Monday, April 27, 2009

Creating an optical lens pendant

This is a project that I filmed for HGTV a couple of years ago. It was filmed in the heat of an early summer day, and didn't air until mid-December. It was a trip, I'll tell you that!


vintage optical test lens (to purchase lenses)
photo to use on pendant (original will not be harmed)
clear fixative spray (Krylon Clear Acrylic Spray)
chain tag
head pin
assorted beads
Golden’s Polymer Medium or Diamond Glaze
bail or jump ring

photo-editing software on computer (colored photocopies can be substituted)
1-1/2 inch hole punch
pliers: chain nose and round wire cutters

1. Scan and alter a photo using image software into a 1-1/2 inch square. Print out on quality white printer paper.

2. Spray lightly with fixative and let it dry.

3. Cut out picture with a 1-1/2 inch hole punch. Cut out a 1-1/2 inch-circle out of plain white paper too.

4. Pick beads that complement the colors in the picture and thread beads onto a headpin. Create a wrapped loop through the hole in the drop loop, and set it aside.

5. Apply a thin coating of polymer medium to the back of the optical test lens, brushing from the center outward to the rim. Quickly center and stick the picture down with the picture facing the glass, burnishing with your finger from the center outward to the rim.

6. Apply a thin coat of polymer medium to the back of the picture and stick the drop loop with the dangling beads in place at the bottom of the lens with only the hole hanging below the level of the rim.

7. Apply another thin coat of polymer medium and cover with the plain white paper circle. Let it dry and coat the back of this circle with a final thin layer of polymer medium.

8. Slide a bail or a jump ring through the hole in the top of the test lens handle.

9. Make a necklace out of matching beads and attach it to the bail or jump ring.

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick and Beadaholique
Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Making a Swarovski disc pendant necklace

 Copper Glow

With a gorgeous Swarovski disc as the centerpiece, this necklace combines bead weaving with basic stringing. All the bead supplies are available from

I found it easiest to create the bead woven bail first, and then to string up the necklace.

Copper tube with loop
Mixture of 11/0 and 8/0 seed beads in coppery and red colors
Nymo O, black
G-S Hypo tube cement
2 copper discs, 10mm
24" beading wire (SoftFlex)
Copper toggle clasp
2 crimps
2 copper crimp covers
20 copper rondelles, 6 mm
10 facetted glass rondelles, 8 mm
40 round glass beads, 11mm
Beading needles
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Measuring tape

1. Thread a long piece of Nymo O onto a beading needle, and pick up enough 11/0 seed beads to create a bail the length you want. Go through the loop on the tube and the Swarovski disc, and knot the thread well in the back. Glue the knot and clip ends after it dries.

2. Using the directions for the Spiral Stitch, add various colored and sized beads all around the inner core. Instead of adding core beads with each stitch, the 11/0 bead loop you created in step 1 will be the core. Stitch a couple of small seed bead loops to dangle the copper discs in the front as you work your way down the front.

3. Crimp the beading wire to one end of the toggle clasp. String enough beads to equal about half the desired necklace length. Take into account the length of the copper tube too.

4. String on the tube with the beaded bail and repeat the pattern for the other half of the necklace strap. Crimp the wire to the other end of the toggle clasp. Cover the crimps with copper crimp covers.

Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Creating a wire and ribbon necklace

Blue Bells has no clasp, so make sure that you string the necklace long enough to fit comfortably over your head. I used some terrific multi-colored ribbon-style yarn to make this necklace, but feel free to experiment with the fabulous array of fibers that are available these days!
Ribbon yarn
28 gauge wire
Czech crystals or other beads
Beading wire
2 crimps
2 dozen Indian bells
2 large-holed silver beads
Small beads, approximately 4 mm

Large crochet hook
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers

1. String 50 Czech crystals onto 28 gauge wire. I used dark blue. Leaving a 4 inch tail, crochet the wire together with multicolored flat ribbon "yarn". Slide a crystal into place every few stitches. I crocheted a long enough length to be able to fold it into quarters. Vary this section to suit yourself. When you've finished crocheting, leave another 4 inch tail.

2. Fold the long strand up and use the tails to wrap around and secure them together. Cut another piece of wire for the other end if needed. Twist the wire ends together so that you can hide them inside the beads in the next step.

3. Cut a piece of beading wire and crimp it around one end of the crocheted strands, close to the other wires. Slip 5 or 6 clapperless Indian bells over all the wires, followed by a large-holed silver bead and more bells. Clip all the wires except for the beading wire even with the top of the large-holed bead. Thread on more beads to create the back of your necklace.

4. When the necklace is the length you desire, reverse the process of burying the other wires and crimping the beading wire into place on the other side.

Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Basics: Information & tutorials to get you started

I spent some time looking back over the Jewelry & Beading blog, and I decided that it was way past time to update our list of all the posts that will give you the basic info you need to get started in beading and jewelry-making. Tammy Powley, who was the original editor of Jewelry & Beading, provided an absolute treasure trove of tutorials and information. I’ve attempted to pick up where Tammy left off and have added my own 2-cents worth. So that you don't have to bookmark it, you can always find this link in The Basics, listed in the sidebar.
Which kind of jewelry to start making
How to string gemstone and pearl jewelry
Determining hole and bead size
Making a wrapped wire loop
Getting started with making wire jewelry
Beading wire vs silver wire
Adding new jewelry methods - start simple
Considering your jewelry clasp
Jump ring problems
Do not fear your torch
Copper jewelry skills
Filing jewelry
A blank bead board
The Tri-Cord Knotter
Test drive your jewelry
Jewelry making safety tips
Free jewelry e-courses
Finding jewelry classes
Design school directory
Bombarded by beads
You need a lot of beads
Organizing your beads and jewelry making supplies
Jewelry tool reviews
25 DIY jewelry sites
My favorite jewelry forums
Bead embroidery techniques
The Library - the best beading and jewelry books
Making your own beads
Online color training and tools
Online jewelry design tools
Loom beadweaving
The best seed bead books
Wirework basics
The best of the basics online
Creativity online
Lampwork and hot glass forums
Metal clay resources
Suppliers to get you started
Spiral square stitch
Working with Copper Clay
An easy bead embroidery project
A freeform peyote beaded bead
Easy beaded flowers
Lizard barrettes
Polymer clay swirl necklace
Jewelry education
Know your jewelry terms

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