You know what I wish I had? Ends and ends of inspiration and creativity. I would sure have a lot more blog posts to write then!!! I feel like I am a fairly creative person (hence why I have a craft blog...) but one of the challenges I come across most in jewelry making is a lack of inspiration.
Sometimes I buy certain beads or supplies because they are really cute and I like them, and then they sit...and sit...and sit on my craft desk for months and months and months. I'll pull them out every now and again to try to make them work with something but to no avail!!
That was the case for me with these cute oval purple charm beads from Prima bead. I loved them when I saw them online so I ordered a few packs...but after I got them in person I could just NOT figure out what to do with them! Luckily I finally figured out a design so today I'm going give you a tutorial for this necklace and also walk you through my design process a bit.
I knew these fun charms would be the focal point of whatever I made so I started with them. I like to know exactly how many I have to work with so I took them all out of the packaging and laid them out.
I've played with these a few times over the past few months and nothing has come together. I really liked the idea of having a bib style necklace with each different shape being a different row, but i really didn't have enough of each charms to make a very long necklace focal point.
Then instead of staggering the beads I thought I could do a more straight on layers like this shape, but again ran into the problem of not really having enough beads to make the focal point long enough.
Finally, since length kept on being the issue I decided to not try to split the charms up into rows and just work out a pattern in a single length.
Next I had to find a good chain to attach the charms to. Luckily I work with chain a lot so I keep a decent stash of chain from Cousin & Prima Bead on hand. I tried this chain first....thought it was too chunky.
Then I tried a smaller chain....and thought it was too small.
I tried another medium sized chain... but thought the links were too close together.
Sheesh! Feel like Goldilocks yet??? Finally I found another medium sized chain with wider links and found it to be a match!
But, if I just attached the charms to the chain and left it as is I thought it would be too boring. So, I found some small round beads I had in matching colors and figured I would work them in between the charms.
Now that I had a general design idea I set to work executing it. I cut a length of chain using wire cutters and found the center. I opened a jump ring using needle nose pliers and attached the center charm.
I repeated this process on either side of the charm to complete the pattern I had laid out before hand, attaching the charms on every other chain link.
Next I strung a bunch of the small round beads onto headpins
Using needle nose pliers I bent the pin 90 degrees directly above the bead
Then I used wire cutters to trim off all but about a half inch tail from each pin
And grabbed the end of the pin using round nose pliers and bent it back around to form a simple loop
I started individually attaching the beads between the metal charms but found it to look too sparse. Instead I opted to add three beads onto a jump ring like so:
and then attached the whole jump ring onto the open chain link between the first two metal charms.
After all the beads are attached the necklace should look almost complete!
Attach a lobster claw clasp and jump ring onto the ends of the chain using needle nose pliers to finish off the necklace.
And then...finally I had my complete necklace!
Sometimes I just get stumped with certain beads. It took me awhile to figure out how to use these charms but in the end I'm really happy with how the necklace turned out!
I don't design or create something every time I sit down at my craft table. Sometimes just nothing clicks! Luckily though after enough playing around with different beads I can normally overcome the lack of inspiration challenge in jewelry making! What about you, what challenges have you faced??