Sometimes, I make a piece of jewellery and then look at it thinking, "This needs something!". That's when I whip out my beads and start to play around with my options. It can take some trial and error occasionally but in the end I'm always satisfied with my work. You too can add a little "bling" to your work in several ways.
Adding crystals is always a good place to start. There's nothing like a little sparkle to brighten up a boring piece of jewellery. Try making a basic right angle-weave bracelet using round beads and then embellishing the top or sides of it with bicone crystals. Bicones can be perfect for embellishing because they slot right into the nooks of your jewellery like they have always belonged there.
Photo found in Google images and
shows straight fringe
Bicones not right for the piece you've made? Well then, you can try adding some fringe. There are several types of fringe that you can add to beaded jewellery including straight, leaf, looped, coral aka branch and picot fringes. You can check the following website for instructions on how to do each of the types of fringe that I have mentioned: http://www.fusionbeads.com/Bead-Fringe-Techniques.
Adding fringe can give your jewellery movement and texture and depending on the type used, it can give your work a whole different feeling. Try a simple ladder stitched bracelet using Tila beads and picot fringe along each edge. Now make the same strip of Tila beads and add some coral fringe along just one edge to make a necklace. Same base, two completely different looks.
Not everyone likes fringe and for those people, adding shaped beads such as tiny drops can revolutionize your world. I have been experimenting recently, trying to make up my own designs and I have realized that I am officially in love with drop beads. In similar fashion to bicones, drop beads can slot into the smallest space and add dimension to an otherwise flat strip of beads. I have used them in just about every type of stitch I know and I have grown very reliant on them. New shapes of beads keep emerging so see what is available to you and go wild.
Picture found on Pinterest-
Talk about embellishment!
I find it fascinating what a little imagination can lead to when using beads. I am a fan of Pinterest and the pictures I find representing what people all over the world have made are amazing and inspiring.
If you're not quite ready to just sit with a pile of beads and make something from thin air, try looking at pictures of other people's work and then changing something about their work slightly to make it your own. Eventually, you will have designs popping into your head from nowhere. This can be dangerously addictive. You have been warned!
Above all, simple seed beads are the best material you can use to take your pieces from "blah to rah" (Yes I just made that up.) They are economical and come in so many colours, shapes and sizes that you can scarcely run out of options.
Check out my Pinterest page for more inspiration and links to techniques and patterns to better help you on the journey to become a jewellery designer: www.pinterest.com/beadznbobz.