Head to the Hardware Store for Your Next Mixed Media Jewelry Project

Remember that blog I posted last week about the Bead For a Man competition? Well, I was totally smitten with the bracelet by Aurelio Castano, and, judging from your comments, so were a lot of you! It made me think of the fun Grommets Galore bracelet project by Dulcey Heller that I made a few years ago, and as I was running errands in town one day, I thought I would wander through the hardware store and see what else I could find that could be used for mixed media jewelry. In addition to some old favorites, I found some fun new items to share with you!

Cup Pulls. I had absolutely no idea what these were for, until I asked my husband, who grew up working in his father's small hardware store in northern New Jersey. Turns out that cup pulls are drawer pulls, but they're recessed so that there isn't anything to stick out of a drawer and get your clothes snagged on. But forget about remodeling my kitchen — I want to fill these up with colored resin and found objects, and then bead peyote stitch around the deep outsides to turn them into tiny pendants and earrings!
Metal Washers. Tired of gemstone donuts, are you? I love these metal washers. As I was playing with ideas for turning them into mixed media hardware-inspired jewelry, I thought maybe I would cover them with decorative scrapbook papers and seal them with gloss before using them as components for necklaces and bracelets.
Mirror Rosettes. These are used as a way to decoratively secure mirrors to walls, but I thought I would adhere them to pieces of colored craft foil (found in my local dollar store) and work bead embroidery around them to make sparkly mixed-media pendants!
Blank Keys. Keys are a favorite for mixed media and steampunk jewelry artists alike, but when I purchased a handful of blank keys from the hardware store, the man at the checkout must have asked me four times, "Are you sure you don't want these cut?" No, I assured him, they were for making jewelry, but he still looked at me as though he had never heard of such a thing.

And the fun doesn't stop there when it comes to mixed media and metal jewelry-making supplies from your local hardware store. If you have a few basic metal jewelry tools hanging around, you can head to the hardware store for some metal tubing and learn how to make fun, colorful jewelry from metal tubing! Join metal jewelry artist Tracy Stanley and watch how she transforms ordinary metal tubes into incredible pieces of self-adornment in Kitchen Table Metalsmithing: Make Metal Jewelry with Tubing with Tracy Stanley.

Tracey demonstrates metalworking techniques that are fun and easy to learn, and if you're a perfectionist, no worries — Tracy even shows you how to turn "mistakes" into opportunities to create new jewelry designs! Get your copy of Kitchen Table Metalsmithing: Make Metal Jewelry with Tubing with Tracy Stanley, and see how much fun a trip to the hardware store can be when you're shopping for mixed media jewelry supplies!

What kinds of treasures have you discovered at your local hardware store? As I was on my way out of the hardware store last week, a huge display of metal chain caught my eye, so now I've got to go back next week! Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and give me suggestions for other jewelry-making supplies I can look for!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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