How to Start Learning to Bead

How to Start Learning to Bead

Making your own jewelry isn’t just a lot of fun, it is also a great way to make gifts for the people that you care about. If you haven’t ever made your own jewelry before, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and unsure of how to get started. Beading is one way of making jewelry and is a great choice for many people who are interested in learning how to make their own jewelry. Not only can you quickly learn the basics, but you won’t need very many pieces of equipment to get started.

Gathering Your Tools

Your first step in learning how to bead is gathering all of the tools that you will need. If you have a well-stocked toolbox at your home then you may already have everything you need, otherwise, you will want to consider buying your tools at the same place where you buy your beading supplies online. You will need flat-nosed pliers and wire cutters as well as specialized round-nose pliers, scissors, and jewelry glue. When you have all of your tools on hand, you can start choosing your new beads that you want to use to design your new pieces.

Picking Your Beads

There are many different types of beads available for you to choose from, which is why it can get a little overwhelming for some people to shop for beads. No matter if you want gemstones, glass, Swarovski crystal beads, or sterling silver beads and findings, you are going to be best off buying bulk jewelry making supplies from a reputable company who has a lot of different options. Depending on what your style is and what kind of jewelry you are interested in making, you will be able to narrow down your choices and find beads that work for you.

Pick Your Findings and Stringing Medium

Once you have bought your pearl, silver, and gold filled beads, it’s time to choose your findings and stringing medium. You need findings such as bead tips, clasps, jump rings, and headpins to get started so that you can connect and finish all of your pieces. Stringing mediums can include coated wire, silk, and even nylon, which means that it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and con of each type before you buy.

After you have all of your tools and supplies, it’s time to get inspired and set aside some time to bead. It may be a little daunting looking at all of your new supplies, but you won’t ever learn if you don’t pick up the pliers and get to work. Taking a class to learn how to bead or buying a book that explains the process and offers inspiration is a great way to get started and will help you start designing your own jewelry right away. In no time at all you are likely to be creating incredible pieces that all of your friends and family members will love!

4 Facts about Gold-Filled Beads You Need to Know

4 Facts about Gold-Filled Beads You Need to Know

A lot of people are making the wrong assumptions about many jewelry supplies, especially gold filled beads. If you choose to get them for your jewelry making, you need to know what they truly are so you can properly market them to the right people in the right way. If you are into jewelry making, it is also crucial that you get educated about other beads and jewelry making supplies so that you can craft the best jewelry and market it the right way

Before we dive into the list of misconceptions, let us talk a little about some basic facts first. Legally, gold-filled items should have at least 5% of gold. This percentage will be identified using the gold alloy’s karat-age. Many gold-filled items in the market today are either 12kt or 14kt.

#1 – Inability to Cast

There are a lot of people who are getting confused about the ability of a gold-filled item to be cast. To be clear, remember that gold-filled items do not have the ability to be cast. This is a limitation that many people who are using gold filled items for jewelry making have to deal with. The products that are attached to it should be manufactured from the tube, sheet, or gold filled wire.

#2 – Gold-Filled Solder

There is no exact reason why the term “gold-filled solder” came to be. In actuality, this does not really exist. Normally, to get the illusion that a solder is gold-filled, color matching is done. The solder joint and the surface metal are color-matched by a 14kt gold solder.

Moreover, soldering a gold-filled item should not be done without a special tool operated by a person who underwent a special training. In most cases, gold-filled soldering needs a laser welder to make the joints as precise as possible.

#3 – Gold-Filled vs. Gold

A lot of jewelry makers who are creating jewelry using gold filled beads call them “gold”. This should not really be done and is illegal. If something is called gold, it means that the item is a very solid alloy that contains a high gold content. Gold-filled items are not like this.

As much as possible, do not use the term “gold” for pieces that are actually made with gold-filled items. If you make this a habit, you could get yourself into legal issues.

#4 – Gold-Filled vs. Gold Plate

Gold-filled items should not be confused with gold plating. A gold plate is a very thin layer of gold spread on a base made of brass. Because it is so thin, it does not really contribute to the weight of the whole item. Compared to gold filled items, gold plates wear off easier and quicker. Gold plates also cannot withstand extreme heat or temperature.

On the other hand, gold-filled items have 5% gold in it. Because it has more amount of gold, it adds up to the total weight of the product. Additionally, gold-filled items and findings can be more durable and reliable, providing protection from tarnishing and wearing of the main product.

If you are looking for a more affordable but acceptable quality alternative for solid gold, gold filled beads and items can be your best bet. They offer the best features that make up the characteristics of solid gold while maintaining the price at mid-level.

Getting to Know the Different Metals You Can Use in Making Jewelry

Getting to Know the Different Metals You Can Use in Making Jewelry

The use of metals for jewelry has existed for as long as the start of human civilization. Metals in jewelry were already used in ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilization. Since then, jewelry making has become so popular that there are many less expensive alternatives for precious metals right now like gold filled beads.

While there are a lot of different metals known to us, not all of them can be used to make jewelry. Among the most precious metals that are used in crafting jewelry are gold, platinum, and silver. They have a huge economic value and they are considered more valuable than most other metals.

Any kind of metals used in jewelry making that is not one of the three mentioned above is categorized as non-precious metals. While gold filled beads are cheaper, they are not really behind in terms of quality. In some cases, to get the best of both precious and non-precious metal features, they are mixed and termed as an alloy.

If you are studying about the different metals you can use for jewelry making while planning your designs, take a look at this list of metals and their major characteristics.

#1 – Platinum

Compared to other metals, platinum would be the rarest and the most expensive one. It even has a higher preciousness rate compared to gold. Platinum looks very similar to silver and it is mainly characterized by its heavy weight. The most common and popular use of platinum in terms of jewelry is for wedding or engagement rings, paired with diamonds.

#2 – Silver

One thing that makes silver preferred by most jewelry makers is that it can be soft and easy to work with when it is pure. It makes it easier when silver is mixed with copper so it is more pliable. There are many kinds of silver metals accepted as jewelry making materials like fine silver, nickel silver, and sterling silver. Sterling silver beads are very common in jewelry making.

#3 – Copper

Copper is characterized by its reddish brown color. Unlike precious metals, copper is often used as a base for gold filled beads and findings. Usually, copper is oxidized and it becomes like a green patina. The oxidized copper is called an antiqued copper plate and it is popular as a material used for making fashion jewelry.

#4 – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel would be the most popular and widely used material in the craft of jewelry making. It is more industrial-looking with an appearance that can be very similar to silver. It is resistant to scratches, but it may contain some nickel that can cause allergies in some people.

#5 – Gold

Among the metals mentioned here, gold is the best metal for making jewelry. Gold has always been considered beautiful. To make gold easy to work with, it is mixed with other high-quality metals like copper or zinc. Most fashion jewelry is made from gold filled beads and findings, a cheaper alternative containing around 5% of pure gold.

For a wide range of custom jewelry making supplies and beading supplies, visit www.crystalfindings.com.