Look What I Found: 5 Fun and Inspiring New Jewelry-Making Supplies and How to Use Them
I love finding and trying out new jewelry-making supplies to share with you! It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it, and I’m willing to make the sacrifice. Ha! Here are five inspiring new (or new-to-me) jewelry-making supplies I’ve discovered in the past couple of months that I couldn’t wait to tell you about–along with some informative and instructional resources to help you put these supplies to good use.
K&S Metals’ Metal Tubing
These cool tubes have quite a history. I first discovered them at the local Emery 5&10 a few years ago, and I think I bought two. Shame on me! I’ve been meaning to get back there for more ever since, and when I recently learned that the shop was closing, I had to make a special effort to get there. I was so disappointed when the display wasn’t where I had seen it before and assumed my chance was gone, but after milling around the shop’s moving-sale chaos, I happened upon the nearly empty display and bought all they had left at 40% off! Best score ever. My round, square, and rectangle-shaped brass and copper tubes are about 12″ long and range from 2mm to 12mm–and bursting with possibilities. (The manufacturer has a much wider variety of sizes and such, including other metals.
Cut these cool metal tubes into short lengths and enamel them to make colorful one-of-a-kind beads using Barbara Lewis’s torch-fired enamel techniques from her five-star-rated torch-fired enamel book or enameling kit, or flatten the tubing and turn it into cool jewelry using the techniques from Tracy Stanley’s five-star-rated Make Metal Jewelry with Tubing video.
Artbeads’ Designer Wire Blends
Artbeads has an inspiring new line of Designer Wire Blends hand-picked by my Sparkle Sister, Kristal Wick. Designer Wire Blends are available in 20 fabulous color palettes with fun and festive names like Sea Glass Blues and Punchy Purples, in seasonal and holiday palettes, and more. The color blends coordinate with their Designer Series beads, crystals, and other collections. In 18- or 20-gauge wire, the Designer Wire Blends are ideal for making wire coils, wire wrapping, and other wire components. Use them to liven up all-metal designs or to coordinate with crystals, gemstones, fibers, enamel, beads, and other colorful elements in your jewelry. Each tube contains 20 wires in approximately 6″ lengths, or you can get the solid colors in different gauges on spools. Even if you don’t yet know how you’ll use them, their yummy colors and cute little tubes are enough reason to want ’em!
Be inspired to use the Artbeads Designer Wire Blends with Kristal’s Mixed Media: Beaded Bracelets with Fiber, Beads, Crystals, Resin, and Wire video and Kerry Bogert’s colorful wire-coiling projects in her Totally Twisted book and Wire Coiling Secrets video. They’re also a great fit for the 10 Holiday Wire Jewelry and Ornament Designs eBook.
ImpressArt’s Lollipop Metal Stamp Set
I think the folks at ImpressArt can read my mind. They recently released their Juniper font (which I love, partly because it resembles my own handwriting) metal stamp set in their handy new storage cases; now they have Lollipop, a fun, sort of skinny all-caps font that is ideal for mod metal stamping. Metal stamps in the Lollipop font can be used to stamp anything you want, of course, but I think they’re particularly suited for names and sassy encouragements like “bloom” and “roar.” The Lollipop stamp set also includes an ampersand (&) and six design stamps, including a heart, a peace sign, a star, and a happy face.
Use Lollipop font metal stamps to create the metal stamping projects in Lisa Niven Kelly’s Stamped Metal Jewelry book (with bonus free DVD) or go all-in with our exclusive metal stamping collection–in which you’ll receive the Juniper font set, Jeff Fulkerson’s SteadyStamp tool, Vintaj stamping blanks, Lisa’s book/DVD combo, and other resources.
Nunn Design’s Initial or Alphabet Charms
I’m pretty sure Becky Nunn has yet to design something I didn’t like–but I do have my favorites! From the Fall Collection, the initial charms really speak to me. I’m crazy about alphabets, and alphabet charms have all kinds of possibilities. They have me itching to create charm bracelets that spell out catchphrases, inspiring words, or funny sayings I share with friends. There are also lots of new charms in the latest collection, including an elephant, antlers, and a starfish.
I’m also in love with Nunn Design’s new prong and crown-setting rings, the deep-bezel rings (for layered resin art or deep crystals set in epoxy clay), and channel earrings/hoops. (See? I told you I love all of it.)
Use Nunn Design’s alphabet charms to create one-of-a-kind charm bracelets with a name or personalized message, or snip off the bails and embed the letters in resin or epoxy clay jewelry designs. Add these Nunn Design charms to the supplies in our Mixed-Media Jewelry Basics kit for even more fun jewelry-making possibilities, and alter the charms and tags using the cold metal-coloring techniques in Susan Lenart Kazmer’s five-star-rated video 15+ Ways to Alter Metal Surfaces: Cold Enameling, Resin, Powders, Pastels & More.
|By Katie Hacker|
LeatherCord USA’s Metallic Wrap Bracelets
Leather jewelry is so hot, and I’m continually inspired by the ways designers use leather jewelry in all styles for all kinds of fashion. For me, leather jewelry usually brings to mind thoughts of Bohemian jewelry, rustic stamped leather, or biker chic designs–but it can be festive, elegant, sleek, modern and more, especially when it has a gorgeous metallic finish like LeatherCord USA’s new metallic leather wrap bracelets (shown here left to right in copper, metallic grey, gold, and metallic pearl). They’re about a half inch wide and 22-1/2″ inches long.
My photo doesn’t do these rich metallic colors justice; check out the gorgeous holiday-ready gold wrap bracelet made by Katie Hacker!
Embellish these leather wrap bracelets with metal stamped tags (see Nunn Design, above), artistic resin bezel creations, embossing/branding tools, or colorful inks, and get over 40 inspiring designs from our Leather Jewelry special issue magazine.
I hope these new jewelry-making supplies are as exciting and inspiring to you as they are to me. Have fun creating with them!