Fabulous bead project ideas that don't take forever to complete. Our favorite styles are the trendy, classic, adventurous, the colorful and sophisticated. Most projects can be completed in 1-2 hours, a short afternoon or evening. You will also find information about beading techniques and helpful tips. We offer convenient online shopping at www.BeadBee.com.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Ocean of Inspiration

Growing up in Florida, I have drawn lot of inspiration from the beach and ocean in my jewelry design work.

This Swarovski crystal bracelet was inspired by the golden sand, turquoise blue waters, and mossy green grass. I translated these colors into Swarovski Crystal and Czech glass in the following beads: Pacific Opal Swarovski Crystal, Copper Luster Czech glass drop beads, Champagne Czech glass drop beads and Luster Green Czech glass drop beads. Czech glass drop beads add a playful, yet elegant touch to the design, and the Bali sterling silver beads along with the double strand design add texture to the bracelet.

Helpful Hint: When creating a double strand bracelet using smaller beads (no larger than 6mm), you can use a single strand clasp such as the toggle used in our example. Simply crimp each strand one at a time to the clasp. If your design is quite chunky, a two strand clasp may be preferred because the larger beads tend to push on each other and the two strands will tend to splay apart more than smaller beads would. You may also consider using multi-strand spacers, however, this will add more structure to the design and it will not be as playful as two separate strands. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Make a Name Bracelet


Name bracelets are very popular keepsake gifts and are often giving to babies, mothers, grandmothers and children on special occasions.

While there are many jewelry makers that can create one for you, it is easier than you think to make one yourself. This adds an even stronger personal touch to the bracelet and you can design it however you like. In addition, once you learn how to make one, you will know how to add strands, or make another when a new child a born. You will also be able to do your own repairs, or resize an existing bracelet for a growing child.

MATERIALS LIST
Sterling Silver Alphabet Beads (I prefer the ones with the rounded edges, for a more professional, finished look)
Sterling Silver Rombo Beads (these will be used in between the alphabet beads but are also great for spacers throughout the bracelet, chose the size that is closest, but smaller than your alphabet beads. Round beads can be used as well)
Flexible Beading Wire (such as Soft Flex or Flex Rite), choose any medium weight brand, you will use about 10-12" per bracelet depending on the size of the bracelet
Swarvoski Crystal Beads or Glass Beads (colors representing birth stones are often chosen, but use colors that you enjoy wearing or that will coordinate well with most of your wardrobe)
Sterling Silver Seamless Round Beads  (I generally use 2mm, 2.5mm or 3mm, however the size should be scaled and proportionate to the crystal beads that you use)
Sterling Silver Daisy Spacers - these are great for adding little details into the bracelet
Sterling Silver Crimp Beads 2x2mm (one for each end, have some extras just in case)
Sterling Silver Clasp (either a toggle clasp or lobster claw clap will work great)
Crimp Tool used to compress crimp beads and secure clasps.
Flush Cutter for cutting and trimming flexible beading wire.

Feel free to choose any other beads or charms for your design.

Monday, December 7, 2009

20% off Sterling Silver & Gold Filled Beads & Findings

Sale includes beads, findings, chain, wire, earring components, spacer bars, sterling silver alphabet beads and more!

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Use Coupon Code: BEADBEESS25QX
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one orders or in our store. Coupon is valid only on in-stock items and cannot be combined with other offers. Coupon is not valid on previous purchases.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pony Beads...oh the possibilities


Don't underestimate the potential of pony beads. They come in lots of colors that lend themselves to fabulous color combinations.

The availability and economy of pony beads makes them a popular choice for kids beads projects and craft projects.

Because they have larger holes than most beads, they can be strung on yarn, leather, hemp and other thicker cords. The larger holes also make them perfect for hair braiding.

Take a look at the fun color combinations that we came up with. You can create friendship bracelets with pony beads that your friends will rave about.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fabulous Fringe Earrings

Fringe is all the rage this season - seen on necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

With just a few simple materials and tools, you can create your own dazzling beaded fringe earrings that will be perfect for your holiday wardrobe.

This design features Toho Seed Beads strung on 1 1/2" head pins and then attached to sterling silver chain by using round nose pliers. Use flush cutters to trim excess wire from the head pin.

I love using the pre-mixed Toho Seed Beads because I like the random look of the different size and different colored beads. The beads can be strung onto the headpins in any order and all the dangling "fringe" will blend together. Feel free to string your beads in a predetermined pattern, this will give it a more formal and refined look.

Each earring has 9 beaded head pins, but you can add as many as you wish. You can also experiment with different size head pins.

For extra sparkle, throw in a few Swarovski crystal bicones.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rosy Bouquet Bracelet

Buttons are just as bountiful and beautiful as beads, which you will discover if you visit the many button and trim shops in New York's Fashion Center.

On my most recent trip to NYC, I discovered these pearly flower like beads and imagined them dancing on a two strand bracelet - I couldn't wait to get home and make something with these buttons!

I chose Swarovski pearl beads to match the shimmer of the buttons. The neutral colors don't compete with the bold color of the buttons and allow them to stand out. The addition of Czech glass beads in matching neutral colors gives the piece just enough sparkle and enhances the elegant styling. This color combination was inspired by the frosting on yummy cupcakes from Magnolia's Bakery!
I love using the tube clasp on multi-strand bracelets because of the simple, elegant shape which does not distract the eye from the focal elements of the bracelet.

Related Blog Post:
Beads, Buttons & Pearls


To purchase materials featured in this blog post, please use these links:
Sterling silver tube clasp

Swarvoski pearl beads

Czech beads

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miyuki Color Block Cuff Bracelet


Showcase the perfection of Japanese Miyuki Cube Beads by creating this two tone cuff bracelet. The cube beads fit together nicely to create geometric color blocks along the length of the bracelet which is finished with a simple tube clasp.

I chose an opaque turquoise blue and gold for my bracelet, accented with sterling silver 5 strand spacers  that look like sterling silver rondelles. The spacer bars are not only functional, but mark the beginning of one color and the end of another.

This is a simple way to create a bold look that is not overdone. Feel free to experiment with other color combinations or other types of beads.

Materials
2 colors of 4mm Miyuki cube beads

Flexible beading wire
7 - five strand spacer bars
Crimps

Tube Clasp
Crimp Tool
Flush Cutter

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beads, Buttons & Pearls

If you are ever at a loss at finding the right center piece or clasp, you can broaden your options with buttons.

When I saw this button, I just fell in love with it - the golden shimmer and the blue detailing of leaves. I felt it best to use this button as a focal point with simple, but elegant white pearls.

Buttons can be strung with beads or transformed into a clasp, in this case, I created a clasp with this beautiful button. The button did not have a shank, so I had to create one by wire wrapping a loop using gold filled wire. After creating this loop, the button could be attached with a crimp, just like any other clasp.
For the other end, I created a loop for fastening the button, using 11/0 seed beads. Since the button is 22mm in diameter, I strung 44mm worth of seed beads and added 4 more to account for the thickness of the button, this gives it just enough slack to slip around the button. Since the button fits sideways through the loop, it is unlikely that it will slip off.

Related Blog Post: Rosy Bouquet Bracelet

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Braided Strands of Beads

When strands of the Borakku Black Toho Seed Bead Mix are braided together, a rich textural rope is created. This is a simple technique for creating modern and innovative pieces of beaded jewelry.

Create These Looks...
1) Attach a large pendant to a long braided strand and create a statement piece (shown)
2) Create several necklaces at various lengths that can be layered together or worn individually, the necklaces can be the same color, or choose several coordinating colors.
3) Braid 6 or more strands together for a chunkier or bolder look

You don't have to stick with seed beads, experiment with different size beads as well as different materials like suede, chains, leather, silke or satin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beads, Chain & Suede



Add interest to your chains by incorporated a mixed palette of materials. It can be as simple as braiding strands of gold chain, Czech glass beads and suede cord, as I did in this example. If you want more embellishments, add dangling crystals or pewter charms. It's such a simple idea that makes a big statement.

To finish this look, create a matching Braided Suede Charm Bracelet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Memory Wire Bangle Charm Bracelet

Bangles are fun to wear and simple to make. This example features Toho Seed Beads in the Sea Green Mix which contains various seed bead shapes in shades of green. The multiple coils show off the simple elegance of Japanese seed beads.

Using Memory Wire: Memory wire maintains its shape on its own and clasps are not necessary. Memory wire cutters or parrot beak cutters will be required to cut the memory wire, other types of cutters will be damaged by the memory wire. Once you cut the memory wire, curl one end to create a loop which will prevent the beads from slipping off. Then thread the beads onto the memory wire, curl & loop the second end to finish. Charms can be attached to the loops on the ends or at different places along the length of the bracelet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blogging About Beads from NYC

Blogging from NYC!

It is such a great place and I found so many great things to incorporate into my jewelry designs.

I had the chance to visit lots of bead shops, button shops,  trim stores, hardware stores, and indulge in other sweet things (like cannolis and cupcakes!). We also stopped at my favorite pizza place in Times Square, a place I discovered while living in the city many years ago.

Since I live in Florida, it's always nice to go up north and see the autumn flora and fauna - Central Park was gorgeous!

I also visited the Swarovski Crystallized Store on Broadway, it was spectacular to see all the crystal beads on display.

Take a look at previous posts and future posts for all the ideas that I came up with while on my trip. I always enjoy collecting neat little tokens from different cities and incorporating them into a special piece of jewelry to remind me of the great memories.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Marks with a Personal Touch


Kids and adults can create these book marks for themselves or as gifts. This design features beads strung onto elastic creating non-slip bookmarks that are practical and cute!

A bead is strategically placed to adjust the band to fit different size books so it won't accidentally slip out.

Alphabet beads identify the book's owner and decorative plastic beads express personality.

This example features 6mm plastic alphabet cube beads and plastic pony beads & flower beads.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vintage Creations

Vintage baubles can be created from modern day treasures. You can find vintage inspired components at your local craft store to incorporate into your jewelry.

On my most recent trip to NYC, I discovered vintage style buttons adorned with Swarovski crystals, perfect for a string of pearl beads I had been saving.

I created a vintage style necklace using this vintage style button with a string of pearls and added rosaline Czech crystals dangling from sterling silver chain. Use wire wrapping technique to attach the button at the shank to the pearls and chain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Here it is!!!













3 DAY SALE - Blog Coupon
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Coupon Code:
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r offers. Coupon is not valid on previous purchases

Start shopping now at www.beadbee.com

Just Getting Started with Beads?

Beading is a great hobby for all ages because you can start simple and learn as you go. It is as easy as selecting a few dozen beads and stringing the beads on stretch cord and tying a knot.

Don't forget to buy a set of bead stoppers. These are little springy clamps that you clamp onto one end of your string so the beads don't fall off while you are stringing.

If you would like to finish necklaces and bracelets with a clasp, use flexible beading wire such as Flex Rite or Soft Flex, sterling silver crimp beads and a crimp tool. You will also need a flush cutter to trim any excess cording. Directions are usually on the back of the package for the crimp tool, or you can click here to get illustrated crimping instructions from our website.

To sum it all up, here is a list of basic supplies you will need to create your own beaded jewelry:

Crimp Tool
Flush Cutter
Chain Nose Pliers
Bead Stoppers
Bead Mat
Bead Board (I prefer a multi-strand board with a lid that keeps things tidy)
Beads
Flexible Beading Wire
Crimp Beads & Crimp Covers

Findings (clasps, jump rings, crimps, etc.)

If you want to get into wire wrapping, additionally you will need:
Round Nose Pliers
Wire
Flat Nose Pliers (I love the ones with the little tip, read a previous post about Flat Note Pliers w/ Tip to learn more about this tool)

If you need more advice, give us a call!

To purchase the items featured in this blog, please use these links:
Bead stoppers

Round Nose Pliers
Wire
Flat Nose Pliers

Flat Note Pliers w/ Tip
Crimp Tool
Flush Cutter
Chain Nose Pliers
Bead Mat
Bead Board
Beads
Flexible Beading Wire
Crimp Beads & Crimp Covers
Findings (clasps, jump rings, crimps, etc.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Braided Suede Charm Bracelet

Incorporate charms into a more casual, softer look with braided suede. With thousands of charm options available, you can choose charms that fit your personality.

Not only is this look simple to make yourself, it is easily personalized which makes these bracelets great as gifts.

Attached charms with jumpring to the braid, the size of the jumpring will depend on the thickness of the braided strand. Be sure to use a large enough ring that will allow the charms to dangle.

Bracelets can simply be tied around the wrist - these are so fun!

Related Blog Post about charm bracelets:
We Love Beads in Layers

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mixing Silver & Gold with Elegance

As fashion is ever evolving so are the rules. Mixing silver and gold is now perfectly acceptable and mixing these two colors together can freshen up your look. By combining different metals and beads you can create an amazing necklace or pair earrings that break this once fashion faux pa.

A third, neutral color can easily tie gold and silver together. Natural stones are preferred such as smoky quartz or freshwater pearls.

This third element doesn't have to be a neutral, you can add a deep, strong color that will work well with both gold and silver. Deep purples, blues, greens and magentas are nice options.

Take a look at our example, strands of gold and silver Miyuki cube beads, adorned with silver charms and deep purple tone of Czech machine cut crystals.

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to Keep Multi-Strand Bracelets Together

Multi-strands bracelets are such gorgeous designs and simple to make. Yet, many times, depending on many things, such as stringing materials, the types of beads and clasp, the strands splay apart on our wrist, ruining the multi-strand effect. This issue can be solved in may ways.

  • Use the most flexible wire that will fit through your beads, we recommend a 49 strand flexible beading wire
  • Use a multi-strand clasp which will help keep your strands evenly spaced and separated, using a single strand clasp causes the strands to be squeezed together at the clasp which often causes them to spread apart towards the middle of the bracelet
  • For hard to tame pieces, add multi-strand spacer bars throughout your design which will physically join the strands together, 2-3 spacer bars should suffice.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Create Long Necklaces Using Seed Beads.

Seed beads are a great alternative to creating length which adds more color and texture than gold or silver chains. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and creating necklace or bracelet using seed beads is easy and fun.

Make your own stylish, long necklace using seed beads to build length and larger beads as focal points or to create dimension. Our example features the Kintaro Gold Toho Mix and mother of pearl shells dyed to a gorgeous aqua color.

Seed beads are also great with Czech Glass Beads, gemstone beads, pearl beads or wood beads.

Materials List: your choice of beads, flexible beading wire, crimps, clasp & findings, crimp tool.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We Love Beads in Layers

Creating charmed bracelet sets are fun and result in a versatile look - wear just one bracelet at a time or mix and match for different looks.

4mm Czech glass beads are the perfect size for creating this look. 4mm beads can be worn as a single strand but can be layered without too much bulk or weight.
If you need help with choosing colors, you have many options depending on your personality: a combination of neutrals, monochromatic mix (pick your favorite color), blacks (matches almost anything and looks good with silver or gold).

Our example features two neutral tones with a pop of color.

Adorn each bracelet with a different charm or wire wrapped bead dangles.

Related Blog Post about charm bracelets:
Braided Suede Charm Bracelet

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pony Beads in Team Colors

Parents, teachers and kids love creating key chains, bracelets and necklaces to show their school spirit and team spirit.

We have alphabet beads so that you can spell out your team name as well as colored plastic pony beads in team colors. Plastic pony beads come in over 30 different colors in pony beads including colorful mixes.

Pony beads are a great option because of the large selection of colors and their cost effectiveness, especially for large group activities or fundraisers.

We also have plastic sports ball beads which are perfectly sized to work with our plastic pony beads and 7mm alphabet bead cubes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alphabet Beads for Grown Ups

You may remember stringing up plastic or wooden alphabet beads as a child. Now that we are all grown up, here are stylish options that allow us to spell with style.

Our satin ribbon bracelet and necklace design is simple and fun. Pewter alphabet beads, gold plated alphabet beads and sterling silver alphabet beads are classy and modern and allow you to create stylish and personalized pieces that will fit right into your jewelry collection.

These satin ribbon baubles make perfect gifts, ribbons can be tied at any length, making these pieces one size fits all.

Materials: metal alphabet beads, colored accent beads such as crystal beads, Czech glass beads or metal beads, metal charms with large jump rings, flexible beading wire, crimp beads, crimp tool and ribbon.

1)       Cut two pieces of satin ribbon. For bracelets, cut two pieces at 20 inches each, fold in half. For necklaces cut 30” each and cut in half. (Feel free to cut the ribbon to whatever length you desire or need.

2)      Layout beads in desired order, measure the length and add 4 inches. This will be the length at which to cut the flexible beading wire

3)      Attach a bead stopper to one end of the flexible beading wire. String beads. Add crimp bead to each end.

4)      Loop one end of flexible beading wire around the folded end of one piece of satin ribbon and crimp. Do not crimp too tight, create a “loop” with the flexible beading wire where it is attached to the ribbon. This allows for flexibility and movement. Repeat with on the second side

5)      Attach charms on the ribbon. We used 8mm jump rings. This prevents from crinkling the ribbon.

We opted to string our beads on flexible beading wire to allow for a wider selection of beads that can fit on the wire. Of course beads can be strung directly onto the ribbon, however, you will be limited to beads with larger holes. The use of a needle can aid in stringing ribbon through beads with smaller holes. Pull the ribbon through slowly to avoid snags, especially with organza ribbon.

No clasp is required- just tie the ribbon in a bow around your neck or wrist. If you prefer to add a clasp, you can use ribbon cord ends to attach your clasp of choice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Discover Your Creativity Through Beads

I have heard so many people say they are not creative or not crafty - this is not true! You simply have not found the right outlet for your personality. If you love jewelry, then give beading and jewelry making a try. Techniques are simple to learn and materials are inexpensive. This is a hobby that does not require expensive equipment or tools. Here are two ways to get started:

Super Simple Start to Beading - all you need are beads, stretch cord, scissors, bead board and a bead mat. This is an easy and quick start to creating your own bracelets. Simply arrange your beads in a nice pattern on the bead board, string onto the stretch cord and tie a knot. This is a great way to make jewelry with your kids.

Beginner's Beading - You will be able to create bracelets, necklaces and earrings by learning a simple technique called crimping which allows you to attach a clasp to your jewelry. This involves a crimp tool, crimp beads, and flexible beading wire such as Flexrite or Softflex. You will also need beads, flush cutters, a bead board and a bead mat. Note that you will need at least two crimp beads for each jewelry piece you make (one crimp bead for each end).
Click here for illustrated instruction on the crimping technique.

Find Your Creative Side - I always recommend that beginner's look at bead magazines as well as fashion magazines. You will visually begin to learn simple principles of design such as how to arrange beads in a pattern, how to use color combinations, and how to work with different shapes and sizes. We also offer ideas and advice on our website and blog. You will quickly learn how to create your own designs and patterns without any assistance.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mixed Media

Mixed media is a fun and easy strategy to create interesting jewelry designs. You just need to combine two or more different types of beading material such glass beads, gemstone beads, crystal beads, metal beads or pearl beads. Mixed media is fun because you can mix different materials, shapes and colors and incorporate them into a harmonious design. For example, you can mix strands of pearls, gemstones and Czech glass in different, but complimentary colors. You can also mix beads that are made of different materials but are similar in color for the monochromatic effect. Test out several combinations to help you visualize the perfect match.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kid's Beading Projects

While traveling on vacation this summer, these phone number bracelets will help kids remember their parents' phone number in case of emergency. They are simple to make and fun to wear. All you need are stretch cord, glass seed beads and 7mm round number beads. Have your child string the seed beads onto the cording and arrange the number beads to form your phone number. Then tie the ends of the cording into a knot. Your child will have fun bracelet to wear and have your phone number handy in case of an emergency.

Other fun beading project for kids that can be done at home or at school or camp is a beaded zipper pull. This zipper pull allows children to create something that can be hung on a backpack, sweatshirt, or overnight bag that will make it uniquely his or hers. To make this project, you need lanyard lacing, metal lanyard hooks, pony beads, and alphabet beads. This project is great because it allows kids to actively create something fun and practical or to trade with other kids.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Beading Technique: Funky Fringe

If you love wire wrapping, then this technique will be simple and fun! Create bold, multi-dimensional necklaces and bracelets by wire wrapping beaded "fringe" onto head pins or ball pins. The only materials you need are beads, head pins and/or ball pins, flexible beading wire, crimps, a clasp and the right tools.

If you like chunky pieces, I recommend beads from 6-10mm. For more dainty pieces, stick with 3-6 mm sizes. Incorporate mixed shapes and colors to enhance the playful look. Our example features Czech glass fire polished beads, Czech glass dagger beads and miyuki cube beads. If you want something more elegant, stick with a single color in different sizes or create work with monochromatic mixes such as our Soft White designer bead mix which is perfect for bridal jewelry.

Love this look? Click here for illustrated instructions.

Click here to see other blogs for Project Ideas & Tips

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Art of Color in Jewelry Design

Beads come in a gorgeous array of colors and materials. When we want to go beyond simple monochromatic designs, color theory comes into play. While studying architecture in graduate school, I became interested in the the color theory teachings of painter and theorist, Josef Albers. Since then, I have been incorporating innovative color combinations in my jewelry designs.

If you would like to do the same, there is no need to go back to design school, simply look for inspiration in your everyday life - a silk print at a clothing boutique or the backdrop of a magazine ad. You can also look at fine jewelry designs and translate the gemstone colors into similar Swarovski or Czech glass tones. You should even experiment with color combinations that you don't think will look good, they often will evolve into the perfect combination.

When working with color combinations, think about proportion.
Sometimes two or three colors should be used in equal proportion and in other cases you should choose one main color and use other colors just as accents.

If you need help with color combinations, take a look at our Jewelry Design Color Palette where you will find a few color combinations that I have put together to assist in your jewelry design process.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vibrant Green: Color of the Month

Green is a color inspired by nature and full of positive energy. Our Vibrant Green designer bead mix features Czech glass and Swarovski crystals in gorgeous green shades of opaque and transparent colors. This is a bold mix, yet, when accented with freshwater pearls, this Vibrant Green Mix will surely add elegance and style to your jewelry designs. Click here to see all of our designer bead mixes, you will find designer beads mixes in a large array of colors.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thanks for Reading!

We appreciate that you have taken time out of your day to read our blog and visit our website at www.beadbee.com.

Here is a coupon for $10 off your next purchase of $30 or more
Coupon Code: Blog30
Coupon Expires June 28, 2009

Please send us a message with any questions you have or tell us about topics you would like to learn more about.

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Thanks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't Let Tool Marks Ruin Your Hard Work

Have you tried Tool Magic yet? It's a gel-like solution that dries to a protective coating for your tools to protect wire work from dents and scratches. Along with good technique, Tool Magic will help ensure that your wire pieces will not be marred by tool marks. I coat my round nose pliers, flat nose pliers w/ tip and chain nose pliers. Ever since I discovered Tool Magic 5 years ago, I always keep a bottle in my tool box.

Depending on how intensive your wire work is, the coating may last through several projects. If you work extensively in wire work or work on several pieces in one sitting, it is a good idea to have two sets of tools. When you need to re-apply Tool Magic to the tools you have been using, you have a fresh set of tools to use as you wait for the solution to set (2-3 hours) and you won't miss out on valuable production time, especially if you are working on a deadline like a wedding or craft show.

Click here to see instructions on how Tool Magic works or visit Bead Bee and ask for a demonstration.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beading Technique: Cuff Bracelets

If you are looking to make a statement, cuff bracelets are a stunning and versatile fashion accessory. We love this look because the boldness of a cuff can add interest to any outfit in a sophisticated way. Here are a few different techniques you can use to create a cuff bracelet.

One way to achieve the chunky, wide look of a cuff is to make a multi-strand bracelet. This look is simple to make and only requires that you know how to string beads onto flexible beading wire and use a crimping tool. You can choose how many strands you would like to add to make the bracelet wider for a “cuff” look. Play around with a variety of sizes, shapes and colors like mixing pearls with crystals and stones (see photo on top left). Multi-strand clasp and spacer bars can be used to join the strands together.

If you prefer a piece with more structure, create a cuff bracelet from memory wire. A multi-strand piece is joined together with spacer bars. Our example features four strands joined together with four hole spacer bars. However, you can use more or less strands depending on how you use your spacer bars. For example, you can stagger two hole spacer bars to join 4 or 6 strands. Also consider the size of the beads, which will affect how far apart your wire needs to be and which type of spacer bars to use. Using bigger beads will require spacer bars with the holes further apart, smaller beads will require spacer bars with holes closer together. Get instructions for the Summer Sparkle Cuff Bracelet. (See photo on top right)
For a simpler method, simply cut a longer coil of memory wire, and string all the beads on. You will get the width and stiffness without the trouble of multiple strands or spacer bars. (See photo on bottom right)
Our Sizzling Cuff Bracelet design creates a stretch cuff bracelet, made from connecting multiple pieces of beads strung on wire that is looped on the ends. This technique requires knowledge of wire wrapping. Wire wrapped components are strung on gossamer stretch cord so no clasps or findings are needed. The result is breathtaking and the patterns and designs are endless. Click here for detailed instructions for the Sizzling Cuff Bracelet.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tiger Ebony Twist Beads - Bead of the Week

These elegant tiger ebony wooden beads will add personality to any project. They provide the perfect neutral backdrop for enhancing colorful beads like Swarovski Crystals, Czech Glass or gemstone beads. The elongated shape adds dimension and distinct style and works well with uniquely shaped beads or simple rounds and cubes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Traveling to Orlando? Visit our Store!

If your summer travels are bringing you to Orlando, add our store to your list of destinations. We are located in the beautiful Baldwin Park Village which has a distinct variety of shops & restaurants.

You may be visiting the theme parks and attractions, but if you would like get a resident's view of Orlando, I would recommend downtown Orlando & Lake Eola Park. There is a farmer's market there every Sunday and a picnic on the lake is perfect for couples and families.

To make your visit sweeter, here is a Bead Bee coupon especially for our out-of-town and in-town guests! We look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Green Opal - Bead of the Week

The color of this stone is a mix of rich green and brown hues that are sure to bring out your nature loving side. Green Opal is also known to bring peace, so surround yourself in positive energy with an easy summer look.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Attaching Clasps to Fine Chain

One of my favorite chains is a fine cable chain. This chain is delicate, yet durable, and doesn't overwhelm the other beads and components of my design. However, it is impossible to get jump rings through the links to attach a clasp.
To solve this problem, you can use crimp ends which are basically like crimp beads with loops on the ends. Simply insert the end of your chain into the tube and flatten. I have also discovered a much more elegant trick. Even the finest cable chain will work with 26 gauge wire. Find a coordinating bead, such as a 4mm crystal bicone and wire wrap the clasp to the chain. The end result is much nicer than using clumsy looking crimp ends that are out of proportion or a mismatch to the style of your piece.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Green Fire Agate Beads - Bead of the Week

These green fire agate beads feature rich color and intricate veining - perfect for pieces to go with you summer clothing basics. These beads have a matte, frosted finish that accentuate the texture and soften the color. Incorporate into long chain necklaces, a chunky choker or bold bracelet.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Amethyst Gemstone Beads- Bead of the Week

These polished beads have gorgeous earthy patterns combined with a rich purple color.

All you need are Bali silver beads or spacers and the result will be a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

See our exquisite selection of gemstone beads.