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Sliding Beads

Sliding Beads

 

Sliding beads are the perfect finding for jewelry makers who want their pieces to be customizable and unique. This is due to the sliding beads inner silicone layer that has the ability to grip and clutch chain but allows for the bead to be repositioned easily.  The silicone provides the flexibility to change the length and style of a necklace or bracelet and can eliminate the need for a clasp. A designer does not need to be limited to using chain, as wire and leather work well with sliding beads also.  The bolo style bracelet and necklace are the perfect example of the sliding bead’s capabilities. 

Below are pictures demonstrating the bolo style with a sterling silver sliding bead:   

Sliding Bead on Bracelet
 This bracelet's fit can be adjusted with the double holed sterling silver slider bead.  

 

Sliding Bead down on necklace Sliding bead up on necklace Sliding bead chain up and down

The above pictures display how a sliding bead can be used to change the style and length of a necklace.  The sliding bead or chain getting repositioned results in 3 different looks.  

 

You can find our wholesale sterling silver sliding bead by following this link:  http://www.azfindings.com/sterling-silver-findingssliding-beads-with-silicone-double-hole-stopper-beads-1-piece

 

Magnetic Clasps for Jewelry Making

Magnetic Clasps

 

Clasps are an essential part of most jewelry making, not only for their design but more importantly for their functionality.  Some clasps are better suited than others for certain designs and use.  A popular clasp is the spring ring clasp because it blends easily in with most designs. It is strong yet delicate, so it can be used on heavy necklaces to lightweight bracelets, but a downside to that can be it is harder to manipulate and fasten for the user.  Another popular clasp is the lobster clasp, which resembles a lobster’s claw.  This clasp is self-closing in its design but it too can be cumbersome like the spring ring.

A great and more easy to use alternative to these popular clasps are magnetic clasps.  Magnetic clasps use attracting magnets to lock two ends of a piece of jewelry together.  Medium strength magnets are typically used to provide security when the piece is snapped together, but not too much force to make it impossible for the wearer to pull it apart. This is especially useful for bracelet wearers who have access to only one hand while putting a bracelet on.   Not only do everyday jewelry wearers benefit from the simplicity of a magnetic clasp but the elderly and people with limited dexterity do too. There are also some who believe magnets aid in arthritis and joint inflammation, so they wear magnetic jewelry for its therapeutic purpose.  Magnetic clasps have also become trendy in the athletic community as a safer option than the typical clasp.  If the jewelry piece were to become hooked or caught on something it could unclasp quickly without doing harm to the person wearing it, or the piece itself.

                                  

Sterling Silver magnetic clasp Sterling Silver Magnetic Clasp Ball Shaped Closed
sterling silver necklace with magnetic clasp sterling silver bracelet with magnetic clasp

Due to the above reasons, many jewelry supplies wholesalers have come to recognize the need to offer magnetic clasps in their jewelry findings. Sterling silver magnetic clasps are very fashionable today but more metal options, sizes, and styles are being introduced as designers incorporate them into more jewelry pieces. 

At AZ Findings we offer an attractive sterling silver magnetic clasp toggle.  It is ball-shaped with a smooth and shiny finish. You can find it at the following link: 

 Sterling Silver Smooth Ball Shaped Magnetic Clasp

http://www.azfindings.com/sterling-silver-smooth-shiny-ball-clasp-magnetic-clasp-toggle-set-8mm-sold-per-1-set

Basic Skills- Connector Charms

Basic Skills - Connector Charms

 

Connector charms and links are ver popular, versatile findings in jewelry making. They can be found in all sorts of shapes, sizes, embellishments and stone bezels. They are also very simple and easy to use so knowing these basic skills can enhance your ability to design and create beautiful jewelry.

Materials: Connector charm (SKU: 201271), 3.5mm 20 gauge jumprings, 4.5mm 20 gauge jumpring, 9mm lobster clasp, chain ( 101011)

Tools: Bent chain nose pliers (501006), wire chain cutters (501007)

Steps

Step 1: Open 3.5mm jumpring, loop through chain end and connector ring on charm. Grip jumpring with bent chain nose pliers and twist until closed. Ensure there is no gap where ring closes.

Step 2: Mesure chain to desired length. This chain was cut to 10.5" ( anklet), be sure to include additional findings being used such as clasp and jumprings.

Step 3: Cut the chain in half ( for a centered charm), or elsewhere depending on your design. 

Step 4: Connect the loose chain with the connector charm using 3.5mm 20 gauge ring.

Step 5: Add clasp to chain, open ring and loop onto chain end. Close ring.

Step 6: Add ending jumpring, 4.5mm 20 gauge ring to other the end of the chain. Open ring, loop through chain and close.

 

Thankyou
AZ Findings Team

 

Basic Skills -Tassel Pendants

How to make a Tassel Pendant

Materials: 26 gauge half hard round wire (207002), 2mm tiny cable chain (101020), bead cap ( 210005), bead (211015-4), 2 pearls, closed bail (219010)

All metal materials are made of 925 sterling silver

Tools: Bent chain nose pliers- 2 pairs, wire cutters, round nose pliers, measuring tool

The tassel pendant is a trendy new style that is so popular because of its variety and potential. The possibilities are endless with this style of pendant. This tutorial displays a basic tassel with a sterling silver bead, 2 freshwater pearls, and a bead cap. Using the skills and techniques found in this blog can be a base drawing board for you to develop your own designs using many different components from gemstone beads, bezel gemstones, charms, connector links and more components. 

Step 1: Cut wire - 2-4 inches - the larger the topper of the tassel or the larger the beads, cut more wire 

Step 2: Grip wire with round nose pliers about 3/4 inch from end, twist pliers creating a kink, about 80-degree angle, readjust pliers so close to the tip of the pliers sits at the kink

Step 3: Wrap wire around nose creating loop

Step 4: Feed closed bail through open end of loop so it sits inside of the loop

Step 5: Grip the loop with bent chain nose pliers, with 2nd set of bent chain nose pliers, grip the tail and begin wrapping around wire base creating 2-3 coils around, cut and secure tail end by squeezing closed.

Step 6: String beads onto wire- starting with silver bead ( it will cover coils if the hole is large enough, however, if it is a smaller bead or has a smaller hole the coil will show), Before the last pearl is strung, add the bead cap so it is curved downward and will cover the top of the last pearl. ( This step will differ due to design choices)

Step 7: Grip wire extending from the last bead about 2-3mm from the bead and twist pliers to create another kink, adjust pliers making this loop slightly larger than the first loop and bring wire around pliers. (This loop will hold the chain - if you plan on using many pieces of chain to dangle from the tassel than make sure the loop is large enough to hold the chain pieces. )

Step 8: Cutting the chain pieces - cut one piece to desired length ( 1.5"), then loop onto the tail of the wire and feed into the loop. Add another piece of chain and hold it up to measure and ensure they are the same length, cut the chain. Repeat until you have the desired amount of chain tassel dangling. The more you use the more thick and dense the dangle will be. You can pre-cut all the pieces and add them, however, because the chain links are so small you want to make sure there are the same amount of links on each piece or it can look messy, unless your design calls for different chain lengths which can add an interesting effect to the tassel.

Step 9: Once all chain pieces are all inside the loop, grip the loop with the bent chain nose pliers, avoiding squeezing hard on chain links as this will reduce their strength. With second set of pliers or fingers if there is enough wire to grab begin wrapping around creating a coil up to the bead, cut excess wire off and secure tail end by squeezing. 

Thank you

AZ Findings Team

Basic Skills: Beading Chain

How to use a Beading Chain

Materials: 1mm tiny curb chain (101001), tube ends ( 213001), clasp, beads

Tools: Bent chain nose pliers, chain cutters

Using a beading chain is at the very base of basic skills in jewelry making and beading. When doing projects and creating designs that use beading chains the main components to keep in mind is the findings, chains and beads using and ensuring the sizes all coordinate. When working with such small components even a fraction of a millimeter can make a difference in the whether or not the pieces are compatible. 

A beading chain is a chain that can fit through the hole of a bead. As both beads and chains come in many different shapes and sizes, this definition leaves a lot of room for variation between the chain and bead used. Typically man made beads have larger holes than natural stone beads. This is due to the fact that most natural beads are originally sold by weight, so when cutting a hole into the bead, the manufacturer wants to keep as much of the stone or pearl there as possible. 

This tutorial is a very basic demonstration on how to finish a beading chain.

Step 1: Cut chain to desired length

Step 2: Grip the center of the tube end with the bent chain nose pliers, feed chain into the tube and squeeze. Squeeze a couple times ensuring the tube end is closed onto the chain. Gently tug to ensure it is securely fastened. ( Note: do not grip the tube end too close to the ends, centralize the tip of the pliers)

Step 3: String beads onto chain

Step 4: Grip second tube end, feed chain into tube and squeeze. Gently tug to ensure it is securely fastened.

Step 5: Open ring on spring ring clasp by just twisting open, loop ring onto the closed ring of the tube end. Close ring on clasp by twisting closed. 

Thank you

AZ Findings Team

Basic Skills - Extender Chains

Adding an extender Chain

Material: 101014 2 inch extender ( 3x4 mm strong cable chain), 20 gauge 4mm jumpring, chain for anklet (101003), lobster clasp

Tools: Chain nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers

Adding an extender chain to a finished bracelet or necklace can make a big difference in the finished product. Some necklaces, for instance, are purchased with layering in mind so the wearer may want to change the length of the necklace while pairing it with different chains. Perhaps a necklace or bracelet just does not fit quite right or you are looking for a way to add a little something extra to the piece. Extender chains have multiple purposes and can enhance the allure of the piece. An extender chain should be wide enough for the clasp to grip onto it, but not too thick or heavy. Ideally a cable chain 3x4 or 4x4mm wide.

Step 1: Cut the extender chain to your desired length, approximately 1-2 inches. If you would like, you can add a tiny charm, bead or pearl to the end of the extender.

Step 2: Identify the end of the chain opposite the closing clasp. If is it an open jump ring, open it. If it is soldered close, add another jump ring.

Step 3:  Add the extender chain to the open ring, and close up the ring.

Now your chain can be close up to 1-2inch long than the primary length.

Basic Skills - Headpins

Headpins

Headpins are a component used in jewelry making most often when using beads to making earrings, adding wrapped beads to finished chains and making pendants. Headpins are found in different finished, lengths and gauges to suit your jewelry making needs. Headpins also come with a variety of different heads including ball end, flat end T, dome, open eye and more.

Note: If you are making earrings or matching pendants, create them step-by-step as you go to ensure they are matching.

Tools: chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers, cutters

Materials: Assorted headpins- flat end T pins, open eye pins and ball pins, beads or pearls

How to wire wrap a bead with head pins

Step 1: Choos pin style, choose beads

*When choose finding compatible beads and pins be aware of the gauge thickness of the pin, and the hole size of the bead. Some beads have very fine holes and will not fit thicker gauge wires. Also note the tip of the pin, if the hole of the bead is larger eg. 2mm wide, a ball pin with a 1.5mm ball end will not be suitable for this bead, it will fall right over the tip. **See gauge conversion chart after 

**See gauge conversion chart after video.

Step 2: String bead or beads onto pin

Step 3: Using round nose pliers, grip wire about 2-3mm above top bead, slightly twist creating a kink creating about a 30-40 degree angle. 

Step 4: Readjust pliers to sit at tip of the twist

Step 5: Pull wire all the way around making a full loop with tail coming straight across where loop ends- use either thumb to push along round nose pliers or for thicker gauge wire use pliers

Step 6: Gently grip loop with pliers, do not squeeze too hard or you will mark the wire or distort the loop. 

Step 7: Grip tail with 2nd set of bent chain nose pliers and begin twisting, wrapping around the visible wire above the beads. Wrap as close to loop as possible and continue wrapping around keeping coils tight. Wrap all the way down to the top bead.

*NOTE: The space given above the last bead will determine how much wrapping you will need to do. The 2-3 recommended is about 2-3 coils depending on wire gauge. If you want more coil, leave more space and wrap all the way down to the top bead. This is based on your design alone, as long as there is one solid coil the beads will be secure.

Step 8: Once down to the top bead, you may have excess wire. If needed cut the tail with wire cutters.

Step 9: Tuck the tail in, gently push it inwards toward the coil. Careful not to scratch the surface of the beads, especially pearls.

Here you have a complete wire wrapped bead or beads on a head pin, creating a pendant, charm or dangle for earrings.

To make a set of earrings follow the next 3 steps.

Step 10: Choose earwire, if it has an opening, open the ring/tip ( our demo uses the simple ball fish hooks that twist open)

Step 11: Guide loop along earwire securing in position

Step12: Close up earwire ending

 

NOTE: If the earwire you are using has a closed ring to attach pendants and dangles then you can either use an open jumpring and attach the dangle or refer back to steps. Between step 6 and 7 you will have a loop and the tail sticking out. Here you can feed the tail leading to the loop through the closed ring of the eariwire. The earwire will then just dangle as you complete the steps. Then continue wrapping and the dangles loop is secure in the closed ring of the closed ring of the earwire.

Gauge to mm Conversion Chart (approx.)
0.3mm = 28 gauge
0.4mm = 26 gauge
0.5mm = 24 gauge
0.6mm = 22 gauge
0.7mm = 21 gauge
0.8mm = 20 gauge
0.9mm = 19 gauge
1.0mm = 18 gauge
 
With the open variety of headpins available there are limitless possibilities of what can be done with them. These steps outline the very basic of skills in using headpins. 
 
All materials in the video are sterling silver, gold plated sterling silver and oxidized sterling silver along with an assortment of pearls and beads. 

Thank you

AZ Findings Team

Basic Skills - Knotted Headpins

Knotted Head Pin

Making your own headpins is an essential skill in jewelry making, this tutorial will demonstrate how to make a headpin with a lovely knotted end and how to wire wrap a bead onto that pin.

Headpins are a component used in jewelry making most often when using beads and making earrings adding wrapped beads to finished chains. Headpins are found in different finished, lengths and gauges to suit your jewelry making needs. When making your own headpins you can custom create with a variety of lengths and gauge sizes.

One thing to keep in mind when you are creating your own head pins is the size of bead you will be using with the pin- mainly the hole size. If the hole size is quite small, ensure you use a thin gauge wire. If the hole is larger, make sure that the knot you make will be large enough to hold the bead on the pin.

Materials: sterling silver wire, bead

Tools: Round nose pliers, wire cutters, chain nose pliers

Steps in making a knotted end head pin

Step 1: Cut wire to desired length- 2 inches

Step 2: Using round nose pliers grip the tip of the wire ensuring it is not coming past the jaws of the pliers.

Step 3: Twist away from you, slightly loosening grip, readjusting pliers back, tighten at some point and twist away again. Continue until you have 2 full coils

Step 4: Grip wire at the base of the last coil made and twist wire 90 degrees upward

Step 5: Using fingers bend wire at halfway point

Step 6: Feed end through the coils made, until a little tail is through

Step 7: Grip tail with chain nose pliers, while gripping the knot with your fingers pull the tail end fully through the coils 

Step 8: If needed, tighten up and secure the knot

Step 9: Straighten out wire

Here is your knotted head pin!

Continue with the following steps for a wire wrapped bead in the pin

Step 10: String bead or beads onto pin

Step 11: Using round nose pliers, grip wire about 2-3mm above top bead, slightly twist creating a kink creating about a 30-40 degree angle. 

Step 12: Readjust pliers to sit at tip of the twist

Step 13: Pull wire all the way around making a full loop with tail coming straight across where loop ends- use either thumb to push along round nose pliers or for thicker gauge wire use pliers

Step 14: Gently grip loop with pliers, do not squeeze too hard or you will mark the wire or distort the loop. 

Step 15: Grip tail with 2nd set of bent chain nose pliers and begin twisting, wrapping around the visible wire above the beads. Wrap as close to loop as possible and continue wrapping around keeping coils tight. Wrap all the way down to the top bead.

*NOTE: The space given above the last bead will determine how much wrapping you will need to do. The 2-3 recommended is about 2-3 coils depending on wire gauge. If you want more coil, leave more space and wrap all the way down to the top bead. This is based on your design alone, as long as there is one solid coil the beads will be secure.

Step 16: Once down to the top bead, you may have excess wire. If needed cut the tail with wire cutters.

Step 17: Tuck the tail in, gently push it inwards toward the coil. Careful not to scratch the surface of the beads, especially pearls.

Thank you
AZ Findings Team

Basic Skills - Jumprings

Open/Close Jumprings

Material: jump rings, assorted

Tools: bent chain nose pliers

Jump rings are an essential component in jewelry making. Found in many gauges, sizes, shapes and materials to be compatible with your jewelry making project. Typically jump rings are used for basic purposes such as attaching a charm to a necklace or used in close a chain by attaching to a clasp.

Using jump rings in jewelry making is vital, and being able to master the technique can make your process go quite smoothly. The tools you use can greatly impact the outcome of your product, however, you need to use tools you are comfortable with. One option would be using two pairs of bent chain nose pliers: using these you need to be careful not to bend the ring out of its round shape, or it will not lay flat. To avoid this issue, if you use chain nose pliers you can securely hold more of the ring and avoid bending the ring in the wrong place.

When you purchase jump rings you will find they are not quite open and not quite closed, so you will need to adjust them.

To Open

Step 1: Open the ring by placing the tip of your pliers about 2mm away from the opening.

Step 2: You will hold the left side of the ring firmly, then twist the right side about 3-4mm or wider if you need to loop the ring through a larger component.

NOTE: At this time you would loop the ring through a chain, charm or pendant before closing.

To Close

Step 1: Grip the tip of your pliers about 2mm away from the opening, firmly grasping the side of the ring, without marking it.

Step 2: Begin to twist the ring while slightly adding pressure and pushing each end together. Once the ends meet up and there is no visible gap, the ring is closed.

The only way to ensure the ring does not open is to solder it closed, however, this is not a viable option for many jewelry makers. Using smaller size rings such as 3.5-4.5mm in diameter and thicker wire such as 18, 19 or 20 gauge will hold together stronger and more securely than the larger thinner wire rings.

When buying jump rings there are different things to look out for. The sizes range in two different aspects: the diameter and the thickness of the ring. The diameter is how large the ring is around. Ensure you read how the diameter is measured, whether it is inner diameter or outer diameter. Inner diameter would measure the inside of the ring from edge and outer diameter measure the entire ring including that includes the thickness of the gauge. The thickness is known as gauge and below is chart that converts Standard wire gauge to inches and millimeters.*See below video

SWG-Gauge

Inches

MM

16

0.064

1.6

17

0.056

1.4

18

0.048

1.2

19

0.040

1

20

0.036

0.9

21

0.032

0.8

22

0.028

0.7

23

0.024

0.6

24

0.022

0.55

25

0.02

0.5

26

0.018

0.45

27

0.0164

0.4

28

0.0148

0.37

29

0.0136

0.34

30

0.0124

0.3

 

 

Thank you

AZ Findings Team 

Basic Skills -Simple Wire Loop

Simple Loop

Material: Bead, 26 gauge wire- half hard

Tools: Chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, cutters

Wire wrapping beads and pearls is a technique every jewelry maker should now. The ability to wire wrap a bead infuses your skillset in such a versatile way. Simply learning a basic wire wrap will allow you to create bracelets, necklaces, earrings, charms, pendants and more. When wire wrapping there are a few different supplies choices to consider. Begin with the bead you are using: is it drilled? How is it drilled? What gauge wire will fit through the drilled hole?

This will demonstrate a basic loop wiring for a bead. The basic loop is a quick and secure way to ensure the bead stays in position, while it does not have too much wrapping. This technique is used in many aspects of jewelry making embellishing earrings, creating pendants, rosary making, adding to a chain and much more.

Steps in a simple wire loop

Step 1: Cut wire, approximately 1.5", depending on bead size. You will need about 3/4 inch space for each loop and then add the bead size.

Step 2: Grip wire with round nose pliers. Ensure wire does not come above jaws as this will distort the loop shape.

Step 3: Twist the wire away from you, using your thumb to press the wire down to the plier jaws. Once twist is complete, slightly loosen and readjust to pliers to perform second twist ( ensure to use the same point on the pliers, if you move up or down it will change the size of the loop). Continue to turn until you hit the wire creating a full loop.

Step 4: Grip inside of loop with round nose pliers, and twist ( away from opening)

NOTE: If using a thick gauge wire like 22 gauge 20 gauge or thicker, use chain nose pliers for your bend because they are stronger and you may have trouble with the round nose.

Step 5: To close loop completely you simply wiggle closed using chain nose pliers

Step 6: String bead onto wire

Step 7: Cut excess wire, leaving 3/4 inch tail to create loop

Step 8: Grip end of wire with round nose pliers and repeat step 3.

Step 9: Grip loop inside with round nose pliers and twist back to round out loop. This will open up the loop.

Step 10: Grip the wire end and twist inward again connecting the tip to the base of the loop

Step 11: If looping the bead onto a chain or another piece of wire loop through the open tail 

Step 12: Close loop with chain nose pliers simply wiggle it as close to base as possible

If loops are not in the right position ie. perpendicular - depending on your design then grip each loop and twist into desired position.

 

Tips:

  • If needed mark a spot on you round nose pliers to remember where to bend and make the same size loops.
  • The larger the loop you want, the higher along the round nose pliers you will grip
  • Lastly - practice makes perfect - do not expect to have a perfect loop on your first try. Keep at it and you will get a groove going!

 

Thank you

AZ Findings Team