire. I still own a few chairs and a sofa she made. There’s no way of knowing how she learned to make them, but my guess is she found instructions in a crafting magazine. She used to buy magazines with instructions for crochet and embroidery items and I remember many, many issues of McCall’s magazine. I still remember cutting out the Betsy McCall paper dolls out of every issue. My grandmother did a lot of crafts, so it’s possible my mom found instructions in a magazine that was published before the 50s.

After making many beaded bracelets and necklaces, I looked at my mom’s beaded chairs and thought it would be fun to give it a try. But, I had no instructions. I love a challenge. I love puzzles. And, what a challenge it would be to solve the little beaded puzzles. I made a drawing of one of her chairs. Then I tried to duplicate the drawing using a continuous line. After working on it for hours, starting over and over, I gave up and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up and my brain instantly resumed working on the puzzle. I laid there imagining where I left off the previous night, when all of a sudden I realized that at one point I needed to go in a different direction. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my puzzle and bam! I was right!!

Using the drawing, over 4 feet of continuous wire and about 500 beads, I successfully completed my first chair…I’ve made many chairs, given them to friends and enjoyed the smiles of surprise. Two of my friends are now making chairs and one of them is going to teach the art to her daughter.

Today on the Artbeads blog, we are sharing Noreen’s instructions and diagrams with you, so you can start making these chairs for yourself. They make wonderful accents in doll houses and would even look cute in a fairy garden. Use the instructions below to get started!

Free Instructions: Mini Beaded Chairs

Chair 1 Instructions

Materials Needed:

25 Large 6/0 Beads

592 Small 11/0 Seed Beads

4 feet of 26 gauge stainless steel wire

Wire Cutters

Needle-Nose PliersCHAIR 1 Diagram

 

Refer to the Chair 1 Diagram to complete the design. On the diagram, large beads are marked with a letter. It is important to enter and exit large beads as shown.

Steps are indicated on the diagram by a number followed by a second number, which indicates the number of small beads used in that step. Example: 1-6 on the diagram means, “Step One – Add 6 small beads to the wire.”

Note: The first bead to be added to the wire is referred to as “large bead A”. The wire will pass through this bead five times. Therefore, it is wise to text the bead you choose. Cut five short pieces of wire (1-1 1/2″ will do). Put all five pieces of wire through the bead hole. If they are tight or don’t fit, pick another bead to start with.

To make the seat of the chair:

About a half of an inch from one end of the wire, make a small curl or simple loop to keep your beads from falling off. At the other end of the wire, begin adding beads. Add large bead A. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: add 6 small beads (referred to as small). Add large bead B.

Step 2: Add 4 small. Add large bead C.

Step 3: Add 4 small. Add large bead D.

Step 4: Add 4 small. Add large bead E.

Step 5: Add 4 small. Go through large bead B. The beads from step 1 and large bead A will now hang loose until you get to step 12.

Step 6: Add 6 small. Add large bead F.

Step 7: Add 6 small. Go through large bead C.

Step 8: Add 6 small. Add large bead G.

Step 9: Add 6 small. Go through large bead D.

Step 10: Add 6 small. Add large bead H.

Step 11: Add 6 small. Go through large bead E.

Step 12: Add 6 small. Go through large bead A.

Step 13: Add 4 small. Add large bead I.

Step 14: Add 4 small. Add large bead J.

Step 15: Add 4 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 16: Add 6 small. Add large bead K.

Step 17: Add 6 small. Go through large bead G.

Step 18: Add 14 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 19: Add 6 small. Add large bead L.

Step 20: Add six small. Go through large bead A.

To make the back and arms of the chair:

Note: Before proceeding, make sure you are holding the chair in the same direction as the diagram shows. If you don’t pay attention, you might end up with the seat of the chair upside down, which will cause problems in future steps.

Step 1: Add 3 small. Add large bead M.

Step 2: Add 16 small. Add large bead N.

Step 3: Add 10 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 4: Add 4 small. Go through large bead N.

Step 5: Add 4 small. Go through large bead L.

Step 6: Add 5 small. Go through large bead M.

Step 7: Add 6 small. Add large bead O.

Step 8: Add 12 small. Add large bead P.

Step 9: Add 18 small. Add large bead Q.

Step 10: Add 18 small. Add large bead R.

Step 11: Add 12 small. Add large bead S.

Step 12: Add 6 small. Add large bead T.

Step 13: Add 16 small. Add large bead U.

Step 14: Add 10 small. Go through large bead G.

Step 15: Add 4 small. Go through large bead U.

Step 16: Add 4 small. Go through large bead K.

Step 17: Add 5 small. Go through large bead T.

Step 18: Add 3 small. Go through large bead F.

Step 19: Add 8 small. Go through large bead S.

Step 20: Add 6 small. Go through large bead R.

Step 21: Add 21 small. Go through large bead P.

Step 22: Add 22 small. Go through large bead Q.

Step 23: Add 22 small. Go through large bead I.

Step 24: Add 21 small. Go through large bead P.

Step 25: Add 6 small. Go through large bead O.

Step 26: Add 8 small.

Now you can loosen your original stopper loop by large bead A. Bring the end of the wire through to the underside of large bead A to create the legs.

LEGS A

 

To make the legs of the chair:

Refer to the diagram for Legs A to complete these steps.

Step 1: Add 10 small. Add a large bead

Step 2: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 3: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 4: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 5: Add 10 small. Go through large bead F, which was added while making the seat.

Step 6: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 4.

Step 7: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 8: Add 10 small. Go through large bead G in the seat.

Step 9: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 7.

Step 10: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 7.

Step 11: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 12: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 13: Add 10 small. Go through large bead H in the seat.

Step 14: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 11.

Step 15: Add 14 small. Go through the large bead that was added in step 1.

Step 16: Add 10 small. Go through large bead A in the seat. If you find it difficult to bring the end of the wire through the bead because the end is bent out of shape, trim the end. This will make it easier to pass it through the bead.

To finish your chair, trim the end of the wire, leaving only a couple of inches. Straighten the loop at the other end of the wire. Pull tightly on both ends of the wire and twist the two ends together using needle nose pliers. Trim the twisted wire, leaving approximately 1/4 of an inch. Bend the wire end under large bead A to hide it.

If you want to make another style of beaded chair, try the one below!

Chair 2

Chair 2 Instructions

Materials Needed:

25 large 6/0 beads

553 Small 11/0 seed beads

3 feet and 9 inches of 26 gauge stainless steel wire

Wire Cutters

Needle-Nose Pliers

CHAIR 2 Diagram

To make the seat of the chair:

About a half of an inch from one end of the wire, make a small curl or simple loop to keep your beads from falling off. At the other end of the wire, begin adding beads. Add large bead A. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: add 6 small. Add large bead B.

Step 2: add 4 small. Add large bead C.

Step 3: Add 4 small. Add large bead D.

Step 4: Add 4 small. Add large bead E.

Step 5: Add 4 small. Go through large bead B. The beads added in step 1 and large bead A will now hang loose until you complete step 12.

Step 6: Add 6 small. Add large bead F.

Step 7: Add 6 small. Go through large bead C.

Step 8: Add 6 small. Add large bead G.

Step 9: Add 6 small. Go through large bead D.

Step 10: Add 6 small. Add large bead H.

Step 11: Add 6 small. Go through large bead E.

Step 12: Add 6 small. Go through large bead A.

Step 13: Add 4 small. Add large bead I.

Step 14: Add 4 small. Add large bead J.

Step 15: Add 4 small. Go through large bead F.

Step 16: Add 9 small. Add large bead K.

Step 17: Add 4 small. Go through large bead G.

Step 18: Add 14 small. Go through large bead H.

Step 19: Add 4 small. Add large bead L.

Step 20: Add 9 small. Go through large bead A.

To make the back and arms of the chair:

Note: Before proceeding, make sure you are holding the chair in the same direction as the diagram shows. If you don’t pay attention, you might end up with the seat of the chair upside down, which will cause problems in future steps.

Step 21: Add 14 small. Add large bead M.

Step 22: Add 6 small. Add large bead N.

Step 23: Add 6 small. Add large bead O.

Step 24: Add 6 small. Add large bead P.

Step 25: Add 6 small. Go through large bead M.

Step 26: Add 12 small. Go through large bead I.

Step 27: Add 9 small. Go through large bead J.

Step 28: Add 12 small. Add large bead Q.

Step 29: Add 6 small. Add large bead R.

Step 30: Add 6 small. Add large bead S.

Step 31: Add 6 small. Go through large bead N.

Step 32: Add 6 small. Go through large bead Q.

Step 33: Add 14 small. Go through large bead F.

Step 34: Add 3 small. Add large bead T.

Step 35: Add 7 small. Go through large bead K.

Step 36: Add 13 small. Go through large bead T.

Step 37: Add 17 small. Go through large bead R.

Step 38: Add 12 small. Go through large bead S.

Step 39: Add 16 small. Go through large bead O.

Step 40: Add 12 small. Go through large bead P.

Step 41: Add 17 small. Add large bead U.

Step 42: Add 13 small. Go through large bead L.

Step 43: Add 7 small. Go through large bead U.

Step 44: Add 3 small.

Now you can loosen your original stopper loop by large bead A. Bring the end of the wire through to the underside of large bead A to create the legs.

LEGS B

To make the legs of the chair:

Refer to the diagram for Legs B to complete these steps.

Step 1: Add 10 small. Add a large bead.

Step 2: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 3: Add 10 small. Go through large bead H in the chair seat.

Step 4: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 2.

Step 5: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 2.

Step 6: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 7: Add 18 small. Go through the last large bead added.

Step 8: Add 10 small. Go through large bead G in the seat.

Step 9: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 6.

Step 10: Add 14 small. Add a large bead.

Step 11: Add 10 small. Go through large bead F in the seat.

Step 12: Add 10 small. Go through the large bead added in step 10.

Step 13: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 10.

Step 14: Add 14 small. Go through the large bead added in step 1.

Step 15: Add 18 small. Go through the large bead added in step 1.

Step 16: Add 10 small. Go through large bead A in the seat. If you find it difficult to bring the end of the wire through the bead because the end is bent out of shape, trim the end. This will make it easier to pass it through the bead.

To finish your chair, trim the end of the wire, leaving only a couple of inches. Straighten the loop at the other end of the wire. Pull tightly on both ends of the wire and twist the two ends together using needle nose pliers. Trim the twisted wire, leaving approximately 1/4 of an inch. Bend the wire end under large bead A to hide it.

 

These are just two examples of the patterns for beaded chairs Noreen wants to share with the world. You can find even more pictures, diagrams, instructions and tips on her website: minibeadedchairs.myfreesites.net. She even has instructions for making beaded sofas and ottomans!

Finally, we leave you with some more tips for making these beaded chairs and other miniature furniture:

Wire Tips:

Stainless steel wire is the best choice for these chairs, as it is sturdy and offers good support. Beading wire is too soft to support your project and will cause the chair to be floppy. Brass wire will break if you get a bad kink or when twisting ends together. If you use colored or coated wire, the coating comes off as you are working with it.

Our wire straightening tool is very helpful when making beaded chairs, as kinks can develop in the wire while working with it.

Bead Tips:

A bead mat is very helpful, as it ensures your beads don’t roll around while working.

An 8g package of size 11/0 beads contains approximately 850 beads, plenty to create one chair.

Noreen prefers using TOHO seed beads for her chairs. Miyuki also makes 11/0 round seed beads. Try not to mix the two brands, as sizing could vary slightly between brands.

You can try Czech glass beads that are the same size as 6/0 beads, just make sure to check the hole size. You can use Czech glass beads on your chair in places where the wire passes through 3 times or less.

In any spot on any pattern where the wire only passes through the large bead twice, you can use size 8/0 seed beads. This can provide a more delicate look to your chair.

Chairs can be made smaller by reducing the number of beads used in each step of the diagrams. If you’d like a larger chair, Noreen doesn’t recommend increasing the number of beads, as this can cause the chair to be floppy. She has made larger chairs by using larger beads and 24 gauge wire.

When the chair is complete:

Your chair will need to be straightened and shaped by gently pulling on it. If you have a kink in a section of beaded wire which should be straight, you can lightly squeeze it with wooden kitchen tongs or between two popsicle sticks. Do not use metal tools for this, as they can easily break beads.

 

If you’ve made beaded chairs or have found another way to incorporate beads into your crafts, let us know in the comments below, or share a picture with us on our Facebook Page.

 

 

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun! · Share Your Stories

Making Jewelry and Crafts for the Holidays

December 12th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Holiday Ideas

December is well underway and holiday festivities have already begun! The weather has turned colder, Christmas decorations have sprung up and holiday cheer is in the air. There’s still time to make the season even merrier with jewelry and crafts you can make yourself! Let’s take a look at some of the holiday ideas you can find at Artbeads.com.

Sugar Plum Dreams Ornaments

If you’re looking for something simple to start with, our Sugar Plum Dreams ornaments are so easy to make! All you have to do is find some cardboard ornaments at your local craft store (or maybe you have some already stashed away) and decorate them with your favorite beads. Put them in place using adhesive. Artbeads Designer Cheri used seed beads and O beads for a festive display. If you want to make this idea really kid-friendly, lay out some seed beads, brush your ornament with glue and roll it around in the beads.

A Few Favorite Things Ornaments

Here are some more fabulous ornaments featuring seed beads! These beauties feature a netted weave of seed beads around them. A few Swarovski beads here and there really up the bling factor! The great thing about this idea is that you can easily customize the color palette to match ornaments you already have.

Joyeux Noel

We have lots of great jewelry ideas for Christmas, including this Joyeux Noel bracelet. Cheerful Blends from the Artbeads Designer Series provide a color palette full of Christmas spirit. We love the classic red and green colors and the simple design.

Forest Frost

Our Forest Frost necklace displays a more subtle Christmas color palette, one that can be worn throughout the winter. The Edelweiss focal and green triangle beads create a look of Christmas trees lining a frozen pond. It’s such a fun take on bead embroidery!

Christmas Kits

We also have a great selection of holiday jewelry kits, ready for you to start creating! These kits come with everything you need to make festive jewelry for the season. They’re great ideas for any craft parties you might be going to and always make wonderful stocking stuffers. These Artemis Christmas Tree earrings are a great way to get started.

Winter Jewelry Ideas

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, or simply want designs for winter, we have lots of other ideas for the season, too! Our Crystaletts Snowflake earrings are a great way to make a frosty debut in your style. The Swarovski snowflake pendant is full of wintery bling! If you celebrate Hanukkah, we also have lots of beads, charms and ideas perfect for the holiday.  The Festival of Lights earrings above feature our Happy Hanukkah Designer Seed Bead Blend, an Artbeads Designer Wire Blend in Hanukkah colors and twinkling Star of David charms.

Now that you have so much craft and jewelry inspiration for the holiday season, what will you be making? Maybe you’ve already started some seasonal projects. Let us know in the comments below or share with us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget, you can find even more inspiration on our Home for the Holidays Pinterest board.

Happy Holidays!

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Bead Crochet

November 14th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Crocheting with beads is a great way to add new fibers to your jewelry designs! From the very simple to beautifully complex, this technique is sure to keep you coming back for more. Take a look at what our designers have come up with and add this technique to your repertoire.

Let’s start with this Artbeads MiniVid demonstrating how to make a simple crochet chain with beads. This technique is so easy! Start by loading up your chosen beads onto the thread you want to use. We like using seed beads from our Artbeads Designer Blends because the color palettes are ready to go and fabulous. We also love Czech glass beads. You can use virtually any kind of bead you prefer, so long as it fits on the thread you are using. Our designer Cheri likes to use size 10 crochet thread and a size E (3.50mm) crochet hook. We also offer Miyuki crochet thread. These threads come in beautiful color waves that will inspire the colors of beads you use. Once you have your thread and beads picked out, follow the technique illustrated in the video above!

Once you have the technique mastered, there are many ways you can incorporate it into your jewelry designs.

Beaded Crochet Jewelry

Artbeads Designer Cheri Carlson’s simple Rosalie necklace features a single beaded crochet chain embellished with Swarovski pearls and bicones. This is a great look for a wedding and comes together so quickly. The soft crochet thread is comfortable to wear and flexible, too. Of course, you can customize the color palette for any occasion! Cheri’s Forest Path bracelet employs the same technique: she made a long beaded crochet chain and finished the end with a TierraCast button. The long strand can be wrapped around your wrist as a bracelet!

Esmeralda Necklace

You can really make this technique shine with a multi-strand necklace! Cheri created her Esmeralda necklace with five strands of beaded crochet chains. She mixed in Swarovski beads, seed beads and even some SuperUno beads for an unforgettable boho look. End caps make a nice finishing touch for this design. Try using end tubes, too!

Wire Crochet with Beads

You don’t have to stick to just threads when crocheting with beads. You can also experiment with wire! This method employs the same technique as above, but swaps out wire for crochet thread. Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura likes to use 26 gauge Artbeads Designer Wire, as it is flexible, easy to work with and available in a variety of colors. She used this wire in her Boardwalk Magic bracelet and her Sock Hop bracelets. As you can see, the look is totally different than when using crochet thread!

Long Ago and Far Far Away

So, you’ve mastered making crochet chains with thread and wire. What’s next? It’s time to try beaded crochet ropes! This technique starts out like the ones above, but quickly becomes tubular to form the rope. When starting out, it’s wise to practice with thicker yarn and big beads in different colors, so it’s easier to see what you’re doing. Once you’ve got this technique down pat, try making Cynthia’s Long Ago and Far Far Away necklace. She used 8/0 seed beads with S-Lon bead cord.  Once again, end caps make it easy to turn a beaded crochet rope into fabulous jewelry!

Colorful Crochet Jewelry

If you’re looking for even more inspiration for adding crochet to jewelry, why not try a more traditional approach. These Colorful Crochet Jewelry ideas feature basic crochet bands as the focus. Some have been embellished with beads and others feature buttons as closures. This is a great idea for making chokers, bracelets and even bookmarks!

As you can see, there are so many ways to incorporate crochet into your jewelry designs. How have you used crochet in your creations? Share with us in the comments below or visit our Facebook page and share a picture of your designs.

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Having Fun with the Spiral Stitch

April 11th, 2015 · 5 Comments

spiral stitch jewelry

If you’re new to bead weaving, a great place to start is with the spiral stitch. This simple stitch comes together quickly and looks great. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy it, either! Anyone can have fun making spiral stitch jewelry. Just ask Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura. Cynthia is a pro when it comes to bead weaving and she has fallen in love with this stitch. Just look at some of the creations she’s made!

Berry Bunches

Cynthia used seed beads and Swarovski pearls in the spiral stitch to create these Berry Bunches bracelets. The larger pearls stand out among the colorful seed beads. Of course, Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends are a great option for this stitch. They give you the perfect color palettes to work with, so you can focus on the fun stitch.

Corsica

These Corsica bracelets feature the same spiral stitch with smaller seed beads. That’s the cool part about this stitch: changing up the beads completely transforms the look of your designs! No wonder Cynthia is having a blast with this technique. Here’s what the stitch looks like with crystal bicones in her Grape Trellis bracelet:

Grape Trellis

Cynthia used an Artbeads Designer Blend featuring Swarovski bicones in the perfect colors to match her seed beads. The beads and look may change, but the stitch stays the same and it couldn’t be easier. Check out our Artbeads Mini Tutorial video and Cynthia will teach you the technique:

Now that you’ve learned this fun and simple stitch, it’s time to check out the variation on this technique: the flat spiral stitch.

Marceline Bracelets

This stitch is quick to complete and looks stunning! As with the spiral stitch, switching up the beads really changes the look. These three Marceline bracelets are so distinct thanks to the different colors and beads used. You can create two rows of flat spiral stitch for an even more astounding look. Cynthia shows off this technique in her Cora bracelet:

Cora

The seed beads framing the pearls create a regal look we love. You can see the flat spiral stitch technique in action in the Mini Tutorial video below:

After Cynthia made all of these fantastic jewelry pieces, she was ready to teach a bunch of us here at Artbeads just how easy it is to make spiral stitch designs!

image5

We gathered in the craft room and Cynthia helped us out with our own spiral stitch creations. We all had fun choosing different combinations of beads. Check out how the double flat spiral stitch changes when you use Miyuki baroque pearl beads:

image2

You can also use fire-polished beads to great effect in this stitch, as well. These economical options are available in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something to suit your style. We used golden fire-polished beads with coppery seed beads for a modern look:

image1

We had fun learning this technique from Cynthia and with the Mini Tutorials above, you will too! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced beader, you’re sure to fall in love with this addicting stitch. We haven’t stopped making new designs. Make sure to share your spiral stitch creations with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Swarovski Rivolis

January 9th, 2015 · 5 Comments

rivolimagic

Swarovski rivoli crystals are beautiful stones that make a sparkling impact on any design. Their unique facets refract light in a dazzling display. These stones don’t have stringing holes, so they work best as embellishments in bead embroidery or even in beaded bezels. Artbeader Linda made some very cool bezels for her rivolis. Linda's Bezels for Rivolis

Linda made a black cat bezel and a peppermint candy bezel for her rivoli components. By modifying the same technique to suit different styles, she created two very different looks!

Rivoli Bezels

You can learn to make an open back bezel for your rivolis with this Handy Tip. Tubular peyote stitch helps seed beads fit snugly around these circular stones. The completed bezels are easy to incorporate into designs, too.

Blooming Stars

Artbeads.com’s chief jewelry designer Cynthia Kimura embellished her beaded bezels with bicones in her Blooming Stars necklace. Then, she attached them to each other using links she made with an Artbeads Designer Wire Blend in perfectly coordinated colors.

If you’re pressed for time when designing, there are quick ways to use rivolis, too!

Ring Around the Rivoli

These Ring Around the Rivoli rings come together in minutes! All you have to do is glue the rivoli into the ring setting and allow to dry. The result is a fabulous ring with professional style.

Luminous Gypsy

TierraCast also offers rivoli settings you can use to display some sparkle in your projects! Earring chandeliers, like the ones featured in this Luminous Gypsy design, charms and links are all available in a variety of finishes. Once again, just glue the rivoli in place and allow to dry.

As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate the magic of rivoli crystals into your designs. What are some ways you have used them in your projects? We would love to see your designs. Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Remember, you can also add pictures of your designs when leaving product reviews on our website, like Linda did. You just might be featured on a future blog post, Facebook or Pinterest!

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Dried Out Gilders Paste? No Problem!

October 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Gilders Paste is a great way to add new color to metal, wood, polymer clay, ceramic, wax and resin surfaces. It comes in lots colors and each container provides enough paste for many, many projects. We’ve used Gilders Paste in some of our Learning Center ideas and they all turned out fabulous!

A little Gilders Paste goes a long way in projects like these, so you’ll have your Gilders Paste on hand for a long time. After a while, you might notice it start to dry out. Don’t worry, you don’t have to throw it out! You can refresh dried out Gilders Paste so it is as good as new and ready to use on any project!

How to Refresh Dried Gilders Paste

Take a look at our How to Refresh Dried Out Gilders Paste Handy Tip to learn the techniques for rejuvenating this amazing paste. Or, if you’re new to using Gilders Paste, learn the basics with our How to Use Gilders Paste Handy Tip.

Now that you know all the tricks to using Gilders Paste, we want to know: What will you make? Leave us a comment below with your plans, or share a picture of your Gilders Paste creations on our Facebook Page!

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Magical Pearls

May 15th, 2013 · 4 Comments

Photo Source: AP Big Story

Photo Source: AP Big Story

Pearls bring to mind different images of elegance, like a bride on her wedding day or a classic Hollywood starlet. There’s a reason why these gems are a symbol of timeless beauty—they’ve been enchanting us for thousands of years. From ancient China to the Egyptians and Imperial Romans, pearls are one of the longest valued gems. Working with pearls in jewelry involves a number of things, such as knowing how to care for them, understanding color and being able to distinguish quality. Today, we’ll focus on the origins of the pearl.

How Pearls are Made

What exactly is a pearl? Well, first, there are freshwater pearls and saltwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are formed inside mussels and other mollusks found in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. Most pearls you buy and the ones used in jewelry are tended by pearl farmers who use a cultivation process of placing mantle tissue (known as an irritant) inside the mollusk. The mollusk then begins to grow layers of nacre around it, forming the pearl over time. Freshwater pearls are more durable and most common in the jewelry market, which could be due to the fact that a mussel can produce up to 40 pearls. A saltwater pearl is produced in a similar way, except it occurs in tropical oceans and lagoons. These types of cultured pearls tend to be more round than their freshwater cousins because saltwater mollusks are rounded inside. The exception to this is a keishi pearl (free-form pearl). A Tahitian pearl is an example of a saltwater pearl.

Treat your pearls like little treasures because that’s essentially what they are! Each one begins as a tiny speck that slowly grows, patiently perfecting itself inside the safe haven of a mollusk.

Stay tuned for more exciting facts about pearls coming soon, like how freshwater pearls get their color! Check out our website to learn more about beading with pearls today!

-Marissa

[Read more →]

Tags: Ask The Experts · Beader's Resource

Hot Chocolate Fashion

May 14th, 2013 · 2 Comments

So many ooey, gooey, delicious things come in brown, and today we want to celebrate the tasty power of this color in fashion. The perfect shade of chocolate brown is a cool complement to other shades and even looks good on its own. Learn how you can add a taste of brown to your jewelry box as either the backbone of a design or in a supporting role.

A Neutral Foundation

Iris Necklace

Neutrals are appropriate for any occasion, although most people immediately opt for black, grey or white. Brown is a fun twist on the traditional neutral hue, and it enriches any other color it’s paired with. Let it guide the feel of your design, helping build the overall look. This could be in the form of antique brass findings or an awesome chocolate focal. Next, layer on your colors! Beads in robin egg blue or pale pink are just a couple of ideas. In our Iris necklace design, we used a combination of brown and purple for a sweet and simple look. Mint green is another refreshing accent. Try a silk ribbon in this shade to complement a choco-pendant. Gold always looks nice with deep browns, too.

A Sugary Accessory

Cosmopolitan Earrings

If your style is more colorful, use a soothing brown to help tie different elements together. Dangle some chocolate drops from your ears (like our chocolate glaze pavé beads) to complete a blue and white polka dot dress. Or, recreate the beauty in our Cosmopolitan Earrings for jewelry with just a lick of chocolate brown goodness. Wherever your imagination takes your fashion, add some tasteful brown tones for a truly sweet look!

Just for fun, we’ll leave you with some extreme chocolate fashion. These are from the NYC Chocolate Fashion Show, where models ruled the runway in chocolate couture…yes, it’s real chocolate. Enjoy!

Chocolate Mermaid Fairy

Double Chocolate Couture

Bon Bon Necklace

Galactic Chocolate Skirt

Photo Source: nydailynews.com.

What’s your favorite way to wear chocolate?

-Marissa

[Read more →]

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

Smashing Summer Jewelry Fashion from Downton Abbey

May 7th, 2013 · 7 Comments

Downton Abbey Regal Colors

We’re excited that the American 1920s lavish fashion is sweeping the runways and fashion mags due to the release of the new Great Gatsby film, but this film isn’t creating the trend all on its own. We’re tickled that another on-screen powerhouse from across the pond has been making headway as well. The British television series Downton Abbey, set in the Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey during the Post-Edwardian era, is influencing fashion for 2013 too. This show follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, and depicts how historical events affect their lives and the British hierarchy. In fact, the show begins after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and the tragic loss of the family heir aboard the fateful ship impacts the rest of the members.

Rose MacClare

Just like the popular flapper flair of Gatsby, the luxurious wardrobe from this show is captivating fashion designers, and has been this whole year. The vintage colors, cuts and accessories have just the right amount of excessiveness to be appealing for modern looks. Bold colors like regal red and rich finishes like gold are a reflection of the popular Art Deco style, but can be a nostalgic nod if worn in clothing or a trendy twist when used in jewelry designs.

Headpiece

Floral and Beaded Accents

Headpieces, floral accents and beaded embellishments are just a few of the ways the costumes of Downton Abbey have helped sway the runway—and we absolutely love it! To recreate some of these luxurious necklaces, check out our Swarovski cuplink chain and our fire-polished linked chain. Long, dangling earrings are a breeze to make using Swarovski Column Pendants or Ellipse Pendants.

Downton Abbey Floral Lace and Pearls

If you want to replicate the richness of the era, simple touches like long pearls or feminine lace are a great way to get started. Filigree components in vintage finishes like antique brass would be perfect in jewelry designs as well. Here are some fun Learning Center ideas that showcase the decadence of Downton Abbey:

Syncopated Rhytm Necklace
Syncopated Rhythm

Chicago Loop Necklace
Chicago Loop

Vintage Romance Necklace
Vintage Romance

What are some of your ideas for bringing a little British charm to your designs?

-Marissa

Downton Abbey Photo Credits: IMDB.com, PBS.org and Booktalk and More Blog.

Fashion Photo Credits: style.com.

[Read more →]

Tags: Beader's Resource · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Add to Technorati Favorites