Creating Heirloom Beaded Wedding Jewelry with Guest Blogger Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Wedding season is in full swing, so this is the time of year when many of my beading friends who make custom beaded wedding jewelry find themselves knee-deep in orders for custom beaded wedding jewelry. And no wonder: having unique beaded wedding jewelry is a great way for a bride to express her individuality, and to make the memories of her big day last a lifetime.

Are you creating beaded wedding jewelry for a special someone this year? Guest blogger Cynthia Newcomer Daniel of Jewelry Tales has graciously shared her thoughts and expertise in creating handmade beaded wedding jewelry with us!


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Best Friend beaded bracelet by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel using pearls and crystals
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I Thee Wed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel: beaded wedding jewelry made with beaded lace technique

Whether it's your own wedding, or the wedding of someone you love, a beader's thoughts turn instantly to making the wedding jewelry. Nothing off the rack will do; wedding jewelry must be personal and handmade. But how do you go about creating an heirloom piece?

The first thing you must do is honestly assess your skills as a beader. What skills do you have, what sort of beading do you do best? This is not the time to try something that is too difficult for you to do well — you don't want to risk having the piece lie awkwardly, or worse yet, fall apart!

Before you begin beading, think about the bride. What type of jewelry does she prefer to wear? What does her dress look like? What sort of neckline does it have? Will she want to wear earrings, a necklace, a bracelet, or all of the above? Does she have a favorite heirloom piece that she wants to wear, and can you coordinate beaded pieces with it?

White or ecru are classic colors for a bride, and pearls or crystals with metallic beads are always elegant. If the bride's dress is lacy, consider making a beaded lace necklace for her to wear. If she is wearing an elegant sheath, a sparkling crystal and gold bracelet might be just the thing.

But don't stop there. Beaded jewelry for the wedding party is a wonderful gift; especially if it's made by the bride, or one of her close friends or relatives. Earrings, necklaces, or bracelets that coordinate with the bridesmaids' dresses can add a wonderful unifying touch, and will be beautiful keepsakes that will be cherished. If you have time, make an additional piece for the bride to wear after the wedding — she chose those colors, and she will love it!


Cynthia had some very sage advice when she talked about assessing your skills as a beader. If you're looking to learn new bead-weaving skills or master a new beading stitch, there are lots of great resources out there to help you watch and master new ways to work with seed beads.

Learn the basics (and beyond) of herringbone stitch with Melinda Barta in Herringbone Stitch: Basics and Beyond. I love this video resource because you can watch as Melinda demonstrates the basic thread path of herringbone stitch, and then takes it up a notch with variations on flat, spiral, and tubular herrigbone stitch.
If you could use a little assistance with mastering peyote stitch, the beader's best friend, Peyote Stitch: Basics and Beyond will get you started with the basics, then move you through variations of flat, tubular, and circular peyote. Learn easy embellishments and even get tips for creating your own peyote stitch patterns!
If you're looking for a great video reference so that you can watch a bead-weaving stitch being demonstrated in real time, you should most definitely have a copy of Doodlebeads, Volume 1 in your beading video library. Leslie Rogalski takes you through four variations of peyote stitch, two variations of herringbone stitch, two variations of brick stitch, plus right-angle weave, circular netting, spiral stitch, and flat square stitch.
For beaders who are looking to advance their skills and their beading projects with increases and decreases, Doodlebeads Volume 2 is a great live-action resource and reference! Learn how to increase and decrease in peyote stitch and square stitch, see how to add a picot trim to your beadwork, and learn how to do Chevron stitch, St. Petersburg chain, and daisy chain!

If you've been waiting to stock up on your favorite bead-weaving resources, now's the time to indulge a little, and save some serious cash during the Interweave Sidewalk Sale, through June 26, 2013! Check out all the great deals in the Beading Daily Shop and see how improving your bead-weaving skills can help you create beautiful heirloom beaded wedding jewelry!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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