Craft Show Tip: Packing List (Audio)

Craft Show

Last week was all about outdoor shows and how to be ready for them.

This week I thought that I would share my packing list in audio form!  Don’t worry about taking notes.  You can just sign up for my email newsletter and get a PDF of the list.  (And if you’re already signed up, check your email because I sent it to you in case you misplaced it the first time!)

Here’s the audio:

Download (right click, save as)

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And you can get my Craft Show Tips eBook by clicking here.

Craft Show Tips 4.0

ECT TV Episode 22: How to Make a Bead Dangle Ring (…and where to get beads)

Bead Dangle Ring

This week on ECT TV learn how to make a bead dangle wire ring!  Plus, I tell you where I get beads.

Here’s the video for ECT Episode 22:

Where I Get Beads:

I have gotten some questions about this recently.  I know when you’re just starting out it can be overwhelming with all the tools, supplies and beads you need.

Picking out beads is the fun part, of course, but it can get overwhelming.

My Top 5 Places to Get Beads:

  1. As you may know if you watch my videos and read my blog, Happy Mango Beads is my favorite bead shop.  They have such a nice variety and really unique beads.  And there is a range of prices, too.
  2. Vintage jewelry from thrift stores and flea markets.  Look for pieces that have components that you like and you can take apart.  See my post on 9 lessons in choosing thrift store jewelry to reconstruct into new jewelry.
  3. Fusion Beads
  4. Etsy – just do a search for what you’re looking for and find tons of options!
  5. Fire Mountain Gemstones

In a pinch …

A.C. Moore or Michaels (or other craft stores that sell jewelry making supplies.)  The main reason I don’t like getting beads there is because of the lack of variety and I don’t want my jewelry to look like everyone else’s.  However, being able to go to a store to see up-close-and-personal and touch beads is a big benefit when you’re starting to make jewelry for sure.

And if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with an actual bead store, go there!  (And I’m jealous!)

How to Make a Bead Dangle Wire Ring:

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialThis is a fun and easy ring tutorial you’re going to love to make a lot of.  These rings are super cute by themselves, but even cuter stacked (there’s two in the photo above!)

They take very little supplies.  If you don’t have a ring mandrel, simply use a marker or thick highlighter to shape your ring and then measure your finger.

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialTools and materials:

  • 20 gauge half-hard wire
  • 22 or 24 gauge half-hard wire
  • A bead (on the smallish side, 6 mm or so)
  • Ring mandrel (or something cylindrical like a pen or highlighter that’s the size of your finger)
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • A second pair of pliers would be helpful – I like bent nose pliers
  • Wire cutters

Step #1

Cut a piece of 22 (or 24) gauge wire about 3 inches long.

Step #2

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialFold the wire so there is about 1 inch on one side and 2 inches on the other.

Step #3

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialHold the wire with the bend in chain nose pliers.

Step #4

Beaded Dangle Ring Tutorial

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialBend the shorter end up so it looks like the above photo.

Step #5

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialWrap the shorter end around the end creating what looks like a knot.  You can do this in a “sloppy” fashion or more neatly.  Just keep wrapping around the end until you run out of wire or until you’re satisfied.

Trim off any excess and make sure the end is not poking out.

Step #6

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialSlide on a bead.

Step #7

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialGrasp the wire between round nose pliers.  Wrap the wire around the barrel of the pliers creating a loop.

The loop will be crooked, so straighten it.

Step #8

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialBeaded Dangle Ring TutorialBeaded Dangle Ring TutorialHold the loop in chain nose pliers and complete the wraps.  Trim off any excess and make sure the wire is tucked down and not poking out.

Step #9

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialLeaving the wire on the spool, wrap the wire around your ring mandrel at the size of your finger.  You’ll need to leave 1/2 inch on each side as well.  Cut the wire.

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialStep #10

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialHold one end of the wire in round nose pliers.  The wire should be at the top, but not poke out of the top of the pliers.  As you can see, I’m using the middle of my round nose pliers.

Twist your wrist away from you, using your other hand to wrap the wire around the barrel of the pliers.  After you have twisted as far as your wrist will go, readjust and then complete the loop.

Note:  you are making the loop away from the middle of the wire.  (This is more clear in the next photo.)

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialStep #11

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialBead Dangle Ring TutorialRepeat step #11 for the other end of the wire.


Step #12

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialGoing back to the ring base, open one of the loops you made.  Open it like you would a jump ring.  So, in other words, use your chain nose pliers and open it maintaining the circle – don’t pull the circle apart.  For a video where I show how to open jump rings, click here.

Step #13

Bead Dangle Ring Wire TutorialPlace the bead dangle in the open loop.

Step #14

Bead Dangle Ring Wire TutorialPlace the other loop from the ring base in the open loop.  Close the loop (just do the opposite of opening it.)

Bead Dangle Ring Wire TutorialBead Dangle Ring Wire Tutorial———————————————————————————————————————

Love making rings?  I am about to release the Wire Ring Workshop next week (July 22nd)!  But lucky for you, I am offering it at an early bird price for the next week.  (Price goes up on the 22nd).  Click here to learn more and order.

How to Make Wire Wrapped Rings


Q & A: Why Do You Use 2 Crimp Beads?

How to close a crimp bead:

I’m surveying my readers (and if you haven’t taken the survey, you can click here.  You get a pretty cool freebie for your time!) and I’m asking what questions you have.

Since the survey is still ongoing, I haven’t really looked through the answers thoroughly yet, but I have taken a few sneak peeks here and there, and found this question:

Q:  Why do you use 2 crimp beads when stringing?

Totally valid question and I think that others might have the same question, so I’m answering it here!

For some context, when I teach stringing, I do suggest that you use 2 crimp beads.  Click here for a Stringing Jewelry Tutorial for Beginners.

Now, the question asker did mention she understood with heavy beads why this would be important, but in normal everyday, typical beads why is it necessary?

A:  I’m going to hold back my answer of “it’s how I learned” and give you a real answer.

You take a lot of time designing your jewelry.  You put a lot of effort into making your bracelets and necklaces.  Even if the crimp bead seems secure, sometimes it is not.  Sometimes you don’t realize you’ve only caught one of the wires in the crimp bead.  Sometimes the crimp bead isn’t closed correctly.  And sometimes you don’t even realize until you’re wearing the jewelry and it all comes falling to pieces around your feet.

Even if you are an experienced jewelry making who has been making jewelry for years, you can still make a mistake.  I like to just take the extra step for an extra crimp bead to be safe.

It’s not required necessarily and as with any of my teachings, you can modify it to meet your own needs.  So if you’re sure and feel comfortable with one crimp bead, by all means use one crimp bead.

If you want a little extra security, then use two.

Thanks for your question!


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Craft Show Tips Audio: Outdoor Craft Shows

Craft Show Tips

In case you are wondering about all the craft show photos I’ve had lately on these tips, it’s because I recently got access to my old photos from hard drives that failed.  (Thanks to my dad!  He saved 3 hard drives for me that the tech guys told me would cost $1,500 to retrieve the information and they weren’t even sure if they could do it!)

Here I am at a show.  it’s my first “First Friday” in Lancaster, PA.  It’s August 1, 2008 according to how I saved the photo.  This photo was taken just before the crowds rolled in.  This show changed how I felt about my business.  At the time it was my most profitable show and I started to believe that I could do this jewelry making business full-time.

Today I have an audio for you about being ready for outdoor craft shows.

They can be so much fun and so profitable, but they can be brutal as well.  The key factor being weather, which is something we cannot control.

We can, however, control how we deal with the weather.  This audio will give you tips for be ready for the weather.

This audio is longer than my previous one, it’s almost 20 minutes long!  You can listen below or click the link to download it.


Craft Show Tips 4.0

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Dangle Chain Necklace Tutorial

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialThis necklace is pretty simple and makes quite a statement.

Notice I said “simple” and not “easy.”

This necklace takes a little concentration and I kept losing track of where I was and having to measure all the chains again.  (This is make more sense as you go through the tutorial.)

A note about chain to use:  I used a small brass rolo chain, but you can use any chain you have around.  If you’re using curb chain (chain that’s twisted so that it lays flatly), you have to watch that you’re not twisting the chain as you go along.

You can use any metal you like as well!

I just used chain that I happened to have a lot of around.

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialTools and Materials:

  • Chain (see note above).  I used around 70 inches total.
  • Lobster clasp
  • 7mm jump ring
  • A bunch of 3mm or 4mm jump rings
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • A second pair of pliers such as bent nose pliers

Step #1

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialMeasure around your neck and cut the chain to the length you would like.  I cut mine so it was just slightly looser than a choker, so relatively close around my neck.  It would work a little longer, too.

Step #2

Dangle Chain Necklace TutorialAdd the lobster clasp to one side and a 7mm jump ring on the other side to hook your lobster clasp on when you put on your necklace.

If you need some help opening and closing jump rings properly, you can watch this video I made:

Step #3

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceNow we’re to the part that is a little bit tricky just because you have to keep track of a bunch of little chains and what you’ve cut so far!

I started by cutting my middle chain and worked my way out.

My middle chain is 3″ long, and it’s the longest.

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceThen I used a piece of wire to hold my chains while I was cutting them.  The chains on either side of the middle chain are the same length as each other, but just a little bit shorter than the middle chain.

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceThen I just continued outward adding chains to each side slightly shorter each time until I liked the fullness.

I used a total of 19 chains dangling from the original chain.

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceThe wire trick I gave above is helpful when measuring the chains because you can hang them and more easily see how long the chains are and match them up.  However, I accidentally dropped most of the chains off it along the way and my chains weren’t significantly different in size and my eyes started going buggy.

So I remeasured them all and laid them out so I could see them better and not have the risk of messing them up again!

You may need to come up with your own organizational system for this.  :)

Step #4

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceOpen up all the jump rings you’ll need to add the chain dangles to the main chain.  Since I had 19 dangles, I needed 19 chains.  I used 3mm jump rings.  (Or 4mm are fine, too and you’ll find them more readily.)

Step #5

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceFind the middle of your main chain, the one you already placed the lobster clasp on.

Step #6

How to Make a Dangle Chain NecklaceHow to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

Add the longest chain dangle using a jump ring.

Then continue outward adding chain dangles.  I placed a chain dangle on each link right next to each other.  You may prefer to space them out with a blank link in between each.

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

Like I said, very simple.  And really stunning to wear!

How to Make a Dangle Chain Necklace

This necklace goes with so much!  I just finished this necklace and wore it to the store with a simple tank top and skirt and it really added a lot of style to my simple outfit!

Customize it:

  • Add bead dangles to the ends or bead links in the middle of the chains to add some color.
  • Use even more chains….or less.
  • Mix up metals for a really great look.

This is a great project for even beginners once you have that opening jump rings skill down!  My Wire Wrapping for Beginners eBook is great for folks who are new to jewelry making or just new to working with wire.  I teach techniques in it while you are making jewelry projects.  It’s in the same easy to follow format.

Learn more here (I’ve recently updated it!) and purchase for instant download and get started right away making unique, sturdy, long lasting jewelry.