March 10, 2023

Twisted Bead Fringe Tutorial

Twisted bead fringe is a variety of loop bead fringe that wraps around itself to form a spiral column of beads. The effect is a lot like twisting a loop of string or wire - but, of course, it is more interesting with beads since you can vary the size, color and pattern. 

Twisted bead fringe in neon orange and green

It is not a style of fringe that you see very frequently, but I think that's a shame - so I'll show you how to make it and try to change that! 

March 09, 2023

Beadographer Beading Design Software Review

 Have you heard of or tried Beadographer? Beadographer is a web-based bead pattern design tool. If you currently draw your beadwork patterns by hand on bead graph paper and are looking to do this on your computer or I-Pad instead, beadographer can help you do that. 

Beadographer Bead Design Software home page

There are several advantages to using bead design applications over designing on paper. I like that bead programs give a more realistic representation of my project. Most create the bead grids based on the size and type of beads you specify and provide the approximate finished size of the project. They also have libraries of the different bead colors for different manufacturers, so you're not limited to marker or pencil colors - and you can even get an idea of how different bead finishes will look.

Prior to Beadographer, I used BeadTool 4, but there are a few features of Beadographer that I think really make it stand out, so I'll make sure to tell you those. Before I get there, I'll start with the basic info.

Rio Grande Jewelry Findings and Supplies Review

Rio Grande is a reputable supplier of metals, findings, diamonds and gemstones, tools, finished jewelry, displays, packaging and anything else a jewelry crafter or designer needs. Their selection ranges from base metals like stainless steel, brass, bronze and copper to precious metals including argentium silver, sterling silver, gold filled, karat gold and even platinum. I'm guessing their customer base is mostly jewelry businesses and more advanced hobbyists.

Gold plated brass chain and findings from Rio Grande

This article is a review of jewelry making products that I've purchased from Rio Grande. It is meant for my personal reference to remember which products I like, which were different than what I expected, how the item held up over time, what I want to reorder, etc. 

If you find it useful, that's great - but remember it's just my opinion. (And opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one). There are no affiliate links in this article, all of these items were purchased by me, and if you would like to add your 2 cents about items from Rio Grande you like or dislike, please add it in the comments.

February 16, 2023

Make Two Strand Bead Fringe Component for Earrings

Making this small bead fringe component is a good way to experiment with fringe length and patterns, and also a great way to add bead fringe to different styles of earrings.

Polymer clay flowers disks on thin wire hoops with bead fringe

When I think of bead fringe earrings, I tend to think of brick stitch beaded triangles with fringe dangling from the base row. I love these types of earrings but I wanted to experiment with fringe length without having to make a lot of different pairs of earrings. My solution is this fringe component that can be added to a wide variety of jewelry styles.

DIY Plain Thin Round Wire Hoop Earrings

These instructions to make your own simple wire hoops are going to be an absolute favorite. You can make small huggie style wire hoops as well as dramatic larger thin wire hoops. 

Thin Round Wire Hoop Earrings with Bead Dangles

And these hoops can be embellished with removable beaded headpin style drops or decorated by wrapping with wire and beads. It's all up to you.  

*I will be adding a video tutorial to this post soon - so check back if you find that helpful.

Making Love Letter Bead Earrings with Wire

 Using letter beads, what I used to call 'baby beads' are a great way to make personalized unique jewelry that express your true feelings. Or they could just be a way to make jewelry that amuses you.

Love Stinks letter bead earrings

One thing that makes using letter beads in jewelry challenging is that the beads have a horizontal drill hole. That makes them work best for bracelets (or for people who like to read sideways).

February 02, 2023

How to Make Loop De Loop Wire Hoop Earrings

 Wire hoop earrings have been my go-to wire wrap project lately. I am enjoying both making and wearing all of these fabulous wire hoop earrings.

Double looped wire hoop earrings

This week, I am adding another unique and fun wire hoop design, although it is more challenging than the loose messy coiled wire hoop earring tutorial and the small coiled wire huggie hoops design. In fact, I'm not sure I've fully mastered the technique for these - but I'm definitely on the verge of it.

Hugs and Kisses Heart Peyote Tube Bead Free Pattern

 Make this Valentine's Day themed peyote bead pattern to send hugs and kisses to someone you love.

Peyote bead project with chart in background

 The pattern can be used to make a small square of peyote beadwork that you can use for a pin or earrings or a pendant - or maybe even add it to a Valentine's Day card. 

beaded peyote bead with hearts and xo symbol

Or you can zip up the edges like I did in order to make a peyote beaded tube bead. You can also use the bead diagram to make the project in brick stitch, if that is the stitch you prefer.