beading 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 18 Piece Necklace Lot Pink Pearl Bead Graduated Multi Strand PRETTY YY9
Vintage 18 Piece Necklace Lot Pink Pearl Bead Graduated Multi Strand PRETTY YY9
$68.00
Time Remaining: 13d 4h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $68.00
10 Vintage  Modern Shell Bead Costume Jewelry Necklaces Lot 957
10 Vintage Modern Shell Bead Costume Jewelry Necklaces Lot 957
$7.95
Time Remaining: 12d 7h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $7.95
Vintage mix pearl black bead jewelry lot 7148 Trifari
Vintage mix pearl black bead jewelry lot 7148 Trifari
$2.00
Time Remaining: 14d 13h 30m
Buy It Now for only: $2.00
Vintage LUCITE BUBBLE BEAD NECKLACE LOT Choker  Long Clear Blue Disc Jewelry
Vintage LUCITE BUBBLE BEAD NECKLACE LOT Choker Long Clear Blue Disc Jewelry
$12.95
Time Remaining: 18d 3h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $12.95
Indian Native American Beaded Bead Necklaces Bracelets Lot People Vintage
Indian Native American Beaded Bead Necklaces Bracelets Lot People Vintage
$19.99
Time Remaining: 27d 22h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99

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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. 

COURAGE Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
COURAGE Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
$24.99
Time Remaining: 6d 7h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $24.99
JOY LILY Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
JOY LILY Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
$34.99
Time Remaining: 6d 7h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $34.99
TWILIGHT SUSPENDED Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
TWILIGHT SUSPENDED Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
$24.99
Time Remaining: 6d 7h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $24.99
VIOLET NEBULA Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
VIOLET NEBULA Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal Bead Pendant Leah Nietz SRA N39
$29.99
Time Remaining: 6d 7h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
Lil Blue Bird hand made Handmade Glass Lampwork Bead by TH sra
Lil Blue Bird hand made Handmade Glass Lampwork Bead by TH sra
$6.00
Time Remaining: 13d 13h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $6.00

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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]