Wire Wrapping is Not for Sissies

I poked a hole in my finger and bled whilst practising what appeared to be a simple wire-wrapping technique. Note to self: Do not practise with 20g steel wire. It’s much too stiff and horrendous to work with.

I didn’t realize that wire wrapping would be so difficult.

Even something as simple as making jump rings takes a lot of practise. After making dozens of jump rings and not having them close properly, I figured out that my cutters just weren’t ‘cutting it.’ Well, they actually were cutting it, but they weren’t creating perfectly straight cuts (I’m using half-hard sterling silver wire, which is quite soft.) I finally ponied up the money for a jeweler’s saw which I have yet to use. Hopefully the cuts will be much cleaner. Meantime, I’ve bought a bunch of sterling silver jump rings on Etsy.

I also found out I was closing the jump rings using the wrong technique (I was moving both of my hands.) Here is a helpful video on how to close a jump ring properly, which involves keeping one of your hands stationary.

Now, off to the basement to poke some more holes in my fingers. Arghhh!

Sea Glass Jewelry: Lessons I am Learning

I have been busy with the Dremel. I’ve drilled easily over 100 pieces now. What I have learned:

  1. Patience is a good thing. Do not force the bit. Take it easy. I broke four bits before realizing this. It might take you a bit longer to drill a piece, but your bits will last longer and that will save you money.
  2. Drilling is zen-like. Honestly, I enjoy drilling the glass. It takes my mind off of everything. I find it very calming.
  3. Jewelry supplies ain’t cheap!
  4. Searching for jewelry supplies is very time consuming! I scour Etsy, Ebay and Artbeads.com for jewelry supplies. Fun, but time consuming!
  5. Photographing sea glass jewelry is very time consuming! But it’s a riot!

Here are a few of my latest pieces:

Making Sea Glass Jewelry: The Pros and Cons

sea glass bottle rims

I’m a little afraid. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m third in line for a very large, and serpentine roller coaster ride. It’s that “there’s no turning back” feeling. That’s how I feel about making sea glass jewelry. Part of me is giddy with excitement, and part of me is feeling overwhelmed. ‘What in the hell am I getting myself into?’ is a manta I seem to be repeating a lot these days.

So to appease my anxious brain, I have decided to make a pros and cons list. This list pertains to me. Your pros, your cons might be vastly different than mine.


It’s creative. I am creative.

It will give me an excuse to collect more sea glass.

It’s a great way to showcase some of my sea glass beauties.

Sea glass jewelry is beautiful and I love wearing it.

It makes an awesome handmade gift.

It will give me more opportunies to hone my photography skills.

Brides will love it and I can sell it on my wedding website.

It doesn’t require a huge investment.

It’s a skill I can share with my daughters as they get older.

It’s hot with consumers and hasn’t yet reached the tipping point.



Competition is fierce.

It will be a steep learning curve.

I will have to invest more money to make it happen.

I have many interests and will have to get creative to make time for it. Just like the photo above, it will be a balancing act.

I’ve never make jewelry before.

It will take time and energy to market the jewelry.

My arts and crafts room is already jammed with materials. I will have to keep it organized.


Hmmm, more pros than cons. I guess it’s a go;)


Photo: Christina Friedrichsen

Sea Glass Jewelry for Beginners

Why sea glass jewelry?

Four months ago I hadn’t even considered making sea glass jewelry. Sure, I thought it was pretty and I wanted some of my own, but the idea of making it wasn’t on my radar screen. Not that it wasn’t appealing, it’s just that I already have 25 irons in the fire + two little girls that own my heart and a very good portion of my time.

But then my sea glass collection started to grow. One jar turned into two. Two turned into 12. And before long, there were 20 jars of sea glass in my living room. I knew there was no end in site to this ever-expanding collection. What am I going to do with all of this glass? Not collecting it anymore is out of the question. My weekend visits to the beach add to the joy factor in my life – exponentially. I’m pretty confident that the same is true for my husband and six-year old daughter. (My four-year old is still a bit young to fully appreciate sea glass, but she’s a good sport and I’m sure in another year or two she will be a full fledged junkie like her big sis.)

Then I went to the Sea Glass Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania in October – and presto mundo, I saw the light. Squeezing my way through the hoards of men and women buying sea glass jewelry was a real eye opener. People dig this stuff. I mean, I dig it too – in a big way, but who knew where were so many crazed fans?

I got back to the hotel and had a little heart to heart with my hubby.

“So we have this large collection of lovely sea glass and it’s just sitting in mason jars. Hmmm,” I said.

“Let’s go get a Dremel,” he said.

In half an hour we were on our way to Home Depot to pick up our drill, then off to Rona to get our drill press.

It sat idle in our basement until last night when we had our first drilling session.

Darin did the honours of drilling the first piece – because truthfully, I’m a bit frightened of power tools. It’s not something I am proud of. I consider myself  a wimp in this department, and I fully intend on overcoming my apprehension by drilling my first piece this evening. (Hopefully when I write my next post I won’t be wearing bandages.)

Anyway, it took Darin ten minutes to get through one piece of glass. He went very slowly, and I’m sure it won’t always take this long. (I hope not!)

The Youtube video captures the entire enthralling experience!!! (I realize that most people will probably get to the 30 second mark and get up for a bathroom break), but I wanted to capture the entire event in real time.

I am going to document every step of the way in my jewelry making journey. From learning to drill, to making my first jump ring. I hope some of you will come along for the ride – and if you’re new at this, learn along with me.

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