Choosing colors is often the first step of starting a new project. Some of us have a signature color palette we prefer to work in, or a designer may have a particular person in mind if they’re making a commission or gift. On those occasions when you want to break out of your usual designs or have a bead hanging around in a unique color, try turning to a color wheel.Color wheels have been in use since the early 1700s and are now most frequently used by artists and designers as a guide for paint or other product selection. Most wheels start with the very basic primary colors of blue, red and yellow and then are divided up into the secondary colors of green, orange and violet, and every shade in between! You can use a color wheel to find two types of colors that work well together, harmonizing colors and complementary colors. Colors that harmonize are found near one another on the color wheel like aqua and blue. Complementary or contrasting colors, like purple and yellow, are found opposite each other on the color wheel.
I used the color wheel we have at FusionBeads.com to help me decide on these complimentary round Czech glass beads for my next colorful bracelet design.Swarovski also has a wonderful color wheel tool online called the Color Carousel. With one click and drag of your mouse, you can choose one of Swarovski’s signature colors and find out not only that shade’s harmonizing color, but also its complementary color. Swarovski’s color palette is so large that while their color wheel is perfect for selecting Swarovski products, it can be used to develop a color palette for any project!
Have you used a color wheel for your designs before? Share with us in the comments below.
You may not always think to use closed jump rings in your projects, but these great little findings are perfect for the other side of a clasp for lobster claw clasps, spring rings, hooks, etc. They’re also fabulous for finishing off bead weaving projects. There’s no risk of a thread slipping through the opening and having a project disaster! Below are some of our trendy jewelry designs that show closed jump rings being used as a connector or other end to a clasp.
The foil backing on this sweater’s original clear glass buttons was so scratched from being tossed carelessly into the laundry for years that the glass was completely dull and had lost all sparkle. Enter Swarovski Crystal buttons in the fabulously reflective Crystal Volcano finish to give the sweater a whole new sparkle!
Also, it is possible to machine wash a garment with Swarovski Crystal or other decorative buttons on it! To do so, fasten all the buttons, turn the clothing inside out, and wash the item in a mesh lingerie bag if possible. Avoid putting the item in the dryer and lay it out to air dry instead.
We are thrilled to kick off the launch of TierraCast®’s brand new Your Team collection! This fan-tastic line features perfectly detailed baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball charms, along with stepped bezel charms featuring a colorful array of genuine Swarovski crystals framed in both silver and gold plated pewter. For a glimpse at these future hall-of-famers in action, check out our sporty Batter Up Bracelet! Even though our designs cheer on the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers, you can easily customize the colors in this piece to represent your favorite team, or even switch out the charms to feature an entirely different sport! TierraCast® also put together this handy Team Spirit Color Chart with MLB, NFL, and NBA team colors to make choosing the right hues a breeze. This new line would be great to show support not only for your favorite pro teams, but also the little sports stars in your life!
We all know that clasps love to rotate to the front when we’re wearing necklaces, so here’s a design tip to stop your necklace from rotating! Adding an extender chain with a bead or charm at the end will balance the weight of your necklace and help anchor your clasp in place. Any bead or charm will work just fine; simply add it to a premade extender chain or length of chain with an open jump ring or wire wrapped loop, and there you go! You can also choose to get fancy and decorate your extender chain, like I did in the necklace below. Using our Beading Around a Bead Technique, I used a Swarovski Crystal Mystic Black Pearl bead and seed beads left over from making the pendant to add a little extra color to my piece. This one bead has been the perfect counterweight to my pendant and keeps the clasp in place whenever I wear it!
Just like with everything else in life, making mistakes while beading is inevitable for us all. Not all mistakes mean the end of your project, though; you can always set aside your “ruined” projects for another day when they may be perfect for a new design idea!
Take this bracelet, for instance. I punched 2mm holes in the leather strap and used compression rivets to add the e-hook clasp and create the corresponding loop just fine, but then had to set aside the bracelet for awhile. I came back to it a few days later intending to set eyelets across the leather, but I had lost my focus on the design of the piece and ended up punching 3mm holes that were too large to use for setting eyelets. I had no idea what to do then, so I set the bracelet aside and decided to figure out an alternate use for it later.
Seven or eight months later, I happened to glance at the bracelet off to the side on my work table and had an idea: I could cover the holes by sewing or gluing something over them! After going through my stash and our website, I finally decided to sew 6mm Swarovski Crystal Rose Montees onto the leather over the holes and sat down to work. Lo and behold, it worked! The rose montees covered the holes perfectly, and you can’t even tell that this bracelet was something I was yelling at months ago!
Beading inspiration can come in the strangest places and from the strangest things, so don’t get discouraged when you make mistakes – remake your mistakes instead!