Learn How to String Jewelry that People will Love

Marlene Blessing

Make Jewelry that Gets You Noticed
Congratulations! You¹ve just finished stringing an original piece of jewelry. Your friends admire it and encourage you to submit it to Stringing Magazine. They may even tell you it would make a fabulous cover piece. Of course, you secretly hope so, too! So you submit it, and maybe it¹s accepted!

Then again, what if it’s not? We¹re all vulnerable when it comes to judgments others make about the things we¹ve created. “My necklace, my self” sounds pretty far out, but it¹s probably close to the truth. So I¹m eager to share a few tips that will boost your chance of success with your beading designs, especially if you respond to our ongoing open invitation to submit your projects to Stringing Magazine.

I hope the tips that follow will amp up your chances of being noticed, whether for a Stringing cover, a bead contest, a craft show, or simply for wearing something that shows your creativity!



1: Use a nice balance of materials

We like to show our readers how cool it can be to mix things up in stringing designs—for example, combine chains in various metals, put vintage Lucite together with semiprecious stones, or use colored wire to sass up your wire-wrapped dangles or charms. Gaea Cannaday’s “Sweet Dreams” shows how effective a few charms can be.







 Frida Forever necklace


2: Think seasonal color trends

It’s easy to do your own research online to find out where fashion is going with color. A couple of our favorites are fashion designer sites—what’s Donna Karan doing this season? There's the Pantone site—there’s even a color chip app for your iPhone. Be a Beadanista and use au courant color schemes to express yourself.






 From the Heart necklace

3: Add originality & surprise

Touches of originality in your designs can be as simple as combining unexpected elements (paper beads with copper bead caps, for instance). Or creating a slight asymmetry that adds spirit.  Pieces we’re drawn to have a little “Je ne sais quoi” going for them that not only attracts our attention but compels us to want to make those designs ourselves.  Danielle’s “Only from the Heart” necklace surprises us with unexpected details. 






 4: Do more with less

It’s fun to splurge on special beads, but we want our projects to be affordable–especially those we choose for covers. You probably won't make the cut with a multistrand necklace dripping with faceted rubies. That doesn’t mean rubies are out. Create a clever design that makes the most of their beauty. Attach several wire-wrapped ruby dangles to a metal ring as a great focal. Use creamy pearls for your necklace strands (freshwater pearls are a bargain!) and really set off those little red beauties. A great example of making the most of a few precious beads is the “Amethyst Splendor” project by Miriam Fuld in the Fall '09  issue of Stringing.

5: Take some test photos

See for yourself how photogenic your finished jewelry design is by taking the best digital home photos you can. Not only will this help you be in step with the editors (they’re always thinking about visual presentation qualities), it may also show you exactly what you need to revisit in your design. For example, your colorway may be so subtle it just gets muddy in photos. Or the silver findings you used in your piece are too shiny. Or, one more strand on your multistrand necklace will add some much-needed drama.

Be a thinking-person’s jewelry designer. Consider all the ways you can have fun making a great piece of jewelry, as well as how you can attract others to what you’ve made. And then there’s luck. You have the good fortune to have submitted the right piece at the right time and the camera loves your design. Buy the Fall 2009 Stringing or subscribe today to be inspired and to learn more about how to create your own winning ideas!

Have you been published in Stringing? Stopped on the street by someone admiring your jewelry? Share your success stories right here on Beading Daily!

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