Jewelry-making, as fun as it usually is, can have its tedious moments. Such as when you’ve spent a couple of hours making a beaded stretch bracelet and the knot comes undone so that your beads fly off in all sorts of directions…
How about when you’re trying to make a loop in a headpin and it ends up being either too small or too big to use properly? Then, when you try to fix it, you just end up with a crooked loop? Or when you get a knot in your beading thread and you have to spend 20 minutes trying to unravel it?
Those sorts of tedious moments can put a dampener on your creativity, that’s for sure!
In this post, we’ve put together a list of quick jewelry-making hacks that make the process of creating beautiful jewelry much easier. Here they are below:
1. Secure knots with jewelry glue
When knotting any kind of stringing material, always tie a double knot. For extra security, dab a little jewelry glue (such as E6000) into the middle of the knot before pulling it tight. This is especially useful with Stretch Magic beading cord, but this tip also works with beading wire and Nymo beading thread too!
2. Eliminate knots in beading thread with this simple tip
Beadwork is a very satisfying hobby, but there is one less than enjoyable part – undoing knots in beading thread which are caused by the thread twisting and ravelling as you sew through beads!
To avoid excessive knots in beading thread, get into the habit of holding your beadwork and letting go of the needle and thread from time to time so that the needle hangs down towards the floor. It will simply unravel itself, just like a spinning top! Then, you can get on with your beadwork without it knotting again with every stitch!
3. Make the perfect headpin loop
Make a perfect headpin loop every time by following these simple steps.
- Thread a bead onto a headpin and grip it tightly with your thumb at the bottom of the bead so that the headpin won’t slide around.
- With your round nose (or chain nose pliers) pinch the headpin tightly just above the bead and make a 90 degree turn to one side.
- Trim your headpin so that only 1/3 of an inch remains as a tail. Then grip the end of the headpin with your round nose pliers and roll it back inwards towards the bead. You should find that the loop is nice and straight and just the right size!
4. Make wire-wrapping a breeze
Wire-wrapping can be a really effective technique to use when encasing pendants, creating tiaras, or making other forms of wirework jewelry. That is, if your wire doesn’t have too many kinks in it!
A bend in the wrong place can make your wirework project look “all wrong”. Take some time to work kinks out of your wire before using it by straightening it out with your fingers. It’ll save you a lot of time and ensure a result that you’re happy with.
5. Avoid excessive tool marks on your wire
While we’re on the subject of wire, over-manipulating it with jewelry pliers can leave the wire weak and ruin the look of it too. This can be costly, if you’re using precious metal wire like silver or gold.
Avoid having your tools marking your wire by taking time to practice what you need to make on cheaper copper wire first, rather than getting the process wrong on your expensive metal wire.
You can also use a product like Tool Magic to coat your jewelry pliers before using them on wire. This makes the tips of jewelry pliers smooth and soft so you can use a firm grip without worrying too much about causing damage to the wire.
6. How to instantly know what bead sizes you have in your kit
If you’re a beader, the chances are that you love and cherish your beads as if they were precious treasures. Maybe you’ve got yourself a nice storage box with individual compartments so that you can see all of your beads laid out beautifully in the little trays?
While this type of presentation for your beads is very pretty, it’s actually not that practical for remembering what sizes your beads are! (Especially those tiny seed beads!)
Make sure you know what sizes your beads are by labelling your bead storage trays individually. Or just keep your beads in their original tubes or plastic sachets. These won’t be as pretty to look at but at least your jewelry projects will be made to the correct size!
7. Save time by creating a bead soup stash with leftover beads
When you’ve completed a jewelry-making project, you may have some beads leftover. It can take quite some time to clean up your bead mat by sorting out all of your beads into their correct storage places!
Why not create a bead soup stash by sweeping your leftover beads into one box providing you don’t need them urgently? This will save you a lot of time and bead soup creations always look so interesting!
8. How to rectify a mistake in your beadwork
It’s really frustrating when you’re making a peyote stitch bracelet and you end up missing a stitch somewhere, because it can really affect the whole look of the piece!
Many beaders try to fix the problem by passing their needle back through the last few beads (or rows) until they reach the section where the mistake has been made. They do this so that they won’t have to rethread the beading needle.
The old saying “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” is so true here: by trying to fix the problem this way, you could end up getting yourself into even more of a beady mess!
Sort out your beadwork mistake quickly by just taking the needle off the thread and carefully pulling the thread back through the beads to undo your work until you reach the mistake. Yes, you will have to rethread the needle, but more often than not you’ll save time this way!
Planning and preparation can put a stop to many jewelry-making issues!
Many jewelry-making problems arise because of a lack of preparation or just because of rushing to get the project completed. After all, getting a piece of jewelry finished is the most exciting part of the process!
Yet, with a little bit of preparation time, many tedious jewelry-making issues can be avoided. We hope that you can make use of these tips above! Feel free to comment with any jewelry-making tricks of your own below.
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*Images courtesy of Pixabay with text overlay added.