by Charlotte Smith. (Durham, North Carolina) I have started using Shrinky Dinks to make lapel pins and using Enviro Tex Lite to give it a shiny gloss. Having a little trouble with the Enviro Tex as far as not getting it on right, so need help on doing this and as the edges are rough. What is the best solution for the edges? I love making these pins and have found … [Read more...] about Shrinky Dinks Pins: How to Smooth the Edges?
Tips & Techniques
Tips and techniques for beading, metalwork, PMC, wirework and other aspects of your handcrafted jewelry business.
by Jane Blancher. (Ontario, Canada) I taped an aluminum metre stick along the front edge of my work desk and highlighted the common necklace lengths... 35cm, 40cm, 44cm etc. to facilitate cord/chain measuring and cutting. I found this very advantageous for making bracelets as well! Jane Blancher Equine Design … [Read more...] about Measuring Tip for Wire, Cord, Chain and More
by Steve Smy. (Gemineer) I've only recently started doing *real* wire work and have much to learn. One problem I encounter is the assumption by so many wire workers that I will have invested large sums of money (that I don't have) in acquiring almost every variety of wire available! I can't afford Sterling Silver, nor can I afford to buy more than three sizes in … [Read more...] about Can I Cheat On Wire Shapes?
by Rena Klingenberg. Here's the right way to open and close a jump ring so it will keep its perfect circle. The proper way to open a jump ring is to twist it open, so that it looks like this: Important: Never try to open a jump ring by pulling it open or unrolling it. It's almost impossible to get it neatly rolled up into a circle again. Supplies and … [Read more...] about Open and Close a Jump Ring
© by Brenda New; all rights reserved. Here are some tips on how to make a strong, high quality, handmade beaded bracelet that will last for years. Use High Quality Stringing Material First, in order to make a strong beaded bracelet, it's important to make certain that you're using the best components available. I use either Soft Flex or Beadalon in 49-strand, … [Read more...] about How to Make a Strong Beaded Bracelet
© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved. I love designing jewelry from vintage items - incorporating neat old stuff into my current jewelry creations. This melding of modern techniques with items from yesteryear results in wonderfully unique jewelry that (depending on the elements used) can feel romantic, gothic, kitschy, or iconic - and people of all ages are … [Read more...] about Designing Jewelry from Vintage Items
© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved. Using vintage items for jewelry making can give your designs a sense of nostalgia, romance, and even quirkiness. Once you've got some ideas for designing jewelry from vintage items, it's time for a treasure hunt! Where can you find the types of wonderful old odds and ends that work well in jewelry? Well, finding the … [Read more...] about Finding Vintage Items for Jewelry Making
© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved. An earring wire needs to be comfortable and durable. Here's a quick guide to the recommended metals and wire gauges for pierced earring findings. Recommended Earwire Gauge (In wire gauges, a higher gauge number = thinner wire. For example, 12 gauge is a fairly thick wire, while 26 gauge is very thin.) The most common … [Read more...] about Earring Wire Guidelines
© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved. Here's a simple, fun way to straighten leather cord that's coiled up too tightly to be easily used. When you buy leather cord for making jewelry, it often comes wrapped around a spool like this: When you've bought several yards or meters of leather cord, the spool is a handy way to keep it untangled. But the downside is … [Read more...] about How to Straighten Leather Cord
by Irene McIntosh. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) I've picked up plenty of helpful tips since I started receiving Rena's Newsletter so I thought it was time to share as well. At a jewelry party this past week, I introduced a new crystal bangle bracelet and got an immediate custom order. It's the subsequent discussion about color preferences that was the inspiration for … [Read more...] about Wearable Color Chart
by Tamara. (Pink Pearls by Tamara) I had an interesting experience a few days ago. I was in a little accessories store showing the owner the bracelet fastening tool (she immediately bought the 3 I had on me, by the way!). Another lady walked up and said she just had to see what we were doing! I assumed she was a customer shopping in the store. So I showed her, and … [Read more...] about Does Anyone Have Experience With Beaded Bra Straps?
by 123bling. (United States) When I am making earrings, necklaces, or bracelets, I have found that the addition of bead caps really brings new attention to the bead and turns a plain bead such as a pearl into something that pops. Different styles of bead cap create different effects from dainty and elegant to more classic and bold designs. So try out a variety of … [Read more...] about Adding Bead Caps to Make Your Jewelry Pop