Spring-Inspired: A Guide to Handmaking Colorful Beaded Jewelry
Jewelry is a fun and fabulous way to add life and variety to your wardrobe and help you transition your look from winter to spring.
By making your own colorful, handmade jewelry pieces, you can completely customize your jewelry to your style. And with a little bit of color and beading know-how, you can easily master this spring’s hottest trends.
According to the Pantone® color institute, the 12 trendiest colors to look for this spring/summer will be a vibrant and muted mixture of yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, blues and greens, with corals rounding out the list as the color of the year. Deep blue, chocolate, beige and cream tones are the four neutral shades selected to contrast these more vivid hues.
This year’s must-have spring jewelry designs mainly focus on large hoops, long drop earrings, chokers, floral-inspired hairpins and earrings and tassels for a textured, dynamic look.
Many of this year’s runway looks feature pearls, lemon-quartz and warm metal tones for a feminine and flirty look that pairs well with soft spring florals. Other looks incorporate a mixture of crystals, shells and a variety of reds, blues, greens, graphites and browns.
Making beaded jewelry
With such a wide variety of shades on this year’s color palette, it’s simple to find inspiration for your own fantastic beaded jewelry creations to add to your spring wardrobe.
Before you can make your jewelry, however, you will need some basic tools and a selection of spring-inspired beads and findings.
The basic tools you will need for beading include:
- Chain nose pliers
- Round nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Beading mat
- Beading board
Chain nose pliers have a smooth, tapered fine-ended tip specifically designed for beading and are used primarily to crimp beads and manage small, hard to hold objects.
Round nose pliers have rounded tapering tips. These are used to bend and mold head pins and eye pins into circles, curves and loops for making earrings and other types of jewelry, such as pendants.
Wire cutters are used to cut the wire that is used for stringing your beads. Wire cutters are available in a variety of strengths for cutting various gauges of wire, and you will likely need more than one set as you continue to develop your jewelry-making abilities.
The beading board is an important part of your equipment. It is a pre-formed plastic board with measured grooves that hold your beads in place while you work. A beading board enables you to measure your stringing materials and lay out your designs before beginning a piece. It is also handy for storing your incomplete projects.
Making a set of spring-inspired earrings
Making basic beaded jewelry only requires two techniques: a simple/plain loop, that is often used to create earrings, and crimping, which is used to compress a crimp bead to hold a piece on the wire along with a clasp. The crimping technique is often used for making necklaces and bracelets.
Both these techniques can be used to make a simple, looped dangle which can be used to make a set of spring-inspired, beaded, drop earrings. Prehnite beads and coral beads are popular in the warmer weather, as their colors bring to mind new green growth and warm sunset hues.
First, thread your beads onto the finding, or the head or eye pin that holds the beads in place. One small note: If your head or eye pin is smaller than the hole of your bead, then you will need to place a small bead between both the pin and your beads.
Next, make a loop at the opposite end of the pin and just above the last threaded bead and bend the wire 90 degrees. Carefully trim the wire, using the wire cutters, to approximately 9 mm above the last bead. Remember to take care when using the wire cutters and be careful of the sharp ends of the wire.
Now, using the round nose pliers, rotate the wire back in the opposite direction to form a circle until the cut end meets the original bend above the last bead.
You have now created your dangle and can attach this to a hooked earring finding or your finding of choice.
To attach the hook, open your loop using the chain nose pliers. Then, thread the earring hook on to the loop and use the chain nose pliers to close the loop.
Repeat these steps to make the second earring in the set or opt for one longer or different-colored earring to go for this year’s trendy asymmetrical look.
After mastering some of the basic techniques for making beaded jewelry, you can find various other techniques and ideas online to create your own beaded items that will quickly become staples of your spring wardrobe.