Sunday, May 2, 2010

Today's Tutorial

How to make a crescent roll bead

I love these beads- they are easy to make, easy to embellish and alter, and look really great as a focal piece on a necklace.

Materials:  sheet metal of your choice (24-30 gauge), sheet metal shears, hammer, dowel or wide knitting needle, drill or flex-shaft, drill bit, sanding and buffing tools, paper, or flex-shaft attachments, sterling silver or copper wire, about 1 foot of 24 or 26 ga, assorted small beads, metal or gemstones, pliers

1. Cut an equilateral triangular piece of metal with the shears about 6 inches long by 1-2 inches wide at the base.  The longer the base, the wider the bead will be.
2. If you would like a deckled edge and a textured surface, use a hammer to flatten the edges and create texture in the main body of the triabnle.  You can also use chasing tools, screwdrivers, or other pointy tools to hammer out some texture in the metal.  If you would prefer a clean edge and smooth metal, then leave as is.
3. Smooth out rough edges using sand paper of increasing fineness, or use rotary tool attachments.
4. Place triangle on a wooden surface and drill a few holes in a random pattern.  Sand off sharp edges.
5. Place the wide base of the metal triangle on a dowel or large knitting needle. Begin rolling the metal on the cylinder, trying to keep the metal centered and tightly rolled.
6. Slide off the dowel and get a foot of 24 or 26 gauge wire.  Insert the wire through one of the holes you drilled in the metal sheet.  Leave a 2-inch tail on the inside.
7. Thread some random beads on the wire, then insert the wire through another hole towards the inside of the bead, then pull it back through to the outside and add more beads.  Continue this way until you get a pleasing mixture of beads and wire.  Lease a 2-3 inch tail.
8. Pull the tail to the inside and twist with the tail from the beginning of the wire.  Push to the side of the tube of the bead and press it flat.
9. Using flat pliers, tighten the wire a few times on the outside by grasping a bit of wire in the pliers and twisting 90 degrees.
10. String onto a leather  or silk cord, or add it as a focal piece of a bead strand.

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