Mother’s Day Birthstone Necklace

This year, instead of the usual flowers or cards, make Mother’s Day special by making your mother or grandmother a special gift: a Mother’s Day birthstone necklace. A birthstone necklace can be made in a variety of ways, from adding a birthstone pendant or birthstone charms to a simple gold or silver chain necklace, to a more elaborate custom design of your own choosing.

Often, birthstone necklaces are created by simply buying a gold or silver chain and adding either a pendant with birthstones for each of her children or grandchildren or by adding individual charms or beads for each child or grandchild. If you are creating a mother’s birthstone necklace with a pendant or charms, it is best to start with a simple chain, such a box chain or a cable chain.

Birthstone pendants come in a variety of sizes and shapes that can be customized with the birthstones of each of your mother’s children. silver-heart-birthstone-pendant Be careful when selecting a pendant to make sure that the style you choose can contain the number of stones you need. For example, the beautiful solid Sterling silver personalized mother’s heart pendant shown at the right, available from Amazon.com can be customized with up to 5 birthstones. If your mother has more 5 children or grandchildren, you will need to select another style, or perhaps choose to go with individual beads or charms.

One drawback to a customized pendant is that it is impractical to add birthstones if new children or grandchildren are added to the family. It is a fine choice if the number of children or grandchildren memorialized on the necklace is a fixed number, but if the family is still growing, then individual charms or beads may be a better choice.

Your choice of individual birthstone charms is just as vast as your choice of pendants. Some charms are simple birthstones on a mount. boy-and-girl-birthstone-charmsThey come in a variety of shapes: round, square, teardrop and more. Others may be more fanciful such as the boy and girl birthstone charms available from Target.com pictured here. Some birthstone charms also have room for engraving the name of the child whose birth month is represented by the charm.

If you have more time or are more artistic minded, you can create your own patterns with birthstone beads, available from a variety of sources. For example, Chamilia offers birthstone beads for every month, made with fine Swarovski crystals, such as the sparkling September birthstone bead below.

Birthstone-Jewels-Bead-September.

As we honor mothers this month, show her that you care and surprise her with this special gift – a mother’s birthstone necklace.


Choosing different types of beads

If you are thinking about making a beautiful handmade accessory for a friend or a loved one, you are sure to want to find the perfect bead or gem to suit their taste. Before you start, you need to think about your friend’s tastes for there are two very different types of beads; one is a glamorous and feminine gem and the other, a classic and simple bead.

If your friend or loved one already has a lot of elegant jewelry such as diamond rings and silver necklaces, then why not surprise them with a one of a kind, handmade beaded bracelet? Once you have read my articles on how to make your own jewellery, now is the time to decide which beads you should use.

Lead Crystal Beads

If you want to make a glamorous and feminine bracelet, then I would recommend using lead crystal beads.Crystbeads

Lead oxide is added to molten glass which gives these beads an amazing shine and shimmering effect. Surprisingly, these gems are quite soft, so great care must be taken to ensure you do not scratch the surface. Some of the most notable makers of lead crystal include Swarovski (Austria), Steuben Glass (USA) and Arc International (France).

Seed Beads

If you want to make a simple and classic accessory, then you might like the sound of seed beads. They are delicate beads which range in style and size, from ovals to rectangles. They are often used as dividers between other beads but they are also striking by themselves.

Before World War II, there was a huge bead industry in eastern Europe where many factories made beads out of glass, metal, aluminum and steel. However, most of the factories were destroyed during the war. If you are lucky enough to find one of these rare, vintage beads, it will certainly add a striking feature to the bracelet, as well as being an interesting story to tell your friend.

Elegant or classic? The beads can make all the difference!


Making a beaded necklace

Credit: Monica Fiorella Jewelry/Flickr

Creating a beaded necklace requires time, patience and the right tools, but is something nearly anyone can learn to do with ease. Follow these simple steps to learn more about how to create your own beaded necklace.

Tools and Supplies
Before you can start making your necklace, it is important that you have the right beading tools and supplies available. This will ensure you bead a excellent necklace that will last a long time. You will need the following items: jewelry wire, beading needle, beading thread, beads, beading design board, a flat surface to work on, craft glue, scissors, and a pair of flat nose pliers. Continue reading Making a beaded necklace

Beading the base for beaded boxes.

beaded box

To build the boxes, you will work with variations on peyote stitch.
Peyote stitch is a popular beadwork technique that has several variations.A more descriptive name for the stitch is “one-bead netting,” because technically it is a netted stitch with “up” beads—the beads that protrude from the row—and “down” beads—the beads that recede into the row.
The working row is always buill from the up beads. The netting contains one bead per stitch, so the result is a solid fabric of beads.

Continue reading Beading the base for beaded boxes.