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Katrina

Square Hex Double Spike Bracelet by Joy Wignall

Swarovski Spike Beads are here and we’re the first UK retailer to stock them! Choose from three shapes with a 1-hole and 2-hole option for limitless design possibilities! We couldn’t wait to share our love for them and we challenged designed team member, Joy Wignall to make something using our NEW Swarovski Spike beads.

Joy’s beautiful bronze-toned double bracelet features Swarovski golden shadow and metallic blue spike beads with pretty fire polished beads give the bracelet even more sparkle! We love all the shape and texture of this delicate design and think that the CzechMates triangle beads really compliment the shape of the spike beads.

See more of Joy’s designs.
See more Swarovski Spike bead designs

Project Materials

Swarovski Hexagonal Spike Beads Golden Shadow 7.5mm (AC2214)
Swarovski Hexagonal Spike Beads Metallic Blue 7.5mm (AC2216)
Swarovski Square Spike Beads Golden Shadow 5.5mm (AC2222)
Swarovski Square Spike Beads Metallic Blue (AC2224)
CzechMates Triangle Beads Jet Apollo 6mm (BG0550)
Czech Fire Polished Glass Round Vitex Crystal 4mm Pk100 (BG0010)
Toho Size 11 Seed Beads Metallic Iris Brown (11TR83)
Gold Plated Magnetic Ball Clasp (F0341)

Get your materials button

Project Tutorial

Section 1 part 1

The hexagonal spike bead and the Czechmate triangle bead both have two holes, I found it easier to lay out the beads before I used them to make sure I picked them up with the correct hole, each hex spike needs a triangle bead at each side of it.

Lay out your centre beads for the first bracelet section: triangle, blue hex, triangle, blue square, triangle, gold shadow hex, triangle, gold shadow square, triangle, blue hex, triangle, blue square, with seed beads added when needed.

Cut a double arm span of fireline thread and pick up three seed beads leaving approx. a 20cm tail go through hole in fastener, pick up two more seed beads and go through the first one added. Use a bead stopper if you have one or thread a bead on to the tail end to act as a stopper.

Pick up a fire polish bead then three seed beads five times. For the first pass through the beads I used the top hole on each hex spike and triangle.

Pick up a triangle, blue hex, triangle, three seed beads.
Blue square, three seed beads, triangle.
Golden shadow hex, triangle, three seed beads.
Golden shadow square, three seed beads, triangle.
Blue hex, triangle, three seed beads, blue square.

Then pick up three seed beads and one fire polish five times then three seed beads and the other end of the clasp.


Section 1 part 2
You are now ready to pass back through the bracelet, pick up two seed beads and go through the seed bead next to the fire polish bead then through the fire polish bead, pick up three seed beads then through the next fire polish until you have gone through fire polish number five.

Now pick up two seed beads and go through the seed bead next to the square. Then through the square and the first seed bead, pick up two seed beads then through the bottom hole of the triangle, bottom hole of the blue hex then the triangle. *Pick up 2 seed beads and go through the seed bead next to the square, through the square and the first seed bead. Then pick up two seed beads and through the bottom holes of the triangle, hex bead, triangle, repeat from * until exiting the last triangle on this section.

Pick up 3 seed beads and go through the fire polish bead five times, pass through the beads up to the clasp, through the clasp and back through the beads and the first fire polish.

Before you start the second section of the bracelet remove the thread stopper (or stopper bead), thread a needle on to the tail and work this through the section of the bracelet. Make a few half-hitch knots as you go and cut off when you are happy that your bracelet is secure.

Section 2 part 1

You are now ready to add the second section of the bracelet.

Lay out the beads ready, this time going: gold shadow square, triangle, gold shadow hex, triangle, blue square, triangle, blue hex, triangle, gold shadow square, triangle, gold shadow hex, triangle.

Pick up three seed beads and one fire polish bead.
Repeat four times, then three seed beads, square, three seed beads.
Then continue through the top hole of the triangle, top hole of gold shadow hex.
Go through the top hole of the triangle, add three seed beads.
Then add a blue square, three seed beads, triangle, blue hex.
Next add a triangle, three seed beads square, three seed beads,
triangle gold shadow hex, triangle
Add three seed beads and a fire polish four times (like before).

Now add three seed beads and pass through the fire polish of the existing bracelet, through the seed beads, around the clasp and back through the fire polish.

Section 2 part 2

You are now ready to complete this strand of the bracelet.

Pick up three seed beads and go through the fire polish bead four times, pick up three seed beads and pass through the bottom hole of the triangle, gold shadow hex, triangle, pick up two seed beads and go through the seed bead next to the square.

Then through the square and the first seed bead. Pick up two seed beads, then **through triangle,  hex, triangle.
Pick up two seed beads, go through seed bead next to the square, then through the square and first seed bead.
Pick up two seed beads, repeat from ** one more time until you have exited the last square and seed bead and picked up two seed beads, now go through the fire polish bead and pick up three seed beads four times and through the fire polish.

Now pass through the whole bracelet one more time to reinforce it, tying a couple of half hitch knots as you go.  When you are happy with the strength cut off the remaining thread.

You’re all done!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful bracelet design with us Joy! Let us know what you think and share your creations on our social media pages!

HOW TO: Pom-Pom Your Hat

Pom-poms are everywhere at the moment and we love them because they just make everything more fun! Over the last couple of winters, there has been a trend for hats to have bigger and bigger pom-poms. While admiring the wide array of hats worn by the team on a cold winters morning I thought what could be better than 1 pom-pom…9 of them!

I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on some of our pom-pom charms (while we still have some in stock!) and created this fun 9 pom-pom hat.

The hat started life as a £2 hat from everyone’s favourite discount clothes shop. On its own it was nice but a little plain… The first step was to fit the large and amazing fluffy grey faux fur pom-pom to the top of the hat. I considered using a needle and thread but realised that a jump ring would be much easier, giving a neater finish too!

When fitting the smaller purple pom-pom charms I also used a jumpring to allow the charms to move freely, which is all part of their charm (excuse the pun!). Once opened, the jump rings could be simply threaded through the loops of the wool before closing to secure the charm. I used our 6mm jump rings to leave enough space for a few strands of wool.

I hope you guys like the design. Have fun making and send us your pictures!

Christmas Bauble Decoration | Mini Make

Christmas is just around the corner now! Have you got your tree up yet? Ok, maybe it is still a little early, but it won’t be long before your home is glistening with festive colours and twinkly lights! For this week’s mini-make we’re going to be using our NEW fillable ball decorations to show off your favourite seed bead mix and make a cute reindeer decoration for your Christmas tree. You can really have fun with the ball charms! Each pack contains two balls, so why not try filling the other with Swarovski crystals for a spectacular sparkle?! Be sure to visit the Christmas Shop for more festive charms, gift ideas and design inspiration!

Project Materials

Gold Plated Deer Charm Pk1 (CR0352)
Clear Plastic Fillable Ball Decoration Charm Pk2 (CR0416)
Seed Bead Mix 10g (Sahara Desert)
3mm Green Grosgrain Ribbon (TC1080)
Silver Grey Nymo Thread (TC122)

Tutorial

This little bauble charm so easy to make! Simply pour all of the seed beads into one half of the ball. Cut a length of thread approx. 40cm and fold it in half. Find the middle point and insert it through the loop of the reindeer charm. Then pass the ends of the thread through the loop you just passed through and pull to secure the larks head knot. Place the reindeer in position and re-create the same knot but this time to secure the thread to the loop on one half of the ball. Carefully fit the other half of the ball and close them together, without spilling any seed beads! Tie your threads in a knot approx. 4cm from the end. Cut a 30cm length of ribbon, thread it through the loop of the bauble and tie it in a bow to finish your decoration. Trim away the ends of the ribbon for a cute little bow.

Hematite Snowflake Earrings | Mini-Make

With just 41 sleeps to go until the festive holidays, it’s time to get Christmas crafting! For this week’s Mini-Make tutorial, we’re making a cute pair of snowflake earrings with a touch of Pantone’s trending colour for winter, ‘Navy Peony’. The NEW hematite shiny ring beads fit perfectly around the shiny spacer beads, giving them a cool and contrasting look!

Project Materials

Silver Plated Seamless Rounds 4mm Pk100 (F1041)
Bue Hematite Matt/Shiny Ring Beads 8mm 40cm Strand (EX558)
Antique Silver Zamak Snowflake Connector 13x14mm Pk1 x2 (CR0371)
Silver Plated Ear Wires with Coil Pk20 (F1002)
Silver Plated Iron Headpins (F0035)
Silver Plated Iron Eyepins (F0047)

Project Tutorial

Thread a silver bead onto an eyepin and then a hematite bead (with a silver one inside) followed by another silver bead. Use your pliers to bend the end of the headpin to a 90-degree angle and trim away to leave a post of approx. 1cm. Use your round nose pliers to make a loop. Attach one of the loops to one side of the snowflake connector. Attach the other end to an ear wire.

Next, thread a hematite bead with a silver bead inside onto a head pin and make a loop like before. Attach this to the bottom of the snowflake charm. Repeat these steps to make your second earring.

Monstera Leaf Necklace | Mini-Make

Tropical plants and big leafy patterns and prints are a huge trend at the moment, you’ll find them everywhere! The ‘Monstera’ plant, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, in particular, has made a huge comeback from it’s 1970’s debut. As more people are loving a little greenery in their lives this holey-leafed plant is taking over our home decor..and jewellery! Today we launched the NEW sterling silver 925 monstera leaf charm (also available in gold plated sterling silver) and we thought that since it’s Monday we just had to include this charm for a special Monstera Mini-Make Monday!

Project Materials

Sterling Silver 925 Leaf Charm ‘Monstera’ (SS608)
Sterling Silver Extra Fine Trace Chain with Clasp 16 inches (CH22)
Sterling Silver 925 Jumprings 6mm  Pk10 (SS180)

Tutorial

This mini-make couldn’t be simpler! All you have to do is use a pair of pliers to carefully open the jumpring (like this), link it through the top hole of the charm and close it around the chain.

Tawny Owl Bag Charm | MINI-MAKE

New owl beads have just flown in from Preciosa and I couldn’t wait to make something with them! I’ve used a mix of fire-polished Czech glass beads in bronze and topaz tones with feather charms to make a pretty bag charm. The multiple chains give the piece lots of movement and the life-like feather brings the tawny owl theme altogether. Since you’ll have lots of materials left over from this project, you can easily make lots more for your friends or to sell at upcoming craft fairs. Just remember to buy a couple more clasps and charms!

Project Materials

Copper Preciosa Glass Owl Beads (BG2074)
Preciosa Czech Fire Polished Beads 4mm Topaz (BG0866)
Preciosa Czech Fire Polished Beads 8mm Orange Tweed Pk50 (BG0697)
Gold Plated Tiny Feather Charm Pk2 x2 (CR0212)
Gold Plated Oval Carabiner Clasp Pk1 (F0728)
Beige Large Feather Charm Pk6 (CR0031)
Gold Plated Iron Eyepins 50mm (F0052)
Gold Plated Steed Chain 2x3mm 1 Metre (CH236)
Gold Plated 6mm Jumprings (F0215)

Tutorial

  1. Begin by threading an 8mm bead onto an eyepin and use your pliers to make a loop at the end. Do this for two more 8mm beads, 3 of the 4mm beads and 3 of the owls.
  2. Cut a length of 6cm of chain and attach an owl to the end with a jumpring. Open the bottom loop of the owl and connect a mini feather charm to it.
  3. Repeat step 2 with a 3cm piece of chain.
  4. Connect another owl bead to a jumpring, attach another jumpring on the bottom loop of the owl and connect it to an 8mm bead. Open the bottom loop and connect a mini feather charm onto it.
  5. For your fourth stand, attach your 4mm looped bead to a jumpring. Then alternate between 8mm bead and 4mm bead so that you have 4x4mm beads and 2x 8mm beads. Open the end loop and attach your last mini feather charm.
  6.  Use a 2 cm piece of chain or five jumprings attached together to the top of the beige feather charm.
  7. First link the short owl piece of chain onto the bottom loop of the carabiner and then the longest beaded chain.
  8. Allow the two pieces to fall next to each other and loop the jumpring of your 3rd chain through both of the top two jumprings you just added. Do the same for the opposite side with your last piece of chain.

MINI-MAKE Pumpkin Earrings

Autumn is in full swing and Halloween is just around the corner! I’ve been busy on the allotment, harvesting lots of mini pumpkins and squashes that inspired my latest design! This cute pair of pumpkin earrings is perfect for Halloween outfits or if you’re an avid allotment gardener like me! In this mini-make you’ll learn how to make a wrapped bead cap and coiled wire to make the pumpkin stalk and the vine. You’ll have a whole range of howlite pumpkin beads on your strand to make lots of funky coloured designs. You can find the pumpkin beads at the Halloween Shop where you can find more treats (no tricks – honest!) to get creative this Halloween.

 

Project Materials

Assorted Colour Howlite Pumpkin Beads 12mm 15 inch Strand (EX555)
Copper Craft Wire Green 0.5mm x 25m (W341)
Gold Plated Earwires (F1003)
Gold Plated Iron Jumprings 4mm Pk100 (F0214)

You will also need:
Round nose Jewellery Pliers (W51)
Flat Nose Jewellery Pliers (W50)
Side Cutter Jewellery Pliers (W53)

Tutorial


Cut a length of 20cm wire or 23cm for extra long curly vines!


Grab the very tip of the wire with your round nose pliers and twist to make the smallest loop possible.


Use your flat nose pliers to hold the loop.


To make a spiral, continue to hold the wire with the flat nose pliers and use your fingers to encourage the wire to sit next to the previous loop. You may need to adapt the position of your pliers as you work your way around the circle.


Go around the original loop 2 or 3 times to make a flat spiral. Use your pliers to move the remaining wire into the middle of the spiral to make a post.


Insert the wire through a pumpkin bead, leave approx. 1cm before bending the wire over your round nose pliers. Wrap the wire back across the centre wire to make a loop. For a video on how to do this, follow our How To Wrap a Pin tutorial.


Hold the entire loop with your flat nose pliers and continue to wrap the wire. When you reach the beads, continue to spiral the wire so that it makes a small cap over the top of the bead.


When you have about 3cm remaining, use your round nose pliers to coil the end of the wire. You can keep your coil tight by only using the tip of the pliers. After you have finished your coil, carefully pull and tweak the shape a little. I manipulated mine to follow the curve of the pumpkin bead but this bit if up to you!


Open a jumpring and thread it through the loop of the earwire. Then close the jumpring onto the wrapped loop of your pumpkin bead. Repeat these steps to make the second earring to complete your pair.

What do you think? I love them! Share your Halloween designs with us on our Facebook page and Instagram!

Katrina x

VOTE for us at The International Craft Awards!

Thank you so much for nominating us for a staggering amount of awards for The International Craft Awards, we’re blown away! It isn’t over yet as we still need your help… Voting is now open so if you could please take a minute to vote Beads Direct, we would really appreciate your support. Plus, your vote will be automatically entered into the prize draw to WIN a three-night crafting holiday worth £1,000 for you and three of your friends!

Please vote Beads Direct for the following categories:

☆ Best for Customer service

☆ Best for Quality

☆ Best Craft Website

☆ Best Craft Blog

☆ Best Jewellery Making Tool/Accessory – Beads Direct pliers & Beads Direct bead board

☆ Best Bead Range – Beads Direct seed beads, Beads Direct semi-precious gemstone range & Beads Direct Swarovski.

HOW TO: Embellish with Swarovski Crystals

Here at Beads Direct, we’re so excited to launch our online Swarovski Sweet Shop ahead of our appearance at The Handmade Fair (15/09/2017) with our partners Swarovski Create Your Style. At the Swarovski Sweet Shop, you will find some of the beautifully coloured hotfix and non-hotfix crystals, pearls, beads, transfers and mixes to embellish your favourite things!

Swarovski crystals are an essential part of your crafting stash if you love to add a touch of sparkle to your projects! You can embellish all kinds of things such as phone cases, gift cards, clothing, notepads, handbags and accessories with our beautiful Swarovski range. You can use sew on crystals, hotfix crystals and non-hotfix crystals to finish your crafty project or clothing designs.

View our complete range of Swarovski crystals!

What’s the difference between Hotfix and Non-Hotfix?

Swarovski non-Hotfix crystals have a foiled back that you can hand-glue to your project. We recommend using Gem-Tac embellishing glue or Hypo Cement which is specially designed to apply Swarovski crystals to a range of materials including leather, fabric, ribbon, card, paper and more. Gem-Tac glue will semi-dry within half an hour of application but will take up to 24 hours to completely set and will turn transparent.

Swarovski Hotfix crystals are designed to be used with a Hotfix applicator tool. The crystals have a thin layer of glue on the flat back which is heated up using the Hotfix applicator tool, and adheres directly onto your project. Hotfix crystals used with the applicator tool are great for projects that require a large amount of crystals because it is much faster, more precise and less messy than if you were to hand-glue them with non-Hotfix crystals. The glue on the back of Hotfix crystals is also much faster drying than Gem-Tac glue which can take up to 24 hours to completely set.

How to Use a Hotfix Applicator

We currently sell two different Hotfix applicators. The Hotfix Pro Touch Applicator Heat Tool for SS12-SS34 Hotfix Crystals which comes with 7 different applicator heads for crystals that measure 2mm-7mm. We also sell the Vacuum Applicator Heat Tool for SS6-SS20 Hotfix Crystals which is a cordless applicator that even assists in picking up the crystals with its vacuum suction that is controlled by a button above the nozzle. This applicator also has in-built light for accurate positioning in low-light conditions and can be used with smaller crystals from 1.9mm-4.9mm.

Begin by laying out the crystals on your project surface where you want them to go. Starting with either the largest or smaller sizes crystal, choose and insert the relevant applicator head for your tool. Plug in your Hotfix applicator tool (if required to do so) and allow your applicator tool to heat up, this can take up to 10 minutes for the Hotfix Pro Touch Applicator Heat Tool.

Starting from one corner of your project, take your applicator tool and place it onto of the crystal. Keep the tool in a vertical position and apply a gentle pressure. Hold for 10-30 seconds and remove the applicator tool. Test to see if the crystal has applied (be careful as it will be hot!). Continue to apply your crystals of the same size. If you are using a mix of sizes, you will need to switch off and allow your applicator tool to completely cool down before changing the head to a different size.

Embellishment Tips

When using non-Hotfix crystals and Gem-Tac on very small crystals, you may wish to use a headpin from your craft stash. Insert the tip of the headpin into the glue and brush it onto the back of the crystal. Then place the crystal into position and use the flat head of the headpin and press on the crystal to secure it into place.

The time it takes to Hotfix a crystal will depend on the material you are applying it to. For example, small crystals on a flat, smooth surface such as paper, card or leather will take less time than a bigger crystal on more porous materials such as heavy fabrics. For this reason, you may wish to do a few tests to determine the length of time your crystals will take apply. Gently nudge the crystal (be careful as it will be hot) to see if it has applied after 10 or 20 seconds. Increase the time if necessary.

Always take care when using the Hotfix applicator tool as the end will get very hot! Work on a clear surface and have somewhere safe, such as a heat resistant mat to store your tool in-between applying your crystals.

Be careful not to look away or get distracted when applying Hotfix crystals to surfaces. If you apply too much pressure for too long, or tilt the Hotfix applicator away from the vertical axis, the crystal could slide out of place on the layer of melted glue.

Projects We Made

Crystal embellished denim collar with a Swarovski rainbow transfer.

Embellished unicorn scarf with Swarovski crystal AB mix.

Pocket detail with Swarovski Hotfix crystal pink mix.

Sparkly crystal embellished shoes and purse with a black Swarovski star transfer.

‘Bordeaux’ WrapIt Loom Bracelet

The NEW WrapIt Loom by Rainbow Loom is here and we’re the first official U.K. suppliers of this awesome new tool! Making trending wrap bracelets has never been easier or faster with the WrapIt Loom. Inside the tool you’ll find a handy bead tray, lots of Toho seed beads with patterns and easy-to-follow instructions to make four different bracelets. Now that we’ve made all four bracelets in the kit, we’re using our own choice of beads to make a design of our own! I’ve chosen to use a rich mix of purple and burgundy glass beads inspired by Pantone’s autumn colour ‘Tawny Port’, with our sparkling new vintage pink glass faceted round beads in Pantone’s ‘Ballet Slipper‘ to lighten the design.

Project Materials

WrapIt Loom
Czech Fire Polished Glass Round Beads Amethyst 6mm Pk100
Preciosa Twin Hole Tile Square 6mm Frosted Amethyst Pk20
Preciosa Czech Fire Polished Beads 3mm Vintage Pink Pk100
Nymo Beading Thread Brown
Swarovski Heart Button Amethyst Pk1
Purple Waxed Cotton Cord 1mm 6 Metres
2x Beading Needles

Tutorial

Set up your WrapIt loom following the box instructions. Cut a length of purple cord approx. 34 inches long. Thread your button and move it to the centre of your cord. Take either side of the cords and tie a knot close to the back of the button. Roughly measure the length of the bracelet to your wrist and tie two LOOSE knots where you want the beads to end and the clasp to fit. Make sure you don’t pull the knot tight at this point so that you can easily adapt the length later on if you need to!

Now place the button and knotted end into the top clamp of your loom to hold it in place. Pass the opposite end through the clamp and wrap it around the WrapIt Loom end. Pull back the sliding part and press it into the groove to give you a tight tension.

  

Take a 1.5m length of cord and find the middle. Hold the middle point over your purple cords at the top of the loom. This is where you will begin to add beads. Take the left side of the thread and weave over the outside purple cord and back up through the middle between the two purple cords. On the opposite side do the same, taking the right thread around and up through the middle.

To add your first bead, take 1 vintage pink faceted bead and thread it onto one of the threads. Take the other thread and pass it through the bead in the opposite direction so that each cord crosses through it. Pull both of the threads until the bead sits neatly within the purple cords. After you add your beads, you will always pass each side of the thread back around the outside of the purple cords and up through the middle to complete the row. (Bear in mind that it will take a couple of rows for your design to sit nicely).

  

Next, thread on two pink beads and as before, pass the other cord in the opposite direction through the beads. Pull the cords and encourage the beads to sit within the purple cords. Bring each thread around the outside and up through the middle.

For the next set of rows complete the following:
1x 6mm bead.
2x pink 3mm beads.
1x tile bead – Since this is a twin hole, you need to treat it as if it were two rows of beads. Make sure you still wrap the threads around the outside of the cords before going through the second hole!

Repeat this pattern from your first two pink beads until you run out of room to add more beads. When you reach the end of the loom, check the bracelet against your wrist to see how much further length you wish to add. At this point, you can amend the knot if necessary. Place the bracelet further up the loom, gently clamping around the beads. Return the opposite knot to its position in the other clamp, pull back on the clamp and secure it down into the groove to give you your tension.

Continue to add your beads and when you are almost at the end, finish the design with two rows of pink beads, followed by a single pink bead to draw the end to a point. When you have finished adding beads, knot the thread a few times onto around the thread of a row and trim away the tail end.

You might like to secure the knots further with a drop of glue. Your bracelet is now ready to wear!