Category Archives: Tutorials

Beaded Car Freshener Tutorial. Another use for your lampwork beads!

By: Joanna Mueller

……and yet another use for your lovely lampwork beads!  Add it to your list of quick gifts, and table fillers for craft shows.  These babies move!  You can either sell them as kits for other people to make and give… or you can put them out already made.  Either way, your car will not only smell great, but be adorned with our first love… BEADS!

Step 1:  Make dangles.  Use whatever beads you want and string them on headpins, loop the top and set aside.

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Step 2:  Pick a focal bead and string onto a headpin. Loop at BOTH ends.  You can design this part any way you want. Use whatever focal you want to and use whatever accent beads appeal to you.

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Step 3:  It’s time to put everything (beads) together.  First, attach a split ring to the bottom loop of your focal piece.  Then, place all dangles onto that split ring and let them hang down.  You will also need to attach a split ring at the top of your focal piece at this point. 

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Step 4:  It’s time to attach the lanyard hook to the auto air freshener.After you do that, you will need to also attach that same lanyard hook to the split ring you just put on step 3 (at the bottom of the bead hanger)  (the dangles help cover the lanyard)

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Step 5:  You are finished…  Hang it in your car, or wrap gently in a box with tissue paper for a wonderful stocking stuffer gift.  ENJOY!

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Filling the Bead Hole Tutorial by Artwhim

Sometimes when making a piece of jewelry the hole of the bead being used is too large for the diameter of the wire  and the bead feels wobbly.  The easiest way to fix this problem is to fill the hole with small beads that will fit over the wire, but fill the space.  However, this fix does not always work because sometimes I just don’t have the right size filler beads.  One day out of frustration I came up with this solution.   

Supplies:Craft foam (this is the colored foam that comes in sheets and is available anywhere crafts are sold)

Fine nose scissors

Large pin (the type that florists use on corsages work well) 

 Step 1: Cut a small piece of foam.  Poke hole in center and thread onto wire.tutorial-1-1-hole-filler.jpg

Step 2:  Use the fine nose scissors to clip the foam into a circular shape.  It needs to be larger than the hole being filled, but not by much. 

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 Step 3:  Position the bead on the wire and use the pin to start forcing the foam down into the hole.tutorial-1-4-hole-filler.jpg   

This is just another photo that shows the foam being forced into the hole.  Work it a little at a time.  tutorial-1-3-hole-filler.jpg 

 Step 4:  Push the foam down far enough that it will not show at the top of the bead.  You also want it down far enough that it won’t work out of the hole with wear.  tutorial-1-6hole-filler.jpg   

That’s the basic idea.  If you need to have a large bead filled both at the top and the bottom, put a piece of foam on the headpin first, then the bead.  You may not be able to work the foam in the bottom if the bead is too low, so position the bead as low as you can and still get the foam in.  Then after the foam is inserted, lower the bead into it’s final position.  At that point, you can fill the top of the bead as described above.

I’ve found it doesn’t matter what color foam I use if I am covering the bead hole completely with spacers or wire wrapping.  If you think your spacers are not large enough to cover the hole, you may want to be more careful on color selection.  Honestly I’ve used green because that was sitting on my workbench from another project and I didn’t take the time to go searching for a different color.

 One of the great things about this method is how adaptable it is, and cheap too!  Hope it works for you. 

Boro Leaf Tutorial

By: Joanna Mueller 

The easiest part of this process is making the loop first.  Consider it a tutorial in “reverse”.  When I am creating delicate items, I find it easier to make my loop first so as not to injur or mar the item when I’m attaching the loop.  I like to get all my tools ready prior to my bead making sessions.  It is important to me so that I am not searching for something I really need within reach.   See tools below for an idea of what you will need to complete this Boro Leaf Pendant project.  Leaf Masher, Peter’s Tweezers, Tungsten Picks, Long Looped Hemostats, TweezersClear boro punty,   Tan Silver Creek,  Amber Purple

And never forget your boro shades and good ventilation!

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Step 1 Take a rod of Amber Purple and melt and wrap it around about 2 inches of the end of a Tan Silver Creek Rod.  When wrapping color on color, keep the base color cool and the wrapping color molten until your rotations are completed and you finish off the end with the Amber Purple.

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Step 2

You now have a rod of Tan Silver Creek with 2 inches of the end covered in Amber Purple.  Melt the tip of the rod in the flame until you have the shape of a small sphere/ball.

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Step 3Use your Peter’s Tweezers to “poke” through the center of the sphere/ball, then proceed to heat your tungsten pick in the flame and gently push your pick through the hole.  Continue this process until you are happy with your loop.  If you’ve never done this before, just keep practicing, it will become more easy with time.  Many people have trouble making loops after their item is made and shaped, so this tutorial is backwards in that you make the loop first!

 

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 Step 4

It’s time to punty your clear boro rod to the tip of your loop.   Once your punty is set, flip it around and place the color rod in the flame right at the end of where the Amber Purple is wrapping around.  Burn off remaining Tan Silver Creek Rod.

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Step 5

Hold your clear boro punty down at your work surface and tilt the color piece up into the flame.  Rotate the color piece constantly in the flame to avoid drooping or dripping.  Melt down the color piece into one nice plump ball.   It is important that you watch your flame here as you do not want to  melt the piece/ball into the loop you just made.  Remember to keep the loop out of the flame.  Once all the wrapping has melted nicely into a ball/lump, slowly lift your boro punty up and let the color boro piece droop down a little to make an elongated oval shape.

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Step 6

While your elongated oval shape is still quite hot/glowing, pick up your leaf mashers and gently mash the ball of glass.  Remember, do not heat your loop end too much and definitely do not allow any of the loop area to get between your leaf masher.

 

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Step 7

Now it’s time to really shape your leaf.  You will use heat control for this step and it is important not to overheat any one area too much.  Heat the mid-section of your boro leaf gently without superheating the tip of your leaf.   Once you have a nice even light glow to that mid-section, take your tweezers and gently pull out the tip of your leaf.  You will immediately see your leaf start to take shape.  Shape to your desired look.  Once shaped, heat one side of the leaf and use your tweezers to squeeze a few spots along the edge.  As you move down the edge of the leaf, rotate your tweezer tips toward the loop.  This will make the tweezer indentations look more natural.  Give one final tweezer squeeze right at the tip of the leaf to finish off the shape.

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Step 8

I like my leaves to have a slight curve to them. It looks more natural.  Heat one edge of your leaf in the flame lightly. You don’t want your glass to get soupy at this point, just an even light glow.  Once the glass begins to glow, take out of the flame and press slightly on a marver to push the edges of the leaves upward slightly. Repeat on opposite edge.

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Step 9

Time to break off that punty.  To do so, take your long looped hemostats and gently grab your leaf by it’s mid-section, closer to the loop than the tip.  You never want to grab your leaf at the tip or you have a good chance of breaking your leaf into pieces.  Gently tap punty and break off at loop.  Now you need to melt in any spots left by the punty and shape slighty and slowly. Do not melt your loop too hot.  Once you have done this, Lay your leaf down on your marver and pick up with the hemostats again at the loop end.  Now flame-strike your piece and fire polish afterward.  Pop into the kiln.

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CONGRATULATIONS!

You just made a boro leaf pendant! Congratulations!

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