So Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and I for one am looking forward to celebrating it with my partner, with the cinema and a meal out. I have been thinking about what jewellery I want to wear for the day, as I wanted it to be something Valentine's related. I was also thinking about maybe making something new especially for the day, and I thought I would share my Valentine's Day tutorial playlist with you, if you are struggling with the same, as there is still a bit of time left to make something. many of the designs in the playlist are pretty quick and easy to make, so I hope it might be helpful.
So we're in February already, which means that Valentine's Day is really close. The day of love. Opinions are very split about this day, and wether to celebrate it or not. And as much as I think every day should be filled with love for each other, not just the one day, I don't think having a special day for it does any harm, as we can never have enough love and positivity in the world. I also find that love is a great inspiration within all art forms, and I therefore wanted to share a quick and easy tutorial for a Celtic wirework heart, which can be used in many different ways. You can put them together as links in a chain, use them for earrings, a necklace or even a ring. So you could easily make a set of jewellery, that you could wear if you are going out for Valentine's Day. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Valentine's Day, regardless what you are doing 😊
I have started a new video series on my Youtube channel called 'Kumihimo 101'. I plan to go through everything I know about kumihimo from beginning till end in several different videos, that will hopefully be helpful for any beginners that want to start kumihimo, and even experienced braiders to use for reference. The first video in the series is an introduction to the disks, to help make it easier to know where to start. I also go through some of the different disks that are available, as there are several different ones on the market.
The basic kumihimo disks I recommend to start with is the round and the square disk, as you can make a vast array of different braids, both with and without beads. They are made of foam and have slots along the edges with numbers printed by them to help with the braiding and they measure approximately 15cm. The round and the square disk have different purposes, as the shape of the disk, help with the kind of braid you want to make. The round disk mainly makes round braids, while the square disk mainly makes flat braids, even though this isn't written in stone.
Round kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2DalaXL
Square kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CXvTBK
Over time as you use your disk for braiding, the slots will gradually start to widen, and become less tight. This can affect the type of cord you can use on the disk. If you want to use a thin cord for your braid the slots need to be tighter, so they have a decent tension for making the braid. For that it is best to use a newer disk, until you feel the slots have become looser over time. You can then move on to use that disk for thicker cord, which will still have a decent enough tension. If you use thicker cord on a disk, the slots will widen more quickly, and it will therefore quickly not be suitable for a thinner cord. Therefore I always have a few disks on the go at once, for the different thicknesses of cord.
For some people these disks can be a little large and difficult to use, so therefore you can also get mini versions of both the round and the square disk. They are also ideal for children who want to try kumihimo. They measure approximately 10cm, but have the exact same function as the larger ones, and the same braids can be made with them. The size of the disk does not determine the size of the braid. It is the materials used that determine the size of the braid.
Mini round disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2D6UMPn
Mini square disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FARhyr
There are also other disks available on the market, that either help solve a certain problem or offer different possibilities.
The first one is a double density round disk. This is exactly the same as the regular round disk, except it is double the thickness. This helps with the tension as it keeps the slots staying tighter for longer:
Double density kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CYSL3I
Another disk you can get is a round disk with a handle. This handle is meant to make it easier to hold on to the disk, while still making the braid in the same way.
Round kumihimo disk with handle on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CXwseQ
There is also another variation of the round disk available, which has double the amount of slots. This opens the possibilities for the braids that can be made, as you can use more cords to create the braid.
64 slot round kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CVuF9V
So if you try kumihimo and find out you enjoy it and want to continue, you can always experiment with these disks in time, as all there is needed to get started are the basic disks.
Check out the video that goes along with this blogpost, where I go through the disks.
The links in this blogpost are affiliate links for Amazon. I earn a small commission from what you buy through the links at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to create content and tutorials.
I can finally share some of what I have been working on during part of last year. I have been making jewellery for about 4-5 years now and for a long time I have had the desire to contribute to a jewellery making magazine, and 2017 was finally the year where I got the opportunity. I made a whole set of wirework jewellery inspired by colour and nature for Making Jewellery Magazine.
All the pieces of jewellery are based on the same basic technique and then turned into different bracelet, necklace, earrings and ring pieces. In the tutorial I show you how to make the basic technique and you can then achieve a whole set of jewellery. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and hopefully it's just the first of many. The Magazine is out now and available for anyone who wants to check it out
The New Year has just passed and along with it comes loads of new ideas and inspiration. One of the places I get inspiration from is actually the materials I use. Sometimes it is looking at a certain bead or cabochon, that sparks an idea in my head for a design. It can be the shape of a cabochon, the colour of some gemstone beads or even the finish on metal spacer beads. Sometimes the idea comes instantly, while other times it takes a bit of experimenting with the materials that have inspired me. Because I find myself getting inspired by materials a lot, I have set up an Amazon shop, where I have added a lot of my favourite things that instantly inspired me. You can use the link below to go and have a look and maybe find something you like, or even just get inspired yourself.
So I would love to hear where you get your inspiration from, and if you also use materials to spark ideas for new designs
Christmas is almost upon us and I recently played around with some wire, to come up with this years Christmas decoration. I like to make a handmade Christmas decoration, that I give to everyone in my family each year. I ended up making a cute wirework angel, that can be used both as a Christmas decoration, but I also think they would make cute earrings. I decided to share a little picture tutorial for how to make it, as there is still time before Christmas and they are pretty quick and easy to make. I used a 40cm length of 1mm wire to achieve an angel of approximately 3cm tall. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas.
It's not long until Valentine's day now and a lot of people enjoy celebrating this with their loved one. Why not consider making your own Valentine's themed jewellery to wear for the day? You can easily find several designs in my Valentine's playlist on my Youtube channel. And by making it yourself, it's a little bit extra special and you can match it to whatever outfit you are planning to wear.
To find these tutorials, the following link will take you straight to the Valentine's playlist:
I have put together a new kumihimo starter kit that would be perfect for beginning your kumihimo journey or to give away as a present. It contains everything you will need to practice making your first kumihimo bracelets or necklaces with both cord and beads, and also includes instructions for a basic kumihimo braid with cord and a basic beaded kumihimo braid.
The kit is available to purchase on my website:
Or on my Etsy shop:
And you can see a video about the kit on my Youtube channel:
This week I want to talk about the basic tools I recommend for when starting out on your jewellery making journey. There is an endless amount of tools available on the market. Some very useful, some not so useful, and some with very specific applications and it can therefore be a little confusing when just starting out knowing what to get. In this blogpost I am going to recommend three basic tools that will be useful for any kind of jewellery making and will be hard (impossible) to be without. Those three tools are chain nose pliers, round nose pliers and wire cutters.
To start out with chain nose pliers, they are flat pliers that taper to a point. There are different types of flat nosed pliers, but if you are only choosing one, I recommend the chain nose pliers as the best all round flat nose pliers to get as it is the most versatile. It can be used for more complicated and detailed work such as wirework and basic jobs such as opening and closing a jump ring or flattening a crimp bead. The tapered head of these pliers make it much easier to get the very tip into small spaces where you couldn’t fit regular flat nose pliers.
The next pliers are the round nose pliers. These pliers also taper from a larger to a smaller point and can again be used for detailed wirework or basic jobs such as making wrapped loops or clasps to finish off any piece of jewellery. They are also great for achieving curves where the chain nose pliers are great for achieving angles.
The last pair of pliers is wire cutters. These will work great for any form of cutting of wire or headpins to finish off any piece of jewellery.
Of course there are also different quality of pliers from cheap prices to very expensive, but to start out with, some basic pliers for a reasonable price will work just fine and then can later be upgraded for higher quality pliers when necessary. Also buying a basic tool kit to begin with is a good idea and will often be of sufficient quality to start out with. They will most often come in a case for easy storage as well.
I have posted a new picture tutorial on my website. It is for my rosebud macrame bracelet design that I already have a video tutorial on, but I was requested to make a picture tutorial and here it is.
Hopefully this will be helpful to go alongside my video tutorial of the bracelet which can be found here.
I hope you enjoy.
This week I am going to talk about some plans I have for both my Youtube channel and my website for the near future and upcoming things, and I would love to get some feedback on them.
I am going to start out with some plans I have for my Youtube channel. I am planning on making a series of short videos with wire weaves, where I show how to do a specific wire weave in each video and it will be an ongoing series that I will be posting videos to every now and then in between my regular tutorials. I have also been thinking of another video series that I have been wanting to do for a while. Music is and always has been a very big part of my life, but it isn’t something I have brought into my jewellery making very much. So that is something I have really been wanting to do. To make different designs within different mediums that are music related. I already have a few ideas, but I would love to get some feedback on the interest for tutorials like this and also any suggestions or requests for design ideas that you might have.
The next thing I want to talk about is my website. I have recently been expanding the features on my website by adding some free tutorials in picture and written form. So far I have focused on kumihimo tutorials, but I am planning to also start adding tutorials for macrame and wirework to my website. I plan on starting this within the next month or two and continue to add new tutorials over time. I am also planning on creating more kits that will be available for purchase like my current ‘Rainbow beaded kumihimo kit’, and this will also be within different mediums. Among these I am planning on making a kumihimo starter kit that will include all the things you will need to get started with kumihimo and beaded kumihimo and that will also be ready within the next month or two.
I hope that you are as excited about these plans and ideas as me, and I can’t wait to bring them to you. And please feel free to give me some feedback on the ideas and let me know if you have any suggestions or requests for music related designs.
This week I want to talk about my favourite cords to use, what I like to use them for and also where I buy them. I will be mentioning four different kinds of cord and explaining what I like about each one. I also have a video on my Youtube channel to go alongside this blogpost where I show the cords and also what I like to use them for more specifically.
The first cord that I am going to talk about is satin cord. More specifically 1mm satin cord. Satin cord comes in different thicknesses like 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm and I do use them all, but I use the 1mm thickness by far the most. Satin cord has a lovely sheen and softness to it and will transfer that into any piece you make with it, and that can be one reason why I sometimes choose this type of cord over another. I use it mostly for macrame, macrame bracelets in particular, and kumihimo braids where I want the cord to be the feature of the braid and create the pattern rather than beads.
I buy it mostly on large reels of 91m (100 yards) as it is much more cost effective in the long run and I am less likely to run out while I am in the middle of a project. I will either buy these reels on www.amazon.co.uk or eBay and the prices range from £3-6 per reel. So those are really good prices compared to how much you get on a reel and the quality is great in my personal opinion. The sellers of these reels will often be from China, which means that the shipping will be from China, so the delivery will take a bit longer but I personally haven’t had any problems.
The next cord that is one of my favourite cords is Chinese knotting cord. You can also get this cord in different thicknesses but I tend to use 0.8mm the most. This is more matte than the satin cord and has more of a texture to it. I also buy this on large reels of 135m each, as some of my projects call for a lot of cord and it is also more cost effective. I also buy these reels from either www.amazon.co.uk or eBay and the prices range from £3-4 per reel. These are also mostly Chinese sellers so the same principles as for the satin cord and this is also he best quality of this cord that I have personally tried.
The third of my favourite cords is s-lon Tex 135. This cord is 0.4mm in thickness so much thinner than the previous cords and therefore has other uses that it is more suited for. I use this mostly for micro macrame and beaded kumihimo as it is a very strong cord, so your final piece is going to be very durable. It is actually made from the same material as seat belts are made of. The s-lon also comes in different thicknesses, both thinner and thicker than the Tex 135 and has different uses. There is also something called c-lon, which is exactly the same cord and they in fact come from the same factory, but they are just sold under different names and will also vary in the size of the reels. This cord can be bought in most jewellery making supply shops, both online and in-store in some variation, but some shops will stock the s-lon and some will stock the c-lon, and the prices vary at around £2 per reels depending where you buy them.
The last favourite I am going to go through is a nylon thread, which is also the thinnest of all the cords I have gone through. It is about 0.35mm in thickness and has a smoother finish to it. I mostly use this for micro macrame and will also use this for practise pieces and experimenting with, as there is much more on the reels than the other cords. It is more of a slippery thread so it is a little harder to work with than the other cords, but I still use this for certain projects. There are over 300m on a reel, so it will last a long time before running out. This thread can be bought online in places like eBay and Easy and also occasionally on www.jewellerymaker.com and the prices vary form place to place, but they can sometimes be bought in bundles which makes them even more cost effective.
This week I want to share my favourite jewellery making situation with you, and would also love to hear yours. It doesn’t often come around for me to enjoy (in fact only once a year), but I got to enjoy the experience this week. So I think about what medium of jewellery making I feel like ‘playing’ with and that day decided on working on a wirework design I have been wanting to do for a while now, and then I get all the materials and tools ready so I don’t have to interrupt to much during, if I can avoid it. I then turn on the tv, set it to the right channel, and wait for the programme to start. And finally, after a whole year, the final of the Snooker world championship starts, and I’ve got hours of exciting snooker to look forward to. I enjoy watching snooker whenever it’s on, but there is something special about the final in the world championship. And I knew I had hours of snooker and jewellery making in front of me to enjoy, as the final stretches over two day. And I certainly enjoyed both the snooker and the jewellery making, the only downside is that now there is a full year until it comes around again, but until then I will just have to ‘settle’ for some of my second favourite jewellery making situations.
So that is my ideal jewellery making situation, and I would love to know what yours is.
We are fast approaching the month of May (the fifth month of the year, wow), and spring has most certainly sprung in my neck of the woods. The days are filled with sunshine, the temperatures are rising and one bloom after another is showing its beauty. It feels like only a few weeks ago it was after the big Christmas rush, but it’s happened again like every year, that we’re almost halfway through the year, just recovering from the last and can already start thinking about the end of the year again. Sometimes it is nice as there are things we look forward to, and the sooner they arrive the better, but other times it can be a little scary as it can be hard to keep up, but we can only do our best and try and enjoy every part that we can.
I personally find spring to be a very beautiful, motivational and inspiring time, especially coming from winter. Nature just seems to be exploding in bloom and life and that is one of the most inspiring things for me and my jewellery making. I find much of my inspiration from nature, in both flowers, animals and plants and find myself to be generally much happier as the sun comes out.
This is also maybe the time where some of us think more about the plans for the rest of the year as we have newly recharged energy after the rush and darkness of winter, which in turn can be a little frustrating as it is hard to know what to do with all these thoughts and ideas. This is where you wish there were more hours in the day and we didn’t have to sleep so we could do it all at once, but unfortunately that isn’t the case, so we just have to deal with the time we are given in the best possible way. I for one am trying to stay on the positive side of things, and avoid the stress factors that this brings with it, and I’m looking forward to bringing you many more designs and updates throughout the year.
I was recently contacted by Jewellery Maker, which is an online jewellery making supply shop, that I myself shop with frequently. They have recently started selling ready made kits for specific pieces of jewellery and were kind enough to send me one to try out, and I chose the star charm bracelet in rose gold.
It is a single length of chain where you then get all your star charms and jump rings you need to attach them, and you also get the clasp to finish off the bracelet. So you can make a full bracelet from just this kit using only a few basic pliers, and all you need to know is how to open and close a jump ring. The kit also includes the directions that you need for the piece of jewellery.
These kits are a great and easy way to create a piece of jewellery that you really like where you don’t have to get all the materials yourself as everything is included in the kit. And it would also be a great gift idea.
So to go and have a look at Jewellery Makers website where you can find all the kits click the following link:
And if you’re a first time customer, you can use the following code to get £10 credit on your account after you’ve made your first order:
And to get a closer look at the bracelet I chose, you can have a look at the video I did on it using the following link:
This week I want to talk about my favourite glues to use and what I specifically like to use them for. The three glues that I will discuss are:
This is probably the glue I use the most overall. And I also use it for multiple different purposes. It is an industrial strength glue, so it is therefore really strong and anything you make with it is going to be very strong and durable. This glue dries clear and is therefore ideal to use for jewellery making as you don’t want any glue to show when you’ve finished making your piece of jewellery, and with this glue you avoid that. Another plus about this glue for jewellery making is that when it dries it still stays somewhat flexible as opposed to a glue that dries hard that can be uncomfortable against the skin when wearing that piece of jewellery. With this glue you avoid this, as it stays flexible it won’t irritate the skin. I use this glue for many different things, including macrame, kumihimo and even wirework as well, as can be seen in many of my Youtube tutorials.
E6000 on Amazon:
http://goo.gl/Qbt9pC (Affiliate link)
This glue I also use a lot, and has very similar benefits as the E6000, but I use this for more specific purposes. Like the E6000 it also dries clear, is very strong and durable and it also stays somewhat flexible when dry. It doesn’t stay quite as flexible as the E6000 but more flexible than i.e. a super glue, and it is therefore still great to use for jewellery making. But by far the best feature of this glue is that is has a very fine applicator tip, which means you can really do some recision glueing, and only get the glue right where you want it to go. This can be very beneficial for specific things, like finishing off micro macrame.
G-S Hypo Cement on Amazon:
http://goo.gl/mW1L8B (Affiliate link)
Super glue gel:
The last glue that I occasionally use is a super glue and most often people will have a glue like this lying around and it is a all around glue, but the regular super glue isn’t ideal for jewellery making as when it dries it goes really hard and will be very uncomfortable and irritating against the skin. Therefore I don’t use this glue much, and certainly not for things where it will lie against the skin, but if you want to use a super glue I recommend using the gel type of super glue as that stays slightly more flexible than the regular super glue.
Super Glue Gel on Amazon:
http://goo.gl/eIxTHJ (Affiliate link)
I would like to announce that the new feature of free kumihimo braid patterns is now live on my website. I have added a selection of patterns along with instructions that I have already made, and also instructional videos along with them. I will continue to add patterns over time as I come up with new braid designs. So please feel free to go and have a look and refer back to it whenever you need to.
I currently work mainly with the mediums macrame, micro-macrame, wirework and kumihimo and I absolutely love all of them, but I also have a long list of other mediums of jewellery making that I want to get into. Unfortunately time prevents me from jumping into them all at the same time, so I will work on incorporating them into my jewellery making one at a time.
The first one I have delved into and finally gotten around to getting materials for is soutache. I have been fascinated by this medium and wanted to do it for a long time, and have come up with plenty of design and experimenting ideas in all that time, for when I finally managed to get a hold of some. And that time has finally come.
I have gotten hold of a range of colours of the soutache cord and also both the backing material and ultra suede, and I will continue to get some more colours of the soutache cord from different places, to try different suppliers out.
So I will be working with this new medium and experimenting with different designs and hopefully be bringing you tutorials on this medium in the near future. So if that sounds interesting to you, please stay tuned.
This week I want to talk about a new feature I will be adding to my Website soon. I have several video tutorials on my Youtube channel showing different kumihimo braid patterns using cord. Some of these are well-known ones like heart patterns and flower patterns and others like watermelon patterns or cupcake patterns.
I will be adding a new feature to my website where I will post kumihimo braid patterns like these in picture form, so they are easily referred back to and also because some people prefer pictures rather than videos to learn from, so this will hopefully help everyone. I will also continue to add to this catalogue of kumihimo braid patterns over time as I create and discover new patterns. So look out for this new feature on my website coming shortly.
I get many questions asking me what wire I use in my tutorials, and where I buy them, so I thought I would address that question with this blogpost and accompanying video you can find using the following link:
In the video you will find that I go into more depth about the wire itself, and what I use the different gauges for, to help anyone who might be starting out. It can give you a better idea of what the different gauges of wire is normally used for.
The place where I buy my wire is:
And if you’re a new customer and use this code when you first order, you will get £10 credit on your account after your first order, which is always a nice bonus.
I find that the quality of the wire is great and I especially like that you can buy it on large reels of 50m each. That is very helpful when you are someone that uses a lot of wire. You don’t have to worry about running out in the middle of a project as much as if you have smaller reels of wire available to you.
So I hope that was helpful, and answered any questions about where I buy my wire and what kind of wire it is.