Jewelry Making Blog

Make a Summer Style Statement with Handcrafted Jewelry
Wednesday, June 17 2015 00:00

Beaded Spirals for Summer by WigJig  
Make a Summer Style Statement with Handcrafted Jewelry

Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes sunny days, sultry nights, and fresh jewelry trends. Fashion runways are always the first place to look for the latest must-have jewelry, but few of us have the cash to splurge on designer items. If you love the looks you’ve seen on the runways, designing your ownhandcrafted jewelry is a great way to incorporate trends into your style without sacrificing your budget. Better yet, it allows you to put your own twist on these looks. Let’s take a trip down the catwalk to see what’s hot for the hot months.

Mixed-Media Stacked Bangles

For a look inspired by Chanel, choose designs that make decorative use of both wire and beads. Pair theDeluxe Triplex Bracelet with the Three Strand Bracelet for a dynamic look. Feeling extra showy? Add aDouble 8s bracelet with wrapped bead links in place of the figure 8 connectors.

Ring Stacks

Delicate rings worn on each finger are a great way to add some romance à la Valentino to your look. Experiment with different variations on the Simple Wire Ring and alternate them on each finger. Since these rings are designed to be adjustable, you can also wear them in any position you please.

Baroque Chokers

Givenchy gave us intricate opulence with embellished chokers in rich shades of chocolate. Our Knots Squared design gives you a similar effect. Pairing a necklace like this with a low neckline will create an unforgettable visual impact.

Geometric Earrings

Basic shapes worked into creative forms featured on many runways for spring and summer, from Tory Burch to Louis Vuitton. Our tutorials offer a variety of ways for you to interpret this trend, including Bull’s Eye Wire EarringsSquare Earrings with BeadsWire Circles Beaded Earrings, and Marcia’s Earrings.

Matching Sets

Dolce & Gabbana brought back an often overlooked style with their luxurious golden matching necklaces and earrings. Jewelry sets are an easy way to add designer flair to your outfits. You’ll find options to suit any style and outfit in our designs for matching sets.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about jewelry making. We offer an array of supplies, tools, and tutorials to suit your needs.

Jewelry-making: Can you not knot?
Monday, June 15 2015 00:00

Jewelry and Wire Knots by WigJig

Jewelry-Making:  Can You Not Knot?

For self-taught jewelry makersknots are often the trickiest part of a piece.  Even if you know a couple of basic knots from elsewhere, the moment you try them on a stretchy or springy cord, they come undone.  But for those in the know, knots can be a lot of fun.  Closing a piece with an ornamental knot makes it look polished and professional, and you may even find yourself working them into your designs.

Secure: The Surgeon's Knot

If you want a quick, easy knot that won't come undone on any cord, you want a surgeon's knot.  Outside of beading, it's used in situations where the rope is likely to get wet, such as fishing, sailing, and, of course, surgery.

The surgeon's knot couldn't be simpler.  To make a hitch (for one end of one cord), loop your cord and feed the end through.  Then, feed it through again and pull tight.  Your knot should look like a figure-eight.

To make a bend (to tie two ends together), take one end in each hand and cross them.  Loop the right end over the left, bring it up and cross the ends again, and loop the left end over the right twice before pulling tight.

Flexible: The Slippery Eight

Of course, sometimes you don't want a knot that stays in place no matter what you do to it.  The Slippery Eight, discovered just ten years ago, forms a loop that expands or contracts with a tug, for an easily adjustable bracelet.

The Slippery Eight starts with a standard figure eight hitch, which is very simple: just make a loop in your cord, pass one free end over the other, then put the shorter end through the loop and pull.  In this case, make sure you leave the figure eight loose, and make sure you leave some room at the working end (the end you fed through the loop).  Hold your figure eight with the working end at the bottom and the other, called the standing end, at the top.  Then, bring your working end up to the top, passing behind the standing end, and pass it through the eight like so: under the top, over the crux, under the bottom.  Pull it tight.

To tighten the loop, hold the working end out so that it forms a straight line relative to the knot and pull.  To loosen, keep the working end in that position and pull on the loop.  If you bring the working end down, the knot will not move, so you don't have to worry about your bracelet coming undone unexpectedly.

Attractive: The Turk's Head

This is an ancient decorative knot, called a turk's head because it looks faintly like a turban but sometimes, for reasons un-guessable, known as a "woggle."  Actually, there are a large number of knots that can be called turk's heads, but the one I'm going to show you now is a hitch which is relatively simple, secure, and absolutely gorgeous.

Lay out a thick (or doubled) thread on a flat surface and make an overhand loop, then an underhand one below it, like a figure eight, passing behind the standing end.  Put the working end over the left side of the bottom loop and under the right.  Then, bend the bottom loop backward and thread it through the top one.  With your working end, thread between the two threads at the top of the new double loop.  Finally, bring it down to where the standing thread is, thread it through the same way as the standing thread, and pull tight.

Obviously, there are millions of knots out there, but these are three which, I think, are the most useful to know.  Good luck and happy tying!

Design Wedding Chokers, Beaded Necklaces
Sunday, June 14 2015 00:00

Wedding Choker by WigJig Design Wedding Chokers, Beaded Necklaces

There is nothing more beautiful than a summer wedding, filled with hopes and dreams, and expectations for the future. With anticipation of the wedding, a flurry of planning, expense, and selecting the perfect bridal jewelry begins. Selecting jewelry is extremely important, as the right set results in a fashionable, polished, well put together look. The wrong beaded necklaces make dresses look cheap, and even misplaced.

Lace wedding necklaces are always a good choice. They compliment the gown with the same French lace designs. Lace embellishments include strands of crystals, pearls, and gems. Necklace embellishments are simple or dramatic, depending on level of fashion required. Keep in mind the dress and type of wedding. For instance, Victorian weddings might require a more dramatic, and complicated design. This includes strands of beads, pendants, crystals, and dangling gems. A sweetheart dress, on the other hand, requires thinner lace, and more striking simplicity.

Select lace similar to the wedding dress, and choose style, and level of thickness. Select ribbon laces that include flowers, or raised lace.  Fashionable choker collars include thick pieces of lace, cut into a v shape pattern. Cutting out the outline of small leaves and flowers at the v line, and sides, creates interest and design quality.

Attach the necklace clasp. String any pearl or bead strands, and begin sewing crystals and beads to the choker, preferably in and around the flower shapes. A large white daisy or white lace rose, sewn to the choker at top center, with daisy or rose center embellished with white and silver beads. Metal beads are sewn into the lace at the sides of the daisy. If making a Victorian style, string beads to points on the necklace, and attach with metal hooks. Attach a small pendant, or dangling gems to the lace bottom at center.

For questions regarding jewelry making, or beaded jewelry patterns contact us. We offer a wide variety of fashionable beads, gems, chains, and jewelry making tools. Our high quality beads are perfect for coordinating wedding colors, and create dainty or elaborate styles. We also offer instructional videos for beading and jewelry making techniques.

Make Garden Chimes With Glass Beads
Saturday, June 13 2015 00:00

Garden Accessories made with Wire by WigJig  
Make Garden Chimes with Glass Beads

Nothing compliments a garden or outside living space more than a stylish summer chime, with bold summer beads, and bells softly tinkling. Chimes also offer unique jewelry making opportunities, with strung glass beads adding elements of charm and sophistication. The same processes used in jewelry patterns, and bead stringing are found in decorative chime making. The design and beading possibilities are nearly as endless as the artist’s imagination.

Just as with jewelry making, it’s necessary to design the chime before beginning. Know the style, colors, bead sizes, and type of beads. Shiny, colorful, bold colors are best, such as those that reflect sunlight. WigJig has a variety of unique glass beads to choose from, such as the fire polishedglass pressed, andlampwork beads.

Decide if bells will be strung in the center, with beads on the top and bottom. Though there is room for experimentation, colors should align in a consistent pattern, with the same colors strung on the top, as the bottom. If spacing beads, space evenly, and correspond sizes, and type on each strand.

One of the simplest ways to make outdoor chimes is by starting with a metal yard stake in the shape of a hook. The top of the chime is a long piece of metal, such as silver, copper, or even bamboo. Beaded strands hang beautifully from the metal piece. A hook extends from the top of the chime. This occurs using jewelry making tools, and the chime is then attached to the metal hook stake. The beaded chime creates style and charm, as well as relaxation. Bells chime softly in the breeze, as beads sparkle against the summer sun.

For questions regarding our wide selection of glass beads or information on jewelry making, pleasecontact us. We offer resources and supplies for a wide variety of design projects.

Essential Jewelry Making Tools: The Basics
Friday, June 12 2015 00:00

Jewelry Making Tools by WigJig  
Essential Jewelry Making Tools: The Basics

Whenever starting a new hobby or business, there are certain tools which are essential to making the task possible and jewelry making is no exception. Invest your money wisely and you’ll be off to a great start with quality tools that will make your new venture easier and more enjoyable. Learning a new skill is frustrating enough without trying to deal with inadequate or poorly made tools at the same time.

The jewelry making tools you will need will vary somewhat depending upon the type of jewelry you want to make but there are some which every jeweler will need. Several types of good quality pliers should be at the top of your list.

You will want good quality round nose pliers for creating loops and doing wire-wrapping. They are also essential for creating your own eyepins. Learn these tips for working with wire and you'll find it easier to make components you'll be proud of.

Chain nose pliers will allow you to hold onto components with your non-dominant hand while working on them with your other hand. Their fine tips will allow you to reach into tight spaces or work at awkward angles while doing various wire-working tasks. Bent chain nose pliers are even more versatile since they allow you to reach into tight areas while still being able to see what you're doing.

Unlike chain nose pliers, flat-nose pliers have flat, rather than rounded, edges which will allow you to make sharp turns in your wire.

In order to cut your wire, you'll also want a good quality flush cutter. It's particularly important to invest in the best quality tool you can afford with these, since top quality cutters are easier to use, will keep their sharpness longer and also cut more cleanly so you'll have less filing to do. 

As always, those of us here at WigJig look forward to supplying your every jewelry making need. Contact us for further information and we will be delighted to help. We've already assembled a deluxe kit of recommended tools which would get you off to a fabulous start in making jewelry!


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