Archive for April, 2011

The Art of Gift Giving

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

” Something handmade is so much more meaningful”

–Beth Wert–

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, which means that children everywhere, from little kids to adults, are shopping for their moms.

You can make her something that is beautiful and more meaningful than picking up something generic at the store. Don’t forget to check out our wide range of products, they are sure to inspire something your mom will love!

(1) Vintaj Chain $6/ft. (2) English Meadow Glass Beads, $7. (3) Sterling Headpins, $8.90/pkg. (4) Turquoise Nouveau Button, $3. (5) 12  g Aluminum Wire, $7.50. (6) Vintage Silver Watch Face, $7.50. (7) Purple Hydrangea Micro Suede, .67/yd. (8) Sterling 24 mm Ear Wire, $1.32/pair. (9) Hill Tribe Shining Heart, $4. (10) Book-Mixed Metals, $22.95. (11) Wild Flowers Fastenables, $6. (12) Made with Love Charm, $9.45. (13) Wubbers Looping Pliers, $28.95.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our free tutorials, we have some really fun designs posted and the videos and step-by-step instructions will ensure you get a professional-looking final product. You can access that part of our website by clicking on the link below, or by clicking the “Tutorials” tab on our homepage.

Wired Up Beads Free Tutorials

Do you have any gift-giving suggestions to offer up? We would love to hear them, so feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email so we can share your tips!

Resin & Bezels: Meet Your New Hobby!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Friday mornings at Wired Up Beads are a special time. We lock the doors and head to the studio for staff development playtime! We’ve tried oodles of different projects–everything from polyshrink jewelry to copper enameling. Even though we make giant messes and the occasional unexpected “experimental” piece (“It just doesn’t look like it did in my head!”), we also come away with new ideas and beautiful results. One of our favorite staff developments has been bezel setting with resin. You can see some of our pieces below.

Bezel and resin projects are great because there is such a wide range of design options. Here’s what you do.

1) Select a bezel. Check our our bezel selection here and here.

2) Choose your design. This is the fun part! You can embed pictures, small buttons, stickers, old cards, beads, or ephemera. The possibilities really are endless. For our projects we’ve cut pictures out of magazines, chopped up old stamps and piano music, and printed pictures of local sports team mascots. Just cut whatever you decided to use to fit the shape of the bezel (NOTE: Trace an outline of your bezel to create a template guide.)

3) Glaze & resin. Once you’ve cut your design to fit neatly in the bottom of the bezel, you’ll want to seal it with a thin layer of waterproof sealant or clear glaze (we like to use Diamond Glaze). Or you can skip the glaze and see what kinds of effects you get when you begin adding layers of resin. Once your glaze has dried, you’re ready to add your first layer of resin.

We’ve found it’s best to add resin layers slowly, letting each layer cure (dry) completely before adding the next. This will help you avoid air bubbles in your resin (NOTE: If you do get air bubbles, you can poke them with a needle and then add another layer of resin, which will fill in the cavity. Sometimes bubbles disappear on their own if you cure the resin long enough) Add several layers of resin until your piece has a round domed appearance around the top of the bezel.

Take a look at our glaze and resin products HERE.

4) Curing options. Resin cures naturally in the sunlight, but it can take hours! We love our handy UV Lamp because it only takes minutes to cure each layer of resin. All you have to do is slide your bezel inside and flip on the switch. You can even cure multiple pieces at a time.

Look at our UV lamp HERE.

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The finished resin pieces look truly stunning and with so much potential for unique and personal touches they also make wonderful gifts.