Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

This week I learned how to make a new finding – paddle head pins! It was a little tricky to get the hang of these, but they gave my necklace a totally different look. You can use today’s tips to get the best results with your paddle head pins!

Use paddle head pins in your next design

Using the right materials is often the key to a successful project. Paddle head pins are made by hammering one end of a wire into a flat, elongated shape. You need a solid wire, not one with a core or a coating on it, for this type of project. Hammering will crack a coating or wear down the outer plating of a wire to expose the core underneath. I used a 20 gauge copper wire for my necklace.

Use flush cutters to make a clean cut at the end of your wire. Straighten your wire out with nylon jaw pliers or by running it through your fingers a few times. A smooth flush cut and straight piece of wire means a better shaped paddle!

Draw your hammer towards you as you strike the wire. I think of my hammer strikes as moving up, forward, down, and back instead of up and down. This motion helps to smoothly taper the wire into a paddle shape instead of just flattening it. To get paddles of roughly the same length pause every few hammer strikes to check your size and shape. When your paddle is shaped the way you want file away any sharp edges and give it a quick rub down with a polishing cloth to remove any hammer marks.

I think paddle head pins are interesting enough to use on their own, but you can string them with beads like a regular head pin too. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can even stamp or texture the paddle!

You can see how our designers used paddle head pins with beads in our Peaceful Waters and Streamline Earrings.

Peaceful Waters Earrings

Streamline Earrings

How have you used paddle head pins in your jewelry?

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210Whether on clothing or jewelry or even a purse, I love the motion of tassels and how they feel when you wear them. I especially love how quick they are to put together and that you can make them out of everything from thread and cotton cord to leather and chain. Today you can use my tip to dress up your next handmade tassels with bead cones!

I picked two colors of Pearl Cotton and followed our technique to make my tassel. Then I used our Multi-strand Piece with Cones technique to finish it off with one of my favorite bead cones and a wire wrapped loop.

check your tassel size in your coneTesting your tassel wraps inside the bead cone lets you know if you’re spot on or need to make adjustments to the thickness. My bundle of wraps was a little too large, so I undid a few and rechecked the size again. Then I finished making the tassel, tying it at the top, bundling it together, and trimming the ends. I bundled my tassel together very close to its top so the wraps would be covered by my cone.

get ready to put the cone on your tasselI followed the path of the 2 inch piece of thread I added in Step 6 of the tassel technique with a 3 inch piece of 22 gauge wire. I brought the wire through the top loops of the tassel, pulled it snug, and made a wire wrapped loop.

wire wrap the top of your tasselThen I threaded my cone on to the tail of the wire and fit it down snugly on top of the tassel. I made another wire wrapped loop at the top of the cone and voila – a trendy tassel necklace in no time at all!

easy tassel necklaceCheck out our Tassel Time Earrings for another quick tassel project!

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




Tuesday Tips and Tricks!


Hammered and stamped jewelry is definitely on trend, but can be hard on your work surface, as well as your ears. I feel bad for my neighbors every time I have a stamping project and have ruined more than one desk by driving the corner of my bench block into the wood. Fortunately you can use today’s tip to have a better hammering experience!

Use a sand bag with your bench block

A hard, direct hammer strike can make your whole bench block jump, skewing your aim and even damaging your work surface. The simplest fix is to place a pad between your block and your surface. A good pad prevents slippage by gripping both your work surface and bench block. It also muffles the sound of your strikes and helps reduce the vibrations that can make hammering uncomfortable. You can try padding your block with thick fabric or rubber pads, but the best solution I’ve found is a sandbag! Leather sandbags have great grip and density, and are sturdy enough to last through years of projects.

What have you been hammering lately?

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




Crazy About Nunn Design Giveaway!

This Giveaway has ended! Congratulations to our lucky winner – Linda T.!!
Nunn GiveawayWe have an amazing selection of Nunn Design pendants, components, ring bases, earring forms, toggle clasps and more worth over $100 to giveaway to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is LIKE and SHARE our Crazy About Nunn Design Giveaway post on Facebook and you will automatically be entered for your chance to win! All detailed contest rules are on our website. Giveaway ends March 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm PST!

One lucky winner will be selected and notified on or around March 18, 2015!

Good Luck and Happy Beading!


Bling Wrapped Hammered Ring By Becky Nunn!

Need a little bling on your finger? Check out this irresistible new ring design by Becky Nunn, the founder of Nunn Design! It’s so easy to dress up our gorgeous new Nunn Design hammered pewter rings with sparkling Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Chain! Follow our step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to make this stunning piece, or download the instruction pdf!

Take a look at our incredible Nunn Design collection for more amazing products, as well as the newest Nunn Design items and free inspiration jewelry designs featuring this fabulous brand!

Nunn Design Hammered Ring in sizes 6, 7 or 8
Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Chain
1 foot of 22-gauge wire


Cutting the Rhinestone Chain
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Decide on the number of rhinestone “blings” you would like your ring to have. For this tutorial, I used 5 rhinestone cups of the 3mm Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone chain. Feel free to experiment with many different sizes of Rhinestone chain and various quantities of rhinestone cups. It is fun to have a variety of rings with each ring being different. Maybe it is time to embrace your inner bohemian (I know it can be a stretch for some of us!).

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Rhinestone Chain is connected with retractable links. When cutting the chain, be sure to cut as close to the rhinestone cups as possible. Otherwise, you could leave a piece of the retractable metal that will slip in and out of the cup chain.

Wrapping the Rhinestone Chain to the Nunn Design Hammered Ring

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The Nunn Design Hammered Rings are marked with the size on the inside of the ring shank. You will want to wire wrap your chain to the opposite side of the ring shank, allowing the mark to remain visible.

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Now it is time to start wrapping your Rhinestone Chain to the Hammered Ring. It can feel a bit clumsy at first as the chain can slip this way and that way. The trickiest step is making that first loop with the wire to secure the chain into position on the ring. Create a loop with the wire, almost like you are going to tie a knot, but don’t. This will secure the chain onto the ring and make the wrapping easier. Between each of the rhinestone cups, wrap the 22-gauge wire around the Rhinestone Chain and the Hammered Ring three times. With each wrap, make sure to pull the wire tight. After the third wrap, move the wire to the next gap of rhinestone cups.

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After wrapping the wire 3 times around the chain and ring, use your cutters to cut the excess wire from the beginning of your wrap. I like to have the wire lie right in the middle of the ring width so I can tuck it down between the cups and not have it snag on anything. Use your needle nose pliers to flatten the wire between the chain cups.

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Continue to wire wrap your remaining bits of Rhinestone Chain. When you arrive at the end, you will repeat Step 5.

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Here you go. Your Bling Wrapped Hammered Ring!

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Continue the fun with other simple wrapped rings!
The more the better! Enjoy!

Lotus Charm Bracelet By Becky Nunn!

Get ready for spring with marvelous new jewelry! We’re thrilled to unveil three exclusive new designs by Becky Nunn, the creative genius behind Nunn Design, right here on our blog for you! Beautiful Nunn Design pewter and brass pieces pair up with radiant Swarovski Crystals to create irresistible jewelry that you’ll want to wear all year round! Follow our step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to make this stunning piece, download the instruction pdf here, or click over to our Inspiration Gallery for instructions! (Don’t forget to check out the other two designs: Bling Channel Earrings and Flower Blossom Necklace!)


Supplies Needed:
PE3567 – 1 piece 23.3mm Antique Silver Plated Pewter Contemporary Toggle Clasp by Nunn Design
PE3543 – 1 piece 23.5x20mm Antique Silver Plated Pewter Small Round Lotus Charm by Nunn Design
PE3552 – 1 piece 12.5mm Antique Silver Plated Pewter Mini Hammered Heart Stamping Pendant by Nunn Design
PE3549 – 3 pieces 12.7×12.3mm Antique Silver Plated Pewter Mini Hammered Circle Stamping Pendant by Nunn Design
PE3555 – 4 pieces 20.5mm Antique Silver Plated Pewter Small Hammered Circle Stamping Pendant by Nunn Design
BM3326 – 17 pieces 6mm Antique Silver Plated Brass 16 Gauge Textured Open Jump Rings
BM3330 – 4 pieces 9mm Antique Silver Plated Brass 16 Gauge Textured Open Jump Rings
SS2501 – 13 pieces 22 Gauge Sterling Silver 2” Head Pins
PL5001 – 13 pieces 5810 4mm Cream Swarovski Crystal Pearl Beads

Tools Needed:
TL2254 – 1 Pair of 5.5 inch Maxi Shear Flush Cutter
TL0103 – 2 Pair of 5 inch Basic Flat Nose Pliers
TL1932 – 1 pair of 1.8mm Metal Hole Punch Pliers
A Sharpie Marker

Add An Additional Hole to the Round Tags
step 1

In order to link the Round Tags together, we will need to create a second hole in the tags. Using the Sharpie Marker, create an additional dot directly across from the current hole and the same distance in from the edge.

step 2

Pewter is a very soft metal and can mar easily from the Metal Hole Punch tool. I like to create a barrier with a piece of card stock prior to punching the holes. However, it can be difficult see the Sharpie marks once the card stock barrier is in place, so before using the card stock, create a small indentation on the metal tag over the Sharpie marks using the 1.8mm Metal Hole Punch Pliers. Gently create a small divot, avoid punching all the way through

step 3

Tear off a small piece of card stock and punch your 1.8 Metal Hole Punch with it. This will be the used as the barrier mentioned in step 2
See what I’m talking about, now it is hard to see those little Sharpie marks with that card stock in the way. Feel your way for the small divot you made in step with your Metal Hole Punch. Once you can feel the metal hole punch line up in the divot, punch your hole all the way through.

step 4

Repeat Step 3 for 4 of the Large Round Tags and 2 of the Small Round Tags

Creating the Pearl Dangles
step 5

Thread a 4mm Cream Swarovski Crystal Pearl Beads onto a 22 Gauge Sterling Silver 2” Head Pins. Eyeball about ½” from the top of the Pearl Bead and trim off the excess using your Maxi Shear Flush Cutters. Repeat for all 13 head pins and Pearl Beads.

step 6

Using your Basic Flat Nose Pliers (if you had a set of needle nose pliers, it might be easier, but I use my Flat Noses all the time to create loops) start to bend the ½” of exposed head pin creating a loop.

Assembling the Charm Bracelet
step 7

Now it is time to start putting the whole little beauty together! This is what your stash should look like prior to assembling!

step 8

Use your 2 Pairs of Basic Flat Nose Pliers to open the 9mm Antique Silver Plated Brass 16 Gauge Textured Open Jump Rings. Thread on three pearl head pins from Step 6 and close the jump ring.

step 9

Using the finished jewelry image as your guide, start to attach all of the Round Tags with the 6mm Antique Silver Plated Brass 16 Gauge Textured Open Jump Rings.

step 10

STEP 10:
The only other assembly steps remaining are to create your Heart Dangle centerpiece and attach the Lotus Charm to the Contemporary Ring. Do this by opening a jump ring and attaching one pearl head pin along with a small heart tag. Complete by opening a jump ring and attaching the lotus charm to your toggle ring.

step 11

STEP 11:
There you have it! A bit of metal hole punching. A little wire bending. A couple jump rings being opened and closed. Now, wasn’t that totally doable?