Pearls of Wisdom
Wedding project ideas and style how-tos for brides, bridal jewelry designers and wedding planners.
The timeless style and classic elegance of vintage and vintage-inspired wedding jewelry is fast becoming a favorite among brides, especially as eco-consciousness continues to expand and more and more designers are utilizing recycled and upcycled materials.
Using Vintage Components to Create Something New
Comb your jewelry closet--and those of relatives who may have heirloom pieces they'd love to see revamped--for sentimental jewelry or jewelry with key elements you can take apart and reuse. Keep an eye out for other vintage costume jewelry pieces you may come across at yard sales and in thrift shops. Once your collection has grown and a theme emerges, you'll be surprised by what you can recreate with something ''borrowed'' and the money you'll save by reusing what you already have. Supplemental beads and chain in similar colors and/or materials can be purchased to fill in any gaps or to add length.
Using New Components to Recreate Something ''Vintage''
Because finding vintage jewelry can sometimes be hit or miss, and is often expensive to buy online, you may choose to glean your inspiration from vintage designs and create jewelry using new components.
While ''vintage-inspired'' doesn't have to be synonymous with ''classic'' or ''traditional,'' it is a popular style direction for wedding jewelry designs. The featured design idea above is one example of vintage-inspired, classic style that exudes the simple elegance many brides are looking for in wedding jewelry.
Drawing inspiration from the Victorian era, this design set combines Swarovski crystal pearls with golden shadow Swarovski crystals and briolette beads, and incorporates ready-made pearl cluster components, for a traditional look that makes a subtle statement, while still standing out at the altar.
This set can be recreated using gold- or silver-plated findings, and in your color choice of crystal beads and pearl beads.
Depending on the amount of strands you'd like your bracelet to have, choose a clasp that has one more loop than needed, or one with a loop large enough to string on both Accu-Flex® beading wire and an eyepin for the pearl cluster dangle. For a double-strand bracelet like the one featured, crimp your wire onto the two end loops on one of the clasp ends. String a Swarovski crystal bicone bead onto each strand. Run both strands through a large crystal pearl and string a bicone onto each end. Continue stringing crystal bicone beads and smaller sized pearl beads in an alternating pattern of your choice. For the pearl cluster dangle, string crystal bicone beads, bead caps and a pearl cluster component onto an eyepin and attach to the center loop of the clasp.
Using gold-filled or sterling silver wire, wrap a briolette bead and string on bead caps and a pearl. Attach to a loop of the finding and repeat for three of the loops. Use a large pearl for the center dangle and smaller pearls for the end dangles. Attach a fishhook earwire to the top loop.
An elegant, single strand of pearls can be easily enhanced with a pearl cluster pendant that incorporates the design elements of the earrings with that of the bracelet. Make another pearl cluster dangle, like the one in the bracelet design, and attach to the bottom loop of the finding component used in the earring design. Add a jumpring or pearl enhancer to the top of the component and attach to a strand of pearls for a bold design, or string onto delicate chain for an almost-invisible look.
Design with ...
- Swarovski crystal pearl beads
- Swarovski crystal bicone beads
- Swarovski crystal briolette beads
- White Lotus™ cultured freshwater pearls
- Pearl cluster beads
- Bead caps
- Plated metal findings in shiny or antiqued finishes
- Accu-Flex professional-quality beading wire in stainless steel or brass
- Dead-soft, 26 gauge 12Kt gold-filled or sterling silver wire
- ''How to make a Briolette Wrapped Loop'' how-to video and instructions
- ''How To Crimp a Crimp Bead/Crimp Tube'' how-to video and illustrated instructions
- ''Making a Wrapped Loop and Double-Wrapped Loop'' how-to video and illustrated instructions
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