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Simple Tips

Whenever I see a picture of something I'd like to "re-create," I cut the picture out and place it in an extra photo album (three photos per page type) for safe keeping until I can get to it. I also use them for the free project ideas I pick up at my local craft stores. That way, I don't have little pieces of paper floating around the house or in my trays of tools, findings, etc. (I also put my tips and tricks sheets in there.)

Simple Tips

I love working in my studio on a large wooden bead board, but hate cleaning out the excess beads from the many little wells I had dumped them into when I began the project. To remedy this, I line each depression with a small piece of heavy foil, folding it in such a way as to build up sides to the height of the well. Now I dump with abandon the tiny beads knowing I can just pick up the foil liner, mush one end to fashion a funnel and pour my excess beads back into their original container with no fuss or spillage. The foil is pliable yet sturdy enough to last through many projects.

Simple Tips

The plastic pill boxes that hold a week or more of pills works great for holding small amounts of, or single, beads. I can put matching colors or sizes in the same container with seven compartments. You may be able to find the extra large ones or multiple times a day container. I was given one that was opaque and was frustrated that I couldn't see the beads, so I taped one bead to the top or each "day." Now I know what's inside.

Simple Tips

I am a dance mom and also make crafty things for my girls to wear ... I save all of the baby food jars or baby food plastic containers to hold odds and ends of crafting suppiles. Beads, rhinestones, safety pins, ribbon ... the uses are endless!!! And easliy packed up to take off to competition or place in a drawer.

Simple Tips

If the stretch elastic breaks on your bracelet or necklace, use single or doubled strand bobbin elastic (used in sewing and "honey-combing" clothes) to replace and rejuvenate your bracelet or necklace. Finish the knot with a dab of glue.

Simple Tips

I'd been using bottle caps in a plastic bin to organize small amounts of beads. Today I was making breakfast and noticed something! Some brands of eggs come in reusable plastic containers. These containers are rigid thin plastic, like a pop bottle. If you clean the container once you've eaten (or colored) all 12 eggs, you have a handy 24-compartment (temporary) bead organizer with a bead tray, which folds in to 3 parts for travel or storage. It's a great way to recycle some plastic and help Mother Earth, too.

Simple Tips

If you use tweezers with very fine points, you know that the points seem to try to get bent. I found a way to prevent this when I went in for a flu shot last fall. The shot came with a plastic cover over the needle, which I grabbed before it was tossed in the wastebasket. It is a perfect fit for my tweezers. The cover is usually thrown out, so a request is probably all it would take to get your new tweezer cover. Just make sure that they know you want the cover, not the needle.

Simple Tips

I love candles - especially the ones in odd-shaped jars with the stoppered lids. When the candle is burned down, I melt the last little bit of wax, clean the jar and voila! A perfect new storage jar for beads! These are great for larger focal beads, odd-sized nuggets and my "spare parts" from projects. Line the jars up on a bookshelf for storage and it's very easy to see and find.

Simple Tips

This is just a suggestion on how to pick up dropped beads in the carpet. I recently dropped a whole hank of charlottes on the floor. I used my bar of beeswax to pick all of them up in no time at all.

Simple Tips

I taped a vinyl tape measure on the top of the front edge of my beading table. It's a snap to measure out the right length of wire or to line up beads when laying out a bracelet design and it's a Godsend for keeping the crimps spaced evenly on floating necklaces.

Simple Tips

I use the plastic containers that hold baby food to store my different beads in. They are cheap, grip tightly, and are easily seen through. They also stack nicely.

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

If you don't have a big eye beading needle, then just use a length of soft wire. Put your thread through one end then squeeze together, put a dab of super glue to the tip of the other end to hold the two pieces. It works perfectly for me. Thanks.

Simple Tips

When making a project that has multiple wire-wrapped loops, such as chandelier earrings, make the first loop, then use a permanent marker to mark that place on the jaw of your round-nose pliers. Use this mark as a guide for making the rest of the loops the same size. Since the jaws of the pliers are metal, the mark wears off.

Simple Tips

When threading needles, instead of bringing the thread to the needle, hold the very tip of the thread between thumb and forefinger and lower the eye of the needle onto the thread. I find this technique much less frustrating.

Simple Tips

Before knotting silk thread, tie 1 end around a doorknob. Thread up over top of door, down under bottom, over top again and tie end to a brick that is just barely above the ground but not touching. Let stretch over night. Use double thickness when knotting.

Simple Tips

Run curly thread through a curling iron that is set on a low heat to straighten. Check the contents of the thread, because some silks will burn or scorch under high heat. To prevent scorching or melting, move a test piece of the thread quickly through the curling iron. If it responds well to the heat, it is safe to use.

Simple Tips

Take a travel size Tylenol® bottle and use it to store your needles in. You can also make it pretty by doing peyote stitch around it.

Simple Tips

To create consistent wire-wrapped loops, mark a spot on the jaw of your round-nose pliers and use it as your guide every time you make a wire-wrapped loop. A permanent marker works great, and it eventually wears off of the metal.

Simple Tips

My husband used to smoke large cigars that were packaged in glass tubes with cork top closures. These are so nice for seed beads or any beads. What is so nice about it, is it doesn't cost me anything and his cigar smoking friends give them to me also. Happy beading,

Simple Tips

Keep your sterling silver components tarnish-free with moisture absorbers. Simply save the tiny silica gel packets, found in handbags and shoe boxes, and place them into the air-tight plastic bag with your sterling silver items. Just remember to keep the silica gel packets away from children and pets, as the contents are harmful if ingested. Tape or glue a yardstick to the bottom edge of your work table. This creates a lip to catch rolling beads and provides a permanent measuring tool right at your fingertips.

Simple Tips

Feathers can easily be used in necklace and earring designs with small . Place the tip of the feather in the crimp. With your chain-nose pliers, bend the sides of the crimp down so they are flat against the back of the feather. The crimp has a loop at the top and can be attached to an earwire or strung on a necklace with a split ring.

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

New product idea: Little soy sauce dipping bowls work much better than beading trays for working with seed beads. The curve of the side of the bowl is perfect for catching a bead on a needle, and using individual bowls makes putting beads away very quick and easy.

Simple Tips

If working with polyclay and you want to give an antiqued look to an item, after baked and cooled, get a glaze used for bisque. You place it aside for 10-15 minutes then wipe. Then use clear fingernail polish or a resin and cover it. Glaze collects in the creases and gives piece more dimension.

Simple Tips

It's tempting to have a matched set of jewelry-making tools. But, I like the fact that the handles on my most-used tools are all different. When I had an all blue set I had to stop concentrating on my project to identify the wanted tool by its shape and function. Now when it's time for me to change from chain-nose (red handles) to round-nose (zebra-striped handles) pliers I only need a quick glance at my work surface to identify what I need next.

Simple Tips

To stiffen a spiral (Dutch, Russian, Herringbone) bead bracelet or choker, thread a piece of 14 gauge sterling wire through it, put bead caps on each end and make a wire loop to hold the bead caps. Then hook a clasp of choice to the 2 wire loops. The wire can then be shaped to fit.

Simple Tips

For cheap and creative earring display, simply use a wire mesh wastebasket turned upside down. This works exceptionally well for hook earrings and if you look in the right places you can find rubber coated wire mesh bins in neat colors.

Simple Tips

If you cut wire and it goes flying across the room only to be found when you step on it later, here's a tip that will catch those flying pieces. When you cut your wire, hold a damp paper towel in your hand over the tip that will fly. As you are cutting, you will feel the wire tip fling against the damp paper. Now you know exactly where it is, and clean up is a breeze!

Simple Tips

Since I am only starting out, the only jewelry I actually sell are my cancer-awareness items. However, I do design and make other jewelry, including matching/coordinating sets (seriously, how many beads can I love at one time?). My pierced ear holes can be hyper-sensitive, but one day, I could not figure out why I was having excessive trouble putting in one of my recently made earrings. Finally, I looked at the ear wire with my reading glasses AND a magnifying glass. Sure enough, there was a microscopic "drop" on the end, big enough to irritate my ear hole and prevent me from getting the wire through. So I took my metal nail file and a reamer to it, smoothing it off carefully. Perfect fit, no irritation! Now I file any item I make that is supposed to be a piercing. This may be common sense to experienced jewelry makers, but I'm far from that just yet! :)

Simple Tips

Making a Tool Holder: Go to a Dollar Store® and get 2 octagon picnic tables for plants, a bag of 1-foot dowels, and upholstery tacks. Take off all legs from the octagons. Stand octagons on edge. Place one tack on each lower corner for stability, one up one side of the octagon to hold the tool handles, and one at the top to place the tool on. Total of 5 tacks on each octagon. Assemble using the dowels between the octagons and the tacks to secure. So you have on-edge octagon, dowel, on-edge octagon. Now you have a 1-food tool holder for less than $5 and the 6 - 8-inch ones for sale online are $10+. Tools are light and don't require using maple, pine, or other strong woods. I used 2-sided sticky foam to attach a small plastic glass to the side of mine to hold fingernail files, markers, tweezers, etc.

Simple Tips

I use cake pans (9x13 or 8x8) to put my beads in while I'm beading. I line them with felt or tea towels to keep the beads from rolling around. You can scrunch up the towel into sections to keep bead groups separate.

Simple Tips

When looming beads, a sharp needle tip can split the threads and tangle. Use the needle eye first so you never split your threads. Or try dulling the needle tip by gently filing it so it doesn't do this.

Simple Tips

Being "over" 70 years of age and having arthritis, I very frequently drop/spill beads. Sometimes an entire container. I have a manual lightweight carpet sweeper. I keep the retaining compartment clean and use it for nothing else but getting up my spills. It is easy to use and store. Handle was made bendable by the manufacturer so I do not have to bend over! Best investment I have made to be used as part of my beading tools. This way I seldom have beads get into the powered vacuum cleaner, which makes my daughter happy too! I also use a "reacher" (made for us elderly and handicapped) to pick up small drops/spills as soon as they happen. Thanks for all the assistance you have provided.

Simple Tips

If you wax your thread with beeswax, melt a corner of the wax just to soften it up. This way when you run your thread through it the wax won't cake up and your thread will stick together nicely.

Simple Tips

For a very novice beginner, a B and W, hand drawn graph showing "actual size" (mm and so forth) of beads and the same for holes, would certainly be an excellent reference.

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

The Bead Buddies® with the plastic grips--I found that the slick plastic was hard to hold onto even with the little bumps on them. So I used a nail file and filed off the bumps and glued on VELCRO®, cut to size.

Simple Tips

Even the most durable beading needles can bend, putting a crimp in seed bead and other intricate beading projects. A pair of chain-nose and nylon-jaw pliers will help extend the life of your beading needles. Grasp the needle at the eye with the chain-nose pliers. Starting below the bend in the needle and gripping firmly, pull the needle through the nylon pliers. Repeat as necessary. With a little manipulation, your needle will be as straight as new.

Simple Tips

Empty travel-size baby-wipe containers make great storage for bead projects. They're lightweight, the right depth to hold most finished projects and they fit easily into a purse or carry-on. For added protection, line the container with padded shelf liner.

Simple Tips

I use a rack that is for storing spools of sewing thread that I affix to my closet wall. That way I can easily store and see hundreds of beaded necklaces and bracelets easily without them getting tangled.

Simple Tips

I took a linen-type kitchen towel and put string connecting 2, or the short end, corners. Then I placed 1 side of some Velcro® to the other end of the towel and the other end is glued to the bottom of my work table. The string goes around my neck and the Velcro is always attached to the table. In this way, any items that are dropped while working are caught by the towel and easily returned to storage.

Simple Tips

If you love the look of layered necklaces, but have a hard time experimenting with this latest trend, you are not alone. Try wearing multiple individual pendants, such as graphic pendants, art deco, large bead dangles, and multiple chains in a layered and overlapping arrangement for an eclectic, tailored look.

Simple Tips

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.

Simple Tips

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, insert one side of your round-nosed pliers into the loop while pulling the wire tight and crimping it down.

Simple Tips

I like to tell my customers that jewelry is the secret to creating great personal style. A well chosen piece makes any outfit new again (easily reinventing an existing wardrobe), offers confidence to its wearer and provides a conversation-starting statement.

Simple Tips

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.

Simple Tips

Take a foot of 20# Fireline®, loop in middle, go through crimp bead, put Powercord® through the loop, then pull back through the crimp bead. Take out Fireline®. Crimp bead.

Simple Tips

Before reusing those plastic bags your beads come in, you can remove the "MADE IN ..." printed on the outside by dipping a cotton ball or a papper towel in acetone (as in fingernail polish remover). You have a clean bag for storage or to use for customers.

Simple Tips

I use tiny, less than 2oz, rectangular, clear storage containers with white lids, that are available at Dollar Tree® stores, 10 in a package for (obviously) a dollar. They fit perfectly stacked on their short ends 10 deep and 4 wide in the rolling plastic and chrome caddy I picked up on mega sale at Jo-Ann's, the ones with rainbow-colored drawers. The bottoms are clear so you can see inside, but I often also add a little tag. The tops are almost the perfect size for the current rectangular, rounded corner FMG labels.

Simple Tips

To help in picking up small beads use finger cots. You can get these at your local pharmacy. They are used to protect finger wounds. Put one on your index finger and thumb.

Simple Tips

I like to work with lace, silk and other delicate fabrics on my bead embroidery projects. To prevent fraying and lumps, I use double-sided tape on the back side of my Lacy's Stiff Stuff™ or Ultra Suede. I fold the lace or delicate fabric carefully to the back side of my Stiff Stuff or suede against the double-sided tape. Without bumps and frays I can finish my work.

Simple Tips

A new letter opener, usually rectangular or square, is a great bead thread cutter, as well as being useful for other threads. Scissors are great, but using this style of letter opener lets you get close to the work, and when I embroider, I often use it without having to flip my work over, so I can cut threads close to the work, without having to see it.

Simple Tips

In choosing colors for a project, using at least 1 from the opposite position on the color wheel will really make the main one pop out. (Example: use orange to highlight blue.)

Simple Tips

Memory wire is tempered wire that remembers its shape and retains its coiled form. It's one size fits all and comes in pre-formed necklace, bracelet and ring sizes. You don't need a clasp to connect the ends because they automatically stay in one place around your neck, wrist or finger.

Simple Tips

This is from my friend Barb, who does jewelry appraisals: Never use rubber bands (or any rubber) near silver or silver plating. The chemicals in the rubber will actually burn through the silver (or SP) and leave nasty black marks--permanently ruining the piece.

Simple Tips

To make a simple inexpensive earring display, use a wire trash can. Turn it upside down and place it on a Lazy Susan. It's great for displaying earrings and turns easily for selection.

Simple Tips

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.

Simple Tips

I drink bottled water all the time, so for recycling purposes for my bead storage and findings storage; I use the small clear water bottles with their lids of course, after they are empty and they dry out. I use the ones you can buy by the case at Walmart or from where ever. Put them on a shelf, or back into the box that the water initially came in. You can also put your labels on them and since they are clear bottles you can always see with ease, just by looking at your bottles. It's especially great for mixed beads and leftover beads. If a bottle tips over, it's no problem, because you've put the lid back on the bottle and a fall won't break the bottle!! I hope my tip helps someone.

Simple Tips

I reuse the teal tissue that comes packaged in my orders to stuff gift bags and boxes.

Simple Tips

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

Simple Tips

I used to work at Ritz Camera and was able to take home a good amount of Fujifilm canisters to store my beads in (my husband uses them for his chain mail too). Each canister can hold about a hank of beads and the Fuji brand is nearly clear so you can see the beads' color. Then, I printed out labels on my computer to put on the canisters with a description of the contents. An added bonus to these canisters is that the lid can double as a little sample palette when working on a project. You can go to any place they develop film and ask for their canisters, they'll give them free because they're usually thrown away anyway!

Simple Tips

I use a pair of magnets to hold the ends of projects. It works great, and is portable too!

Simple Tips

Toilet paper rolls are the perfect size for making napkin rings. For Art Clay™ projects, the roll disappears when the clay is fired. For polymer clay projects, simply pull the roll out of the design before firing.

Simple Tips

When you are working with multiple colors of seed beads, a quick and easy way to keep them separated is with plumbing gaskets (available at most hardware stores).

Simple Tips

Keep your wire organized by storing it in , using a permanent marker to write the gauge and type of wire on the outside of the bag. Not only will your wire be easy to find, the zip-tight bags will limit oxidation.

Simple Tips

I use the plastic containers from baby food to keep my beads. They line up really nice in a drawer. I then organize by color in each drawer. If you know someone with babies, ask them to save the containers. The lids stay closed are good to pour out enough for your project.

Simple Tips

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 just like another silver or gold bead!

Simple Tips

Bead boards are a great tool, but they are a little weak. There have been several occasions where I have picked up my bead board with one hand and the board buckles because of the weight and how I picked it up. To correct this, I purchased some 1/4-inch plywood from a home improvement store, cut it to be just slightly larger than the bead board, and then permanently glued the bead board to the plywood. Once dry, you can place little rubber stick-on rubber discs onto the bottom of the plywood board so it won't scratch tabletops or slide around. Now you have a sturdy bead board that won't buckle on you when you pick it up.

Simple Tips

You can use safety pins as your own personal wire coiling gizmo to create small wire coils for detailed wirework and maybe even for wire guardians.

Simple Tips

I like to display strands of beads (especially pearls) on walls. It takes care of storage and decorating at once! I buy cheap yardsticks from local hardware stores (under a dollar) and put very small nails every inch for hanging strands on. Then I use two bigger nails to secure the yard stick to the wall. This does less damage to the wall than putting all those nails directly in, and your beads are spaced evenly. It also works on the backs or sides of book cases. I usually paint the yardsticks before I hang them, but if you don't, you can also use them for measuring strings of beads!

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

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 look more like an actual bead, and wire guardians help to hide the wire and protect it from wearing on clasps and findings.

Simple Tips

I like to share that women pay a great deal for new hairstyles, make-up and more. Jewelry offers an instant makeover and boost of confidence at a great value. It's easy to create any desired look with the right jewelry.

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

A foam mouse pad with a gel wrist rest makes long-term beading more comfortable. Plus, the beads and needles stay where you put them.

Simple Tips

I use the small plastic cups with peel-off lids, like applesauce cups, to sort beads for projects and to give away when teaching a beading class. A local pizza place puts salad dressing in small clear or opaque cups with clear lids that are great to organize pony beads by color for classes for kids. I use 2x4-inch dense black foam that came from a shipping container and stick my T-pins in the end of the rectangular foam for storage. Then I place my thick paper earring cards on the foam to punch the holes for the earwires without bending the cards. My sister encouraged me to get a small bookcase with several shelves to store my 40 or more 12-compartment storage containers on their sides, labeling each container by color or type of beads in that container.

Simple Tips

The easiest way to get release off of the inside of lamp worked beads is to soak in denture cleaner... comes out spotless...

Simple Tips

Often when you make your own home accessories such as pillows, curtains and bedclothes you use decorator fabric, but when you want to choose beads to decorate with, it is hard to decide which colors are best. Next time you find a great piece of fabric for any project that you later might want to bead, use this designer trick and look for the color match dots that can be found on the selvedge (woven edge) of the fabric. All the colors, in small circles that are in the print, are now easy to isolate and match!

Simple Tips

I pick up pretty glass jars with lids from thrift stores and garage sales. Then place beads in them and label size and type. This way I can always see what I have to work with at a glance.

Simple Tips

Dropped some beads on the floor? Here's a quick way to pick them up--just take a piece of tape (duct tape works best) and turn it inside out and make a loop of it then pick up the beads! Also works for picking up small bits of thread or paper from your work area! Here's a tip to store your hook-style earrings: Make a "box" out of plastic canvas any size you want. Just take 2 pieces of the same size for the front and back, then cut strips about 1 1/2" for the sides. Then sew or hot glue the edges together to make the "box." If you use the piece of the canvas that has the hanging tab on the top-you can use it for the back piece--just center the tab in the middle on the top for hanging. Otherwise you can just hang it on a nail. I have one hanging in my bathroom and can see my earrings at a glance and they stay organized! You could also use one to hang your earrings on when making several pairs (a place to park them)!

Simple Tips

I use over the door shoe organizers with clear pockets to store my beads and focals. They are organized by color to make it easy to find what I am looking for when creating a piece.

Simple Tips

I use a square of rubber shelf covering to work on. This keeps my beads from bouncing and rolling off whatever I am working on (such as a bed tray, table, or floor!) The coverings come in a long, long roll in all colors.

Simple Tips

You can keep your creations in cellophane bags, or take photos of them, so you can visualize your progress.

Simple Tips

To keep your wire looking smooth and blemish free, using the right tools is essential. When making wrapped loops, using a pair of round-nose or chain-nose pliers will make nicely rounded shapes that close tightly. For jumprings that close securely and are not bent awkwardly or scratched, use two sets of fine flat-nose pliers. Avoid using non-jewelry pliers that have grooves or teeth, because they will scar and scratch the wire surface when they pinch down. Scratches from pliers can snag clothing and detract from the polished look.

Simple Tips

I use plastic shrink tubes used to cover electrical repairs which are easily found at hardware stores to cover my needle and bent-nose pliers. I cut a small piece for each tong and blow dry it to fit snug. They last for a project and can be easily removed. They are also very inexpensive.

Simple Tips

Here is a simple way to display earrings for a show or at home. Use a staple gun to attach a piece of screening to the open section of a frame. Then just hook your earrings through the openings of the screen. Plain or fancy frames, whichever you prefer, they both look great!

Simple Tips

To display your earrings, use wire CD racks, usually 3 sided, and the 4th side cut out plastic needle point mesh to size for your studs. Use a small metal binder clip and attach to the top wire to hold in place, un clip to add more. Works great. I have 3 racks full which is about 150 pairs of earrings.

Simple Tips

I use baby food jars to put my beads and other small things in. I remove the labels and glue from the jars. You can place the jars on a shelf, I stack one on the other, very easy to see what's in the jars. This works great for me, hope it works for you too.

Simple Tips

My daughter and grand babies have allergies that require shots and her allergist has started saving the cases the needles come in for me. They're approximately 1' deep and 5' square, and perfect! I put all the stuff I may make into something in them, to decide on the end design later. And when I'm in the middle of beading they will hold different opened packs of findings, focals, beads, chains, even small tools! Her allergist loves it because they aren't just being thrown away, and I love the ease. I have over 100 now, and use them more than any other tool.

Simple Tips

When finishing the ends, use either a basic loop or ball ends. For loops, bend the wire against the natural curve. This is easier than forcing the wire to bend into the curve. If using to finish, adhere with or similar glue to hold the balls in place.

Simple Tips

Tighten Your EarnutsEasily tighten "too loose" earnuts or adjust them for use on smaller posts with your round-nose pliers. Place the nose of the pliers into the earnut loops and tighten.- Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Tip

Simple Tips

Take a wood picture frame, remove the glass, then staple or nail lace to the back. This creates a wonderful frame to hang on the wall to hold earrings and they make great gifts. Plus you can choose any size and style of frame depending on the amount of earrings you have.

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

When working with very tiny beads, place beads on a flat surface such as a plate. To quickly pick up, wet your finger and press down on beads so that they stick to your finger and easily thread beads by sticking end of line through beads stuck to your finger. This works best when using something semi-stiff for stringing, such as wire or monofilament.

Simple Tips

I use small circle and rectangle plastic storage containers for small beads. They are avalible 10 for $1 at most dollar stores. Medium size mason jars work for most of my beads. They easily fit in to plastic containers purchased at a local store. Two of these larger containers fit in one square of a wooden cubby wall I have set aside for my crafting. BONUS: Any size mason jar makes giving loose beads or a finished project as a gift super easy!

Simple Tips

Lost a button? Have a shirt that reveals a little too much but safety pins look weird or are too hard to pin? Use any flat-back crystal, pearl or focal bead with a tie tac finding! Now you have an easy to place, stylish "button" anytime you need it!

Simple Tips

When I bead, I cover my worktable with a piece of white cotton flannel. I have it long enough to lie in my lap like an apron. 1. The beads don't roll. 2. The apron catches beads that are dropped. 3. This beats having to pick them up from the floor.

Simple Tips

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 front end of the loop. Maintain the tension. Now push the cover over the crimp and close it. If the fit is too tight to withdraw the thread holding the cover, just trim it closely and leave it there.

Simple Tips

When threading your needle, hold the thread in your non-dominant hand so that just a tiny portion--about the size of the dot in this ''i'' - sticks up between your thumb and forefinger. Place the needle eye on the dot and slide the thread up through the hole.
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