< ![CDATA[riveting tools allow you to rivet your own jewelry designs without the hard work (and endless hammer tapping) that traditional riveting requires. I wanted to show an easy design using the riveting tool that also features Swarovski spike pendants. See how to make these earrings by following the easy steps below! Continue Reading…
Did anyone else notice that winter hit overnight? The below-freezing temps are here and it’s time to snuggle up in our warm winter-wear! While I hate being cold, I love wearing coats and all of the fun accessories that go along with them – so I obviously need to be cute while doing it! I’ve also found a passion for the ‘DIY’ trend that seems to be everywhere these days, and I have created a basic tutorial for applique work using Swarovski crystals and an old headband I found in my closet!
1 – The Beadsmith Braided Bead Thread, .006in, 28yd spool (I used White)
9 – Swarovski Double Spike Beads (I use 12mm Metallic Light Gold 2x)
10 – Swarovski Wild Heart Crystal Beads (I used 12mm Golden Shadow)
2 – felt squares, about the size of your hand
Pair of scissors
Now the Fun Part!
The beauty of this project is that you can use an assortment of crystals! I try and keep a good balance of large and small crystals, with the larger ones being the focal point. My image above shows my color and size assortment. I went for more of a neutral color palette, really playing off of the golds and light pinks. The Rings & Things Exclusive Swarovski Crystal Jams bead mixes are great for something like this, as they can help you develop a strong color story from the beginning.
First, I started by arranging my larger beads in various patterns (2 options I came up with are above). I knew I wanted to do some kind of floral-inspired design. For some people, it may be easier to roughly draw something as well.
Needle & Thread Basics
I began by cutting a strand of Power Pro bead thread that was about the span of my arms; you can start with a smaller strand than this as this may be easier to manage at first. This thread is pretty amazing – I would not recommend using other threads that you may find at the fabric store because the crystals can actually cut through that type of thread! Power Pro by The BeadSmith is much more sturdy, and you would hate to lose your Swarovski crystals because of the wrong thread!
Once the needle is threaded, tie a basic knot; I did three loops to create a thicker knot.
Step by Step
1. Now it’s time to sew the final design onto the felt. I like to start at the center of my design when I’m sewing on the crystals. Since you have the basic design laid out and your needle threaded, start by holding one crystal in place with your thumb and index finger; insert the needle from the BACK SIDE of the felt so that the needle appears near the edge of the crystal where the hole is located (see FRONT SIDE image below). The knot that you made should be on the back side of the fabric.
2. Thread the needle through the hole in the crystal, and insert the needle back into the felt. Make sure to stay near the crystal’s edge where the needle just exited the hole.
3. Continue doing this for the center crystals (ie. my ‘petals’) and expand to any other large crystals you have (ie. my ‘leaves’). Once you have each of these sewn on, leave your thread where it is. No need to knot anything.
4. Go ahead and grab your smaller beads – Here, I’m using the 4mm Swarovski Bicone Crystal Jams. We will begin where your left your thread after completing the larger crystal beads. Place 2 bicone crystals on your needle and push them down the thread. I wanted to arrange my bicones around my larger crystals as an outline. As soon as they fit snug against the felt, insert your needle back into the felt, staying close to the edge of the bicone. Continue your way around, using two bicones at a time
This is a fun time to play with color! My outlines consist of 3 or 4 different colored bicones, and they really play off of each other in different lights!
**If you ever run out of thread, just tie a knot on the backside of the fabric, and start a new needle & thread!**
5. Once I made my way around, I decided to add a second outline with the bicones. It is completely up to you – be creative and try some different things! Once you have finished sewing all of your Swarovski Crystals, insert the needle down through the front side and tie a knot in the back; you can use the same knot technique that was demonstrated earlier!
Creating a Finished Edge
1. Cut the felt around the crystals, leaving 1/4 inch allowance on the outside.
2. Take your second piece of felt and cut an identical piece
3. Time to start with some fresh thread! Tie the same knot as shown above and insert the needle from the backside, to the front side like below. Pull the needle through until the knot is snug underneath.
4. Grab your second piece of felt and place it underneath your original piece. Insert your needle through both pieces of felt, starting with the new piece. See photo below for reference. Pull all the way through; the felt should curl up as you pull the thread as tight as you can.
This second piece of felt hides all of the thread work you have underneath, while also stabilizing and protecting these stitches from wear and tear.
5. Start working your way around the felt, using the same technique in step 4. You can see the difference in the two photos below – I have completed the technique on the upper right hand side.
6. Once you have completed this step, your applique is complete! You can use this for scarves, headbands, gloves, apparel, etc. I have attached this to a headband, and I used the same technique from steps 4 & 5. It’s that simple!
All of us at Rings & Things would love to see any applique work you have created! Please send us pictures or post them below! 🙂
I love the charm-adorned “Alex & Ani” style adjustable wire bracelets that have been gaining popularity, and of course wanted to make my own version. For ease, I chose to fabricate my bracelet from Memory Wire. Memory Wire is made of durable stainless steel, and comes in the perfect round bracelet shape and the additional wire forming can be easily made with Memory Wire bending pliers. An added benefit to using Memory Wire is it can be adorned with colorful beads from Toho Seed Bead Cocktail Mixes. Here are the step-by-step instructions to make my “Happy Octopus” Adjustable Wire Bangle Bracelet. Continue Reading…
With the holidays fast approaching, why not make some simple handmade gifts for friends and family?
Using rubber stamps and permanent ink pads, you can easily embellish ready-made leather bracelets to create fun and whimsical gifts in just a few minutes.
This DIY tutorial shows you how.
Gather your Supplies
You will need the following products and supplies:
Rubber Stamp Angel Policy
If you plan on selling your finished pieces, remember to check out the “angel policy” for the rubber stamps you choose. The manufacturer or stamp artist may have restrictions on using the stamped images on items created for sale.
Plan your Design Layout
If you want a certain stamped image to appear in a certain location, like the center of the bracelet, you should plan your design layout.
Depending on the length of leather bracelet you choose, you can plan the layout directly on the bracelet.
Or use the bracelet as a template to trace its shape on paper. Trace several, so you can practice. This is helpful when determining the spacing needed between individual letter stamps when stamping words or names.
Stamp your Design
Place the rubber stamp on the ink pad and press down so the stamp picks up the ink. Repeat several times. Use plenty of ink for a dark image.
Press the stamp firmly on the leather bracelet and hold for a few seconds. Then gently lift off the stamp.
To prevent smudging, allow the ink to dry before stamping the next image. It takes about 3-5 minutes for permanent ink to thoroughly dry, if you can wait that long.
Use plenty of ink for a dark image. Less ink makes for a nice contrast. Or use several different colors of the StazOn ink for your design.
StazOn ink is permanent. If you make a mistake, you can remove the image with StazOn All Purpose Cleaner. But be cautious, as this cleaner is a solvent and will also remove the dye on the leather bracelet.
When you are finished, use the cleaner to remove the dried ink on the rubber stamps.
Since the StazOn ink is permanent, there is no need to apply a sealer to the bracelet.
Another fast way to make a bracelet is to draw your own design on the leather using Sharpie permanent marking pens.
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays – I suppose because I love having an excuse to wear a costume. Honestly, candy has nothing to do with it! 😉
Apparently I’m not the only one who loves dressing up in ghoulish attire because our Halloween beads & charms are selling as fast as fun-size candy at the grocery store !
Below you’ll find 5 DIY Halloween jewelry tutorials, from cute to classy! You can make these projects with beads and supplies from Rings & Things. Happy jewelry making as the clock ticks towards Halloween …
This hauntingly cool charm bracelet is made by attaching TierraCast Halloween charms and 4mm round Czech glass firepolish beads to a ready-made chain bracelet blank complete with clasp.
Click here for a full parts list, suggested tools, & tips.
Who doesn’t love easy earring designs? Choose from 3 different ceramic beads to make your favorite version of these cute seasonal danglers. The kidney wires insure a secure earring design that won’t fall out even during serious bouts of trick or treating!
Parts list, tips, & suggested tools here.
One of our most popular designs this season is the “Craneos y Flores” bracelet which links gemstone skulls and ceramic spacer gear beads. This project is great for el Dia de los Muertos too!
Get the parts list, suggested tools, and tips here.
These stylish harvest earrings pair Vintaj Natural Brass petal blanks, TierraCast leaves, and large bone beads colored with Vintaj Patina inks. This makes a great mixed media project for those of you who want to expand your jewelry making skills!
Click here for parts, how-to tips, & suggested tools.
For those of you who want to try metal stamping and riveting, this is the perfect project for you! Frame a spooky creature of your choice with a custom stamped brass frame. You’ll create a top-notch bar pin for your party agenda.
Suggested tools, parts list, and design tips can be found here.
Okay, I admit this lady skeleton cameo isn’t a completed project, but it’s currently my favorite Halloween component. It’s available in two sizes, too! Choose from 25x18mm and 40x30mm.
What cool stuff can you make with it?
If the above projects aren’t enough to get your spine tingling, find more Halloween & Day of the Dead jewelry projects in our Design Gallery.
Keep in mind that you can always take the basic idea of a project and morph it into your own design. Don’t be afraid to experiment … Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein would approve! ~ Melissa
In this do-it-yourself jewelry-making tutorial, the bracelet blanks from last week’s blog post, “Customizing Tim Holtz idea-ology® Word Bands for a Handmade Look”, combine with Rings & Things’ new leather strips to make two styles of leather cuffs.
Leather Bracelet Style One – A Single-Wrap Bracelet with Drawstring Clasp:
You will need the following tools and supplies:
1/2″ wide leather strip
3mm suede lace
5-ply waxed linen cord
large-hole bead (hole size 4mm)
customized Tim Holtz idea-ology® word bands
Sharpie®, Extra Fine Point
Leather Bracelet Style Two – A Double-Wrap Bracelet with Hitch Clasp:
You will need the following tools and supplies:
Sharpie®, Extra Fine Point
1/2″ wide leather strip
5-ply waxed linen cord
customized Tim Holtz idea-ology® word bands
Making wrapped bracelets just got easier because this simple lashing technique takes just minutes to learn. You can combine leather cord with rhinestone chain for a sophisticated style or use ball chain and leather for an industrial look.
Follow these steps:
Here are the supplies and tools you will need to make this DIY jewelry project:
24 inches Greek leather cord
6-1/2 inches glass rhinestone chain
48 inches 5-ply waxed linen cord
1 each button
Fold the length of Greek leather cord in half to form the button loop. Size the loop so it will slip over the button. Use waxed linen cord and a simple overhand knot to secure the button loop.
Align the waxed linen cord tail with the leather cord and tightly wrap approximately 10 lashes (this should measure about 3/8 inch).
Align the rhinestone chain with the leather cord and begin lashing. Use the waxed linen cord to tightly lash around the leather cord and between each rhinestone setting.
Continue lashing the rhinestone chain to the leather cord. Check the length for fit; the rhinestone portion of the bracelet should be one inch shorter than bracelet size. Clip off any unneeded rhinestone and secure by adding 10 additional tightly-wrapped lashes (about 3/8 inch).
Slide the button loop onto the waxed linen cord and one leather strand. Secure the button in place by adding 10 tightly-wrapped lashes (about 3/8 inch). Use a sewing needle to stitch the linen cord tail back through the final lashing and cut off the excess.
Finish the bracelet with a single overhand knot and clip off any excess leather. Slip the loop over the button and the bracelet is complete.
This pattern is easily adaptable; create single, double, or triple-wrapped bracelets using either rhinestone chain or ball chain. You can vary the color of the leather, rhinestones, and waxed linen cord or follow our Design Gallery instructions to make the featured bracelet “Wrapped in Rhinestone”. You may even want to make several; after all this handmade jewelry project is fast, easy, and fun!
I love a good button. I think most bead hoarders have a button tin somewhere as well. The materials used for buttons range from the simple and inexpensive to exotic and pricey. Obviously buttons have a practical use in sewing and clothing design, but they can be great additions to DIY jewelry as well.
Buttons as beads:
By their nature, buttons tend to have either a shank, with an opening for thread, or 2-4 holes for sewing. These holes and openings mean your buttons can substitute for beads and work as connectors in jewelry design. See round TierraCast buttons with a leaf pattern in New Leaf Earrings and bone buttons sewn on the Boston Bracelet.
Buttons as clasps:
Whether for popular wrapped lashed leather bracelets, or for necklace designs, adding a button to one end of your design and creating a simple loop or series of loops at the other end will complete your creation. The Dark and Dangerous Bracelet uses a cast pewter Spiral Button for the closure.
Buttons as Cabochons or Cameos:
Disk & Loop Bracelets make up into quick finished jewelry by gluing buttons to the disks. If the button has a shank, you may need to trim it and file the surface, then add your favorite adhesive, and you have quickly created a new accessory. Cute as a Button Bracelet uses an assortment of plastic “accoutrements” by Tim Holtz for decoration.
Copies of Buttons:
Have a one-of-a-kind or vintage button that you love, but don’t want to part with? 2-part silicone molding material works great to make a mold of your treasure that you can re-create in polymer or resin and use time after time. Silicone molds were quickly made of the buttons in this picture. Reproductions of the buttons (without the pesky shanks) were easily made with Amazing Resin and SuperClear Resin. For more information on making molds, see our previous blog: Making Your Own Molds is a Hoot.
Buttons you can buy from Rings & Things:
Rings & Things carries buttons in materials such as bone,
Making a Button:
Do you have an item without holes that you want to use as a button? Easily glue a plastic button shank to your piece to create a button. These work great for turning resin, polymer clay, hand-made glass, and ceramics into useable buttons. Since these shanks are plastic, they don’t have the sharp edges that you sometimes find on metal shank findings. The set shown above are made from resin flowers, colorized with gilders paste, and attached with E-6000.
With a button cover and some glue, you can create a decorative cover that can be transferred from garment to garment, covering the plain or boring buttons used in manufacturing. This set is made with super clear resin, colored with dye and glitter, and attached with E-6000.
Our pinterest board “Buttons” has further inspirations for using buttons and great handmade buttons.
In celebration of Spring, here are the Spring 2013 Pantone Color Trends. Just click on any of the color swatches below and find the treasures available in our online store. Also visit our Design Gallery for all the designs you see here and many more. All designs are FREE – no login required!
Comment now with your favorite Pantone Spring 2013 Color Trend to win. Contest ends May 6, 2013.