Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Sequins of Events

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on Dec 2nd 2012

The holidays are upon us, and for many folks this means it’s time to load up on sparkle and shine. 

Bring on the crystal, right? How else would you sparkle like the night sky? Yes, I too default to holiday jewelry with crystal. So this year, I’m thinking of going unleaded, and lightening up.

And I’ve found that sequins and their cousins spangles or paillettes are the way to go for light weight shimmer! My treasure boxes have offered up plenty of material for my personal challenge. (And plenty of material if I give up and head back to my crystal collection.)

Back in August we received some spiffy AB finish, top drilled plastic beads that behave like paillettes. At the time I used a few of them to embellish a bracelet finding, also from that month’s cache.

But I made sure to save the bulk of them, knowing immediately what I wanted to try, but not having the time to get it done.

I’ve been intrigued by scale work in the past, and I wanted to make my own non-chainmail scale necklace. I had to plan and draw the rows and spacing on my stitching fabric to make sure that I would get the discs to hang right.

I like that it shimmers like a stream flowing around the neck. What I don’t like is that I can see the edge. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it does make me wish I’d tried to use mesh (colored nylon “horsehair braid” comes to mind) instead of a solid backer.

For the strap, discs were added to the chain via jumprings. 2 beads per link gave me a density that I like. 

I used the same technique to produce these fairy wing earrings. They are ultra-light. The downside is that translucent fairy wings are a little hard to capture.

I did make my own chain for this one, since I wanted to have a mixture of vintage sequins that dangled freely from the link and sequins placed directly on the link to give the earrings more body.

If you’ve never ventured into the Buttons & Sew Ons portion of the site, I highly recommend it, even if you don’t consider yourself a sewer.

There are some v-shaped sequins that would make a terrific pair of earrings, or end of a lariat. They’d be spikey, as if you’d used dagger beads, but won’t stretch out your earlobes!

Fancy sequins merged with vintage bugle beads from a summer box to create a peyote stitch and fringe bracelet with maximum impact in minimum weight.

This bracelet worked up very quickly. It is 4 bugles wide, and the fringe varies in length. The edges are only one bugle long to build a plush foundation for the longer fringe towards the center.

While I was making this wintery sequined bib, I joked with the folks around me that it was actually a tiara for the Sugarplum Fairy. These sequins arrived in warmer weather, but it took the first frost to kick my plans into gear.

It is related in concept to the blue necklace, but here, the placement is more precise and I tackled what was at times some rather unforgiving positioning. I also tried a different substrate than my typical Ultrasuede; I didn’t want this necklace to get floppy. The front is slightly wider than the backer to form a permanent bend.

I hope that you are able to experiment with sequins this holiday season.

May your holidays be Merry…and