Friday

TUTORIAL: TUBE EARRINGS




I picked up these fantastic tube beads mostly to make necklaces, but I think they also make a terrific statement earring.





I used wire because I don't have headpins long enough to run through the length of the bead. (Hence the charm at the end also.) If you have headpins that are long enough, you can easily do this anthropolgie styled earring.





First, I slid a bead onto the wire, leaving room on each side for loops. I snipped the wire.





I made my loops on either side. Here is my design. Attach your charms and your hooks and then you're done!





Wednesday

JEWELRY BASICS: TOOLS AND MATERIALS

Years ago I wrote a Jewelry Basics Tutorial. I wanted to put together another basics tutorial--but on materials and tools.

It doesn't take much to start making your own jewelry (or more specifically, earrings). It's the options afterward that are endless. I started with a little kit which slowly over years expanded into a collection that is in no way portable.

These are the bare bones basics. Even if you don't want to start making your own earrings, these will be nice to have if you want to do any repairs.


TOOLS

There are many, I only use two.




I've found for my style of jewelry, these two are the only ones I need. 
  • Round nose pliers so that I can make my loops and close my jump rings
  • Cutters to snip wire & too long pins

Of course, there are specialty tools such as crimp pliers, etc. But for what I do, these are all I need.




MATERIALS

  • I prefer ball headpins in different lengths.
  • I use wire to wrap: make my own eye pins.
  • Earring hooks: I love this shape, I also have studs I use frequently.



  • If you work strictly with beads, you won't need chain. I use chain frequently, so I'm adding it as a basics must.
  • Again, if you work strictly with beads then you might not need jump rings. I use them all the time, especially to add on charms and to connect other pieces together.


BEADS. BEADS AND MORE BEADS.

My favorite part. This is where I go a little crazy, this is where the options are endless. Of course, it took me years to get to where I am 'collection' wise in terms of beads.

But that's about it. If you're trying jewelry-making out, it doesn't have to hurt your wallet. 

You can always take apart jewelry you already have and then run to the craft store for anything you're missing. Use Michael's coupons for the tools/headpins/jumprings. I'm an avid thrifter in general, and I always peruse the jewelry to see if there are any chains/beads I like. 

Creating gives me great joy, I hope this helps you find the same.

Good luck.

- Alyssa

UPDATES

Hi everyone!

I have a couple updates in my little jewelry world I wanted to share.
  1. I'm vending for the first time ever! This Saturday, December 17 at Porta Jersey City , 11AM-4PM at their holiday pop-up market. I'm both excited and terrified. Does anyone have any booth or fair tips to share?
  2. In preparation for the pop-up, I finally got a taxID number, which granted me access to the most fabulous supply warehouse in NYC. I'm going to dedicate a whole post to the place, because it's just that fantastic. So far, I've bought 19lbs of supplies. Nine, freaking, teen.
  3. Many, many hours are being spent making new earrings! I work full-time, so I've been dedicating my evenings under a lamp. Tutorials to come!




- Alyssa

An Open Invitation...

I don't get too personal on this blog. It's usually all earrings, all the time. My tutorial posts rarely have introductions. I'm quite terrible at this.

But I wanted to propose something, to gauge a bit of interest. 

I've recently returned to America from spending three months traveling in Korea. I left for a perfect storm of reasons--and while I was there, I discovered a community of amazing women that I am hungry to discover again.

None of my friends craft. I would love to find/create/carve a space for crafty ladies to meet up & shop for beads and bounce ideas and foster creativity and gush over instagram craft crushes.

If you're in the NYC area, and are interested, let me know. You can email me at hellowhimsyblog@gmail.com 

xo Alyssa

Monday

TUTORIAL: BEAD AND PARACORD BRACELETS

 




These bracelets are super simple to make.


MATERIALS NEEDED:



I'm using plastic beads because the holes are large enough to string paracord through. Instead of claw end clasps, you can also use round caps.

The charms are also just an extra touch for the ends and are totally optional!

Tool wise, you will need pliers and scissors.







First, trim your paracord. I snipped a piece just slightly larger than my wrist. The end clasps + chain length will also add length, so keep that in mind. I kept the piece a little longer because we will continuously have to trim it.



Add one of your end caps/claw ends. I pressed the claw onto the paracord. If you're using claw end clasps like me, you can slightly singe the cord ends for a tighter seal.


Start adding your beads!






This is what I mean by you will have to continuously trim. There will be fraying due to the beads, especially smaller ones and you will be left with fluff balls.








When you're done adding your beads, clamp on your other end.








Almost done!








Add a jumpring, then your clasps. I'm using a claw. If you want, add a charm to the chain.


 


All done!



  



  



 



Thanks for reading & happy making!





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