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December 31, 2014

Making a Personal Talisman - Handheld Prayer Beads

Cheers to a new year

2015, here I come!  

I love a fresh start.  I'm well rested after the hustle of the holidays and ready for everything that the new year can bring.

I've decided to take on a few new challenges this year - one being participating in the Year of Jewelry  (YOJ).  This is a personal challenge to create one piece of jewelry, every week, for a year.  I've tried before, but never completed the challenge.  I know this is the year!

With a little luck 

Every week, the YOJ provides an optional theme to jump start your creativity.  

December 10, 2014

DIY Wire and Bead Christmas Ornaments

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I love this time of the year.  My Christmas tree is up!  And the house is decorated.  

And as I hung each ornament and admired them, I couldn't help but think that I really should make some ornaments.

Easy to make wire and bead ornaments, DIY

And so I did.  And you can too!

November 18, 2014

Convertible Necklace Design: Wear It Long or Short

Two is Better Than One

As a jewelry maker, I like to think that I am not in competition with mass market jewelry companies like Avon, Silpada, Cookie Lee and Lia Sophia (to name a few).  

I've been to my share of home jewelry parties for the brands previously mentioned - and one thing I've noticed these brands often do, is to make their jewelry convertible.

A multi-strand necklace might include a detachable bracelet or the 21 inch necklace can also become a triple wrap bracelet.  I've watched the party goers eat up these sales pitches on the versatility of a design.

So, when it makes sense, I try to adopt the same concept.  

November 13, 2014

Small Lessons Learned in Wire Wrapping: Asymetrical Gemstone Bracelet

It's a Wrap

Today, a piece of jewelry pulled from the pile by a friend, shined up, given a little re-work and sent to a new home.  

But along with it are the lessons learned from the time I made it, to when I finally finished it, at least 2 years, maybe much more.

Great gemstone wire wrapped bracelet - interesting tips on what makes it wearable and pretty: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

The changes I made were so small, but made a huge difference - especially since it went from the UFO (unfinished objects) pile to sold in a matter of minutes.  Here's what's different...

November 11, 2014

Technique: Filling in a Shape with Beads

Filling in the lines

When I made these wire earring frames, I envisioned brick stitch around the edges inside.

An online jewelry making friend, Olga Renteria at Wire Frenzy, sent me this diagram and it seems perfect. (Click the link to see and like her jewelry page.  She has beautiful beaded designs and wire work)

But the hammered frame has some sharp edges which could cause the thread to fray or break. Instead, I made another round frame so I can try the brick stitch though.  More about that later...

I finally decided how to bead the frames when I got Dallas Lovett's book Woven Bead & Wire Jewelry in the mail this week.

November 05, 2014

Free Earring Tutorial - My Most Popular Pin Version 2

Over the weekend, I made these earrings from a free tutorial by Anacely Olmedo that happens to be the most popular pin on my Pinterest boards.

Free Earring Tutorial from my most popular Pinterest Pin - Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I tried to make them as close as possible to the tutorial and give feedback for anyone else interested in making them.  You can see the post here.

Yesterday, I decided to re-work the design a little.  I've only got as far as the frames, but here is my version.

November 03, 2014

Free Tutorial: Trying What's Most Popular on my Pinterest Boards

It's not a popularity contest, but here's what's most popular

Pinterest has quickly become my favorite social media site.  

Every day, I can count on Pinterest to give me a daily dose of eye candy and new curiosities.

And every once in a while, I decide to actually try to make something that I've pinned.  Today is one of those days.

This pin for a free earring tutorial at Fradany blog by Anacely Olmedo is wildly popular, having been re-pinned 3054 times and liked 340 times since I first pinned it 39 weeks ago.  No other pin of mine comes close! (And by the time you read this and check the post, it will probably be much higher!)

But has anyone actually made it?  Now, I have!  

Free Earring Tutorial: Trying What's Most Popular on my Pinterest Boards: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Here are my thoughts about this tutorial and the earrings I made from it.

October 24, 2014

Flower Wire Wrapped Gemstone Ring

Ring around the Collar

I warned you that I really like to make wire rings, right?  And hopefully, you've also determined that I like flower motifs?

So, today's project shouldn't be much of a surprise.

Yes, it's another variation of the wire wrap briolette ring I made earlier in the week - with a bead surround to make it like a flower.

Cute moonstone and black agate flower shaped ring - looks easy to make

And I've got to say, I'm liking it.

October 21, 2014

Elegant Wire Wrapped Ring with Gemstone Briolette Bead

Ring Me Up

Making another wire wrap ring is on the agenda today.  This has to be one of the simplest wire wrap ring designs, but with the right beads, it always looks great.

Here's a link to a well done free tutorial at Lytha Studios. (no need for me to re-create it here).

DIY wire wrapped gemstone ring - uses a briolette instead of regular bead!

The reason I'm posting this today is because  the last picture on the tutorial has always inspired me.  Most of the rings in the tutorial are pretty standard stuff - 8mm faceted crystal, 8mm round pearl, a nice flat faceted crystal - hmm, another unique idea - but the last picture of the onion briolette got me.  What an elegant little ring!

So, I had to find a similar stone and try it out.

October 17, 2014

Wire Wrap Swirl Ring with Loop for Bead Dangles, DIY Jewelry Making

One ringy dingy. Ah, two ringy dingies

Yesterday, I posted instructions on how to make a simple ring with a bead dangle.  They're super easy to make and are great stacking rings.

Swirled wire wrap ring with dangles - easy DIY

But, with just a few more twists of the pliers, you can make it into a more substantial ring.  

October 16, 2014

Make a Wire Wrap Stacking Ring with Bead Dangles

Put a ring on it

I love rings.

My jewelry blogging life didn't start here at Lisa Yang Jewelry, it started at Make Wire Rings - where I still have many design ideas for wire rings.

Today's rings were inspired by this picture on Pinterest.

It's a simple wire ring with a turquoise bead dangle.  The link to Etsy no longer works, but I still admire the simplicity and versatility of the ring.

wire wrap stacking ring with pearl - works with any beads. Use up your stash.  Free DIY instructions.

Here's my version with a pink freshwater pearl.

Wire wrap stacking ring with dangle - free instructions, easy to make

And another version with a turquoise star bead dangle.  When I made this ring, I was learning to solder and make stacking rings, so my first attempt at a dangle ring was soldered.

Both are easy to make, but today I'll show you how to make the wire wrapped version.

October 14, 2014

Easy To Make Button Clasp Focal, DIY

Don't push my buttons

I don't often use buttons in my jewelry.  Not because I don't have any.  

Of course, I have jars of them - vintage and new. 
I've always thought I might use them as molds, or stamps, or closures on leather bracelets.

Today, I finally used one to design a simple clasp and focal.

The button is nothing fancy - from Joann Fabric and Craft Store.  They cost $2.50 for two one inch buttons or the same price for one 1 1/2 inch button - and that's without the 40% coupon they always offer.

I wanted to make a clasp that can be used as a focal, so I didn't want it's function as a clasp to be obvious.  Here's what I came up with.

October 08, 2014

Easy to Make Wire Framed Bead Dangles, Free Step by Step, DIY

I was framed

This is another technique that I use to make bead dangles when I either can't find the headpins or want something that has a little more pizzazz.

In a previous post, I shared the technique I use to create the green bead dangle without headpins.  It's hard to see from the picture below, but the wrap goes on one side of the bead giving an asymmetric look or the ability to hide the wrap on the back side of a piece.

This technique is a variation and results in a fully framed bead dangle.  It's perfect for earrings, drops on bracelets, simple pendants or inc - depending on the bead you choose.

I find this technique works best for round, faceted, rondelle and drop beads - but if you have a tight wrap technique, it can work for flat, pillow or oddly shaped nuggets too.  It just has to hold the bead snugly and prevent it from turning inside the frame.

October 07, 2014

Wire Wrapped Dangles Without Using Headpins

Put down the head pin.  It doesn't have to end that way.  Here's another option to add bead dangles to your wire jewelry when you don't have a headpin available or when you want to use a scrap piece of wire. As a bonus, it's more decorative in your jewelry design than a head pin too!

Headpins are a jewelry making staple that can be found anywhere beads need a place to rest.

Like most jewelry makers, I use lots of head pins, always have and always will.  But, if I don't have one handy, it will never stop me from getting the dangle made.  There are so many other options!

How to make wire wrapped dangles without using headpins: DIY, free tutorial

This weekend I didn't have any headpins while I was making these long rosary wrapped earrings. Instead, I used the same wire as the rest of the loops and let the wire take a lap up around the bead to make one more wrap.

Here's the step by step:

October 06, 2014

Make Long Dangle Earrings in Under 30 Minutes

It's Almost Show Time!!

Holidays are the time of year for craftspeople like me.  

We work all year long coming up with new designs and honing our techniques just so we can be paralyzed with fear and stress over not having enough jewelry to sell at holiday boutiques or shows.

And then there's the gifts!  

If you're just getting started making jewelry, of course, you want to show off your skills and give a few handmade sparklies to friends and family.  Guess what? - they will love them and want more every year.  That's great, but refer to paragraph one and add that to your holiday stress-list.

Take a Deep Breath

No worries though - just have a strategy.  I always try to have some jewelry styles that are relatively quick to make, inexpensive, but perfect for holiday wear.  

Long dangle earrings you can make in under 30 minutes

These long dangle earrings can all be made in less than 30 minutes, use materials that you probably

September 25, 2014

8 Signs of a Bead Collector or Hoarder: Self Assessment

Every day, I read posts on social media about friends on a bead diet or sitting on the naughty step for buying more beads or supplies.

Having just spent the last 2 weeks organizing my work space, I have revelations about the vast quantity of beads, tools and supplies I have amassed.

With that in mind, here's my list to help you identify whether your are on your way to collecting and possibly even hoarding beads/supplies. *

August 25, 2014

How to Choose Colors for Your Beading Project by Limiting your Choices

Will blog for beads: A note about today's sponsor

Yes, it's true.  I will write a blog post in exchange for beads - or most jewelry supplies for that matter.  If you have a tool, supply, beads, finding, tutorial, pattern, etc. and would like someone to try it (gratis) and write about it, I'm here for you.* (half kidding, half serious - obviously depends on the product)

The beads used in today's project were chosen by me, but provided free by Auntie's beads in exchange for me making something cool with them and writing about it on my blog.  They had no influence on what supplies I chose, what I made with them or what I'm writing - and I don't get a commission for anything you might buy from them (but maybe you can tell them you saw it here and they'll give me more beads to play with).

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

Decisions, decisions...

One of the more difficult decisions I face with each project is what color beads to use.  That decision has become even harder now that I have moved into the realm of seed beads where there are gazillions of colors combined with tons of different finishes or coloring techniques (ok - so I exaggerate just a little).

August 22, 2014

Adding Gemstones and Non-Seed Beads to Brick Stitch Jewelry

Brick Stitch Earrings, Miguel Ases Style

Why I love Miguel Ases

Besides his incredible use of color...

And the unique and intricate shapes...

One of the things that attracted me to Miguel Ases jewelry is that he incorporates gemstones and crystals into his seed bead creations.

In the world of jewelry, gemstones and crystals are my first love.

And now that I've spent my time learning the basics of how to weave seed beads around (and with) crystals, I thought it was about time I try to add some gemstones.

August 21, 2014

Two Brick Stitch Pendant Variations

Ases Style Brick Stitch Pendants DIY

Variety is the spice of life

If I like a piece of jewelry that I've made, I'm rarely content with just letting it be.  I will almost always make it again, with some slight twist.

If I like the colors I've used previously, I'll vary the shape.

If I like the technique, I'll vary the size or color.

It's all about experimenting and the natural evolution of a design.  If you've ever got a creative block,

August 08, 2014

New Ases Style Shapes: Brick Stitch Bling Earrings, Pendant

Miguel Ases Style Bling Earrings by Lisa Yang Jewelry: DIY

Bling, Bling... Hello?

My latest Ases-Style earrings is this pair of black and gold sparklers.  A new pattern and color combination - as well as a new technique to hang the brick stitch components.  

I'm feeling more confident with my brick stitch capabilities - and I hope it is showing.  I'm trying to move beyond the simple rounds to drop shapes - either by changing the center bead from a round to a drop or adding different size beads on top of the round bead.

This is the largest pair of stitched earrings I have

August 06, 2014

How to Make Beaded Memory Wire Hoop Earrings: Free Tutorial

Remember when? 

Memory wire bracelets - do you remember when those were popular?

Twisty beaded bracelets that
wrapped several times and gave the look of multiple bracelets.

Yeah - me neither!

Well, maybe I do remember, but just like so many other jewelry fads, I let it slip right by me without ever  owning one.  At some point, I did buy a coil of memory wire, and promptly used them to ruin what were my good wire cutters at the time.

Somehow, just like making stretch bracelets, memory wire has come full circle for me (pun not intended - but you have to admit, it's a little funny the way that fits - memory wire, full circle... OK, never mind.)

Memory wire is not like you remember it.

July 26, 2014

6 Tips for Making Elastic Stretch Bracelets that Last

Every day it seems my jewelry making life changes in ways I would have never imagined.

I'm loving stretch bracelets right now, and a few years ago - I would have scoffed at the idea.   I feel so much better as I open up to the possibilities of each material.

But, with each new material comes learning the ins and outs of how to make the most of it.

Here's what I think I've learned about making strech elastic bracelets so far.

1.  Use the thickest elastic that will fit through your beads.  

I've followed the same philosophy with wire as well.  It looks neater, feels more secure and I am guessing will result in a higher quality finished product.  

Use quality elastic too.  I use Stretch Magic.  My most used sizes of elastic are .7 mm and 1mm.

July 24, 2014

5 Stretch Bracelets with Handmade Beaded Dangles

S T R E T C H   I T  O U T

Yes, this is what I've been up to - yesterday and today, at least.

The rest of the time, it's been about summer.

Kid's at home, softball games, baseball games, trips for softball and baseball games, lugging beading bag with me, sore back, no new jewelry.

That sums it up.

But today, I finally have some eye candy to share.

June 24, 2014

Brick Stitch Inside a Wire Frame

Trying Something New

peacock color beads stitched inside a wire wrap frame from Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I'm still playing with brick stitch, but tried something new this weekend.

I made a teardrop shaped wire frame following the same technique I used on the silver and gemstone mosaic earrings from a couple of weeks ago.

Then, I added brick stitch rows inside the frame.  

I've done plenty of brick stitching around the outside of objects.  

For example:

June 23, 2014

Cleaning Silver Jewelry Without Chemicals

How to clean sterling silver jewelry without chemicals: Lisa Yang's Jewelry BlogLet it Shine

All that gorgeous jewelry we make eventually needs to be cleaned and polished.

Usually, I use a Sunshine Polishing Cloth.

The sunshine cloth works great on most items, but no matter how many times I pull my chains through the cloth, it never removes all of the tarnish.

It gets the high spots, and adds some sparkle - but the chain is not bright and shiny like new.

In the case of this necklace, I oxidized it and then didn't like the way it looked.  I think it looks tarnished (and dirty), not antiqued.

So, I thought this would be the perfect time to test one of those internet gems that you see on Facebook and Pinterest all the time.  How to clean your sterling silver jewelry with boiling water, tin foil and baking soda.

June 17, 2014

DIY Easy Wire and Bead Chip Headband Free Tutorial

Not a hair out of place
super easy wire and bead headband - great way to use up inexpensive beads.  Free DIY.

I love hair accessories.  

I grow my hair longer every few years just so I have a reason to wear them.  

However, it's my lovely daughter modeling my project du jour - a headband made with wire and cats eye glass bead chips.

I've  made this style headband before - but recently learned a different way to finish the elastic in the back.

That makes it worth making another and sharing it here.  Also, did I mention I love hair accessories?

These headbands come together very quickly and are perfect to use up inexpensive beads.

June 10, 2014

Silver and Gemstone Mosaic Statement Earrings

Mosaic gemstone statement earrings DIY: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Out with the old, in with the bling

I made these earrings as a special order for a friend.

The design is similar to pair she had that was well loved - and overly worn.  Worn so much that the ear wires were smushed and all of the silver plating had worn off leaving them copper and brass colored.

But they looked fabulous on her - large and showy, so I can see why she persisted in wearing them even when they were obviously past their prime.

I felt great being able to make her this pair to replace them.

All sterling silver, with freshwater pearls, sterling beads, coated labradorite, pyrite and crystals - I think these

June 04, 2014

Finished Ases Style Beaded Earrings, Bracelet and Some Work In Progress

Ases style earrings - all done!

Ases beaded earrings DIY tutorialThese earrings are my recent triumph.  One of the few pieces of jewelry I've finished lately.  

It was over a year ago that I set out to learn to make Miguel Ases style jewelry. I've completed three pairs of earrings since then.  

That's one part of making beaded items that I find most difficult.  How to finish and connect them - either to each other or to ear wires.  

In this case, I made both components and there was no simple way to add a jump ring.  I ended up adding a an extender of 3 beads and a jump ring.  Luckily it really blends with the earring design.

Ases style bracelet - made that too!

But I've also made some other bits and baubles too - they haven't all been earrings.  Today, I made this bracelet with one of my brick stitched Ases inspired beaded components.

May 25, 2014

Making Miguel Ases Style Jewelry: Adding a Picot Edge

Finishing up what I started

I like that in my last post on making Miguel Ases Style Jewelry I could show you the reality of how I mess up my projects just like everyone else and how to remove the stitches to fix it.  

I didn't like that I couldn't show you how to finish the final picot round of the beaded component though - so that's what I'll do today.

Adding a picot edge to beaded component, free tutorial

This is where I should have stopped yesterday, after I completed the second round of brick stitch around the focal bead.

May 24, 2014

Making Miguel Ases Style Jewelry: Basic Technique

Making Miguel Ases Style Jewelry

There are two main components to making Miguel Ases style jewelry - learning how to stitch the beads to make the various shapes and finding beautiful bead color and finish combinations.

I'm going to try to tackle both of those areas bit by bit - starting with a basic stitch and color combination and gradually varying it over subsequent projects.

Great DIY make Miguel Ases style beaded components.  Free tutorial.

 Here's an example: I started with a basic stitch and only one size bead in different colors on the first round component.

May 22, 2014

Materials to Make Miguel Ases Style Jewelry

I'm obsessed again.  It happens pretty often with me and jewelry making.

Most of last year, my jewelry making exploration has been all about wire wrapping, hammering, shaping spirals, and whatnot.  I bought copper and brass wire by the pound, lots of specialty tools and what do you know...

Suddenly, I can't get small, pretty, shiny, seed beaded jewelry out of my head! In particular, those gorgeous little masterpieces by Miguel Ases.

I've tried to make a earrings in Miguel Ases style a couple of times before - first for a holiday earring swap and a second pair when I was on vacation to Hawaii and it made sense to bring seed beads instead of wire wrapping tools on the airplane.

Now, I'm back at it.

But since then, I've learned more about bead stitching thanks to a couple of books that I highly recommend. First is Seed Bead Stitching and the second is More Seed Bead Stitching: Creative Variations on Traditional Techniques - both by Beth Stone.

Neither book will teach you how to make Miguel Ases Style jewelry - I'm going to do that. (LOL).  But they have great projects that teach you the stitching basics you need.

May 07, 2014

Wish Bracelet Charms, Card and Poem, DIY

What is a Wish Bracelet?

A wish bracelet is very simple; a nice piece of cord, a couple of beads and, in my case, a handmade wire charm.  This post has a free tutorial  to make a wishbone charm bracelet.

Heart charm wish bracelet by Lisa Yang Jewelry

The bracelet is magic.

You make a wish, tie the bracelet on and wear it all the time.  Eventually, the cord will wear thin and the bracelet will fall off.  That is when your wish may come true.

Selling Your Jewelry with Good Packaging

This is one of those products where the packaging and presentation is key to making the sale.  Your customer needs to understand:

April 30, 2014

DIY Wishbone Charm Wish Bracelet Free Tutorial

Make A Wish Bracelet!

I finally have some time to catch up on my blog! 

And happily, I've also been really busy making jewelry for the past couple of months, so I have a lot of projects to write about.

First up is these wonderful Make A Wish bracelets. 

I had a large custom order for these as party favors for a friend's daughter's Sweet 16 birthday party.

If you're not familiar with wish bracelets, they are simple string bracelets with beads or charms.  When you knot them on your wrist, you make a wish. When the cord breaks, your wish will come true.

March 22, 2014

Making Spiral Bead Caps

Beads With Hats?

I've always been stumped when it comes to using bead caps.

How to Make Spiral Wire Bead Caps: Lisa Yang's Jewelry BlogI have several different styles that I've collected over the years - mostly bali style sterling silver, but whenever I go to use them, they always end up looking strange to me.  

Like my beads are wearing little hats. Hats that don't fit right.

So, like most of my recent projects, I decided to tackle multiple demons with one projects - the problem of how to use bead caps and have them look good AND how to make bead caps with a wire spiral.

The picture of the carnelian bead is from a very old project of mine - a simple pair of earrings.  The individual components are all pretty - but together - ugh!

March 21, 2014

How to Make Perfect Wire Spirals for Jewelry

Spiraling Out of Control

How to make Wire Spirals for Jewelry: Lisa Yang's Jewelry BlogI hate to start out with technical stuff, but I get confused pretty easily.  The first thing I wanted to do it get my terminology down.  

Every designer has the right to call things by whatever name they like, but when I see projects I often wonder
  • Is a swirl different from a spiral, or are they the same things? 
  • What about a flat coil?  Is it the same of different?
And I think I have the answers - at least grammatically and technically.

March 19, 2014

Loopy: DIY Handmade Jewelry Projects with Loops

Simple Loop Wire Ring Free Tutorial by Lisa Yang Jewelry
Simple Loop Ring Free Tutorial

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back?

I guess I took an unplanned break from my blog for the past couple of weeks to regroup.  I've still been making jewelry during my brief break, just not posting it while I was deciding what direction I wanted to explore next.

Before I jump into the next set of projects with free tutorials, I thought I'd give you a little insight into the method to my madness with respect to my jewelry making and the projects on my blog this year.

March 05, 2014

Teardrop Link Bracelet Chain with Handmade Clasp

Lucky Horseshoe link Chain from free tutorial at Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Make, Modify, Repeat...

Today's bracelet project is a is a variation of the lucky horseshoe link chain tutorial that I published last month.

The horseshoe link bracelet has quickly become one of my favorites because it is pretty, comfortable and feels slinky when I wear it.

Teardrop Link Handmade Bracelet Chain DIY with free tutorial at Lisa Yang's Jewelry BlogOnce it was complete, I immediately starting thinking of new variations, including adding beads, using different size wire, and closing the links more.

Not long after I published my bracelet project, I saw this free handmade chain tutorial from Kia Dallons Studio on  Pinterest.  

I really like her design, and her method of construction is slightly different from the horseshoe link bracelet.   Because I am using thinner wire, I thought it made sense to adopt some of her techniques.

March 01, 2014

Copper Wire Flower Pendants

Copper Wire Flower by Lisa Yang Jewelry, Free Tutorial, DIY

Flower Power

Just a little show and tell of copper wire flowers today.

Using the same technique from the four leaf clover pendant/clasp, I tried making wire flowers for my jewelry with 5 petals.

I used different types of pliers, different size wire and different techniques to make the petal shapes and flower centers.

Here are some of my results.

February 27, 2014

DIY Wire Four Leaf Clover Charm or Clasp

Four Leaf Clover Clasp

Don't you love it when a project turns out better than you ever expected?

I'm not talking about today's project (yet), but the lucky horseshoe link bracelet that I made last week.

It is my favorite bracelet right now.  It's comfortable, pretty, the perfect size and most of all, it's slinky.

On the down side, it's a little plain though.  There are several options to spice it up, such as adding beads to make a charm bracelet.  I definitely plan to do that in the future.

But for now, I decided to follow a similar path that I did with the infinity link bracelet.  Add a pretty handmade clasp that follows a theme - and provide step by step instructions.

February 23, 2014

Free Lucky Horseshoe Stud Earrings Tutorial

A little more luck...

The horseshoe wire link bracelet project inspired me to make another horseshoe shaped piece of jewelry.

This time, it is lucky horseshoe stud earrings.

I've never made stud earrings before, but this simple wire shape seems like a perfect place to start.

The best thing about this project?  It only takes about 2 inches of wire so you can make plenty of them right from your scrap bin!

Making these earrings doesn't take much wire or time, but it probably works best if you have a pair of step pliers or bail making pliers to make the horseshoe shape even.

I shaped the wire for both earrings at the same time.  Saves time and helps to make the shapes even.  This isn't really possible using standard round nose pliers.

February 22, 2014

Lucky Horseshoe Handmade Wire Chain Tutorial

Good Luck!  

Yes, I'd like some please!

This particular post and jewelry project all started with a search for a good luck symbol.  I considered several options before settling on a horseshoe.

Why are horseshoes lucky?

I tried to research why horseshoes are considered lucky - but there is no clear source for the belief, just a lot of speculation.  Clearly, there is a lot of superstition regarding which way you should hang your horseshoe though.  Some say with the ends up so the luck doesn't run out, others believe with the ends down, so the luck pours on those who pass underneath it. Regardless of the source of the belief, they are a prominent symbol in jewelry and luck, so I decided to try my hand at it by making this horseshoe chain bracelet.

February 20, 2014

Handmade Wire Hair Clip Barrettes

This week, it has been all about making hair accessories for me.

Technically, I'm not sure what you call them - hair clips, hair barrettes, hair pins - but that's what I've been trying my hand at making this week.

I have no instructions or tutorials to share with you yet - but I will, as soon as I feel like I've come up with a successful formula.

For now, I'm just playing and have come up with 3 different designs.

The first is a simple double spiral hair clip.  It looks

February 12, 2014

Hammered Wire Bones Necklace Project

Hammered Wire Bone Links Jewelry Project: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog
It's all done! 

A day's worth of snipping wire, hammering, hole punching, filing, tumbling (and re-tumbling) and assembling.

It's no wonder I don't make many necklaces!

They take a long time.  And I'm definitely an instant gratification type of jewelry maker.

The big question is, was it worth the time and effort?

February 11, 2014

How to Make Wire Sticks or 'Bones'

Hammered pieces of wire can be combined to make lots of wonderful jewelry projects. This article will show you how to make hammered wire sticks that incorporate a twist into the design - which makes more interesting jewelry designs.

Hand holding hammered wire sticks for jewelry making

 In this previous article on making hammered wire sticks, I made one into a ring shank. Since then, I have scoured the internet for more inspiration on how to make and use them. I made a board called Hammered Wire Sticks/Bone Jewelry that you can look at.

This article will show you how to make twisted wire bones that are perfect to make into a necklace chain.

I also found a few additional free tutorials (listed at the end of this post) where you can learn more about making wire bones jewelry.

February 07, 2014

Making Hammered Wire Sticks: Beaded Ring Project

Hammering surfaces for wire jewelry: Lisa Yang's Jewelry BlogMy last post about the differences between jewelry mallets and hammers made me want to experiment with a few things.

For example, which hammering surface do I really prefer, the mini anvil or the 4x4 stainless block?

I also realized that although I frequently hammer things, I'm not very proficient at hammering.  It's something that I do, not something that I'd say I'm good at.

So, I decided to take on a few projects that will at least improve my hammering skills.

My first project seems simple - and - well... I guess it was.

February 04, 2014

Mallet or Hammer: Which Should You Use When?

Add a hammer (or two) and a hammering surface to your list of must-have jewelry tools!

But, before I tell you what to use to hammer your wire components, I'm going to tell you why you want to hammer them.

Two reasons to hammer metal wire components

- to work harden the metal without changing the shape

- to add a pattern or change the shape of a metal component

Hammering a component to work harden the metal is a step that strengthens your finished jewelry.

Hammering a component to add a pattern or shape the metal is a way of enhancing the look of the finished product that will also work harden the metal.

Depending on the hammer that you choose, you can do both at once - or just work harden the wire without affecting the shape of the metal.

February 01, 2014

Infinity Link Chain with Beads

Infinity Link Chain Bracelet with beads from Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Everything's better with beads!

Thank you for all the positive comments on my Free Infinity Link Chain tutorial.

I'm glad that so many friends found it useful - and also that the Jewelry Making Journal posted it for their free tutorial Friday on Facebook.

That made my day - since I love JMJ!

I also love when someone sees one of my ideas and expands upon it.

January 31, 2014

Free Tutorial: Wire Heart Clasp

This tutorial will show you how to make the heart clasp from the infinity link bracelet project pictured above. This is a beginner level wire project, but it may take you a few tries to get the heart to be the size and shape you want.

Make several until you have the what you need for the project. Then hold on to the practice ones. You will always find a project that needs a little love, which is the perfect project to use the extra wire heart clasps.