Friday, 23 December 2011

How to create balance in your jewelry design

Making your own jewelry from scratch is fun! Allowing yourself to shine through your artwork is just one of things you want to achieve in any jewelry pice you make. Choosing the colour, material and texture are all important in making your own jewelry. However, balancing these materials plays a significant role in the
wearability of your jewelry piece.

When creating your own jewelry, ensure to create balance. Symmetrical, assymetrical, discordant, and radial balance forms are typically used to achieve balance for your jewelry.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Where to buy beads for your hobby

So, you've decided to try something new this year and that is to make your own jewelry. Making jewelry is fairly easy to do. There are various techniques that can be used to make your own jewelry.
Of course, some techniques are more complicated than others. Either way your creations will come out beautiful in the end.

I am always asked by long time jewelry hobbyists and beginners as to where I get my beads. So, I thought I would create a list of places I normally go to for my beads.

1. Dollar Store. The dollar store is one of the best beading stores if you are trying out beading as a hobby. They normally stock packages of assorted beads. They can range from stones, glass, porcelain, wood, and shell. They are inexpensive and great to use as practice beads.
The downside to the dollar store is that the bead style options are limited. Other than that, dollar stores are still an awesome store to visit when you are starting out.

2. Art and Bead Stores.  If you want a bigger selection, art stores like Michael's will have a variety of beads to choose from. The biggest reason why I buy from art stores is that I can touch and feel the merchandise.
However, buying from an art store can get quite expensive. Always set a budget on how much you want to spend before going. Believe me, I have gotten lost with all the pretty, shiny beads in bead stores and always tend to overspend.

My recommendation is to buy a beginner kit first. Jewelry kits will include all a beginner beader needs. Items such as flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, beads, and findings are all included in most kits. You can normally make a few jewelry pieces from the kit itself. There are also jewelry kits with instructions designed to make a specific jewelry item.

3. Online or bulk bead stores: If you decide to take your beading hobby a step further then you can buy your beads in bulk. There are literally hundreds of places that sell in bulk locally or online.
Although most wholesale bead stores require you to have a registered business there are some who cater to hobbyists or small businesses. Many sell their beads and tools at a fraction of the cost when you buy retail.

4. Your old jewelry. Old jewelry can be taken apart and made into new designs. When I first started my jewelry hobby, I simply re-used some of the old jewelry that I have not worn in years. I took them apart and made something new with them. They are actually my favourite pieces.

5. Pebbles and stones. Simple stones and pebbles from riversides or beaches can be turned into jewelry. I normally pick up stones that have an unusual color or shape and make them into wire wrapped pendants. They look amazing once placed on a chain.

Starting a new hobby is fun and exciting. The art of jewelry-making itself has endless possibilities. With an openness to learn new things, you can create beautiful jewelry for yourself or as gifts.
Now you know where you can find beads so you can start enjoying your jewelry hobby or perhaps future business.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Top 10 Online bead stores

Selection of beads can differ in each stores. Most times, I find it easier to shop online rather than going to a store locally. With free shipping offers and return guarantees, it is getting much easier to shop online for beads, findings, and other jewelry tools.

Here's the Top 10 Online bead stores.

1. Firemountain gems
2. Bead FX
3. Brightlings beads
4. Art beads
5. Fusion Beads
6. The Beading Room
7. Crystal Mountain Beads
8. Beadaholique
9. Canbead
10. Titan beads

Feel free to comment if there are other bead store that should be listed.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Wire wrapping pebbles or irregular gemstones

Since I haven't had time to make videos or instructions to wire wrap pebbles or irregular glass/gemstones, I thought I would share this video I found on youtube. The technique is more free form and so it is easy to do and great for beginners.

Things you need for this project:
round craft wire (20 or 22 ga)
flush cutters and a pencil or chain-nose and round-nose pliers

Note: there is no audio associated with the instructions. It is just dead-air, but the video quality is amazing.
Video courtesy of:


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What do I need to start jewelry-making: getting to know your basic jewelry tools

When deciding to make your own jewelry, there are a few tools necessary to get started. Some of these may sound familiar, but most will be new to you. In some cases the tools being used are ones that can be found around the house. However, the tools mentioned here are versions specifically made for jewelry making.

Beading boards or beading mats: These are helpful items that can help you design and measure any jewelry piece. These can be purchased in jewelry making kits that are available at art stores.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Birthstone traditional and modern list

Birthstones were thought to have supernatural powers. Wearing the stone that was associated with the person's birthday was believed to bring good luck and health. Typically, precious stones such as gemstones were used and still being used today. Birthstones were worn set in rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Although the history of birthstones focused on giving mythical strength to it's wearer, today we may just follow whatever the list says because it is associated with our birth date.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Pebbles as keepsakes

You find yourself walking along the beach and find a beautiful pebble. You pick it up thinking how nice it would be to keep as a keepsake. Months later you forget about this pretty pebble. Perhaps making into a pendant would not only make it more attractive, but add value to it thus creating a beautiful wire wrapped jewelry.

Just like gemstones, pebbles can be made into beautiful pendants to adorn any type of jewelry chain. You can add the pendant to a sterling silver or a gold chain to make it an interesting handmade jewelry.

One way to make pendants out of pebbles is to use a technique called wire wrapping. The most common type of wire used is half-hard or soft wire. The size of the wire will depend on the size of the stone you want to wire wrap. The wire can come in different types specifically square, round, and half round. Normally, square and half-round are easier to use than round ones. They tend to stay put than the round ones.

You can practically wire wrap anything! You can use this technique on broken antique glass, old pendants, rocks, pebbles, rare stones, gem stones, and more. Just add a little bit of imagination and you can create something that will be your own handmade jewelry treasure that you can pass on to generations.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

How to wear custom jewelry

We all love jewelry from manufactured pieces to custom handcrafted jewelry. One thing we need to consider is that the jewelry piece should work with not only our clothes, but also our own body.

Chunky jewelry works best with those with strong bone structure. This mixes well with thicker fabrics, plaids and bold patterns. If you're going for a casual look, a chunky piece of jewelry is a great choice.

Elegant fine jewelry works well with fine bone structure and is appropriate for all occasions. This includes pieces like fine gold and silver chains with a simple pendant. You can wear this with thin fabrics, small stripes and delicate patterns.

Large handcrafted or handmade jewelry are best suited for taller individuals. This goes well with casual looks, but at the same time create a dramatic look for the wearer.

Small handcrafted jewelry are suited for with shorter individuals looking for jewelry for any occasion. The type of fabric should have small patterns to avoid overpowering the look of the piece.

The art of wearing jewelry can be tricky. And it may take time to find the right one that fits both your clothes and body type. I hope that some of these rules can be of use when deciding what type of jewelry to wear.

As posted on Serenbeadity website.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Quick Beading Basics

I thought I would share this youtube video for basic beading. When I first started beading, I had a hard time reading instructions through books even when they included pictures. I guess, I'm the type that needs to be shown how to do things. This video will show you how to make beaded jewelry.

Enjoy the video! 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Choosing Colors for your Beading Project

Adding beads to a piece can be easier said than done. You can pick any beads in a store whether it is a high quality glass beads, pearl or Swarovski, the colours you choose can make an eye catching difference. Knowing which colours complement each other are one of the key ingredients to creating your own unique piece of handmade jewelry.

For beginners, choose bead colours that are analogous to each other. This creates harmony in the colour scheme.

Analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel, such as yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Typically one of the three colors will dominate the others. Once you have that down pact, it will be much easier to expand to different colour schemes for your handmade jewelry.

Links to colour wheel theories:

This article originally came from Serenbeadity

The Reinvention of Handcrafted Jewelry

Custom handcrafted jewelry has been reinvented as an artisan craft. It is no longer considered your “granny’s” hobby. It has been taken up by sophisticated and artistic people the world over.

Many custom handcrafted jewelry are unique in their own way. Wearing these pieces can make a bolder statement compared to simple gold jewelry. The freedom to mix color and texture is one reason jewelry designers love to create custom handcrafted jewelry.

Some custom pieces may include rare materials therefore having limited availability. Many of these are created as one of a kind pieces that cannot be made with the same materials. Owning something no one will ever have makes custom jewelry highly desirable! However, there are jewelry designers that can mimic their own work with different materials.

The beauty of custom handcrafted jewelry can be found not only in it’s materials, but through it’s unique and one of a kind qualities.

This article originally came from Serenbeadity

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Important qualities for jewelry design

Individuality, design, functionality, and quality make your handmade jewelry unique from other designers. In order to appeal to customers and potential customers, ensure to keep up to date with fashion trends and what the market demands.

The fashion industry is always changing which also changes people’s tastes and wants. However, there are times that fashion comes back into the current trend. Perhaps a jewelry piece you’ve made 10 years ago can now be re-introduced to latest style trends.Think about how antiques are always in style even after so many years.

Keep in mind though that a piece that you want to last for a long time should be made with quality materials. Many manufacturers of beads and stringing materials now make their products stronger in order to withstand the test of time. Offer customers tips on how to care for their  handmade jewelry that way they feel that the piece they purchased has special value to you.

Following trends, choosing quality beads, and adopting new techniques will also keep your jewelry pieces fresh and unique. This adds value to your work to a potential customer. Keeping these simple tips in mind will give you the individuality and quality people look for in any handmade jewelry design.

This article originally came from Serenbeadity