Monthly Archives: May 2009

Making a Vintage Beaded Necklace

Making a vintage beaded necklace isn't as strange as it first may sound.  Vintage kind of means "old", and how can you make something old?

By making a necklace from vintage beads and findings, of course!  And you don't need to pay an arm and a leg for them either, if you know where to find them.

purple-pink-white-beaded-necklaceI made this particular vintage beaded necklace with beads taken from various necklaces from the 60's and 70's.  It's all done in shades of pink, purple, magenta and white.  Some of the beads are shiney, some are matte.   The clasp is also vintage, and it's adjustable.

Finding the Supplies

Ah, finding the vintage bead supplies is actually much easier than you think.  I haunt the vintage jewelry section on ebay and look for necklaces from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  I'm checking for necklaces made with pretty beads and unusual clasps.  Yes, I take it all apart and reuse!

I have found some gorgeous crystal necklaces with wonderful 2 and 3 strand clasps.  And while the crystals are probably not Swarovski, they do glimmer and shine.  And I have found them in some very unusual shapes as well.

I've had my share of disappointments as well.  A necklace that I thought was going to be a real beauty turned out to be pretty sad. 

vintage-beaded-necklaceBut on the other hand, I've always been able to salvage something.  And I have had some that I thought were just nice turn out to be knockouts!

And I rarely pay more than $3 for a double-strand necklace, from which I get beads and a clasp and sometimes earrings to boot!

Keep in mind that vintage also tends to mean plated, when it comes to clasps and spacers.  Still, some of the plating includes a rhodium finish which still glows bright.

In this particular necklace, I chose to use some gold plated findings, most of which were harvested from other necklaces.

Hunt Down Those Vintage Beads for Your Own Necklace!

Check out yard sales and for that matter - your own jewelry box (who knows what's lurking in its depths)!

I get 95% of my vintage beads and findings from ebay, so I'll leave you with some goodies to ponder. 

Vintage BUTTERFLY Bead Enamel PIN BROOCH LOT Filagree Brass Goldtone Metal
Vintage BUTTERFLY Bead Enamel PIN BROOCH LOT Filagree Brass Goldtone Metal
$9.89
Time Remaining: 1d 35m
Buy It Now for only: $12.99
VINTAGE WEARABLE BEAD LOT
VINTAGE WEARABLE BEAD LOT
$14.00
Time Remaining: 16d 14h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $14.00
LOT VINTAGE ESTATE LOT ORIENTAL GEMSTONE BEAD NECKLACE CLOISONEE CARVED PCS
LOT VINTAGE ESTATE LOT ORIENTAL GEMSTONE BEAD NECKLACE CLOISONEE CARVED PCS
$48.99
Time Remaining: 17h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $48.99
Vintage Pink Bead Flower Silver Tone Wide Cuff Bangle Bracelet Jewelry Lot B20
Vintage Pink Bead Flower Silver Tone Wide Cuff Bangle Bracelet Jewelry Lot B20
$19.99
Time Remaining: 24d 2h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
VINTAGE LOT 3 NECKLACES RALPH LAUREN TURQUOISE LUCITE GLASS BEAD CRAFTS
VINTAGE LOT 3 NECKLACES RALPH LAUREN TURQUOISE LUCITE GLASS BEAD CRAFTS
$11.99
Time Remaining: 5d 11h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $11.99

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Making Beaded Jewelry – When You’ve Run Out of Supplies

Making beaded jewelry is fun, unless you have run out of supplies.  And if in today's economy you can't afford more at the moment, what do you do?

As for me, I take a look at what I've made and rarely worn.  Time to disassemble and create something new!

What to Choose?

As I mentioned, the first thing I do is look for jewelry that I made and have only worn once or twice (or in some cases...never).  No, I don't particularly like taking apart my "babies", but on the flip side -- I love creating something new!

And honestly, if I don't wear it (and don't really expect to in the future), why not take it apart?  It's doing no good sitting in the jewelry box.

When you are hungry for beading supplies, it can be a treasure-trove.

(Re) Making Beaded Jewelry

OK, I have two necklaces that I am eying.  One is primarily pearls and Swarovski.  The other has gemstone beads, sterling spacers, gemstone chips and Czech beads.  I've rarely worn one of them.  The other I used to wear a lot, but haven't put on for at least 5 years.  I'd say they are ripe for redux.

So, let me take 'em both apart.  I'm probably create just one necklace out of the two.  I will add in a few of my lampwork beads that I just found this morning (whoo-hoo!). 

So, I'll post what I come up with -- let's see if I can manage to make something interesting.

Meanwhile, if you do have some spare change for more beads, here are some you might like.

Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads Blue Color Long Oval Octopus 28 mm 4 Beads
Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads Blue Color Long Oval Octopus 28 mm 4 Beads
$5.99
Time Remaining: 11d 13h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $5.99
Lampwork Handmade Turquoise Blue Flower Spacer Rondelle Beads Choose Quantity
Lampwork Handmade Turquoise Blue Flower Spacer Rondelle Beads Choose Quantity
$3.99
Time Remaining: 14d 23h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $3.99
Auntie Mae lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 31mm 3 32nd
Auntie Mae lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 31mm 3 32nd
$32.00
Time Remaining: 3h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $62.00
NEW HANDMADE LAMPWORK BEADS SRA DESTASH SILVER SEAS METALLIC BLUES ELZ BEADS
NEW HANDMADE LAMPWORK BEADS SRA DESTASH SILVER SEAS METALLIC BLUES ELZ BEADS
$26.99
Time Remaining: 20h 52m
G2625L Clear w Blue  Green Swirls 12mm Round Blown Lampwork Glass Beads 10 pkg
G2625L Clear w Blue Green Swirls 12mm Round Blown Lampwork Glass Beads 10 pkg
$8.00
Time Remaining: 17d 1h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $8.00

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Blessings Bracelet, Part 2

The blessings bracelet that I spoke of in the last post is done now.  It's in shades of purple and green, with accents of pink and a kind of butter-cream ivory.

So here are the supplies, the finished product and the general technique.

Blessings Bracelet Supplies

blessings-bracelet-suppliesAs you see in the photo, the supplies are kind of eclectic.  I have seed beads, lampwork beads, Swarovski in bicone and cube.  Sterling silver is in the bunch, as is gemstone beads in malachite, rhodochistite and jasper.

The clasp is a sterling toggle.  I used Soft Flex beading wire for the main part of the bracelet, and Fireline 8 lb. in crystal for the stranding portion.

The Finished Product

As you can see, I don't necessarily favor being symmetrical.  As in my lampwork, I prefer to be a bit of a free spirit and favor organic designs.

blessings-bracelet-doneOne thing that's very important in this particular bracelet is that you have to measure carefully, but you also have to keep it very loose for the main part of the bracelet.  You'll see why when I talk about the construction technique.

General Technique

First, using the Soft Flex I beaded the main portion of the bracelet in a single row.  Between the lampwork beads I put seven size 6 seed beads.

I kept the construction very loose at this point, with beading wire showing.  The reason is that I will be moving my needle between and around the seed beads, and I need some slack.

Once I had the main part of the bracelet done and crimped, I started with the stranding section.  I tied my Fireline (doubled for strength) between two beads on the "outside" of the lampwork beads.  I then threaded the needle through the beads until I came out through a lampwork bead.

At this point, I put random beads on my string and threaded them around and through the size six seed beads.  The reason I chose this size seed beads is because they have a very large hole, and can accommodate many passes through of the thread and needle.

And that's basically it.  I just added beads until (in this case) I ran out of thread.  You could do that, or create a more symmetrical stranding and stop sooner.

I hope you've enjoyed this, and so I'll leave you with some lampwork that's awfully pretty to look at. 

Ernestine lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 30mm 3 32nd
Ernestine lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 30mm 3 32nd
$32.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2h 59m
Auntie Mae lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 31mm 3 32nd
Auntie Mae lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 31mm 3 32nd
$32.00
Time Remaining: 3h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $62.00
Edna lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 26mm 3 32nd
Edna lampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 26mm 3 32nd
$28.00
Time Remaining: 15h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $48.00
Noah lampwork giraffe bead sra DeniseAnnette 19mm 1 16th
Noah lampwork giraffe bead sra DeniseAnnette 19mm 1 16th
$15.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4h 2m
NEW HANDMADE LAMPWORK BEADS SRA DESTASH IRIS LULLABY ELZ BEADS
NEW HANDMADE LAMPWORK BEADS SRA DESTASH IRIS LULLABY ELZ BEADS
$24.99
Time Remaining: 20h 59m

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Do You Have a Blessings Bracelet?

My friend Jennie mentioned the concept of a "blessings bracelet" to me a few months ago.  It's a bracelet that, whenever you look at it, it reminds you of your blessings.

I know, in today's world it's hard to come up with anything to consider a blessing -- sometimes it all seems so bleak.  But a blessings bracelet serves to remind us that life can be good, if we'd take the time to remember the little things.

Jennie's Blessings BraceletCount 'Em Up

I thought that a bracelet would be a good idea, so I started on something simple that I could wear every day.  I got about half-way through and then realized that if it was too simple, I wouldn't notice it.  And if I didn't notice it...how would I remember to count my blessings?

So, back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, Jennie was working away at hers.  Periodically she'd ask how mine was going and tell me the status of hers.

Then there was the day the photos came.  Wow!  (FYI - you can click on the photos to see a larger image.)

Jennie's Blessings Bracelet CloseupIn case you haven't followed along, Jennie and I live at opposite ends of the country, so photos are all we have to go by.  And when she sent me the photos of hers I felt so bad that I hadn't worked on mine.

So here are the photos of Jennie's bracelet, and I will be hard-pressed to come up with something even half as nice.  I'm staring at my pile of lampwork and Swarovski (in purples and greens -- how's that for a color combo) and trying to think of what I can do.

Hmmm, the sterling beads have gone into hiding somewhere in this room, but I did find some toggle clasps.  And yes, I have beading wire...oh no!  I just realized that wherever my sterling beads are, that's where all my crimps are.

Yes, this is going to get interesting.

Well, off to locate the silver beads and wayward crimps.  Once I have them all together, I'll take a photo of all the "fixings" so you can see the supplies before...and the finished bracelet after.

In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with some ebay eye candy to peruse - enjoy!

Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
$6.99
Time Remaining: 21d 1h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
One Random Pattern my choice Spoon Bracelet You Choose Size Clasp Quantity
One Random Pattern my choice Spoon Bracelet You Choose Size Clasp Quantity
$15.00
Time Remaining: 22d 18h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
$6.99
Time Remaining: 21d 1h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
Woodetz Wood Meditation Buddhist Buddha Prayer 108 Bead Bracelet 6mm Men Women
$6.99
Time Remaining: 21d 1h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Random Sets Of 12 multi Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
Random Sets Of 12 multi Color Bracelets Nepal bracelet Roll On Bracelet
$18.00
Time Remaining: 14d 16h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $18.00

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