Rebecca’s Moulin Rouge Headdress!

sad diamonds

Photo Source: http://enchantedserenityperiodfilms.blogspot.com/2008/07/moulin-rouge.html

I always wanted to make the amazing headdress from the movie Moulin Rouge, but was hesitant because I had no idea where to start. Finally, after years of planning and dreaming, I cracked the code and was able to finish a piece I am really proud of!

The first step was to create the headdress foundation. I used a small Christmas wreath from a craft store and an existing wire frame work to start.

beginning materials

head bandI then made a foundation using a thick fabric called Buckram, layering strips of the material soaked in glue to build up the form on the wires. This was a great tip from my wonderful co-worker Gretchen! It was really one of the most important construction techniques I used. I am gratefully for the abundance of help I can find at Fusion Beads!

building foundationNow it was time for the fabric and the bead embellishment!

beading the spires

embellishingHere’s the final piece! I’m all set for the Fusion Beads Halloween costume competition this Friday!

finished

moulin rouge finalHappy Halloween – Rebecca
Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210I recently tried out the Vintaj OneStep Loop Plier, a tool that reduces the shaping and trimming of a simple loop into one single step, making the same size and shape of loop each time. While an experienced beader can make simple loops just as uniform as these pliers, this tool is perfect for mass producing simple loop bead dangles or links. You can use today’s tips to speed up your next big simple loop project!

Whether you use head pins or eye pins, you need to make sure that your wire tail is long enough to fit through the hole on the cutting arm of the tool. Using the hole keeps your wire steady as the tool works to shape it around the peg and helps ensure a better result.

Vintaj Looping Pliers remember to leave a tailA lot of my loops started out shaped like a letter P instead of a more desirable lollipop. You can easily change the angle of your loop by pushing your bead to the left while the loop is still on your pliers.

Vintaj Looping Pliers Adjusting your loopDon’t worry if the Loop Pliers aren’t closing your loops completely flush. Odds are you’ll open each loop again to attach it to something. You can adjust the loops when you close them later or slide them back in the Loop Pliers for an extra squeeze.

Sharp pulls might deform your wire, so if your loop gets stuck on the peg try wiggling it side to side, while gently pulling towards you. I’m making bead links for an opera length necklace and the using these Loop Pliers instead of round and chain nose pliers and a pair of cutters is reducing my production time by half!

Vintaj Looping Pliers Mass ProductionFind out more about how to use the Vintaj OneStep Loop Pliers in our step-by-step technique!

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen
Gretchen

 

 

 

Happy Hallow-Bling!

 

Crystal and Silver Pumpkins - Group As some of you may know, I love sparkle! I love crystals and glitter – anything sparkly. So, when my niece invited me to a pumpkin decorating party with the rest of the girls in the family, I knew exactly what I was going to use to decorate my pumpkins.

Pumpkin Party Essential Supplies

Pumpkin party essential supplies including wine.

First stop, the hardware store. I wanted to cover my pumpkins in silver glitter paint. But since pumpkins have that waxy element to their skin, I also needed a primer for my glitter paint to adhere to.

Then, I had to pick up some pumpkins. I love the little pumpkins that are short and squatty. I grabbed a few of those and a bigger pumpkin. Now, as an alternative to real pumpkins that won’t last through Thanksgiving, you can do this same project using plastic pumpkins from the craft store.

I completely covered my pumpkins in primer and let them dry. Then I went back with a good coat of silver glitter spray paint. This could have been fun with black glitter spray paint too. I had to wait for them to dry between coats. It was so hard to be so patient. But I was able to watch my creative family decorating all of their pumpkins. And of course I was able to have a glass of wine and some delicious snacks.

Primer Painted Pumpkins

One coat of primer spray paint.

Silver Glitter Spray Painted Pumpkins

One coat of silver glitter spray paint.

Check out how creative these girls are! I would never have thought to use wire on my pumpkin nor do I have the patience to paint little monsters all over my pumpkins.

Wired Pumpkin

Monster Pumpkin

My niece, Britney and her monster painted pumpkin.

Ok, once my paint was finally dry (or dry enough), I brought it inside and used my Crystal Katana, Swarovski crystal flat backs and E6000 glue to add even more sparkle! One by one I added my crystals. I’m in love with how they turned out. I wasn’t able to finish all of them this night. I thought I could finish all four pumpkins (I don’t know what I was thinking) but I was only able to finish 2 of the little ones.

Lindsay with Finished Mini Pumpkins

Crystal and Silver Pumpkins - Group

Crystal and Silver Pumpkins - Close UpGrab some friends and family and some pumpkins and start creating. You don’t have to just carve the pumpkins…add your personal touch.

Seahawks Pumpkin

Eva with her Seahawks 12th Man pumpkin. Go Hawks!

Black and Orange Glitter Pumpkin

Aunt Anne with her classy black and orange glitter pumpkin.

Wired Pumpkin

My niece, Laurissa with her creative and creepy wire smile pumpkin.

Sparkle!

– Lindsay
Lindsay

 

 

 

A Few of My Favorite Things

We have put up some fabulous new products and inspiration the past few months, and I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you all!

Golem BeadsI am in LOVE with the new Golem Design Studio Beads and Pendants we just launched! The colors are so vibrant and fun, and I am looking forward to incorporate them into some of my new designs! The larger holes make them ideal to string on leather and other cords. Be sure to check out the cute inspiration we made using this new artisan line!

Songbird bracelet

Since purple is one of my favorite colors, my next pick is the Songbird bracelet featuring fire polished glass beads and charms from the Amoracast Collection. I love the extra little touch that the sterling silver caged bird and sakura charms add to this piece!

kit 5Last but not least, check out our cute new FusionBeads.com® exclusive Holiday kits! The kits come with everything you need to make a fun and festive pair of earrings, including with step-by-step photo instructions. These would make great stocking stuffers, or you could make a pair for yourself to wear this Christmas! Choose from colorful Christmas Tree, Santa Claus or Angel earring designs!

Happy Beading! – Cody

Cody

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210

Sometimes you need to know both the inner and outer diameters of a jump ring to pick the right one for your project, especially if you’re working on chain maille! The Fusion Team works hard to make sure the inner and outer diameters of our jump rings are listed on the Product Detail pages of our website. But if you don’t know both diameters of your jump rings, you can use today’s trick to figure it out!
Jump Rings - 10.21.14 (1 of 1)

You’ll need to know one of the diameters of your jump ring and the gauge of the wire to do this trick. You can refer to the handy chart below to figure out what the gauge of your jump ring converts to in millimeters. Once you have these two numbers you’re ready to use a quick math formula!

To find the inner diameter, subtract the gauge of your jump ring in millimeters from the outer diameter of the ring. This new number is the inner diameter! For example, if I have a 5mm jump ring that is made of 20 gauge wire, I would look at the chart below to find out that 20 gauge wire is 0.8mm thick and subtract that from 5mm. The inner diameter of my jump ring is 4.2mm!

To find the outer diameter, add the gauge of your jump ring in millimeters to the inner diameter of the ring. This new number is the outer diameter! For example, if I have a 4mm jump ring that is made of 18 gauge wire, I again check my chart to find out that 18 gauge wire is 1mm thick and then add that to 4mm. The outer diameter of my jump ring is 5mm!

Approximate gauge to metric conversion:
12ga = 2.0mm 14ga = 1.6mm 16ga = 1.3mm 18ga = 1mm 20ga = 0.8mm
22ga = 0.6mm 24ga = 0.5mm 26ga = 0.4mm 28ga = 0.3mm 30ga = 0.25mm

You can find more helpful hints for working with jump rings and making chain maille in our Q&A!

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen

Gretchen

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210

As the holidays get closer and the days get shorter, I starting looking for ways to brighten up my projects with more sparkle! I’ve been working with our Metallic Soutache Cords this week noticed my needle was getting stuck every few stitches. You can use today’s tip to work around this problem and still have maximum shine in your projects!

Halloween Soutache

Your needle can get stuck when it bumps against a metallic fiber. These fibers are tougher than the usual cotton, nylon or rayon and your needle won’t pass through them easily. Plus piercing or breaking a metallic fiber can weaken the entire piece of stringing material and, in the case of soutache, cause it to unravel. Instead of muscling your way through, you can go around! Gently wiggle your needle in the cord until it bypasses that metallic fiber and sinks into a softer fiber, then push the needle through completely and continue working. You can repeat this as needed throughout your project.

Metallic Soutache Tip About Fraying

This tip works with any stringing material that has metallic fibers, like our Metallic Beading Thread and Metallic Vintage Hemp Twine. Other than beads, how do you like to add sparkle and shine to your jewelry?

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen
Gretchen