Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

How to make crystal angel earrings

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

When I first saw the cool shape of Swarovski’s crystal dome beads (from their Fall/Winter 2014/15 Innovations), two thoughts immediately came to my mind – bell and angel skirt.

Dome Bead Innovation

Dome Bead Innovation

 

This tutorial shows you how to use these sparkling faceted beads to make angel skirts for earring designs.  The exact same combinations can also be used to make single angels for pendants, bookmarks, gift tags, and more!

There are two styles of Swarovski dome beads to choose from. The large dome beads give you a more elongated shape:

#5541 Large Dome Bead

Article 5541 Large Dome Beads

 

The small dome beads have a more rounded out bell shape:

#5542 Small Dome Bead

Article 5542 Small Dome Beads

 

The main components of any crystal angel design are: halos, heads, wing beads, and bodies:

Angel Earrings in Progress

Angel Earrings in Progress

 

TierraCast makes a variety of wing bead styles.  Additional wing beads are also available in base metal and sterling silver.

Various Metal Wing Beads

Various Metal Wing Beads

 

Popular bead styles for halos include heishi, and beaded heishi beads as well as rhinestone rondelles.

Metal Halo Beads

Metal Halo Beads

 

Here are several combinations of halos, wings, and bodies in different colors and sizes. For a complete parts list of supplies ready to buy, click each image below! (Or browse our Rings & Things Design Gallery.)

 

Heavenly Angel Earrings

Heavenly Angel Earrings

 

Lilac Shadow Angel Earrings

Lilac Shadow Angel Earrings

 

Angel in Training Earrings

Angel in Training Earrings

 

Blue Shade Angel Earrings

Blue Shade Angel Earrings

 

Christmas Angel Earrings

Christmas Angel Earrings

 

Forest Fairy Earrings

Forest Fairy Earrings

Other popular shapes for body include the Teardrop bead and the cone-shaped Swarovski Crystal Artemis bead.

 

Crystal Angel Earrings with Teardrop Beads

Crystal Angel Earrings with Teardrop Beads

 

Artemis Crystal Angel Earrings

Artemis Crystal Angel Earrings

 

Keep in mind that angels can be any color! Choose whatever colors you like for whatever mood you’re in!

Dark Fairy Earrings

Dark Fairy Earrings

 

No matter whether you’re preparing for Christmas or you’re a year round angel aficionado, take inspiration from these designs and create your own heavenly host.

~ Rita

How to Use Center Crimp Cord Ends

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

When you’re making jewelry, center crimp cord ends are an easy way to cleanly finish the ends of a wide variety of jewelry cord including but not limited to leather, silk ribbon, and chain.

Center crimp cord ends are an easy way to cleanly finish the ends of a wide variety of jewelry cord.

Center crimp cord ends are an easy way to cleanly finish the ends of a wide variety of jewelry cord.

You can finish your necklace or bracelet with a loop and a hook:

Use loop and hook center crimps together.

Use loop and hook center crimps together.

Or, use two loops and the clasp of your choice (shown here is an “S” hook clasp):

Using two loop crimp ends and a clasp.

Using two loop crimp ends and a clasp.

Here is how to apply the crimp ends:

1. Gather your supplies. All you really need are the crimp ends, some round nose pliers (or non serrated chain nose pliers) and of course your cording material. Super glue is optional, but adds extra security.

Supplies for applying center crimp ends

Supplies for applying center crimp ends: Crimp ends, pliers, cording & Glue.

2. For added security, put a dab of super glue inside the crimp end. Slide the cording end(s) into the crimp end.  Do this quickly before that dab of glue dries.

Insert the cording into the center crimp end. A dab of glue will offer added security to your clasp.

Insert the cording into the center crimp end. A dab of glue will offer added security to your clasp.

3. Holding the crimp in place over the cording, use your pliers to firmly squeeze the center portion of the crimp and clamp it down on the cording.

Firmly squeeze the center of the crimp end.

Firmly squeeze the center of the crimp end.

4. Once crimped, the center of the end piece will be flattened down on the cording. Crimping the metal on top of the glue will ensure a secure connection for jewelry designs.

A crimped end piece.

A crimped end piece.

 

Center crimp ends with loops combined with an "S" Clasp.

Center crimp ends with loops combined with an “S” clasp and leather cording make a simple yet stylish bracelet.

 

Crimp ends shown using a variety of cording and clasp options.

Crimp ends shown using a variety of cording and clasp options.

Here are some jewelry inpirations that incorporate the use of center crimp ends. These designs and more can be found in our Jewelry Design Gallery where you will find the complete supplies list as well as tips from the designer. Click on the images to take you there.

Go West Necklace by Mollie Valente

Go West Necklace Tutorial by Mollie Valente

Now that you know what to do with center crimp cord ends, don’t be shy! Use them to make bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more.

Did you know? You can Shop for center crimp cord ends here.

Happy creating! ~ Val

Say it Your Way with Easy Metal Stamped Jewelry

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

You don’t have to be Frank Sinatra to do things your own way! That’s the beauty of metal stamping as a jewelry technique. Not only do you get to assemble components, you get to make your own components – and they can say whatever you want them to say!

 

Young Love Bracelet Tutorial

This Young Love bracelet is a perfect example of how you can easily customize jewelry with metal stamps! Click the image for a full tutorial.

 

Letter stamps are the perfect way to create monogram jewelry, plus jewelry with names or inspirational sayings. Design metal stamps are the perfect way to add cuteness and panache.

 

Hootie and the Sodalite Earrings

Learn to make these simple metal stamped earrings – just click the image above for the complete parts, ready to buy.

 

Designer Amy Mickelson’s “Hootie and the Sodalite Earrings” feature custom owl charms she made using an ImpressArt Metal Stamp and a JBB Antiqued Copper Plated Square Tag Charm. These JBB tags are plated especially for stampers – pretty amazing! For more on these components, see the full parts list and tutorial here.

 

Supplies for metal stamping a charm.

First, gather your supplies.

 

The basics of jewelry stamping are easy and only require a few tools. The tools are a small investment, but will last for years and thousands of impressions!

Supplies you’ll want:

 

The basic steps to jewelry stamping:

Getting ready to make a metal stamp impression.

Once you’ve planned your design, secure your metal tag or blank onto your steel block with tape. Stamp Straight Tape by ImpressArt is more expensive than masking tape, but it offers a sturdier edge and does not leave sticky residue.

 

How to get a good metal stamped impression.

Strike the perfectly vertical stamp with one firm blow. This is important for achieving a clear impression.

 

A successfully stamped metal blank charm.

Now you’ve got a custom made charm that’s uniquely made by you!

 

That’s all there is to it! It really is that simple. Then, you can use your completed stamped charms to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, gift tags, and more!

 

Ava's Ladies in Waiting Necklace Tutorial

Click this picture for all the parts and instructions you need to make these pretty necklaces.

 

For a great monogram jewelry tutorial, see “Ava’s Ladies in Waiting” Necklace Tutorial in our Design Gallery.

 

Hootie and the Sodalite Earrings

Click this picture for all the parts and instructions you need to make adorable metal stamped owl earrings.

 

To make fun owl earrings, see the “Hootie and the Sodalite” Earrings Tutorial.

 

Young Love Bracelet Tutorial

Click this picture for all the parts and instructions you need to make a simple metal stamped bracelet.

 

For the full how-to on making a metal stamped chain bracelet, see our “Young Love” Bracelet Tutorial.

Rings & Things offers a huge variety of metal stamping blanks, plus jewelry stamping tools and supplies with fast shipping and free returns.

So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to say things your way! ~ Melissa

Make a Simple, Dainty Sterling Silver Necklace

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Sometimes when it comes to jewelry, less is more. That’s the case when it comes to these adorable river rock and sterling silver charm necklaces designed by Rings & Things’ Amy Mickelson. This project is easy, yet really pretty! Plus there are a ton of different sterling silver charms to pick from!

 

These lovely necklaces by Amy Mickelson combine rustic river rock and dainty sterling silver charms!

These lovely necklaces by Amy Mickelson combine rustic river rock and dainty sterling silver charms!

 

These necklaces only require one tool and a few simple components to make! The sterling silver chain necklaces are already finished with a clasp, making them a breeze to use. Plus, I just adore the contrast between the natural river rock and the dainty sterling silver charms.

 

This project is so easy! Only one tool and a few components necessary!

This project is so easy! Only one tool and a few components needed!

 

Supplies and Tools Needed:

 

Simply layer the items on the sterling silver jump ring. Chain first, then river rock pendant, then sterling charm.

Simply layer the items on the sterling silver jump ring. Chain first, then river rock pendant, then sterling charm.

 

Creating this necklace couldn’t be easier! Using your chain-nose pliers, pry open the jump ring a little. You only need to open it enough so that you can layer the three elements together. When opening jump rings, remember to always twist the ends in opposite directions to separate them. Do not “oval” the ring by pulling the ends apart.

 

Place the chain first, then the rock pendant, then your sterling silver charm onto the jump ring. Close the jump ring carefully, so that the ends line up flush.

 

These dainty pendants are so cute! And smaller than a penny!

These dainty pendants are so cute! And smaller than a penny!

Each finished dangle is smaller than a penny!

So cute in the palm of my hand!

So cute in the palm of my hand!

 

If you like this look, buy the parts to make these necklaces now!

These lovely necklaces by Amy Mickelson combine rustic river rock and dainty sterling silver charms!

All the parts are ready to buy in our Gallery – just click this image to go there.

You can check out additional possibilities by browsing our huge selection of sterling silver charms and sterling silver chain necklaces! My personal favorite chain is the sterling faceted ball chain, because it sparkles!

~ Tiffany

How to Make a Wickedly Simple Wire Wrapped Ring

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

 

Wire Wrapped Ring

“Yorick’s Last Laugh” Wire Wrapped Ring

Making a wire-wrapped ring is a simple jewelry making project that stays in style year round. When autumn approaches, a Halloween themed wire wrapped ring makes an extra fun jewelry statement!

Most any shape of bead will work. Amy picked from a large selection of skull beads to learn Tiffany’s wire wrapping technique. She chose a large ceramic skull bead because the side-to-side hole placement ensured that the skull could show off its smile. Gemstone beads, faceted glass, wood beads, and crystals will also make a unique ring. Pick any bead between 6-10mm in size – or 12-14mm for serious bling!

22-gauge wire works well. It is easy to manipulate and will go through holes in most gemstone beads. Choose from silver filled wire, dead soft sterling silver wire or any color of Artistic Wire.

 Gather your Supplies:

Supplies needed to make a diy wire wrapped ring

Supplies for Making a Wire Wrapped Ring

Jewelry Supplies and Tools Needed:

 

Cut wire, string on bead, begin wrapping

Step 1: Cut a piece of wire 18-36 inches long. The length will depend on your ring size and size of bead. String your bead onto the center of the wire. Place the bead on the mandrel 1 full size larger than the desired ring size.

 

Step 2: Wrap each piece of wire around the mandrel twice.

Step 2: Wrap each piece of wire around the mandrel twice. You will have four layers of wire total.

 

Step 3: Bring both pieces of wire to one side of the bead

Step 3: Bring both pieces of wire to one side of the bead, and hold them together.

 

Step 4: Wrap the two pieces of wire around the bead several times, holding the wires together as though they were one.

Step 4: Wrap the two pieces of wire around the bead multiple times, holding the wires together as though they were one.

 

Step 5: Once you have wrapped the wires around four or five times, separate the wires so that there is one on each side.

Step 5: Once you have wrapped the wires around four or five times, separate the wires so that there is one on each side.

 

Step 6: Take the ring off the mandrel and make 5 coils with each piece of wire on each side.

Step 6: Take the ring off the mandrel and make 5 coils with each piece of wire on each side.

 

 Cut the tails on each side with your cutters and tuck the wire close with your chain nose pliers.

Step 7: Cut the tails on each side with your cutters and tuck the wire close with your chain-nose pliers.

 

Step 8: Antique the ring, if desired with a liver of sulfur solution.

Step 8: Antique the ring, if desired with a liver of sulfur solution.

 

Step 9: Polish the ring with polishing pads.

Step 9: Polish the ring with polishing pads.

 

Step 10: Seal ring with clear sealant and enjoy!

Step 10: Seal ring with clear sealant and enjoy!

 

Once you start making these rings, you won’t be able to stop!

~ Tiffany & Amy

 

 

How to make Wire Links with Wubbers Mandrel Pliers

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
How to make wire links with the four shapes of Wubbers mandrel pliers

That’s right, happiness is a pair (or more) of Wubbers Mandrel Pliers!

 

If you are looking to expand your tool selection, Wubbers® Pliers are a great addition to any jeweler’s bench.  The pliers have comfy padded handles, are made of high quality stainless steel, and have box-joint construction.  Wubbers offers traditional jewelry pliers in two sizes (which are awesome), but the pliers that caught my eye are the mandrel pliers.  Mandrel pliers are available in several shapes and sizes.  And best of all, they are perfect for forming wire links, like those featured in designer Polly Nobbs-LaRue’s two blog posts on making soldered-link bracelets: “I Love Copper Solder!” and  “Copper Soldering Tutorial – Part 2“.

 

Blog Wubber Mandrel Pliers12-001

Captured Aventurine Bracelet” by Rings & Things’ designer Polly Nobbs-LaRue

 

Wubbers mandrel pliers come in four shapes:  round, square, triangle, and oval; availble at www.rings-things.com

Wubbers mandrel pliers are available in several shapes: round, square, triangle, oval, and half-round (not pictured). Each shape is available in a variety of sizes. Plus each pliers’ jaw has two mandrel sizes.

 

Wubbers packaging includes guage recommendation for wire and sheet metal--plus an access code for Wubbers University.

Check out the Wubbers packaging for gauge recommendations and an access code for Wubbers University.

 

An added bonus, inside each package is your invitation and access code for free online classes and tutorials at Wubbers University.  You will find a wide variety of classes for the beginning to advanced jewelry maker; just what you need to build new skills.

 

Wubbers Mandrel Pliers wire and sheet metal use chart.

Follow the wire and sheet metal gauge recommendations for your size of mandrel pliers–an easy to follow chart is featured on each package.

 

Recommended tools for the jeweler’s bench:

 

Follow these steps to form and cut wire links using Wubbers mandrel pliers and a jeweler’s saw:

 

Use nylon-jaw flat-nose pliers to easily straighten wire for jewelry making.

Step 1: Begin by straightening the wire. Pull the wire through nylon-jaw flat-nose pliers to easily straighten it. If you are planning to solder your links, avoid plated wire; instead use solid brass, copper, nickel, sterling or silver-filled wire.

 

To make wire links for jewelry, twist the wire around the Wubbers mandrel pliers.

Step 2: Begin wrapping the wire around your mandrel of choice. As you coil, maintain even pressure so the links come out uniform. With the round mandrels, you can rotate the wire on the mandrel to make a continuous coil; for other shaped pliers, you will need to open and close the pliers’ jaw with each complete pass.

 

Continue coiling the wire to make wire links for chain making.

Step 3: Continue coiling the wire. Make a coil that is two wraps more than the number of links you need; the first and last coil will not make a complete link.

 

Tape wire coils before cutting with a jeweler's saw.

Step 4: Pinch the wire coils tightly together, and apply a layer of low-tack masking tape around the coil. This will keep the wire in place while sawing. Slide the taped coil off the mandrel pliers.

 

Sawing metal wire links with a jeweler's saw and bench vise.

Step 5 – Version A: Attach a swivel vise to your workbench and place the wire coil in the padded jaw. Gently tighten the jaw so the wire coil is held firmly in place–but not so tightly the coil becomes misshapen. Thread your jeweler’s saw with the blade’s teeth facing down and out. You are ready to begin sawing. To avoid nicking the wire, angle the saw blade slightly so the blade only touches the wire being cut.

 

How to cut wire links with a jeweler's saw frame and saw blades.

Step 5 – Version B: Attach a bench pin to your workbench and firmly hold the wire coil on the edge of he pin. Use a jeweler’s saw to cut the wire coil from top to bottom. To avoid nicking the wire, angle the saw blade slightly so the blade only touches the wire being cut.

 

Align the ends of your wire links with flat-nose pliers so the fit is snug.

Step 6: Use flat-nose and chain-nose pliers to align the cut ends of the wire links. The cut ends need to fit snugly together for soldering.  Your wire links are ready to solder.

 

Wubbers Mandrel Pliers are perfect for forming handmade wire jewelry components.

Wire links in four fun shapes — handmade and ready for your jewelry-making project.

 

Make things!

Mollie

How to Make an Expandable Wire Bangle Bracelet

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

I love the charm-adorned “Alex & Ani” style adjustable wire bracelets that have been gaining popularity, and of course wanted to make my own version.  For ease, I chose to fabricate my bracelet from Memory Wire.  Memory Wire is made of durable stainless steel, and comes in the perfect round bracelet shape and the additional wire forming can be easily made with Memory Wire bending pliers.  An added benefit to using Memory Wire is it can be adorned with colorful beads from Toho Seed Bead Cocktail Mixes.  Here are the step-by-step instructions to make my “Happy Octopus” Expandable Wire Bangle Bracelet:

 

 

Jewelry making supplies you will need to make an adjustable bangle bracelet.

Step 1: Gather together the supplies you will need to make the “Happy Octopus” Alex and Ani Style Expandable Bangle Bracelet.

 

You will need these supplies:

 

And you will need these tools:

 

 

How to make an expandable bangle bracelet:  Use the memory-wire bending pliers to form an outward facing loop on one end.

Step 2: Use the memory-wire bending pliers to form an outward-facing loop on one end.

 

How to make an expandable bangle bracelet with wire and beads.

Step 3: Grasp the loop with flat-nose pliers and make a 90-degree bend.

 

How to make an expandable bangle bracelet from memory wire and TOHO seed beads

Step 4: String one 3mm round corrugated metal bead on the wire; this bead is sized larger than the end loop and will hold the beads in place. String the TOHO beads randomly or in your desired pattern (approximately 6 inches). End with a second 3mm corrugated metal bead.

 

Expandable bangle bracelet tutorial made from wire and beads

Step 5: Make a wire-wrapped crystal-pearl charm. Follow the instructions for making wire-wrapped loops in Rings & Things “Jewelry Basics 101″.

 

How to add charms to a wire bangle bracelet.

Step 6: Add jump rings to each of the charm adornments: use a 6mm jump ring for the crystal heart and 5mm jump rings for the octopus charm and crystal pearl charm. Follow the instructions for opening and closing jump rings in Rings & Things “Jewelry Basics 101″.

 

How to make an expandable bangle bracelet with charms.

Step 7: Use the heavy-duty cutters to cut the memory wire so it is half-an-inch longer than the beaded portion of the bracelet. String the cut end through the first Memory-wire loop. String the three charms onto the open wire end. Use the memory-wire bending pliers to form an inward-facing loop on the unfinished end, leaving the loop slightly open.

 

How to make an expandable wire bangle bracelet.

Step 8: Grasp the loop with flat-nose pliers and make a 90-degree bend that faces the opposite direction of the first loop. Link the loop over the bracelet wire and close the loop.

 

How to open and close an expandable wire bracelet.

Step 9: To open the bracelet, grasp the two 3mm corrugated metal beads and pull the wire to expand the opening. To close the bracelet, gently squeeze the sides.

 

Expandable Bangle Bracelet Concluding Image

Your finished “Happy Octopus” Alex and Ani Style Expandable Wire Bracelet is ready to enjoy!

 

Make Things!

Mollie

Fast & Fun DIY Flower Cabochon Bobby Pins

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Cabochon flowers are a super easy way to add a splash of color to your life! With flat backs for easy gluing, they’re a cinch to add to any number of craft projects. This tutorial shows you how to embellish the flowers then add them to bobby pins to make sparkling DIY hair accessories. It’s a great project for kids, seniors, girly get-togethers and parties.

Only a few supplies are required:

Flat Pad Bobby Pins
Flower Cabochons
Adhesive Dots
Paint Dabbers
Glitter!
White Glue Paint Brushes or Cotton Swabs for Glue

If desired, color the flower using paint dabbers. While the paint is still wet, dip the outer petals into glitter. If you’re not coloring your flower first, add a light layer of glue to the outer petals before dipping them in the glitter.

Apply the adhesive dot to the pad of the bobby pin.

 Attached your embellished posie and you’re done!

Have fun & sparkle on!

Did you know? …
You can buy the supplies to make this project now:

Shop Cabochon Flowers

Click to Shop Resin Cabochon Flowers

 

bobby pins with glue pad

Click to Shop Bobby Pins with Glue Pads

 

adhesive dots

Click to Shop Adhesive Dots