Bead Fob Jewelry
By Brini Maxwell
I just love white jewelry. It’s so fresh and clean and looks great at summer affairs. I got inspired to make some white jewelry using beads and headpins recently. The technique I use results in bead fobs, which can be massed together in different pieces. The two I’ve made are a charm bracelet (pictured above) and a massed pendant. Here’s how to do it, along with some other project ideas at the end.
To make the bead fobs:
Variety of beads
Pliers, needlenose and rounded
To make the jewelry:
Open-link chain and clasps and/or open-link chain bracelets
Directions for Bead Fob:
Step 1: Start by picking a bead. I chose a crystal drop. Slide it onto a head pin. In the case of using a drop you’ll want to bend the pin to accommodate the shape of the drop so it can swing free as shown above. Next you’ll want to stack the pin with other beads. I’ve used a few rounds and rondelle spacers.
Step 2: Next you’ll want to cut the head pin to about 3/8″. You don’t want to stack the pin so much that you don’t have at least 3/8″ of empty pin at the end because you’ll need to create a loop to attach the fob to your finished piece.
Step 3: To make the loop, grip the end of the pin with your round-nose pliers (A) and wrap the pin around the cone (B). It should resemble C. Then grip the loop with the pliers and bend the loop back to a centered position (D).
In order to make your piece lush you’ll want to make a variety of fobs. I’ve used showy crystal and glass beads, super long bugles, filigree beads, pailettes, and stacks of sequins to create different effects. Fobs can also be added to existing pieces of jewelry to add interest and a touch of personal style.
Directions for Jewelry:
Fob jewelry looks best with many fobs massed together.
Step 1: To begin your finished piece, take a jump ring and open it up with your needlenose pliers. Hold the ring with the pliers and slip the loop of a fob onto the ring. Then slip a link of your chain/bracelet onto the ring as well. Using the round-nose pliers to close the jump ring.
Step 2: Continue attaching fobs to your piece until you feel like it’s finished. The pendant is made by attaching several fobs to each chain link, which makes them overlap for a visual cacophony that is all about fringy glamor. The top is trimmed with single bead fobs that camouflage the mass of jump rings and loops.
For the bracelet, I made a few articulated fobs featuring 2 and 3 pins. You can make these by cutting off the head on your head pin and making loops on both ends of the stack of beads. Then attach the pins together. This effect is very glamorous, but not terribly practical, so for everyday wear you’ll probably want to make your bracelets with single pin fobs and save the articulated fobs for evening wear.
I’ve made these bracelets for years and they’re always well received as gifts and are fun to make for your self too.
Here are a few more ideas for fobs:
In the photo above, there is another crystal drop in yellow. The head pin above the drop has been bent into a hook to hold a sequin vertically. To the right of that fob you’ll see another that has a tassel of yellow beads below a larger white bead. The tassel is made by stacking pins with small beads, then stringing the stacked beads on another pin that has been wrapped around the base of your round-nose pliers to create a large loop. Bend that loop up to be perpendicular to the pin, then add a bead to the top and make your hanging loop at the top.
Here I’ve made a fob that looks like a musical instrument. It uses the extra ends of the headpins that have been cut off. Just make a loop on one end and use the pieces as fringe on a fob.
This one has a little fob made of an upturned bead cap. It’s made to resemble a fruit basket by stringing the cap, upside down on the pin, then stacking small beads on looped pins in the “basket.”
Fob jewelry is fun and easy to make. Enjoy the project!
About the Author:
Brini Maxwell is a domestic guru, television personality, and the face of the Felix Populi brand of home accessories. She lives in New York City.