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August 25, 2015

DIY Miguel Ases Style Bead Charm with Crystal Center

Adding Crystal Chatons to Circular Brick Stitch

I decided I should get better at finishing what I've started. Yes - I'm in one of those moods. 

Yesterday, I posted a a free tutorial to make this beaded circle charm with crystal center, which happens to be the same charm that I made to go with the slinky layering ladder stitch bracelet tutorial, which happens to be a charm that is based on the amazing Miguel Ases beaded jewelry.

But, wouldn't you know, I hadn't taken the final step of putting the bracelet and charm all together. It was just waiting in limbo... and was pretty soon destined for the *UFO box.

It was the big decision that had me hung up, put the charm by the clasp or in the center...

BUT, I'm happy to say that when I saw how cute the finished charm from the new tutorial looked, I realized I shouldn't let this cute bracelet and charm be shoved aside.

And hurray!  I took a moment to add a jump ring and the finishing touch (which is part of what this post is about), the crystal chaton in the middle.  I am genuinely surprised what a big difference a little glue and sparkle make.

And once that was done - I realized there might be a few more things that could be finished with something as simple as a sparkle.

 And I went ... to the UFO* box.  * UFO = Unfinished Objects

There was this pendant - all done except for the center. I'm sure I didn't finish it because the shape is ever so slightly askew on the left.

And this brick stitch pendant done inside a frame - cute, but I'm not sure I was thrilled with the rainbow color.

And this one, which is a fabulous example of my circular brick stitch mantra about adding extra beads to a round.  When in doubt, leave it out. When in doubt, leave it out...

Just one extra bead on the first round causes the bead to sit crooked and throws the rest of the rounds off - resulting in a small bump by round 3.

I could pick these little charms apart for their imperfections all day long, but what I really needed to do was get 'er done

For the center crystal, I usually use Flat Back Crystals, but I couldn't find them anywhere in my supplies - even though I have a gazillion packages.  

When I'm on a mission, nothing will deter me. Rather than shop for more, I decided to improvise with these too small for anything pieces of crystal cup chain.

I pried open the cups and I was met with perfectly sized crystal chatons - which have pointed backs rather that flat backs.  They have a silvered coating to make them shine.

I grabbed the G S Hypo Cement (which was dried up) - so I went for the E6000 and I was happily smelling glue fumes and finishing pendants. When they were all done, I ended up liking the chatons much better than the flat back crystals since I felt like the glue was holding them more securely.

I hope you get the point of this article, which is not to always finish what you started - but to always add a crystal center to your circular brick stitch done around a spacer style bead because it looks soooo much better.

You may also be interested in how to find a good center bead for circular brick stitch.

I feel so productive. I barely picked up a needle today and I have a whole bunch of little baubles to add to jewelry projects.

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  1. That's so funny...I've pried open metal cups before when I needed chatons and didn't have any. Where there's a will, there's a way! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Great post! It's fun seeing the process behind the making of such beautiful pieces. Thanks for sharing!

  3. So pretty! I love jewelry but I'm not very good at making it myself, so I love seeing what other people can do.