Tucson Update, Part One: 6 Tips and Great Ideas for Leather Jewelry Making, Resin & More

Oh friends! I saw so many wonderful things in Tucson last week at the gem and jewelry shows that I can’t wait to share with you. There’s no way I can fit all the goodness into one newsletter, so watch for several on the topic! First, I had to share some of the great little jewelry-making ideas I saw here and there in Tucson.


Leather was everywhere in Tucson this year (can’t wait to show you more of it soon!), and the folks at Tierra Cast had an inspiring booth of gorgeous jewelry ideas, including colorful ways to use leather strips or even scraps in easy leather jewelry projects. I love the challenge of using scraps or leftovers, and when the result can be stylish pieces like these, it’s even more rewarding.


Speaking of leather, our friends at Lilly Pilly have a whole new line of leather jewelry-making shapes and components. They all seem to mix and match, shapes fit inside other shapes and such, and they gave me some great pointers for working with these colorful pieces. I’ve got a whole list to share with you later, but here’s one to tide you over: When using glue in leather jewelry making, choose Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate! glue and your leather pieces will remain flexible when the glue dries.

(If you’re looking for some inspiring ways to make leather jewelry, check out our DIY Wrap Bracelets and Leather Crafted Jewelry “Perfect Pair” Bundle.)

Linda Hartung of Alacarte Clasps always has pretty new things to see, but one thing that stood out to me in particular is this clever way she’s repurposing ribbon end findings (aka crimp end tubes) as pendants, by filling them with leftover bits of sparkly cup chain (or ribbon, or strung beads, or any combination of pretties). Such a sleek, elegant, and easy pendant you can make from scraps in minutes!


The ICE Resin team had a booth full of beautiful, inspiring resin jewelry as always. My favorite was this cast resin pendant. The artist used paper art of a face in the back of the ICE Resin bezel and topped it with a cast-resin face for a very cool three-dimensional pendant.


And while we’re on the topic of resin, I just love the sweet simplicity of this heart-shaped river rock set in resin in a backless bezel, from our friends at Nunn Design. The Nunn booth is always overflowing with beautiful, artistic ways to fill bezels and use charms, resin, and epoxy clay. There will definitely be more of that in my next Tucson wrap-up–including a giveaway of the Nunn Design Winter Collection!

butane-smores-KieuPhamGrayI was browsing one booth at the To Bead True Blue show when I smelled something so yummy–it smelled like roasted marshmallows. I figured someone was demonstrating something with a torch, and when I wandered into the next booth, there was jewelry artist and instructor Kieu Pham Gray in The Urban Beader booth–roasting marshmallows for s’mores with a butane micro torch! If you follow Jewelry Making Daily on Facebook, you probably already know that I am guilty of making roasted marshmallows that way myself–and if you haven’t tried it yet, I totally recommend it! J


So there you go–the first round of my Tucson news. Soon I’ll share with you all my purchases and the cool products I saw. Meanwhile, get ready for some serious jewelry making and celebrate Perfect Pairs during this weekend of love with our Perfect Pairs Sale!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! We <3 you!

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