Jewelry Making Blog

Incorporating Buttons into Your Handcrafted Jewelry Designs
Sunday, August 31 2014 00:00


We all have them, don't we? You know, that jar of buttons way up there on the shelf in the back of the closet gathering dust. We've cut them off of discarded clothing; bought them up at clearance sales and garage sales. Many are antiques handed down from the sewing boxes of our grandmothers. We just couldn't bear to part with them, but we've never really known how to use them either. It's time to bring those beautiful buttons out of storage and into the light. Incorporate them into amazing one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry!

Using buttons in your jewelry creations couldn't be simpler; having ready-made holes makes working with them much like working with beads. Flat buttons are easy to work with; simply use jump rings to attach them to your other jewelry components. Do you have several matching buttons? Choose some coordinating beads, your favorite color of wire and a WigJig tool to create a necklace and matching earrings like this Caribbean Blue set or this Vee Links necklace ; just substitute buttons for a few of the beads. Follow the instructions for the Two-to-One bracelet using buttons in the one position for a show-stopping creation!

Combine interesting buttons with beads to make a pendant and add to a simple chain. Matching earrings are easily made to match. The Elegant WigJig Drop or the Spirals and Diamond patterns offer a way to add one button or multiple buttons for pendant style necklace and earrings.

Shank-back buttons can be used creatively as well to make some striking pieces. You will need to snip the shank off first. Then follow our instructions for mounting coins or cabochons using wire. Now you can use these buttons in many pieces. Mounted in this fashion they would make an exciting charm-style bracelet.

Make a bold statement piece with all of those mismatched or plain buttons. Cut a piece of felt in a crescent moon shape. Using the felt as a backing material, glue buttons onto the felt and each other creating a pendant with lots of texture and depth. Add jump rings and attach to a beautiful handmade chain using your WigJig tool.

Now that you've mastered ways to incorporate buttons into your handmade jewelry creations, you just may have to start scouring the world for more buttons!

Contact us for more jewelry making tips and techniques as well as the supplies you need to make all kinds of stunning handcrafted jewelry designs!

Jewelry Making Supplies for All Designs
Saturday, August 30 2014 00:00

It's easy to make a hammer or a pair of pliers, but it's not so easy to make a tool capable of the precision work demanded by serious jewelry makers. WigJig is a company that knows the business of jewelry and, more importantly, knows the hands-on technique and the demands of the craft. Our jewelry making supplies are crafted with just as much passion and care as you put into your finished products, with a keen attention to detail that could only come from a team of fellow craftspeople.

And the best part is that our jewelry making supplies can be your jewelry making supplies. From traditional chains, bracelets, and watches to more intricate wire designs and beyond, WigJig has a product to help you bring out the best in every design you can think of, and if you need a little help thinking of some, our kits can give you a hand!

With the wide array of WigJig products, ranging from those simple hammers and pliers to jigs for wire projects and even full kits, you can design and craft high-quality jewelry that will allow your unique touch to shine through every time. Craft one of those classic and always-popular choker necklaces, or help your customers express their individuality with a funky free-form ringno matter what you choose to do with ourproducts, you can trust that they will get the job done and bring out the best in yours.

So if you're interested in jewelry making supplies made someone who... well, makes jewelry, take a look around our website and check out our full catalog. Then, if you're still interestedand we know you will becontact us, and let us know how we can help you make the most of every piece you make.

Handmade Jewelry Boho Style!
Wednesday, August 27 2014 00:00



It goes by many names; boho or bohemian, gypsy, and hippie. It's a style first made popular in modern times in the late sixties and early seventies; brought back in the beginning of the new millennium. While it trends up and down, it looks as though it's here to stay. And no wonder, it's an easy carefree style that's easy to accomplish and works for both men and women as well as any age group. It's an opportunity to let your handmade jewelry reflect your personality and artistic style.

There are two main characteristics of boho style; mixing different materials together in unexpected ways and layering. Necklaces tend to be either choker style or very long. Earrings are generally chandelier type or large hoops. Bracelets sit close to the skin and are mixtures of bangles and beads. Creating a few boho style pieces is a great way to clean out your stash of odds and ends as long as you follow a few guidelines. You can freely mix bead shapes and sizes. When it comes to color choices just a few artistic rules apply; mix freely within color families, choose complementary colors, or stick to either all warm or all cool colors.

With your bead selections made, the rest of your choices are almost anything goes! When it comes to making chain for boho style a WigJig is the perfect tool. Intricate link designs like this Beads and Celtic Knots design or this Oval Links Bracelet are easy to accomplish with a WigJig tool.

Now that you've got a complex and delicate wire and bead piece, add multiple layers of more earthy and rustic pieces to pull the look together. Beaded leather wrapped bracelets are very popular. Simply sandwich beads between 2 pieces of leather cord attaching them to the cord with wire. Make a simple button loop closure – use an actual button. Add a couple of long strands of glass pony beads on nylon or silk cord. Get that stacked bracelet look by making multi-strand pieces like this Three Strand Bracelet. Simple Beaded Hoop earrings will round out your pieces.

Now that you have all of the basic components together for your boho chic style, it's time to get really creative! Don't forget to add in some unexpected items like buttons, charms, feathers, shells, coins, stones, . . . really this list is endless. Let your jewelry pieces reflect your personality, things that you love, and treasures you've found along the way. Stack them all together and you're good to go!

Contact us for more patterns and tutorials as well as all of your jewelry making tools and supplies.

4 Classic Designs to Inspire Your Wire Jig Jewelry
Tuesday, August 26 2014 00:00


Designing jewelry with a wire jig is a fun way to create elegant pieces of wearable art. With so many sources of inspiration, wire jigs can be used to create countless unique pieces of jewelry. These four classic patterns are a perfect addition to any jeweler's source of inspiration. 


1. Filigree

Filigree is a classic pattern that appears in architecture, tableware, and yes, jewelry. This elegant design has history in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Medieval Europe, and India and continues to be a popular form of metalwork worldwide. With intricate swirls, beading, and feathery lace, filigree is a beautiful form of jewelry that can be recreated on a wire jig.  

 2. Celtic Knots

Celtic artwork features intricate linework that takes form in knots, crosses, and trinities. Originating in Ireland, this interlace pattern has been copied in works of art from mosaic and paint to tapestries and jewelry. If that's not enough inspiration, different celtic knots have their own special meanings, making inspired jewelry even more personal. 

 3. Henna Body Art

Henna dye has been used since antiquity for dying fabric, hair, and even skin. Though the dye is temporary when used on the skin, the designs created by henna tattoo artists are part of a long lasting tradition of elegance. The intricate, careful linework of henna tattoos is a perfect inspiration for jewelry designs.

 4. Stained Glass

Stained glass and the sophisticated latticework that exists with it has its roots in ancient Egypt and Rome. The ornate structure of stained glass appears in religious iconography as well as in secular, decorative pieces. The prismatic glass artwork of cathedrals can come alive in wire jig jewelry. 


Hopefully these elegant designs will inspire you to create beautiful, extravagant jewelry. The intricate nature of wire jig jewelry will allow your inspirations to come to life. For questions, comments, and more inspiration, be sure to contact us and check out our site for more ideas. 

Dichroic Glass Beads: The Star of the Show!
Monday, August 25 2014 00:00


If you've never worked with dichroic glass before, you're in for a treat! 
Dichroic glass beads, with their ever changing colors, iridescence and reflective properties add impact to any jewelry design.

What is dichroic glass? From it's Greek origins dichroic literally means 'two colors' however, modern dichroic glass is actually multicolored. The current method for making dichroic glass was developed by NASA in the 1990s when they were researching ways to make dichroic filters and space mirrors. The technique is a complex way of layering and then fusing different metal oxide dusts with glass and then heating it in a kiln. The result is glass that is reflective and has incredible depth; bouncing light in all different directions. The color changes depending upon the angle of the glass to the available light, with a rainbow type appearance that is reminiscent of a child's soap bubble or the iridescence of a delicate dragonfly wing.

Jewelry pieces made with dichroic glass beads are mesmerizing, drawing the eye down into the depths of the glass. Pieces made with these beads sparkle when hit by light. Dress them up by pairing them with faceted glass beads and wire links for an evening look, or make them the star of the show by choosing plain colored beads and cord as an accompaniment. Showcase a dichroic glass bead in this Large Links Necklace project. Add matching earrings, or take the time to learn a new technique like our Stringing on Wire project using dichroic glass tube beads or the Wrapped Chain Bracelet featuring one large round dichroic bead. 

No matter what type of project you choose it will most certainly be a one of a kind; the complex process involved in making dichroic glass means that no two beads are exactly alike. They will match in color, but not in pattern or distribution of the metal oxide particles, making your next jewelry project that much more exciting!

Look to WigJig for all of your jewelry making needs. We have all the supplies, tools, instructional videos and project ideas you need to make your next jewelry project successful! Contact us with your questions and comments. We love hearing feedback from our customers! And don't forget to check us out on Pinterest for even more exciting new project ideas.


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