Destination-Themed Custom Jewelry

Design Idea A8FK Necklace

by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Travelers are always looking for a souvenir of a beloved destination. As one put it, "I'd pay anything to have a little piece of this wonderful place with me always--something that really captures the essence of its natural appeal and beauty." Here is your opportunity to fulfill that desire by making beautiful eternal "postcards" rendered in custom jewelry.

Your jewelry designs can reflect a location's topography, defined as, "the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area." For example, the patterns or colors that evoke water/earth/mountains/sky of the Rockies--more specifically, Jackson Hole, Wyoming or Aspen, Colorado. As another example, design choices can depict geological gradations and clear blue sky of the desert as found at Joshua Tree in California or the Grand Canyon. Fond memories of tropical destinations such as Bali, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii and Jamaica with turquoise water, light-brown sand, green palms and blue sky can be stirred with your design.

The Gallery of Designs offers plenty of inspiration to create destination-themed jewelry. For example, your variation on Design Idea CA5B, a turquoise and coral necklace and earring set, can be used to create a treasured keepsake of a wonderful Caribbean vacation.

As mentioned, any memorable destination, whether it's a region, city, town, park, attraction or neighborhood has a distinctive look--shapes or patterns--or set of colors. A powerful "jewelry postcard" is a bib-style necklace with a landscape or other distinctive vacation memory that is depicted with seed beads or Swarovski crystal, as shown in these examples titled, ''Soiree on the Yacht'' and ''Tennessee Summer.''
Destination-Themed Custom Jewelry

Here are a few quick hits on design ideas for some exotic international vacation hot spots:

Themes: Surfing, kangaroos, wine country, Outback, Ayers Rock, shrimp on the Barbie, adventure, exploring nature, good food, drink and fun. Movies: Crocodile Dundee and, of course, Australia

Colors: Shades of blue, purple, brown and red, and don't leave out green if we're adding the Kuranda Rainforest or the Great Barrier Reef to the discussion.

Materials: Wood, leather cord, glass beads and crystal.

Themes: Tradition, freedom and relaxation. Materials and colors that tie in with the movies Twilight; New Moon (the Volturi Chapter) and Mama Mia (set in Greece, but the cliffside ocean scenery is reminiscent of Basilicata).

Colors: Marbled terracotta, red, orange, warm grey, aloe green, intense ocean blue.

Materials: Swarovski hotfix ceramic rhinestone, marble, cultured freshwater pearl, riverstone, green wood, cactus, ocean jasper, blue crazy lace agate, blue-dyed Malaysia jade, Swarovski crystal light grey opal, Swarovski crystal Caribbean blue opal, Swarovski crystal fern green, Swarovski crystal air blue opal.

Themes: Beauty, volatile earth. Movies such as Jurassic Park and The Blue Lagoon (1980)

Colors: Dark lapis, medium lapis, khaki green, fern green, light turquoise, sand opal, jet, black diamond and hyacinth.

Materials: Ferns and leaves, lava rock, rustic wood and primitive clay beads, sea life charms, white and black stone, Swarovski crystal pearls.

Themes: The cradle of humanity ... deeply meaningful, sentimental, religious and cultural. Movies such as Mongol: Rise of Genghis Khan (2007) and The Night Train to Katmandu (1998)

Colors: Burgundy, fuchsia, red, amber, orange, marigold yellow, turquoise, brown.

Materials: Timeworn silk, old coins, amber, carnelian, Dzi beads, carved agate, dragons, soo chow "jade." Rich cultural items and materials such as old metal, carved gemstone, gemstones such as lapis, turquoise, coral and amber. Fiber such as thread and silk.

Themes: Life, survival, rugged vitality--powerful. MoviesThe Emerald Forest (1985) and Medicine Man (1992)

Colors: Swarovski crystal in khaki and lime colors as well as white, cream and shades of brown and green.

Materials: Kambaba jasper, serpentine, leather, wood. Appropriate wildlife charms, native-styled dot and dashed motifs, carvings on bone and wood beads, rustic twine and leather cord or thong.

Themes: Streamline, sleek, modern that clashes and merges with old world. Fast paced. Movies such as The Bourne Identity and The Transporter

Colors: Neon, gold, silver, cream, Swarovski crystal air blue opal, polished silver, topaz, nautical stripes, red, jade, vintage brass and nautical stripes of blue and white.

Materials: Rope, anchors, boats and sails, carved stone beads, upbeat and ultra neon anything, aqua terra jasper, ceramic, porcelain, pearl, epoxy and enameling, printed items, paper items, polished metal.

Another great way to get ideas is to search on the web for images of a specific location. In most cases, you'll be practically overwhelmed with images to give fuel to your creative process.

One last point, you'll need to decide how specific your destination theme will be for the jewelry line that you've created. You can name the design "Jamaica Breeze" to appeal to those customers who've been to Jamaica, or you can cast your net a little wider and name it "Carribean Cruise." Whatever destination you decide on and whatever evocative name you choose for it, you're sure to be riding the crest of an on-trend wave.