October 12, 2018

Perfect Pearl and Bead Knotting: A Simple and Fast Method

Pearl knotting isn't just for pearls.  Strands of pearls are most likely to be knotted between beads to prevent them from rubbing together and damaging the delicate surface, but many other beads look great knotted.

Perfect Pearl and Bead Knotting Tutorial

However, knotting between beads, like many other jewelry making techniques, has several variables to consider and takes practice to get it right. Luckily, there is an easy way to knot that doesn't require practice or skill or special tools to get great results.

You also don't need to knot between every bead. Sometimes it makes sense to add a knot every few beads on the strand just in case a necklace breaks - all of the beads won't be lost.

August 24, 2018

Circular Netting Beadwork - The Basics and Beyond

I've been working on these little doo-dad mandala beaded charms for a month or so now.  I'm finally backtracking to publish some instructions though. These designs are where I started my exploration, but I was already familiar with the basics of circular netting.

 And even though I know the stitch pretty well, I still decided it would be useful to take a step back from the colors and fancy crystals to start with the basic circular design and try to evolve to the more complex designs like you see above.

August 18, 2018

Teardrop Wire Frame with Coil Decoration Earring Tutorial

I made these earrings a while ago, but they are still a favorite of mine. They are perfect for everyday wear, and if you experiment, you'll find they look terrific when you vary the metals - gold filled or brass coils on a silver frame, silver on a copper frame, etc.

Wire Teardrop Earring Free Tutorial

Once you have the basic technique down, the size can easily be altered to make them larger or smaller. You can also follow the instructions here to make the wire teardrop frames without the coils. These are useful as beading frames for projects like these earrings with brick stitch inside the frame

Wire Teardrop Frame with Brick Stitch Earring Free Tutorial

or these teardrop mosaic bead earrings.

Wire Teardrop Frame with Mosaic of Gemstone Beads Free Tutorial

I also created a video on how to make the wire frames. Scroll to the end of the post to watch. I recommend you click on the video where it says YouTube and watch it there. It is much larger and easier to see.

July 6, 2018

Best Tools to Make Perfect Wire Rosary Loops

Jewelry making seems like a constant process of one step forwards, two steps back. Just when you think you've perfected a technique, it seems to make sense to step back and re-evaluate what you know - either because you read a new tip, there's a new tool, the wire you are working with is a different thickness, temper, etc.

Or is it just me?

I guess I have to leave that possibility open. I'm sure there are plenty of jewelry makers who learned to make a wire loop with their standard round nose pliers, checked the box and moved on.  That's most definitely NOT me.

My free tutorial this month at The Spruce Crafts is how to make a traditional five decade rosary.

Best Tools to Make Perfect Rosary Loops

One thing about making this type of rosary - if you weren't an expert at loops when you started, you sure as heck probably are when you're finished!  But, in this case, I think a new tool made all the difference.

June 29, 2018

Decorative Jewelry Knots: Josephine Knot and Double Coin Knot

Decorative knots are always handy to know for jewelry making. After all, that's pretty much the whole basis of macrame - making decorative knots in a variety of patterns with different materials.  Last month, my tutorial for The Spruce Crafts was how to make a Chinese Double Coin Knot.

I did my research, like I always do, and wrote my tutorial - only to figure out just before my publishing deadline that the tutorial I wrote was for the very similar, almost identical, vaguely different Josephine Knot. A bit frustrating - but I still had time to re-shoot my pictures and make the deadline.  I figured since I already did the tutorial for the Jospehine Knot, I may as well share it here, as well as what the difference is.