Blog for Beaders

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


Customer Gallery of Designs

Do you want to show the world a piece of jewelry or craft project you’ve made using products? Submit a photo of your design along with your name and a small description of the product to We’ll review all submissions and you just might see your design show up here!

Swarovski Rivolis

January 9th, 2015 · 4 Comments


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’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!

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

Using Large-Hole Beads in New Ways

November 22nd, 2014 · 4 Comments

Large-Hole Bead Ideas

We love the way large-hole beads add character to designs. These fun components are easy to add to lots of designs and come in a variety of styles. The example above, our Royal Vanguard necklace, shows Swarovski BeCharmed beads and large-hole TierraCast spacers strung onto SilverSilk. This is just one of the many ways you can use large-hole beads in your designs. Their wide stringing holes allow you to explore options you may have never thought of before. The Artbeads Learning Center is filled with examples for using these goodies in unique ways.

Blue Note Necklace

Our At the Blue Note necklace is a simple idea to start with. This necklace features beautiful Grace Lampwork beads and large-hole bead caps strung onto silk ribbon. The ends of the necklace are knotted. Large-hole beads are always a great complement to silk ribbon and even simple stringing techniques like this look stunning.


This next silk ribbon idea, one of our Bailee necklaces, incorporates large-hole beads in a completely different way. After stringing a donut pendant onto the center of the ribbon, Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura strung Swarovski BeCharmed beads onto both ends of the ribbon. The BeCharmed beads act as a bail that keeps the donut pendant in place. A simple knot at the top of the beads makes sure everything stays put!

DIY Shamballa Bracelets

Large-hole beads are also a great option for shamballa style bracelets. These bracelets are fun and easy to make and look great! Use Chinese knotting cord or leather cord to complement the colors of the beads you choose.

Our Learning Center is full of ideas for large-hole beads, but that’s not the only place to find inspiration. Our customers also come up with great ideas! Take a look at what Artbeads user “corvettekat” made with our large-hole JBB dotted spacer bead:

Artbeads Customer Design

This Artbeader used these spacers in a multi-strand fiber necklace and says, “These were perfect for stabilizing and adding some balance to the yarn used in this necklace.” The sliders really do bring the piece together.

Have you used large-hole beads in your designs lately? What’s your favorite way to incorporate them into your designs? We would love to hear from you in the comments below, or share a picture of your projects on our Facebook page. Your designs and ideas might just inspire others to start creating with large-hole beads!


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Tags: Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

Beautiful Bicones

November 15th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Ideas for Bicones

Swarovski Bicones can be used in so many ways. They’re excellent accents of sparkle for necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The unique rhombus shape can be paired with pearls, chain and lots of other beads.

Artbeader Lynn P. used her bicones to make a very special necklace:

Lynn P.'s Bicone Necklace

Lynn says, “I wanted to make some bling for a cancer survivor friend in Canada. Her favorite color is blue and I LOVE Swarovski, so this creation was born. Turned out pretty good if I say so myself.”

We have to agree, Lynn! We love the innovative way she wove the bicones together. They fit so nicely together.

Are you looking for more innovative ways to use your bicones?

Shimmering Winds RAW Bracelet

Shimmering Winds’s Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia Kimura used bicones to create a Right Angle Weave bracelet, Shimmering Winds. Once again, the unique shape of the bicone works perfectly in this technique. Cynthia used one of our Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends to make this bracelet.

Artbeads Swarovski Designer Blends

These Blends feature Swarovski bicones in perfectly coordinated colors, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the right colors – they’re already picked out for you!

Fairy Lanterns

Bicones are also perfect for our Fairy Lantern idea. To make these cute little dangles, you string two bicones onto a head pin or eye pin and wrap bugle beads that have been stitched together around the two bicones. These dangles are great in earrings or as pendants and charms. Choose your favorite colors to customize this look to suit your tastes.

So what’s your favorite way to use bicones? Share with us in the comments below or leave a picture of your best bicone ideas on our Facebook page. We always love seeing what you’ve created with our products!


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Tags: Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Employee Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

The Wonders of Kumihimo

November 8th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Kumihimo at Artbeads

At Artbeads, we love creating beautiful kumihimo braids for our jewelry. This ancient Japanese art form is a relaxing way to pass the time and the results are always fabulous. As the ideas above showcase, we’ve experimented with adding animal print patterns, beads and even SilverSilk to our kumihimo designs.

Our customers are just as adventurous as us when it comes to kumihimo. Take a look at the bracelet Artbeads user Holly made.

Holly's Kumihimo Bracelet

Holly used Miyuki Long Magatamas in her kumihimo bracelet. Magatamas add interesting dimension to kumihimo designs, thanks to their feathered or scale-like look. Holly loves the “beautiful, subtle finish” of these particular Magatamas and we have to agree!

You can learn how to make a similar bracelet with the free instructions for our Monterey Pop bracelet.

Monterey Pop

We used a colorful pattern of different Magatamas for our bracelet, but you can pick your favorite beads and start adding them to your kumihimo designs today! Have you already experimented with kumihimo in your jewelry? Share your favorite kumihimo designs with us in the comments below, post a picture to our Facebook page, or add a picture of your design to a product review on our website. Your design might just be featured in a blog post, on Facebook or even on our Customer Designs Pinterest Board!

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Tags: Customer Product Reviews · Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas

A Stunning Customer Design!

October 3rd, 2014 · 3 Comments

Did you know you can leave a review on any of our products and upload a picture of the design you made with them? We love seeing all of your creative designs! Here’s one from reviewer jewelryblue:


She used our purple-lined blue TOHOs to add a pop of color to this intricate necklace. As jewelryblue says, “the color was perfect for this project.” They look great with the golden seed beads and the sparkling crystal focals. What have you made with our products? Make sure to share your designs with us and you could be featured right here on the blog, on our Facebook page or on our Pinterest board!

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

The Tucson Ten – Round Two…You Vote & You Could Win!

May 13th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Blog Image

The Tucson Ten jewelry designs are in and ready and waiting for your vote! We asked the winners of our Tucson Ten Giveaway to create designs with the beads they won and gave them a month to create. Now, their designs are done and you get to vote on them. Click here to vote for your favorite on Facebook! You have to ‘like’ on Facebook in order to vote. You can also check out the designs on our Tucson Ten Pinterest board. Repin your favorite and spread the word. The winning design will receive a $50 gift certificate for! Voters, you’ll be getting in on the prize action, as well! We will select ten random voters to win a prize package filled with fun beading goodies. Make sure all your friends and family come and vote so they can see all the divine designs and for their chance to win, too.

Voting is open from now, May 13 until Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:59pm PST. Check back on Facebook on Tuesday, May 21 to find out which design won and to see which voters will be taking home their own prize package. Click here for our official contest rules.

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Tags: Company News · Customer Gallery of Designs

The Tucson Ten

April 5th, 2013 · 73 Comments

The Tucson Ten

We picked up these fab finds back in February during our adventures at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. These beads are full of life, shine and spice – the perfect combination to spark the imagination. Now you have a chance to win these beads and more in our incredible Tucson Ten Giveaway!

Ten lucky fans will win the three strands plus one of the bold black and white polymer clay beads. All of these beads are super exclusive, so you won’t find them anywhere on our site. It’s enough to get any beader excited, delighted and inspired! All you have to do is tell us a story about these beads by leaving a comment below. What do these beads make you think of? What would you do with them? Do they inspire you? Do they remind you of anyone you know? Get creative with your story, because we’ll be picking our faves to win!

But this contest doesn’t end here. That’s right, this one’s a two-parter! If you win the beads, you have another chance to win. We’ll be asking the winners to design a piece of jewelry or even a set with these beads for another chance to win, this time a $50 gift certificate! If you don’t win, you have the chance to vote on the designs and we have some surprises in store for voters, too. More details will follow once we’ve announced our ten winners.

You have from today, April 5 until Thursday April 11, 2013 at 11:59pm PST to enter to win a set of these beads. One entry per person, please. See our official contest rules for more details. Once we announce the winners on April 12, we will have more details about the next round. We can’t wait to read your story, so enter now!

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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Jewelry and Craft Ideas · Just For Fun!

Artbeads Customer in Battle of the Beadsmith

January 25th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Artbeads customer Terri R. has submitted her breathtaking design for the Battle of the Beadsmith competition, and we’re here to show it off with everyone! Her design is created entirely from TOHO seed beads and other components purchased from Artbeads (she especially loves our aluminum rose cabochons in this piece)! We were amazed by her work, and so were the judges. Terri ended up advancing to the second round. Artbeads would like to congratulate Terri on her incredible piece and also thank her for sharing it with us. We love getting to see what our customers make, and this one definitely blew us away.

If you want to share your designs, post them to our Facebook fan page or email For the chance to be featured on the Artbeads website, enter our Jewelry Design Star competition! Take the first step in showing the world your creativity by sharing with Artbeads.


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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

Turning Negativity into Creativity

November 16th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Talk about turning a negative into a positive! One of our customers shared this fun story with our customer service team, and we wanted to share it with you!

I thought I would share with you what happened to my favorite outfit after I had only worn it ONCE. I had paid over $200 for a matching pants and sweater and just loved them. I was wearing them when I decided to do some laundry using bleach……….well you know what happened…….bleach blobs all over my new outfit.

I decided instead of throwing it out ………never to be worn again……… to make a design on the blobs. I put plastic bags in the clothing and just got a paint brush and a cup of the same bleach that caused all the problems. I made all the blobs into flowers by adding petals in bleach and after it was all dry – added about 50 flat back swarovski’s in the centre of the flowers. Every time I wear it – people comment on my wonderful outfit!! I also did this for a friend who had the same problem but on her “blue jean” jacket….I made her blobs into rose petals around the blobs and added more Swarovski’s and its now her favorite jacket. So I thank you for all your hard work dealing with customers like me :-) . Thanks for everything, you guys are GREAT.

If you have a fun story you’d like to share, you can always share it with our customer service team or email our Blog at

Happy Friday!


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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs · Share Your Stories

Customer Story – Emily’s Seed Bead Masterpieces

November 9th, 2012 · 4 Comments

We love hearing from our customers about the success they have had turning their passion for jewelry making into a successful business. When Emily K. sent us pictures of her amazing seed bead artwork, I knew we needed to share her talent. In an Artbeads Blog for Beaders interview, Emily shares her journey of working with seed beads:

When did you first become interested in working with seed beads?

I first became interested in working with seed beads about 3 years ago. At the time I was working as a camp counselor and was teaching a class on how to make felt puppets. I had made a few puppets for my class as examples and was trying to figure out how best to execute certain details such as jewelry. I made the decision to create the details out of beads.

A few months passed, and the beginning of my senior year of college began. I was attending Mills College in Oakland, CA, and was a Studio Art major. At my school all Studio Art majors in their senior year are required to work on developing a cohesive series of works that will go on display at the annual senior show. I wasn’t sure what to do for my show. I had been joking around with my friends about how I should make a giant series of puppets for the senior show (since I enjoyed working on puppets), but I knew that puppets probably wouldn’t be approved by my professors. It was while joking about the puppets, however, that I remembered the beading I did on one puppet in particular. Suddenly something clicked in my head: If people could use beads to make designs on clothing and fashion accessories, why not use them to create art pieces? Georges Seurat used thousands of tiny dots to create his famous works of art, and beads are essentially tiny dots. Why not use beads to make art? Canvas is a type of fabric after all, so all I would have to do was sew them to canvas instead of felt. I chose seed beads instead of other sorts of beads because they are small and allow for more detail, and seem to come in the widest variety of colors.

How did it feel the first time you made a piece?

The process of working on my first piece was a bit frustrating because I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing and I expected it to go faster than in did. I was also nervous as to how my class would react to the work because it was a project for my drawing class and I wasn’t exactly drawing. However, when I saw the reactions of my teachers and classmates to the finished piece, I was really amazed. The lighting in the studio was a bit dim that day for reasons I can’t really remember, and it caused the beads to sparkle in a way I had never seen before. Everyone seemed blown away. They offered a few tips on how to draw the portrait part of the piece better, but they were really encouraging of the work in general and told me to keep it up. I wasn’t really used to getting such a strong, positive reaction about my work (at least not since coming to college), so I knew I was onto something special and wanted to keep going. It was a really great feeling.

How long does it take you to complete a project (from concept to completion) and what’s your process?

On average it takes me between a month and a month and a half to complete a piece. For my process, I first start out looking though theater programs and magazines that I have to see if there are any images that look like they would be fun to draw. Once I select an image I sketch it out in illustration marker (either directly on the canvas or on paper which I will later glue down on top of an additional fabric layer). Since my sketches are done in color, once they’re done it’s simply a matter of figuring out which beads best match the colors on the sketch and then sewing them on.

You can watch Emily’s process as she details the activity on her blog. It’s truly amazing!

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from historical fashion and musical theater. For as long as I can remember I have loved both. Aesthetically, I tend to be drawn towards the ornate and the theatrical, (which really makes sense with what inspires me).

I have also always loved performing, but due my shy nature, have rarely had the opportunity to do so. I think that when I portray something theatrical in my art it makes me feel almost as if I too am performing on stage. My beaded pieces are all of actresses from an all-female theater in Japan, known as the Takarazuka Revue. I first found out about the Takarazuka Revue in high school, through my interest in anime and manga.

It is very possible that I will move on to depicting other subjects in my work in the near future (perhaps other sorts of theater or movies, or maybe something completely different altogether), but this is what I’ve been interested in lately, so this is what I like drawing.

Do you sell your finished pieces?

I would like to. So far I haven’t had anyone express interest in buying any of my works, but if someone wanted to buy one I would definitely be interested in selling. I’d be willing to sell most of the finished works (the word “most” is because there are a few that I’d like to keep.)

If you’re just starting out and looking for a way to sell your designs, check out our Seller’s Secrets page where we share helpful ways to develop your jewelry-making business. Also be sure to sign up to be a part of Shop Handmade, a free site dedicated to helping you sell your ideas!

We want to hear your story, too! Send us your jewelry design to our Blog for Beaders e-mail to be featured as one of our customer success stories. Share your stories and inspire others to get creative! Mail them to


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Tags: Customer Gallery of Designs

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