Creativity Tip: Great Artists Steal (and also can you sell what you make from tutorials)

Good artists borrow; great artists steal."

In the video I talk about Cat Bennett’s book, The Confident Creative and a quote that struck me from that book.

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” ~ Picasso

I go into detail about what that means to me.  As someone who teaches online, my hope that is you take what you learn from me and run with it.  Don’t create the jewelry exactly how I create it.  Use it as inspiration, learn techniques and create your own expression of yourself.

Be yourself.  Express yourself.  We want to see your expression in your own artwork, not a copy of what you saw someone else do!

When you’re first starting, it may be a lot of copying.  You may get exactly the materials I use and make exactly the jewelry piece I made.  But once you start learning and conquering techniques my hope is that you start changing it up, experiment, explore and find your own voice.

That brings us to a similar topic and one that has been on the minds of a couple of my readers lately:

Can I sell the jewelry I make from tutorials?

Before I say anything on the subject, I want to first say I am not an attorney and nothing I write here should be construed as legal advice.

I highly suggest that if this is a concern, you get some legal advice from an IP attorney (intellectual property) or copyright attorney.

If you look for answers to this question on the internet what you will find is a big mess and a lot of differing opinions.  Copyright law also varies country to country as well.

For Emerging Creatively Tutorials (me):

For all of my paid tutorials, eWorkshops, eBooks, eCourses, etc., you can make anything in any of those products freely without crediting me and do whatever you like with the the products, including selling.

(You’ll find that information on the sales page where you purchase the product and also in the PDF of the product itself.)

For my free tutorials (including any free tutorials you find on my website and ECT TV), you can make those for personal use or to give as a gift without any credit to me.  If you’re selling them, then you must credit me.

The tutorials themselves including photographs and instructions may not be distributed in any way.  You cannot give them away for free, you cannot resell them, you can’t use a single photo separately, and you cannot teach the techniques without my written permission.  You can share one photo of the finished product with a link back to my tutorial on your blog.  (And you can read all of my policies here for more details.)

Having said that, a lot of the tutorials I share for free are more techniques that basically are building blocks for creating jewelry.  So even though I have all those rules to protect myself, if it’s something like making a wire wrapped bead link, that’s something that tons of people do when making wire wrapped jewelry.  I completely expect you to use that technique without ever mentioning me anywhere whether you learned it on my website or in a paid eCourse.

Let me give you an example:

Chunky Rose Quartz Necklace

This is the Chunky Rose Quartz Necklace.  It’s a beautiful necklace that has unique aspects to it.  If you make this necklace following the step-by-step instructions and use all the materials I use ending with your necklace looking exactly like mine, then my policy would not allow you to sell that piece without crediting me.

However, if you learned to make a fun new wire wrapped link and then used that to make other jewelry that’s different than the necklace I showed you how to make, then I would say that’s completely acceptable!  Make it for yourself, your friends or even sell it.

That is exactly what I hope you do!  I hope you learn a technique and then make your own unique piece of jewelry with it!!

Now, as far as the tutorial itself goes, you cannot use the tutorial, my photos or words in anyway without asking me first.  (And yes, there are a couple of places that do share my tutorials and you may have even found me that way that do, in fact, have my permission to share my tutorials.)

Other places you may get tutorials from:

In most cases you’ll find that if you learn a technique and use it in a way that what you learned is just kind of a part of a larger piece, that there is no problem with selling those jewelry pieces.

However, always check first before selling.  Check the website or just send an email and ask.  (Frankly, they will be thrilled that you asked!)

A lot of people who sell tutorials do not allow you to sell the products you make from them.  Same with free tutorials you find online.

When you purchase a tutorial, it should say specifically when you buy it if it cannot be used to make things to sell.  You should see that before you actually purchase it.

How to actually credit:

Another question I had is how to actually go about crediting a person as the inspiration for the jewelry you’re selling.


Online it’s easy.  You can simply say the design was inspired by so-and-so and link to the tutorial.  You can do this wherever you’re selling:  your website, etsy, etc.

Craft Shows:

This is where it gets more confusing.  You may only have a little price tag and it’s difficult to acknowledge on it.

The best solution I can come up with is to make your price tag large enough to actually credit the person.

An alternative solution could be to make a sign and place it with those designs that inspired by a certain person.


I have seen a lot of discussion and people who get angry about, “Why do they sell or share it if they don’t want people to make it and sell what they make?”

I can tell you why I do.  I want you to be inspired.  I want to teach you techniques, show them to you in context of a jewelry piece and then you use it as inspiration to make your own new unique design.

I want you to express yourself and your own creativity and I want to help you learn techniques and tricks for you to be able to do that.

Like I said in the video, “A great artist takes inspiration from others but stays true to oneself.”  (Cat Bennett, The Confident Creative)

If you’re following exactly what you find in someone’s tutorial, step-by-step, sure, it can be fun and it’s an excellent way to learn for sure, but it’s not an expression of yourself.  And that is what we all want to see, especially if you’re selling your pieces.

I hope that inspires you to take inspiration from other people’s (and my) work and their tutorials, but to come up with your own expression from that inspiration.

Button Bouquets

Button BouquetI recently made these 2 button bouquets as a special request for a customer.

Button BouquetI made them in pint mason jars, which I decoupaged with patterns (per the customer’s request).  Could these be any cuter?

Button BouquetEach bouquet has 32 of these button flowers.

Ironically, I’m in the middle of selling off most of my button collect!  I still kept plenty of buttons, though.

Button BouquetYou can make your own with my button bouquet tutorial here.  (It’s even part of my ECT Episode 4 if you would like to see a video of the process!)

Button BouquetThese are so much fun to make, you could probably get me to make one for you, too!  (Just email through my contact page for details)

Button Wreath Ornament

Button Wreath TutorialNeed some more ornaments or some super cute gift toppers?  These are so quick and easy to make!

Button Wreath TutorialMaterials and Tools:

  • Buttons!
  • 24 gauge wire.  (You can use whatever you like.  I just used some silver plated wire I had, but you could even use the wire from the gardening section of the craft store and it should work just fine.
  • Cord or ribbon, etc. to hang the ornament.
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.

Step #1

Cut a piece of wire to your desired length.  If you want a bigger ornament, cut more, smaller less.  Add a few extra inches on each side to create the loop.  I cut mine about 10 inches long.

Step #2

Button Wreath TutorialMake a bend in the wire a few inches from one end.

Step #3

Button Wreath TutorialSlide a button putting one end of the wire in each hole.  Then bend the wire straight like shown.

Step #4

Button Wreath TutorialSlide another button on by putting the wire through one hole.

This is where it gets a little bit tricky.  Hold the button and then pull the wire through the other hole.  I tried using a larger gauge wire and it was kind of a nightmare (but possible).

Note:  Be careful pulling the wire through to make sure you don’t get any kinks in it while you’re pulling it through.  Also, hold onto the button so it doesn’t twist either.

Step #5

Button Wreath TutorialKeep adding buttons until you have as many as you would like.

Step #6

Button Wreath TutorialForm a circle.

Step #7

Button Wreath TutorialButton Wreath TutorialHold the wreath where the wires cross and twist twice.

Step #8

Button Wreath TutorialButton and Wire Wreath TutorialHold one of the wires with round nose pliers.  Wrap the wire around one barrel of the pliers.

Step #9

Button and Wire Wreath TutorialHold the loop with chain nose pliers.  Wrap the wire around forming a wrapped loop.  Then wrap the other wire around as well.  Cut off any excess wire.

Step #10

Button and Wire Wreath TutorialString some string, ribbon, twine, etc. through the hoop to hang the ornament.

Button and Wire Wreath Tutorial

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Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialFor this tutorial I drew a tree and then just basically followed the pattern with the wire.  This is the tree I drew.  It’s on a 4″ x 6″ index card, for your reference.

Materials and Tools:

If you get a strand of each color of the crow beads I listed above, you’ll have plenty to make this and the Wire Wrapped Wreath Ornament as well, with plenty leftover to make more!

You can use the colors I have listed, or choose any colors of your choice of the Crow Beads.

Step #1

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWorking from the spool of 18 gauge wire — meaning, don’t cut the wire off the spool or coil start to follow your drawing of the tree.  Leave about 2 inches extra wire above the tree.

Step #2

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialAt the first corner, place your chain nose or needle nose pliers and then bend the wire.  You may find it easier to grasp the wire where the bend will go and then pick up the wire and pliers to make the actual bend.

Step #3

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialGo to the next point and repeat.

Step #4

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialContinue until you have the tree completed.  Leave about 2″ of extra wire on the other side, too.

Fix up the shape however you would like.

Step #5

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialHold the tree where the wires cross with your fingers or you can use chain nose pliers and twist twice.

Step #6

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialHold one of the wires in round nose pliers.

Step #7

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWrap the wire around one barrel of the pliers.  Then straighten the loop so it’s centered over the tree.

Step #8

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial

Hold the loop in chain nose pliers.  Wrap the wire around in the same direction you started.  Then wrap the other wire around.  Keep your wraps tight and even.

Cut off any excess wire.

Step #9

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial


Make sure the tree is still in the shape you want it and make any adjustments.

You can probably get away with not doing this step since you’re using 18 gauge wire.  To make it even harder and stronger use a nylon or rawhide hammer and lightly hammer the tree.

Step #10

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialCut a piece of 20 gauge wire and wrap it around the bottom corner of the tree.  Do a couple of wraps and make sure it’s secure.

Step #11

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialAdd crow beads to the wire.  You can randomly do this, use just one color or create a design.  (I did mine randomly.)

Step #12

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWrap the other end around just like you did on the first end.  Cut off any excess wire.

Step #13

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialWire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialJust above that row, start another row and repeat.

Step #14

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialRepeat until you complete the tree.

Step #15

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialI used some of the raffia that the crow beads come strung on as a hanger.

Wire Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialCreativity Tips for More Customization:

  • Use all one color of crow beads.
  • Make stripes.
  • Use every other color.
  • Bead around the edge of the tree (note, you’ll probably have to bead as you do the bends in the tree.
  • Create your own hook using wire.
  • Make the beaded wires diagonal instead of straight across.


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Christmas Tree Earrings TutorialJust fill in the simple form below to get started:

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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.  It might not be perfect that way, but it is doable!

Make sure to read to the end so you can try out another ring that will really give you some ring and wire working skills!

If you prefer a video tutorial, this was the tutorial in ECT TV Episode 22.

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialTools and materials:

  • 20 gauge wire – you need about 3″ for the dangle and a few inches for the ring base.
  • A bead
  • Ring mandrel (or see above for an idea if you don’t have one)
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • A second pair of pliers would be helpful – I like bent nose pliers
  • Wire cutters

Step #1

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 #2

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 #3

Bead Dangle Ring TutorialBead Dangle Ring TutorialRepeat step #2 for the other end of the wire.

Knotted Bead Dangle

Now we’ll make a knotted headpin and bead dangle for the ring.  I happen to have videos for each of these techniques, so if you learn more easily with video they are here for you.  I’ll also show photos and continue the tutorial below the videos.

Knotted Headpin Video Tutorial

Bead Dangle Tutorial

Step #4

Cut a piece of wire about 3 inches long

Step #5

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

Step #6

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

Step #7

Beaded Dangle Ring Tutorial

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

Step #8

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 #9

Beaded Dangle Ring TutorialSlide on a bead.

Step #10

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 #11

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 #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 TutorialCute and easy – so cute and easy you will want to make a bunch to stack!!

Okay, so you love wire rings, right?  And after this tutorial you want even more!

You’re going to love my Wire Wrapped Button Ring eWorkshop!  You get a PDF and video tutorial!

wire wrapped button ring workshop

This ring is a great way to show your creativity and show off your wire working skills.

Never worked with wire before? Don’t worry because I will show you everything you need to know to successfully complete this ring.

Full color, close up photos and a video tutorial take you the whole way through making this ring!