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Simple Tips

Have a great beading idea, technique or time-saving tip? View helpful tips from other beaders and submit your own to share with the worldwide jewelry-making community.

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Earring Backs Earring Backs

I have been making jewelry for many years and use Fire Mountain supply (Great quality, selection, prices and service!). I have been making some rather fanciful earrings lately and prefer to use ear wires rather than studs. Some of my designs end up slightly on the heavy side and I had been missing sales here and there to customers who don't like quite that much weight on ear wires. I purchased your cushioned comfort clutch earring backs for studs (H20-1212FN) and found I can use them on the ear wires. A quick alteration right at the gallery adapts them easily and doesn't change the appearance of the ear wires. I cut off a portion of the wire and bend it up to put the pad at the right angle to absorb some of the weight. The pics here are a little sloppy, but you can see what I'm doing. The customers are pleased and I am now making those sales. I even toss in extra backs sometimes for good will. In one case, I even used extras as a bargaining chip.

- Nancy Bartusch
I use your ideas already and always have a description card stating the beads I've used, wires such as non-tarnish brass, and tell the story behind my inspiration. This way I can be honest with my customer and also offer my designs at a reasonable price.
- Suzie
I tried the "radiant orchid" color on my nails at the salon ... I have decided that it is NOT my color, even wearing lovely gray/black. I had two garments that were color compatible and now I figured out why I never reached for them. Thrift store now has them. Nail color is a good way to try a new color without the investment of time and money making a statement piece for myself. I'll stick with colors compatible with coral, peach, light bright reds ...

- Pamela
In response to an answer on ''Ask the Experts'' for the person whose hand gets tired. There are also fingerless gloves which can help hand circulation, especially for people with arthritis. I believe in stores these gloves are called Ergonomic gloves.

- Anonymous
I have a suggestion to make wire loops more even. I slip a cone (item H20-2256FN) over one side of my round-nose pliers (it fits perfectly). I mark the cone with my wire cutters, then I make all my loops at that mark. It works well. Maybe you can make a cone set with markings on it. I don't think anyone suggested this before.

- Hazel
To make a simple inexpensive earring display, use a wire trash can. Turn it upside down and place it on a Lazy Susan. It's great for displaying earrings and turns easily for selection.

- Kristina
Making a Tool Holder: Go to a Dollar Store® and get 2 octagon picnic tables for plants, a bag of 1-foot dowels, and upholstery tacks.

Take off all legs from the octagons. Stand octagons on edge. Place one tack on each lower corner for stability, one up one side of the octagon to hold the tool handles, and one at the top to place the tool on. Total of 5 tacks on each octagon.

Assemble using the dowels between the octagons and the tacks to secure. So you have on-edge octagon, dowel, on-edge octagon.

Now you have a 1-food tool holder for less than $5 and the 6 - 8-inch ones for sale online are $10+. Tools are light and don't require using maple, pine, or other strong woods.

I used 2-sided sticky foam to attach a small plastic glass to the side of mine to hold fingernail files, markers, tweezers, etc.

- Lynne
When threading needles, instead of bringing the thread to the needle, hold the very tip of the thread between thumb and forefinger and lower the eye of the needle onto the thread. I find this technique much less frustrating.

- Denise
I use the plastic boxes that business cards come in to store and they stack well.

- Janis
A great item to use to display or store your hook style earrings is the plastic mesh used by crafters. It can stand alone in a plate holder and they come in many colors.

- Marla
I use a pair of magnets to hold the ends of projects. It works great, and is portable too!

- Paula
The Bead Buddies® with the plastic grips--I found that the slick plastic was hard to hold onto even with the little bumps on them. So I used a nail file and filed off the bumps and glued on VELCRO®, cut to size.

- Sydney
Take a travel size Tylenol® bottle and use it to store your needles in. You can also make it pretty by doing peyote stitch around it.

- Betty
To display earrings to sell; take a picture frame (any size) without backing or glass. Cut 3 pieces of coated wire or just wire and attach across frame in back--wide enough apart to hang 3 rows of earrings. We put earrings on the little black cards with holes you can buy--they hang beautifully over the wire and look great.

- Denise
Left over or unique one-of-a-kind beads are right at home when used as charms on a chain bracelet. The best part is many can be found at thrift shops or yard sales. But by far, my favorite spot is my local flea market. You can also use earrings.

- Latrice
Loop-closing pliers work great on closing the stardust crimp covers!

- Beth
Lost a button? Have a shirt that reveals a little too much but safety pins look weird or are too hard to pin?

Use any flat-back crystal, pearl or focal bead with a tie tac finding! Now you have an easy to place, stylish "button" anytime you need it!

- Karen
I use cake pans (9x13 or 8x8) to put my beads in while I'm beading. I line them with felt or tea towels to keep the beads from rolling around. You can scrunch up the towel into sections to keep bead groups separate.

- Joan
Use nuts and bolts hardware storage boxes - the kind with drawers - to store finished goods ready for sale. Put a removable label with your inventory number on each drawer. File pieces alphanumerically. No more frustrated searches for an item when you have sold it on the web!

- Mary
When designing a necklace, I hold a few beads aside for matching or coordinating earrings. No more using up all the beads in the necklace with nothing left to make earrings!

- Mary
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