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!

Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Open Jump rings are a staple in jewelry making. Though they are one of the most commonly used components, many beaders still find it challenging to select the right size for their needs. Today, we are going to briefly discuss how to select the right jump ring to use in a charm bracelet.

I recommend just three simple guidelines to keep in mind:

First, know your charm’s measurements. For any jump ring to work it requires enough room to move freely within the charm’s loop. Make sure to note the inner diameter /hole size of a charm’s loop so you will know exactly how much clearance you have to work with. You can find this information under Hole Size in the product details section. Simply select the charm’s color and/or size you will see its measurements appear. You can see an example below on the Pewter Spiral Butterfly Charm by TierraCast®.

Secondly, consider what wire gauge will work best. Charm bracelets take a lot of abuse during wear. It is important to select strong jump rings so your charms won’t accidentally fall off the chain. For most projects an 18 gauge or 20 gauge jump ring will work fine. An 18 gauge wire measures 1mm and a 20 gauge wire measures 0.8mm so select whatever one will fit best in the charm’s loop. Remember, your jump rings need to move without restriction so select a jump ring that will fit with room to spare.

Lastly, think about scale. Select a jump ring that will look size-appropriate with your charms. To achieve a nice visual balance you will want a jump ring that is not too over powering, nor too delicate to coordinate with your charms. A 5mm or 6mm jump ring is a good average size to use. A great illustration of scale put to use can be seen in our Lucky Charm bracelet below.

The well-matched jump rings look visually in tune with the rest of the piece but they are also strong enough to do their job effectively.

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca

 

Swarovski Spring/Summer 2018 Innovations!

Launched in two tones, the new Swarovski Crystal Iridescent Dark Blue and Light Blue pearls reflect the demand for companionship and togetherness. These timeless shades are suitable for all seasons and fit well with romantic and modern looks! It’s the perfect extension of the successful Swarovski Crystal Iridescent Pearl Effect line.As we seek intense sensory experiences due to the collide of the virtual and offline world, the new range of Shiny LacquerPRO effects updates classic summer tones with a hyper-real edge for summer styles with bold expression. The classic new Azure Blue, Mint Green, Peony Pink, Light Coral, and Summer Blue are harmonized to allow for combinations within the Swarovski Crystal Shiny LacquerPRO family!With its romantic and vintage feel, the new Swarovski Crystal Baroque Bead pays homage to the grandeur and beauty of history in radiant crystal detailing. Its subtle asymmetrical outer shape perfectly complements and goes with the popular Baroque pendant.

Cody, one of our talented jewelry designers, made some pretty amazing pieces to inspire you! We love how they turned out and can’t wait to come up with even more fun projects with these stunning new beads and stones!

Blue My Mind Bracelet

Pastel Shimmer Bracelet

Crystal Wrap Earrings

Rose Baroque Earrings

What are you most excited about from the new Swarovski Spring/Summer 2018 Innovations launch? Share with us in the comments below.

Happy Beading – Allie

 

 

 

 

 

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge – 2017

Calling all beaders! You’re invited to join us for a March full of fun and inspiring daily challenges! As you complete your designs, you’re encouraged to share pictures of your finished pieces on our Facebook Timeline! Our Creative Team members will be participating as well, so check back often to see what we’ve posted!

Download a PDF calendar of the challenges here and hang it on your wall at home! We hope you will join us in this year’s 30 Day Bead Challenge!

Here we go! Kick off this challenge by making a fun pair of earrings that showcases your unique style!

March 1, 2017

Here we go! Kick off this challenge by making a fun pair of earrings that showcases your unique style! Use bead weaving, stringing, wire working or whatever techniques you wish. Check out our Technique tutorials if you need to fine-tune any of these skills, or jump start your creativity by visiting our Earrings Inspiration page. Then share a photo of your finished earrings with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Dig out your stash of stones and design a piece that highlights their natural beauty!

March 2, 2017

Dig out your stash of stones and design a piece that highlights their natural beauty! Consider using stones with special meaning to you, like birthstones or stones with spiritual properties. Need more stones? Shop for them here. And don’t forget to share your stone styles on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Dazzle us with a design that features Swarovski crystals or pearls in your favorite color!

March 3, 2017

Dazzle us with a design that features Swarovski crystals or pearls in your favorite color! Create a timeless adornment with bicones, rounds, rondelles, stones, or crystal pearls—we have all these shapes and more here if you need to supplement your own Swarovski supply. Share your sparkle with the Fusion community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Make a charming bracelet or necklace with an assortment of meaningful charms or pendants from your stash or buy some here.

March 4, 2017

Make a charming bracelet or necklace with an assortment of meaningful charms or pendants from your stash or buy some here. Don’t be afraid to mix and match—maybe use charms in different metal finishes or sizes, or combine metal charms with crystal or beaded charms. The end result is successful only if is special to you! Share your creations on social media – tag with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers.

Czech it out! Try beading with 2-hole CzechMates beads! We have free patterns here, or create your own!

March 5, 2017

Czech it out! Try beading with 2-hole CzechMates beads! If you haven’t played with these incredibly versatile beads by now, it’s about time you try! Get inspired by our free CzechMates patterns here, or create your own! Once you’ve worked up your masterpiece, share pics with the Fusion community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Chase those blues away and make an accessory to wear with your favorite denim blue jeans!

March 6, 2017

Chase those blues away and make an accessory to wear with your favorite blue jeans! You sport your go-to denims all the time, isn’t it fitting that you should have a coordinating necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings that is just as versatile, reliable, loved? Show everyone what you come up with by sharing pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Get your hands on a loom and weave something wonderful with Delica seed beads!

March 7, 2017

Get your hands on a loom and weave something wonderful with Delica seed beads! It’s no secret that loomworked jewelry is making a huge comeback. Try your hand and see why! We have several looms for sale in our shop if you get hooked on weaving, plus plenty of Delicas to choose from. When you’re done, share your piece on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Today’s the day to make a thoughtful jewelry gift for someone special in your life!

March 8, 2017

Today’s the day to make a thoughtful jewelry gift for someone special in your life! Maybe a friend’s birthday is coming up. Or maybe it’s time to get started on a Mother’s Day surprise. Or perhaps you know someone who is need of a gesture of kindness. Whatever the reason, it always feels good to make jewelry to give away. Please share your creations with the Fusion community on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Fashion an on-trend jewelry creation using fringe, tassels or pompoms! We have Bead Fringe tutorials you might find useful.

March 9, 2017

Fashion an on-trend jewelry creation using fringe, tassels or pompoms! Imagine how much more fun your jewelry could be with a little extra embellishment! We have a tassel tutorial on our site that you might find useful. And fringe, of course, can be easily made with beads, pieces of leather or even spiky charms. Bring on the flair, then share your piece on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Enhance your accessory collection with a matching set of jewelry pieces!

March 10, 2017

Enhance your accessory collection with a matching set of jewelry pieces! You’ll look very “put together” when wearing a thoughtfully crafted set—earrings and bracelet, bracelet and necklace, ring and bracelet, or any combo! Pair them up, snap a pic and flaunt your style on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Have some weekend fun! Invite some beading buddies over to bead with you!

March 11, 2017

Have some weekend fun! Invite some beading buddies over to bead with you! Pop open a bottle of good wine, order a pizza, turn on some good tunes and enjoy doing your favorite hobby with your favorite people. Snap some pics of the party and share with the Fusion community on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Mix things up! Use stamping techniques or mixed media in today’s design! Visit our Metal Stamping and Mixed Media and Resin Techniques pages to brush up on your skills.

March 12, 2017

Mix things up! Use stamping techniques or mixed media in today’s design! This could be as simple as stamping an inspirational quote on a charm or creating a custom ring with glittering rhinestones and jewelry clay. Visit our Metal Stamping and Mixed Media and Resin Techniques pages to brush up on your skills, then share what you’ve done on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Time to learn or practice right-angle weave! Let’s see what you can do with this stitch! If you need help, visit our Right Angle Weave Stitch Techniques page.

March 13, 2017

Time to learn or practice right-angle weave! We feel so strongly that this technique should be in everyone’s beading repertoire that we’re challenging you to at least try it. After all, those who go RAW don’t turn back! Let’s see what you can do with this stitch. If you need help, visit our Right Angle Weave Stitch Techniques page. And don’t forget to share your jewelry pics on social media with the Fusion community using the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Design a long layered necklace, every wardrobe’s must-have accessory!

March 14, 2017

Design a long layered necklace, every wardrobe’s must-have accessory! It can be dainty and subtly enhance your outfit, or it can be a bold statement piece that defines your look. Don’t forget to share your jewelry pics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Bust out a brilliant jewelry design using your bicone crystals! If you're running low, we've got tons to choose from here.

March 15, 2017

Bust out a brilliant jewelry design using your bicone crystals! There’s a reason bicones are the most popular bead style of Swarovski crystal: they’re gorgeous and work in so many design applications. If you’re running low, we’ve got tons to choose from here. Bare your bicone bling on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and inspire our community of makers!

Rediscover a fabulous finding – design a piece using bead caps! Take a look at the huge assortment in our shop.

March 16, 2017

Rediscover a fabulous finding – design a piece using bead caps! We love how a bead cap placed on each side of a bead can instantly create a more polished look, and we’re equally thrilled to see innovative uses for caps, such as tops for tassels. Take a look at the huge assortment on our site. When you’ve finished your capped creation, share it on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Celebrate St. Patty’s day by designing with the year’s hottest Pantone color, Greenery!

March 17, 2017

Celebrate St. Patty’s day by designing with the year’s hottest Pantone color, Greenery! Create a necklace, bracelet, earrings, ring or pin composed of beads in this fresh shade of green and, who knows, a little bit of luck might just come your way! Don’t forget to share your green masterpieces on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Don’t forget to incorporate memory wire into today’s jewelry design! You can buy some here.

March 18, 2017

Don’t forget to incorporate memory wire into today’s jewelry design! Memory wire—available in both bracelet and necklace sizes here—is the simplest way to create cute jewelry in an instant. Just string beads, finish with memory wire end caps, and wear! And share a pic of your piece with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Time for spring cleaning! Organize your beading studio or table! If you need help, check out our handy storage solutions.

March 19, 2017

Time for spring cleaning! Organize your beading studio or table! Sometimes a little reorg can spark your imagination and inspire new projects. If you need help collecting the clutter, check out our handy storage solutions. Snap a pic of your tidy space and inspire others in the Fusion community by sharing on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Stuck on what to make? Find a design in our Inspriation Projects that sparks your creativity!

March 20, 2017

Stuck on what to make? Find a design in our Inspiration Projects gallery that sparks your creativity! This gallery is sorted into various categories—by type, by technique, by theme—to help you zero in on the type of design you want to make. We’d love to see how you were inspired. Share your pieces with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Whip out your wire and wow us with a piece made with wraps, loops, whatever! Visit our Wire Working Techniques for helpful how-tos.

March 21, 2017

Whip out your wire and wow us with a piece made with wraps, loops, whatever! For helpful how-tos, you can visit our Wire Working Techniques. Everyone knows that wire working skills take your jewelry designs to a whole new level—show us where it’s taken you by sharing a pic on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Beat the cool-weather blues with a beach-themed necklace, bracelet or earrings!

March 22, 2017

Beat the cool-weather blues with a beach-themed necklace, bracelet or earrings! Call on shell pendants, ocean-hued crystals, mermaid charms (you get the drift) to create an ornament of escapism. Don’t forget to share your piece on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Explore color by using one of our Seed Bead Palettes (or your own) to guide your design. See our palettes here.

March 23, 2017

We want hue! Explore color by using one of our Seed Bead Palettes (or your own) to guide your design. Our palettes contain a hand-selected group of beads that harmonize well together and promise to work up into beautiful designs. Take your cue from these hues and show us what you come up with on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Enjoy this casual Friday by stringing a wear-anywhere piece of jewelry!

March 24, 2017

Enjoy this casual Friday by stringing a wear-anywhere piece of jewelry! Yes, stringing might be easy compared to other beading techniques, but the results can be anything but simplistic. Put your feet up, turn on a favorite movie, and get designing! Check out all of our various beading wire, perfect for stringing! Snap a pic and flaunt your style on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Bracelets look great when you stack several or wear one alone! Make a bracelet or two! Visit our Bracelets Inspiration gallery to get some ideas.

March 25, 2017

Make a bracelet or two! We’re still lovin the stacked bracelet trend, so we encourage you to make more, more, more! For an added challenge, try making coordinating bracelets with different techniques—like a bangle paired with a loomed cuff. Visit our Bracelets Inspiration gallery to get some ideas. Then share your wrist wear with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

Today is the day to learn that beading stitch you’ve always been meaning to try! Check out our Techniques tutorials for step-by-step guidance.

March 26, 2017

Today is the day to learn that beading stitch you’ve always been meaning to try! Piqued by peyote stitch? Haunted by herringbone stitch? Seduced by square stitch? Learn how to do these popular techniques and more on our Techniques tutorials page. And don’t forget to share your stitched masterpieces on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or Pinterest with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Design today’s piece around a cabochon or stone set in a Swarovski prong setting! Go here to see all the fabulous stones available, and here for the matching settings.

March 27, 2017

Design today’s piece around a cabochon or stone set in a Swarovski prong setting! We are so gaga over Swarovski’s brilliant collection of stones that we think they deserve a special shout out today. If you haven’t seen em, check out all the fabulous stones available here, and click here to see the matching settings. Now work your magic and share your jewelry pics on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

Bring on the sparkle by designing some jewelry with fire polished glass beads! You may want to supplement your own with sparklers from our shop.

March 28, 2017

Bring on the sparkle by designing some jewelry with fire polished glass beads! Czech fire polished beads come in such a stunning array of shapes, colors and finishes (see the proof on our site) that it won’t be at all challenging for our bead divas to whip up a glorious piece of jewelry! Flaunt your fire polished fashions on the socials using  #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

March 29, 2017

Punch out a pretty project using your favorite variation of peyote stitch! Flat, circular, tubular, even count, odd count—there are so many ways to make this popular stitch work for you. If you need help with peyote, reference our helpful Peyote Techniques information here. And don’t forget to share your peyote piece on social media with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT and join our community of makers!

March 30, 2017

Beader’s choice! See where inspiration guides you and make anything you want! That’s right, it’s free-for-all day. Maybe all these challenges have sparked an idea in your brain—follow it, give it life! We all want to see what you come up with. Share on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter with the tag #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

March 31, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE DONE! We hope you’ve enjoyed our daily challenges. We’ve certainly enjoyed seeing all the amazing jewelry you, our fabulous community of creators, has produced this month—simply stunning! If you haven’t posted pics of all your pieces, remember to share with #MAKEITWEARITSHAREIT

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Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Slide End Tubes provide a clean and simple way to finish off woven seed bead projects. These findings work wonderfully but there is a bit of a trick to use them. This finding is specially made to work with certain types of stitches so the orientation of your beads is very important. A slide tube clasp works by slipping over a straight line of beads. The tube is then compressed down so the edges come to rest in the row between two columns of seed beads. This finding works beautifully with straight stitches like in loom, ladder or square stitch. This finding will not fit on peyote stitch due to the irregular edge of the beads.

Now we know how the slide tube works let’s take a look some of examples of it in action. The slide end tubes are perfect for ending a loom piece. A great example of this application can be found in our Beauty in Blue Inspiration Project. Since the width of the weave is short a slide end tube with one loop is all that is needed to provide a balanced and elegant finish to the bracelet.

For wide pieces the Base Metal 2 Strand Slide End Tube by Miyuki is the best finding to use. This slide tube is available in the 35mm and 60mm so it is will fit on a large piece. It uses two loops positioned near the end of the finding to ensure stability and prevents the edges of your bracelet from flopping over.

The 2 strand slide is not limited to just bracelets though. We used this finding to create a truly beautiful necklace in our Deco Delight Inspiration Project. To create this look the designer used the loops like bails. A delicate chain was strung through the loops to transforms this loom piece into a glorious pendant.

Happy Tuesday – Rebecca