Monday, August 31, 2009

Organza Ribbon for Beaders

Organza Ribbon has long been a mainstay in jewelry design. It's made of polyester and nylon and is a great alternative stringing material. Designers use Organza Ribbon for bridal jewelry all the time, and it is a simple way to display a unique pendant or focal bead.

Have you considered making an illusion necklace with Organza? It's easy to do – just slip the end of the ribbon inside a Collapsible Eye or Big Eye Needle and string beads onto single or multiple strands of ribbon. You don't have to glue the beads in place because the ribbon naturally expands to prevent them from sliding.

Fold the end and tuck it into Heavy or Light Tube Cord Ends, make adjustments, then secure with BeadFix adhesive. Use Fold-Over Cord Ends for a more flat design or tie it onto findings, then glue the knot with BeadFix adhesive for a secure closure. For stringing on beads, use the Collapsible Eye Needle for quick and easy stringing.

Leave a comment on this post to be entered in a drawing for three spools of organza ribbon for beading. Include your email address so we can contact you if you win. We’ll collect comments for one week, then we’ll hold a random drawing.

-Meredith Roddy for Beadalon

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Resources for Retailers

Our customers are so important to us, and we try our best to provide resources to help educate both experienced and novice beaders about our products. The Beadalon website is chock full of project ideas, tips & tricks, and explanations on how to use Beadalon stringing materials, findings and tools.

For retailers and instructors, we also have available printed materials like posters and tri-fold brochures that explain beading wires and proper finishing techniques. And, we can provide stickers and posters to hang in your shop or give you image CDs for your website. Any thoughts on what might be even more helpful? Leave a comment or send an e-mail to and let us know!

-Meredith Roddy for Beadalon

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hot Jewelry Trends: Exposed!

Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed (F+W Pubs 2009), co-authored by the Beadalon Design Team, shows you how to create stylish jewelry using the hottest trends as inspiration.

“Velveteen” by Katie Hacker is a rich combination of velvet tubing woven between crystals to create waves - the effect is casual chic. This necklace can be paired with a black cocktail dress and be a staple for the holiday season. For a variation, you could replace the original colors with a combination of light smoked topaz and vintage rose crystals strung onto the new Beadalon champagne wire. The result will be incredible! Katie also designed “Night Sky”, a lovely necklace spotlighting jet star pendants, another trendy item in the current jewelry world.

Margot Potter created “Moonstruck,” a layered necklace made with two different style of chains connected by spacer bars, which is a very trendy look for fall. This project is very flexible and you can replace any other pendants for an equally glamorous look. Margot also designed “Dazzle,” another perfect choker for the holiday season with an edgy concept. These projects are easy to make and you get a bold effect. This moment is the right time for big and bold jewelry, so take advantage of that and release your inner Frida Kahlo!

My set of bracelet and chandelier earrings called “Lakshmi” is a inspired by opulent, ornate gold jewelry from ancient days that is very popular this season. My “Lady of the Rings” necklace favors the chain maille style, which is very easy on this version. This project gives the reader a non-stress chain maille project since the necklace is structured by a repetition of opening and closing jump rings. The shape is unique and those Crystallized components add glam to this look.

So, pick a copy of “Exposed” and start planning your next looks for the upcoming season. Cheers!

-Fernando Dasilva for Beadalon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CHA Pix & Follow-up

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Summer Show was held in Orlando, Florida, a few weeks ago. With a traditional tradeshow and a new SuperShow consumer portion, this new venue was a great opportunity to meet with customers and introduce our new products and catalog supplement.

Along with our new colors of Beadalon wire, such as SilverGold and Champagne, our biggest hits at the show were our new wire-wrapping products. Wire wrapping is hot! New round, half-round and square Stainless Steel wires drew a lot of interest from customers. This specially tempered wire work-hardens quicker than other types of wire and is a good alternative when extra durability is needed.

Our workshop by Beadalon Design Team Member, Margot Potter, was a great success. Margot taught students how to make a design from Bead & Wire Jewelry Exposed (F+W Pubs 2009) that showed how fun and easy it is to make stylish jewelry. The next CHA show will be held in Anaheim in January 2010.

-Yvette Rodriguez for Beadalon

Monday, August 17, 2009

Color Me Gorgeous

Many, many people find color to be the most challenging part of design. I think it’s because they over think it. Color is intuitive. The less you approach it intellectually, the better the results. There are very specific rules about color one can follow slavishly and still make rather pedantic designs. It’s always good to know the rules. Get a color wheel, learn about the relationships between different colors and then I think you have to set that aside and start seeing color the way an artist does.

Inspiration is everywhere. Fascinating and fabulous color combinations are on fabrics, in magazine ads, in your garden, in random snapshots and in paintings by master artists. Just for fun use an image you find appealing from a magazine advertisement. Pick three colors from the ad. Now create a design using those colors, approximating them as well as you can with materials you can access. See how it comes together, how it works? It’s amazing.

I always tell people to start with the clothing in their closet. You already have a color palette. That’s your color comfort zone. Use that as your starting point as you begin to explore color in your design. Then move outside of that zone until you start to develop an intuitive color sense. Sometimes I just walk over to my bead trays and grab five beads that immediately catch my eye and they almost always work together. Don’t be intimidated by color, embrace it. Color brings design to life!

Beadalon has an entire range of gorgeous colors in their 7 strand Clear Colors line. Here are a few colorful ideas from our talented design team for your inspiration.

Until next time...bead on with your bad selves.

- Margot Potter for Beadalon

Fireworks in the Dark by Fernando DaSilva

The cool blue tones in this design are accented by pops of fuchsia and orange.

Tangled Jewels by Katie Hacker

Rich shades of bronze, eggplant and chocolate give this design a fall/winter appeal.

Electric Bluebird by Margot Potter

This necklace features a vibrant color palette inspired by Bollywood movies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finishing Multiple Strand Jewelry Designs


Multi-strand designs add a lot of style to any outfit and they're easy to make when you know the tricks. Start with a bead board to arrange the pattern and end with one of the following techniques to finish the necklace or bracelet. Choose the clasp/method that will work best for your design:

Multiple-strand clasp:

1. Use a crimp or Scrimp® finding to attach each strand to a loop on the clasp.

Decorative connector:

1. Use a crimp to attach each strand to a loop on the decorative connector.

2. Use a jump ring, split ring or wire-wrapped bead link to attach the connector to a clasp.

Beading cone:

1. Cut a 3" piece of wire.

2. Make a small wrapped loop on one end.

3. Knot or crimp the strands to the wrapped loop.

4. Pass the wire through the wide end of a beading cone.

5. Make a wrapped loop to at attach the clasp outside the narrow end of the beading cone.

Double or Triple EZ-Crimp™ clasp:

1. Pass one beading wire through a hole on the EZ-Crimp™ end.

2. Place the smooth portion of the EZ-Crimp™ finding inside the jaws of the EZ-Crimp™ pliers.

3. Squeeze the pliers so the coiled wires close around the beading wire.

4. Move the pliers down the EZ-Crimp™ finding and make an additional crimp so the entire length of the finding is securely attached to the wire.

Double Scrimp® finding:

1. Loosen the screws on both parts of the Scrimp® finding.

2. Pass one wire through the hole on the short part of the Scrimp® finding.

3. Tighten the screw on the short part of the Scrimp® finding.

4. Pass the other beading wire through the long part of the Scrimp® finding.

5. Pass it through a Wire Guardian™ and the clasp loop.

6. Pass it back through the Scrimp® finding.

7. Tighten the screw on the long part of the Scrimp® finding.

-Katie Hacker for Beadalon

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Champagne Beading Wire

Add some fizz to your jewelry designs with sparkling champagne color Beadalon wire. It's one of the newest additions to the "Metallic Colors" Wire Series family and the Beadalon Design Team is wild about it! It's a perfect complement to antique brass findings and steampunk designs.

Champagne Color Wire is available in 49 strand, 19 strand and 7 strand constructions. Made in the USA by Beadalon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wire Wrapped Necklace Pattern

Wire wrapping is hot! Use new German Style Copper Wire to create this fabulous rosary-style necklace. German Style Copper Wire has an anti-tarnish coating and it's the perfect temper and finish for most jewelry wire wrapping uses.

Coppered Star Necklace

by Fernando Dasilva

• Materials & Tools

• Four 6mm Montana round Crystallized beads *

• Four 6mm Crystal golden shadow round Crystallized Beads *

• Six 11 x 8mm Crystal bronze pear shape Crystallized Pearls *

• Six round luna gold black Venetian glass beads

• One blue/topaz(bicolor) Venetian Moretti glass star pendant*

• 1 copper flower bead *

• 27 copper 6mm jump rings – 314P-005

• 6 ft copper German style wire – 180CU-022

• 1 set of copper toggle – 323P-006

• Beadstrom™ chain nose pliers – 201P-011

• Beadstrom™ round nose pliers – 201P-014

• Beadstrom™ flush cutter – 202P-01512

This necklace is assembled on rosary style chain. Make all links separately first and then start assembling all parts together.

• Instructions •

1a. Cut a piece of wire that is 2” bigger than the bead.

1b. Make a wrapped loop on one end. (make 2 full turns)

1c. String one glass pearl and make another wrapped loop. Trim excess wire and set aside. Make more 5 of these links and set aside.

1d. Repeat same previous steps to create links using all blue and golden shadow crystal beads. Creating beaded Venetian links

2a. Cut a piece of copper wire that is 4’ bigger than the bead.

2b. Make a wrapped loop on one end.

2c. String on one of the Venetian glass bead.

2d. String wire back through the same hole twice, adding an extra flair on the outside surface of your bead.

2e. Make another wrapped wire. Make 5 more of these and set aside. Making star pendant

3a. Cut a piece of wire that is 5 inches bigger than the star.

3b. Make a wrapped loop (make 5 turns) on one end of your wire .

3c. String star onto the wire placing wrapped loop on top point.

3d. Wrap it around flat side of star and then come back around the loop twice. Trim excess wire. Assembling necklace

4a. Open 3 jump rings. Attach two jump rings to two flower loops skipping one loop between them.

4b. Attach 3rd jump ring to centered bottom loop and then to star pendant loop.

4c. Use one jump ring to attach all individual beaded links to each other. Follow the pattern below starting from focal point of necklace (star pendant): One blue + one Venetian + one pearl + one blue + one golden shadow + one Venetian + one pearl + one blue + one golden shadow + one venetian + one pearl + one blue

4d. Open a jump ring to attach half of copper toggle.

4e. Repeat same process to finish other half of necklace. Switch crystal beads position to add more interest to your piece, all the other beads remain in the same position.

4f. Add other half of toggle.

* Not a Beadalon item.

Want more ideas for wire wrapping? Watch our videos!

BBJ #512: Wire Wrapping Basics

BBJ #601: Twisted Jump Rings

BBJ #110: Wire Wrap Beads

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bead Fest Philadelphia Preview

Bead Fest Philadelphia, August 21-23, 2009 has become one of the largest consumer bead shows on the East Coast. At this show, we will be showcasing new products, giving creative inspiration, and holding demonstrations of our new and most popular products. It's a great place to learn about proper beading techniques and to get answers in person for all of your Beadalon questions. We're happy to be a long time sponsor of this show, especially since it's right in our backyard! Find us at booths #233 and #235.

Bead Fest Philadelphia hosts over 150 workshops from renowned instructors on techniques like metalworking, stringing, glass making and design. Join us at the Meet the Teachers Reception on August 21st from 8:30-10:30pm. It's a fun, social event that gives the instructors the opportunity to showcase their designs and meet fellow beading enthusiasts. See you there!

-Yvette Rodriguez for Beadalon