Friday, June 13, 2014

Assembling a Wedding Brooch

Weddings are often one of the biggest moments in any couple’s life. If you’re in the spotlight, you will want to have some memento of the big day, like a special brooch to add to your dress or the entire entourage’s attire. When the wedding is several months down the road, you can take some time to get that special item ready.

The overall design of the brooch may be something that symbolizes your relationship and the commitment you are about to make. As such, the stones you pick for it should more or less match the same motifs as the wedding. The foundation of the brooch can be a small metal plate with a flat surface and has enough space to accommodate the entire design. List down the required gemstones and support tools as you make the design then order them.

Brooches are commonly fashioned around a central piece or formation with other satellite items gradually put outward. The Swarovski crystal you use must be big enough to place comfortably at the center of the foundation, but must not overpower everything else. Place the design sheet you made nearby as a guide, but do not rush the placement; you can enlist select friends to make other copies.  

A well-designed wedding brooch will be worth it for remembering that special day. Like your diamond engagement ring, the crystals should shine bright too.

Sparkling Centerpieces with Swarovski Rhinestones

Whether you’re having a simple dinner party at home or holding your wedding reception, you may always be challenged with finding the perfect centerpiece. If you want a one-of-a-kind, eye-catching d├ęcor, why not try these centerpiece crafts with hotfix Swarovski rhinestones?

Swarovski Soiree
Centerpieces with a soiree of Swarovski rhinestones can definitely dazzle guests. Coat recycled wine bottles or other glass wares in jewels, and voila! You have a statement dinner accessory! You can also wrap any other plain centerpiece in satin ribbon fastened by an elegant Swarovski studded brooch.

Floral Festival
With some sparkle, the usual flower centerpiece can become a floral festival. Decorate the bottom, top, or center segment of a vase with Swarovski crystals for instant glam. Alternatively, wrap colorful flowers in cloth studded with white or silver crystals, and arrange them on a clear vase.

Lantern Limelight
Instead of simple votive holders or candelabras, put candles in decorated jars to make limelight-worthy lanterns. Get some clean, empty jars, and arrange rhinestones around the lid. You can also cover the jars in translucent, colored papers so that the candles shine in different colors.

Fruit Fete

Classic fruit centerpieces can be transformed into a whimsical fruit fest. Take a bowl, tiered cupcake stand, or cake platter, and embellish the edges with rhinestones. Choose rhinestone colors that easily complement the fruits you’ll be using, like rich blue hues for yellow citrus fruits and charming emerald shades for red fruits.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tips on Choosing Beading Wire

Doing your own beaded jewelry could turn into a fun hobby, or even a nice source of profit. Every project should come with enough foresight and planning though; otherwise the pieces you end up with could be unappealing and quickly fall apart. One of the things you have to know is how to choose the right wire or cord to hold your beads together.

Strand Number

The number of strands that the beading wire contains determines its flexibility, so be sure to look out for this information when checking the label. Generally, the more strands on the wire, the more flexible it is, which means jewelry using this cord will be much less prone to permanently bending or kinking.

Wire Diameter

The thickness of the wire you choose should be just right so that the beads can comfortably fit into it without being too loose or too tight. Wire diameter also tells you how durable or strong the wire is, allowing you to estimate the weight that you could put on it.

Pound Strength

Pound strength is another measure of strength, and it can specifically identify how much weight a strand can carry without breaking. However, the weight of your beads isn’t the only thing that affects the overall durability of your jewelry. Other physical factors, like the amount of natural wearing the material can withstand, will also determine its longevity.

Make Your Own Swarovski Crystal Beads Jewelry

High-quality Swarovski crystal beads are very popular among jewelers because these stones shine beautifully and are easy to work with. A wedding gown or an evening dress bedecked with these stones, could be further enhanced with a matching necklace or bracelet. Instead of going to a professional jeweler for this, you can make your own jewelry with some basic tools and stringing knowhow.

For bracelets, you’ll need jump rings, a 4-loop slide lock clasp, beading wires, a pair of chain-nose pliers, and an assortment of crystals. Start by picking a jump ring and opening it using the pliers; you’ll be doing this for all of the jump rings. Next, pick the clasp, take it apart, and insert the now-open jump ring to one loop in the clasp. Fill the rest of the loops with jump rings this way.

Next, string your beads with a beading wire; use crimp beads first, then the Swarovski beads. It’s best if your Swarovski beads are 4mm or 6mm in diameter. Attach the wire to one jump ring, crimp bead first, until you’re done with all rings.
For necklaces, you only need to follow the same instructions, although you may want to put great care on how you restring them. For a multi-stranded necklace, remember to space out your beads evenly so that each strand will meld perfectly with the other strand once they’re strung together.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Identify Genuine Swarovski Crystals

When it comes to jewels, gems, and other decorative stones, spotting the difference between authentic pieces and copies is very important. This is especially true if you are ready to shell out good money for the genuine items. Thankfully, some stones, like wholesale Swarovski crystals, are relatively easy to test for authenticity, although you will need a sharp eye, and perhaps a few inspection tools to spot the quirks.

For starters, Swarovski crystals are cut using state-of-the-art computer technology, which means that their proportions and smoothness are uniform. In addition, the facets and lines of a genuine Swarovski crystal all meet in certain points, which is something that counterfeiters can’t replicate. Lastly, genuine crystals wouldn’t have any bubbles in them, especially when viewed from different angles.

It is also important to know the qualities of a genuine Swarovski crystal and see how a crystal for sale fares against these. Real Swarovski would have a unique shine and sparkle when subjected to light. Swarovski crystals also should not have any scratches on them, nor would they have an oily or swirly finish.

On another note, Swarovski crystals are typically not sold in strands. If you are offered such a product, ask for any written proof or guarantee that would confirm the authenticity of the crystals.

Applying Rhinestone Appliques to Dance Costumes

Competitive dancers are lucky to get themselves regularly dressed in fancy costumes, often decorated with rhinestone appliques. Technically, costumes impact the scores in dance competitors, even as their contribution may be indirect.

As an example, the Legacy Dance Championships, which is a renowned dance competition, allot 10% of a participant’s total score to appearance. To spruce up dance costumes and get the most of that important 10%, rhinestones are dancers’ best bet. Here’s how one can use them effectively.

One would need a sketch or any other rendering of the costume design, which would show the intended placement of the rhinestones. Specifics like sizes and colors should also be represented in the rendering to avoid confusion. After outlining this “plan-of-action”, it is time to get the rhinestones on the costume itself.

To make the rhinestones stick, craft glue is ideal. It is not advisable to use gem tack or other cheap glues because they cannot guarantee long-lasting attachment of the jewels. One particular glue brand called the E6000 is preferred, primarily because its hold is pretty permanent once fully dried. To apply the exact amount of glue and avoid messing up the costume, the use of small syringes is recommended.

Focus is key in the successful attachment of rhinestones, as originally designed. When this is achieved, the costumes can enhance and highlight the fluid and graceful motions of the dancers, and give them a better chance at winning. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Clarity of Aquamarine Swarovski Crystals

Garnet, the birthstone for January, and aquamarine, March’s birthstone, have something in common. Both are often used as talismans by seafarers to help provide safe passage in their journeys. However, in history, aquamarine is the stone most associated with anything involving water.

In fact, the word "aquamarine" itself is rather redundant because, in Latin, "aqua" means water, and "mare" means sea. The stone is heavily associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea. Many in ancient Rome believed that the stones were sacred to the god (whom they called Neptune), and were convinced mermaids had tails studded with aquamarine stones.

Some devout Catholics may think of aquamarine as a sacred stone, because it was one of the foundation stones of the Church, according to Scriptures. To be accurate, the stone in question was beryl, the family of stones where aquamarine belongs. According to the Book of Revelation, beryl symbolizes the virtue of mercy.

True to its name, aquamarine gives off a bluish-greenish tint that calls to mind the changing color of the sea. Swarovski crystals capture that fresh aqueous tint, recalling the rejuvenating property and the clarity of water. As such, they make wonderful jewelry pieces, and elegant embellishments in clothing and fashion accessories. 

Swarovski Crystals: Luxury in Any Form

Many people love Swarovski crystals so much, they want to see them not just in jewelry but in a myriad other things. Throughout modern history, the world has used millions of these manmade gems to add bling and create an illusion of luxury and elegance. Below are some of the extravagant large-scale uses of Swarovski crystals that give a whole new meaning to the word “fancy”.

The Oscars
The Oscars has been incorporating Swarovski crystals in their stage sets since 2007, starting with the 50,000 pieces used in creating a 34-foot crystal curtain, which was also seen in the movie, “Dreamgirls”. Overall, the crystals weighed around a ton. To date, the Oscars have used over 1.5 million crystals for stage and costume purposes.

The rich and famous want luxury even in their bathtubs. The Crystal Bateau tub made by British bath manufacturer Catchpole & Rye, and sold at Harrods department store in London for  around $200,000, was the product of over 200 man-hours spent on installing around 22,000 Swarovski crystals in four different sizes, covering the tub’s surface. 


In 2012, British architect Asif Khan, in association with Swarovski, created a pavilion in Miami using 1.3 million Swarovski crystals. Khan's aim is to artificially recreate a parhelion, popularly known as the Sun dog, a natural phenomenon where a halo is created on both sides of the sun with the help of ice crystals in the air.