Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tips and Techniques: necklace finishing.

This is something I've been thinking about posting for awhile, and after fixing some older pieces this weekend I figured this would be a good time. While I do use various clasp types this post applies to lobster class. What I like about this method of finishing is that it gives a bit of flexibility to a design, allowing the length to vary some. Very handy to adjust for different outfits.

The chain you use is important. It needs to be lighter weight to stay in back. It also needs to be strong. Soldered links work wonders for this task. When I used to buy necklace extenders locally they didn't have soldered links and some have come apart. Now I have three spools of chain I use for finishing. They are curb chain with soldered links, and the gauge isn't to heavy. The links also have a large enough opening to allow the clasp to clip a link. This is the antiqued copper plated one I use. I have all three spools in with my tool kit so they are ready to go when finishing a necklace.

I also like to add a bead to the end of the chain. That way if the clasp misses a link and goes around the chain it still holds onto the necklace. I put the bead on a headpin, then I attach it to the end of the chain with a wrapped loop. The bead does have to be larger than the inside of the clasp, and I like to choose one that matches the design.

Example of how this looks on a design: The chain is attached to the necklace on one end via a split ring, and has a the bead on the other end. The split ring is large enough so the clasp can be attached there if wanted. I also prefer split rings over jump rings because I've have stringing material slip out of jump rings before.

Closeup of the clasp and extender:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bracelet in Progress

I know that it has been awhile since I've posted much here. I was focusing on my writing blog for April's A to Z challenge, then after that I've been a bit quiet on the blog front.

Anyways I wanted to share what I'm working on currently. I picked out some new beads for my anniversary Tuesday and I decided to work with them tonight.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Walking on Sunshine

And don't it feel good :)

Yes, I couldn't help it. I've had this song stuck in my head since I decided to buy the Walking on Sunshine crystal jam. And here's more of what I've made with it. They were more of a 'garnish' if you will on the leaf necklace, for these pieces the crystals are a more integral part of the designs. The earrings came first then I made a necklace to match.

For the earrings I strung the crystals on yellow Soft Flex to bring out the fun warm tones of the crystals.

And here is the necklace. In addition to the crystals I added some Czech glass beads and some little peanut shaped clear beads. I had hoped that the yellow Soft Flex would show through the peanut beads, but that didn't go quite as planned. I still like how this turned out though.

The whole necklace. I used some of my curb chain to make an extender, putting a glass round bead on the end for the clasp to catch if it misses a link. I like making my own extenders with the handy spools of chain from Rings and Things. This curb chain has soldered links, which adds strength. I have some extenders I picked up locally which have broken because they don't have soldered links.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Take our design challenge!

Take our design challenge!

Check out the above link, Rings and Things has a contest going to win some nice copper beads.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Necklace Hanger

I started making these years ago, but this is the first time I made one with square wire as the base instead of round. This one also turned out better than some of my earlier attempts. I bought the square wire at Rings and Things (it is hard to find non-round base metal wire).

And here is another shot one from the side to show the hooks off a little better.

Tool wise I used my chain nose pliers to make the right angle bends in the wire, my round nose pliers to shape the hooks and start the spirals, and I used my nylon jaw pliers to finish the spirals.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Finished Necklace

From the work in progress I posted earlier, here is the finished piece.

That's what the whole necklace looks like, with the beads all the way around.

And here is a close up shot of the pendant portion of the necklace. I'm not sure why, but Blogger rotated it on me in the upload process.

Off topic, but I decided not to try posting via my phone this time around. I used the camera for better pictures, then I put the SD card into my netbook. I love how the netbook has the SD reader, and using the Windows 7 version of MS Paint worked pretty well for resizing/cropping the images. Well it wouldn't let me use the crop button. I ended up selecting the whole image, moving it up and to the left, then dragging the canvas to where I wanted to "crop" the bottom and right side.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Work in Progress

I had tried to post this last night via my Droid, but Blogger was giving me issues. So I'm using the web to share this. I had managed to upload it to Flickr, but couldn't copy/paste the html. I had also tried the Blogger image upload. Blogger let me upload the image, but then it wouldn't let me click the button to insert it into the post.

Anyways, here is the necklace I was working on last night: The colors are a bit weird thanks to the flash on my cell phone.


Materials wise I used the Walking on Sunshine crystal mix, wooden beads from my grandmother-in-law, 6 mm Czech glass rounds, and a plated aspen leaf pendant. For the clasp I used the art deco leaf toggle clasp. Because the clasp was so pretty I didn't want to have it hidden behind my hair. Instead I decided to try making a necklace with an off-center clasp.

Overall I'm really happy with how this came out. At first I was thinking of having more crystals in the design then I decided that doing something more earthy would work better with the leaf. Luckily I had the wooden beads on hand and used them. I did also use some glass beads for interest along with the crystals, but the main focus for the strung part is the wood. I absolutely adore the pendant, I'm so glad I decided to buy it. It's so delicate yet bold at the same time, all those little leaf veins are almost lace like.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Crystal Filigree Necklace

When I saw the Swarovski filigree over at Rings and Things I decided I wanted to try working with them. So I purchased the one in this necklace, with no idea what I would do with it. Then as I was making gifts last month I decided to hang the filigree as a pendant. It's attached with a smaller jump ring so the E beads hold it in place.

Swarovski filigree
Czech E beads - crystal color
Mocca Swarovski pearls
Czech fire polished faceted rounds
Little silver colored spacers
Soft Flex Extreme silver

I have two more filigree in my cart right now and I'm planning on trying a multi strand design. I'll probably do a bracelet first, then try making a choker. The choker I won't be able to wear for awhile as it's turtleneck weather right now. But that's alright, I'm looking at one of the floral shaped filigree for the choker so it will be a nice spring necklace.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Holiday Necklace

Last month I received a bag of beads from Rings & Things, a cute mix of holiday glass beads. It took me a little while to figure out how to use them, then it took me awhile longer to get a chance to photograph the necklace I made.

This is how the necklace turned out. Some of the beads were long enough I wanted to let them hang down instead of sitting sideways being strung. So I put them on paddle head pins I had and attached them to a length of chain.

The chain I purchased from Rings & Things awhile back and it's come in handy for multiple projects. I have a whole spool of it which should last awhile longer. The nice thing about this chain is the way the links are formed, the edges add a little bit of sparkle to designs the way they catch the light.

The beads can be found within the category here. The bag I received was mixed Christmas/winter beads instead of only one of the specific shapes. I'd recommend checking them out, the pictures over on Rings and Things site show off the beads better than my photograph here. The detail on the beads is nice and they are fun to work with.

With Valentines day next month, they do also have some cute heart shaped glass beads.

FTC compliance disclosure: The glass beads in the necklace I received for free from Rings & Things.