Arts & Crafts / Be Creative!

Jewelry Making for Fun, Certainly Not for Profit

In a post earlier this month, I made a pretty crazy number of clay Sculpey beads, but there are more than a few opportunities to use them in other badge tasks. Most of ’em got used up right here…

BADGE WORK UPDATE: JEWELER

The items below should meet the requirements for two tasks in this badge. One task asks scouts to make a piece of jewelry from something other than precious metals or gems, and I’m pretty sure handmade beads qualify.

Another task for this badge asks scouts to combine at least three different elements to make an article of jewelry, e.g., beads, stones, metal, fabric, or leather.

I created two items that officially meet that second task’s criteria. Let’s start with the perfect accessory for the middle-aged gal sporting those cool progressive lenses — an eyeglass chain which uses leather cord (instead of chain), beads, and metal wire to tie off the cord.

The beads are actually more vivid than the photo suggests — purples, reds, gold, and green–and I should note that the small gold beads in all of these items were not handmade; they were repurposed from an old beaded necklace I’d saved after the clasp broke:

The second item was a set of prayer beads, which now sit by this small space where I do a little daily yoga and some meditation. I’d seen some photos of beautiful prayer beads and rosaries, and they served as the inspiration for this piece, which I really do like. The three elements? Beads, wire, and a fabric tassel:

I wanted to make some other pieces as well, just cause I’ve never tried to make any jewelry before. So I made another run to Hobby Lobby and grabbed a kit of basic supplies that included clasps, jump rings, pins, and crimpers. A couple of Internet lessons later, I found my wire cutters and needle nose pliers and got to work.

Here’s a bracelet and earring set (which received a genuine compliment from Charles):

And finally, three pairs of earrings in silver (not real silver mind you):

No, I did not create those fancy silver “connectors” myself–they came that way. But it still took patient consideration and some steady hands to do this work. It didn’t make me feel big and bold, but the results made me feel like I’d actually made something pretty with my own head and hands, and I’m not so accustomed to that.

As an adult, I have no history making concrete, hold-it-in-your-hand “things.” This project has prompted me to do that with varying degrees of success (see this pottery post or the kite making post for proof), but with this task, it’s starting to become just a tad more natural to make something.

In the next post, however, you’ll find me finishing off the handmade beads with a couple of macrame projects — yes, macrame. Yikes…

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4 thoughts on “Jewelry Making for Fun, Certainly Not for Profit

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