Did you ever make a necklace or bracelet with a lobster clasp and then have the clasp fail and your jewelry piece fall off?
Today’s Jewelry Making Quick Tip will help you!
It’s disappointing and somewhat embarrassing, but this tip will save you that embarrassment.
When you get a bunch of lobster clasps, a few in the bunch will not work. It’s pretty frustrating, but it almost always happens.
Before you use a lobster clasp, work it.
All I mean by that is you simply open and close it about 10 times. If it’s not going to work, you’ll know and you can use a different clasp. If it’s working for those 10 times, then you’re safe.
This is particularly important if you’re planning on selling jewelry. You want to make sure that your customer doesn’t have any issues down the road.
So that’s the Jewelry Making Quick Tip for today. I hope it saves you some frustration and embarrassment.
Are you new to wire wrapped jewelry?
Ready to dig in and get started?
The Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry will give you a solid background in wire wrapped jewelry and teach you all the important things you need to know to successfully create professional wire wrapped jewelry.
Hi and welcome to Emerging Creatively Tutorials TV (ECT TV) Episode 81!
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Here’s the video:
In today’s episode I’m teaching you how to make a fun pendant design. This pendant is great for all the long necklaces you may have been seeing if you happen to follow fashion trends, but if you prefer a shorter necklace it works well for that as well.
My inspiration for this necklace is an art journal page I created recently.
I love taking inspiration from my art journal pages to create jewelry designs — so much that I created an eCourse, called Inspired eCourse, where we go through creativity activities and journal prompts and then map out jewelry inspiration that we take from the art journal pages.
How I went from Art Journal Page to Jewelry Piece:
When I made this particular art journal page I wanted to feature the word inspire. I chose the elements on the page around that general theme. Butterflies have a very symbolic meaning for me, especially around creativity and the word inspire.
When pulling inspiration and ideas from an art journal page, you can go in several different ways. I make a “Jewelry Map” from the art journal page that includes pulling out themes, colors, shapes, textures and techniques. (I teach this in detail in Inspired eCourse.)
In this case, I was most drawn to the colors and the butterfly theme of the page.
Typically I’ll sketch out my jewelry ideas after making the Jewelry Map. In this case I went straight to picking out supplies.
As I was choosing supplies the idea came to me.
Inspiration comes in different ways on different days for everyone.
Sometimes I need to create a Jewelry Map, sketch out a bunch of ideas and then choose the idea to try.
Sometimes I look through old sketchbooks until I find something I designed previously.
Sometimes my inspiration comes from the materials themselves, like in this case.
However the inspiration comes, follow it.
Once I had the idea, I made a sample and then I created the tutorial to share!
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions:
Materials and Tools:
5 smaller beads and/or charms (I used 4 beads and one charm) + optional extra bead for clasp
If you like, attach the top of the focal bead to a filigree piece using a jump ring.
Then add 1/2 of the chain to each side of the filigree piece using jump rings.
If not, you can simply thread chain through the top loop of the focal bead or attach it to the chain using a jump ring if you want it to be more stable.
Attach a clasp.
I used a lobster clasp on one side and a wire wrapped bead link on the other side. I made one loop really large so it would be easier to hook with the lobster clasp.
I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial.
If you love making wire wrapped jewelry or you’re interested, you want to have a solid background.
Sign up for my free Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry below.
I’ll take you through everything you need to know to get started with wire wrapped jewelry – from safety to exactly which tools you need to get started, where to get wire and some of the basic building block techniques you’ll use over and over again to finally creating a project.
Would you like this tutorial in an easy to download and save form? Get the PDF version below. (It’s exactly the tutorial you see here, just in PDF form)
ECT TV Episode 81: Focal Bead Tassel Pendant PDF eBook
ECT TV Episode 81: Focal Bead Tassel Pendant Tutorial PDF
I was finishing up a bracelet that I was making with the wire beads that I showed you how to make in ECT TV Episode 80 and I realized I only had silver crimp beads.
Instead of waiting to get the right color, I decided to finish the bracelet with the silver crimp beads and come up with a solution.
Here’s what I came up with:
Here’s the full bracelet:
Do you want to make beautiful wire jewelry, but you’re not sure where to start? Not sure what wire to choose (which hardness or what gauge to use) and there are so many tools to pick from, where do you even start?
Not to mention how people get those perfect wraps and loops and make their wire jewelry look so nice.
What if you could spend days learning everything you needed to know to get started and make your first piece of wire jewelry?
With the FREE 10 Day Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry, you’ll do just that! Sign up below and get started right away!
On today’s episode of Emerging Creatively Tutorials TV (ECT TV), I have a fun and simple wire bead tutorial.
You can use this bead in your jewelry creations to give your projects a little more personality and fun.
Here’s the video:
As I mention in the video, the inspiration for these wire beads started as an art journal layout.
Here’s that art journal page:
I’ve been somewhat obsessed with layering paper over a watercolor background in my art journal this year. (I’ll share more examples of different pages tomorrow here on the blog.)
For this page, I started out by using different colors of watercolors, including a metallic color.
Then I did some doodling using a silver pen as well as a white colored pencil.
Finally the paper layering came in. I used pieces of scrapbook paper as well as an old letter from the 1920s and an old receipt. (The actual letter is still in tact inside the envelop and the envelop has an opening on the right side to slide the letter out.)
Going from art journal page to jewelry:
When I’m using an art journal page as inspiration for jewelry, I like to make a “map” of colors, themes and other things from the art journal page.
I might make the jewelry piece based on colors or on the general feel of the art journal page or symbolism that is in the art journal page.
In this case, I mostly used the colors as inspiration for my jewelry piece: green and the brassy metallic colors from the page. The veining on the gemstone chips, as well as the brass color of the wire beads also gives me the feeling of an older time, which I also get from the art journal page.
When I was thinking about making this bracelet, I knew I wanted to add the brass color and I had the wire. I could have used the wire to make some sort of wire wrapped jewelry piece using the brass wire, but I wanted the brass to be more prominent. I also thought the messy look of the wire beads would add more interest to the bracelet and fit well with the art journal page as well.
This bracelet is the final result.
Maybe you see something different and most likely you would come up with something completely different for your jewelry piece.
In Inspired eCourse I go into detail about this process. In fact, I give you creativity activities and art journal prompts, then show you my exact process for mapping out a jewelry piece inspired by your art journal page, we sketch jewelry design ideas and I give you a jewelry tutorial each week.
Most Inspired eCourse students are inspired to design their own jewelry pieces. You can use the jewelry project tutorial each week however you like. You may want to make the piece exactly as I show you. You might use it for inspiration for your own design. You might learn a new technique to incorporate into your own design.
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions for the wire bead:
Materials and Tools:
22 gauge half-hard round wire *
Chain nose pliers
Something small and cylindrical to wrap around. Ideas include: small knitting needle, small dowel rod, artist paintbrush, jump ring mandrel (that’s what I used.)
*Wire: You really can use any wire you like. I’ve used mostly 22 gauge wire for these beads and it works well. You could use a thicker gauge such as 20 gauge wire, which would probably work well, but it will be more difficult to wrap.
Thinner gauges like 24 gauge will be easier to wrap, but won’t hold their shape as well. You can experience with gauges and see how it works. 22 gauge half-hard round works well.
Working off the spool (do not cut any wire), hold the wire against your cylindrical object leaving about a 1 inch tail of wire.
Use that wire tail to help hold the wire while you’re wrapping.
Decide how long you’d like your bead. Then wrap the wire down the mandrel to create a base of the size you’d like your bead to be.
Now wrap up the other direction right on top of the wraps you just made.
Continue to wrap up and down on top of the previous wraps. For this messy look, just wrap freestyle not trying to be neat.
Once your bead is the size you want, pull it off and trim the excess wire making flush cuts.
Use chain nose pliers to make sure the ends are not poking out.
Use your wire beads just like you would any other bead.
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You can also sign up for my Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry as well, which is 10 days of lessons to give you a solid foundation for making wire wrapped jewelry.
Want a PDF of the wire bead tutorial to save and print easily? Get it below:
(Note: This PDF eBook is exactly what you see here on this post and in the video. I’m offering it as an easy way for you to save and/or print the tutorial easily.)
ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead PDF eBook
Get the PDF eBook version of the Wire Bead tutorial. Note: it is the same as what you see here, but in an easy to download, save and/or print version.