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Seed Bead Bracelet

I made a bracelet to match a pair of chandelier earrings I made for a friend. I used purple seed beads, a ribbon charm, and butterfly charms for lupus awareness. Butterflies and the color purple are also used for domestic violence awareness, which is appropriate since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Seed Bead BraceletMaterials:

Fine Jewelry Wire

2 Jump Rings

Clasp

2 Butterfly Charms

1 Ribbon Charm

Purple Seed Beads

Bead Tip

Jewelry Pliers

Crimp Pliers

 

Step 1

Cut a length of wire double the length you will need.  It’s always better to cut the wire too long than too short. You can always trim excess when you are finished. Thread a jump ring on the wire and place it at the halfway point. Then thread a crimp over both strands of wire, and close the crimp near enough to the jump ring to form a small loop.

Place First CrimpStep 2

Thread 5 seed beads on each side of the wire. Next, thread one seed bead so that the wires criss-cross going opposite directions through the bead. This should form a small circle.

Form a Small CircleContinue this pattern. I made 7 small circles this way before continuing to the next step.

Make Several CirclesStep 3

Depending on what type of butterfly charm you are using, you may have to modify this pattern. The hole for my charms when vertically through the butterfly’s body. Instead of criss-crossing the wire like I had been doing with the seed beads, I threaded both wires the same direction through the charm. After the butterfly charm, I made one more circle with 5 seed beads and a criss-crossed seed bead. The next circle was similar, but on one side of the wire, instead of 5 seed beads I used 2 seed beads, followed by my ribbon charm, followed by two more seed beads. This was the center of my bracelet, so I continued the pattern on the other half until both sides matched.

Step 4

When you reach the end, thread both wires the same direction through a crimp. Tighten the crimp, then trim the excess. Cover the crimp with a bead tip. Place a jump ring through the end of the bead tip, and attach each end of the clasp to each end of the bracelet.

Place the Final CrimpStep 5

Wear it!

Seed Bead Jewelry Set

What’s Next?

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays…that’s your only hint!!

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Chandelier Earrings

I made these earrings for a friend to wear to a Walk to End Lupus, but they can be customized with different charms and colors.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the purple and ribbons would be appropriate for that or for many other social and health issues.finished earrings

 

Materials:

Jewelry Wire

2 Fish Hook Earrings

Crimps

Crimp Pliers

Seed Beads

2 Charms

2 Jump Rings

Jewelry Pliers/Cutters

 

Step 1

Start by cutting a length of wire.  I like to cut my wire a little long, because I can always trim it down later.  I started with about 6-8 inches.  Use a wire that is thin and fine.  I used 0.46mm.  It was a little thick for my taste, but it was all my local craft store had without being ultra-fine.

Place a crimp on the wire, and then a jump ring.  Then thread the end of the wire back through the crimp so the jump ring is in the middle of the loop.

crimp and jump ringWith the crimp pushed up near the jump ring, use crimp pliers to tighten the crimp.

tighten the crimp

Step 2

Thread seed beads on the wire, making sure to include the tail of the wire in the first few beads.  If necessary, trim the tail of the wire.  Continue threading beads until you reach the desired length.

 

Step 3

Thread a crimp on the wire.  Loop the wire through the jump ring, back through the crimp, and through the last few beads.  Tighten the crimp with the crimp pliers.  Trim any excess wire, and make sure the tip of the wire is tucked into the beads.

finish the loop

Step 4

Use the jewelry pliers to open the jump ring so the space between the two wire loops is open.  Slide the charm onto the jump ring, and close the ring tightly.  Then open the end of the fish hook earring and place the jump ring on the loop.  Close the space in the earring.

chandelier earring

What’s Next?

I made a matching bracelet for these earrings! Come back soon to find out how!

Beaded Earrings

I’ve been making a lot of jewelry recently for lupus awareness.  I have several friends who have lupus, but this jewelry could be made with any color of beads or charms.  I chose purple, butterflies, and ribbons because I’m making jewelry for my friends to use as prizes as they fundraise for the Walk to End Lupus Now in Indianapolis in September.

Lupus Awareness Earrings

These earrings are similar to a pair I’ve made before, only bigger.

Materials:

4 eye pins

8 seed beads

2 small beads

2 larger beads

2 charms

Round-nosed jewelry pliers

Wire cutters (I have a pair of 2-in-1 round-nosed/wire cutter pliers)

Two earring bases (I chose fishhook earrings)

 

Getting Started

Start by choosing which beads and charms you would like to use.  I’ve always heard that odd numbers are pleasing to the eye, so I chose three items for my earrings–one bead, one butterfly charm, and one ribbon charm for each earring for a total of six items.  The butterfly charm is more like a bead, which is why this earring can be made with two charms.  Do not choose two charms that only have one ring to attach it to the jewelry.

I think it’s easiest to start with the bottom of the earring.

Open the eye pinStep One

With the jewelry pliers, gently pull the eye of the pin open a small amount.  Slide the charm into the opening of the pin.  Using the pliers, gently close the pin again so the charm is firmly attached.

Step Two

SCreate an eyelide a seed bead, the middle bead, and another seed bead onto the straight part of the pin attached to the charm.  Cut off any excess, leaving enough to make an eye at the end.  Slide a new eye pin onto the pin with beads and use the round-nosed pliers to create an eye around the eye of the next pin.  The two pins should now be attached.

Finished earringStep Three

Slide a seed bead, the final bead, and another seed bead onto the straight part of the pin, and cut off any excess.  Slide the eye of the earring onto the final pin, and use the pliers to create an eye around the eye of the earring.  All of the pieces should now be firmly attached.

All you have to do now is wear your finished earrings!

 

What’s next?

I’ll be making a couple bracelets and some more earrings, all for lupus awareness!

Jewelry 101 – Bauble Earrings

A bauble is a shiny trinket, so when I make earrings that are just a simply shiny bead hanging from the ear, I call them bauble earrings.  These earrings are very easy to make.

3-in-1 pliers

These pliers can cut wire, create eyes, and pinch crimp beads.

Materials

3-in-1 jewelry pliers

2 Fish hook earring findings

2 Jewelry end pins (also called head pins)

2 pretty beads

4 seed beads

Getting started

end pin and eye pin

The one on top is an end pin, the bottom one is an eye pin.

There are two types of jewelry pins–end pins and eye pins.  End pins look like the end of a sewing pin, and eye pins have a loop at one end.  Choosing which you need for a project is easy when you think about the purpose of each type.  An eye is meant to be connected to another eye, such as in making a chain or connecting to a clasp.  And end pin is used when nothing is connected to the end, and a bead needs to be prevented from sliding off the pin.  When using an end pin, you’ll need to create an eye on the opposite end using jewelry pliers so you can connect the pin to the jewelry.

Placing the beads

forming the eye

The pliers are tapered so you can make larger or smaller eyes.

Sometimes the hole is a bead is too large for the end pin.  To make sure that’s not an issue, I almost always include a seed bead in between the end of the pin and the central bead.  Then I put another seed bead on top so it looks symmetrical.

Cutting and forming the eye

Keeping all the beads on the end pin, trim any excess metal with the cutting function of the 3-in-1 pliers.  This takes practice to know how big you typically form your eye, but it’s better to err on the side of cutting off too little rather than too much.  Then clasp the cut end of the pin between the round parts of the pliers, and roll the pliers to create a circle.  Do not close the circle entirely yet.

Finishing the earring

finished earring

Close up the eye and you’re done!

Take the fish hook finding and look your mostly finished eye through the eye of the earring.  Keeping the two eyes linked, use the round pliers to finish closing off the eye you created on the cut part of the end pin.

What’s next?

Next I’ll write a two-parter about baby blankets.  One blanket is super easy and very quick to make, the other took a long time but looks more unique.

A Little PR for Selling Crafts Online

I was looking over the blogs on one of my favorite craft sites, Interweave, and found a really interesting post about how to start up an online jewelry business.  The blog was a jewelry-making blog, but the rules apply to any craft that you might want to sell online.  A couple of the tips apply to any business—such as contacting the local chamber of commerce to make sure you have the right license—but the other tips are definitely important to an online business or brand.

PhotographsThis is where a photo's alt text shows up.

Jen VanBenschoten mentions how important it is to have really good photographs of your products.  Because your customers do not get to see the products in the store, this is really important.  Photos also look interesting on the page.  One thing that she doesn’t mention is the importance of labeling your photos.  Alt text is the text that is read through accessibility programs, such as those used by people who are blind.  This is also what often shows up when you hover the mouse over a picture.  Search engines look at this text in addition to the rest of the text on a website, so it’s important to incorporate keywords, and to make sure that the text concisely describes what is in the picture.

blue and purple beaded earringI know I’m not the best photographer when it comes to my crafts, but I haven’t really ever tried to sell any of them.  I give most of my crafts away as gifts, so photographs typically are just a way for me to document for myself what I’ve made and how it turned out.  I have learned, through trial and error, to adjust the settings on my camera for things like “macro” and adjusting the light settings.  I don’t pretend to be a professional photographer, so I can’t offer much advice here.  But tutorials like this are easy to find online.

blue and purple beaded bracelet with magnetic clasp

All of my photos of jewelry are blue and purple because those were the wedding colors for my brother's wedding, and these are all photos of the bridesmaid jewelry I made.

 

Descriptions

Interweave’s blog talks about the importance of writing a good description of each item, including keywords and measurements.  This is important, but I also like what I found on a soap-making blog, which talks about naming products.  The blogger talks about how when she got too cutesy with her fragrance names, the soap didn’t sell as well.  But, if it was cutesy and descriptive, it sold really well.

Contact Information

If you’re running an online craft business, you obviously need some way for customer to contact you with their orders.  Some sites simply have an order form, but I think it’s really important to have basic contact information as well.  There’s no need to give out your home phone number (unless you’re comfortable with that) but give customers a way to email you or send a message.  Give them a comment space to be able to write reviews and connect with other customers.  Letting people write reviews about you can be scary because you’re giving up control over the tone of your website, but as long as you also engage in the conversation and address negative comments, you should be able to keep it positive.

Sell Those Crafts!

I hope this helps someone who is thinking about starting an online business. If you’re looking for more information, Interweave has a lot of eBooks (many of them free!) and other resources for lots of different types of crafts. Good luck!