Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tutorial For Making Beaded Wine Charms

Making Beaded Wine Charms
Every Christmas Holiday season I receive lots of orders for my beaded wine charms.  These are one of my favorite - and actually easiest items to create.  The possibilities are endless for themes, colors and materials.  These charms are great for dinner parties and entertaining - helping your guests keep up with their glass - and making nice conversation pieces.  They also make great hostess gifts!

This tutorial will show how I make my beaded wine charms.


  • Beads of your choice 
  • Charms
  • Wire hoops (I use 25mm earring wire hoops)
  • Small jump rings to attach the charm to the hoop - or headpins for converting a bead into a   charm with its own loop using a wrapped loop technique
  • Round nose and needle nose pliers


1.  Choose your wire hoop.  This tutorial uses a 25mm gold-plated wire hoop.
25mm Gold Plated Wire Hoop
2.  Place beads and charm onto wire hoop.  For these charms I made my own charm using beads and a headpin which I wire-wrapped to form a loop for sliding onto the charm.  You can also use ready made charms - available in a wide variety of materials and themes.
Wire Hoop with Beads and Charm

3.  Form a closure for the hoop so that the beads and charm does not fall off.  The wire hoop has one end with a loop and one straight end.  Working on the straight end, use your round nose pliers to bend the end up to make a 90 degree angle.
Wire Hoop with 90 Degree Angle Closure

4.  Some people stop with step 3 but I prefer to finish the closure by using my round nose pliers to bend the tip of the hoop backwards to form a u-shaped closure.  To do this, grasp the tip of the bent up portion of the hoop end and bend it backwards over the top of the pliers tip.
Wire Hoop Finished with U-Shaped Closure
5.  Voila!  You now have a perfectly finished wine glass charm.
Finished Wine Charm
6.  Make as many as you want for a set - four, six, eight or more!
Set of Six Beaded Wine Charms

You can find more of my beaded wine charms in my Etsy shop!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

History of Pandora and Pandora Style Jewelry

Pandora Style Rose Chintz Bracelet
By DJAjewels

I recently have made a couple of the popular "Pandora Style" bracelets.  Although they are not a big part of my line, I felt the need to at least design a couple of pieces because of their immense popularity.  And so, I became interested in the origins of the Pandora® jewelry line.

Pandora style jewelry is also called "European Style" jewelry because the Pandora line originated in Denmark and was initially a European trend.  Pandora introduced its first bracelet in Denmark in 1999, and the style quickly became popular across Europe.  By 2002, the brand arrived in the United States where its popularity also quickly spread.

The name for the Pandora® line was inspired by Greek mythology goddess Pandora.  Of course, now there are many "Pandora Style" designs not made by Pandora® but created in the same or similar style.  It is important to recognize whether you are purchasing an actual Pandora product or a design inspired by their line.  An actual Pandora® piece of jewelry is, of course, going to cost more than a "Pandora inspired" piece.

The unique style of Pandora® and Pandora inspired jewelry allows the wearer to create a unique design by choosing individual charms and beads.  The design is customizable as beads can be added, removed, moved about on the bracelet.  The design can be completely individualized because the clasp/closure allows the large hole beads to be added and removed so easily.

So whether you are looking for an actual Pandora® piece of jewelry or want to experiment with a Pandora style piece, go ahead and have fun creating your own original design.  There are many sellers on ArtFire, Etsy and elsewhere that offer a wide variety of beads and components. You can also purchase a fully beaded design - for a look at my designs, click here!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

ArtFire Versus Etsy

This post is a follow-up to my last one on the ArtFire Group Deal.  I did opt in and I became a Pro Member as of October 1, 2010.  I now have my shop up and going and fairly well stocked with just under 50 items.

I continue to operate my Etsy shop and will likely continue to sell in both venues.  I have to say, however, the ArtFire platform is very user-friendly and has some features I really like that Etsy does not offer.  For example, I can create "coupons" for customers to use to receive discounts.  I can also mark individual or multiple items for "sale" with price markdowns.  I can even create gift certificates.  I can also show a link to my Etsy shop in my ArtFire shop - not permitted on Etsy.  I can also show 10 pictures of an item versus 5 on Etsy.  And my overhead is less selling on ArtFire's site as well!

Still, Etsy is not a bad place at all.  It certainly contains a thriving community of talented and interesting artists.  It is also very well known and has a large following of customers.  The selling platform is simple to use and easy to upload items for sale.  Visibility is Etsy's strength, however since it is still the best known site for handmade items.

Still,  ArtFire is coming on strong and with all its perks and low fees, it's market presence is steadily growing.  So for now, I will continue on with both shops.  It might be that I eventually settle on one or the other.  Or I might find that I want to divide my inventory of designs and sell one type on Etsy and the other on ArtFire.

Please check out both my sites - feedback and comments are welcome!