Offray Ribbon Blog Hop: Sunshine Ribbon Necklace

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Offray Blue Logo

Welcome to the Offray Ribbon Blog Hop! When I heard about the opportunity to work with Offray Ribbon for this challenge, I jumped at the chance! I had used Offray ribbon in the past on a few of my other pieces and had always enjoyed the quality of their material.

Sunshine Ribbon Necklace by Suzann Sladcik Wilson using Offray Ribbon

Sunshine Ribbon Necklace by Suzann Sladcik Wilson using Offray Ribbon

For this challenge, I was sent ribbon in vibrant yellow and orange. I knew that I wanted to create something that was as bold as the colors that I was given. The beads were all purchased at Micheal’s, and matched perfectly with the ribbon. I decided to call this one “Sunshine” to bring a little bit of brightness to the cold and gloomy weather we have been having here in Chicago.

One of the biggest challenges we have as jewelry designers is determining the length of a necklace. By using ribbon, you can easily adjust the length to look good with almost any neckline. For this design, you can even braid the three strands together to get a totally different look.

Design Tip: Add a drop of glue or clear nail polish to the knots attached to the connector to make sure they stay secure.

Make sure you stop by the Offray web site. There you can sign up for Offray.com email newsletters to receive information about new products, project ideas, and special savings. Plus, receive 15% Off your first order at Offray.com when you sign up for email.

Click through on the Designer Crafts Connection logo to the left of this blog to see what the other talented designers made with Offray ribbon.

What do you think of the Sunshine Ribbon Necklace? Have you used ribbon in your jewelry designs? Let me know in the comments at the top of this post!

How To Make A Rosary

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Happy 2015, my creative friends! For today’s post, we are to feature our favorite tool or technique of 2014. The tool that I have fallen in love with the past year has to be the 1 Step Looper from BeadSmith.

1-Step Looper from BeadSmith

1-Step Looper from BeadSmith

Recently, I was commissioned to make a rosary for a client. I knew that this was the perfect situation for my 1 Step Looper. By using the 1 Step Looper, I probably cut my time to make the rosary in at least half. The rosary was to be a gift for a very important person in their lives, so I decided to use some outstanding grade A amethyst that was faceted for the “Hail Mary” beads. I also used clear AB Swarovski Crystals for the “Our Father” sections to make it extra special.

Amethyst Rosary by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Amethyst Rosary by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Here is how to make your own rosary.

Tool to make a rosary.

Tools to make a rosary.

Materials:

  • 53 – 8mm faceted round Grade A amethyst
  • 6 – 8mm bicone Swarovski Crystals in Clear AB
  • 59 – 2 inch silver eye pins
  • 6 inch piece of chain
  • 1 – 5mm jump ring
  • 3 – 3mm jump rings
  • 1 silver cross
  • 1 silver rosary center

Tools:

  • Round Nose Pliers
  • 1 Step Looper

Instructions:

1. Insert eye pin into 1 amethyst bead.

2. Using your 1 Step Looper, create a loop at the opposite end of your eye pin.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all your amethyst beads and the Swarovski crystals.

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4. Link your amethyst beads together using your round nose pliers. Make 5 sections of 10 beads and one section of 3 beads.

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5. Join together a section of 10 amethyst beads, one link of silver chain, one Swarovski crystal, one link of silver chain, and another section of 10 amethyst beads. Do this until all the sections of 10 amethyst beads are connected. Add one link of silver chain to both ends of the chain you just created.

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6. To create the center chain, link together 3 links of silver chain, one Swarovski crystal, 3 links of silver chain, the section of 3 amethyst beads, 3 links of silver chain, one Swarovski crystal, and 3 links of silver chain. Attach the cross to the bottom of the chain you made using your 5mm jump ring.

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7. Connect the ends of your long piece of chain to the top two circles of your center piece using 2 of the 3mm jump rings and connect the piece with the cross to the bottom circle of the center piece using the last 3mm jump ring.

8. (optional) Go through your rosary with your round nose pliers and make sure all your connections are tightly closed.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know in the comments above what you would make with a 1 Step Looper, or if you have one, what projects you have make.

Here’s to wishing you a New Year filled with creativity, joy, peace, prosperity, and lots and lots of beads!

Smoothfoam Holiday Ball Blog Hop: Swarovski Crystal Mosaic Ornament

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Swarovski Crystal Mosaic Ornament by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Swarovski Mosaic Ornament by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Welcome to the Smoothfoam Holiday Ball Blog Hop! Today’s project is a stunning ornament that you will want to leave out all year long. The Swarovski Crystal Mosaic ornament is sure to bring lots of sparkle to your tree.

Close Up of Swarovski Crystal Mosaic Onament

Close up of Swarovski Mosaic Ornament by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

The Smoothfoam 2 inch ball was used as the base of the project. Having something light weight to counteract the weight of the crystals was very helpful. I covered the ball using Mod Podge’s Collage Clay for the medium to hold the crystals. This project took me about a hour, so not too bad time wise. You could also make this from left over beads in your stash.

Here is how to make it.

Materials to make Swarovski Mosaic OrnamentMaterials:

  • Smoothfoam 2 inch ball
  • Mod Podge Collage Clay
  • 1.5 inch eye pin
  • Various Swarovski Crystals

Directions:

1. Insert eye pin into the top of the Smoothfoam ball. Leave 1/4 inch of the top of the eye pin exposed. Tip: You might want to add some glue to your eye pin to make sure it stays in place.

2. Using the Wavy tip, apply a section of Mod Podge Collage Clay to your Smoothfoam ball. Tip: Use a small glass or candle holder to hold your ball while your are applying the Mod Podge Collage Clay and crystals.

3. Apply crystals to your Mod Podge Collage Clay.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the whole Smoothfoam ball is covered.

5. Allow ornament to dry for 24 hours.

6. Put some string through your eye pin and tie it to form a loop.

7. Hang your ornament on the tree and enjoy!

Don’t forget to hop through and see all the other wonderful creations made with Smoothfoam balls! You can click here to see them!

 

 

Beadphoria for Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop: Beaded Ornament Hangers

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Beaded Ornament Hangers by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Beaded Ornament Hangers by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Welcome to December, my creative friends! If you haven’t already, it’s time to start decorating for the holidays. Today’s project is super easy and a great way to make your tree more festive – beaded ornament hangers. I came up with this idea when I noticed how boring traditional hangers look. Anyways, who doesn’t love some extra sparkle for their tree!

Beaded Ornament Hangers by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Close up of ornament hangers.

As you can see, you can make the hangers sophisticated looking with crystals or pearls, or you could go for a more whimsical look with lampwork Christmas beads. You could also make them to match a color scheme of an overall tree or a particular ornament. This project is also good for using up beads that you might have in your stash.

Tools and materials to create beaded ornament holders.Tools and Materials:

  • 18 silver gauge wire
  • mixture of festive beads
  • wire Cutters
  • ruler
  • round nose pliers
  • pen

Instructions

IMG_42761. Cut your wire into 4 inch strips.

IMG_42792. Make a 90 degree angle three inches from the top of your wire.

IMG_42803.Wrap the bent wire around the barrel of the pen to form the hook at the bottom of the hanger.

IMG_42844. Place approximately 2 inches of beads onto your wire.

IMG_42875. Make a 90 angle with the top inch of your wire going in the opposite direction of the one on the bottom of your hanger.

IMG_42926. Curl the top inch of your wire around your pen to make the top hook.

7. Place your ornament on the bottom of your hanger and place on tree.

So what kind of ornament hangers would you make? Sophisticated or whimsical? Is there one particular ornament hanger that I made that you liked? Let me know in the comments!

Upcycled Jewelry, Bags, Belts, and More by Linda Peterson Book Review

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Upcycled Jewelry

Welcome back, Beadphoria friends! How many times have you looked at objects laying around your home or headed for the trash and wondered, “There has to be another way I could use this.” Today I would like to introduce you to a new book that will have you looking at your recycling bin in a whole new way –  Upcycled Jewelry, Bags, Belts, and more by Linda Peterson.

Upcycled Jewelry by Linda Peterson features 35 projects that range in difficulty from beginner to advanced. There are several interesting techniques used in the book, including how to melt plastic and re-purposing old bicycle tubes for jewelry components.

Upcycled Jewelry Projects of Soda Pop Tab Earrings and Bottle Cap Rings on Beadphoria.Wordpress.comThe two projects I decided to try were the Pretty Polk Dot Earrings and the Bottle Cap Ring. I chose these projects because I loved how simply the pop tops were altered and I have always had a thing for rings.

Materials for Pretty Polka Dot EarringsAs you can see, the materials needed for the Pretty Polka Dot Earrings are, except for the paint pens, common house hold objects. The only tools that you need are two pairs of pliers to open and close the jump rings.

Pretty Polka Dot EarringsThe finished Pretty Polk Dot Earring turned out really cute. They were quick to make, with the longest part of the process being waiting for the nail polish to dry. The only tip I would give is to use opaque nail polish or to make sure you apply a second coat to fully cover the metal.

Materials for Bottle Cap RingsThe materials for the Bottle Cap Ring is bottle caps, ring blanks, and a strong adhesive. The book recommends a silicone adhesive, but I used jewelry glue instead with the results being just fine. For tools, you will need a hammer and bench block to pound your bottle caps on.

Bottle Cap Rings from Beadphoria.Wordpress.comI was very happy with how my finished rings turned out. For the brown one, I liked the phrasing on it so much, that I decided to not add anything. For the blue one, I wanted some extra bling, so I added a few Swarovski crystals on the outside. Another idea would be to use the same nail polish technique used in the Pretty Polka Dot Earrings and alter your bottle caps that way.

Inside of Upcycled Jewelry By Linda Peterson

The book contains lots of step by step photos, which is helpful when you are learning new techniques. A few of the projects required skills such as riveting and sewing, so there is something to interest for just about everyone. If you are looking to expand your jewelry making skills and help save the planet at the same time, make sure to pick up a copy of Linda Peterson’s Upcycled Jewelry, Bags, Belts, and More.

Which project did you like better, the Pretty Polka Dot Earrings or the Bottle Cap Rings? Which one of these might you try? Let me know in the comments above!

Click here to find all the other blogs participating in the hop!

Cool 2 Cast New E-Book and Product Review Blog Hop

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Cool2Cast-cover72dpiWelcome, my creative friends! Recently, my colleagues at Bella Crafts Quarterly asked me to review their new e-book Cool 2 Cast -Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Jewelry, Home Decor, and Embellishments.  I was also sent a sample of Cool 2 Cast to try out.

IMG_4588 Cool2Cast Jar and moldsFor those of you not familiar with Cool 2 Cast, this medium is a must try for jewelry makers. Cool 2 Cast allows you to make your own pendents and embellishments from molds or free form from texture plates or rubber stamps. It has a texture similar to plaster, but much more lightweight.

Some of the materials you will need to create Cool 2 Cast pendants.

Some of the materials you will need to create Cool 2 Cast pendants.

Since I had never used Cool 2 Cast before, I was heavily relying on the instructions in the Cool 2 Cast e-book. I am happy to tell you that the instructions were very well written with lots of photographs for the steps. The book also includes lots of inspiration with numerous projects included.

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Examples of large stamps, texture plates, and silicone molds you can use with Cool 2 Cast.

I decided I wanted to try my hand at making some pendants. From the book, I knew that I would need the Cool 2 Cast, silicone molds and a large sheet rubber stamp, bails, jewelry glue, some sand paper, paint and possibly a few embellishments.

IMG_4146The mold that I decided to use is a new one from Sculpey called Cabochon Shapes. I really like it. It gives you four different shapes in three different sizes. I also decided to use the clock rubber stamp from above to try a little free form molding.

IMG_4171I let my Cool 2 Cast sit for and hour and then released them from the molds. Then cleaned them up with 220 grit sand paper. As you can see, the results turned out very nice.

Cool 2 Cast Pendents by Suzann Sladcik WilsonHere are a few of the samples of the finished pendents. I decided to make the clock into something with a steampunk theme. On three of the other ones, I decided to add Swarovski embellishments, because, well, who doesn’t like a little extra bling?! The little pink one was made with pink glitter paint. I might turn that one into a ring.

If you would like to order your own copy of the Cool 2 Cast e-book to create your own custom jewelry pieces, click here. You can see a list of blogs featuring other Cool 2 Cast and find out how to win your own starter set of Cool 2 Cast by clicking here.

What would you create with Cool 2 Cast? Is there one of the pendants that I created that you like best? Let me know in the comments!

Beadphoria Book Review and Project: Craft Your Stash by Lisa Fulmer – Jewelry Business Cards

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Craft_Your_Stash_1Welcome everyone! Although most of us reading this blog are primarily jewelry makers, it’s pretty safe to say that we have dabbled in other creative pursuits from time to time. Maybe you have a collection of stamps and inks when you wanted to try card making, a collection of fabric for that sewing project that never got started, or stacks of scrapbooking paper that you bought on sale because you knew you would use it “someday”.

You might be asking yourself “what do I do with all this stuff?” This is where Lisa Fulmer’s book Craft Your Stash comes to the rescue! Craft Your Stash is chock full of inventive ideas for what do with all those creative goodies you have laying around. She even has a section on how to organize your stash that is so useful that you will find yourself actually wanting to clean up your crafty space!

Jewelry business cards inspired by the book "Craft Your Stash" by Lisa Fulmer

Jewelry business cards inspired by the book “Craft Your Stash” by Lisa Fulmer.

There are many inspiring projects in Craft Your Stash including ones with beads such as the “Photo Cube Ornament”, “Suncatcher”, “Treasure Box”, and “Lariat Bead Necklace”. The one project that immediately caught my eye was the “Personal Calling Cards”. You see, this summer I attended a Swarovski Crystal class at the Bead and Button Show. The generous people from Swarovski sent us home with an amazing bag of goodies that included a stash of flat backs that would make you drool, (lucky me, right?!). I have been looking for a project to do with them, and this was the perfect one.

Materials to make Jewelry Business Cards

Materials to make Jewelry Business Cards.

These cards were also a chance to dive into my stash of stamps and inks. For awhile, I tried to dabble into stamping, but for some reason I have never been bitten by the paper crafting bug. You would never know it, though, from the collection of stamps that I do have. I was also able to use some new inks from Staz On by Tsukineko. I really like the new colors they came out with. The Gothic Purple and Blue Hawaii turned out great on the cards and showed the details of the stamps beautifully.

You can use different colors of crystals to give your cards some extra bling.

You can use different colors of crystals to give your cards some extra bling.

One tip i would like to pass along that will make your cards much easier to create is to use either a Crystal Katana or Tanto tool by Crystal Ninja. I used the Tanto for my project. It allowed me to place the crystals exactly where I wanted them and with ease. I also used the Precision Glue Bottle from Crystal Ninja filled with Beacon Adhesives Gem-Tac to make sure the crystals stayed in place.

Lisa Fulmer’s book Craft Your Stash had lots of photographs and lots of step by step instructions that made creating the cards a breeze. This is a book you will definitely will want to add to your crafty library. You can order your copy of Craft Your Stash on Amazon.com.

I hope that you enjoyed my review of Craft Your Stash and the Blinged Out Business Cards that I created. Let me know what you think of them in the comments above!

Sullivans Hebe Cord Blog Hop: Lemonade and Roses Bracelet

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Sullivans

IMG_4063Hello, Beadphoria friends! As you know, here at Beadphoria, we like to let you know when a new jewelry making product comes on the market. Today I would like to introduce you to a new material, Hebe cord by Sullivans, USA.

IMG_4037In the mail, I received these two beautiful colors – gold and yellow. Sullivans’ Hebe cord comes in wide range of 31 different colors, including a funky tie dye. There are some striking colors in the blue range that I really want to try.

One of the things that I noticed right away is that the cord has a soft satiny finish. The cord is perfect for knitting, crocheting, knotting, and macrame. I knew right away what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to use a technique I hadn’t used in over 20 years. I was going to make a friendship bracelet. But I didn’t want to make it just a plain bracelet – I was going to have to add something to make it more formal.

IMG_4062Here is what you need to make the bracelet:

  • 4 – 72″ strands in both gold and yellow Hebe cord by Sullivans USA
  • 4 – Light pink resin roses.
  • 5 – bright pink resin roses.
  • scissors
  • safety pin
  • Optional – fabric glue or strong hold glue.
  1. Cut your 4 lengths of the two colors of cord.IMG_4042
  2. Fold your stands in half. Tie an overhand knot and form a loop at the top.
  3. Use a safety pin to fasten the top of your loop to your work surface.
  4. Separate your stands so you have 4 yellow, 8 gold, and 4 yellow.IMG_4051
  5. Begin making right hand knots on the left hand side until you get to the center of your bracelet. On the right hand side of your bracelet, make the same knots until you get to the center. Join the two strands at the center, looping the one on the left over the one on the right.
  6. Continue this pattern until your bracelet is 6.5″ long.IMG_4055
  7. To finish off your bracelet, braid each half for 2.25″.IMG_4067
  8. Add the resin roses to your bracelet. They come with a sticky back, but you may want to use additional glue to make sure they stay in place.

All and all, I really enjoyed using the Sullivans Hebe cord. It was simple to knot, yet when I made a mistake, easy to untie. Hebe cord has been spotted at some local bead shops – so keep your eye out!

Hop on through to the other blogs by using the Designer Crafts Connection button on the left hand side of this blog to see what other amazing creations were made with Hebe cord.

Halloween Spooky Night Polymer Clay Pendant

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By Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Halloween Spooky Night Necklace by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Halloween Spooky Night Necklace by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Welcome, my friends, to a special Halloween edition of the Beadphoria Blog. I have to admit that Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. We love Halloween so much that we make sure that the house is decorated for trick or treaters and enjoy handing out full size candy bars to the kids that stop by.

Today’s project will bring a delightful little bit of fright to your jewelry collection. The Spooky Night Necklace features a fun and easy to make polymer clay pendant.

Halloween Spooky Night Polymer Clay Pendant by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Halloween Spooky Night Polymer Clay Pendant by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

This pendant does hold a little secret. The cut outs of the moon and stars in the black layer of polymer clay reveal the glow in the dark layer underneath. The pendant shows it’s starry sky even in the dark! The dark purple cubes in the necklace also have a sprinkling of glow in the dark pigments in them, just to give some extra sparkle to the necklace.

To create the pendant, I used a layering technique to give the piece a three dimensional effect. Here is how I made it:

Materials for Spooky Night Pendant (Clay conditioning machine and brush for glaze not included.)

Materials for Spooky Night Pendant (Clay conditioning machine and brush for glaze not included.)

Materials:

  • 1/4 brick Sculpey Premo Clay in Black, Purple, and Silver
  • 1/4 brick Sculpey III in Glow in the Dark
  • Clay Conditioning Machine
  • Needle Clay Tool
  • Sculpey Glaze in Gloss
  • Paintbrush
  • Card Stock for Sketch
  • Jump ring
  1. Sketch your scene for your pendant. Photocopy sketch onto card stock paper and cut out.
  2. Condition your clay using the clay conditioning machine.
  3. Set the width of your clay conditioning machine to the 3rd widest setting and roll out your clay.
  4. Set your sketch on top of the Glow in the Dark clay and trace around the outside with your needle tool.
  5. Set your sketch on top of the black clay and trace around the outside with your needle tool. With the sketch still on top, trace over your makings for the moon and stars with your needle tool, so that an impression is made in the clay. Use these impression as your guide to cut out the moon and stars with the needle tool.
  6. Follow the same steps as in number 5 for your purple layer, this time tracing the trees.
  7. Cut an outline of the lower half of your pendent onto the silver clay. Use your needle tool to create a jagged edge for the grass.
  8. Place your black layer on top of your glow in the dark layer. Place your purple layer on top of the black and the silver layer on top of the purple.
  9. Use your needle tool to create a hole for your jump ring at the top of your pendant.
  10. Bake your pendant at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Apply glaze to the top and sides of the pendent using your paintbrush. Allow to dry.
  12. Attach a jump ring to your pendant and you are ready to shine!

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make the Spooky Night pendant. Don’t forget to hop through the Designer Crafts Connection by clicking on the box on the left to see what the other designers have cooked up for this Halloween season!

Beadphoria for Designer Crafts Connection: Hope Pearl Vacation Memories Necklace

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by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

Hope Pearl Full Necklace

It’s time again for the Designer Crafts Connection Blog hop. Being that today is Labor Day, the theme for the month is vacation memories. One of the places that people, (myself included), love to visit on vacation is the beach. There is nothing better than soaking up a little sun and relaxing with your toes in the sand.

Many times, a favorite activity to do on the beach is to collect sea shells. But what to do with them once you get them home? You could put them in a jar, but why not turn them into a wearable memory?

Hope Pearl Necklace close upThe pendent on this necklace is easy to make. I added the word “hope” to my shell because to a pearl is created when a piece of sand irritates an oyster. That irritation is beautifully covered by the coating that becomes the pearl. It gives me hope that sometimes when things seem rough, something beautiful can come out of it.

If you don’t want to use a word, you can put the date of your vacation. Another idea is to put the location when you found the shell. Either way, you would have a wonderful memento of your time away.

Here is how you make it.

Materials:

  • 1 Shell
  • 1 Small Pearl
  • Plain Paper
  • “hope” Rubber Stamp
  • Staz On Ink Pad in new “Ganache” color
  • Decoupage Glue in Matte
  • Copper Foil
  • 1-10mm Twisted Jump Ring
  • Lead Free Solder
  • Flux
  • Quick Grip Glue
  • 30 Freshwater Pearls
  • 60 inches of 22 Gauge Silver Wire
  • 2 8mm Jump Rings
  • 1 Toggle Clasp

Tools

  • Soldering Iron
  • Flux Brush
  • Hemostats
  • Scissors
  • 1 Step Looper
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  1. Clean and dry your shell thoroughly.
  2. Wrap your shell with copper foil. Burnish the edges with your fingers or with a bone folder.
  3. Brush copper foil with flux.
  4. Using your soldering iron, apply solder to the copper foil.
  5. Attach your twisted jump ring to the top of your shell using your hemostats and a little extra solder.
  6. Glue the pearl to the inside of your shell using Quick Grip.
  7. Stamp the word “hope” onto your paper using the rubber stamp and Staz On ink. Cut word out using scissors.
  8. Glue the word “hope” to the inside of your shell using the matte Decoupage glue.
  9. Cut your 60 inches of silver wire into 2 inch sections.
  10. Place a pearl onto the middle of a 2 inch section of wire. Create a loops at both ends of your wire using your 1 Step Looper. Repeat for the rest of your 29 pearls.
  11. Using your round nose pliers, link together 15 of your pearls. Attach the bottom loop of the chain you created to the top of your pendent. Repeat process with the other 15 of your pearls.
  12. Attach the toggle clasp to the tops of your chain using your 8mm jump rings. Your necklace is now finished!

What is your favorite way of preserving your vacation memories? Let me know in the comments above!

 

 

 

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