How to Bead Creative Using Your Favorite Jewelry Findings

Aug 20, 2014

Back when I started learning how to bead, as I began to collect beads of all types, sizes, and shapes, I also began to collect jewelry-making findings. Lots and lots and LOTS of jewelry-making findings. Head pins, eye pins, clasps, ribbon ends, cord ends, bead caps, spacer bars, and chain. (Does chain count as a jewelry-making finding? I think it does.)

As I started to lean more towards doing bead-weaving and away from stringing, all of these findings got stuffed into a couple of drawers in my bead cabinets and sat there, collecting dust. I even toyed with the idea of giving them away to make room for more beads, because, really, when was I going to use twelve dozen spacer bars in a bead-weaving project?

Now I'm really glad that I kept all those findings in my stash, after reading Michelle Mach's new book, Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components. What a great collection of inspirational beading projects! If you're just learning how to bead, or even if you've been beading for a while like me and pondering what to do with all those findings you've acquired over the years, this book is a fabulous source of inspiration for using those jewelry-making findings in surprisingly beautiful ways! Here are three of my favorite projects from the book:

I've got bags and bags of these little decorative bails left from the days when I used to make and sell fused glass jewelry, and I love how artist Erin Siegel uses them as sweet little drops in her Leaves of Gold beaded necklace.
I get lots and lots of samples of jewelry-making findings and components from suppliers, and some of them just sit in my drawers collecting dust. But I love how Michelle Mach used a pair of brass filigree ring findings to create these pretty little May Flowers earrings!
Remember those spacer bars I mentioned at the beginning of this blog? Well, now I know what to do with them! Mine are plain, and not nearly as pretty as the ones Barb Switzer used for her Vertebracelet, but I'll bet they'd work just as well with some big, funky seed beads to make my own version of this fun and clever bracelet!

One of my favorite quotes from the Dalai Lama goes something like this: Understand the rules so that you can effectively break them. I especially love how Michelle Mach and her cadre of highly creative, highly talented designers have just thrown this particular rule book right out the window, with gorgeous, playful results! Who says that a bead cap has to be used as a bead cap? In Unexpected Findings, you'll see how to easily transform bead caps and other jewelry-making findings into remarkable pieces of beaded jewelry.

Ready to dig into your stash of jewelry-making findings? For a limited time, you can get both the digital and print editions of Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components for one low price! Download the digital edition on your favorite desktop or laptop computer and get busy beading while you wait for your print edition to arrive. Get your copy of Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components and tackle that stash of jewelry-making findings with some brand-new, brilliant beading projects!

Do you have a favorite jewelry finding that you like to use in a non-conventional way? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your ideas with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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