Tutorial Tuesday

Tutorial Tuesday: Turquoise Nugget Cluster Necklace and Earrings

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

The Tucson Gem and Bead Show is right around the corner! I think that had something to do with me reaching for these turquoise nugget beads. Will you be visiting Tucson this year? It is a tradition for owners and designers to gather in Tucson every year and search for new and exciting beads, gemstones, and jewelry and Soft Flex Company is in a whole new location for 2015. This year, you can find us at the To Bead True Blue show from February 1-9th at the Doubletree Tucson Reid Park, we’ll be in the Board Room. Hope to see you!
Materials:

We’ll start with the necklace cluster dangle. Cut three 6″ pieces of bone Soft Flex beading wire. On each strand, string one gold 2mm crimp tube and one round bone bead. Loop the wire back through the gold 2mm crimp tube and crimp. Cut off excess wire.

Next, string one turquoise nugget bead and one gold cube bead on two strands of the three strands of wire. On the third strand, string a turquoise nugget bead, a gold cube bead, another turquoise nugget bead and another gold cube bead.

Add a gold 2mm crimp tube to each strand. Aligned the longest strand in the middle and two smaller strands on each side. For each strand loop the wire around the 10mm jump ring and back through the crimp tube. Leave a little bone beading wire showing on each strand before crimping for a flexible dangle. For step by step instructions on how to crimp with the magical crimping pliers, click here.

Attach the small 4mm jump ring to the top of the 10mm jump ring.

Now let’s create the necklace. Cut 24″ length of bone Soft Flex beading wire. Place a bead stopper at one end. String 25 gold cube beads, one 3mm gold plated round bead, small 4mm jump ring attached to the dangle you created, one 3mm gold plated round bead and 25 gold cube beads.

Tie a figure 8-knot on one side of the gold beads then remove the bead stopper and tie another figure 8-knot on the other side. (Note: you could also add a gold crimp to each side and crimp the beads in place if you prefer). For step by step instructions on how to tie and 8-knot, click here.

Lastly, figure out your desired length, string a 2mm crimp tube on each wire end. Loop your wire around the toggle and bar clasp on either end, back through the crimp tube and crimp. Cut off excess wire. For step by step instructions on how to crimp with the magical crimping pliers, click here.

For the earrings, create two dangles the same way you created the cluster dangle above. Instead of attaching to a jump ring you attach each strand to a gold plated ear wire.

Tutorial Tuesday: Jingle Bell Necklace

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

‘Tis the season for a statement necklace to go with your holiday outfit! Tired of the traditional giant jingle bell on a rope? Want to add a little sparkle and pop of color? I think this super simple update on the jingle bell necklace is just the thing to give your holiday a last minute jingle, jangle color burst.

Materials:

Begin by separating your jingle bell beads into colors. Cut 8″ strand of beading wire from your spool. I chose to use Soft Touch, our premium wire, in this design because of the soft thread like drape you get with it.

String a 2x2mm crimp tube on one side of your wire. Loop your wire back through the crimp tube leaving a small loop and crimp. Cut off excess wire. For step by step instructions on how to crimp with the magical crimping pliers, click here.

String 6 silver, 6 gold, 6 green, 6 purple, 6 silver, 6 blue, 6 pink, 6 gold, 6 pink, 6 blue, 6 silver, 6 purple, 6 green, 6 gold and 6 silver jingle bell beads. String a 2x2mm crimp tube. Loop your wire back through the crimp tube leaving a small loop and crimp. Cut off excess wire.

Measure your chain to your desired length and cut into two lengths. I cut two 9″ of chain. Using your chain nose pliers, open two gold jump rings and attach each chain length to your crimp loops on each end of your jingle bell strand.

Lastly, add a jump ring to each end of the chain and attach your lobster clasp.

With my leftover jingle bell beads and chain, I created another smaller version of this necklace. The smaller version can be worn shorter or pair them together for a double jingle jangle design!

Tutorial Tuesday: Candy Cane Charm Necklace

CandyCaneNecklace-1

Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

Just in time for the holidays! This silver and red, long and layered multi-strand candy cane charm necklace is the perfect solution to your holiday outfit. This easy to wear necklace is lightweight and festive and elegant at the same time.

 

Materials:

 

Cut 3 strands of beading wire about 24″ each.String a pattern of alternating long and short silver tube beads for the longest layer.

Next string the middle layer in the following pattern; 3 red crystal beads, 1 double heishi spacer bead, 3 red crystal beads, 1 double heishi spacer bead, 3 red crystal beads, 1 candy cane charm on a jump ring, 3 red crystal beads, 1 candy cane charm on a jump ring, 3 red crystal beads, 1 candy cane charm on a jump ring, 3 red crystal beads, 1 double heishi spacer bead, 3 red crystal beads, 1 double heishi spacer bead, 3 red crystal beads, 1 double heishi spacer bead,3 red crystal beads.

Lastly, string a pattern of alternating barrel and square silver beads for your shortest layer.

Take some time to look at the three layers together on a bead board before crimping to make sure you are happy with bead placement. Starting with your shortest strand, string a 2x2mm crimp tube on each side of wire. These crimps will hold your beads in place. Attach a bead stopper on one side of your wire close to the crimp, this will keep your beads secure while you crimp the other side. Then remove the bead stopper and crimp the second side. Repeat this process for the remaining two strands. For step by step instructions on how to crimp, click here.

 

Once you have all three strands complete and beads crimped into place, use a bead stopper to hold all three strands on each of the necklace being sure to leave some wire at each end for adding your clasp. Adjust your wire as needed until you are happy with the placement.
Attach 1 jump ring to the toggle and 1 jump ring to the toggle bar. String a 3x5mm crimp tube on one end, loop wires through the toggle jump ring and back through your crimp tube. Crimp using mighty crimping pliers. Cut off your excess wire. Repeat on the other side of your necklace. For step by step instructions on how to crimp, click here.

 

Tutorial Tuesday: DIY Wire Wrap Napkin Rings

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

Wrap up these twig inspired wire napkin rings for your Thanksgiving day gathering or gift them as a “thank you” for this year’s holiday hostess!

 

Materials
Two Tone Champagne Colored 3 Cut Czech Glass Beads
Tube to wrap wire around (I used wrapping paper tube)

Cut 40″ of Craft Wire. Use your nylon jaw pliers to smooth out the wire. Wrap wire around the tube 6 times.

Remove from the tube, take the short wire end and using your chain nose pliers wrap the wire tail around one of the loops to secure the ring.

 

Now use the long wire tail and feed it through the ring. Zig zag the wire up and down adding in two or three beads on every other pass. I found that if my wire was even slightly bent some beads had a hard time passing through. Using my nylon jaw pliers to smooth out the wire before stringing the beads helped in most cases.If you happen to run out of wire, you may easily add more by wrapping the end of a new wire piece around one of the ring wires and then continue zig zagging up and down and adding beads as you were.

 

Continue until you have used most of the wire and wrap the wire end around the ring to secure.

 

Many wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tutorial Tuesday: Ball Ornament Earrings

OrnamentEarrings

Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

Super simple, quick and adorable ornament earrings for your holiday gatherings and gifts!

 

Materials:

 

 String one spacer and one bead onto each head pin.

 

 Use your chain nose pliers to bend at a 90 degree angle.

 

 Use your round nose pliers to make a loop. Cut off excess wire or wrap around the base. For step by step instructions on how to make a dangle, click here.

 

Use your chain nose pliers to open the loop and attach to an ear wire. Follow steps 1-5 for second earring.

 

Tutorial Tuesday: Remnant Seed Bead Earrings

RemnantEarrings

Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

We all have little groupings of leftover beads from another design, don’t we? I am particularly fond of this mix of seed beads I’ve been holding onto. The enjoy the bright playful colors together and decided to finally put them to use in these earrings. 

This design is also great for using leftover Soft Flex beading wire clippings. I have a bag of beading wire remnants that I hold onto for small projects such as this. I found two 6″ strands of Tanzanite beading wire in my stash that paired well with this design. The Tanzanite color reminds me of denim and because of that it feels like a “go with anything” neutral color to me. Do you agree? 

Look through your beading wire remnants stash and find two 6″ strands. I used Soft Flex beading wire in Tanzanite but, for this design you can use just about any color you have. 

 

Materials:

 

Clip a bead stopper to one end of  your beading wire strand to keep your beads from slipping. String a crimp tube, 16 seed beads and another crimp tube.

If you are using open jump rings, use your chain nose pliers to close both of them.

Then, one end at a time, wrap your beading wire around one of your jump rings and back through the crimp tube. Once you have both ends around the jump ring and through the crimp tubes you may adjust the size of your loop.

When you are happy with the shape, crimp the crimp tubes using the Magical Crimper or Regular Crimping Pliers. (I used the Magical Crimper to turn the crimp tube into a 2mm bead.)

Once crimped securely, cut off your excess wire and using chain nose pliers, attach to your ear wire to the jump ring. Repeat for the second earring.

Tutorial Tuesday: Knitted Craft Wire Bracelet

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

I have confessed my love for knitting bracelets out of Soft Flex Beading Wire before but, knitting with Soft Flex Craft Wire proved to be more difficult for me to grasp. I believe that’s because I first  learned to knit on a spool using flexible beading wire, which has give to it. Craft Wire is of course, rigid by nature. I struggled a few times and finally decided I would make it work. (Thank you for that gem of a saying, Tim Gunn.)

I found this video by Beaducation on YouTube that made knitting with Craft Wire finally click and make sense for me.It helped me see that with craft wire you pull the wire out to the edge of your spool with your stylus, then flip the wire up and over your pin with your fingers.The tension is carried from one pin to the next – not through pulling on the tail as it is with flexible beading wire.

Materials:
Soft Flex Craft Wire Green -26 Gauge
Soft Flex Craft Wire Bronze – 20 Gauge
5-Pin Knitting Spool
Draw Plate
Cutters
Round Nose Pliers
1 Strand Clasp, Toggle with Jump Rings
or Make your own clasp

Working straight from your Soft Flex Craft Wire 26 Gauge Spool knit the wire using a 5-Pin Knitting Spool. String the wire down through the center of the knitting spool leaving about a 2″ tail. Wrap the wire around your pins in the same manner as this Beaducation video minus the addition of beads.

 

 

Once you have completed your desired length of wire knitting, cut off about 2″ extra wire form the spool and carefully remove your knitted wire tube from the spool. Take the end of the wire and thread it into the last 5 open loops to secure your knitted tube. The result will be a wonky shape as shown.

Using a draw plate, run your knitted wire tube through one of the large holes to begin smoothing out the shape. Then move to a smaller hole and so on until you are happy with the wire shapes and diameter.

 

 

Next, you’ll need to finish off your wire ends. You may choose to use a cone or bead cap or you can wire wrap your own cones as I did. To wire wrap your cones, cut a 10″ piece of 20 Gauge Bronze Craft Wire (it’s better to error on the side of too much length then not enough).  About 1/2″ from the green knitted tube end, stick one end of the bronze wire through the knitted tube and tuck it around the knitted tube to secure it. Then begin wire wrapping the tube towards the end. When you get to the end of the knitted tube, use your round nose pliers to create a loop and then wire wrapped back down the tube to where you started making sure to cover the tube entirely with wire and cut off excess. Repeat on the other side.

At this point you can add you jump rings and clasp or you can make your own. I decided to make a simple hook clasp to finish off my bracelet. Cut 2-3″ of 20 Gauge Bronze Craft Wire and straighten the wire with nylon jaw pliers.

Using my round nose pliers I made a small loop on one end and then made a larger loop with my large bail making Wubbers pliers.Trim excess wire so it’s about the same length as the little loop.

Lastly, work harden the clasp with a nylon hammer and rubber block and attach to one end of your bracelet. Here is the finished design. I especially like to wear it layered!

 

 

Tutorial Tuesday: Braided Ladybug Bracelet

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

One of earth’s loveliest little creatures, the ladybug makes an appearance in this playful ladybug braided bracelet. It’s a perfect accessory to welcome Spring! Skills needed to complete bracelet are braiding and crimping.

 

Materials:
Cutters
Chain Nose Pliers
Mini Bead Stoppers

Cut Soft Flex Beading Wire into three 16″ lengths, one black and two red wires. With the black wire positioned in the middle, attach all three wires securely to your bead stopper leaving 2.5″ inch tail for each wire. Begin braiding your wires and whenever a red wire is in the middle add 1 black seed bead. After a couple rows you’ll start to see the pattern emerge and the black wire will look like a wave running through the braid.

 

Once you have 15 black seed beads throughout your braid, string one ladybug bead (back side first) through all three beading wires keeping the black wire in the middle. Next, string your red bicone bead through the middle black wire and allow the two red wire to wrap around the bicone bead. Now, string all three wires through your second ladybug bead (front side first) so that your ladybug beads are facing one another. Continue your braid pattern on the second side, adding black seed beads to the red wires whenever they are in the middle until you have used the remaining 15 black seed beads. Please another bead stopper on this end to secure the wires.

Using your chain nose pliers, open the 4mm jump rings and attach to each side the toggle clasp. Remove the bead stopper on one side of your bracelet and string a 3mm crimp tube onto all three wires.String  the 4mm jump ring attached to the circle end of your toggle clasp through all three wires and back through the crimp tube. Do not crimp yet. Remove the bead stopper from the other side of your bracelet and string a 3mm crimp tube onto all three wires.String  the 4mm jump ring attached to the bar end of your toggle clasp through all three wires and back through the crimp tube. Do not crimp yet.

Measure your finished bracelet and see if it is the size you desire before crimping. If you need to make the design smaller remove the clasp and crimp and undo a bit of the braid, re-string the crimp and clasp and measure again. If you need to make the design slightly larger you may simply add an extra jump ring to one or both sides of the toggle clasp to easily extended the design.

Once you are happy with the bracelet size, use your Magical Crimpers to close the crimp tube. For crimping instructions, click here. Finally, trim off the excess wire close to the crimp.

 

Tutorial Tuesday: Mediterranean Dangles

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

The shape of the ear wires, low hanging hoops and color scheme give these earrings a modern Mediterranean vibe. I created similar black and pewter earrings awhile ago that I wear all the time. This is project is easy and great for a beginning beaders. Skills required are crimping and wire looping.

For crimping help, please visit our webpage, All about Crimps.

 

Materials:

Cut Soft Flex Beading Wire into two 8″ lengths, one for each earring.  String crimp tube, one turquoise fire polish bead, one gold plated spacer bead and one turquoise fire polish bead. Take the other end of the wire make a circle back through the crimp tube for your first loop.

Using the tail that went through the crimp for the loop, string your beads for the second loop. Alternate 1 turquoise fire polish bead and 1 gold plated bead until you have 4 turquoise fire polish beads and 3 gold plated beads.

Take your wire tail and feed it through the crimp tube again making your second loop. Adjust wires until you are happy with size of both loops. When ready, use your Magical  Crimpers to close the crimp tube. For crimping instructions, click here.

Finally, trim off the excess wire close to the crimp. Make your second earring dangle the same way. When making the second earring pay attention to the loop sizes of both loops before crimping.

Now, we’ll make two ear wires. For the ear wires, cute two 3″ lengths of your 20G Craft Wire. Using your Nylon jaw pliers smooth out your wire. Then, create a wire loop on one end of each wire piece with your round nose pliers. Measure your wire piece and at about 1.25″ mark use your chain nose pliers to bend the backward. Trim the wire tails to your desired length.

 

Using your hammer and block, work harden the loop area and the front facing portion of the wire, then with the bur cup file down the wire end that goes through your ear.

Finally, open your ear wire loops with your chain nose pliers and attach each to your earring dangles.

 

Here is an alternate design idea. These are the black and pewter earrings I mentioned earlier that I love and wear ALL the time! The design possibilities by simply changing beads and colored wire are endless.

Tutorial Tuesday: 3 Little Birds Layering Bracelets

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Tutorial Tuesday is a blog series where I share a do-it-yourself jewelry tutorial on Soft Flex Company’s blog.

Happy Earth Day! Today, I am sharing a simple bracelet design using natural shell beads with a modern twist. The gold filled curved tube elevates the bracelet design and the little bird beads bring in a sweet touch of nature. The birds outside my window have been very chatty lately which has been so nice to listen too throughout the day.

 

Materials:

 

Cut Soft Flex Extreme Flex Beading Wire into three 9″ lengths, one for each bracelet.  Clip a bead stopper on one end and string a 2mm gold filled crimp tube, shell heishi beads, one gold filled curved bar, shell heishi beads and another crimp tube.

Attach a lobster clasp on one end and crimp. Attach a jump ring on the other end and crimp. Trim excess wire. For crimping help, please visit our webpage, All about Crimps.

The bird bead I am using has a vertical hole. I threaded the bird bead onto a head pin. Then using your round nose pliers make a loop. Then wrap the remaining wire around the bottom of the loop formed.

Using your pliers, open the jump ring that you attached to one end of the bracelet and add your bird bead dangle. For how to make a bead dangle instructions, click here.

Repeat steps to create two more bracelets.

Layer a few of these to your wrist and be on trend – see Sara’s post for more trendy stack-able design ideas, here.