How to Plan a Jewelry Layout

Visit Carmilita Earrings at https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

A jewelry design begins with a layout. You will begin a jewelry design by arranging beads in the same order or pattern that you desire your finished piece of jewelry. Plan while the beads are still loose to avoid imbalances and/or a break in the pattern. Proper layouts can save you a lot of time and frustrations. Plastic trays are available for the purpose of jewelry design layouts. They have grooves and places in which the beads can fall into instead of out and away from you. These are available online or in bead retail outlets.

How do you create spaces in your pattern?

Use smaller plain beads, sometimes known as spacers between larger patterned beads to break them apart.

Use jump rings between beads to separate and add dimension.

Use crimp beads along your wire or thread to stop a bead from sliding and leaving an empty space on either side of a larger bead.

Tip: Take time to play around with the spacing of your design. Consider using different sizes of beads if you are using plain beads or use different sizes of the same bead.

Color and pattern is important when planning a layout. There is no hard rule that jewelry pieces should coordinate or even contain multiple shades of the same color. However, many designs are a mixture of just 2 or 3 colors.

Tips for blending colors:

Look for the accent color on a bead in your pattern, then select plain beads to inter space. The idea is to break up the design and keep the patterned beads from overwhelming the finished piece.

Use neutral colors such as white, black or gray throughout your pattern. The idea here is if the finished layout looks too dark or all the same color, using white beads will lighten it up quite a bit. If the piece ends up looking to light, add some brown or black beads.

Use the color wheel to assemble your colors on the beading board.

Tone and saturation of the colors you use also play a part in the finished piece. It is possible to combine several different shades as long as your saturation (how deep the colors are) remain the same.

Reference used: Beading: One Day Beading Mastery written by: Ellen Warren

Article written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

Visit Carmilita Earrings at https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

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The Five Main Stitches in the Art of Beading

Our school day history and social studies books reveal some of the first images many of us see of beads and the art of beading. Images of Native Amercians who accesorized elaborately with beaded leather clothes are usually in every child’s school days history book. Other images may include the use of beads as currency and ledgers made of knots.


Beading today is extremely popular among hobbist. It is not a new hobby at all. The art of beading has a rich long term history. The incas in Peru used knot tying to help keep records. The practice is still common in some villages the year of 2014. They are called “quipus.” A quipus is one main cord with various colored strings with knots. Most usually each color represents an item and each knot represents a number.


In the United States we can find the art of beading on clothing, various containers, wall hangings, furniture, curtains, pillow throws, jewelry and the list goes on.


Five beading stitches are most common. They are: (1) the peyote or gourd stitch; (2) the brick stitch; (3) the square stitch; (4)the herringbone stitch; and the (5)Pondo stitch.


The peyote stitch is also known as the gourd stitch. It is named for its use in making decorations for peyote ceremonies or to hold gourds. The peyote stitch is quite popular. The technique involves using either an odd or even number of beads per row. The peyote stitch is also used to weave flat srips into round or tubular shapes. Today we see the peyote stitch in many ring, cuff and earring bead designs.


The brick stitch name is derived from what looks like layering bricks on a wall. The beads are layered resembling bricks on a wall. This stitch is similar to the peyote stitch with a shift of 90 degrees. The brick stitch is also called the Cheyenne or Comanche shift seen in African artifacts as well as artifacts in Guatemala.


One of the strongest stitches in the art of beading is the “square stitch.” Each bead is connected to the four that surround it creating an extremely strong piece of work. Square stitching is similar to loomed bead work. It is commonly seen in clothes, belts and cuffs.


The herringbone stitch is also very popular among beading artisans. It is used mainly to connect clusters of beads tightly and securely. We see the herringbone stitch a lot in necklaces, bracelets and coin purse designs. The stitch enables a bead artisan to create patterns within patterns of different shapes and objects. Every bead jewelry artisan should master the skill of the herringbone stitch. It is quite beautiful.


The Pondo stitch, sometimes called the African circle stitch is common in modern bead jewelry designs. The stitch is usually made of two colors and looks like bead weaving. An African bead artisan may design ornaments and jewelry using light blue as the prominent color for adults. Orange and red beads are used for children. The stitch is named for Pondo in South Africa where it is still very popular.


Bead weaving and/or stitching in jewelry designs is always very eye catching. It is a valuable and enjoyable hobby to learn ensuring your jewelry designs are always unique and eye catching. It is an art that has stood the test of time and will most likely never go out of style, will always be in fashion, and be around for many more years to come.


Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan


Meet Charis:


P1090805


Purchase Charis here: Carmilita’s Earrings


See more bead jewelry selections in my Etsy Shop here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Using a Bead Spinner

Do you ever wonder how long people have been interested in the art of beading? It goes back many, many years ago according to archaeological records, as many as 5,000 years or more. Beads have been an indulgent luxury for many, many people. Beads made from seashells, stones, nuts, seeds and carved wood were some of the first materials. Almost every culture embraces the art of beading. It requires, patience, steadiness of the hands, good eye sight and good lighting as well as lots and lots of other “things.” A person can start out slow, however, as it is advisable to do so. Beads are beautiful, but resist the temptation to buy a dozen in every shape, size, color and maker.


As a beginning beader I think a bead spinner would be a good device to own. It helps you string numerous beads quickly and is useful to string a series of beads that are all the same color and size, or even a pre-made mix of beads that you want to string at random. Stringing beads in a pattern is not possible while using a bead spinner.


What work does bead spinners do best? They are good for making stretch bracelets, bead crochet, kuminhimo, and French and Victorian wire flower making.


As you would imagine with any device there are several brands, styles and sizes. As a general rule one should start with a bead spinner that has an outside diameter of about 3.5 inches. Wood construction beed spinners also seems to be a better choice over plastic bead spinners. Manual operating bead spinners may also be the better choice over motorized or battery operated.


What kind of stringing material should you use? This will depend upon the project first and the size of your beads. If you use a bead spinner consider using fine cords such as woven nylon, silk thread and stretch cord. Beading thread or bead stringing wire is acceptable as well for use with a bead spinner, however, might present more problems for you in actual use. Use metal wire to make wire flowers. The only time you would not use a needle with the bead spinner is when you string beads onto metal wire. All other projects requires use of a needle. Use a curve big-eye (J) needle or collapsible-eye needle (twisted wire needle) for stringing with cord.


A Tulip needle is good to use with beading thread or a curved big-eye needle for fine beading string or a collapsible-eye needle if the doubled-over wire fits through the holes in your beads. For bead holes use a needle especially designed for your wire such as a Speeder Beader.


A bead spinner is interesting to watch at work. You simply place the bowl onto the spindle of the base, pour in your beads, keeping the bowl half full at all times. Pour in more beads than you think you will end up using if you desire.


If you purchase a wood bead spinner, sand the inside of the spinner bowl smooth before use to avoid needle snagging. You can also use beeswax to lubricate the spindle instead of sanding it smooth. And you might not even need to do either of these things to begin working with a bead spinner.
A bead spinner should be a beginning beader’s tool of choice or at least one tool of choice to start out with beading projects such as the stretch bracelets and projects using beads of the same size and color.


Written by: Connie Limon


Meet Chanel:


dangle earrings chanel


Chanel is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Cottage Chic Dangle Earrings Collection. She dangles about one inch from the hook.

Materials Used:
2 Gold Plated Pin Heads
2 Czech Glass Pink Pearls 6 mm
2 Glass Round Faceted Rondelles Peach 12 mm
2 Gold Plated French Hook Earrings
2 Antique Gold Plated 4 x 10 mm Scroll Work Bead Caps
2 Antique Gold Plated 3 x 4 mm Thick Rondelle Metal Beads
2 Antique Gold Plated 3 x 8 mm Fancy Bead Caps

Chanel’s Price: $15 (includes shipping and one free gift)


Purchase Chanel Here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Vintage Flower Bead Art

Making bead flowers is an old vintage craft. Bead flowers can be used in making earrings, necklaces, pins, bracelets, napkin rings, corsages, bridal head pieces, hair jewelry and bridal bouquets. Several famous people adored the fine art of bead flowers. Patricia Nixon and Princess Caroline were two of the famous people who owned these treasures.


How are bead flowers created?


Several kinds of different bead types can be used to create flower beads just as silk flowers are used so can bead flowers be used in the same kind of ways. They are also unique in that a variety of finishes can be applied creating just about any kind of look you might desire.


Seed beads are used to create bead flowers more often than not. Seed beads of 10 or 11 size gauge strung onto 24 or 26 gauge wire create a fabulous piece of art. Just to look at the tiny seed beeds laying out on a mat one cannot imagine the many ways in which they can be used and arranged in making bead flowers. Many people become experts just at creating these beautiful bead flowers. A flower bead artisan can square off or round the edges of the beads adding to the distinction of the created piece.


More often than not a flower bead artist chooses “Japanese seed beads,” as these beads are usually of very high quality and exactly the same in size. Toho and Miyuki beads are notable Japanese brand names.


Patterns are seen as one-two-or three cut beads that sparkle with trumpet beads and rhinestones in the center to accent the entire work of flower bead art. You might also find beads that are matte or pearly looking, colorlined or unlined, transparent beads or opaque. The list of variety here goes on endlessly. I never fail to see displays of “seed beads” everywhere I am looking at or for beads in huge loose bags or tubes. However, most of these are not high quality Japanese seed beeds. If one wants to really excel in the vintage art of flower beads one needs to use the highest quality of seed beeds possible. It will make your final project worth more in dollars as well as in beauty.


High quality bead making depends upon the weather in areas in which they are created. Due to the fact of affect of weather upon the beads there are certain times of the year in which only certain bead colors can be made. A flower bead artist must be aware of the affects of weather and plan their projects accordingly.


Flower bead making is an ancient art being centuries years old, which is why we call this particular bead art “vintage.” Documentations around the world show the flower bead making art possibly to have begun in Germany around the 1300’s. The flower bead craft then spread throughout Europe where artists began to develop several different methods and techniques. The Victorian and the French method were most notable. The Victorian method is similar to modern bead jewelry making techniques. Many techniques I use now in my handmade bead jewelry are from the Victorian methods of making jewelry.


The Victorian method is passing a piece of thread or wire through each bead twice or more whereas in the French method thread or wire passes through each bead only once.


You might also encounter documentations stating the Victorian method is known as the English or Russian bead jewelry making.


Flowers are associated with weddings and many things to do with “churches.” This is why we see so many bead flowers made into wedding arrangements and beads in general are used a lot for church themed projects. This goes back to the 13th century when a string of beads began to be used for prayer beads. It is common to see flower beeds, flowers and beads in general used in all kinds of church decorations, even funerals. The French often used bead flowers for funeral wreaths called “Immortelles.” These giant bead flowers arrangements stood 3 to 4 feet tall. They were left at the grave of the deceased person. They did not last long, maybe about a year or so, but were beautiful to see while standing. With anything as beautiful as these bead flower wreaths were you might see a few of them preserved even today and re-sold as vintage or antique. A really nice arrangement is quite expensive.


In the 16th century it was common for lower and middle class women to create bead flowers for churches as well as many other local events such as yearly parade floats. It was an extremely common sight to walk down the streets of Venice and see these women sitting happily making bead flower arrangements out of wire and tiny glass seed beeds. Venice was actually at one time a supreme location for the production of glass seed beads.


Other uses for flower beads have been to embroider bride and ball gowns, and nobility jackets. They have been used to decorate church altars, carried by altar boys for Easter and Christmas celebrations. Royal brides often wore wreaths of flower beads and carried bouquest made up of a beautiful arrangements of flower beads.


Flower bead art is old indeed, but is still in practice today throughout the world. It is a fine art. Many books have been written about the vintage flower bead artwork, how-tos and how it began and traveled across continents into the U.S. Flower bead art is an interesting subject in the world of jewelry art in general.


By: Connie Limon


Meet Starr
P1090785


Starr is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection of dangle earrings. She is a mixture of what looks like either snow flakes or stars and glass bells, so pretty.

Starr dangles delightfully from the hook about 1 1/2 inches.

Materials Used:
4 star or snowflake silver plated charms same on both sides
2 silver plated French earring hooks
8 silver plated jump rings 9 mm
4 purple glass crackle beads 6 mm
4 pink glass crackle beads 6 mm
16 silver plated filigree beads 3 mm

Starr’s Price: $15 (includes shipping)

Starr will arrive in your home in an organza bag ready for gift giving securely wrapped and placed within a bubble envelope. Purchase Starr from this site and receive FREE shipping included in the price plus a FREE gift.


Purchase Starr here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Stringing Beads Onto Wire Most Popular for Making Beaded Jewelry

The most popular method for making beaded jewelry is stringing beads onto beading wire. If you love beads, wire will be your constant companion as well. Stringing beads on wire is one of the simplest of all beading techniques. It is a basic beading technique most beginning beaders master very quickly. Master the stringing beads onto wire and you are well on your way to a wonderland of creativity. You can make necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings….the creativity possibilities are absolutely ENDLESS.


Here is a quick lesson for stringing beads onto wire:


Gather beads


Plan out your design (it is easier to use same type and same size of beads for first time stringing beads and for learning the technique). If you decide to use a variety of sizes, types, colors of beads, you will need a bead board to plan out your pattern.


A bead board is helpful to “try out” different designs before you actually start stringing. You can arrange and rearrange your design on a bead board until you have exactly what you want, then begin stringing onto the wire.


You will become exhausted at all the different types of beads there are to choose from, but regain your strength and carry on.


Beading cable is strong and able to accommodate large, small, glass, gemstone, round or any size and shape you desire, EXCEPT, extremely heavy beads or jagged edged beads. You will find using the very heavy or jagged edged beads wears down the cable quicker and the cable will break.


As an example, gather 94 – 6 mm round Czech glass beads or Swarovski glass beads. These are two of my favorite kind of beads to work with, but you can gather together whatever you desire for your beginning stringing beads onto wire lesson. Even larger beads may be easier to work with at first.


Choose beading wire the appropriate size to accommodate the beads you have chosen. An example might be use 0.015″, 19-strand Beadalon. You also need two crimp beads or crimp tubes in the appropriate size for the beading wire, such as, 2x2mm sterling silver crimp tubes.


Tools for this project include crimping pliers, one pair of chain nose pliers and one pair of flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutter pliers, a ruler or yard stick, end findings and a clasp, for example, use a 10 mm sterling silver lobster claps and two 6 mm, 16-gauge sterling silver jump rings or another as your choice.


Measure a length of beading wire from the spool to your desired length. Trim with the wire cutters. Add 10 inches to total desired length of necklace or bracelet (do not include the clasp in this measurement). String on first crimp bead. Pass one end of the beading wire up through one of the crimps while placing the crimp bead three inches from end of wire. Now, pass beading wire back down the same crimp bead and pull the short wire tail until a small loop forms. The loop should be large enough to accommodate jump rings you will attach later.


Crimping pliers have two pairs of indentations. One indentation is round on both jaws. The other indentation is round on one jaw and notched on the other jaw. Using crimping pliers gently grasp crimp bead using the notched/round indentations (be careful and do not squeeze down on pliers yet).
You should now be holding the crimp bead with the crimping pliers, use fingers of your other hand to separate the wire strands to cause them to both run parallel to one another inside the crimp bead. Do not let the wires cross each other. Hold wire apart. Now…squeeze down the crimping pliers firmly. The first indentation is made in the crimp. There are now two channels in the crimp, one on each side. You should end up having one strand of wire on the inside of each channel.


Take hold of the crimp bead again with the pliers using the other pair of indentations (the double-round indentations). Turn crimp 90 degrees from original angle. You should have wire strands stacked on top of each other.


Squeeze handles of crimping pliers tightly to fold the crimp in half lengthwise having one channel with one strand of wire inside enclosed in each half. You have secured the crimp.


Using wire cutters trim the beading wire tail to your preference. If you have used the proper size of crimp and have closed it securely, you should be able to trim wire tail up against the crimp. You can also leave an inch or more of wire tail hiding the tail within the beads.


String bead onto wire in whatever order you laid them out on the bead board. If you are using same size beads, this task is made easier by estimating how many beads you need to string after referencing a beads-per-inch chart and dividing that number by two giving you a center point.


String onto wire the second crimp bead and slide it down against beads. Create a second loop by holding the crimp with fingers of one hand and using other hand to pass the wire tail back down through the crimp bead. Hold the top of loop, pull thread tail to make the loop smaller.


The loop should be as small as you can make it with your fingers, now grasp the crimp with chain nose pliers while using other hand to continue pulling wire tail until the loop is correct size.


Grasp one side of loop with round nose pliers. The correct side of loop to grab is determined by pulling the beading wire tail. If the loop shrinks down in size, you have got hold of the correct side. If it does not shrink in size, switch to the other side of the loop. Scoot the crimp down with your fingernail to one millimeter away from last bead. Pull the wire tail as needed to bring the loop back down to correct size.


Close second crimp using same technique as described above for the first crimp bead. Trim second wire tail with wire cutters.


Using two pairs of chain nose pliers attach the clasp findings to beading-wire loops with jump rings.


You should now have a finished project, either a necklace or bracelet, whichever you chose to make. You are now stringing beads onto beaded wire, which is the most common and simplest beading technique.


If you are unable to bead your own beautiful jewelry, please feel free to look around my shop for pieces to add to your beaded jewelry collection. I am always adding new pieces handmade beaded jewelry, and have a great day beading…..beading every day helps to keep the doctor away….just my little saying. Hand crafts in general are good for the mind, body and soul. Then again, if you are unable to do your own hand craft jewelry, visit me.

Collecting handmade beaded jewelry is also good for mind, soul and body.


Written by: Connie Limon for Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry


Meet Cece:
P1090847


Cece is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Simplicity Collection of Dangle earrings. She hangs about one inch from the hook.

Materials Used:
2 Silver Plated 11 x 15 mm Leverback earring hooks
10 Silver Plated 2″ Ball Pins
10 Smokey Quartz 6 x 4 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
2 Crystal AB 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles
2 Black Onyx 10 mm Semiprecious Rounds

Cece’s Price: $15 (includes shipping). Purchase Cece from this site and receive a free gift in your package.


Purchase Here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Using a Bead Spinner

Do you ever wonder how long people have been interested in the art of beading? It goes back many, many years ago according to archaeological records, as many as 5,000 years or more. Beads have been an indulgent luxury for many, many people.  Beads made from seashells, stones, nuts, seeds and carved wood were some of the first materials. Almost every culture embraces the art of beading. It requires, patience, steadiness of the hands, good eye sight and good lighting as well as lots and lots of other “things.” A person can start out slow, however, as it is advisable to do so. Beads are beautiful, but resist the temptation to buy a dozen in every shape, size, color and maker.

As a beginning beader I think a bead spinner would be a good device to own. It helps you string numerous beads quickly and is useful to string a series of beads that are all the same color and size, or even a pre-made mix of beads that you want to string at random. Stringing beads in a pattern is not possible while using a bead spinner.

What work does bead spinners do best? They are good for making stretch bracelets, bead crochet, kuminhimo, and French and Victorian wire flower making.

As you would imagine with any device there are several brands, styles and sizes. As a general rule one should start with a bead spinner that has an outside diameter of about 3.5 inches. Wood construction beed spinners also seems to be a better choice over plastic bead spinners. Manual operating bead spinners may also be the better choice over motorized or battery operated.

What kind of stringing material should you use? This will depend upon the project first and the size of your beads. If you use a bead spinner consider fine cords with as woven nylon, silk thread and stretch cord. Beading thread or bead stringing wire is acceptable as well for use with a bead spinner, howeve, might present more problems for you in actual use. Use metal wire to make wire flowers. The only time you would not use a needle with the bead spinner is when you string beads onto metal wire. All other projects requires use of a needle. Use a curve big-eye (J) needle or collapsible-eye needle (twisted wire needle) for stringing with cord.

A Tulip needle is good to use with beading thread or a curved big-eye needle for fine beading string or a collapsible-eye needle if the doubled-over wire fits through the holes in your beads. For bead holes use a needle especially designed for your wire such as a Speeder Beader.

A bead spinner is interested to watch at work. You simply place the bowl onto the spindle of the base, pour in your beads, keeping the bowl half full at all times. Pour in more beads than you think you will end up using if you desire.

If you purchase a wood bead spinner, sand the inside of the spinner bowl smooth before use to avoid needle snagging. You can also use beeswax to lubricate the spindle instead of sanding it smooth. And you might not even need to do either of these things to begin working with a bead spinner.

Written by: Connie Limon for Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry

Bead Dangle Jewelry Making Technique Part 1: The Open Loop

What is an open loop bead dangle? The open loop bead dangle is one jewelry making technique for making eye loops in the end of a wire jewelry component. This technique is used most often for making bead dangles to hang beads from earrings or necklaces. It is an acceptable technique to use when making lightweight earrings. For earrings having significant weight the “wrapped loop” technique is better and stronger to be able to hold greater weight.  However, for lightweight dangle earrings, the open loop works very well. Most of the earrings I am creating now are lightweight and are made using the open eye loop. In fact, I use the one step looper tool which works excellent in making consistently nice open loops.

In the photograph you can see an open loop.

To make the open loop without using the one step looper tool, you will need either about 4 inches of jewelry wire or an eye pin or head pin. The photograph here is actually the top of an eye pin. Eye pins always have the open loop at the end. You can open the loop with round nose pliers to start the beading process or to hang whatever you choose on your earrings, then close the loop back using the pliers. I use head pins for most of my earring designs. A headpin usually has a “stopper” at the end to keep the beads from falling off at least one end. This stopper point is either flat or on some head pins it is round.

You will also need round nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers and cutting pliers to make open loops on wire or head pins, that is, if you do not use the one step looper tool.

Step 1: Add your chosen beads to the head pin or wire.

Step 2: Grasp the wire or headpin immediately above your last bead u sing the bent chain nose pliers. To minimize the amount of wire or head pin above your last bead, grasp the wire or head pin right at the last bead using the tip of bent chain nose pliers. The technique is easier when you use 1/2 hard wire and even easier using the one step looper tool.

Step 3: Push the wire over 90 degrees with your thumb as close to the pliers as possible making a nice crisp bend. You do not want a “rounded” bend, and again, if you want perfect open loops every time, invest in the one step looper tool. This tool will save you a lot of headaches especially if you are making a lot of open loop earrings designs or you are a novice.

Step 4: Re-orientate the wire in your pliers to complete the loop and push the wire until you have completed a nice loop as shown in the eye pin photograph. Best loops are not exactly circle size, but a little like oval size.

Step 5: Inspect the loop to be sure it is centered. If the loop is off center, use your pliers to insert the loop fully and twist it one way or the other until the loop is centered over the vertical wire or head pin. The open loop forms a connecting point for earring hooks. You can either leave the open loop a little open or open up the loop on your earring hook. I usually just leave the open loop a little open and then close the loop after placing an earring hook.

Step 6: If you are using wire, you will now need to cut the excess wire using your cutting pliers. Place the flat side of wire cutter toward the finished wire component and cut excess wire at the point where it overlaps the beginning of the loop. If you are using a one step looper tool, the tool will cut the wire at the precise point needed while making your perfect size loop all in one step.

Step 7: After you have cut off the excess wire, you will need to close the loop with bent nose pliers. Simply grasp the loop and twist it closed.

Creating loops is actually the very first and most basic technique you will need to learn when making dangle earrings.

Written by: Connie Limon