I have found that when I am designing jewelry I don't always have all of the beads, spacers, or findings that I need. Instead of going out and buying more items than I may need, I take old copies of Fire Mountain catalogs (items are typically...
If the extension for your vacuum tweezers vanishes, or you need a penny-pincher way to handle tiny crystals, try using the dampened end of a spaghetti noodle. It will easily pick up, move and ease the chaton and flat backs into place on Apoxie®...
Crimp Cover Fixes
Ever notice unwanted spaces on your necklace or bracelet after you've crimped the ends and the beads have settled into their final positions? This is where crimp covers are very useful. You can fix crimp covers into the extra spaces, and they look...
A flexible curved ruler is actually a sewing tool. Since it follows your natural neckline, it can be very handy when designing a necklace for which the exact position of a specific bead on your neckline counts.
Liver of Sulfur™
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...
For making necklaces for hand mobility-impaired folks, the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is great for lightweight necklaces. Simply knot the ends and it is ready to pull over the head--no clasp needed.
Jewelry that is strung using crimps should have a small loop that allows the clasp a little bit of movement in order to keep the wire from breaking or fraying from use under tension. To keep the loops of your beading wire even and large enough,...
When making multiple pairs of earrings, I've been shown a simple time saver. Add an 8mm bead to the top of each headpin, then do your final snip, remove the 8mm bead and your loop to hold the earwires in place will always be consistent!
Stringing From the Spool
For stringing on artificial sinew, I do not cut the end until I am finished, but leave it attached to the large spool. It is an automatic bead keeper, and I never have to worry about the beads falling off.
Chipped Bead Repair
If a bead starts to chip or break in your completed design, use clear nail polish or glitter nail polish to smooth it out and erase the imperfection.
Arthritis friendly jewelry
To help those who have arthritic pain easily wear jewelry, I use magnetic and toggle clasps on necklaces and bracelets for adults.
Add personalized details to jewelry designs. To create a one-of-a-kind gift add birthstone colors by using Swarovski crystal beads or gemstone beads, or offer words of inspiration using affirmation charms and alphabet beads. Get creative with your...
Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical
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...
Crimp Cover Keepers
Tiny crimp covers are slippery. To control them, try making a long loop of fine thread, wrap the loop around some fingers and use your index finger and thumb to pinch the thread tightly up against the crimp cover, which you have draped over the...
Easy Bracelet Sizing
Have you ever noticed how bracelets, even though they may all be the same length, will each fit a little bit differently? This is because the size of the beads affects the bracelet's inside diameter. An easy way to make sure the bracelet is the...
If your eyesight is not great, and you love to bead, use artificial sinew and large-hole beads and freeform slabs for a bolder look.
Adding 5 to 6 drops of ammonia to liver of sulfur in water helps to dissolve the liver of sulfur evenly and give you a broader range of oxidized colors.
Perfectly Centered Necklaces
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.
Self-adhesive finger pads, an alternative to thimbles
Self-adhesive finger pads, an alternative to thimbles used by tailors and garment designers, work great for beading and wirework, too. The pads stick to your fingertips and serve as a comfortable buffer against pokes from needles and wire.
If you enjoy stringing on beading wire for its strength and flexibility
If you enjoy stringing on beading wire for its strength and flexibility, but want a more professionally finished look than a plain crimp bead, add and to your design. Crimp covers help to disguise the crimp with a rounded cover bead to make it...