Boho Bead Weaving

There are tons of materials that can help you achieve an on-trend, boho look. But my absolute my favorite component for creating boho pieces is the tiny but mighty seed bead! If you’re not familiar yet with the boho trend, check out last week’s blog post, or our Boho Style Boutique, for a general overview. Whether your preferred stitch is peyote, brick stitch, ndebele (herringbone stitch), right angle weave, loom weaving, or bead embroidery, it’s easy to incorporate tons of colors and big, bold patterns.

Coachella Loom Bracelet, project tutorial available at www.beadaholique.com

Coachella Loom Bracelet

Loom weaving is one of the easiest ways to lay out patterns, because beads are organized into a neat grid. The Coachella Loom Bracelet is inspired by indigenous American designs and worked in bright colors for a festive, statement cuff. If you’re looking to create a project that’s a bit smaller and simpler, try a chevron or diamond pattern. Finished loom weaving projects can be backed with ultra suede, or finished with slide end tubes.

 

 

Equilateral Earrings, project tutorial available at www.beadaholique.com

Equilateral Earrings

Caravan Earrings, project tutorial available at www.beadaholique.com

Caravan Earrings

Brick stitch and peyote stitch are two other great stitches for creating patterns. Both of these stitches have offset beads, making it easy to do stripes, diamonds, hexagons and more. Off-loom bead weaving also allows you to create shapes beyond rectangles and squares; for instance, you can bead weave triangles, as can be seen in the fun Equilateral Earrings. The Caravan Earrings, made in brick stitch, also feature an unconventional shape. This project will also teach you another versatile seed bead skill for a boho look—making beaded fringe!

Seed beads also allow you to spotlight chunky focal elements like gemstones, an ever-popular addition to boho jewelry. One fun project that does this is the Nevermore Raven Necklace, which features a funky glass raven and gemstones with bead-embroidered bezels, hung on a grosgrain ribbon.

If you’re thinking about delving into bead weaving projects, or maybe want to add a new stitch to your repertoire, check out the newly stocked line of Glass Garden Beads Jewelry Kits. These premium kits are available in twelve designs for earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and each pattern has several gorgeous color options to choose from. The experts at Glass Garden Beads teach jewelry making out of their studio in Minnesota, but thanks to their dedication to creating these kits, you can access to their beautiful patterns and expert teaching techniques without making the trip to the Midwest! Their designs really capture the free-spirited lines of boho designs. My favorite patterns are the Gee’s Bend Bracelet, which has a gorgeous patchwork look to it, and the Coachella Necklace, which features three pretty focal pendants and another fun take on beaded fringe!

Gee's Bend Bracelet in Sorbet from Glass Garden Beads, available at www.beadaholique.com      Coachella Necklace in Russet from Glass Garden Beads, available at www.beadaholique.com

If you’re not quite ready yet to tackle bead weaving, try checking out our Exclusive Beadaholique Tassel Bracelet Kits. These easy stringing projects are available in four on-trend colors, punctuated with sumptuous gold-tone two-hole bar beads, and accented by a funky tassel! They’re great for beginners and are relatively quick to assemble, but look like something you’d find in a high-end boutique.

Exclusive Beadaholique Wrapped Tassel Bracelets, available at www.beadaholique.com

Although bead weaving projects generally take more time, what you can accomplish with the technique is incredibly rewarding. Plus, seed bead creations look ornate and difficult, and are sure to impress both friends and customers! They’re such a versatile component, you can work them into just about any pattern, making them a perfect addition to your boho pieces.

Get These Free Swarovski Drops at Beadaholique’s Memorial Day Sale!

20150518_093150

We have some good news and some bad news. The bad news first: these gorgeous Swarovski crystal jet black octagon drops are not available for sale on our website. The good news: that’s because we’re giving them away for free during our Memorial Day sale—visit our website right now to take 25% off your entire order and get a free pair of these sparkling beauties!

Get one pair of these timeless Swarovski crystal drops with your order, as long as supplies last. Simply click the “add to cart” button on our website to include this gift in your order.

Our design team has come up with a few creative jewelry designs to inspire you as you dream up ways to use these pieces. Take a look at our quick how-tos below.

20150518_090119

Kat’s Project:

You know I can’t stay away from bead weaving, so I made these ornate beaded beads to create a pair of earrings, perfect for an evening out on the town. I love mixing the rose gold crystals with jet black. So elegant!

Kat Ingredients

Materials:

8 feet of FireLine braided beading thread in smoke gray
2 rose gold-filled headpins
2 rose gold finish 6mm open jump rings
1 pair rose gold ear wires
3 packs Swarovski Crystal rose gold 4mm bicones
1 tube Toho 11/0 opaque jet seed beads
2 long beading needles
2 Swarovski octagon drop beads
Scissors
Flat nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

First, watch our video on how to make an ornate beaded bead using right angle weave. Create two beaded beads using the bicones and seed beads. Using wire cutters, clip off the heads of two headpins. Thread each through a beaded bead. Make a simple wire loop on one end, and attach your ear wire. On the other end, string one bicone and one seed bead, then make another simple wire loop. Open a jump ring and slide on one Swarovski octagon drop bead, then attach the jump ring to the simple wire loop you just created at the bottom of your earring. Repeat with the other earring.

20150518_091013

Karlin’s Project:

I love the classic shape and style of these Swarovski drops, but thought it would be fun to design them into a pair of earrings that are a bit more youthful and trendy. Hoop earrings are so in right now and pairing them with a gold and turquoise color palette makes them pop even more. I think the outcome is casual and fun, and great for every day wear.

Karlin Ingredients

Materials:

1 strand faceted gold plated 3mm tube beads
1 tube Toho 8/0 opaque turquoise seed beads
1 pair 1 1/4 inch gold plated beading hoop earrings
2 Swarovski octagon drop beads
Chain nose pliers

This is an easy-to-do bead stringing project — you can begin by watching our video on how to make a pair of earrings using beading hoops. On the narrow wire end of your earring hoops, begin stringing the gold beads and turquoise seed beads according to the pattern shown in the photo. Then slide on your Swarovski drop beads, and finish stringing the gold and turquoise beads according to the photo. Using your chain nose pliers, bend the tip of the straight wire end of the earring hoop upwards, as shown in the video. Close your earrings, and enjoy!

20150518_092356

Rachel’s Project:

I wanted to play up the edginess of the jet crystal, and I thought a fun way to do that would be to pair one of these Swarovski drops with antiqued silver metals — especially our striking fishbone chain. This necklace will take you right from work to a rock concert, glittering all the way.

Rachel Ingredients

Materials:

2 feet antiqued silver plated fine cable chain
1 foot antiqued silver plated 13mm fishbone chain
6 antiqued silver plated 4mm open jump rings
1 antiqued silver plated 6mm open jump ring
1 antiqued silver plated 12mm lobster clasp
1 Swarovski octagon drop bead
Flat nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

Using wire cutters, cut your fine cable chain into three lengths — two 8-inch pieces, and one 1-inch piece. Then measure and cut two 2-inch pieces of fishbone chain. Next, open the 6mm jump ring and attach it to your Swarovski octagon drop. Slide the jump ring onto your 1-inch piece of cable chain. Open a 4mm jump ring and attach one end of the cable chain to one length of fishbone chain. Repeat on the other side of the tiny piece of cable chain. Open two more 4mm jump rings and attach the tops of the fishbone chain to your 8-inch pieces of cable chain. On one end of the cable chain, open another 4mm jump ring and attach the loop of your clasp. On the other end, attach another 4mm jump ring by itself. Close your clasp, and enjoy your necklace!

Let us know how you would use these fun Swarovski freebies in the comments, and don’t forget to add a pair to your Memorial Day order while supplies last. Have a great holiday weekend!

Questions about Resin?

If you’ve got questions about resin, you’re in luck! Next month, we’ll be doing a Q&A on working with resin, and we want to know what you want to know!

Resin is a liquid plastic that cures into a clear hard solid, and it’s a popular material often used in mixed media projects. It can be poured into molds and bezels, used to embed items or collage images, applied to components for an enamel finish, and much more. Because it’s so versatile and can be used in so many different ways, jewelers love this medium for creating personalized, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Though there are many types of resin available on the market today, most jewelers use either two-part epoxy, which hardens over time after two chemicals are mixed, or UV resin, which is applied in thin layers (much like a gel nail manicure) and then cured under UV light. You can learn more about using these two types of resin by watching the videos below.

 How to use ICE Resin

How to Customize a Purse Hanger with UV Resin

Have you been itching to try using resin, but felt a little intimidated or overwhelmed? Or have you been working with resin for a while and are running into the same stumbling blocks over and over again? Leave us your questions in the comments, and we’ll address them in a special blog entry that will be announced in June’s issue of The Beading Wire. If you’re struggling to come up with questions, try watching a few more of our mixed media video tutorials for ideas.

Resin can be a labor intensive and tricky medium, but its rewarding results are well worth it, and our design team is here to help you! Leave us your comments and questions, and be sure to check back soon!

 

Stacking and Layering for a Boho Look

Last month we highlighted a trend we’ve been seeing a lot lately, layered gold chain necklaces. Guess what? Layering works for the rest of your jewelry too! Several popular jewelry brands, like Alex and Ani and Chan Luu, have been capitalizing on the layered boho look, and it’s become so popular that boho style jewelry is our May Theme of the Month at Beadaholique. Fortunately for do-it-yourself jewelry designers, these styles are easy to emulate and make a powerful visual impact. Accessorizing with stacked bracelets and bangles, necklaces, and rings is a  fun way to incorporate a boho aesthetic into your everyday wear.

Stacking bangles came into vogue sometime last year, and this look is really easy to recreate on your own. Expandable charm bangles are quickly personalized by adding beaded dangles and Yoga Bangle Bracelet Set, kit available at www.beadaholique.comcharms. This is a great space to use popular boho motifs and images from the natural world, such as animal and insect charms, celestial charms like suns and moons, and spiritual symbols such as ohms, peace signs, hamsa hands and tree of life charms. The Yoga Bangle Bracelet Set (pictured right) is an exclusive Beadaholique jewelry kit that perfectly embodies this trend—replicate it with your own choice of beads and charms, or pick one up yourself for a quick and easy boho project. Another great way to make your own bangles that hold their shape is with memory wire. These steel wire coils hold their shape and can be strung with beads, as in the Yosemite Bracelet. You can stack multiple memory wire bangles or keep one long coil intact for a wrapped look. Check out our guide on Using Memory Wire in Jewelry Making for more ideas.

Soft wrap bracelets also add bohemian bulk to wrists. There are many different mediums for creating wrap bracelets, but remember that with a typical bracelet ranging from seven to eight inches, you’ll have to multiply that base length by the number of wraps you want to determine the length of your finished bracelet.

B172-sml   B129-sml   B7002-sml

Macrame and kumihimo are two techniques that are relatively easy to learn, and though it will take some time to complete a length of knotting or braiding, many find the repetitive motion enjoyably meditative (I know I do!). Plus, these techniques can be embellished with beads, and dressed up or down for a really stylized or simplistic unisex look—see the Cinnamon Bark Wrap Bracelet (pictured above left) and the Marseille Beaded Kumihimo Wrap Bracelet for inspiration. You could also string a long bracelet from beads, like in the Peace and Love Bracelet (pictured above right). Or, emulate the popular lashed wrap bracelet style, like in the Vegan Wrap Bracelet (pictured above center). This technique is one of my favorites as it allows you to showcase your favorite beads, and you can use a lot of different materials for the “frame”, from leather to faux leather to hemp, waxed linen and even rubber cord—just keep it close to 1-2mm in diameter. To finish off your wrap bracelet creation, spring for a button! They’re fun ways to imbue your creations with your own personal style.

Golden Ellipses Necklace, project tutorial available at www.beadaholique.comLast but not least, layered necklaces are a huge component of the boho trend, and I don’t think they’ll be going away anytime soon. You can cut different lengths of chain, embellish with charms or small focal elements, and attach all of the chains to the same closure. One beautiful example is the Tribal Trio Necklace, which layers both gemstones and charms on three lengths of delicate gold chain. Or, go overboard with embellishments, and create thickly layered strands like the Greek Isle Necklace. Necklaces are one of the best ways to showcase standout boho materials, like wood beads, gemstones, tassels and funky pendants. If you’re Azul Necklace, project tutorial available at www.beadaholique.comworried about tangled chains, try wearing multiple necklaces with different length chains at the same time, and they’re less likely to twist together. Don’t you think the small scale and simplicity of the Golden Ellipses Necklace (top left) would pair beautifully with the bold pendant in the Azul Necklace (bottom left)?

 

My favorite thing about the boho look is you can’t overdo it—more layers, more fun! Share with us your layered looks below.

Using Gemstones in Boho Jewelry

Gemstones available at www.beadaholique.comGemstones are a long-time favorite of many jewelry makers, as they’re a natural and colorful way to add interest and value to your creations. But right now, gemstones are in for a different reason—they’re the perfect addition to a boho look! If you’re not familiar yet with the boho trend, check out last week’s blog post, or our Boho Style Boutique, for a general overview. Boho fashion is all about organic, natural textures, and gemstones’ earthy origins are great for capitalizing on this popular look.

The bohemian aesthetic draws on patterns and styles of cultures around the world, and as such, uses gemstones from around the world, too. In the United States, turquoise is particularly  popular, as it occurs Bohemian Rhapsody Bracelet, project instructions available at www.beadaholique.comnaturally in large quantities in the South West, and is used prominently in indigenous South Western jewelry and art. You can see it featured prominently in many of our designs at Beadaholique, including the Boho Bee Earrings and the Desert Shores Bracelet. Some other top picks for boho jewelry include lapis lazuli, serpentine, amethyst, and agate. Gemstones with rich, earthy colors are also great choices—look for jasper and tiger’s eye for colorful brown tones that mesh nicely with metals and other beads. Another fun way to personalize your creations is to use birthstones. By all means, though, don’t just stick with what’s popular—experiment with different colors and use your favorite stones!

Gemstones are fun because they can really take any shape in your jThe Pasadena Necklace, project instructions available at www.beadaholique.comewelry making. String them for a quick project, like in the Pasadena Necklace, or feature them as cabochons or focal pendants. For a richly adorned look that’s actually very quick to assemble, consider incorporating gemstone chain, as can be seen in the Bohemian Rhapsody Bracelet.  Also, don’t be afraid to use natural stone shapes! Rough and smooth nuggets make great focal elements, as in the Amethyst and Quartz Necklace and the Chalcedony Wire Wrapped Bangle Set. And gemstone chips are another fun component for adding color and texture, like in the Bohemian Spirit Bracelet.

Personally, one of my favorite gemstones is druzy. What a showstopper! This sparkling stone is actually a layer of crystals that form on top of another gemstone, usually agate or quartz. To enhance its appearance, druzy is often electroplated or dyed, creating bright, shimmering stones that are yearning for the spotlight! Beadaholique just got in a gorgeous selection of druzy pendants and other stones, so be sure to check them out.Druzy and other gems from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, available at www.beadaholique.comHow do you plan to use gemstones this summer? Tell us below!

Beading Table Wednesday: May 13, 2015

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means — time for a peek at our designer’s tables!

KarlinKarlin:

This week has been all about our new selection of vintage beads. I made a global bohemian-inspired strung necklace featuring some of our new wafer and corrugated beads. l took it a step further and added some Vintaj patina in turquoise to the metal beads for a look that pops. Be sure to check out our new and beautiful selection of vintage beads!

 

Kat Silvia - DesignKat:

Today I am putting the finishing touches on my hemp beaded kumihimo bracelet. I am really happy with the summertime boho-style result. To allow the natural hemp color to come though, I kept this design light by only putting Czech Glass Matubo 7/0 beads on four of the eight strands.

 

 

Rachel20150513_093040Rachel:

I’ve been walking past this striking fishbone chain for weeks now, and I finally grabbed some to start creating with it! I’m thinking of making some chic earrings with small silver-plated charms, Czech glass spike beads, or Swarovski pendants. What would you do with a foot of fishbone chain?

 

Quick Tip Tuesday: Easy Chain Maille Prep

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.24.17 AM

Chain Maille is a lot of work, but we all know the payoff is worth the effort — beautiful, sleek intricate designs with a timeless air. Luckily, there are steps you can take to streamline the process of creating an involved chain maille piece. In this video, Kat demonstrates how she prepares for a chain maille project by getting all of her materials ready first. Looking for a new chain maille pattern to try? Check out our collection of videos showing all kinds of chain maille techniques to inspire your next creation. Happy prepping!

New Kits from Glass Garden Beads!

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 8.12.23 AM

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 8.07.47 AMWe’re thrilled to announce that we’re now carrying a collection of knockout jewelry kits from Glass Garden Beads, an awesome beading company based in Minnesota. We love the designs this team has come up with, featuring trendy boho looks, colorful nature-themed materials and a variety of fun stitches guaranteed to teach you something new. As if this cake needed any more icing, each kit comes in an adorable purse-shaped package with everything you need for each project, including step-by-step instructions.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 8.32.22 AMCheck out the Coachella Necklace in Peacock, pictured above, the Gee’s Bend Cuff in Pebble Beach, pictured left, and the rest of these statement-making jewelry kits on our website. There’s so much to whet your beading appetite — we hope you enjoy these as much as we do (or make someone smile with a great, crafty gift!). Happy beading!

 

 

May Contest: Boho Jewelry

Boho Jewelry - Beading Contest

Boho Jewelry – Beading Contest

May is all about boho style jewelry here at Beadaholique, so the perfect theme for our next contest is—you guessed it—boho jewelry!  This earthy free-flowing style is characterized by organic textures, intricate patterns, natural materials, and lots of layers.  Think gemstones, wood and clay beads, tassels, fringes, insects, birds, and more.

To enter the contest, submit your own original design showcasing the boho aesthetic.  If you’re not 100% sure what this means or need some inspiration, visit the Beadaholique Boho Style Boutique for product recommendations and design ideas.  Be sure to send us a clear, well-lit photo of your finished piece by 4PM PT Tuesday, June 9th. Finalists will be chosen and posted on our Facebook for public voting starting Wednesday, June 10th through the 17th. Finalists will also be featured in the next issue of The Beading Wire going out Thursday, June 11th.

Two winners, one domestic and one international, will each receive a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate and further exposure on our blog, website and in another issue of The Beading Wire. An Editor’s Pick chosen from the remaining finalists will receive a $50 gift certificate.

Rules/How to Enter:

Email us a clear, in focus, well-lit photo of a beading project completely of your own design which fits our theme and uses one or more products which can be found at Beadaholique (does not have to be bought from Beadaholique). Email one photo, at least 500 px in width or height, to challenge@thebeadingwire.com (do not use this for questions; simply leave a comment on this entry) with the following included in your email:

Subject line: Name of Piece (Example: Woodstock Inspired Bangle)

Body: Very important! In the body of your email, make sure to include the following:

  • full name—required
  • email address—required
  • country of residence—required
  • optional: a brief description of your piece

Attachment: Don’t forget to attach your photo. To maintain a level of fairness with all entries, your photo should not be a collage and should only show one shot/angle of your piece. No text, logos or watermarks please.

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, June 9 @ 4PM PT: Last day to submit.
  • Wednesday, June 10: Finalists will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.
  • Thursday, June 11: Finalists will be featured in the next issue of The Beading Wire sent to the entire Beadaholique email list.
  • Wednesday, June 17 @ 4PM PT: Voting ends. Winners will be notified via email within 2 business days and featured in the next issue of The Beading Wire.

Other Rules—Updated 03/2014:

One entry per person. If you send more than one entry, you may be disqualified. Your photo should not be a collage and should only show one shoot of your piece. If your entry does not meet the “Rules/How to Enter” stated above, you may be disqualified. Winner must respond to our email notification within 2 weeks to claim gift certificate. No one person may win more than once every 12 months (excluding Editor’s Choice). By entering, you retain the rights to your original jewelry design but are giving Beadaholique, Inc. permission to use your submitted photo(s) on our websites, newsletter, Facebook, blog and other properties. For consistency and fairness, watermarks and other text or logos will be edited out of photos. We encourage finalists to promote their business, store or website in the comments for their entry, though please limit it to just one link/promotional comment. The terms and conditions that apply to all Beadaholique contests and giveaways also apply here.

Tips:

  • Send in a large, clear, and well-lit photo.
  • Try to use natural light to illuminate your photos.
  • Double check to make sure that your full name and email address are included in the body of your email. We continue to receive submissions with no contact information.

Theme of the Month: Boho Jewelry

Photo from stylepantry.com

Photo from stylepantry.com

Boho jewelry and festival season go hand in hand, as hundreds of thousands of music fans flock to festival grounds over the course of the summer to celebrate self-expression, community, peace, art and music. Inspired by retro and bohemian aesthetics and the iconic images of Woodstock, many festival goers don free-flowing clothing and accessorize heavily with hippy-chic bangles, layered necklaces, dangling earrings, statement rings, and embellished hair ornaments. And these music fans are trendmakers that top brands are starting to emulate; H&M, for instance, has even released a new “Coachella” line, featuring bright colors and lots of fringe. This boho style fashion, however, is more far-reaching than just the festival circuit, and we’re seeing more and more people incorporating this aesthetic into their everyday wear. We’re so enamored with this funky, fun aesthetic, we’re making Boho Jewelry our official theme of the month here at Beadaholique. Whether you have plans to attend a festival or two or simply want to join in on this summery trend, Beadaholique has product recommendations and free project patterns and tutorials to help you achieve a fashion-forward boho look.

Caravan Earrings, project instructions available at www.beadaholique.comDiverse yet distinctive, the bohemian aesthetic has its roots in gypsy culture, prevalent in Europe more than a century ago. Revitalized in the late 1960s with the hippy movement, and once again in the early 21st century, today we see more boho style fashion than ever. The look is versatile and encompasses many jewelry making techniques. It is characterized by organic textures, intricate patterns, natural materials, and lots of layers.
Boho jewelry designs incorporate a wide variety of materials, patterns, and inspirations, allowing for lots of options when you’re creating pieces. One thing most designs have in common, though, is materials and motifs used areThe Amber Bracelet — project instructions available at www.beadaholique.com strongly rooted in the natural world. Materials like hemp, cotton and linen, and leather-like cords make excellent stringing materials. Gemstones, especially turquoise, are beautifully incorporated into boho pieces as beads, pendants, cabochons, and even on gemstone chain. Wood beads contribute rich color and  texture, and are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Metal components are on-trend when they are colored or appear aged; choose findings in yellow gold, brass and copper, or an antiqued finish, to add a little color and texture. You can also add your own color with patinas and glazes. Popular motifs include flowers and leaves, animals, feathers, arrows, chevrons and other geometric patterns, and multicultural emblems of good fortune, balance, and peace.

Whether you prefer stringing, bead-weaving, wire-wrapping, knotting, braiding, mixed media, or something else entirely, you can create a boho look with Beadaholique! See some recommended boho style projects below, and for more ideas and information about popular materials and techniques, visit our Boho Style Boutique. Beadaholique’s Boho Chic Board on Pinterest is another great place to find inspiration! Stay tuned—in the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more ideas on achieving a boho look using gemstones, layering, faux leather, and bead weaving. How will you make this look your own this summer?

Shoshauna Earrings
Shoshauna Earrings
Boho Wrist-to-Ring Bracelet
Boho Wrist-to-Ring Bracelet
World Traveler Necklace
World Traveler Necklace
Cascading Gemstone Earrings
Cascading Gemstone Earrings
Gypsy Jewel Earrings
Gypsy Jewel Earrings
Azul Necklace
Azul Necklace
Summer Festival Earrings
Summer Festival Earrings
Bracelet of Bhutan
Bracelet of Bhutan
Neon Peyote Regaliz Bracelet
Neon Peyote Regaliz Bracelet
Noodle Bead Necklace in Turquoise
Noodle Bead Necklace in Turquoise
Eternal Globe Necklace
Eternal Globe Necklace
Mayan Revival Cuff in Coral and Hematite
Mayan Revival Cuff in Coral and Hematite