April 22, 2014

Spring DIY Project - Stamped Garden Stakes

Spring Break was an excellent opportunity to do a craft project with my kids. Lucy, being the stamping expert, helped with the production and Izzy helped with the planting. I love the way these look in our garden and we had a great time making them together!

Tools & Materials
  1. To stamp your blanks, follow the instructions in our FREE Online Class, Stamping On Metal.
  2. Darken the impressions using Gilders Paste. I chose gilders paste because I thought it would last longer than Sharpie ink, especially since these will get hit by the sprinklers on a daily basis.
  3. Immediately after applying the gilders paste, use a tissue to wipe the excess paste from the surface (leaving it in the impressions). I used steel wool to remove the excess gilders paste because I wanted a slightly brushed look. The small hands of an 11-year-old work great for this step! :) 
  4. Use epoxy to affix the blanks to the sticks. Let them sit for 24 hours to fully cure.
  5. Plant your garden! Throw those ugly plastic stakes out and label your plants with your fancy handmade ones.
  6. Water, weed, repeat... then EAT!

Stella helped, too!

April 17, 2014

{FREE PROJECT} Stamped Sliding Blanks

Howdy from the Design Team at Beaducation! Today we are going to be working with blanks and leather cuffs to create a bracelet that is totally on-trend. We call this free project "Stamped Sliding Blanks on Leather." This design is versatile enough that you can create any number of designs with the same basic technique. We are going to show letter stamping with some embellishments and then walk you through how to put it all together.  

For a full list of tools and materials needed to make this bracelet, check out the project page in the DIY Designs section at Beaducation.com. Let's get started!

1. Line up all the blanks and make sure they are even and level with one another.  We have chosen these copper rectangles for our project. If you are working with multiples, feel free to tape down the edges to keep them from moving around.

2. Lay the leather cuff over the blanks and use a Sharpie pen to mark a line at the top and bottom, where the bracelet hits the blanks

3. Select a letter stamp from the set you will be using and center it on the first blank, just to gauge where you will line them all up. With a ruler, draw a line where you want your letters positioned across all the blanks. Below is a picture showing the two lines that mark where the bracelet goes, and the middle line that guides the letter stamps. 

4. With all the blanks neatly marked, stamp the blanks as you usually would. If you are new to stamping, check out our FREE online tutorials that will teach you this technique. 

5. After stamping the letters, stamp any additional design stamps to embellish the piece. We used this Fat Lined Heart Stamp in our project. Then oxidize and polish everything while the blanks are flat; it's easier to do this now. If the lines noting where the blanks fit on the leather cuff get polished off, just mark them back in. 

6. Take a pair of metal shears and trim off approximately 6mm from one end of the blank, then file the edges so they are smooth. To be consistent, we trimmed the same side on all the blanks. This particular blank will overlap itself on the back side if it is not trimmed. The overlap can make it difficult for the bracelet to lay completely flat.  

7. With a pair of flat nose pliers, grab the blank just to the outside edge of the Sharpie marking, taking care that the edge of the plier is right up against the line. It is better to have your sliding blank be too big rather than too small. While holding the blank securely, bend the marked portion of the blank with the pliers into an acute angle (slightly tighter than 90 degrees). 

8. Bend the other side of the blank the same way as the first. Continue to bend all the blanks so they are prepped and ready to be added to the bracelet.  After the blanks are bent, polish off the marker lines using your Pro Polish Pad

9. Work the leather bracelet in between the angles of the blank.  With a pair of nylon jaw pliers, apply pressure to one side and then the other to secure it on the cuff. If you want the blank to slide, do not apply too much pressure.  If you want the blanks to stay put, clamp down harder to keep them in place.  

Keep going! Below you can see what the back side of the bracelet can look like.  Depending on how precise the measurements are, the back side can line up evenly too. The most important part is to file the edges so the blanks wear comfortably against the wrist. 

Viola! Below is the finished piece. With Mother's Day coming up, we thought "MOM" was a good word to stamp, and it's versatile in the sense that you can just flip it over and it says "WOW." 

Don't forget to check out our DIY Designs page for additional FREE projects to help inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. We hope you have fun with this project!

April 10, 2014

A New Way to Darken Your Stamped Impressions

Introducing a new product that will darken your stamped impressions: Gilders Paste! We were so excited about an alternative to the trusty Sharpie that we took some newly-stamped pieces and shot a new product video to show you how easy it is to use.

Gilders Paste comes in the smart little 1.5 ounce container you see at left. It looks a lot like shoe polish and smells like it, too. That small container holds enough paste to cover thirty square feet so your $11 will really go a long way!

Gilders Paste will stain your fingers, so we recommend applying it with a Q-tip, paper towel, or cloth. It dries to the touch after ten minutes and is completely cured in about twelve hours. There is no smell whatsoever once the paste has dried and you put that cap back on the container!

Gilders Paste works with every metal, though it is most exciting for those who enjoy working with Aluminum blanks since we are not able to use Liver of Sulfur or Silver Black on aluminum. There has never been a more permanent option for darkening impressions -- until now! With Gilders Paste, you can be sure that once you 'apply and let it dry,' you can swim the English Channel with your stamped pendants and their darkened letters will remain intact! It's that water resistant! In fact, we put our stamped blanks through the dishwasher to see how they would hold up. Sure enough, those impressions remained dark even after the hottest cycles.

Check out our Product Video to see how we apply it and just how easy it is to use.

April 3, 2014

{HOW TO} Choose the Right Chain Length

You've worked hard on creating the perfect pendant, now it's time to show it off as a necklace. What size chain should you choose? The answer to this question largely depends on what kind of look you're going for, but you should also consider the size of the wearer as well. Our very own Lora Curran is modeling a group of necklaces to give you an idea of the different chain lengths.

Keep in mind that Lora is 5'5" tall and has an average/slim build. That said, a person who is more petite might have a wider neck and a 16" chain will be too short and a tall person with a short torso might find that 36" is too long on her. The best way to get the exact size is to take a measurement, either with a tape measure or a string and ruler. Custom lengths are easy to accommodate when you're buying chain by the inch and adding your own clasp -- it's a perfect fit every time!

March 27, 2014

Introducing Rose Gold Filled

Rose gold has been around since ancient times. Many instruments used to be made of rose gold and often yellow gold would turn a red gold color due to copper unintentionally finding its way into the batch of gold during the smelting process.

These days, you see rose gold everywhere! Its popularity is at its highest now with engagement rings, pendants and earrings. The best thing about rose gold filled is that you can purchase it for a fraction of the cost of solid rose gold.

Here at Beaducation, we started out with our four most popular circles in rose gold filled to begin our collection. Based on your demand, we then expanded our offering to include hearts, a rectangle, and additional sizes of circles.

Our 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" circles in rose gold filled are all 24 gauge. The photographs really do not do them justice. They are bright and shiny and a beautiful blush hue. Our vendor is able to obtain this look by pressure bonding the rose gold to the brass core. The rose gold is comprised of  58.33% 14K gold, 1% zinc and 40.67% copper bonded to brass.

For the first time ever, you can create a three different colored stackable circle necklace without using any base metal. Below you see we have used a rose gold filled 1/2" circle blank, a gold filled 3/4" circle blank and a sterling silver 1" circle blank. 

We have tried soldering with the rose gold filled blanks and had great success. We also tested out the allergic reaction on our General Manager, who is ultra-sensitive to copper and she had no allergic reaction whatsoever! Her skin has had no ill reaction and the rose gold filled blank is as shiny as ever.

In a nutshell, these rose gold filled blanks have our seal of approval. So stay ahead of the trend and pick up some today - you will love having the beautiful color of copper and the feel of a precious metal on your skin!

March 20, 2014

New FREE online class! Punched Metal Jewelry with Aisha Formanski

Hot off the press (or in this case, the editing room), another fun stamping class that's FREE! In our newest online class, Punched Metal JewelryAisha Formanski shares her signature technique - using basic design stamps to create repetitive geographic patterns. Aren't they beautiful?

Watch as she inspires you to use your stamps in a whole new way to create patterns that really pop. In just 24 minutes, you will expand your stamping knowledge using a few simple design stamps and graph paper.

This class is an excellent companion to Aisha's book, New Directions in Punched Metal Jewelry. In the book, she features 20 gorgeous designs and even includes eight patterns for you to follow until you're ready to create your own. 

In addition to stamping and design techniques, Aisha offers basic metalworking tutorials featuring:
  • Riveting
  • Creating holes
  • Shaping
  • Antiquing
  • Basic polishing and 
  • Filing
Best of all, Aisha focuses on inexpensive metals such as copperbrass, and nickel to create these designs. Beautiful jewelry does not have to be expensive! 

March 13, 2014

Introducing 7 new design stamps!

The Design Team gets excited when there are new stamps to use in the studio, so this week was especially awesome as we launched seven (count 'em -- SEVEN!) fantastic new design stamps

We are very excited to be adding two arrows to our collection. One is a very classic arrow, and the other has a heart at the head and teardrop-shaped petals as the fletching. They look beautiful stamped individually or as part of a pattern:

It's no surprise that hearts continue to be an all-time favorite. Thankfully, love never seems to go out of style! We have three new hearts to add and you are going to love the versatility of these designs. Don't forget one of our all time favorite things to do with a design stamp: use it as a border stamp! Our new Radiant Heart looks great stamped in repetition around this circle blank with a monogram initial in the middle.

We have also added two new stars to the collection, one large and one small. These are a great way to punctuate your design!

All of these new additions are Beaducation Originals, which means they are high quality stamps that are designed and made the USA, and stamp like a dream! 

We think the two lined hearts and two stars make a great set, so we put together another Beaducation Design Stamp Collection called "Tiny Embellishments II" that includes all four of them. Save $3.50 when you buy them together!  
What will you make with these lovely designs?  We have been playing around with samples and found that the possibilities are endless!  Combining the Classic Arrow with the Tall Lined Heart on this Brass Circle blank made the pendant below. Sweet!


We hope you enjoy these design stamps as much as we do and we would love to see what you make with them! Check us out on Facebook and Instagram and join the conversation by showing off your projects!