Monday, March 16, 2009

Jewelry Tips Part 1

I received an order for a Lexie Bracelet. Great, I had one already made. The lady was coming to pick it up on Saturday morning. So, Friday night I decided I'd better get things together. Suddenly, I could not find the bracelet. Yuck. I looked all over. So, Saturday morning I got out my box of the supplies that go into a Lexie Bracelet.

It took about 10 minutes to get everything out, organized and ready to start putting the bracelet together. (Normally, when making Lexie's bracelets I usually make 5-10 at a time to save the "set up" time) While I was setting up I was thinking that a good amount of time is spent just getting ready to start. Most of the time I make single items but with the Lexie line of jewelry, I've made lots of the same item. You develop a routine, trying to be efficient. Some of the same efficient methods can (should) be applied to making other pieces. Efficient - consistent - good practice - well made pieces.

All of this lead me to start thinking about habits, if you will, that I've developed that maybe other people would like to know about. Now, I'm not saying that my methods are the best or surely not the only way of doing things. My intent is to open up some discussion and sharing of ideas and methods. Sound like a plan?

The first tip (idea) was to string my bracelet beads right on to the wire on the spool. I've seen many tutorials that start out: "Cut 12 inches of wire". There are times when that is necessary I suppose but the next instruction is usually: "Tape one end so the beads will not slip off" Hmmm...

I really love those little spring bead stoppers and would use them in this situation but the spool would suffice and you may even save some of the wire by not having to cut off too much at the start.

I'm working on some other such tips for posts later this week. If you have any you'd like to share, please do.



  1. I usually cut my wire and tape the ends. This new idea I'll have to try. I'm all for saving wire.

    I'm still trying to find the best method of organizing my beads and supplies. I use those small plastic hardware cabinets with the slide out drawers for my beads. One has all my glass beads, one has all my gemstone beads. I have one for all my silver findings, one for all my gold findings, etc. Makes it easy to find what I need and what I have as long as I remember to put things back when I'm done. That is the part I'm still working on.

  2. Good point, Gayle! I have these cabinets, too, but putting the things back......uuuuuhhhh!
    I don't cut the wire before starting on a piece, so I can save a bit. I started this attitude while working with sterling wire. I don't want to have too many sterling scrap pieces. Too expensive! And after that I start doing it with the other wire, too.

  3. I have those bead stoppers too. They are neat. Some people use bull dog clips instead.

    My favorite bead storage are the round screw stack types although I save any container I can for reuse. I always prefer the clear ones so I can see my beads!