Archive for the ‘Rings & Things Products’ Category

Lariat Round Up

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

I have been more and more drawn to Lariat style necklaces lately, and seeing lots of them pinned on pinterest.  This inspired me to create several lariat necklace tutorials for the Rings & Things gallery and to look to our other designer’s past contributions to this jewelry style.

What is a lariat necklace? It is an open-ended necklace with no clasp. It is fastened by threading one end of the necklace through the other. Lariat necklaces frequently have beads or tassels at the end, and are typically worn with the ends in front.

The Plumage lariat necklace design is made with Nina Designs peacock feather charms on chain, and accented with  SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS xilion crystal bicones from the Under the Boardwalk crystal jam. It is designed with the chain going through the larger feather charm, and locking the smaller charm through the end, allowing the wearer to adjust the final length.


The assymetrical Foliage necklace design is similar.  Clusters of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS xilion crystal bicones are spaced along the chain, and again the chain goes through one of the charms to lock the second charm in place, however, the spacing of the bead clusters limits the adjustment to the final length that can be done by the wearer.

Tour de Belgium lariat

Tour de Belgium lariat

 The Tour de Belgium long lariat design is designed to be worn doubled.  A large fluted bead locks the charm dangles in place.  Some adjustment to the final length can be made by varying the length of the doubled section of chain.


The Giddyup lariat is made on suede lace with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.  The ring is tied just off center of the length of leather, and the crystal briolette dangles slip through the ring.  The metal components of this true lariat style necklace are plated, to economize.


The Ladylike lariat design is also made with suede lace.  This luxe necklace pairs sterling findings with freshwater pearls and sparkly glass.  While the components are minimal, the design has impact.


The Corralled Pearls necklace has no findings, and no metal.  Thin leather cord, usually not strong enough for stringing, can transform into a bold design when many strands are gathered together.  The use of a battery operated bead reamer allows the hole on these freshwater pearls to be made larger for stringing.  Simple overhand knots create the loop (clasp) and also hold the pearls in place.

I hope you like this roundup of lariat designs.  All of the components to make each of these designs are available right here at Rings and Things.  Remember to check our design gallery for a variety of jewelry styles.

~  Rita

Create a Charm Bracelet

Monday, January 13th, 2014

 Charm Bracelet

Moondance, a free DIY bracelet project, using sterling silver, keishi pearls and faceted Swarovski crystal beads was designed by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This handmade jewelry design features flower, petal and leaf bead caps made of sterling silver as well as center drilled keishi pearls in a beautiful shimmering silvery gray/light blue color. Free instructions for creating this handmade, heirloom quality charm bracelet at

Create a beautiful, heirloom-quality charm bracelet using freshwater keishi pearls, Swarovski faceted crystal beads, and unique sterling silver bead caps,  charms, and findings.

A four-piece jewelry making tool set and basic assembly techniques are all you need to create this stunning bracelet. I recommend using the Chain Stā tool which suspends the bracelet horizontally making it easier to see where you are placing charms.

Create Eight Styles of Charms

For this design, charms were arranged in the following pattern:

  1. Place an Ethereal Pearl Charm every 5 links.
  2. On the 3rd link after Ethereal Pearl, attach  Oopsy Daisy Charm.
  3. On the 4th link after Ethereal Pearl, alternate Falling Leaf & Delicate Sprout Charms.
  4. On the 1st link after Ethereal Pearl, alternate Tender Bloom & Budding Flower Charms.
  5. On the 2nd link after Ethereal Pearl, alternate Cherry Blossom & Fresh Shoot Charms.

Ethereal Pearl Charm

The ethereal pearl charm features  freshwater center-drilled keishi pearl and a sterling silver ball-end head pin (available at

Create 7 Ethereal Pearl Charms using:
Center-Drilled Freshwater Keishi Pearl
2″ Ball End Head Pins
4mm Round Jump Rings

Oopsy Daisy Charm

The oopsy daisy charm features a Swarovski faceted crystal bead, a sterling silver four leaf bead cap, and a sterling silver ball-end head pin (available at

Create 6 Oopsy Daisy Charms using:

Falling Leaf Charm

The falling leaf charm features a Swarovski pearl, a sterling silver leaf charm, and a sterling silver ball-end head pin (available at
Create 3 Falling Leaf Charms using:

Delicate Sprout Charm

 The delicate sprout charm features a Swarovski pearl, a sterling silver flower charm, a sterling silver flower bead cap, and a sterling silver ball-end head pin (available at

Create 3 Delicate Sprout Charms using:
Sterling Silver Flower Bead Cap
3mm Swarovski Round Crystal Pearl Beads
2″ Sterling Silver Ball End Head Pins
4mm Round Sterling Silver Jump Rings
Sterling Silver Pansy Charms

Create a Custom Personalized Necklace

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Personalized jewelry is very popular, and quite simple to create!   A four-piece jewelry making tool set and basic assembly techniques are all you need to create custom necklaces.

Earth Mother, a custom mother's necklace includes birthstone charms, a butterfly charm and three flowers on a silver charm.  This free DIY custom memory necklace project by Sondra Barrington of features sterling silver, swarovski crystal, gemstones and personalized charms.This free DIY custom memory necklace project by Sondra Barrington of features sterling silver, swarovski crystal, gemstones and personalized charms.

(Click for larger image)

It is easy to personalize jewelry using birthstone-color gemstones and Swarovski crystal, along with a sterling silver charm or two. Rings & Things sells a huge selection of lightweight budget-friendly sterling charms and necklace chains.

Add-a-dangle using faceted, round, cube and other shaped gemstones!  This free DIY custom memory necklace project by Sondra Barrington of features sterling silver, swarovski crystal, gemstones and personalized charms.

Chains are easily adorned with add-a-dangle, or add-a-gemstone charms.  To create these assorted dangles, you just need a selection of small beads from your stash and some sterling ball-end head pins.

Blessed Mother Necklace features gemstone beads and a cube bead as the birthstone charms and a sterling silver fish faith charm. This free DIY custom memory necklace project by Sondra Barrington of features sterling silver, swarovski crystal, gemstones and personalized charms.

(Click for larger image)

These colorful  dangles allow you to add several birthstones to a custom piece, or accessorize it according the whimsy of the wearer.  A mixture of natural stones, freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals is very popular.  Making oversized loops on the dangles makes it easy to slide them onto nearly any chain without adding a jump ring.

Add-a-dangle birthstone charms of Swarovski round crystals! This free DIY custom memory necklace project by Sondra Barrington of features sterling silver, swarovski crystal, gemstones and personalized charms.

If you sell custom necklaces, consider displaying the basics in a fun display (along with a few completed samples):

  • A tray of sterling silver charms
  • An assortment of pre-made add-a-gemstone dangles
  • A variety of pre-made add-a-birthstone crystal dangles
  • A few styles of sterling silver necklace chains.
This necklace, Adorable Auntie, includes charms representing each niece and nephew! This free DIY custom memory necklace project by Sondra Barrington of features sterling silver, swarovski crystal, gemstones and personalized charms.

(Click for larger image)

This jewelry also makes great gifts and mementos for friends, family and other loved ones.  Have fun making these darling necklaces!

Get Your Margaritas Here

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Margarita for drinking Margarita for drinking

No, not that kind of margarita…

These crystal charm designs are so easy to make!

Grab a tasty beverage and a friend or two and have a good time making margarita trees all evening.

Margarita Tree Variety

A variety of tree styles you can make with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS from Rings & Things

So… why am I calling them margarita trees?

The “branches” of these sweet tree designs are made with the Swarovski sew-on stone Article 3700, known as the Margarita (or Marguerite).

margarita variety

The margarita crystal is available at Rings & Things in up to 5 sizes, and various tree related colors

The colors in the above picture, clockwise from the top, are emerald, crystal AB, fern green, dark moss green, and Crystal VM.  These tend to be the most popular tree colors, but you can also make trees in Crystal, Peridot, and a variety of non-traditional colors.

So… what do you need to make your own Margarita Trees?



Margarita crystals in at least 3 sizes (6, 8, and 10mm are the minimum for the “tree” look)

Small beads for the “star”

Round Nose Pliers


minimum tree components

Purchase margaritas, “star” beads, headpins, earwires, and tools at

This is the basic tree with the minimum components as shown above.

simple tree earrings from Rings & Things

These trees are made with just the minimum components and are cute and unobtrusive.

If you want a fancier tree, add a few more layers:

cube beads for tree trunks

even bigger sizes of margarita to make a grander tree

chain nose pliers

tasty beverage  :)

larger margarita tree components

These parts from Rings & Things will make a more lush margarita tree design.

To construct your margarita trees, first decide if you want to have a tree trunk.

If so string a 4mm crystal cube #5601 onto your headpin.  I tend to gravitate toward using mocca, light colorado topaz, or crystal bronze shade for the look of wood.

Next decide on the number of layers for your tree.

Add #3700 crystal margaritas in descending size order to your headpin.

And decide how to top your tree.

I usually use a 3mm xilion crystal bicone #5328 in a metallic or bright color.

larger margarita tree stack

This fuller margarita tree style includes two more “branches” and a “trunk”.

Finish this off with a simple or wrapped loop.

larger margarita tree looped

This larger completed margarita tree design is ready to attach to an earwire.

If you are making earrings, repeat the process and then add your earwires.

Margarita trees make fantastic earrings, precious pendants, and adorable additions to a gift wrap.

They can also be constructed for strung jewelry, like the Christmas Tree and Light Necklace.

So,  how do you like your margarita trees?  TraditionalBright and ShinySnow Covered?  or even turned upside down to be an icicle?

finished large margarita tree

Larger Margarita tree earrings with components from

~  Rita

Embellish Jewelry Blanks with Crystal Chatons

Monday, November 11th, 2013

It doesn’t matter if you’re a rhinestone cowgirl or an urban fashionista – dressing up belt buckles and other jewelry blanks with sparkling crystal chatons is just plain fun!

Use the steps below to either recreate the Zen Yin belt buckle by Jan or to embed you own designs in a wide range of jewelry components including bezel cups, bottles caps, and more.


1. Gather your supplies.


To make the exact belt buckle pictured in this blog, see the “Zen Yin” belt buckle full parts list in our Design Gallery.


A Crystal Katana makes it easy to set chatons in your jewelry clay.

Tip: A jewel setter makes it much easier to set small objects into the clay! While bare fingers can hinder your field of vision and upset other elements of the design, jewel setters provide a wax tip to lightly pick up and place small objects in just the right spot.


2. Plan your layout.

Plan your layout before you unwrap the clay. This allows you to tinker with design options without the clay drying prematurely. This is especially important on large objects like a belt buckle.

Form two equal balls

3. Measure equal amounts of clay.

Wear vinyl or latex gloves to protect your hands.  Measure equal amounts of “A” and “B” types of clay, and form each material into a separate ball. If the clay sticks, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil.

Mix the clay

4. Combine.

Combine the two balls together until they are well blended and uniform in color.

Adding clay to your blank.

5. Press clay into jewelry blank.

Press the clay into your jewelry blank. You can smooth it out by adding a little vegetable oil on top. If it gets too sticky, dust it lightly with baby powder.

Embellishing jewelry clay

6. Place large objects & focals first.

Place larger objects and focal points into your clay first. Tip: To save time, you can leave strung beads on the string, rather than placing them individually in the clay. Trim excess string once the beads are in place.

crystal katana

7. Fill in remaining clay with crystal chatons.

Next, fill in the remaining exposed clay with sparkling crystal chatons. As mentioned above, a jewel setter can make this task quicker and easier. When you are placing your chatons into the clay, be sure not to press or tap them in to deeply. The clay will rise up a little bit around them particularly when it is very wet.


8. Allow clay to dry and you’re done!

Set aside your design in a safe spot and allow the clay to thoroughly dry, based on the manufacturer’s instructions. EnviroTex Jewelry Clay fully cures in 24 hours to a hard, durable, and shock resistant substance with a smooth, porcelain like surface. It does not shrink as it cures!

Below, check out more fun designs Jan made with EnviroTex Clay and crystal chatons.


These chunky donut beads are held fast in the crystal clay,
demonstrating how strong EnviroTex clay is!

Homer Simpson wouldn’t be able to resist this whimsical bit of bling! It’s made with donut beads, aurora borealis crystals, and a square bezel-cup pendant blank.

heart key chain

EnviroTex Jewelry Clay is durable enough for heavily-used objects
like key rings. Add heart to designs with heart bezel cups.

Heart-shaped bezel cups add an extra bit of love to jewelry designs. Additional supplies used to make this heart key ring include a beadable key ring blank, a lampwork glass heart bead (reamed to make the hole larger), and a hammered pewter heart charm.


Go nautical with embedded scallop shell beads and freshwater pearls.

Rectangle bezel-cups provide a great shape for custom pendants with a touch of bling. The design pictured above is adorned with shell beads  and freshwater pearls surrounded by blue zircon and aquamarine crystal chatons.


Adorn your hands with bezel cup ring blanks!

Bezel cup ring blanks come in several colors and shapes. Some styles are exclusive to Rings & Things, and all styles are adjustable to fit any ring size. They’re perfect for making blingy costume jewelry.


You don’t have to use crystals.
This polar bear ring has seed beads embedded in the jewelry clay.

Embed seed beads and other objects in the crystal clay to see what other effects you can achieve! This winter-themed ring has a polar bear bead and a “Snow Ball” seed bead mix embedded in the clay. Let your imagination be your guide as you have fun making mosaic jewelry and a whole lot more! :)

How to Make a Metal Box

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Make A Metal Box

A small metal box was turned into a framed reliquary, containing an antiqued frozen Charlotte doll.  Create your own metal box that can be transformed into memory jewelry, a tiny shrine or used for some other whimsical (or practical) purpose.

Free jewelry project from by designer Sondra Barrington features a verdigris frozen Charlotte nested inside an antique brass framed reliquary box.

 To make a metal box, first decide on the type of metal, and the size of the box you want to create.  I recommend using 20 gauge sheet metal for strength and durability.  Copper or brass sheet metal are nice choices as they are inexpensive and they antique nicely.

 Anneal the metal before cutting so that it can be manipulated more easily.  Heat it with a torch until it is glowing red, let it cool naturally and clean thoroughly.

Anneal the metal for malleability.  Be sure to clean it thoroughly afterward!

Cut the metal to size.  This box was 1-1/2″ long and 3/4″ wide.  It is 3/8″ deep.  Draw lines of box using a Sharpie pen.

Draw lines for the metal box using a Sharpie pen.

Cut one line of each corner to the point where it intersects with another line.  Using wide flat nose pliers, bend the ends in, and the sides up, to create the box shape. Carefully fold each end of the box into place, making the corners square and secure.  File if needed to remove any uneven edges.

Fold ends together, snugly into place to create each end of the box.

Antique and colorize all parts you intend to assemble.

Antique and patina the frozen charlotte doll, the ornate brass frame and the brass metal box to create the reliquary.

Fill back of frame with two-part epoxy.  Center box over ornate brass frame and press into epoxy to place.

Fill back of ornate brass frame with two-part epoxy.  Attach frame to top of box when epoxy is nearly set.

Using a two-part epoxy, UV resin, jeweler’s grade resin or other strong, clear glue, embed your treasures into your framed metal reliquary.  Small toys,  souvenirs, images layered in resin and tiny mementos are all used in creating custom memory jewelry.

Once epoxy has cured, you are ready to embed your treasure into the framed metal box.

Use epoxy to attach a magnet, let it cure and you are done!  (Note: You could also attach a pin back or changeable bail in the same manner for a DIY jewelry brooch or pendant).

Use epoxy to attach a magnet to the back side of your brass reliquary.


Make Your Own Halloween Jewelry

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays – I suppose because I love having an excuse to wear a costume. Honestly, candy has nothing to do with it! ;)

Apparently I’m not the only one who loves dressing up in ghoulish attire because our Halloween beads & charms are selling as fast as fun-size candy at the grocery store!

Below you’ll find 5 DIY Halloween jewelry projects, from cute to classy! You can make these on your own with beads and supplies from Rings & Things. Happy jewelry making and happy Halloween …


“Charmed” Bracelet

Fun charm bracelet made with TierraCast charms.

“Charmed” Bracelet

This hauntingly cool charm bracelet is made by attaching TierraCast Halloween charms and 4mm round Czech glass firepolish beads to a ready-made chain bracelet blank complete with clasp.
Click here for a full parts list, suggested tools, & tips.

“Ceramic Pumpkin Trio” Earrings

Easy jack o' lantern earrings project.

“Ceramic Pumpkins Trio” Earrings

Who doesn’t love easy earring designs? Choose from 3 different ceramic beads to make your favorite version of these cute seasonal danglers. The kidney wires insure a secure earring design that won’t fall out even during serious bouts of trick or treating!
Parts list, tips, & suggested tools here.

“Craneos y Flores” Bracelet

Gemstone skull bracelet.

“Craneos y Flores” Bracelet

One of our most popular designs this season is the “Craneos y Flores” bracelet which links gemstone skulls and ceramic spacer gears. This project is great for el Dia de los Muertos too!
Get the parts list, suggested tools, and tips here.

“Vintaj Pumpkin” Earrings

Autumn harvest earrings project.

“Vintaj Pumpkin” Earrings

These stylish harvest earrings pair Vintaj Natural Brass petal blanks, TierraCast leaves, and large bone beads colored with Vintaj Patina inks. This makes a great mixed media project for those of you who want to expand your jewelry making skills!
Click here for parts, how-to tips, & suggested tools.

“Fang’s” Pin

Metal work framed spider bar pin.

“Fang’s” Pin

For those of you who want to try metal stamping and riveting, this is the perfect project for you! Frame a spooky creature of your choice with a custom stamped brass frame. You’ll create a top-notch bar pin for your party agenda.
Suggested tools, parts list, and design tips can be found here.

Lady skeleton plastic cameo

Lady Skeleton Cameo ~ not a project, but isn’t it cool?

Okay, I admit this lady skeleton cameo isn’t a completed project, but it’s currently my favorite Halloween component. It’s available in two sizes, too! Choose from 25x18mm and 40x30mm.
What cool stuff can you make with it?

If the above projects aren’t enough to get your spine tingling, find more Halloween & Day of the Dead jewelry projects in our Design Gallery.

Keep in mind that you can always take the basic idea of a project and morph it into your own design. Don’t be afraid to experiment … Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein would approve! ~ Melissa

Beadalon® Wire Banding Pliers

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

The initial bends when trying to band wire together can be frustrating. I have tried every tool, hoping to find something that would accurately bend wire into two perfectly-placed right angle bends without marring it. Now there is a specialty tool made just for perfect double right angle bends – Beadalon Wire Banding Pliers!

I am a perfectionist in the jewelry I create, and the last thing I want to do is fight with the very beginning of the project and end up with scratched banding, or having the banding bend be just a little off. Not only is it frustrating, but the accuracy of the banding can make or break the entire piece.

This tool is very easy to use — now you can quickly create two right angle bends close together, so you can neatly band the remainder of your wires together. We have created the graphic tutorial below to help you to learn how to use these cool wire banding pliers.

Please visit our Design Gallery for the projects shown below:

Wire wrapped bracelet project using Beadalon Wire Banding Pliers

Drusilla’s Bracelet of Submission by Amy Scalise

Wire wrapped bracelet project using Beadalon Wire Banding Pliers

Square Rose Ring by Valorie Nygaard-Pouzar

Hope this helps makes your wire projects a little easier!

Amy S

Make your wire bending projects easier with Beadalon Wire Banding Pliers

Beadalon Wire Banding Pliers Graphic Tutorial