3-2-1 Earrings!


Looking for an easy project to tackle this weekend?  Well, this easy tutorial is just for you!  With just a few simple steps and minimal supplies, you can have yourself an awesome pair of earrings as fast as you can count to three.  All you need for each earring is THREE quartz crystals, TWO eye pins, and ONE earring wire.

4pc – Copper Eye Pins - 2 inch
1pr – Copper Ear Wires
6pc – Polished Quartz Spears


1) String three quartz crystals onto an eye pin.  Trim the wire and make a loop. (Images 2-4)
2) Make a loop on the end of an eye pin.  Be sure that the loops are facing in the same direction. (Images 5-6)
3) Grasp the center of the eye pin with the large side of your bail making pliers (or the barrel of a marker, like a Sharpie) and make a horseshoe shape. (Images 7-8)
4) Open the loops on the curved eye pin and insert the loops from the beaded link.  (Images 9-11)
5) Add an earring wire to the curved section.  (Image 11)
6) Repeat all steps to complete the earring set.  (Image 12)
7) WEAR!

Products shown above: Antique brass eye pins, antique brass ear wire, stone spears.

Don’t let the name fool you, because you don’t have to stick to the 3 beads per earring!  This technique is easily adapted with any number (or size or shape) of beads.  Below, you can see how I used this same technique with just a single drop.

Products shown above: Silver eye pins, silver ear wire, bi-color amethyst drops.

Products shown above: silver eye pins, silver ear wires, silver jump rings, prehnite rough spear nuggets.

These are my favorite pair of earrings.  When the buyers brought all the yummy beads back from Tucson, I absolutely fell in love with this strand of raw prehnite spears.  Pricy as they are, I had to take home a strand.  I made these earrings and have been wearing them practically every day since.

Personally, I think this style of earring looks best with natural materials, like the rough cut stones above.  I love how rugged and organic they look.  It would be cool to try a dressier version with cut crystal drops, like these!  Hope you have a sunny and creative weekend!


Iris Axis Triple Wrap Bracelet

The woven wrap bracelet has become a fashion staple in recent years.  Made popular by jewelry designer Chan Luu, this trend doesn’t look like it’s going away soon.  I absolutely love making these wrap bracelets.  Whether making a multi-wrap bracelet or keeping it simple with a single wrap, these are easy to construct even if they can be a little time consuming.  I find that I rather like sitting on the couch, whipping up one of these bracelets while binge watching one of my favorite TV shows.  It’s a great way to pass the time and keep your hands busy.

One of my favorite tools for making wrap bracelets is the foam Macrame Board by The Beadsmith.  Coming in a full size or mini, it’s perfect not only for macrame projects but bead weaving too.  I love the flexible foam and the half-inch grooves along the entire outside border.  The printed grid makes it easy to precisely measure your jewelry designs.  I  prefer to work with the mini sized board, it’s a little smaller than a magazine and can be used for any sized project.  When my bracelet became too long, I simply wrapped it around the back of the flexible foam.  Because the board is made of such a pliable material, it won’t damage the piece in any way.  You can also use it to hold your needles if you need to set your project down for a while!

Approx. 150pc - 4mm Roller Crow BeadsBlue Iris
Approx. 100pc – 4mm TierraCast Turkish Heishi Beads
TierraCast Earth Button
.12mm C-lon Cord or KO Thread
1mm Leather Cord
GS Hypo Cement for Fabric
Big Eye Needle
Macrame Board by The Beadsmith
Thread Burner

1) Cut about 70 inches of 1mm leather cord and about 1 yard of thread.  String the button onto the leather and center it on the cord.  Thread the needle with the beading thread.  Place the end of the thread next to the cord and tie an overhand knot connecting them. (Images 2-3)
2) Place the button into the center groove at the top of the macrame board and secure the leather into separate sections on the bottom of the board. (Image 4)
3) Wrap the beading thread several times around both strands of the leather cord by bringing the cord from left to right over the top of the leather and wrapping it under.  (Image 5)
4) String one bead onto the needle and bring the string over the leather from left to right.  (Image 6)
5) Bring your needle under the leather and through the bead and under the leather from right to left. (Image 7)
6) String two beads onto the needle and repeat steps 4-5, above.  (Images 8-9)
7) String three beads onto the needle and repeat steps 4-5, above. (Image 10)
8) Continuing stringing as in steps 4-5, using three beads per row and randomly adding the spacer beads into the design, until you have about 3 inches of string left on your needle.  (Images 11-13)
9) Cut the needle from your string and re-thread it with about a yard of thread.  String through the second to last row starting from the right and going left.  String through the last row in the same manner as steps 4-5, above.  Add a new row of three beads.  (Images 14-17)
10) Place a drop of glue on each tail of thread.  Allow to dry completely before trimming with the thread burner. (Images 18-19)
11) As the bracelet gets longer, adjust the piece on the macrame board.  Wrap the tail end around the board and secure the button into one of the grooves to hold it steady.  (Image 20)
12) The beaded section should measure 20.5 inches and have about 32 rows when complete to be long enough for a triple wrap bracelet.  Adjust the amount of rows for a longer or shorter bracelet.  Add additional thread if needed as shown in steps 9-10, above.
13) When you have reached your desired length, decrease the amount of beads in the row from three beads to two, following with a row of one single bead.  (Images 21-22.)
14) Wrap the beading thread around both strands of leather cord and tie and overhand knot.  Tie three additional overhand knots in the cord, spacing them about an inch apart to accommodate for the size of the button.  String spacer bead onto each tail of leather and finish with an overhand knot.  Trim.  The additional knots at the end of the bracelet allows the finished piece to be adjustable. (Images 26-29)
15)  Reenforce knotted areas and the places where additional thread was added for extra security.  Allow to completely dry before wearing.

Here is a close up of the button closure.  I love this Earth button from TierraCast’s Your World Collection.  There are over 55 styles of buttons from TierraCast to choose from as well as other styles that can be found on our website.  I have also collected vintage buttons for a long time and have used them in wrapped bracelet designs.  So pick up something new or raid your stash for pretty buttons to use in your jewelry creations.

We recently got in a new size of roller crow beads that I wanted to use for this piece.  Typically coming in 6mm or 9mm, the new 4mm crow offers an alternative to a simple round bead and I liked how well it matched up in size with the Turkish Heishi spacer beads.  I love this Blue Iris color as well since it seems to have more turquoise and blue tones than other dye lots I have seen.  My favorite aspect of the finished wrap bracelets is how different the same beads look with silver components versus the gold.  The silver beads bring out more of the blues and purples while the gold highlights the green and bronze colors.  Another bead of choice for wrap bracelets is the size 6/0 seed bead.

There is so much that you can do once you have mastered the wrap bracelet technique.  Try combining different sizes and types of beads to create multifaceted designs.  With so many colors and styles to choose from, its easy to mix and match colors of leather and threads and beads.  Add to that, beautiful buttons by TierraCast and you will surely have a stunning piece of jewelry.  It’s also fun to substitute different materials for the leather, like the Chinese knotting cord or waxed cotton cording.  It really makes the possibilities endless!

SilverGold-SquareThanks to Chan Luu, who brought this style of bracelet into fashion, creating a trendy and easily DIY-able design for the masses.  Wrap bracelets are easy to make and customize, so you can certainly have one to match your own personal style.  Right now at Shipwreck Beads, all beads are 15-50% off.  These prices won’t last much longer; the sale ends today!

Have you ever made a wrap bracelet?  Let me know in the comments!


Simple Stretch Bracelets with Tassels

Stretch bracelets, the starting point for many novice jewelry makers, are simple and versatile.  It can be easy to forget about the technique or push it aside in favor of more complicated designs but they are a quick, easy project suitable for all skill levels.  Don’t  be put off by their simple assembly because the possibilities are limitless.

In this blog post, I have paired a simple stretch bracelet with tassels made with the brand new Tassel Maker Tool from Beadalon.  By using fun beads and quality accents, it’s really easy to glam up it up.  I used a bead bail (a bead with an attached loop) from TierraCast to be able to add some charms to the design.

Tassel Maker Tool by Beadalon
Assorted Beads (8mm fire polished Czech Glass from Preciosa)
Small Silver Beads (TierraCast Spacers, TC0421-AS and TC0425-AS)
Bead Bail by TierraCast (TC5509-AS)
1mm Stretch Cord (1CH212-5)
Jump Rings (TC0020-RP and TC0018-RP)
G-S Hypo Cement
Cotton Tassel Cord - Assorted Colors
TierraCast Bead Cones – Optional
TierraCast Charms – Optional
24ga Wire – Optional

First up, I am going to give you a brief run down on the Tassel Maker Tool.  Tassels are pretty easy to make the “old school” way aka wrapping the cord around your fingers but can be hard to make in uniform sizes and lengths.  The tool is completely adjustable  making tassels from about 1-3 inches.  My favorite feature of the tool are the little suction cups on the bottom that will attach to any flat, smooth surface.  The tool comes with fully photographed instructions (four pages of them!) but I wanted to detail them here as well.  I have only demonstrated one way of finishing the tassel, but you can also use a bead cone to finish them up as well.  As you can see in the picture above, I did make a couple using the cone method but did not photograph them here.  Not to worry, Beadlon shows you how in their instruction booklet.

1) Start by securing your Tassel Maker Tool to a flat surface. (Image 1)
2) Position the posts to the size of your choice and secure the end of the cotton tassel cord around the back side of the post.  Hold it in place by tightening the wing nut. (Image 2)
3) Crank the handle until you are satisfied with the fullness of your tassel.  If you are making a matched pair, be sure to count the number of rotations. (Images 3-4)
4) Cut the cord from the spool leaving several inches and then loosen the wing nut and release the other end of the cord.  Note: my version differs slightly from the instructional booklet. Tie the two ends of the cord together around one half of the tassel.  Remove from the tool.(Images 5-6)
5) Add a jump ring to the looped cord. (Image 8)
6) With a piece of cord, wrap several around the tassel just under the jump ring and tie a double knot.  Secure with G-S Hypo Cement. Trim ends and set aside.  (Images 9-12)

Stretch Bracelet Steps:
1) String beads and spacers onto stretch cord in your desired pattern, adding the bail bead last.  When using 8mm beads, as shown, you will need approximately 24-26 beads. (Images 1-2)
2) Tie a surgeon’s knot into the cord pulling very taught.  I like to use a thicker stretch cord and it can be a little more difficult to knot securely. (Images 3-5)
3) Add glue to the knot and slip the knot into the bail bead.  Allow to dry before trimming the excess cord. (Images 6-8)
4) Using a jump ring, attached the finished tassel (see above) to the loop of the bail bead. (Images 9-11)
5) Leave as is or add additional charms and/or beads (see examples below) if desired. (Image 12)

Supplies to make the Mint Sorbet Stretch Bracelet shown in the tutorial above can be found HERE.

I created several different versions and the supply lists for each can be found below.

Rose Bracelet Supply List HERE
Evergreen Bracelet Supply List HERE
Amethyst Bracelet Supply List HERE
Crimson Bracelet Supply List HERE
Aqua Bracelet Supply List HERE


I love the ease and consistency that the tool allows to create perfect tassels every time.  I love using tassels in my designs and have featured tassels them blog before (Leather Tassel Necklaces, Seed Bead Tassel Earrings, T-Shirt Bangle Bracelet, and Pearl Tassel Necklace).  Tassels are super trendy and it looks like they will be sticking around for a while.  They make the perfect accent when you need a pop of color or to add a little bit of texture to your design.  Let me know what you think of tassels in the comments below. Will you be purchasing the new Tassel Maker Tool from Beadalon?


Perles le Bonbon Necklace with Swarovski Crystal Pearls

PerleTitle copy

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.  ~Coco Chanel 

Coco Chanel was a champion of affordable fashion and a pioneer when it came to costume jewelry.  She believed that jewelry was meant to adorn women, not to show off their wealth.  She worked endlessly to provide women with accessible fashion and was never without a strand or two of pearls. Inspired by the quote above, I set out to create a necklace that would make Coco proud!

After my last post, I wanted to try a more classic take on the new pastel crystal pearls by Swarovski and you just can’t go wrong with a classic string of pearls.  This elegant necklace pushes the envelope on the classics with a little something extra.  With a soft, velvety finish these pearls will look equally stunning with a cocktail dress or a t-shirt and pair of jeans.  Keep reading to find a full tutorial as well as product lists for the Moroccan Mint and Pink Lemonade Sorbet versions of the necklace.

26pc – Pastel Green (or Yellow) Swarovski Crystal Pearls
31pc – Pastel Grey (or Pink) Swarovski Crystal Pearls
2pc – TierraCast Bead Aligners (TC5720-RP)
1pc – Swarovski BeCharmed Midnight Skyline (or Vintage Rose Fuchsia Flower)
1pc – TierraCast Oval Toggle Clasp (TC6091-AR)
2pc – Crimp Beads (TC0030-BS)
2pc – Crimp Covers (TC0032-BS)
24in – SoftFlex Beading Wire (14SF212-10)

1) Pull about 24 inches of beading wire off the spool.  String 18pc pastel green pearls onto the wire. (Image 1)
2) String one bead aligner, one BeCharmed bead, and a second bead aligner.  Be sure to position the bead aligners to that the post is inserted into the hole of the BeCharmed bead. (Image 2)
3) String 31pc pastel grey pearls onto the beading wire.  (Image 3)
4) String 4pc pastel green pearls. (Image 4)
5) String on a crimp bead, pass the wire through the loop on the bar part of the clasp and back through the crimp bead, creating a loop.  Close crimp using a pair of crimp pliers to secure.  (Images 5-7)
6) Place a crimp cover over your secured crimp bead pinch to close. (Image 8-9)
7) Repeat steps 5 & 6 with the loop end of the clasp to complete the necklace. Finished necklace measures 19 inches.

Moroccan Mint Supply List: HERE

Pink Lemonade Sorbet Supply List: HERE


This project is easily created in under 30 minutes and with a price tag of under $50, it won’t break the bank.   Even better for your budget, get them ON SALE NOW.  Celebrating the first day of spring, today through March 25th, nearly everything on our website is on sale! Save 20-30% on your favorite brands like TierraCast, Swarovski Crystals, SoftFlex, Amoracast, Vintaj, and many, many more!

This inspiring take on the classic pearl necklace is the perfect complement to a spring outfit.  Whether you want to express yourself in the floral, feminine tones of Pink Lemonade Sorbet or if you prefer the understated elegance of Moroccan Mint, these pearls will help you enter spring in style.  And that’s something Coco Chanel herself would approve of!


Leather Charm Bracelet with NEW Swarovski Pearls


Little Bunny Foo Foo,
hopping through the forest,
Scooping up the field mice
and bopping them on the head.

Along came the Good Fairy, and she said,
“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you,
Scooping up the field mice
and bopping them on the head.
I’ll give you three chances,
and if you don’t behave,
I’ll turn you into a Goon!” 

The inspiration for this bracelet came from, you guessed it, a popular children’s rhyme.  Swarovski recently launched their Innovations for Spring/Summer 2016.  My favorite part of the launch are the yummy candy-colored crystal pearls.  In velvety pastel shades, they evoke childhood memories of Easter egg hunts and toothache-inducing sweets.  I paired up the crystal pearls with some pearly leather cord and TierraCast components for a festive piece of spring jewelry.

3pc each – 6mm Swarovski Crystal Pearls (6CR601-P, 6CR621-P, 6CR671-P, 6CR681-P, 6CR691-P)
2pc each – 8mm Swarovski Crystal Pearls (8CR601-P, 8CR621-P, 8CR671-P, 8CR681-P, 8CR691-P)
10pc – TierraCast Bunny Bead
15pc – TierraCast Twisted Ring
6pc - TierraCast Clover Charm
5pc – Peruvian Ceramic Mouse Bead
2pc – TierraCast Taj Cord End
1pc – TierraCast Toggle Clasp
1mm Pearl Leather Cord
5mm Jump Rings
7mm Jump Rings
Ball Head Pin
E-6000 Adhesive
Scrap wire

1) Stack each of the 15 pearls and 10 bunny beads on head pins and make wrapped loops. Set aside. (Images 1-4)  Note: I didn’t add the ceramic mouse beads until after the bracelet was completed, so they are stacked on a head pin and attached to the leather with jump rings.  Instead, make beaded dangles with the rest of the beads in step 1.  The hole size on the ceramic beads is a little larger than the head pin, so you will need to place a small bead or spacer before stringing the mouse bead.
2) Connect 5mm jump rings to the clover charms.  Set aside. (Image 5)
3) Cut 20 pieces of leather, 12 inches each.  Randomly knot and add beads/charms to each of the strands until you have used them all. (Images 6-9)
4) Arrange the strands until you are satisfied with the placement of the beads.  (Image 10)
5) Using a piece of scrap wire, secure the ends of the leather and trim the cord so it is all the same length. (Image 11)
6) Fill the cord end with glue and place a little bit of glue on the end of the cord.  Allow it to become slightly tacky and place the cap on the cord.  Repeat on the opposite side of the bracelet.  Remove the scrap wire and set aside.  (Image 12) Note: I tried to use Super New Glue to secure the cord to the end of the bracelet because it had been recommended to me and I super new glued my fingers together.  I think I’ll stick to E-6000 as my adhesive of choice.
7) Attach a 7mm jump ring to the loop in the cord end and connect it to a twisted ring spacer.  Connect a second jump ring and attach the loop end of the clasp. (Image 13-14)
8) Repeat on the opposite side of the bracelet, adding extra jump rings and spacers as needed for length.




The result is a finished piece that resembles a charm bracelet ready with a fun new twist.   Wear it with your Easter best or just because for a fun, festive pop of color to your favorite spring outfit.  If you visit our website you can find these and all the rest of Swarovski’s latest product launch.  Also, from now until March 10th you can save 20-30% on nearly everything on our website! From TierraCast’s new You Collection to all the gorgeous gemstones recently added, you can save big now!  Spring forward with the latest styles to suit your creative needs!


2015 Oscar Jewelry

The 87th Annual Academy Awards was Sunday , February 22nd, and the celebrities were out in force.  This year, statement necklaces reigned supreme on the red carpet!  I have to say, this was the best year for Oscar fashion in a really long time.  Here are some photos of my favorite jewelry looks of the night.  Let me tell you, there were some show stoppers!!!

Viola Davis showed off her shoulders in a Zac Posen gown that was little too bridal looking for my tastes.  And while I wouldn’t have chosen this style of necklace for this dress, the jewelry itself, a pearl and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, is absolutely stunning.  This necklace also looks like it would be a fun DIY project as well.

Behati Prinsloo, model and wife of Adam Levine, paired her red and black gown with a darkly elegant jeweled necklace from Swiss jeweler, de Grisogono.  The large pave beaded necklace was a departure from the colorful and sparkly jewelry normally worn on the red carpet but it is beautiful none the less.

Past Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer wore a Tadashi Soji gown in the most lovely minty green shade.  Her diamond encrusted Lorraine Schwartz earrings matched her gown perfectly.  I love that she skipped the necklace because it really showcased her incredible earrings!

Contrary to popular believe, Scarlet Johnasson’s stunning Swarovski-encrusted necklace is actually part of her curve hugging Atelier Versace gown.  The new mom looked fantastic and the necklace was an absolute show stopper.  Can you believe she had a baby 6 months ago? She looks incredible!

America Ferrera wore an ethereal green ombre Jenny Packham gown.  She accessorized her look with a stunning pair of turquoise Irene Neuwirth earrings.  While I loved both her dress and her earrings, I’m not crazy about them paired together.  The colors seem to clash and distracted from her overall look.  Looking at the picture above however, you can see how lovely the turquoise earrings are with her skin tone.  Update: A commenter informed me that America’s earrings are actually black opal.  Knowing that, I’m sure that the earrings complimented the dress much better than I first assumed.  Opal’s fiery quality allows it to sparkle and change with movement.  

Country singer Faith Hill wore a long, boho-chic diamond encrusted Lorraine Schwartz necklace with her J. Mendel gown. It’s a lovely piece of jewelry but it blends in to her gown.  I tried to find a better picture that showcased the necklace, and this was the best I could come up with.  I think this necklace would be fun to recreate with a large sparkly pendant and a long strand of knotted keshi pearls.

Former Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson wore a sunny yellow column gown by Romona Keveza and a ginormous pair of emerald earrings.  I love that she kept her other accessories simple and let her earrings shine.

We saw a lot of simple diamond chokers on the red carpet this year but my favorite was Carmen Ejogo’s stunning Chopard necklace.  I love the way she styled her sequined Houghton gown and like that she didn’t wear earrings.  The whole look felt very flapper-esque with her pin curled bob and dark lips.

87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the fabulousness that is Cate Blanchett’s 2015 Tiffany Blue Book necklace.  This is what makes her a style icon, folks.  She is able to take what would be a boring red carpet look, a simple black Margiela dress by John Galliano, and make it look like utter perfection.  I’m not crazy about the fuzzy looking armpits, but let’s be honest… I’m only looking at her necklace.  Can you tell I absolutely love it?  Because I absolutely love it.

My love for Cate’s necklace pales in comparison to the Van Cleef and Arpels necklace worn by Margot Robbie.  Worth 1.5 million dollars, this necklace, which features a fully functional 18k gold zipper, has a pretty epic back story to boot.  Created in the 1930′s for the Duchess of Windor, this diamond and sapphire piece also converts into a fabulous cuff bracelet too!  Read more about this amazing story on the InStyle site HERE.

I couldn’t do an Oscar jewelry  post without talking about Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o's incredible pearl dress.  Speaking of epic backstories, this custom Calvin Klein Collection gown has one that won’t disappoint!  The one of a kind dress was made using over 6,000 Akoya pearls and was reportedly worth $150,000.  After the awards show the dress was stolen from the actress’s unlocked hotel room.  Later in the week, the dress was returned by the thief with claims that the dress was worthless because the pearls were fake!  Fake or not, the dress is beautiful and she looked stunning.  Lupita’s dress has certainly been one of the most talked about gowns from the 2015 Oscars.

Who do you think wore the best Oscar jewelry on the red carpet this year?  Will you be DIY-ing any of the designer looks?  I know I will recreating a piece or two on the blog so keep an eye out!


Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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