Jewelry Making Blog

Things To Remember When Creating Wire Earrings
Thursday, July 24 2014 00:00

   

Handmade wire earrings are a popular jewelry item.  Most everyone with pierced ears has a pair and they can be very fashionable for a number of different occasions.  As a jewelry designer, you want the earrings you create to be elegant as well as comfortable.  Let's look at some tips to keep in mind when you create handmade wire earrings.

Metal Allergies

Some people have allergies to certain types of metals.  The most common one is a nickel allergy.  There are many people who break out or develop skin rashes because of nickel allergies, so it's probably better to avoid using wire that contains any trace amount of nickel.  Always let people know what kind of wire you used in a pair of earrings, so they know if they are allergic to anything in the piece beforehand.  Plastic, titanium, and teflon are safe bets for people prone to metal allergies.

File Down Rough Edges

You don't want your earrings to stick people and be painful to wear.  File down your pieces and make sure there are no rough edges or sharp spots that can catch the skin of the wearer.  No one wants to wear earrings that are uncomfortable, so make sure you smooth your wires thoroughly and test out your basic design.

Add Earring Stoppers

Losing an earring is a common occurrence.  It's probably something you've heard expressed before and it's obviously frustrating to the person who loses one.  So add an earring stopper to your wire earrings to avoid the hassle of losing them.  Use clear and discreet plastic stoppers and your customers will be grateful for it.

Handmade wire earrings can be gorgeous and functional.  Follow the tips above to make your earrings durable and suitable for wear.  If you need any more information or help with your jewelry making projects, don't hesitate to contact us.  We'd be happy to help out!

 
How To Waterproof Your Handmade Jewelry
Wednesday, July 23 2014 00:00

   

It's the heart of Summertime and the heat is driving many people to the pool.  Most people probably take their jewelry off before they go swimming, but this does bring up an interesting consideration for yourjewelry making—are you interested in making your jewelry waterproof?

This is especially important to consider for people who make jewelry with quilled aspects to it.  Quilled jewelry is jewelry made from paper.  So if you occasionally use paper in your wire and bead designs, you might want to consider waterproofing your pieces so they won't fall apart from a surprise rainstorm.

How do you go about waterproofing your handmade jewelry pieces?  First, get the materials you need to start.  Acquire some Fevicol MR, which is basically an glue that has good bonding strength and works well with paper jewelry.  You can also use your regular glue if you have a preferred brand.  Lacquer is also needed, which is used to provide a coated finish.

Once you have these items and you're ready to start, begin by coating your finished jewelry piece with Fevicol MR or your chosen glue.  Let it dry completely and then use a brush to add lacquer to the surface.  After this, let your piece dry for a day and it should be ready.  

Run a practice piece of waterproof jewelry under the tap and see for yourself how well this process works.  Your quilled jewelry piece should now be hard like plastic, so it's much more functional and beautiful. 

Be sure when you waterproof your jewelry that you work outside or in a well-ventilated area, as some lacquers give off toxic fumes that can be harmful in large amounts.  If you need any help with your handmade jewelry, don't hesitate to let us know.  We'd love to hear from you!

 
What You Should Know About Cubic Zirconia
Tuesday, July 22 2014 00:00

   

As a professional jewelry designer, you've probably heard of cubic zirconia.  But how much do you know about it?  And have you used it in your handmade jewelry pieces before?  Let's take a look at this gemstone so you can understand how it can benefit your jewelry projects.  

Cubic zirconia occurs naturally, but there is so little of it that scientists make it in laboratories instead.  It is clear, but can be tinted so there are a variety of colors available.  

The gemstone cubic zirconia is so visually similar to a diamond that it takes an expert to pick out the differences between the two.  One of these differences is that diamonds have a slight natural tint to them when viewed closely, but cubic zirconia is completely clear.  Mined diamonds also have imperfections that the lab-made cubic zirconia doesn't.  There are other methods to further differentiate the two, such as prismatic ability, thermal conductivity, and weight, but when it comes down to it the cubic zirconia gemstone is so similar to a diamond that it can be used as a diamond substitute.

Cubic zirconia gemstones are high quality and do not get scratched by dust, so they're perfect for daily wear.  You don't have to worry about damaging them, and even if you lose them it's okay.  Because another great thing about cubic zirconia stones is that they're very inexpensive.  You can easily replace your cubic zirconia without worrying about wasted money and panicking to re-trace your steps.  They are so reasonably priced that the average consumer can purchase a cubic zirconia and achieve the look of a stunning diamond.

There are many reasons to use cubic zirconia in your jewelry making.  They make beautiful, professional pieces that are functional to wear and won't break the bank to purchase.  If you need more information or help with your jewelry supplies, feel free to contact us.  We'd be happy to help!

 
3 Jewelry Making Ideas To Amp Up Your Creativity
Monday, July 21 2014 00:00

   


Sometimes you just feel like your creative well has dried up.  You can't seem to think of any new ideas for your handmade jewelry, and the ones you do come up with seem boring or hackneyed.  Don't worry, this is a normal aspect to creativity—creative ruts happen and it's nothing to stress over.  Let's look at some tips to spice up your thoughts so you can get past the burnt-out feeling and on to new projects.

1.  Recycle Old Jewelry

Do you have any half-finished pieces from years ago just sitting in your studio taking up space?  Maybe you have a few handmade jewelry items from when you first started out making jewelry.  It's likely that these early designs were too incomplete or amateurish to sell back when you created them.  Look through your studio and re-examine any old necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc. that you have around.  Break them down and use them for fresh new pieces.  This is easy to do since you already have pieces to use and you aren't starting from scratch.  And it also helps your creativity flow while not wasting any resources.

2.  Try Natural Beads

Have you ever used any natural beads, like wooden beads or shell beads?  If you haven't, you should try your hand at a piece involving more natural materials.  This is a liberating process, as it frees you from trying to achieve polished perfection with cut glass or gemstones.  You'll end up with a down-to-earth, nice-looking piece that gets your mind thinking and coming up with new options for future projects.  Job's Tears are natural plant beads that you might want to consider using.  These are beads that grow from a plant, come in a variety of colors so that each one is unique, and have a natural hole for stringing.

3.  Break Your Beads

If you're tired of looking at the same old beads, try making cracked beads.  How does this work?  Gather some beads and boil them on the stove top.  While the temperature increases gradually, prepare a bowl of iced water.  After your beads heat to a sufficient temperature like 375 degrees Fahrenheit, take them off the stove.  Then place the hot beads into the bowl of iced water and watch them crack before your eyes.  The effects are different depending on the type of bead you choose to use, so throw a variety in and have fun with it.  Keep safety in mind and wear goggles just in case any bead shards fly while cracking.  Try this bead breaking experiment to achieve a new look to your beads that will start you mind chugging away with fresh ideas and inspiration.

If you need any more inspiration for your jewelry making, check out our site or contact us.  We'd be delighted to help you!

 
Types of Beads To Use In Your Handmade Jewelry
Sunday, July 20 2014 00:00

 

   

You have many options to choose from when making handmade jewelry from beads.  But in order to choose which beads best suit the piece you're working on, you need to know the basic types available.  Let's look at the different types of beads so you can understand the variety of choices available to you.

 

Seed Beads

Seed beads are small, inexpensive glass beads.  They are usually round or donut-shaped and come in many different sizes, since they're commonly used.

Pressed Glass Beads

Pressed glass beads are similar to seed beads in that they are small and generally cheap.  They're so inexpensive because the manufacturing process to make them is rather simple—hot, melted glass is forced into a mold to form the beads.

Bugle Beads

Small tubed-shaped beads are bugle beads.  You commonly see bugle beads being used as spacers in necklaces and bracelets.

Fire-Polished Beads

Fire-polished beads are faceted beads made from cut glass and polished with heat.  The process of fire-polishing is more expensive than pressed glass methods, but it's still cheaper than making true gemstones.

Gemstone Beads

Gemstones beads are made from rare stones and minerals like amethysts, emeralds, rubies, onyx, and more.

Swarovski Austrian Crystal Beads

Swarovski is a leading manufacturer of cut glass crystal beads.  With vibrant colors, uniform shapes, and crisp edges, these beads can get expensive.

Pony Beads

Pony beads are made of plastic or glass and have large holes in them.  They were originally intended for use in the hair.

Pearls

Real pearls are from ocean mollusks like clams and oysters, but there are glass beads made to look like pearls using a pearl-like sheen or coating.

Metal Beads

Obviously metal beads are made out of metal.  Different metals can be used like silver, gold, gold-plated, titanium, platinum and more.

Dichroic Glass Beads

Dichroic glass beads consist of two or more colors.  These beads are very reflective, so they often shine brightly and draw lots of attention.

Bali Beads

Made from sterling silver, Bali beads are intentionally left as a mixture of tarnished and polished.  Bali beads were first made on the Indonesian island of Bali and are used to represent everyday life.  They are now made from silver-one and other metal alloys due to sterling silver being too expensive.

There are many beads to choose from when making your jewelry.  Pick an appropriate bead that suits the style of the piece you're creating.  Remember to examine different cultures, as they have interesting beads that can enhance your work.  Keep an open mind and try out a variety of beads to find the style that best fits your handmade jewelry.  Check out our bead selection over on WigJig, and if you need any fresh ideas or assistance with your jewelry, don't hesitate to contact us.  We'd be happy to hear from you!

 
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