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MLBS 2019 Mid-Atlantic Bead Shop Hop Opening Day!

Wyatt and I spent a beautiful Saturday celebrating the beginning of the Main Line Bead Society Bead Shop Hop at two of our local bead shops. I went to Studio 36 Bead Shop in Pottstown, PA for a Facebook Live, and Wyatt went to Blue Santa Beads in Media, PA for demonstrations.

Seventeen stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia are participating in the three week event coordinated by the Main Line Bead Society and Sponsored by Beadalon. Participants have the opportunity to win swag from each shop, including a grand prize valued at $500!

Lisa from Studio 36 makes the most beautiful painted acrylic flowers and leaves! Her process is a secret, but the results are spectacular!  I showed her how I use the Beadalon Tying Station to make an adjustable sliding bracelet. We have written instructions posted for a similar project, and the Facebook Live video shows making Lisa's flowers into "beads" to include in the design. I love going to the shop to see all of the goodies!

Flat Pattern Artistic Wire Cha-Cha Hoop Earring

My beady friend, Emily Scott, was my special guest for Facebook Live last week and she showed a fantastic project using Flat Pattern Artistic Wire! She was gracious enough to send along written instructions as well. I'm so happy to be able to pass them along to you all.


18 Gauge and 20 Gauge Artistic Wire
6 headpins
6 beads (2 larger, 4 smaller)

Chain Nose Pliers
Bent Chain Nose Pliers
Flat Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Flush Cutter
Permanent marker


Making Your Hoops:

  1. Wrap Artistic Flat Wire around the top of the Ring Mandrel to form the loop.
  2. Flush cut where the two ends meet.
  3. Using Flat Nose Pliers, slightly flatten the ends of the loop.  The hoop opening should be no more than 1/4” wide and should be symmetrical, side-to-side.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for second hoop.  Compare size and shape, fiddle until even as necessary.  
  5. File openings to remove sharp edges. 
  6. Using permanent marker, mark where to punch hole, about 1/8” from top.
  7. Punch hole on both sides.
Making Your Rings: 

  1. Use the large side of the Bail Making pliers to turn 3-4 revolutions of 18 gauge.
  2. Alternate cutting the coiled wire into single rings using the flush side of cutters.  The ends should meet flush.
Making Your Cha-Cha Beads:

  1. Insert head pin into bead.
  2. Hold bead and bend pin into a right angle.
  3. Cut pin ½” from bead.
  4. Use round nose pliers to roll wire back to complete closure.  Straighten as necessary. 

Assembling Your Flat Wire Cha-Cha Hoops:

  1. Open jump ring (side-to-side).
  2. Thread jump ring through hole toward inside of hoop.
  3. Add Cha-Cha beads. (reverse order of beads for proper left and right earrings.)
  4. Thread jump ring through second hole.  If you struggle to get the ring through the second hole, you will need to slightly close the opening of the hoop.
  5. Close jump ring, side-to-side motion while pushing together.
  6. Rotate the seam to the bottom of ring (bury in beads).
Making Your EarWires:

  1. Follow the instructions included with the Findings Form to make two matching Earwires. 
  2. Use the Battery Operated Bead Reamer with the Wire Rounder Burr Attachment to smooth the ends.

I love that every single component of this design is hand made. That way, you can match or coordinate all of the colors in your design. Do you prefer to make your own components, or use pre-made components? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to join the conversation in the Jewelry Making with Beadalon Facebook Group.

See you Thursdays at 2:00pm EST for our next Facebook Live adventure!

Happy beading!