Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Making a memory wire bracelet is one of my favorite beading activities. I love how I can combine leftover beads from past projects together to make an eclectic, bohemian bracelet. There is literally no restrictions or rules when making a memory wire bracelet. It is a very versatile, fun and forgiving beading project. The only question most beaders have is, what size wire coil will fit my wrist best? Today I’ll discuss choosing the right size coil for your project.

Round memory wire is our most popular shape for bracelets. We offer four different size coils so everyone can find a size that will fit well and look great! Below is a little chart that shows the round bracelet memory wire we carry and the recommended wrist size for each.

Round Memory Wire

Our in-house designers prefer to use the 2.25-inch diameter for most of our memory wire Inspiration Projects. This size creates a bracelet with an 8-inch diameter so it will fit many different wrist sizes. For those that have small wrists, a 2-inch or 1.75-inch diameter may work better. Our Inspiration Project Coral Crush Bracelet uses a 1.75 coil and, as you can see from the pictures below, the bracelet is quite compact.One more important tip for sizing; If you plan to use large beads, the inner diameter of your finished bracelet will be smaller. In this circumstance, I recommended using a wire one size larger than usual to ensure the bracelet will fit comfortably on you.

If you need help making a memory wire bracelet, be sure to check out our detailed Finishing Memory Wire tutorial for step-by-step instructions!

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Wrapped cord bracelets continue to be an enduringly popular beading technique. The most common question we hear is what stringing material is best for a wrap cord bracelet? Today we are going to compare three commonly used threads and discuss how their unique characteristics function in a wrapped cord bracelet.

FireLine is one of the most popular stringing materials for bead weaving. Made from gel-spun polyethylene, this braided thread is extremely strong and abrasion resistant. It is the perfect choice when using crystals, gemstone or seed beads that have sharp edges. In our Teal Tourmaline Bracelet the design uses bugle seed beads, which are known to shred nylon threads. FireLine, however, works beautifully with this type of sharp bead and provides plenty of reinforcement to the weave. Another beading thread to consider is Silamide. Made of 2-ply, twisted nylon, Silamide thread is pre-waxed, which helps a beader to maintain a nice tension while weaving. It also comes in a nice array of colors. In our Feeling Beachy Bracelet, the Silamide is used to provide even tension in the 2-hole Tila seed beads and to give a wonderful splash of aqua to the color palette.Superlon is another very popular beading thread for wrapped cord bracelets. This nylon thread is fray resistant and has very little stretch to help maintain consistent tension. Superlon has an impressive color selection so it is a great choice for adding vibrancy to your design.  As seen in our Cadmium Orange Bracelet, the Superlon’s bright color creates a striking contrast to the orange and gold, making the overall design pop!

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

For a whimsical touch try a tassel in your next jewelry project! Tassels can be made from many different materials such as thread, chain or leather, which makes them a fun and versatile addition to any design. Tassels are incredibly easy to make. You can either use your fingers to quickly make one or you can use the handy Tassel Maker tool. We have two excellent tutorials to help you with both techniques.

 Making A Tassel

Making a Tassel with the Tassel Maker Tool

When making a tassel with thread you can use Pearl Cotton, Nymo Nylon Thread or Superlon Beading Thread. Both the Superlon and the Nymo threads will provide a smooth texture to your tassel. The small diameters of the threads create a fine, silky and sleek tassel with no extra fluffiness. You can see a great example of this type of tassel in our Inspiration piece Tassel Time Earrings
If you want a fluffy, soft and textured tassel, go for the Pearl Cotton #8. Pearl Cotton has 2-plys twisted together so it has a pleasing spiral design on the thread, adding an intricate visual texture to your tassel. Since Pearl Cotton thread is thicker than both Nymo and Superlon, the finished tassel will have much more volume and body. You can see a great example of this type of tassel in our Inspiration piece Tree Trio BraceletIf you can’t get enough of tassels check out some of our previous blog posts for more wonderful information and tips!

http://fusionbeadsblog.com/2015/03/17/tuesday-tips-and-tricks-170/

http://fusionbeadsblog.com/2014/07/21/fantastic-tassels/

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

With so many similar products out in the bead world it’s sometimes hard to know which product will best suite your needs. Today we are going to discuss beading wire from two popular brands; Soft Flex and Beadalon. The charts below will make it a little easier to select the right beading wire for your project.

There are three important factors to consider when selecting your wire.

  1. Wire diameter: Select a wire that is the right diameter to fit through your beads. Beads with small holes, such as freshwater pearls or small gemstone beads, will only accommodate a small diameter wire.
  2. Strength: Wires with 19 strands or 49 strands are much stronger than wires with less. More strands make it possible for a wire to carry medium to heavy weight beads without breaking.
  3. Flexibility: A necklace using a flexible wire will have a pleasing curvature and drape to it. Flexible wires are less likely to kink or become damaged while in storage. Soft Flex is highly regarded for its superb flexibility.

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

I love making multi-strand bracelets, but sometimes I get a little restless using the same style clasp to complete my design. Luckily, TierraCast® has a brilliant line of findings that allow us beaders to switch it up a bit. The TeirraCast Slotted D Ring and Multi-Hole D Ring clasps provide a simple yet elegant way to finish a woven bracelet.

Many beaders are unsure what type of finding is best to finish a flat peyote or loom woven bracelet. The Slotted D Ring is a great option for these weaves.

Let’s take a closer look at how it is used. Simply wrap the end of the beadwork through and over the elongated slot opening. Then weave the bracelet end to the underside of the bracelet to secure. We have wonderful step-by-step instructions in our Loom Clasp- Option 2 tutorial that will guide you through the entire process. You can see a great example of this clasp used in our Inspiration Project the Candy Cane Boulevard bracelet. 

Let’s now take a closer look at another version of the D Ring. A Multi-Hole D Ring is specifically made for 3 or 5 stand bracelets, however, it too can be used for woven pieces, too. This clasp is particularly handy when wrapping up a flat square stitch piece. Square stitch creates parallel seed bead columns that happen to perfectly line up with the holes in the Multi-Hole D Ring. Simply weave the working thread from each bead column to a corresponding hole in the D ring to secure. Our Inspiration Project Eggplant Delight bracelet illustrates this finishing technique beautifully.

I think you will find these clever clasps from TeirraCast are just the ticket to accomplish a professional and polished finish to your bracelets.

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca

Our 2017 Hearts For Heifer Charity Drive Results Are In!

We want to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of our kind and generous customers for their support in our yearly Hearts for Heifer Charity Drive! We sold 1390 Nunn Design pewter heart charms, which means that we were able to use that $1,390 to purchase 2 cows, 1 water buffalo and 1 llama for Heifer International! These wonderful gifts will help families improve their nutrition and generate income for them as well. Another great part of the program is that every family and community that receives an animal and training promises to repay their living loan by donating one or more of their animal’s offspring to another family that is in need. We greatly appreciate your support for this amazing program!

 

Thank you from all of us at Fusion Beads!