A Little Coral Goes A Long Way

It took me a very long time to finish this simple necklace.  The coral beads have been haunting my table ever since I brought them home after a planning meeting at John Bead.

The bamboo coral beads can be quite intimidating in one long strand.  I can see how a few people would make one fabulous necklace by just restringing the original strand.  It isn’t a look I could pull off.  So I decided to just pick three pieces to start a coral project.

My strand uses the bamboo coral, natural coral dyed chips, SWAROVSKI ROUND
and on the necklace I also added SWAROVSKI TWIST 14mm LUMINOUS GREEN Crystals.

I love this colour!  Choosing it took some time though….

I had more than a few options at my disposal.

I tried Chinese Crystal donuts in jet.  Hmmm.  Still like this.

Then I thought why not capture the look of water with a teal crystal beadHave you seen the new Dazzle-It Ori Crystals?  The choices are unbelievable.

Had to see what pearls would look like…..picking a pearl at John Bead is even harder when you see their options.

This was my second favorite option.  It really is a salute to summer and underwater elements.

The coral is still stealing the show…but it doesn’t overwhelm the final piece.

And, with so many coral pieces left over (over 25) from the original strand, I could make up every sample shown!

Simple Summer Bracelet

This bracelet is light and airy!  It is ideal for these hot summer days and will pair nicely with virtually any summer outfit.  This post could have been titled “how to save $845 Euros on a bracelet.”

Looking at some of my favorite sites I came across this pretty bracelet.  The price tag was very steep!  It reminded me that Lilla from John Bead had given me a bag of small wood beads a few weeks ago.  I had no idea what to do with them until I saw this advertisement.

A bag of 500 beads sure does go far!  I used memory wire and one of my crystals from the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Fall/Winter innovations launch.

My options for dangles and charms are endless.  In the end I decided to just showcase the pretty beads on their own.  A new bracelet in ten minutes!


Beadalon Memory Wire Bracelet

How to Use The Dazzle-It Krystal-it Hot Fix Applicator

When you add hot fix crystals to fabric you instantly create glamor and your piece looks much more expensive.  Crystals can be added to many surfaces. Whether choosing to work with Preciosa Hot Fix Flat Back Crystal or SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Xilion Cut Hot Fix Flat Back Crystals, John Beads wide range of colors, finishes and sizes make the possibilities endless.

The best way I know to remember if a hot fix crystal will work is if the surface I have chosen absorbs water. Paper, linen, suede, cotton, linen, silk, wool etc.  A drop of water would easily be absorbed.  Leather, glass, and metal repel water.  While a crystal would adhere to these surfaces after the glue is heated…they will probably pop off at the slightest movement.  Crystals can also be applied to synthetics, polyester, lycra, viscose and is used regulalry on dance and skating costumes. Crystals on transparent fabrics are beautiful too…but that is something you have to test and practice with before you would work on a finished garment.

The new Dazzle-it Krystal-it Hot Fix Applicator comes with eight tips.  Seven of the tips work with crystals ranging in size from 2-7mm.  The last tip is flat and is called a 4mm Hot Spot. If you are new to using flatback stones, the sizes are represented using “ss”  for example ss6 is a 2mm stone, ss8 is a 2.5mm stone. The most popular size stones are ss16(4mm) and ss20 ( 5mm).

To begin you choose the size of crystal you want to work with and then screw in the matching tip. You need to plug in your applicator and let the tip heat for approximately 5 minutes.  You need to work on a flat surface.  (The ironing board is not a good choice because the padding is too soft.)

When the applicator is heated you are able to pick a crystal up.  The glue side (bottom) faces up.  When you pick up a crystal you might not know that there is a glue bottom.  Hold your wand  straight up so the crystal heats flat and does not fall out.

Here is the crystal after about 15 seconds.  You can see the glue is very wet now.  And HOT!  Some crystals can heat faster – you need to watch as you work.

Carefully bring your applicator to the location you want to set a crystal and with a straight up/down motion set the rhinestone and immediately lift the applicator straight up.

Have a pin or needle handy.  Sometimes the glue on the crystal sticks to the side of the applicator tip.  This is why you have little slits in the sides of the tip.  You can use the needle to push the rhinestone out of the tip.  Just remember, the rhinestone is now fairly hot.  I wait a few seconds and then press down on the rhinestone one more time to make sure it is adhered to my fabric.  (I use a ruler or eraser to do that.)

There is another way to apply hot fix crystals. You arrange your crystals on your fabric and bring the applicator to them instead.  This is particularly effective with the tiny crystals.

For this technique you use the flat Hot Spot tip.

You apply the heat to the crystal in this way.  The crystal will get hot enough to melt the glue on the bottom.  Again, always be careful.  The Hot Spot can be used to heat up a crystal that may have been placed in the wrong spot.  You can move the crystal again being careful not to smudge the glue too much.  The Hot Spot tip is very useful in other sewing applications.  It can temporarily bond  other adhesive backed products so that when you take them to your iron they are tacked into place.

NEW – The Dazzle-It Krystal Hot Fix Applicator!

My table looks like it is going to a party.  I am pleased to announce that there is another new tool in

the Dazzle-It product group.

Last week I decided to make some small ribbon charms.  You just need ribbon clamps to make these quick embellishments.

What makes the ribbon charms extra pretty is the addition of crystals.  John Bead has an excellent selection of Flat Back Crystals which are easily applied with their new Dazzle-It Krystal-it Applicator.

The Dazzle-It Hot Fix Applicator with 8 Tips (Electric-Pink) is now in stock.  The eight tips mean you can apply all the sizes of flat backs from tiny to large by simply changing the tip. Just imagine all the projects you have that would sparkle with the application of just one crystal! Also included is a HOT SPOT tip that is completely flat and can be used on any shape hot-fix flat back such as Squares , Pear Shape , Rectangles , Diamond leaf and Pearls.

Here is another great idea.  A few weeks ago I showed you how I made buttons using John Bead’s button covers.

Look at the button after I apply some crystals with my new tool!

I like to make purse dangles with my crystal ribbons.  The ball keychains are available in silver and gold.  I hope you get to apply some crystals to fabric soon….it also is a great way to apply a crystal to a greeting card.

Revamp a Jacket with Crystal Snaps

The new Crystal Applicator made changing the look of my jacket a very simple project.

The original buttons on this jacket were very inexpensive.  One even broke at the dry cleaners.

By adding crystal snaps I made it look much more polished.

I used the Crystallized – Swarovski Elements snaps.  There are five different coloured snaps to choose from.  I have the silver/crystal but I think the jet black might have been a good choice for this project too.

Now that I have had the Crystal Applicator for a few weeks I find it very easy to use.  I replaced all my buttons with the snap bottom first.

Then I changed my dies and attached the snap tops over the button holes.  They set perfectly!

I know I will wear this jacket a lot more this summer now that it has been refreshed with crystals.  I plan on replacing the buttons on a white shirt next!

Crystal Applicator Tool for Swarovski Snaps!

There is a new tool you will need to add to the “want it now” list.

Here it is:  Crystal Applicator Tool for Swarovski Snaps!

I could not wait to experiment with this tool.  The Crystal Applicator tool needs a 4 piece snap die set which is sold separately.  They are designed to be used with Crystallized – SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS snaps.

After reviewing the instructions I took a moment to label the snap attachments so I would easily know which was the set for attaching the front or the back snap.

I also took some time to review the individual snap parts.

A little nervous, I thought it would be good to try adding a snap to a simple piece of cloth.  I did the front and then the back components.

It worked perfectly!

Look at my jeweled snap!

As soon as I completed my test I looked on my table for something else to experiment with.  I had these leather ribbons already on my table.

In minutes I had a bracelet.  Now I felt like I could apply a snap anywhere!

I pulled out some velvet and fiber enhanced ribbon.  Working through layers would be the next challenge.

I sewed my ribbons together to create a finished edges.

And then you guessed it…one fabulous snap completed the project.

Of course, you could add snaps to denim, shirts, pillows, purses…the possibilities are endless.

My new favorite tool!

Oh.  One more thing.  I did make one mistake. 🙁 When you attach a snap you can’t be distracted. So I plan to see if I can twist these clamps back into place, or I will use this crystal front in some other way.

Amazing Wrappers!

Is this bead component not a show stopper?

Yesterday John Bead sent an email to its wholesale customers announcing the arrival of a whole group of new Artistic Wire Ltd. items.  Where to begin?  The wrappers are so unique I thought I would start with them.

This is just one of the shapes available: Silver Hexagon.  I also just received these gorgeous SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS luminous green crystals to experiment with…..they seemed to belong together.

The crystals have now been safely “caged” just by simply wrapping wire.  You can see how the outer edge grooves make this super easy to accomplish.  I tried several different ways to wrap the crystals from many wraps to just two.

I think this wrap, using all the grooves, might be my favorite.

Now, where do you go from here?  If you are Fernando Dasilva you create a masterpiece like this!  More wrapping tomorrow!

Nylon Mesh Tubing And Czech Fire Polished Beads

One last example of how you can use nylon mesh!

I started this project after noticing that the beautiful turquoise/copper beads I brought home from my last trip to John Bead looked very pretty next to my aqua mesh.  I didn’t want to place them inside the mesh tube…I wanted to showcase them so I decided to try sewing them to the outside.

I selected a smaller matching strand of ivory lustered beads and enjoyed just sewing beads randomly to the mesh. To sew my beads I selected 100% silk thread.

At one point I stopped to see where I needed extra beads and that’s when I decided to add a pendant too.  The mesh can take the weight!

Mesh is something I am really happy to have experimented with!  The more I work with it the more ideas I have.  Time permitting, I could have sewed beads to every square inch of the mesh.  But for now, I am happy with the necklace as is.

Turquoise Fire Polished Czech Beads

Ivory Lustered Beads

Dazzle-It Ivory Silk Bead Thread (size FF)

Nylon Mesh

(Bird Pendant – From Carmi’s stash)


Check out these other great ideas and Inspirations using Nylon Mesh !

Use the Nylon mesh to create interesting shapes and forms, here seed beads have been put into the tubing and then firepolish beads are stitched on the outside to create the folds – Designer Adela Kodonova

Below a brooch has been created , with pearls and seed beads inside the tubing. This would also be a fun idea for a headband.  Designer – Adela Kodonova

Below another beautiful brooch design, mixing stringing wire and adding flatbacks to the outside of the mesh and a beautiful SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Rivoli button in the center. Designer – Thanh Tran