Friday, July 31, 2009

Jewelry How To- FINALLY!

Subtitle: I'm baaaaaack.

Whew so it's been a crazy week. I went to my parents' last weekend (where Bailey had the most fun ever playing with my Mom's dog, Jazzy, and swimming up a storm in the pool) and then my teenage sister and her boyfriend came to visit Monday-Thursday and since it's hotter than death here my sister's boyfriend stayed up in our air conditioned offices and long story short (too late)- I've been in severe computer withdrawal. I'm also desperate for people to make concise decisions. Is that something all teenagers are unable to do?

ANYWAY- ON TOP OF THAT I can finally explain the jewelry how-to since I've been purposely trying to be vague as hell. So. One of my friends does this thing where on the year that you turn the day of the month that you birthday is on, it's considered your "Golden" Birthday and you get a corresponding number of daily presents each day of the month. Let's use a real world example, shall we? Jen is turning 31 TODAY (Happy Birthday Jen) on July 31st so all month a bunch of us gave her 31 objects each day of the month. I had two days so I gave her 31 mini cookie cutters one day and decided that 31 of anything was a lot of something and she's kind of OCD clean freak* so I wanted to give something consolidated. Like a necklace! With 31 beads on it!! Fabulous idea, n'est pas?!

Oh wait. I have NO beading jewelry experience. I did take a metals class in college but that was more bending wire and using a blow torch (which I've since probably forgotten how to do).

So the first time around I just winged it and I basically finished but broke the chain by accident and all the beads started falling off which is completely un-related to the chain breaking and related to the fact I was kinda doing it wrong. Here's how you do it right:

First I have some new tools (and found correct names for the others):
Your chain probably won't have a failed attempt at beading on it though. Also the "flat head pins" are special jewelry pins (they're not sharp) so don't go raiding your sewing kit.

I had found some translucent purple, green and white beads that reminded me of glass and the ocean so I was going for a big cluster like coral or something. If that's not your style- spread those beads out! And we begin:

Step 1: Take a pin and add your desired bead(s) on it. I sometimes had to use the small beads as a stopper because the larger beads had holes that were ever so slightly too large for the pins and some were falling off. The examples below only use the one beads though.

Step 2: Using the round nose pliers bend the pin so it's at a 90 degree angle like this:

Step 3: Keep the grip on the bead the same and using your free hand bend the wire back over the top edge of the round nose pliers making a question mark shape like this:

Step 4: Add the chain to the end of the pin. Sometimes I'd move the chain to the curve of the wire so chain would be on the left and pliers keeping it on on the right but whatever is easiest for you.

Step 5: Wrap the end of the wire to coil around itself creating a loop for the chain that will keep the bead secure. (The photo in Step 6 without the pliers in the way will show the desired result)

Step 6: Admire your handiwork.
Step 7: Once I had a couple of beads on I wanted to make sure it was staying even from left to right so I attached the clasp to the smaller jump ring and both to the chain and the larger jump ring on the opposite side. I forgot to take any photos though so read up here on the proper way to use jump rings. It's basically bend it towards you to open and backwards to close again. I'd model it on my leg and pick out a new spot for each bead.

Repeat Steps 1-6 until you have the desired look. Again- that's my leg. I'll see if I can get a photo of the birthday girl in her finished necklace so they'll be a more proper end to the post.

There you have it. I think it took one and a half DVR'ed episodes of The Closer from start to finished (after I'd taken off all the beads done incorrectly the first time and repaired the chain).

Oh-- repairing the chain. That's what the wire was for. It was the same process as 1-6 but done to both sides to create two loops which each attached to one side of the wire.

Anyway this was quick, cheap, and easy once someone told me the correct way to do it and could be a great bridesmaids gift option. OR to be even quicker, cheaper and easier- EARRINGS! If you make either or both or something similar, send me a photo and I'll get a little gallery started.

*Hi Jen! :D

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hi Kristen. :)