Auntie's Beads
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Jewelry Design Center
Auntie's Beads originated free beading tutorial videos on the web with our popular Karla Kamô beading instruction series on YouTube. We have over 32,000 channel subscribers and over 18 million video views! You can see all our videos right here in our Beading Center, or View Auntie's Beads YouTube Channel.

Auntie's Design Center also features a wealth of online jewelry making ideas and beaded jewelry designs with complete written instructions and links to the beading components in one easy location. Need some inspiration? Browse our Color Coordinated Bead Sets for beads and components that go together in a color palette chosen by one of our designers.
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Guide to Creative Jewelry Making

Whether you are new to making jewelry or a more advanced designer, you know that jewelry design is part inspiration, part skill and part creativity. The basics are easy to learn; once you have mastered techniques like stringing, wire wrapping and stitching, you will discover just how easy the process can be - and how endless the possibilities are for making beautiful bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings. More often than not, the difficult part can be finding inspiration or overcoming creative block. Even our professional designers, who have years of experience, sometimes struggle with creating new and exciting wearable works of art. Our Jewelry Design Center is filled with projects to teach, motivate and inspire you, but we also want to share some advice and tricks of the trade when it comes to finding inspiration and igniting a spark of creativity.

Look around you. Ever feel like you are in a rut with color? Do you feel yourself gravitating towards the same types of beads? Is everything you buy, sell or make starting to look the same? While every designer has his or her own recognizable taste and style, every once in a while, it is great to branch out. Finding new color inspiration, for example, can be as easy as looking at nature: purple and yellow flowers with green foliage can give you an exciting new palette, for instance. Sometimes, glancing at your wardrobe can also be a helpful way to view color. (Many of our Swarovski crystal mixes have inspired by articles of clothing.) Reading magazines, looking at sale advertisements or shopping your favorite stores can also be a great source of inspiration while also helping identify key trends and styles in the ever-changing world of design. Browse places, like our Jewelry Design Center, to see what others are making and how they are doing it. We even keep an archived section of projects whose components are no longer available; we do this to showcase techniques and color palettes used in the past in the hopes that one of those images will inspire you.

Learn something new. Take a class, read a beading magazine, watch a Karla Kam you haven't seen... However you choose to do it, learn something new! Even if the idea of learning a spiral or peyote stitch has never excited you or if you have been intimidated by the art of chain maille designs, learn a technique that challenges you. You will find that each thing you can learn can be incorporated into what you already know and will enhance not only your skill set, but will add to the beauty, brilliance and uniqueness of your jewelry designs!

Walk away. Some say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Others will say you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. When it comes to creativity, there have been studies that have shown that the latter is actually more helpful in overcoming creative block. Creativity can be a lot like problem solving: you have a pattern or color scheme in mind and have an idea for a technique you want to use. How to make that pattern fit within the confines of a 7 and 1/2 inch bracelet? How to make those beads behave and dangle like you want them to from those fabulous new chandelier findings you bought? If you keep trying and the design is just not working the way you intended, step away from the bead board and come back to it later. You will often find that giving your mind a rest from the creative problem at hand will allow you to pick it up again later with a new solution. No sense in frustrating yourself or creating a piece of jewelry that you are not 100% satisfied with!

Join a group. Sometimes, creativity and inspiration is best fed by others. Our designers work in a space together and have the benefit of seeing each other's work, giving advice, offering solutions or just sharing a new technique. If you have friends who are not yet hooked on the highly addictive habit of beading, teach them how. Maybe you can get together and have beading parties, sharing not only the cost of your beads and supplies, but sharing your ideas as well. Join online groups and forums where you can ask questions (Auntie's Bead Chat on Facebook is a great place to start), see the work of other jewelry makers and share your knowledge and experience. You will find that seeing others creations will often enhance your own and challenge you in ways you never thought possible.

Hopefully, beading brings you great comfort, peace of mind and reward - whether it be monetarily or from the simple satisfaction that you have created work admired by yourself and others. We also hope that our Jewelry Design Center with free beading projects and archived inspirational ideas as well as free jewelry making videos and ideas for color palettes brings you the information you need to be the very best jewelry designer you can be!