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Simple Tips

You may have learned to squish crimp beads with a pair of chain-nose pliers. This works but there is an alternative method that makes a more professional-looking crimp end. Crimp pliers are specialized pliers with two sections for crimping. First, pinch the bead in the back groove to create a curved shape. Be sure to hold your beading wires apart so the curve separates the two wires. Then pinch it again in the front groove to create a tube shape. You now have a neat finish!

Simple Tips

Do you have an old tie-rack you're no longer using? Turn it into a space-saving display for your jewelry. The style of rack will determine how and what to display. Many styles rotate, making it easy to find necklaces and bracelets. Others are available in strips with double hooks ideal for earrings. Whether mounted to the wall or hanging from a hook, jewelry is tangle-free and easily accessible.

Simple Tips

When designing jewelry, the balance of color and texture are key. But balance doesn't necessarily mean symmetrical. Some designs require symmetry--the repetition being its charm. Other jewelry thrives on asymmetry, using color and texture as the balance. Large, freeform shapes on one side stylishly contrast long lengths of chain on the other. Mixed colors can work together without having a rhythm, the appeal being the varied pattern. In jewelry designs--anything goes!

Simple Tips

Bags of assorted beads are hard to pass up and even harder to sort. Instead of separating the beads individually, use a handheld grater to do the work for you. The smaller beads will pass through the grates while the larger seed beads and bugle beads will remain on the surface.

Simple Tips

When setting up your work area, ''wallpaper'' your walls with elements that will help you get organized and provide design inspiration. Use bead sample cards, paint swatches and hand-painted pegboards in inspiring colors. And stencil wall borders in your favorite jewelry silhouettes and shapes for eye-catching interest.

Simple Tips

When stringing long fringe or a continuous length of seed beads, make every 10th bead a slightly different color from the rest. This saves time since you can count the strung beads in a flash, and enhances the overall design.

Simple Tips

Add visual interest to wire creations by flattening or hammering your wire:

Simple Tips

Save lids and caps with unusual sizes and textures and use as molds for clay projects. Cut uniform shapes or press the textured side of the lid into clay to create unusual patterns.

Simple Tips

Use liver of sulfur to create an aged look in metal jewelry. Soak the metal pieces in a liver sulfur bath and watch as the black tarnish darkens the surface and soaks deep into the coils and folds of the wire or metal. Then polish the black off the surface with a metal polishing cloth, leaving the aged color within the recesses.

Simple Tips

It is easier to make a symmetrical necklace if you mark the center of the thread or wire first. Then do short sections to match alternating on each side. It is easier to catch and correct a mistake.

Simple Tips

When multiple projects are taking over your work station, it's possible you'll run out of bead trays for the different colors and types of beads you are using all at once. This is the time to pull out the deviled egg tray you usually save for special occasions. It's the perfect size for holding beads and has an average of 12 additional compartments.

Simple Tips

Beading wire can scratch the wearer if it is sticking out or not clipped close enough to the crimp. A good technique to finish a necklace so that the wire is hidden is to make sure your last bead or two are large enough for the remainder of beading wire to be threaded back through and clipped.

Simple Tips

A black fireplace screen serves as a great storage and display unit for your earring collection. It is also portable for quick set-up at bazaars. Colored, framed window screens are lightweight and portable as well.

Simple Tips

I try to use all the boxes and bags that come in my orders. I work in a pharmacy and take in the medium sized ZiplocĀ® bags for the many types of drugs that are individually wrapped and won't fit in a bottle. They are great!

Simple Tips

Best tip I can think of to save money is to use ToeNail Clippers in place of cutters to trim your ends, on your beading wires and threads. Saves more money for beads!

Simple Tips

I have another suggestion for Terri, who asked the experts on Tuesday, about using a broken briolette. I had one and I glued it to a silver bead cap. Before I glued it, I used a head pin to make a wrapped loop out of the top of the cap and then glued the broken tip of the briolette into the cap. It is now beautiful, the broken edge doesn't show and I don't have to worry about stressing the repair.

Simple Tips

When brass or copper wire is used to make jewelry that is worn on a part of the body that has a lot of natural oils, such as around the neck, ears or chest, the wire can become coated with corrosion. This corrosion can look unsightly if the wire is used with light colored transparent beads. To keep your jewelry looking clean, choose a high quality metal wire that will resist corrosion, or plan your designs around beads that won't easily show the dark build up. Periodically cleaning the jewelry in a gentle, soapy water solution can help. If your jewelry contains coated beads or natural gemstones that are sensitive to cleaners or scrubbing, test a small area before cleaning the entire piece.

Simple Tips

Here's the solution to inconsistent sizes and shapes in cultured freshwater pearls. Using a hole puncher, make two rows of 10 holes on a piece of cardstock. Apply masking tape to the backside of the cardstock, with the sticky side appearing through the holes. The tape is sticky enough to hold the pearls in place, but not enough to leave a residue. Compare the pearls from every angle to find the closest match.

Simple Tips

Copper wire will patina, or darken and discolor, with age. If you prefer to keep your copper wire bright, coat it with a clear sealer or polish before stringing and let dry. Soaking copper in white vinegar will help to clean it.

Simple Tips

To loosen up stiff fingers and hands, a pinkie ball, hacky-sack ball or similar squeeze toy can be squeezed to exercise the hand between projects. It will help strengthen and relax the wrist and fingers.
378 Resources Found
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