I have (just like probably every other crafter out there since the Dawn of Time) an unbelievable amount of pretty beads sitting in my arsenal with nowhere to go. Mismatched, funny shapes, unusual colors…acrylic, pearl, glass…you name it, I probably have it. So I love the idea of taking a dead-soft piece of fine jewelry wire and wrapping up all those unmatched beads into a more beautiful shape, thus recycling all of my unusable cast-offs. (I used 18 gauge wire, I think, in a silvertone, but you could definitely go higher-end with sterling or 14K gold…a gift for Mom, perhaps?) The wrapping takes awhile, since it takes some time to perfect your shape as you’re doing it…and then using two wires you wrap a little chain around the shape’s edges to secure the piece. Finally, add a jumpring on each side, cut a length of chain in half and attach each end – the chain gets a clasp. And voila! Finally, a use for all those extra mismatched beads.
I made a clover and a heart – and in using the beads, tried to choose ones in a similar color scheme. I think they turned out pretty well – and it’s funny, since I can pretty much remember where each bead came from…it’s like each piece in the shape has its own little story. That green rectangular glass bead I found on the floor of the A & P when I was 8…that gold filigree bead was from a birthday party favor bag when I was 10…that acrylic shimmer heart was from a grab bag I ordered when I was 23 and making jewelry from my tiny apartment in Philly….
I have both the clover and the heart up for sale in my Etsy Shop. They’re $16 each if you want to check them out! And definitely grab some jewelry wire and make your own – in any shape imaginable! It’s a fun project that takes about an hour or so.
-Carly J. Cais