Jewelry Tools 101: Comparing Pliers And Tweezers

Having the right tools for jewelry making is key to your success. The right tools and jewelry making techniques will help you get the results you want while also saving you time and a whole lot of frustration. You can also avoid wasting materials that get broken or lost because the tools you are using don’t have the right grip or strength.

Jewelry tweezers are relatively straightforward. Jewelry tweezers have a very fine tip that comes to a sharp point. They are used to pick up tiny gems and beads, as well as to get into tight spaces when you are positioning beads, threading wire, or wrapping wire.

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Tweezers come in different material types to offer different strength and longevity. They can also be magnetized so that it is easier to pick up and hold onto certain jewelry findings.

Jewelry pliers, on the other hand, come in a much wider variety of options. They are larger and stronger, allowing you to grip beads tighter or to twist and manipulate thick wire. Here’s a look at some of the different types of jewelry pliers that you might need:

1) Round Nose Pliers

Round nose pliers are some of the most commonly used jewelry pliers. They have round tips all the way around, including inside the jaws. You can use them to make perfectly rounded pieces of wire, such as for closing head pins, jump rings, or other closures. You can also use them to create beautiful wire creations.

Round nose pliers can be purchased in different sizes and different materials to accommodate the type of project you are working on. For example, you might need stronger pliers if you are working with a heavier weight of wire.

2) Chain Nose Pliers

Chain nose pliers are the standard pliers. You will find these in any handy man’s toolbox, and they are a basic tool for jewelry makers.

Chain nose pliers typically have a serrated jaw, which makes it easier for them to grip things. You can also get them with a smooth jaw. You can use them for all-purpose work, but they are typically not small enough for fine details. You can buy smaller sizes for more detailed work, but you’ll need a pair of tweezers or other specialty pliers to get into really tight spaces.

3) Bent Nose Pliers

You can’t always tackle your project head on. Sometimes, there are beads, wire or other findings blocking your way, or sometimes the area you are trying to reach is so recessed that even holding the pliers in your hand can block it.

Bent nose pliers allow you to get into spaces at any angle, giving you a clear view and letting you access hard-to-reach places on your design. You’ll need to get a few sizes to make sure you can get into the smallest spaces when needed. The finer the tip, the more delicate the work you can do.

4) Flat Nose Pliers

Most pliers have a relatively narrow nose or even a round nose. Flat nose pliers have a wider nose that works almost like a clamp. The flat nose allows for a wider grip, and it can be used to create some interesting shapes when bending wire.

Guest post from Nina Blaicher of Tronex Tools

What tools do you like to work with?

Our Favorite Crochet Bag Patterns

Bags are an ever-popular crochet accessory and a way to elevate your look to the next level. With so many different style options, there’s a bag or purse style for every outfit and occasion: a sturdy messenger bag or backpack for work or school, a large and roomy tote bag for shopping trips or the beach, even simple little handbags big enough for your phone, keys and some money. Sure, you can buy a bag or purse that’s perfectly suited to your tastes and needs, but there’s something about working up that crochet bag yourself. And with so many different types of crochet bag patterns to choose from, you’re bound to find just the perfect bag for you.

Crochet purses or crochet tote bags – you’ll find all sorts of great bag options here. My favorite, listed below, is the Autumn Day Tote – it’s a simple and roomy tote bag that’s worked up with solid-colored crochet granny squares and features sturdy pre-purchased straps and a chic lining for long-lasting durability. It’s so simple, but it looks so classic and timeless. If that just isn’t your style, there are many other crochet bags, big and small, worked in rounds or in granny squares, to choose from in this collection of 22 crochet handbags from our friends at AllFreeCrochet.

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22 Crochet Handbags to Make

  1. Quirky Crochet Handbag
  2. Pretty Purple Purse
  3. Pretty Crochet Butterfly Bag
  4. Indigo Bag
  5. Handmade Crochet Bag
  6. Autumn Day ToteEditor’s Pick
  7. Floral Granny Square Crochet Purse
  8. Festival Crochet Purse Pattern
  9. Eco Cotton Blend Crochet Ruffled Bag
  10. Easy Bobble Stitch Purse
  11. Deep Blue Sea Purse
  12. Crochet Hexagon Handbag
  13. Busy Girl’s Crochet Handbag
  14. Boho Tassel Crochet Bag
  15. Boardwalk Bag
  16. “Suzette” Tote Bag for Beginners
  17. Seed Stitch Summer Purse
  18. Smell the Roses Crochet Tote
  19. Summer Hobo Bag
  20. Sweet Summer Crochet Handbag
  21. Twilight Woods Tote
  22. Wildflower Shoulder Crochet Bag

For even more crochet handbags, check out this little pattern collection!

 

What’s your favorite style of bag?

Our Favorite 15 Cozy Crochet Afghan Patterns

I don’t know about all of you, but now that we’re deep in the middle of winter and it’s so cold outside, I simply never want to leave my apartment. If I could just be lazy all day and stay in my bed or on the couch and stay covered with a cozy blanket, I’d be so happy. If you’re like me, and the thought of cozy blankets is all that’s on your mind this winter, I’ve got such a treat for you! I’ve dug around on AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns to find some of the best and most cozy crochet blankets, just for you.

These cozy crochet blanket patterns are plush and snuggly and will keep you warm once you work them up. They’ll even keep you warm as you work them up since the cozy yarn will be draped over your lap the whole time. Grab your hooks and favorites colors of yarn and start crocheting! Bulky or super bulky yarn will make the coziest blankets, if you ask us, but you can still get comfy with some worsted weight yarn. If you’re confident enough, try crocheting two skeins of yarn at the same time for an extra plush design.

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Our Favorite 15 Cozy Crochet Afghan Patterns

  1. Crochet Cable Throw
  2. Thick Twist Basketweave – The basketweave stitch is so easy to make and produces a squishy fabric
  3. Unbelievably Easy Crochet Blanket
  4. Redwood Waffle-ghan
  5. Cozy Clusters Baby Blanket
  6. Cozy Feather and Fan Afghan – This one’s a little more lacy and light than the others, but the bulky weight yarn adds layers of comfort.
  7. Snowy Faux Knit Baby Blanket
  8. Super Cozy Crochet Puff Stitch Blanket
  9. Faux Shearling Throw – Faux shearing – the ultimate in comfort and warmth
  10. Irresistibly Cozy Double Woven Throw – Use two skeins of yarn at once for a plushy design
  11. Cuddly Sleeved Afghan
  12. Ridiculously Cozy Crochet Blanket Pattern
  13. Cozy “Man Ghan”
  14. Cozy Yuletide Squares Afghan – Switch up the colors for a cozy design you can use all year!
  15. Cozy Cabin Afghan

Plus – check out even MORE cozy crochet afghans!

What’s your favorite winter activity?

The 13 Best Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns EVER

If there’s one type of quilt pattern that our readers love, it’s a jelly roll pattern. In case you’re new to quilting, Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns are type of precut fabric that typically contain about 40 strips of fabric. These budget-friendly strips are excellent for larger quilt projects, especially strip quilts, and help speed up the quilting process since you don’t have to worry about spending a ton of time measuring and cutting. Jelly roll quilts tend to include quick and easy patterns, which is why they’re such a hit with quilters! FaveQuilts knows how much our readers love this precut, which is why we’ve decided to combine all of our top jelly roll patterns into one convenient list.

13 of the Best Jelly Roll Patterns Ever

From baby quilts for your new grandbaby to bed-sized quilts that you won’t be able to stop showing off, these free quilt patterns take the beloved jelly roll and turn them into something completely new. Pick your favorite and have a blast with your next quilting project!

If you’re new to working with precut fabric, then be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Precut Fabric. You can find a huge selection of free jelly roll patterns on this collection page, 45 Free Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns + New Jelly Roll Quilts.

13 of the Best Jelly Roll Patterns EVER!

Magic Jelly Roll QuiltOur Readers Love It!

Golden Autumn Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Ice Fractals Jelly Roll PatternNEW!

Jelly Roll Braid Quilt#1

Cozy Posy Triangle Quilt

Cozy Posy Triangle Quilt

One Day Baby Quilt TutorialNEW!

Striped Chevrons Baby Quilt TutorialFor Your New Grandbaby!

Last Minute Jelly Roll Wedding Quilt

Rainbow Bright Bargello Quilt

Rainbow Bright Bargello QuiltNEW!

Ariel’s Wedding Quilt PatternMake It Part of Your World!

Jelly Roll Race Quilt

Christmas Trip Around the World QuiltNEW!

Race to the Finish Jelly Roll Quilt

What’s your favorite type of precut to quilt with? Let us know below in the comments!

Sew In Love Mug Rug Pattern for Valentine’s Day

Carolyn Wainscott here wishing all of you crafters a happy crafting year. My first 2017 project for you here @ Seams And Scissors is A Quick Heart Shaped Mug Rug for your BFF. Simply sew fabric tubes and weave them together like we used to make those yarn potholders-remember those? My BFFs include my 2 sisters and a couple of close gal friends that I want to make these for our next birthday luncheon.

Patterns for the heart shaped mug rug plus an extended hexagon are both included on the pattern.

For Each Mug Rug:

MUG RUG PATTERNS-heart & rectangle

1. cut fabric strips 2 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ [9 strips of first color, 11 strips of second color]

2. sew into tubes using 1/4″ seam allowance

3. turn right side out, press

4. trace mug rug outline onto lightweight fusible interfacing

5. place interfacing with fusible side up onto weaving surface-I used my June Tailor Quilter’s Cut/Press that I’ve had for many years

6. weave tubes together on fusible-press onto lightweight fusible interfacing

7. flip over, cut out shape[s]

8. cut mug rug back, place right sides together

9. sew all around leaving opening to turn, turn right side out, top stitch all around

That is all there is to it unless you choose to add embroidery or trims.

The kiddos will love making the heart shaped mug rug as well as the hexagon shaped one. If you choose a print it needs to be a small scale. In my stash are two really cute Valentine prints that I wanted to use for the mug rugs but the scale was too large so I had to go shopping again on my shelves. Found this lady bug print which is still a little large but I kind of like those eyes peeking out here and there.

Be on the look out for some great projects planned in 2017 for all of us crafters here @ Seams And Scissors.

Happy sewing and crafting, it is my therapy

Carolyn Wainscott

www.carolynscanvas.blogspot.com

13 of the Most Beautiful Free Printables for Your Home

Free printable have become a favorite amongst crafters of all kinds. That’s because printable paper crafts make it easier to create and decorate than making something from scratch. Many free printables look so professional and expensive that people do not believe they are free. However, in this list, 13 of the Most Beautiful Free Printables for Your Home, us editors at AllFreePaperCrafts will provide hard proof that you can find the most gorgeous paper decorations without the hefty price tag. Find the three different categories below that will help you turn your house into a home with the click of a button.

13 of the Most Beautiful Free Printables for Your Home

13 of the Most Beautiful Free Printables for Your Home

Printable Wall Art

Coffee Helps Printable Wall Art

Why not decorate your walls with the most beautiful free printable wall art? These free printables seriously look like they should be displayed at an art show. It’s not the case because these artists have created them for printing at home (or bigger versions at a copy shop). Find inspiration everywhere you look when you put up this pretty wall art, either tacked up or framed for an even classier look.

Cute Baking Printable Wall Art

Always Something to be Thankful for Free Printable

Coffee Helps Printable Wall Art

Printable Birch Shadow Box

Printable DIY Inspirational Wall Art

 

Printable Tabletop Decor

Paper Mums Wedding Bouquet

Now that you have your walls decorated, print out some beautiful paper flowers, fruit for your fruit bowl, or even tea light lanterns that look like little houses. These pieces of printable table art are too good to be true – yet they are! We even have an added bonus, so take a look below.

Printable Stargazer Lily Paper Flower Bouquet

Berry Awesome DIY Paper Fruit

Paper House Lanterns

Paper Mums Wedding Bouquet

BONUS! You will find the Paper Mums Wedding Bouquet and so many more beautiful printable paper crafts in our AMAZING free eBook, 16 Free Printables: Free Printable Greeting Cards and Other Printable Paper Crafts. Find full step-by-step tutorials with pictures in a printable format. You can’t beat this collection!

 

Printable Labels

Chic Chevron Free Printable Office Labels

Get organized with these free printable labels for jars, boxes, and even wine bottles. These can be printed out, written on, and stuck to anything in your home. Some of these even allow you to edit the text on the computer so you don’t even need good handwriting! These free printables are a fantastic way to keep your kitchen and home office looking sharp and structured, with little effort. Win-win!

Vintage Pantry Printable Labels

Pretty Printable Mason Jar Labels

Printable Wine Bottle Label

Chic Chevron Free Printable Office Labels

 

If you can’t get enough free printable projects, then you will love Get Printing! 17 Absolutely Fabulous Free Printables.

7 Ways to Use Construction Paper

Finding construction paper crafts for kids and adults can be pretty tricky since it seems that construction paper isn’t as “trendy” as it used to be. However, I refuse to let one of the cheapest and most versatile crafting materials die. If you are a paper crafting junkie, there’s no reason for you not to absolutely LOVE this useful paper, and once you see all these ways to use construction paper, you’ll see why! If you want to venture outside of constantly making paper flowers or using up all of your tissue paper, this crafting material is going to be your new best friend!

Construction paper is quickly losing popularity, which means there aren’t many construction paper crafts circling around on the web; I think these 7 ways to use construction paper out to be considered precious and unique. Each one uses construction paper in a way that is fun, simple, and inspiring. Plus, they come in real handy when crafting with kids because they are budget-friendly and can be made in just thirty minutes!

Ways to Use Construction Paper

7 Ways to Use Construction Paper

Cozy Paper DIY Lanterns

Cozy Paper DIY Lanterns

When the evergreens are the only plants that appear to be alive and the sun goes down earlier in the day, it can feel gloomy if you don’t have a good paper craft to help you pass the time indoors. You can capture light and warmth with these Cozy Paper DIY Lanterns.

Paper Plate Lion

Paper Plate Lion

This Paper Plate Lion is perfect for Fine Motor Skills development. Make your child color the paper plate provided by us and tear strips of construction paper to form the mane.

Paper Chain Heart Garland

Paper Chain Heart Garland

Here are step by step instructions on how to make this simple but pretty heart garland.

Handprint Art Chick

Handprint Art Chick

That’s one cute chick! When you and your little ones are crafting, there’s no better place to start than with this Handprint Art Chick.

Precious Paper Bunny Garland

Having your children help you decorate is a great way to get them in on the fun, and when it comes to ideas, this Precious Paper Bunny Garland is the perfect craft for kids! Thanks to the free printable template included with this project, all your kiddos have to do is cut out these little rabbits and create an adorable decoration.

Simple Sprinkle Paper Bows

Simple Sprinkle Paper Bows

Add a little touch of whimsy to your homemade gift wrapping with these Simple Sprinkle Paper Bows. Paper crafts like these that are both easy and elegant are a must for any busy crafter; after all, why sacrifice style just because you’re short on time?

Paper Snowflake Party Backdrop

Not only is this Paper Snowflake Party Backdrop a great addition to your decorations, it is also perfect for a DIY Frozen party. You will be surprised by just how easy it is to make this awesome backdrop.

What is your favorite kind of craft paper to use? Tell us below!

DIY Garden Decor Ideas You’ll Totally Dig

Once it gets warm out, we don’t just have to decorate the insides of our homes, but the outsides as well…and we could not be more excited!!! DIY garden decor is just as pretty and bright as the flowers and vegetables they are sharing the dirt with. Right now, we’re simply mad for terra cotta pot projects, pretty painted planters, and hip flower markers. We’ve even thrown a couple of DIY lanterns in the mix to light your way! You could even garden in the dark. 😉

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DIY Garden Ideas

Neon Sunshine Planters

DIY Embroidery Hoop Planter – Clever

DIY Garden Hose Decor -SO cute!

Bold Bottle Tiki Torches

Sweet Strawberry Terra Cotta Pots

Pretty Petals Flower Tower

DIY Concrete Planter

Summer Seas Driftwood Flowers – Use these as flower markers!

Moon Over Mason Jar Lights

DIY Garden Stepping Stones

Succulent DIY Garden Projects

DIY Hanging Lantern

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How do you plan on decorating your garden this summer?

Link Love: The Cutest 4th of July Crafts We’ve Seen in Years

June is here, and we couldn’t be more excited for summer! Where we’re located in Northbrook, IL, it is only 60 degrees today. Which is….a little anticlimactic, we admit. But we’re going to power through ’til the end of this week–when the weather will be in the mid-80’s!–by getting a head start on our 4th of July Crafts! It’s such a loud, wonderful holiday full of family time and celebrations that are literally explosive. To pass up on these 4th of July party ideas would be a huge mistake, especially when they are are so cute and inexpensive to make.

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1. Old Glory Wall Hanging from Think Crafts!

2. Firecracker Ribbon Barettes from SewmCool

3. American Flag Bunting from The House That Lars Built

4. 4th of July Balloons from Design Improvised

5. DIY Yo-Yo Silverware Holder from The Merry Thought

6. Fourth of July Tea Towel from Hello Lucky

7. Bandana Quilt from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

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8. DIY infinity Scarf from Hej Juni

9. 4th of July Paper Plates from Confetti Sunshine

10.Mini Flag Patriotic Wreath from It’s so Very Cheri

11. DIY Patriotic Collage Fans from Everyday is a Holiday

12. 4th of July Matchbook Covers from Almost Makes Perfect

13. Patriotic Wood Shim and Starfish Flag from Craftiments

14. Spray Painted Party Tub from Mad in Crafts

15. Patriotic Crocheted Mason Jar Covers from Petals for Picots

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Looking for some kid-friendly 4th of July crafts? Check out, 15 Fun 4th of July Crafts Your Kids Will Love.

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Which 4th of July Crafts are you planning to celebrate with?

How to Make a DIY Flower: 7 Sunflower Craft Ideas

There’s nothing like a lovely sunflower craft to ensure your home will be bright and summery even on cloudy August days. The best things about DIY flowers? They never die, AND you can make them out of nearly any crafting material. Do you some lovely yellow felt sitting around, or sunny crepe paper? Then you’re going to love this list of sunflower crafts from a group of bloggers we’re sure you’ll love even more.

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Summer Flower Craft Projects

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1. Clothespin Sunflower from About Family Crafts

2. Sunflower Pops Snack Recipe from The Decorated Cookie

3. Crepe Paper Sunflower from eHow

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4. Sunflower Photograph Bouquet from Simply Kelly Designs

5. Polymer Clay Sunflower Magnets from Polymer Clay Workshop

6. Felted Sunflower Pillow from Fab Your Bliss

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7. Boho Chic Sunflower Headband from The Chic Country Girl

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Which sunflower craft will YOU choose to brighten up your home with?