Bezel Your Beads: Frame Your Collected Treasures

Bead shopping at home

OK, has anybody gone shopping…in her own studio?

I did. Inspired by Denise Peck's new DVD, Making Bezels with Stones and Other Found Objects, I went shopping in my studio for interesting goodies and found objects to bezel. I refuse to categorize myself as a pack rat to some. I rather fancy myself a "collector." I have quite a few interesting "collections" in my studio (doesn't that sound more intriguing than saying "I have a basement full of junk").

Collecting beads for bezels

"Look at this stuff: isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete…" sang the Little Mermaid in the song from the movie of the same name. Collecting is definitely a popular trend for many mixed-media artists (again, sounds better than hoarding). Some of my collections are quite old, not necessarily valuable, but special enough to have been through several traumatic moves (aren't they all?), plus a basement flood. I've decided to try bezeling some of these treasures so they become wearable jewelry pieces instead of forgotten items in a drawer. You can bezel most things with bezel wire from natural stones to sparkling crystals, once you learn the simple techniques. Encasement enhances most materials and frames the focal piece so it becomes a true stunner and not buried in the middle of strung beads or a complex jewelry design.

Kristal's "Periodic Table"

Agates  Laminated bamboo Asian coins



Crystal prisms Stone fetishes Raku beads



Embellished resin beads

Natural stone pendant Colored stones

Please, break the china

Once bezeled, many of these organic natural treasures would make great keychains or bookmarks for the men in our lives. And they're all one-of-a-kind creations. Having never bezeled before, I was unaware of the endless materials and shapes around which you can form a bezel. Since viewing Denise's DVD, I now "see" things differently. I think of bezels as baby shadow boxes you can wear as jewelry. If you drop Grandma's good china plate, keep the shards and bezel them as charms for a bracelet.  Another great idea from my office mate Christan is to bezel pieces of a wooden fan from a vacation. Create jewelry and key chains using these shards for everyone in the wedding party.

Ordinary objects and unusual bits and pieces can become beautiful focal pendants once they're bezeled. Take a look in your studio and the world around you. Then sift through your "collections" for unique items to encase in a handmade bezel.

Come bead with me.


With the holidays just ahead (yes, they're quickly approaching), I'd love to make all my selected ingredients into bezeled gifts. Which ones are your faves? Please share what you found in your bead stash on Beading Daily.

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