DIY Braided Triple Wrapped Curb Chain Bracelet

January 2, 2015
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Braided Triple Wrapped Turquoise and Antique Copper Curb Chain Bracelet

 

I love wrapped bracelets! I like to wear multiple bracelets of all different colors and textures layered. After the popularity of the wrapped leather bracelet the last few years, I decided I wanted to make another colorful wrapped bracelet. Something I could layer with my other bracelets for a super bohemian look!

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Do-it-yourself custom bracelets

December 22, 2014
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They are also a great way to showcase cool found objects such as vintage buttons or foreign coins. Even the most novice crafter will be able to create one of these fun, mixed media pieces!
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DIY Jewelry: Corrugate Metal with a Tube-Wringer

December 16, 2014
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Adding texture to metal can add interest to your handmade jewelry, and fortunately you don’t have to own an expensive rolling mill to make cool textures in metal.  New to Rings & Things’ tool offerings is the Tube-Wringer, a hand-held tool that corrugates metal. With just a few turns of a turn key, you can expand your metalwork design possibilities!
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DIY Swarovski Applique

December 9, 2014
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Did anyone else notice that winter hit overnight? The below-freezing temps are here and it’s time to snuggle up in our warm winter-wear! While I hate being cold, I love wearing coats and all of the fun accessories that go along with them – so I obviously need to be cute while doing it! I’ve also found a passion for the ‘DIY’ trend that seems to be everywhere these days, and I have created a basic tutorial for applique work using Swarovski crystals and an old headband I found in my closet!

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Supplies

1 – John James Beading Needle, Size 10

1 – The Beadsmith Braided Bead Thread, .006in, 28yd spool (I used White)

288pcs (2 gr) – Swarovski Crystal Jams, 4mm (I used Bohemian Rhapsody) OR any color Swarovski Crystal Bicones, 4mm

9 – Swarovski Double Spike Beads (I use 12mm Metallic Light Gold 2x)

10 – Swarovski Wild Heart Crystal Beads (I used 12mm Golden Shadow)

2 – felt squares, about the size of your hand

Pair of scissors

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Now the Fun Part!

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The beauty of this project is that you can use an assortment of crystals! I try and keep a good balance of large and small crystals, with the larger ones being the focal point. My image above shows my color and size assortment. I went for more of a neutral color palette, really playing off of the golds and light pinks. The Rings & Things Exclusive Swarovski Crystal Jams bead mixes are great for something like this, as they can help you develop a strong color story from the beginning.

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First, I started by arranging my larger beads in various patterns (2 options I came up with are above). I knew I wanted to do some kind of floral-inspired design. For some people, it may be easier to roughly draw something as well.

Needle & Thread Basics

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I began by cutting a strand of Power Pro bead thread that was about the span of my arms; you can start with a smaller strand than this as this may be easier to manage at first. This thread is pretty amazing – I would not recommend using other threads that you may find at the fabric store because the crystals can actually cut through that type of thread! Power Pro by The BeadSmith is much more sturdy, and you would hate to lose your Swarovski crystals because of the wrong thread!

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Once the needle is threaded, tie a basic knot; I did three loops to create a thicker knot.

Step by Step

1.  Now it’s time to sew the final design onto the felt. I like to start at the center of my design when I’m sewing on the crystals. Since you have the basic design laid out and your needle threaded, start by holding one crystal in place with your thumb and index finger; insert the needle from the BACK SIDE of the felt so that the needle appears near the edge of the crystal where the hole is located (see FRONT SIDE image below). The knot that you made should be on the back side of the fabric.

   backside  front side

2.   Thread the needle through the hole in the crystal, and insert the needle back into the felt. Make sure to stay near the crystal’s edge where the needle just exited the hole.

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3.   Continue doing this for the center crystals (ie. my ‘petals’) and expand to any other large crystals you have (ie. my ‘leaves’). Once you have each of these sewn on, leave your thread where it is. No need to knot anything.

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4.   Go ahead and grab your smaller beads – Here, I’m using the 4mm Swarovski Bicone Crystal Jams. We will begin where your left your thread after completing the larger crystal beads. Place 2 bicone crystals on your needle and push them down the thread. I wanted to arrange my bicones around my larger crystals as an outline. As soon as they fit snug against the felt, insert your needle back into the felt, staying close to the edge of the bicone. Continue your way around, using two bicones at a time

This is a fun time to play with color! My outlines consist of 3 or 4 different colored bicones, and they really play off of each other in different lights!

**If you ever run out of thread, just tie a knot on the backside of the fabric, and start a new needle & thread!**

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5.   Once I made my way around, I decided to add a second outline with the bicones. It is completely up to you – be creative and try some different things! Once you have finished sewing all of your Swarovski Crystals, insert the needle down through the front side and tie a knot in the back; you can use the same knot technique that was demonstrated earlier!

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Creating a Finished Edge

1.   Cut the felt around the crystals, leaving 1/4 inch allowance on the outside.

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2.    Take your second piece of felt and cut an identical piece

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3.   Time to start with some fresh thread! Tie the same knot as shown above and insert the needle from the backside, to the front side like below. Pull the needle through until the knot is snug underneath.

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4.   Grab your second piece of felt and place it underneath your original piece. Insert your needle through both pieces of felt, starting with the new piece. See photo below for reference. Pull all the way through; the felt should curl up as you pull the thread as tight as you can.

This second piece of felt hides all of the thread work you have underneath, while also stabilizing and protecting these stitches from wear and tear.

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5.   Start working your way around the felt, using the same technique in step 4. You can see the difference in the two photos below – I have completed the technique on the upper right hand side.

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6. Once you have completed this step, your applique is complete! You can use this for scarves, headbands, gloves, apparel, etc. I have attached this to a headband, and I used the same technique from steps 4 & 5. It’s that simple!

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All of us at Rings & Things would love to see any applique work you have created! Please send us pictures or post them below! :)

Happy Winter!

- Laura

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Custom Swarovski Rivoli and Charm Necklaces

December 5, 2014
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Ball Chain + Swarovski Rivoli + Silver Plated Charms

I love sweet little customized necklaces! These necklaces make the perfect gift for girls of any age! As an added bonus, these necklaces are very quick, easy, and affordable to create! They would be an ideal item for people to customize on an etsy store, or for people to create on the spot at a craft fair as a build your own necklace!

 

The total cost for making 20 necklaces, with a charm and a set Swarovski crystal= $85.05 or about $4.25 a necklace.  That will also leave you with chain and clasp to make another 40 or so necklaces! One spool of ball chain can make over sixty 18-inch necklaces! The more necklaces you make, the cheaper each one will cost to make.

Supplies for this project (plus jump rings and ball chain clasps, not pictured)

Let’s look at the cost breakdown:

Total =           $85.05

To make these necklaces you need just three tools: round-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, and wire cutters. Follow these simple steps to make the necklaces!

Step 1: Cut your chain.

Cut chain in between two ball segments

18 inches is standard length. If you are going to do this as a build your own for a craft fair or event, cut several at the same time.

 

Step 2: Set your crystals. 

The 14mm rivolis will be just a little loose in the bezel setting.

Squeeze your round nose pliers around the loop at the top!

It only takes a few seconds to set the crystals! Once the bezel is squeezed the crystal will be secure in the bezel.

Step 3: Add jump rings to your crystals.

Use the stainless steel jump rings for extra security. Remember to twist the jump ring apart, not pry it open.

Step 4: Add jump rings to your charms. 

Same deal, twist apart, don’t pry open. This way the jump ring will close flush!

Step 5: Create! Mix and Match! 

Pick a crystal!

Pick a charm!

String onto cut chain.

Step 6: Add a clasp to your necklace.

Drop ball end into the opening on the clasp.

Pull chain to the side, so that it clicks into place!

Endless possibilities!

 

Craft Fair or Show Idea! Build-Your-Own Necklaces

This is a great project to do for yourself as gifts, but it is also great for a build your own necklace at a craft fair or show! Simply have all the components ready to go, and let people choose what they want! Make a price sheet that charges a base price and then additional for each charm or crystal they want to add!

Make a display/station at a show where people can make their own necklace!

One dish with charms, one dish with crystals.

 

Online Store Idea! Customize your own Birthstone and Charm Necklace

Have an etsy store? Etsy has made it so easy to add customizable items to your store! Take a photo of all the options of crystals and charms you offer, and make an item in your store that people can customize! People love custom items! I choose these crystals to coordinate with birthstones and a random assortment of charms, but you could pick whatever colors and charms you like!

Choose your crystal color!

A. Silver Shade (Diamond)- April

B. Provence Lavender (Alexandrite) – June

C. Light Rose (Rose Zircon) – October

D. Lt. Siam (Ruby)- July

E. Siam (Garnet)- January

F. Amethyst- February

G. Sapphire- September

H. Denim Blue (Blue Zircon)- December

I. Aquamarine- March

J. Emerald- May

K. Peridot- August

L. Lt. Colorado Topaz- November

Choose your charm!

A. Watering Pail

B. Bumble Bee

C. Dragonfly

D. Cross

E. Tennis Racket

F. Basketball

G. Horse

H. Skeleton Key

I. Flying Bird

J. Yoga Om

K. Soccer Ball

L. Feather Charm

Matching Earrings? Why Not!

I just love these necklaces so much! I especially love these rivoli bezels. They are super easy to use, inexpensive, and a beautiful way to frame the rivolis! Of course you can always make them into to simple matching earrings too! Just add your choice of earring wires! Total cost of the earrings, around $5! Total time to make them, about 2 minutes! Not bad! Well, I hope you can see the endless possibilities with rivoli crystals!

~Tiffany White

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Swarovski Pave Holiday Earrings

December 1, 2014
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“I hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling, jing, jing, jing-a-ling too! I think it’s perfect weather for a sleigh ride together with you”

Swarovski Pave rings are the perfect way to glam up your holiday attire!

Christmas time is almost here! And when I think about the holidays, I think about thick warm coats, soft wool scarves, my gloved hands around a piping cup of cocoa, and sparkly jewelry! Don’t you? I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I like to wear sparkly jewelry in the winter! In the summer, I go for more beachy bohemian jewelry, but in the winter I am all about the bling! Luckily, I’ve gotten to make tons of sparkly, glamorous Swarovski jewelry lately! The newest project I am working on involves these Swarovski Pave rings. They are round rings, covered in tiny Swaorvski crystals with either one hole or two holes. They come in several colors and three sizes. I went a little nuts with them! I made four super blingy, super easy, super fancy pairs of holiday earrings.

They come in a variety of colors! Emerald, Siam, and Golden Shadow just to mention a few!

 

They are all made using basic jewelry making techniques. The basic skill needed to make these earrings is to know how to make a wrapped loop. You will need basic wire wrapping tools. A pair of chain nose pliers, a pair of round nose pliers and a good pair of wire cutters.

All the tools needed to make these earrings can be found in one of our cute kits! I love this glitter tool set with a nice little pouch to store it in!

I made four pairs total. One in the traditional red and green holiday colors, one with lovely silver Swarovski crosses, a sparkly blue pair with the Star of David, and a gold pair, just because I love gold! Except for the red and green pair, all the earrings have less than five total components to them. I will link all the exact parts to make them!

For all of these earrings I used sterling silver head pins and sterling silver findings and beads.

Golden Shadow Pave Earrings

 Golden Earrings full of Sparkle!

I made the above earrings with the largest sized golden shadow, one-hole pave beads, Swarovski golden shadow ovals, sterling silver earring wires, sterling silver jump rings, and a sterling silver eye pin.

Star of David Earrings

 Star of David Earrings in Beautiful Blue

I made the Star of David earrings with the smaller sapphire, two-hole pave beads, sterling silver Star of David charms, sterling silver ball end headpins, and sterling silver kidney wires.

Silver Cross Earrings

 Cross Earrings in Shimmering Silver

The cross earrings I made with the largest crystal, two-hole pave beads, sterling silver head pins, Swarovski silver patina cross beads and sterling silver earring wires.

Red and Green Swarovski Globe Earrings

For these earrings, I will list the parts below, since there were several components. I layered different sterling silver beads onto sterling silver ball end head pins. The result is a green globe perfectly floating in a sparkly red siam Swarovski Pave bead!

 

Supplies needed:

String beads onto a headpin in the following order: flower spacer, stardust bead, bottom side of the pave, 2mm bead, 3mm bead, emerald Swarovski globe, 3mm bead, 2mm bead, top side of the pave bead.

Repeat for your other earring.

Make a wrapped loop on each earring using your round-nose pliers. Clip the excess wire with a wire cutter, and tuck the tail with chain-nose pliers. Be very careful when tucking the tail of the wire, so you don’t damage the Swarovski pave beads.

Red and Green Swarovski Globe Earrings

 

Well, I hope that these Swarovski crystal pave rings have put you into the holiday spirit! Cause if sparklies like this can’t, I don’t know what will!

~Tiffany

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How to transform gemstone donuts into simple earrings and necklaces!

November 25, 2014
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Gemstone donuts come in a variety of stones and sizes!

I love gemstones in all shapes, sizes and colors! But recently, I have been having fun with one shape in particular, gemstone donuts. They are round, washer-shaped gemstones, with a hole in the center. They come in a variety of sizes, from dime sized, to palm sized! They also come in a variety of stones.

One nice thing about the gemstone donut, is that since there is a large area, you can really see some of the intricate veining and patterns on some of the jasper and agates.  Plus, they are fairly inexpensive, so you can make a pair of earrings or a necklace for just a few bucks!

Some of the different stones offered at Rings & Things!

While Rings & Things does sell a variety of donut bails, I prefer to make my own with a simple wire wrapping technique. Then I can quickly convert donuts into earrings or necklace pendants.

All you need to get started is:

All you need to turn these gemstones into jewelry! Wire (I used 22-gauge solid copper wire), chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, and side cutters.

To create a simple wire wrapped bail, simply follow the steps in these pictures!

Wrap your wire around the the gemstone donut, through the hole, 3 to 5 times. Use about a foot of wire to start.

Use your chain nose pliers to pinch the two ends the the wire flush.

Use your round nose pliers to create a loop about 1/4 to 1/2 inch up from the base of the gemstone.

Holding the piece with the round nose pliers, wrap the two pieces of wire down to the gemstone donut. It can be a little messy.

For a thicker wire wrapped bail, you can then wrap back up towards the loop.

Use your side cutters to clip the wires as flush as possible.

Use your chain nose pliers to “smoosh” any tail left from cutting the wire. You should be able to run your finger across where the ends are without feeling any snag.

Here are several donuts, that I wrapped with that simple technique. The small ones on the outside were done with silver filled wire instead of copper wire.

After you have wrapped them, you can attach them to chain to make a necklace. Small 15mm and 20mm donuts are perfect to attach to earring hooks for making simple gemstone earrings.

I personally am impartial to antiqued copper, so I antiqued my wire work with a liver of sulphur solution. It is very easy to do on bare copper, silver filled or sterling silver wire. Simply mix a small amount of the liver of sulphur gel with hot tap water. It will make a yellow, stinky solution that will oxidizes your metal to a dark, almost black color. Then you can polish the wire work with polishing pads, to take off some of the antiquing.

Jumbo 50mm green jade donut necklace!

 

Dainty 15mm blue goldstone donuts wrapped in silver filled wire. Perfect little earrings!

Three necklaces using gemstone donuts. Left to right, a 25mm Leopardskin Jasper donut, a 50mm jumbo donut and a 25mm Pyrite donut with a 28mm bronze shade Swarovski crystal spike.

Chinese turquoise donuts make sweet little earrings!

 

Well, I hope I have shed some light onto a new shape of gemstone for your creations! The possibilities are endless when it comes to gemstone donuts! 15mm-20mm donuts make great earrings, 25mm-40mm donuts make great necklace focals, and jumbo 50mm donuts are great for long pendant necklaces! Mix in some crystals and other beads, and you’ll be creating new, affordable jewelry for weeks!

~Tiffany

 

 

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