Making Beaded Jewelry Projects and Making Them Sparkle! with Lindsay Burke

Lindsay Burke, beader, jewelry designer, Chief Marketing Officer for Fusion Beads, wife, mom of two, and author of a new book hot off the press, Make it Sparkle! This fabulous book is a compilation of some amazing projects that will have us beading, making jewelry, and sparkling for a loooong time!

Inside this 130-page book there are 25 projects ranging from simple and elegant to full on over the top (in a good way!). The color combinations are fresh, the step-out images easy to see, and the instructions so clear we can follow along and be successful no matter which design we try first.

Make It Sparkle! By Lindsay Burke beaded jewelry making book. Dazzling Earrings

Dazzling Earrings

Lindsay, thank you for all you brought us in this new book, and for sharing a little about yourself.

BD: In your introduction, you share that your love of jewelry goes back to when you were a child. Like so many of us, your mother’s or grandmother’s jewelry box was your first foray into the jewelry realm. Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you made? And do you still have it?

LB: Oh my goodness. Good question. Some of my first memories of working with beads was using them with safety pins and then putting them on my shoes. And making tons of these safety pin dangles for all my friends when I was in elementary school. I think I’m dating myself for those of you who may remember doing this as well. 

Watermelon Bracelet

Watermelon Bracelet

But as for the first piece of jewelry that I made, I don’t think I still have the very first. However, my great aunt Barbara was actually who I credit for first teaching me to bead. She used to repair vintage jewelry, one of her many talents. One summer when I was about 8 years old and visiting her in Vermont, she introduced me to pearl knotting. She got out some freshwater pearls and some silk, then showed me how to first stretch the silk for a day before knotting up a beautiful necklace. I loved it! I was hooked!   

Make It Sparkle! By Lindsay Burke beaded jewelry making book. Wrapped in Gold

Wrapped in Gold

BD: What led you to pursuing jewelry as a career, not only as part of the great team behind Fusion Beads but also as an artist?

LB: Since I began making jewelry at a young age, by the time I graduated college, I had tried so many different beading techniques. I had always had a love for beading, crafts and art. I moved to Seattle right after school and quickly became one of Fusion’s top customers! Just kidding…but I was in the store about every other day or so. And soon after, I was lucky enough to join the Fusion Beads team!

Creative Team at Fusion Beads

Creative Team at Fusion Beads

BD: Do you find it hard to separate your work life and your personal pursuit of jewelry making? Or does it all kind of go together and you work during the day and find time after hours for your own artistic pursuits?

LB: When I make jewelry, I usually make it to share with our beading community and customers. I am not an artist that sells her work on Etsy or at craft fairs. I find that I don’t have enough time to devote to that nor do I have the huge desire at this time. My passion is creating jewelry designs and sharing them with others whether in classes or online. I love seeing people make the projects I have created! However, during the holidays I do set aside some time (usually after 9pm when the kids are in bed) to make jewelry for my family and friends. I know that each year they all look forward to a new piece of jewelry from me.

BD: Of all the types of jewelry you design, what is your favorite technique?

LB: My absolute love is wire wrapping. I think this is one of the techniques that I will forever like doing. I think it is so essential for any beader to know how to wire wrap. You can create jewelry that has secure connections so, you’ll have confidence when giving the jewelry away that it won’t be broken easily.

Pink Party Bangles

Pink Party Bangles

Another technique that I’ve recently fallen in love with is looming – a technique that is completely different than wire wrapping. But I love the smooth texture of the finished piece as well as all of the patterns you can create!

Make It Sparkle! By Lindsay Burke beaded jewelry making book.

Loom project in progress

BD: Where do you find your inspiration? Outdoors? Fashion magazines?

LB: My inspiration comes from two main places. Firstly, I’m surrounded all day long by amazingly creative jewelry designers. I’m inspired by their innovation and imagination. Their designs fuel my desire to make jewelry. In fact, it seems like there is never enough time to create all of the designs I want to. Secondly, I ‘m inspired by magazines – fashion magazines and beading magazines. I always want to know what is on-trend in fashion these days. And trying to figure out how to create similar looks using beads is a challenge I love.

Summer Cheer Earrings by Lindsay Burke

Summer Cheer Earrings

BD: Any tips and tricks you can share with us?

LB: My one, most important tip – invest in quality. Good quality tools and good quality products will make your finished piece of jewelry a step above. When you take the time and effort to create a piece of jewelry from start to finish, you want to know that it’s going to be a piece that will last. Invest in you!

Thanks again, Lindsay for your time and sharing your talent and design skills with us in your new book, Make it Sparkle.  And thank you, for sharing your love of jewelry making and putting the words together to make this book a great guide for anyone to follow.

Have a design to share inspired by Lindsay Burke? Please share in the comments below.

Featured Image: Bejeweled Necklace from Make It Sparkle! by Lindsay Burke.

Get your sparkle on today with this great kit and book by Lindsay!


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