Beading Table Wednesday: October 7, 2015

We swear we didn’t plan it, but you might notice a color theme running across our desks this brisk Wednesday. Here’s a look at what we’ve been working on:



Today I am working on a new color variation of one of our popular designs, The Madison Bracelet — this time featuring the newest color of Swarovski pearl, Scarabaeus Green. I wanted to create the perfect accessory for that little black holiday dress by giving it some color and glamour with a touch of Swarovski crystal pearls.




Maybe it’s the changing weather, but I already have the holiday season on the brain. These gemstone chip beads, especially the deep green, chunky malachite, remind me in texture of a Christmas tree. I’m thinking of pairing these with some of our message beads and alphabet beads for a personalized holiday jewelry piece.


My desk is full of bright green peridot gemstones! Not too shabby for a chilly (yet lovely) Wednesday morning. Here is a sneak peek at a luxurious stringing project in the works — stay tuned for the project tutorial, coming soon!



Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.18.22 AMEvery October we commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an international effort to raise awareness and funds to research and find a cure for breast cancer. A great way to show our support for loved ones and women around the world struggling with breast cancer is by wearing the color pink or sporting a pink ribbon — the symbol of solidarity for the cause. So check out our inspiration page of breast cancer awareness projects featuring a selection of pretty earring, bracelet and necklace ideas to get you started.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.11.11 AMIn terms of quick and easy projects, it doesn’t get much simpler than the Support for a Cure Necklace, pictured above, which features an enamel pink ribbon charm on a finished chain necklace. Or you can get in on the trendy expandable charm bangle look with the Hope for a Cure Bangle Set, shown right, bearing a “hope” message and a TierraCast Swarovski crystal charm. Ceramic ribbon beads adorn the Pink Ribbon Earrings, accented by Czech glass rounds, while the elegant For Hope Earrings feature a single Swarovski crystal suspended in a ribbon-shaped bail.

We have plenty other awareness-themed projects on our site, too. How will you show your support this month? Here’s to hope!

Back to Basics: Understanding Wire Gauges

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We’ve come to the end of this month’s Back to Basics series, teaching you basic beading techniques it’s never too late to brush up on, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been making jewelry for a long time. For our last installment, we’ll be looking at wire gauges and what they mean — precious knowledge any jewelry maker should keep on file!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.18.33 AMIf you’ve ever shopped for wire, you’ve seen that it comes in a range of gauges, with different thicknesses suited to different types of projects. But it can be hard to figure out exactly with gauge to buy for a given project. That’s why we created our helpful wire gauge guide, which explains the common uses of different wires and also lists the diameter of each gauge — great for when you want to string beads on wire, for example, and need to calculate which size wire will fit through the holes. Hope this helps, and let us know if you have any questions!

Beading Table Wednesday: September 30, 2015


John Bead designer Fernando DaSilva with the Beadaholique design team!

It’s a special Wednesday here at Beadaholique, because we’ve just hosted a fabulous guest designer — John Bead designer extraordinaire Fernando DaSilva!


Fernando stopped by to shoot a couple of fun instructional videos for us, including one featuring sparkling Dazzle It! resin sugar stones, and another with colorful components from the Dazzle It! Tropical Punch line.


Check back to catch Fernando’s larger-than-life personality and bold design sense on display in our tutorial video section soon!

Inspiration Monday: Autumn


It’s almost October, and fall is in the air. The weather is cooling (in some places, anyway!), the days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn. I always look forward to fall as a welcome break from the summer heat and an excuse to bust out my bevy of cute jackets. Another great way to celebrate is with some pretty, autumn-themed jewelry. And we have a whole page of fall projects to inspire you!

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.34.09 AMWhen it comes to fall accessories, there are a couple of themes you can play with. The first one is nature — a big source of seasonal inspiration because of the vibrant hues trees take on. If you’re looking for colorful, nature-reminiscent ideas, check out our Branching Out Earrings, featuring Nunn Design twig components and Czech lily petal beads in fall colors. The Autumn Garden Earrings also feature flora-inspired components in a darker, fall palette. And the Red Alder Necklace spotlights a large carnelian focal leaf in a rich seasonal hue.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.19.28 AMAnother way to go with fall jewelry is focusing on the upcoming holidays and festivals. The adorable Oktoberfest Earrings feature tiny ceramic pretzel and beer mug beads — perfect for a jaunt to the local pub for a stein. Or you can get a head start on your Thanksgiving planning with the cute Gobble Gobble Earrings. Who can resist those plump little turkeys?

Let us know what your favorite fall-themed accessories are in the comments!

Enter Your Jewelry in The Craftys Awards!

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Did you recently create a piece of jewelry that you feel deserves some recognition? Ever wonder how your crafting skills stack up against the competition? Now’s your chance to find out, by entering your work in The Craftys Awards. And we’ve got another juicy scoop for you: Beadaholique is an official sponsor of The Craftys this year, and our own president Sarah Diamond will sit on the judging panel!

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The Craftys launched just last year to celebrate the best of DIY crafting across the U.S. Entry categories include jewelry, knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, fashion, home décor and edible crafts. The Craftys are accepting new entries now through October 25th, and the awards will be streamed live from San Francisco on November 6th, hosted by PBS crafting guru Mark Montano (who teamed up with Beadaholique for several awesome DIY projects earlier this year!). The Craftys’ Best in Show winner will receive $1,000 and each category winner will receive $200 — nice prizes for doing what you love!

Crafters can enter their projects online, using The Craftys entry form. Fans can then vote for their favorite crafts through October 25th. Even craft enthusiasts have a chance to be recognized by The Craftys — an award will be given for the best DIY Pinterest board or Instagram account.

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We know you’ve got talent — we’ve seen your stunning jewelry pieces in our previous beading contests and admired all of your work! So give it a shot and enter your beaded and bejeweled creations in The Craftys. To learn more, visit, where you can ask any questions you might have. Best of luck!

Back to Basics: Size Your Jewelry Properly


When you’re just getting into jewelry-making — or even if you’ve been crafting for some time — one of the biggest challenges can be figuring out how to size your pieces. Then, once you have an idea of your target necklace or bracelet length, the next step is estimating how many beads you’ll need to complete the project. The answers to these questions can be easy to misjudge, leaving you without enough beads to finish your project, for example, or a bracelet that falls off of your wrist. Luckily, Beadaholique has handy reference guides to help you decide on a size and order the supplies you need to complete it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.14.26 PMFor bracelets and necklaces, there are several standard lengths to keep in mind to guide you as you go. Necklaces especially can have a lot of variation, as there are many different styles, each categorized by a different length. A choker, for instance, is usually 16 inches — but of course this measurement will vary based on the individual who is wearing it. Bookmark our reference guide on standard necklace and bracelet lengths as a starting point, and then you can adjust the numbers for tailor-made pieces. You can use a beading board or a bracelet mandrel to build your projects to the desired size.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.34.24 PMAfter you figure out how many inches your project will be, you’ll want to get an idea of how many beads you will need to finish it. There are few things more frustrating than ordering all of the supplies you think you need to make a piece of jewelry, and then running out of beads before you reach the end! So before you begin, check out our reference page on how to calculate the number of beads on a strand or project. These useful charts will help you translate bead size, usually written in millimeters, to inches, so you can ensure your projects aren’t a day late and a bead short.

Hope you’ve found this back to basics summary helpful. Let us know if there are any other basic jewelry skills you’d like to learn about!

New York Fashion Week: Our Favorite Looks for Fall

NYC Fashion Week fall tones

(Clockwise from Top Left) Two dresses from Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors, two gowns from Naeem Khan, Tory Burch

Last week saw the wrap of New York Fashion Week’s annual September shows, showcasing designers’ Spring 2016 collections. We still can’t wrap our minds around what to wear next spring when fall is just beginning, but we combed through hundreds of runway photos to bring you our favorite spring looks that can be worn right now, in the cool fall months. Why wait, when these styles shift so nicely between seasons? Read on for an overview of each look along with some beading inspiration as you plan out your autumn jewelry projects.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.11.27 AMFirst, it was hard not to notice the liberal peppering of runways with autumn leaf colors. The rich fall tones, shown above, remind me of crisp weather and brilliantly turning foliage. Planning on incorporating these warm hues into your wardrobe? You’ll need accessories to match! Check out our Amber Sun Earrings project, featuring Swarovski crystal pendants and Vintaj brass stampings. The Autumn Bloom Earrings are another fun and bright seasonal project, sure to echo your playful fall attire.

Marchesa collage

(L-R) Three gowns from Marchesa

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.56.01 AMNext, it was hard not to swoon when taking in Marchesa’s collection of opulent, glamorous gowns. I love the rich layers of tulle, embroidered lace and sequins, all wrapped up in fairytale designs befitting a modern princess. Some of the pieces in this season’s collection seem primed for midnight strolls beneath a chilly autumn sky. What better accessory to accompany such excursions than the sparkling Midnight Glam Necklace? Or if you’re in the mood to hearken back to a more romantic age, check out the Victorian Velvet Cuff.

Ralph Lauren collage

(L-R) Three Ralph Lauren looks

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.54.43 AMRalph Lauren’s collection also stuck out with its cool, classic look and clean, flowing lines. This season the designer focused his palette on navy, white and red, creating a nautical, very fresh theme. I know what you’re thinking: You can’t wear white after Labor Day! But fashion rules are changing, and I would cast my vote in favor of giving this old-fashioned custom the heave-ho. Then you could breeze through fall in complementary accessories including the tassel-adorned American Beauty Necklace, or the understated American Summer Necklace. Anchors aweigh!

Are there any fall styles you’re looking forward to? Let us know!

Back to Basics: Perfect Wire Loops

Wire loops

Sometimes the most common jewelry-making skills are the most difficult to master — we know how it is! That’s why this month, we’re examining basic jewelry techniques and demystifying them so you can strengthen your foundational skill set. Last week we took a closer look at crimping, and this week we’re tackling another sometimes-frustrating staple: making wire loops.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 3.54.06 PMThere are two varieties of wire loops you will often see in our free beading projects — simple wire loops and wrapped wire loops. These loops usually serve to connect wire components, such as attaching a head pin with beads on it to a chain, or finishing off an eye pin so it can easily attach to an earring finding. The difference between simple and wrapped is mainly decorative! For a video demonstration and stepped-out instructions, you can visit our Techniques and Guides pages on how to create a simple wire loop, and how to make a wrapped wire loop. Keep in mind that the right tools will make your wire work much easier! You’ll need chain nose pliers and round nose pliers to create wire loops (both on sale this week!). Another helpful option to consider is specialized wire-looping pliers, which streamline the looping process. You can watch our video showing how to use wire-looping pliers for an overview.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.25.10 AMIf you’re looking for wire-looping inspiration, check out some of our designer beading projects that use these techniques. The Golden Lotus Charm Bangle, shown right, uses simple and wrapped wire loops to attach the dangling beads. The turquoise nuggets dangling from the chain of the Wire Wrapped Dream Catcher Necklace, pictured above, hang from simple wire loops. The autumnal Red Alder Necklace features wrapped wire loops for small Czech glass berries, and also teaches you how to wire-wrap a briolette for the gemstone leaf pendant.

Come back next week for another back to basics look at a common, fundamental jewelry-making skill that deserves more time in the spotlight. Let us know if you have questions!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Using Rubber O-Rings in Chain Maille

Quick Tip O-Rings in Chain Maille

Chain maille is always popular as a jewelry-making technique — its elaborately woven jump rings create sleek and timeless designs that can be worn with just about anything. But did you know that you can use rubber o-rings to add a playful pop of color to your chain maille? Check out our quick tip video on ways to use rubber o-rings in chain maille for inspiration. Not only do these rings come in different sizes and colors, but they also add a bit of stretch to your chain maille, which makes sizing easier. Enjoy!