Bead Supplies

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 LOT OF 10 GLASS BEAD NECKLACES1 MONET
VINTAGE LOT OF 10 GLASS BEAD NECKLACES1 MONET
$10.00
Time Remaining: 21h 55m
Vintage Huge Lot All Bead Necklaces Wear or Craft
Vintage Huge Lot All Bead Necklaces Wear or Craft
$12.99
Time Remaining: 16h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $12.99
Vintage JEWELRY SCRAP BEAD LOT Amber Glass Seed Shank Rhinestone Findings
Vintage JEWELRY SCRAP BEAD LOT Amber Glass Seed Shank Rhinestone Findings
$15.50
Time Remaining: 14d 16h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $15.50
Vintage Wire Wrapped Milk Glass Seed Bead Necklace Set Jewelry Lot
Vintage Wire Wrapped Milk Glass Seed Bead Necklace Set Jewelry Lot
$14.99
Time Remaining: 1d 12h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
Lot S 15 Vintage GORGEOUS Mixed NECKLACE Necklaces Chokers Chains Bead Lot S
Lot S 15 Vintage GORGEOUS Mixed NECKLACE Necklaces Chokers Chains Bead Lot S
$2.50
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 28m

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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. 

Mariellampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 27mm 3 32nd
Mariellampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 27mm 3 32nd
$15.50 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 52m
CELINE Artisan USA 10 TEAL GOLDEN WHIRLWINDS lampwork beads SRA
CELINE Artisan USA 10 TEAL GOLDEN WHIRLWINDS lampwork beads SRA
$39.99
Time Remaining: 1h
Buy It Now for only: $51.99
Quigleylampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 28mm 1 16th
Quigleylampwork owl bead sra DeniseAnnette 28mm 1 16th
$28.00
Time Remaining: 49m
Buy It Now for only: $38.00
CELINE Artisan USA RUBY RED GOLDEN WHIRLWIND pillow lampwork beads SRA
CELINE Artisan USA RUBY RED GOLDEN WHIRLWIND pillow lampwork beads SRA
$39.99
Time Remaining: 18h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $51.99
Darrinlampwork dinosaur bead sra DeniseAnnette 15x34mm 3 32nd
Darrinlampwork dinosaur bead sra DeniseAnnette 15x34mm 3 32nd
$12.00
Time Remaining: 3h 21m

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Bead Buying and Supply Sources

I don't know about you, but I love virtual on-line bead shopping. And yes, I do very much enjoy going to bead shows and fondling the merchandise, there aren't a whole lot of shows where I live. For that matter, there aren't many bead shops close by, either!

Lampwork and Swarovski

So, the internet, and especially ebay, are my shopping companions. Ebay especially I love for two items: [nmslink:lampwork beads,artisan lampwork beads] and also [nmslink:swarovski beads,Swarovski bead mixes].  Honestly, outside of a bead show, you can't find a better selection of artisan lampwork beads than on ebay.

Sterling Silver

Then there are places like Monsterslayer where I enjoy buying sterling products -- beads, clasps, wire, etc.  Not a high-tech site, for sure, but the prices are great!  (And the more you save the more goodies you can buy, right?)

Gemstone Beads

Buying gemstone beads is a bit tricky.  In the beginning I bought a lot of my gemstone beads at the online stores you see advertised prominently in the beading magazines.  Then I went to some gem and bead shows and saw what I had been missing (in other words - a lot).  So these days, I try to buy hands-on whenever possible. 

I did find one place online I was impressed with, though -- Stones 'N Silver.  I bought a few loose gemstone beads to try them out, and I was pleased enough to go back.  The blue lace agate beads I bought were especially yummy!  Come to think of it, maybe it's time I go back again for more goodies like their beautiful leopardskin jasper.

Miscellaneous Beading Supplies

OK, other supplies.  Yep, now is the time I use those big bead places like Fire Mountain -- stringing supplies, Delica beads, glues, needles and other miscellaneous items.

Lampwork Bead Supplies

And lampwork glass.  I do an awful lot of glass shopping on ebay for glass as well, especially the [nmslink:vetrofond,Vetrofond odd lots].  Then of course I am on several email lists for various small glass suppliers, so when I get word of a sale....  😉

Eye Candy For Today

Right now I'll leave you with some beady eye candy from Sisters Beads on ebay.  I do so enjoy looking at their auctions, and I hope you do, too.

[nms:lampwork beads sisters,7,1,25]