Archive for the ‘Beading’ Category

Beaded Jewelry Trends for the Summer

The fashion business often peaks in the summer, when people are in the mood to shop and the weather lends itself well to dolling up for a day out. Jewelry is no exception—and this year, beads and charms are set to take center stage. Although they’ve been in fashion for the longest time, beaded jewelry never gets old—it goes well with a simple sundress, a shirt and jeans, and even a work ensemble. Here are some trends you’ll want to stay on top of, whether you’re buying jewelry or designing your own.

Nests: Easter may be over, but spring nests are set to be fashionable all through the season. You can find nest-shaped charms that need no adornment, or more elaborate pendants made with wire and beads. This lends itself especially well to necklaces, as they’re big enough to be centerpieces without being gaudy and loud. Many are intricately designed, so you’ll want to use one or two per piece so you don’t distract from the detail.

Flowers: Flower beads are back in fashion, and the variety is greater than ever. From pewter and copper to shiny Swarovski crystals, they come in pretty much any material, size, color, and design. Five-petal pieces are especially popular these days: more whimsical than roses and tulips, but less dominating than daisies and sunflowers. The best part is that you can use them as much as you like in a variety of pieces, and even make matching sets.

Owls: You may have noticed a big trend in owl patterns in the last two years, and it’s not expected to go away anytime soon. Cartoony owls have showed up in pendants, key chains, and phone charms, but this year they should make their way to other wearable jewelry as well.

Beaches: Shells, starfish, suns and parasols—these are slowly making their way into the hottest jewelry designs. Whether it’s because people are pining for the beach in the midst of the recession, or simply want to express their love of the water, it’s a trend worth following and one that should still be in fashion years from now.

Fibers: Not many people warmed up to the idea of putting feathers and fabric in their jewelry, at least not until this year. Expect to see lots of feather pendants and earrings, floral fabrics used as necklaces, and tassels hanging from people’s wrists and ankles. It’s easy to incorporate into your existing bead designs, but make sure not to make it look too overpowering.

Camilla Beads

Handmade and beaded jewelry are all the rage these days, and it looks like they’re set to defy the seasons and remain popular through fall. What’s great about them is that they can have the class and elegance of gold and diamonds, but still be tempered by a youthful, playful charm. That’s why they fit just as well in formal ensembles as they do in everyday school outfits. Camilla beads, one of the most popular makers of beads and beaded jewelry online, is the perfect example of this blend.

One thing you’ll notice about Camilla beads is their variety—they range from plain, solid-colored pieces and gemstone imitations to intricate patterns on stainless steel and pewter. To help buyers navigate through their stock, they’ve classified them by theme rather than basic characteristics like color and size. Some of the most popular themes are birthstones, flowers, food, nature, animals, religion, sports, and abstracts. This makes it easy to find the right pieces if you’re going for a particular look, without leafing through thousands of images.

Materials used for Camilla beads also run the gamut, from inexpensive plastics to exquisite birthstones, colored glass, Swarovski crystals, and precious metals. Glass beads are perhaps the most popular, no doubt because of their range of colors and designs. Many of them are handmade and individually checked for flaws, so you can be sure each bead, no matter how small, is just as sturdy as it is pretty. This variety has inspired many enthusiasts to experiment with their own combinations, mixing and matching until they find a style that’s uniquely their own.

Despite this variety, there’s a certain look that ties all Camilla bead products together—some people say it’s their natural elegance, others think it’s their tendency towards bright, optimistic colors. In any case, their jewelry is sure to lift up any outfit, whether it’s a summer dress or a winter knit. They can tie any combination of items together and still manage to look unique!

Camilla beads are particularly a favorite for bracelets. Each piece is made to fall just right on the wrist, which ensures a comfortable fit every time—something that’s hard to find in most commercially made beaded jewelry. The themed pieces, which range from Celtic and tribal designs to coffee cups and robots, also make for excellent personalized charm bracelets. It’s a great way to wear your own character or give a touching gift!

How to Make Beaded Jewelry

Homemade jewelry is back in fashion—not that it ever left, but we’re seeing so much of them these days that they’re practically a summer staple. It could have been the recession or just another come-and-go trend. In any case, it’s a great time to learn how to make beaded jewelry, whether to start a business, save yourself some cash, or just add a little something to your look. It’s a lot easier than it looks—here are some tips to help you start out right.

Create a workspace: This may sound trivial, but beading is intricate work, and you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. Get a box with several small compartments to sort all those little pieces, and set up a space with good lighting (you’ll need it to thread small beads and see color combinations well). Line the space with soft foam or felt to keep beads from rolling off.

Make your own tools: If you’re going the DIY route, why not go all the way? Beading tools can be expensive, even overpriced, but most of them can be made with everyday materials. Use shells as bead scoops, test tubes to separate your beads, chopsticks to hold your strings—you’ll end up paying next to nothing where others shell out a few hundred dollars!

Invest in quality: That being said, there’s no need to be cheap—some tools are worth investing in right from the start. For instance, you’ll want a good pair of pliers for twisting and cutting. There’ll be a lot of that when you’re beading, so get one that’s light and feels good in your hand. Also look for good-quality beads and strings, the kind that won’t fray or break easily when you make mistakes.

Start simple: Don’t set your sights too high. Start with small pieces like single-strand bracelets and necklaces. They don’t even have to be functional; just string some beads and hemp together to get a feel of it and what the finished product might look like. That way you can see your progress right away, and you’ll be motivated to keep going.

Get inspired: Not all of us have an eye for color. That’s what TV and magazines are for. Look at what the celebrities are wearing, or browse online to see which colors are popular. Or if you’re making your own jewelry, stick to your favorite colors or those you know will look good on you. You can also take a cue from your wardrobe—if you have lots of red, chances are you’ll want a red hemp bracelet!

How to Make a Hemp Necklace

DIY fashion came into the scene in the early 2000s and never seemed to have left. Even alongside classic gold and silver stands, hemp and beads seem to hold their own, its market including students, yuppies, and everything in between. And what’s great about handmade jewelry is that every piece is the only one of its kind—and it takes no more than a bit of practice to start whipping out your own. Get started with this guide on how to make a hemp necklace.

You’ll need two lengths of hemp, one about five yards long and another twice as long as the necklace you’re making. Fold both pieces in half, keeping the shorter one on the inside. The five-yard piece will by your “knotter”—you’ll be using it to make knots on the shorter “carrier” cord.

Tie an overhand knot at the end using the two pieces, then line them up so that the two halves of the shorter one is on the inside. If this proves hard, you may need to untie the knot and make sure they are lined up correctly before redoing the knot.

Now start tying square knots with the knotter cord around the carrier cord. Bring the far right cord to the left, passing them under the two middle ones and over the left. Do the same with the cord on the left, bringing it under the two middle ones and over the right. Pull on both ends to tie the knot. Alternatively, tie on one side throughout to create a spiral.

After about 15 of these knots, depending on how tight they are and how thick your cord is, you should have an inch or so of knotted cord. Slip one bead over the two middle cords, then make another square knot below it using the outer cords to lock it in place. Do the same with the rest of your beads. You can add a pendant by slipping another bead through the bottom cord halfway through the length of the necklace.

Finish off your necklace by tying another overhand knot at the end, leaving about five inches for adjustments. Pat some glue over the cords as you’re tying them to keep them in place—use industrial or craft glue instead of the water-soluble kind. You can also add locks and hooks at this point, although if you’re making a big necklace this may not be necessary.