(My first) Stitch markers

Hopping through my favorite knitting blogs — and even on new ones that I’d discover — I’d come across occasional mentions of bead-based stitch markers, with pictures of the cute ornaments. Seeing that I love both yarn and beads, I don’t know why it took me so long to make some of my own. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re not removable? But I’ve even used rings made of scrap yarn for marking, so that’s not it. Well, whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now because I made a few stitch markers!

Stitch markers

These are real simple ones that just involve stringing combinations of glass beads and seed beads through head pins, making an eye loop and adding a jump ring. That’s all a stitch marker needs, right? Here‘s one of them doing its thing with a shawl that I knit for my mom. I don’t know if I’ll make more anytime soon, but I saw quite a collection of markers in a blog post by Bethany (Orange Swan), and most of these markers don’t have a jump ring in them, so I’m gonna try my hand at least a few.

When I showed these to my sis, she was mildly disappointed that they weren’t earrings like she’d first thought, so I went ahead and made some earrings to match. Happy, Sis? 😀

Stitch marker earrings

Stone pendant

I have this collection of medium-sized irregularly shaped stones that come with holes pre-drilled into them. They’re of varying shapes and sizes, and they’re a bit heavier than traditional jewelry ingredients (they’re stones, after all!) So earrings, necklaces or bracelets were out. Making pendants of them seemed like the thing to do.

But then, there are only so many ways in which irregular shapes can be turned into pendants. I’m not a fan of encasing them in nets, so that’s out. I decided to start out simple for now, and think more later. This is my attempt on one of the stones — this one’s shaped more regularly than the rest:

Stone pendant

The overall process is simple enough. I cut two lengths of wires. In each of them, I made a loop at around the center, and twisted the arms into spirals. (That’s four spirals overall.) I then inserted a headpin through a seed bead, a bead cap and the stone. The two spiral wires came next, followed by the topmost bead cap and a final seed bead. I then made an eye loop with the remaining length of the headpin. Tada!

Not bad, though the upper bead cap doesn’t sit very cozily due to the irregularity of the stone. It’s still good enough for casualwear.

Paper bead bunch keychain

Yay, paper beads are back in my jewelry-making!

Paper bead bunch keychainI spent some time recently making paper beads. I used some junk-mail paper for these. I didn’t really have any sizes in mind, I just wanted to make two sets of beads — one set smaller than the other.

I cut rectangles from the paper, 4 of the same dimensions, and 2 of smaller dimensions. I folded each rectangle diagonally and cut it along the diagonal, giving me 8 large and 4 small right-angled triangles. I rolled them up into simple tapered beads, applying glue at regular intervals to keep the rolls snug.

When the bead bases were made, I painted gradients of acrylic colors onto them. Mod podge followed when the paint dried. The beads were now ready!

I then strung these paper beads and various seed beads through head pins, making eye loops at the top of the headpins. These formed individual units of the bead-bunch.

Finally, for the trunk of the bunch that extends into a chain, I joined small jump rings. While I was adding each link, I also added the bead-bunch units, larger ones at the beginning / bottom. That went — open jump ring, insert it into the topmost jump ring of the chain-in-progress, insert bead-bunch unit #1 from one end of the open jump ring, insert bead-bunch unit #2 from the other end of the open jump ring, close jump ring, repeat.

I just love this keychain! It’s so fun-looking and so light! Needless to say, I’ve already swapped out the earlier chain in my car keys for this one. 🙂

Tiny bead earrings and not-so-tiny charm

Tiny earrings and charmTiny earrings — they have their own kind of charm, don’t they? 🙂 I made these earrings using small head pins, and each of them has one seed bead, one brown-and-crimson glass bead and one faceted bead. Nothing special here, I just strung the beads onto the head pin, made an eye loop and snipped off the extra wire. For the findings, I used a limited set that I own; these findings are shorter than the ones I usually use.

Of course, I feel earrings without other matching adornments get kinda lonely, so I made a bracelet / pendant charm. I didn’t really like how it turned out when I used the same kind of beads I used for the earrings, so I changed things a little and used a large(r) faceted bead instead of the smaller ones — I added it as the center of the charm. Since the small faceted beads were not in the picture anymore, I added a couple more seed beads for length. I strung them all onto a wire, made eye loops at both ends, and bent the wire into a curve.

They look so happy together they’ve formed a smiley face. ;P

A makeover

I had these two large beads with various etched amorphous patterns on them, which I’d set aside to make simple earrings — by which I mean just stringing a head-pin through each of them, making eye-loops at the top, and attaching findings. I set to work on the first one. Just when I finished making the eye-loop from the head-pin, the bead chipped. Gasp! 😮

The chip was visible, but hadn’t damaged the bead itself much, so my sister and I thought I could use one of her metallic paints to completely re-coat both beads. (I am so glad she has loads of painterly stuff for her cardmaking!) So I used a gold paint, painted one side of each bead, let them dry, and painted the other side. After both beads were fully dry, I added a coating of mod podge to both of them in the same manner. Beads ready post-makeover and reporting for duty again! 😎

This time, I was more careful while working with the wire, and here are the resulting beauties!

Earrings from a makeover

Pearly set

Since I’m resigned to the fact that I only have access to limited kinds of wire to make jewelry, I’ve been thinking of ways to use all of the stuff that my sister had bought a long, long time ago. And on a leisurely day recently, I made this pearly jewelry set —

Pearly Earrings

Pearly Earrings

Pearly Pendant

Pearly Pendant

Pearly Charm

Pearly Charm

I used large pearl beads (about 1.5cm in diameter), bead caps, head pins and jump rings for these pieces. And of course, earring findings for the dangles. I only had to string the pearl beads and the bead caps on the head pins, and make eye loops from the wire, so the set came out pretty quickly. I think the longest time amongst them all was for shaping the wire for the pendant hook. (Man are those head pins hard…) I then decided to add a jump ring to it so it’s not really a hook now, it’s a decorative addition.

I’m glad I chose these bead caps — they make the pieces look somewhat traditional, don’t they?

Amber earrings and bracelet

Strong hands are required to make these amber earrings and bracelet adornment. Well, at least it was true in my case because I used hard head pins to make them. 🙂

The earrings

Amber Earrings

Amber Earrings

Stick the head pin in the amber bead, and start twisting and shaping the wire. You’ll want to mainly use your round nose pliers for the shape, and chain nose ones for the twisting. When you’re satisfied, snip the extra bit close to the top loop’s intersection point, and add an earring finding to it.

The bracelet piece

Amber bracelet

Amber bracelet

Though you can use a wire of similar hardness and thickness, I just used another head pin with its head snipped off. I first shaped one end similar to the earrings, but with one less loop. I then added the bead and shaped the other end.

There you go, a matching set!