Friday

HOW I WORK WITH: Half drilled beads






I picked up a bagful of these beads from the downstairs clearance section of Fun2Bead in NYC. I've talked about the basement before, it's one of my favorite places. Basically you walk to the back of the store down this staircase to a room FULL of bead strands, a wall of seed beads, and in the middle are open containers of beads/charms/etc and you can fill a baggie of plastic beads for ~6.99. They have a ton of silver/pewter charms, those and more expensive beads are about $14.99 a bag. If you're looking for plastic beads, this is the place to go.

I've only see one older gentleman down here working it, so when he's on break or upstairs they have the area closed off. Try not to go during standard lunch times and I've had luck politely and sheepishly and apologetically asking to go downstairs :)

Last time, I went a little nuts over these beads because I loved the shape. I'm not sure what they're made of, some kind of plastic I'm guessing. I went a little bonkers over the fact that they're center drilled! I prefer my drops to be center drilled then side drilled.








I didn't realize until I got home that they are actually only half drilled on one end. (That's what I get for getting too excited about filling up a small bag for $6.99. I cleared them out.)

No matter, I won't be deterred!









The things you need to make this work: wire and glue.








So instead of pulling a headpin through, I ended up cutting up lengths of wire and using E6000 to glue them into place.








I let it cure overnight.








Now comes the loop.









Then you're done. I like the smooth look of not having a headpin on the bottom, but I personally don't care either way.









There is a beautiful little shop back in my Virginian hometown that is actually a house, every room being a different 'store' from various sellers. One of the rooms is full of baggies of beads $1 each. I have an absolute blast going through the baskets and buckets. I bought these earring holders for $1.50.








Thanks for reading!

Wednesday

TUTORIAL: 90s CHOKERS PART 2




Everyone remembers tattoo chokers right? Especially with the recent return of 90's fashion.


They're actually really easy to make and customize.





All you need is elastic stretch cord and for my tutorial, crimp beads. But you can always tie off the ends, thus only needing the cord.

I purchased both black and clear in different sizes.





You can see here the differences in thickness.






For the thin cord, you can double/triple the loops!




Okay to start off, cut your cords. I basically wrapped the cord around my neck three times. Do this twice.






So you will have 2 long pieces of cord and 2 crimp beads. I will call them strand #1 and strand #2.







To secure the ends, you can always use a clipboard, tape, etc, but I just sandwiched the cords in between two heavy things.






To begin, make a loop with strand #1.






Then, slide strand #2 into strand #1's loop in and "over-under" fashion.







Then, you will take that strand #2 end and wrap it around strand #1 to create a second loop. This is the pattern. (I made the loops a little more loose so it can be seen better. Usually, they are pulled more tight.)






Repeat the pattern. Soon, it will become muscle memory. I was making these while watching Netflix.






I keep on going and eyeball the length. I'll pull it to my neck to gauge.



In the end, you'll have two opened ends.








Pull a crimp bead onto one of your end (4) strands (2 ends, 2 strands in each). You're going to secure your necklace, meeting the two ends.








Here is the first crimp. You will have two. Basically, pull the ends opposite in an X shape through the crimp bead then squeeze shut. Trim the ends.









Here is the second one. You can always tie off your ends also.



Now you're done!






You can double up on your threads, add seed beads, etc. You can also manipulate how taut the necklace is, how large the loops are, etc.





For these I added a center focal bead.






I love how subtle the clear ones are.






For this one, I added slightly larger gold beads.






Have fun and thanks for reading!

Tuesday

TUTORIAL: 90'S CHOKERS PART 1





I really like chokers, and since the 90's seem to be making a resurgence this summer I wanted to make a couple.

This is PART 1: TRIM CHOKERS





MATERIALS NEEDED:
  • trim
  • jump rings
  • clasps
  • bracelet clamps


 I got my trim from M&J in the city. You don't need much, if I remember correctly I got about 2ft of each one.





I love these clamps. They have tiny 'teeth' that bite down into the trim when pressed. I got these at Bead Center







First, you're going to need to cut the trim. I just placed it around my neck, and don't forget that your clasps will add room, so cut accordingly.




 



Take your pliers and press down on the ends.


 


Add your jump rings and clasps! I'm using barrel ones.


 







So simple right?









Thanks for reading and stay tuned for PART 2: TATTOO CHOKERS.


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