Category Archives: Jewelry Making

Sanding away surface scratches from your Jewelry

I just can’t live without my sandpaper these days. When I first started I had no idea what grits to use so remove the surface scratches off of my jewelry. So, I thought It might be useful to some to post some of the grades I like to use myself to get the surface scratches off of my sterling silver.

I like to start off with a grade of 220-280 sandpaper (this is really rough, I use it when I’ve got some major marks to remove) then move on to 400 (my favorite to start with) then 650-700 and finish off with a 1000 or 1200.

You can most likely find the sandpaper grit you are looking for in an auto supply store.

The sandpaper is fairly cheap and such a must! I don’t know what I would do without mine 🙂


Learning how to Saw Sterling Silver Sheet Metal

I recently purchased a jewelry saw, thinking I would try a new technique. I have to admit I was a little bit intimidated. Yes, I broke blades 🙂 but I learned that the saw needs to be lubricated at ALL times! keep it straight and you’ll be fine. Oh did I mention Practice? Practice? Practice? I bought two huge sheets of copper, I couldn’t bear the thought of wasting sterling silver, especially with the price skyrocketing these days. But I did get enough guts to make a naughty cat charm. I turned it into a pendant necklace!

hand cut sterling silver cat pendant necklace

Taking Photos Of Your Handmade Jewelry

So you’ve made your beautiful piece of handcrafted jewelry, you love it! You want to show off your handcrafted creation and sell it online! So now you need to take photos of your handmade jewelry. Your photos should be crisp and clear, you want to show off your handmade jewelry at it’s finest! Sometimes, I’m not sure if taking photos of my handcrafted jewelry takes longer than actually making my handmade jewelry!

Here are two inexpensive ways to have your own jewelry studio!

My preference is natural light. I take most of my photos of my handmade earrings outside. I do use a white board one as a base, and another I cut with a knife partialy so that it folds like a book. I usually use a wine glass as a prop to hang my handmade jewelry from. If I am feeling really creative, I hang my handmade jewelry on branches or leaves.

It’s not a perfect world and I know weather doesn’t always comply. When I take photos of my handmade beaded jewelry inside, I use natural light light bulbs, and I bought two spot lights from the local hardware store for about $5 each (I don’t want shadows!). Yes, I still use my white board to take photos of my handcrafted jewelry. I usually take photos in a small space like the laundry room.

Experiment with angles, close-ups, ect…

If you would like to share your handmade jewelry photography please e-mail me!

freshwarter, coin, pearl, freshwater coin pearl, sterling silver, white, 12mm

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated vs. Vermeil Jewelry

I’ve recently started looking into handcrafting my jewelry using gold wire. I was curious to know what the difference between handmade gold plated and handmade gold filled jewelry was. Oh, and of course Vermeil. This is what I found!

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated Handmade beaded jewelry

Gold Plated
A layer of gold applied to base metal, usually by electroplating. This is usually a very thin layer prone to scratching, it is likely to wear quickly exposing the metal underneath.

If you are on a handmade jewelry budget, or just want to experiment it’s perfect!

Gold Filled
Or ‘gold overlay’ or ‘rolled gold plated’ as it can also be called. It consists of several mechanically bonded layers. A non-precious base is covered with the outside layer of at least 10 Karat gold. Manufacturers usually mark their gold filled jewelry with fractions that show the relative amount of gold in proportion to base metal in a given piece, so you know what you are buying. It lasts the longest out of gold plated and vermeil jewelry. It is also more costly!

Something new to me. It is basically sterling silver covered by a layer of gold. It is even more expensive than gold filled. One of th cons of vermeil, is that since sterling silver is the base, and we all know sterling silver tarnishes, so expect vermeil to darken with age.

Now you know the differences between Gold Filled, Gold Plated and Vermeil!

Have fun making your handmade handcrafted jewelry!

A Jewelers Best Friend

When I first started designing and hardcrafting my own jewelry, I really had no sense of bead “sizes” a 4mm and an 8mm bead really meant nothing to me. I would order a lot of my gemstones online and would be dissapointed, because I’d miscalculated the size of my bead. UNTIL… I decided to get a bead guage! What a great tool. I highly recommend it to EVEYRONE in the handmade jewelry biz! It makes life easier and trust me.. Useing a ruler just isn’t the same!

bead guage