More Than Jewelry: What Else Can You Make?

Design Idea H601 Jewelry Box
by Leslie, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

It is amazing what designer-artists around the world create with beads and other jewelry supplies. It's more than just jewelry! We've received quite a number of fantastic beaded chandeliers, embellished clothing and other craft ideas using beads over the years in our jewelry-making contests. Here are a few examples and the inspiration behind the pieces to maybe get you thinking outside the jewelry box.


Sylvia Regelbrugge saw a photo of a brass chandelier in an edition of Architectural Digest , which inspired the construction of a polymer clay and brass ring chandelier. She used lots of techniques to achieve various textures and colors, including application of foils, stamps and mica powders Why out of polymer clay? Sylvia said, "In addition to wanting a chandelier for our small foyer, I wanted to inspire the men in our church's ministry at the NM Men's Recovery Academy where I teach polymer clay and beading. I wanted to show them there are MANY applications for polymer clay."

Design Idea EB1F Chandelier

Beaded Picture Frames

In the case of Teresa Pandora Salgado, her inspiration for this completely handmade polymer clay picture frame Memories of 1975 came from wanting to create a sentimental gift. "I made this for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. My 82-year old Mom wanted a special frame for their original wedding picture." Want to try and do a three-dimensional frame as well? Learn about various polymer clay cane techniques and flowers for your own unique creations.
Design Idea F95L Home Decor Picture Frame

Design Idea F33Y Vase Beaded Figurines

Hibernation Dreams, a home décor sculpture made from beads was the result of just stumbling upon the right bead at the right time. When asked what Bettye Monzo's inspiration was for the design, she replied, "I had found this pressed glass bead, and the rest materialized as I started beading."

Or, in the case of her Raven's Nest, Bettye cited local fauna as her inspiration: "Ravens are one of our major local birds here in Sedona. You either love them or hate them. I love them. You can almost never be outside without seeing them in flight, or hearing them while they sit on the tip top of a pine tree." It's amazing what seed bead embroidery and a lot of patience can achieve.

Design Idea G576 Home Decor Figurine Design Idea E63D Figurine

Wall Art and Beaded Mosaics

Creating mosaics with beads isn't a new concept, but New York artist Zackary Rasmussen took the technique up a notch for Crystal Passions Mona Lisa made from none other than Crystal Passions crystals.

More Than Jewelry: What Else Can You Make? Rasmussen, New York specifically pursues the development of innovative techniques, which we use to create modern artistic compositions. In an attempt to modernize otherwise traditional mosaics we have added Crystal Passions's Crystal, Crystal Passions Gems, and natural gemstones to our pallet of mediums. Unlike classic mosaics the crystal and natural gemstones permit an unlimited spectrum of color as well as unprecedented levels of chroma, intensity, contrast, value, and perspective. To better exhibit the use of Crystal Passions's Crystal and natural gemstones our company developed the Belumíere Technique; the first patent pending technique in the crystallized art field. This method is an innovative approach that enhances the brilliance of all of our compositions. All of our pieces are made in the USA, and are precisely crafted. We take great pride in all of our work, and the difference in our method clearly shines through.

Decorated Teapots

We have actually gotten quite a number of embellished teapots over the years in our jewelry-making contests.

Marilyn Morrison created Steampunk Flavored Tea using polymer clay, gears, chain, buttons and beads, taking home a Gold Medal for it in 2015.

"I was originally inspired to explore steampunk by the wonderful art of Christi Friesen. I took the style and created my own version of it, which I have applied to a variety of surfaces. I loved the idea of taking a teapot, which is typically covered in dainty floral patterns and giving it an unexpected makeover into something a bit more rugged." We have a feeling Christi would be a fan.
Design Idea F946 Home Décor Teapot

More Than Jewelry: What Else Can You Make? Designer Grace Enebo was also inspired by another artist for her polymer clay Funky Chicken teapot: "My mentor Layl McDill of Silly Millys is my inspiration. She has created some marvelous bird teapots, she's in my PC guild and I've wanted to create one for a long time. During our Art-A-Whirl event I did a polymer clay demo, so for that 10-1/2 hours I created my Funky Chicken!"

And of course, we have gotten a number of decorated music boxes like Keiko Wada's Music Box or beaded lamps such as David Drummond's God Box and even embellished bird feeders as is the case with Evelyn Wildman's Sunburst Bird Feeder. There's no limit to what you can design on and around with jewelry-making supplies and techniques. View all the crafts and décor in the Gallery of Designs and think about what else can YOU bead!

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