Leftover beads? These simple and unique beading projects can help you utilize your ever-growing collection of beading odds and ends.
10 Great Beading Projects for Leftover Beads
Because it takes relatively few beads to make earrings, earring projects are a great way to put leftover beads to good use, especially sparkly statement pieces like Shamballa beads. As an added bonus, these make great last-minute gifts for family and friends.
Make a pretty beaded wax linen twin bookmark from odd beads for yourself or the avid reader in your life. This simple project takes only about 10-minutes, making them a fantastic project for children or any potential new jewelry makers in your life.
Burlap Curtain Tie-Backs or Napkin Rings
Spruce up your curtains or dining room table with stretchy strings of your leftover beads. Have a little extra time and quite a few extra beads? Add a beaded fringe to your drapes or make a full beaded curtain for budding bohemians.
Wine Glass Beaded Charms
Enjoy a glass of wine while making charms for your stemware. Wine glass beaded charms are a great way to mark glasses. Make color variations from leftover beads for dinner parties, or put those alphabet beads to good use for your next family gathering.
A few bobby pins and a bit of glue and you can turn just a few leftover beads into a fun hair accessory for children or friends and minutes.
Dresser or desk less than inspiring? Top it off with a conversation piece. Create your own beaded spider or dragonfly. A quick Google will have you on your way to a unique beaded centerpiece in no time.
Beaded Wind Chime or Sun Catcher
Artfully arrange your assortment of leftover stone beads into a unique and sparkling sun catcher or set of wind chimes for your yard.
Drape fringes of beads surrounding a mason jar or string and glue beads around a simple glass votive or pillar candle holder to make a colorful home accent piece.
Your imagination is the limit for turning your leftover beads into a fun or stunning holiday ornament. Shape with craft wire, create a wrap, or simply glue to a frosted glass ball.
Beaded Art Lose the wire and string and grab a tube of glue, turning your leftover beads into art atop a photo frame, mirror, or into a collage. A fun project with or without the kids for the artistically inclined.
Tarnished silver abandoned in the jewelry box? The brilliance and versatility of sterling silver beads make them a wildly popular addition to many jewelry pieces. Unfortunately, exposure to air can lead to the tarnishing of silver jewelry, making items appear dirty or discolored. Luckily, however, you can give these pieces a fresh start, easily cleaning sterling silver beads and jewelry with these tips and tricks…
Electrolyte Method for Resilient Pieces
The electrolyte method is easy and science-backed, helping you avoid endless polishing and possible abrasions on ornate or engraved pieces. It reverses the chemical reaction that causes tarnishing. To clean with the electrolyte method, you will need a dish or bowl, aluminum foil, 1 cup boiling water, and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Line the dish with foil, dull side down. Place the jewelry in the dish, making certain it touches the foil. This ensures the silver sulfide atoms tarnishing the piece will transfer to the aluminum foil. (They will also cause a ‘rotten egg’ smell as they lift, so do not be alarmed.) Mix the baking soda with the boiling water, then pour the solution onto your jewelry in the dish. Let sit for 2-10 minutes to remove tarnish, then rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.
Silver Cleaning for ‘Delicates’
Like your favorite cashmere sweater, some pieces are more delicate than others, requiring more careful cleaning. This includes jewelry held together with glue, porous stone beads (gemstones like opal, turquoise, onyx, and carnelian), as well as clear gemstones such as Swarovski crystal beads and pendants, Cloisonné beads, watches, and antiques. For these more delicate jewels, try one of the following methods:
Simple Soap & Water
This simple and safe method should be the first cleaning method you attempt on silver jewelry.
Baking Soda & Water
Make a paste of baking soda and water, polishing your silver beads gently with a pea-sized amount on a polishing cloth. For etched or detailed items such as silver fancy beads and corrugated beads, be sure to use a thinner paste. A soft-bristle brush can help on cracks/crevices. Run carefully under warm water when done and dry with a clean cloth.
White Vinegar & Baking Soda
This combination works better for items with heavier tarnish, applied in the same manner as the baking soda method, however it should NOT be used with soft gemstones, which can etch and scratch. Make a solution of ½-cup vinegar to 2-tablespoons vinegar for polishing. Expect it to fizz and bubble. Rinse well and pat dry.
The Easiest Tarnish Prevention
Many avoid wearing their sterling silver jewelry, saving it for special occasions. While silver can be effected by chlorinated pool water and sunlight, however, surprisingly, the oils from your skin can help your jewelry keep its shine. Thus, wearing silver jewelry often is the easiest tarnish prevention. When its not being worn, reduce oxidation by simply sealing each piece into a small craft bag separately. This also prevents scratching and tangling.
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When it comes to creating your own jewelry masterpieces, the good news is that finding the right jewelry supply store will provide you with everything you need to get started. Whether you need beads or pendants, strings or wire, the right store would provide just what you need to create a piece of jewelry that is unlike any other. Stores that sell custom jewelry making supplies have so many products in stock that you are all but guaranteed to find just what you were looking for, and you’ll likely find some surprises you didn’t know existed as well. These stores are not just the perfect bead supply store, but they also sell findings, crystals, faux gems, and even tools used to make the jewelry – all in one convenient location.
Many Options to Choose From
Whether you prefer gold or silver jewelry, the right supply store will carry the items that you need to make your creations come alive. This includes gold and sterling silver beads for jewelry making, whether you wish to make a necklace, earrings, or even a bracelet. The best part is, not only can you find whatever you need once you find the right store, but everything you need is likely to cost a lot less than you thought it would. This means you can purchase everything you need – and then some – to create the most awesome piece of jewelry you’ve ever seen, and it will never cost you a lot of money to get what you want. In addition, most of these stores also carry pattern books that allow you to view patterns of various types of jewelry, which is perfect for people who aren’t into creating patterns on their own.
All Types of Beads Are Available
Since beads are so popular among jewelry makers, supply stores tend to have hundreds of them available at any time, made of many different materials, shapes, and colors. You can choose from among plastic or sterling silver alphabet letter beads, beads that look like dice, cat’s eye beads, and stone beads – beads made of various types of stone. Because of the variety now available, the number of creative possibilities when making jewelry is endless, so whether you want something casual or dressy, brightly colored or subtle, flashy or conservative, it is easy to get once you find a good jewelry supply store. These stores also carry findings of all types, beading and elastic wiring, and even jewelry boxes and display stands in case you intend to sell your jewelry.
Making jewelry is a hobby that is fun and easy to do. It is easy to learn as well, and once you know where you can purchase all of your supplies, it is even more enticing. Jewelry supply stores have everything you need whether you’re a beginner or have been making jewelry for years, and their prices are so reasonable that you’ll be able to get everything you need for your project without breaking the bank, making this hobby one that is both easy and inexpensive to get into.