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Beading Q And A: More Swarovski Crystals (6/29/2011)

2011 June 29

Ruth asks…

What gauge headpin fits a 3mm Swarovski crystal?

I’m new to this and want to order 3mm faceted bicone Swarovski crystal beads and need to know the gauge I should order so the headpin will fit the whole. I don’t want it to not fit or be way too small. I’m planning on making earrings to sell, I haven’t started yet obviously, so I’ll be experimenting when I get my stuff.

BeadGal answers:

24 gauge works well for that size Swarovski crystal.
Try http://www.firemountaingems.com/shopping.asp?skw=KWFNHEADPINSS for looking at different sizes in Sterling silver, which show you the actual size of the body of the headpin.

Mary asks…

Where can I buy really cheap Swarovski crystal beads?

BeadGal answers:

Look through the Sunday paper for coupons to JoAnn fabric store. Or sign up for them online~ they always have 40% or 50% off coupons. They have Swarovski crystal beads in their craft section.

If you need to buy in large quantity, try http://www.firemountaingems.com

Sandy asks…

How do I clean crystal beads?

I have some antique Swarovski crystal beads from my great grandmother. The silver wire that they were on has tarnished with age, and some of the tarnish has gotten stuck inside the beads. How do I clean the inside of the beads? They are clear, so the tarnish marks are obvious. Thanks!

BeadGal answers:

Use silver jewelry cleaner. Just dip the whole thing into the cleaner and it should get inside to the wire. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to take the wires apart. I would then suggest you get it cleaned by a jeweler.

Mandy asks…

How do you add Swarovski Crystal beads to jewelry?

Thanks!

BeadGal answers:

Michael’s, Joanns, and Hobby Lobby sell the beads, and settings for them, all the tools and several books on how to create jewelry with various sorts of beads and the Swarovski crystals, you can simply purchase a jewelry clasp in sterling silver and beading wire, thread the wire through the end of the clasp, then put a crimp bead over the ends of the wire and squeeze with pliers, string the beads in a pleasing manner on the wire, intermix with other beads if you need to for size or to create a pleasing look. Then thread the other crimp bead on, and the other end of the clasp and run the wire back through the crimp bead and crimp it with the pliers, trim the wire and you are done, they could be strung on elastic clear bead string and make a bracelet, you could make earrings with many different types of earring metal castings from which you can suspend the beads on a head pin from the various holes in the earring finding. Then put it on ear wires and there you go .

There are thousands of shops that sell beads and jewelry findings, check our directory of bead stores for a store near you: http://www.guidetobeadwork.com

Susan asks…

Where can I find a pattern for an old-fashioned key? I’d like to make one from Swarovski crystal beads?

BeadGal answers:

Old keys are interesting – much nicer then the plain old keys of today. You could search skeleton key. These are those big keys with nice design features. Here is a link to a picture so you see what I am talking about:

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=2512375

I tried searching for a pattern, but I could not find one – sorry!

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