Single-Strand Necklace and Earring Set with Swarovski® Crystals, Black Onyx Gemstone Beads and Glass Rhinestone Chatons

Welcome to the wonderful world of bead making with Swarovski crystals and Apoxie® Sculpt!

Crystals: The variety of colors and shapes is staggering, you'll love them all! Make sure you have plenty laid out so you are not searching for materials while your Apoxie is curing. I like to incorporate some of the great new shapes of Swarovski flat backs and back fill with the variety of chaton round colors and sizes. If using flat backs, I make sure I press them into the Apoxie a little more. Because the chatons have pointy backs, they ''seat'' a little easier into the Apoxie.

There are many design options using the Apoxie. For this project, I want to make a center focal and some matching sets of accent beads. Because eventually all will be strung with some beautiful 10mm faceted black Tourmaline, I'll want black / crystal contrast on my beads. Many people will custom mix the Apoxie color to match their crystal selections, see our mixing guide online. I'll do this style in a later project. The saturation of the crystals is also something to think about in advance. Will you want the entire surface covered and matching the colors of the crystals, or use the background to create contrast? Again, no matter what your plan, make sure you have plenty of crystals ready!

Embellished Beads

Lay Out Your Materials

Individual Apoxie Parts

Mix Apoxie

Ready to Use Black Apoxie
To begin, I have a basic idea of the bead shape I want, but purposefully do not plan patterns too much ahead. I begin by laying out a bunch of shapes, sizes and colors that I like. This will give me options.

Once the Apoxie is mixed I'll want to spend the time having fun and being creative, not hunting for colors and materials. You'll notice on the bottom of the materials picture I have experimented with a pattern for the Swarovski new teardrop shape; this will eventually be my centerpiece. I like to play around a little to try out ideas and see what happens. The Apoxie is very easy to work with: take a portion out of each container and roll into a ball, adjust the size of the balls for equal parts of both. I am using black, note part A is black and part B is grey. When mixed it will all be one color, in my project, black. Mix well, so the Apoxie is uniform in color and soft. I use gloves because the Apoxie is a little tacky and leaves a little sticky residue on my hands. It is non-toxic, however, when I start pacing my crystals, I prefer bare hands to limit residue on the crystals.
Add Rondelle Beads to Create a Finished Look For smooth finished bead endings, I decided to use rhinestone rondelles as the top and bottom of my beads. Any flat surface with a hole is usable, so experiment with different colors and shapes.

I am making multiple beads here and want to match them as well as possible. I want a pretty large hole bead so will begin by stringing on my rhinestone rondelle end pieces and 2 equal size pieces of mixed Apoxie onto a bamboo skewer. In this picture I have already begun to shape the beads into tubes.
Add Crystals In Your Own Pattern

Continue Adding Crystals

Embellished Bead
Because I want the bead designs to match somewhat, I begin to set crystals on in similar patterns. Follow your imagination. Rotate both beads and add crystals at the same time so you'll get a good matching pattern. I also adjust the shape of the bead as I go, pressing in the crystals can create minor distortions in shape.
Once my crystal applications are completed, I will put on gloves and do some last shaping details. I will make sure my bead shapes match, the end rhinestone rondelles are straight (perpendicular to the beads) and no Apoxie has coated them, as well as a last check that the crystals are placed flush into the Apoxie. I will rotate the beads off the skewer to make nice interior bead holes, then let dry overnight in a standing position.

I will repeat the process for my center bead, making it larger. Once all the beads are created, I am ready to start stringing!

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