Thursday, November 15, 2018

Jewellery-Making Basics - How to Turn a PERFECT Loop on Memory Wire

There are a few basic jewellery-making skills that every jewellery maker should master and turning a loop on memory wire is one of them.
How to make a perfect loop in memory wire.

It seems quite straight forward... until you actually go to do it and end up with a lopsided, half-open loop that small beads slide around or catches on your clothes.

But this simple trick will change all that and make your memory wire jewellery look really professional. Read on....

You'll need:
Round nose pliers - this is the style I use.
Memory wire shears. These are absolutely essential. Memory wire is made of steel and trying to cut it with your regular jewellery wire cutters will destroy the cutting blades. I know this from first hand experience! 

Cut the memory wire long enough to go around your wrist PLUS 5cm (2"). This will give you a little more than you need but it's better to have a little extra than not enough.
Using memory wire shears to cut a coil of memory wire.

Grip the very tip of the wire in the jaws of the round nose pliers. How far along the pliers you place the wire will determine the size of the loop. For loops in memory wire, I like to make my loop about 1/3 of the way down from the tip, but how far you choose will depend on the diameter of the jaws of your pliers.
Holding the tip of the memory wire in the round nose pliers.

In this example, I'm showing you how to turn an inward facing loop. With the thumb of your non-dominant hand pressing on the outside of the wire, rotate the pliers inwards to turn a loop. To turn an outward facing loop, you'll rotate the pliers in the opposite direction.
Turning a loop in the memory wire using round nose pliers.

Your loop will still be partially open but this is where my little tip comes in. Instead of trying to rotate the pliers again to close the loop, use the thumb of your non-dominant hand to wrap the memory wire around the jaws of the pliers until it meets the end of the wire.
Pressing your thumb against the wire to finish turning the loop.

It should look like this!
The completed memory wire loop.

You will have formed a perfect loop, with no gap to catch on your clothes or space for little beads to slide around.
Perfectly formed inward facing loop on memory wire.

Now that you know how to make perfect loops in memory wire, go make some wonderful jewellery.

Here's some designs to get you started:
Blush Memory Wire Bracelet
Christmas Tree Memory Wire Cuff
Scalloped Christmas Choker Necklace

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Jewelry technique project sheet - How to turn a loop on memory wire


'Til next time.....








If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Thursday, November 8, 2018

Scalloped Christmas Choker Necklace

Red, green and gold might be the traditional colours at Christmas but why not shake things up and put a modern spin on them? Here, I've swapped the usual emerald green out for a more muted olive tone which works really well with the soft gold dagger beads. The combination of textures, colours and finishes make this Christmas choker a stand out!

Christmas choker featuring red drop beads on gold scallops with olivine accents.


Here's a shopping list of what you'll need:

Tools: Chain nose pliers; flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, flush cutters, memory wire shears, ruler

Cut the 26g wire into one 30cm (12”) length and two 15cm (6”) lengths. String the pointed oval dagger bead on the 30cm (12”) length, approximately 30mm (1 ¼”) from one end. Bend the wire on either side of the bead holes and then bend the wires upwards at the point of the bead.

Wire strung through a top-drilled red dagger bead.

Wrap the short wire around the longer wire two or three times to create a neck. Trim the short wire close to the wraps.
Wrapping the wire in neat coils around the neck just above the dagger bead.

Place the round nose pliers just above the wire wrapping and wrap the long wire around the jaw to create a loop.
Using round nose pliers to form a loop for hanging the dagger bead.

Remove the round nose pliers and grip the loop with the chain nose pliers whilst you continue wrapping the wire down the neck until you reach the top of the bead.
Wrapping the wire back down the neck of the wrapped loop.

Hold the bead with one hand and continue wrapping the wire down the bead until you have covered the bead holes.
Wrapping the wire neatly around the top of the bead.

Bring the wire back up to the neck of the wire and wrap it two or three times around the neck.
Wrapping the wire neatly around the top of the wrapped loop.

Trim away the excess wire. Wire wrap the top of the two faceted tear drops in the same way using the 15cm (6”) wires.
Using flush cutters to cut the wire close to the neck of the loop.

String each of the olive beads on a head pin and bend them at 90° just above the bead.
Using flat nose pliers to bend a head pin at right angles above the bead.

Trim the head pins to 3/8” and turn a simple loop on each one.
Forming a simple loop on an olivine bead dangle using round nose pliers.

Cut five 7.5cm(3”) lengths of 22g wire. Turn a loop on one end of one wire.
A piece of wire with a loop formed on the end

String five gold tube beads on the wire, the loop of the pointed dagger and five more tube beads. Turn a simple loop.
Length of wire strung with gold tube beads and red dagger drop.

Shape it into a curve and then use the flat nose pliers to grip the loops and bend them up and to the side so that they can be strung on the choker in a later step.
A beaded scallop component with a red dangle drop.

Repeat steps 12 and 13 but string four tubes on each side of the tear drops and three beads on each side of the Czech daggers.
Five scalloped drop components

Use the memory wire shears to cut 1 ½ coils of memory wire. Turn an outward facing loop on one end and string 31 tube beads. String the first loop of the Czech dagger component, three tube beads, a 6mm olive bead, and three tubes.
Stringing the first scalloped component

Hook on the second loop of the Czech dagger component.
Stringing pattern for the scalloped necklace.

String on a gold dagger and the first loop of a tear drop component.
Two scalloped components being strung on the memory wire.

String on three tubes, the tri-cut round, three tubes, the second loop of the tear drop component and a gold dagger. Hook on the first loop of the pointed dagger component, three tubes and the helix bead. This is the center of the necklace. Complete the other side of the necklace to match the first.
Two beaded scallops strung on the memory wire.

Trim the memory wire to 3/8” and turn an outward facing loop.
Turning an outward facing loop on the end of the memory wire.


Scalloped Christmas Choker displayed on a jewellery bust.
Finished Length: 42cm (16 ½”)

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Scalloped Christmas Choker inspiration sheet

'Til next time....









If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Monday, October 15, 2018

Bountiful Harvest Necklace

When summer comes to an end, the leaves begin to fall and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air, our thoughts turn to how thankful we are for the many blessings we have.

For jewellery makers, our colour palette takes on a change as the sun drenched shades of summer make way for the softer orange, brown and gold tones that radiate feelings of warmth and comfort.
Bountiful Harvest necklace made with seed bead corn cobs and gold acorn charms

This necklace is inspired by the bountiful harvest of late summer and early autumn, featuring beaded cobs of corn in autumnal colours and spicy pumpkin-shaped beads. No need to hide the beautiful leaf clasp at the back.... it deserves to be noticed and sits off to the side where it becomes part of this harvest-inspired design. Strung on soft brown velour tubing and with a collection of warm gold and copper charms to complement the autumnal colours, this is the perfect necklace to wear for Thanksgiving.
Velour necklace strung with seed bead corn cobs.

Here's what you'll need to make this design:
Seed beads in transparent gold, pumpkin, orange, green and aubergine - a rich mix of harvest colours.
Tools: Memory Wire shears, flush cutters, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers

Make the Corn Cobs

To make a corn cob, string two size 11 beads, two size 8 beads, 3 size 6, two size 8 and one or two size 11 beads on each of six eye pins.  Each one should measure 2.2cm (7/8”).

Turn a simple loop on each eye pin.

Open a 6mm jump ring and hook on the six eye pins.

Open another 6mm jump ring and hook on three eye pins.  Close the jump ring.  For the remaining three, you will need to open the eye pins one at a time and hook them on individually.  Tilt the jump ring upward to help slide the eye pins underneath. Make 3 more cobs of corn.
Fall coloured seed bead corn cob.

Cut a piece of velour tubing the same length as the corn cob.  String a gold spacer bead and a piece of tubing on an eye pin.

String a corn cob over the tubing and add another spacer bead.  Turn a simple loop.

Create one more velour corn cob component. You'll use the other two in the following steps.
Finished seed bead corn cob.

Make the Centre Section of the Necklace

Cut 12cm (4.75”) of memory wire using the memory wire shears. Turn an outward facing loop at one end of the wire using round nose pliers.

Cut a 10cm (4”) length of velour tubing and thread it on the memory wire.

Turn a loop at the other end of the wire.

String the two remaining cobs of corn 6mm (¼”) from each end of the velour tubing.  Hook a quick link on the centre of the velour tubing and gently squeeze it until it's secure but so that it doesn’t squash the tubing.  Hook a copper ring on the other loop of the quick link and close it firmly.  String an orange rondelle and a bead cap on the head pin and turn a loop.  Connect the rondelle to the quick link with a 4mm jump ring (see photo below).

Make the Acorn Charm Dangle

Acorns and autumn leaf dangles.

Make a chain of six 4mm jump rings. On the bottom link, attach an acorn connector. Connect the bottom loop of the acorn and a copper leaf together with a 6mm jump ring.

Connect five jump rings together and attach a gold leaf charm.

Create a chain of a jump ring, an acorn connector, a jump ring and a copper leaf.

Make a chain of ten jump rings and then hook on a double acorn charm.

Connect a gold leaf charm to a jump ring.

Hook all these components onto a 6mm jump ring and attach it to the metal ring.

Assemble the Necklace Components

String the four rondelles and bead caps onto the remaining eye pins and turn a simple loop.

Cut 12.5cm (5”) velour tubing.  Cut 14.5cm (5.75”) memory wire with the memory wire shears.  Turn a loop at one end and thread on the tubing.  Turn a loop on the other end.

Connect a rondelle to each end of the tubing with a jump ring.  Connect a corn cob to each rondelle with a jump ring.

On one side of the velour tubing, attach the metal ring with a quick link.  Add another quick link to the other side of the metal ring and attach another rondelle. Connect this to the centre section of the necklace with a jump ring.

On the other side, link together three jump rings and connect the corn cob to the toggle bar.

Attach the remaining rondelle to the other end of the center piece with a jump ring.  Connect the rondelle to the leaf part of the toggle clasp with two jump rings.

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How to make colourful corn cob beads.

Seed bead corn cob necklace with acorn and leaf charm dangles.

'Til next time....









If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Christmas Tree Memory Wire Cuff

Festive Christmas tree bracelet in traditional red, green and gold.

It's never too early to get ready for Christmas and to help get you organised ahead of time this year, I've put together an easy bracelet project that will really put you in the festive mood. This bright and cheery Christmas Tree cuff in traditional red, green and gold is easy to put together and easy to wear. Just slide the memory wire cuff onto your wrist and you'll be set to rock this festive season!

Here's what you'll need to make a bracelet of your own:

12 Emerald and gold wave shaped beads 15x12mm
Red electroplated Christmas Tree bead 22x23mm
4 8mm gold stardust metal beads
10 6mm gold stardust metal beads
5 4mm gold stardust metal beads
8 18mm gold rhinestone semi-circle moon spacers: 3-hole
4 25mm twisted gold curved hollow tubes
Gold eye pin
Gold bracelet memory wire

Tools: memory wire shears, flush cutters, flat nose pliers, round nose pliers

Memory wire is made from steel so make sure you always use memory wire shears for cutting it. Regular flush cutters/side cutters are designed for aluminium and copper wire and their blades will be severely damaged if you try to cut memory wire with them.

String a 4mm bead and the Christmas tree onto the eye pin and bend the eye pin at a 90° angle just above the top of the tree. Trim the eye pin to 10mm (3/8") and turn a simple loop.
Bending the eye pin just above the top of the Christmas tree at a 90° angle.

Cut two 1 1/2 coil pieces of memory wire using the memory wire shears. Turn an outward facing loop at one end of each coil using the round nose pliers.

Place the two loops together and string a 6mm bead. Next, separate the two coils and string a curved tube on each one. Then string a 4mm, 6mm and 8mm bead on each one.
Stringing hollow tubes and beads onto the two memory wire coils.

String on a green wave bead, a semi-circle spacer, a wave bead, a spacer, a wave bead, and a 6mm bead on each coil. You may need to gently flatten out the curve of the wire whilst you slide on the wave beads.
Stringing the memory wire alternately with green wave beads and crystal spacers.

Thread the top loop of the Christmas tree component onto one coil and the bottom loop onto the other.
String the bottom loop of the Christmas tree component onto the memory wire.

Then finish stringing the other half of the bracelet in reverse order.

Push all the beads along the wire, making sure there are no gaps. Trim the wires with the memory wire shears to 10mm (3/8").
Trimming the two memory wire coils with the memory wire shears.

Turn an outward facing loop on each wire.
Turning an outward facing loop on the coils using round nose pliers.

Now you're ready to rock Christmas!

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DIY Christmas Tree Bracelet inspiration sheet.

'Til next time...









If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Thursday, September 6, 2018

Bejewelled Leather Cuff

Leather has really come into it's own as a jewellery style in recent times. I just love the way that it works equally as well for the country girl as it does for the city girl. Today I'm dressing up a simple strip of metallic leather with acrylic pearls and rhinestones to give it an urban chic look. Don't you love how well pearls and crystals go with leather?
Metallic bronze leather cuff studded with teardrop pearls and rhinestones.
Finished length: 9” (23cm)

Here's what you'll need:

Materials:
Silver snap setter kit (includes setting tool)
Beacon 527 Adhesive

Tools:
Hammer
Ruler and pencil
Scissors
toothpick

Decide on the layout of the rhinestones and pearls for the cuff according to your assortment. Download this placement guide to help you. The guide will help you work out how wide your leather strip needs to be. Place the components directly on the guide ready to transfer to the leather when the time comes.
Crystal and Pearl Placement guide

Trim the width of the Metallic Bronze Leather Trim piece so that it's wide enough to accommodate your pattern. I've cut mine 2” (5cm) wide but cut yours to suit the pattern you've laid out on the placement guide.
Placing a mark for the width of the bracelet.

Place the leather strip on your wrist to determine how long you need to make it. You need to allow for an overlap of approximately 26mm (1") at the ends where the studs will be. That's 13mm (½”) extra on each end. Round the corners with scissors.

Place the leather strip on your work space in the landscape position. Measure in 13mm (½”) from the top and right hand edges and place a mark. Do the same at the bottom edge of the cuff. Repeat at the left hand end of the cuff.
Marking the position for the snap studs.

Punch a hole at each of the marks that is slightly smaller than the shank of the studs.
Punching the holes for the press studs.

Following the package instructions, set a snap at each of the holes on the right hand side (wrong side of the bracelet facing up with the cap on the metallic side of the leather) .....
Setting the snap studs in position.

.....and a snap base at each of the holes on the left hand side (right side facing up with the post sitting in the anvil). Double check before you set them that each component is facing the correct direction.
Setting the snap stud base

Find the center of the leather and transfer all the rhinestones and pearls from the template onto the leather. Once you're happy with the positioning, attach each flat back, one at a time with a small amount of adhesive and place them back into position.
Attaching the pearls and rhinestones to the cuff with adhesive.

Leave the adhesive to dry overnight before wearing your new bejewelled cuff!

Here's a neon bright version using the same idea!
Pewter coloured leather cuff featuring neon bright and crystal rhinestones
Close up of the neon bright crystals on a flat metallic leather cuff.


If you liked this post, you might also find this one helpful:
Neat finishes for leather bracelet ends



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Boho style leather cuff inspiration sheet.

Urban Chic leather cuff inspiration sheet.

'Til next time....








If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

"Shadows" Daisy Spacer Earrings

Today I'm sharing an earring project from my book Fabulous Jewelry from Findings. If you haven't heard about this book, then you're in for a surprise. There's something very unique about the jewellery designs in the book... there's not a single bead in it!
Fabulous Jewelry from Findings book cover

Every piece is made solely from jewellery findings and to show you how versatile findings are, this earrings project is made entirely of daisy spacers!
Olive shaped silver earrings made with stacked daisy spacers
Finished length: 1½"(4cm)
Daisy Spacers come in a vast array of sizes, so you can piece them together in various ways to create bead-like shapes, as with these Shadows earrings.

MATERIALS

Twelve 3mm bright silver daisy spacers
Four 4mm bright silver daisy spacers
Four 5mm bright silver daisy spacers
Four 5.5mm silver daisy spacers
Four 6mm silver daisy spacers
Six 7mm silver daisy spacers
Two silver ball head pins
Two silver ball end earring wires

TOOLS: chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, flush cutters

String three 3mm, one 4mm, and one 5mm bright silver daisy spacers onto a head pin. Then string on one 5.5mm, one 6mm, and three 7mm silver spacers. The second 7mm spacer is the center point of the earring.
A stack of silver daisy spacers in graduating sizes strung on a head pin.

String the second half of the earring in reverse to match the first half.

Make sure all the spacers are pushed firmly together. Then, create a wrapped loop after the last daisy spacer. You can see how to do that here.

Slip the loop onto the earring wire and gently close the hook.
Attaching the daisy spacer component onto the earring wire.

Make a second earring to match.

If you'd like to see more clever and inspiring ways to create jewellery using nothing but jewellery findings, take a look at Fabulous Jewelry from Findings. You'll find it on Amazon or you can purchase a signed copy here.

Pin this project!
DIY daisy spacer earrings inspiration sheet.


'Til next time...








If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs