Blog posts of '2017' 'March'

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)


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.


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 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 -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