Now available! - Christmas Tree Earrings Collection

Now available! - Christmas Tree Earrings Collection
Add a touch of magic to your holiday outfits with festive Christmas earrings. I’ve gathered together 12 of my all-time best Christmas Tree earring designs from previous years in this one special ebook. From traditional to modern, you’ll find a variety of styles, techniques and materials and something for every level of jewellery-maker.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

7 Ways to Deal with Large Holed Beads

Making my own beads out of Friendly Plastic and Opals Embossing enamels is something I love to do. But because they're made on bamboo skewers, they have really big bead holes and getting them to sit nicely on the stringing material without wobbling is a challenge. But it's not a problem restricted to my handmade mixed media beads.
With the popularity of lampwork beads and pandora-inspired beads you're bound to have come across this problem yourself, so here's a list of ideas that should help you centre those beads on your stringing material so that they sit nicely instead of wobbling around.
  1. Insert a bugle bead or seed beads inside the bead and thread the eye pin straight through the middle. You can use bead caps to hide the bugle bead if it's showing.
  2. Use the plastic tubing designed for covering memory wire. You can buy plain clear tubing or velour coated tubing. If you consider aquarium tubing too, then you have a variety of tubing widths to choose from.
  3. Earring stoppers for earring wires. They fit well inside some glass cane beads..........but need trimming to fit inside others. Earring stops are made from a fairly soft plastic and they can be trimmed easily with a pair of scissors to fit snugly inside the bead if need be.
  4. Use polymer clay to fill the hole if the bead is glass, slide in an eye pin and then bake it. If your beads are plastic and won't take the heat of an oven, consider an airdrying clay that has minimal shrinkage when it dries. Apoxie Sculpt is another alternative - it's a two part resin putty that cures without the need for baking and it doesn't shrink when it cures.
  5. Place a bicone bead on the eye pin, then the large holed bead and then another bicone bead (one end of each bicone should fit snuggly inside the bead, holding the bead firmly in place). In time, the bicone will chip away with wear so it's not really a long term solution.
  6. This is a variation of number 5. Insert a small metal bell-shaped cap into the bead hole, upside down.
  7. Purchase commercial bead aligners such as those from TierraCast. They fit snugly inside the ends of pandora-style beads.
And if none of these ideas is the solution you're looking for, you could always consider using a thicker stringing material such as leather cord or rat tail or even a bunch of fibres.

Happy beading!


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