Fall Inspired Pearls and Leather

Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry in a magazine or catalog and thought, “Maybe I could make that”? We here at Legendary Beads think this all the time! There is a particularly beautiful design by Chan Luu that we’ve seen for hundreds of dollars, but we found a way to make something similar for only $8.

Pearls and Leather

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Spoon Pendant Tutorial

Spoon PendantSo much fun – so little time!  We decided to combine two sections into one this time with this easy and fun spoon to pendant tutorial (and before and after). We were at the flea market a while back and found this cute spoon. We weren’t exactly sure what we would do with it at the time but knew that it had to be bought. With a little bit of sawing, a little bit of soldering and a little bit of experimentation we came up with this cute new pendant. We also saved the part we cut off to use in later projects.

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Summer CZ Earring Tutorial

We think that Cubic Zirconia (CZ’s) have gotten a bad wrap.  Rather that looking at them as diamond wannabe’s, we think that they are stunning and reasonably priced gemstones that are super versatile and very elegant.  This simple tutorial uses Swarovski crystals and silver foxtail chain to turn CZ briolettes into awesome summer earrings.

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Cardigan Chains – Retro Chic


Well who’d a thunk it…cardigans are making a comeback.  We’re claiming it is part of the Mad Men Phenomenon – at any rate retro is back in a big way these days so grab your favorite cardigan and add a splash of your own style with just a few beads and a bit of chain.  We love it!

For a  quick how to check out this post by Little Tree Vintage

Cardigans are a staple in my Spring wardrobe. I own at least a dozen of them in all different colors. They are comfy, versatile, and perfect for making a sleeveless dress or tank more work-appropriate. I am going to show you how to make a sweater chain to dress up your favorite cardigan (plus it’ll keep your sweater from slipping off your shoulders). This is such a fun and easy project that you’ll want to make sweater chains for all of your cardigans.

Cardigans are a staple in my Spring wardrobe. I own at least a dozen of them in all different colors. They are comfy, versatile, and perfect for making a sleeveless dress or tank more work-appropriate. I am going to show you how to make a sweater chain to dress up your favorite cardigan (plus it’ll keep your sweater from slipping off your shoulders). This is such a fun and easy project that you’ll want to make sweater chains for all of your cardigans.

Your First Metalsmithing Project: Create Textured Copper Earrings

We found this project in an email from Jewelry Making Daily and think that it is a pretty great how to for beginning metalsmithers.  There are some parts at the end where you might find some tools that we do not have here in the store (ie: a flex shaft for drilling holes, or for polishing)  However, we find that, especially for beginners, you don’t always need all the fancy tools to complete a project.  A metal punch works perfectly fine for making holes in most projects and the beauty of working with copper is that you don’t necessarily need to polish it to a fine shine, making polishing material such as super fine sand paper and polishing cloth can do the trick.  Also copper tarnishes naturally so polishing may not even be an issue for you!  At any rate…we really do like this post!

 

 

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My first metalsmithing experience resulted in these handmade textured copper earrings. My friend and teacher, metalsmith Lexi Erickson, taught me how to saw and then set me loose, helping me quickly turn a piece of sheet metal into two pairs of one-of-a-kind earrings in just a few steps. (As a newbie, she wisely started me on less-expensive copper, but the same process can be applied to silver or other metals.)
Here’s how you can make your own handmade textured metal earrings:”

 

Tools and Materials:

20-gauge copper sheet metal
Sharpie marker
jeweler’s saw with 4/0 blades
bench pin sawing setup
medium tooth #2 file
textured hammers
sanding block
flex shaft with polishing wheel, drill bit
dapping set
hammer and awl or nail punch
burnishing tool
jewelry pliers
2 pairs of ear wires

Steps:

 

 

 

 

1. Draw or trace a circle on the sheet metal. Stay close to the edge to conserve the rest of the metal   for future projects.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Saw out the circle. Aim for a flowing, slowly bobbing, fluid stroke with a good rhythm for the most efficient sawing and to prevent breaking your saw blades.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pushing the file down and away from you, file the edges (in one direction only) to smooth them and to perfect the shape of the circle.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Use a straight edge to draw perpendicular cross lines on the circle. Saw along those lines to divide the disc into four pie-shaped pieces. Slow down a bit and be careful as you saw close to edges to avoid bending and warping the metal or breaking the saw blades as the pieces bob and bounce. Repeat Step 3 on the newly sawn straight edges to smooth and straighten any irregularities

 

 

 

 

 

5. Hammer the triangular pieces to add texture. Note that the more you hammer them, the more their triangular shape will stretch and distort a bit, so if you want their shape to keep its form, hammer conservatively.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Using a regular hammer and awl or nail punch, make the beginnings of a hole in the pointed top of each earring piece. Make it close enough to the tip to fit in the ear wire’s loop but not so close that it breaks or weakens the metal. Finish drilling the hole using a flex shaft outfitted with a drill bit. Tip: Do one hole completely and use it as a template to mark the other pieces in the same spot with the Sharpie marker.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Sand the drill holes and edges further with the sanding block. Place each piece in a dapping block and hammer it into a domed form.

 

 

 

 

 

8. Polish the surface to a high shine with a flex shaft and a polishing wheel.

 

 

 

 

9. Pressing firmly with the burnishing tool in a motion similar to that of peeling an apple, burnish the edges for a smooth, shining, well-finished edge. Open the loop on the ear wires with the jewelry pliers and attach the earring pieces to the wires.

Tutorial: Ballarina Necklace

We featured this necklace in a newsletter a while back and thought that it was too special to just let go of.  We used Swarovski crystals of both necklaces pictured here but one of the great things about this design is its versatility.  Pretty much any type of beads will work (even if they are quite a bit larger – you would just use less of them)  Or you can make a few in a couple of different colors.  Because C-Lon comes in so many  different shades it is easy to match with almost any bead color!

If you want to know more about knotting our knotting for beginners is coming up on March 5th!

 

Supplies:
10 x 6mm Bicones                hypocement
3 x 1.5 feet pieces C-Lon        1 clasp
2 clamshells                       knotting tweezers
6 inches of chain                4 4mm jump rings

Directions:
1.   Take the first piece of C-Lon and tie a knot about 3 inches from the end
2.   Add the first crystal
3.   Using your knotting tweezers, secure the first bead
4.   Tie your second knot (we did this about 2.5 inches from the first bead)
5.   Add your next bead and secure with the second knot using knotting tweezers.
6.   Repeat this step with two more beads.  We alternated between 2 and 2.5 inch spacing
to achieve a staggered effect.
7.    Lie the completed first strand and the second piece of C-Lon down next to each other
and figure out where you want to place the first bead on the second piece of C-Lon.
This will create the staggered effect that we want – tie your first knot.  (we tied this
knot at about 1/2 inch past the first bead on the completed strand)
8.   Add the first bead to this strand and using the knotting tweezers, secure the knot.
9.   Repeat this process to complete the second strand. staggering the beads as you like.
(We only used three crystals on this and the next strand.)
10.  Repeat this process for the third strand.
11.   Hold the all the ends of one side of all three strands and tie a knot about 1/2 inch
from the closest bead and do the same on the other end.
12.   Add beading glue (we recommend hypocement) to both knots and cut off the excess
13.   Cover your knots with clamshells and attach a jump ring to each clamshell.
14.   Attach a piece of chain to one of the jump rings and measure around your neck how
long you would like your necklace to be.  Cut your chain.
15.   Attach the end of chain you just cut to the second jump ring.
16.   Find the middle of the chain and cut it.  Attach a clasp using the two remaining
jump rings.
17.   Wear and love your new necklace!