Sticky Situation: Which Glue Is Best for Your Jewelry Project?

Most of us are familiar with the tried-and-true glues from our childhoods: Elmer’s Glue-All (great for creating “fake skin” on your hands that you can peel off once it’s dry to freak out your friends), Krazy Glue (instantly bonds everything, including fingertips!), Glue Stick (boring, but functional), and Blue Paste (are the Blue Door Bead gals the only kids who DIDN’T eat this stuff?).

However, there is a full range of glues on the market that are much better suited for jewelry projects. Below are some of our lessons learned & helpful facts about the glues we carry, as well as the ideal times to use them:

Diamond Glaze

An easy, inexpensive glaze that results in a clear, glossy finish. Drying time is one hour to overnight, depending on the thickness of the application. It has a blue tint when wet, but dries clear. You can imbed objects easily to achieve collage-type effects in bezel settings, and it does not need UV light to cure! Keep in mind that it will drip off metal blanks without edges. Can be applied directly over laser jet images, acid-free paper (like scrapbook paper) and images made from colored pencils, permanent markers and alcohol inks; no sealant needed. Great for scrapbookers & beaders alike! Please be aware that Diamond Glaze does not dry to a glass-like hardness and it is not waterproof.

E-6000

A thick, industrial strength adhesive that forms a permanent bond. It is flexible, paintable, waterproof, washer-dryer safe, photo-safe and non-flammable. It can be used on fabric, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, and more! The resulting bond also acts as a shock absorber; if you drop your glued item, it is less likely to pop apart upon impact if you used E-6000. We recommend applying E-6000 with a toothpick, as it comes out very thick. Dried E-6000 has the consistency of rubber cement and excess glue that you find after drying can be easily removed with a toothpick. Great for gluing large beads and stones into settings, gluing bails onto the back of cabochons, or embellishing hair clips with beads/buttons/etc.

Hypo-Cement

Drying time is about 10 minutes. It works for all types of non-porous bonding, such as setting small cabochons into a bezel or gluing glass beads together. Ideal for sealing final knots when making a knotted necklace or bracelet, gluing the end knot of a stretchy bracelet, or adding an extra bit of security to a crimp end when making feather earrings (a thin coat of glue on the “tabs” of the fold-over crimps works great) . The tube has a pinpoint applicator that makes it possible to do precision gluing. When storing, ensure the needle has slid in correctly; if not closed properly, Hypo-Cement will dry around the tip & make it difficult to open next time.

Special “T”

It has a viscosity similar to honey, a greater gap-filling ability and a longer positioning time than some other glues. The cure time is approximately 50-60 seconds.  Recommended for gluing stones into settings or gluing beads onto illusion cord for a “floating”-style necklace. Store unopened bottles in the freezer to extend shelf life. Bottles which have been opened will experience a shorter shelf life if put into cold storage.

Zap-A-Gap

Zap-A-Gap bonds almost immediately. It fills in small cracks and gaps between beads and can be used on metal, leather, rubber & more. Recommended for securing end caps (beads with a hole only on one side) to Memory Wire.

Zap Jewelry Gel

The thickest ZAP glue of all – great for filling gaps. The tube comes with a long tapered tip allowing precise application. Jewelry-makers like the high strength and the ability to apply just the right amount. Recommended for securing Kumihimo findings.

We hope you now have a better understanding of how helpful specific glues can be for your jewelry pprojects. Using glue that is appropriate for your project can make the difference between a long-lasting piece and one that comes apart the first time you wear it. Don’t become the victim of a failed jewelry project. Now go forth and glue with confidence, and bead boldly!

All glue product photos courtesy of http://www.helby.com.
Bezel jewelry photo courtesy of Blue Door Beads.
Button hair clip photo courtesy of http://www.thepleatedpoppy.com.
Feather earring photo courtesy of http://www.vintaj.com.
Floating necklace photo courtesy of http://www.serendipitytiaras.com.
Memory wire bracelet & ring photo courtesy of http://www.cc-craft.co.uk.
Memory wire end cap photo courtesy of http://www.dickblick.com.
Kumihimo end cap photo courtesy of http://www.etsy.com/shop/LythaStudios.
Kumihimo braid photo courtesy of http://www.meganraley.blogspot.com.

Lovely Labradorite & Other Meaningful Stones

We don’t know about you, but we think it’s great when a piece of jewelry has a story behind it. Sometimes, the piece has been passed down from generation to generation, while other times it is a new piece created to commemorate an important event.

Whether your jewelry is old or new, was a gift or is something you made for yourself, we believe every item of jewelry has special meaning. In fact, if your jewelry is made of gemstones, it may have a deeper meaning than you realize. It is believed that certain gemstones posses certain qualities and/or healing properties. Although there is no scientific proof that any one stone can heal any given ailment, we believe that everyone heals in different ways. If certain gemstones help individuals physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, more power to ’em!

Below are just a few of our favorite gems, as well as their places of origins and popular healing properties.

AgateDifferent types can be found in different countries throughout the world.
Agate gemstones are very good for all aspects of money including acquiring it, keeping it by protecting it, and your generosity in sharing it.


Amazonite – USA, Madagascar, Russia
This gemstone inspires truth, sincerity, honor, courage, communication, integrity, and trust.

Amethyst – Africa, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Russia and USA
Relieves tension when you’re feeling stressed and keeps evil away from your home. Sleep with a piece of amethyst under your pillow to help with insomnia & ward off nightmares. Amethyst is one of the most popular healing stones worldwide.

Carnelian  California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Idaho in the USA; parts of Africa, Australia, Brazil, and India.
Carnelian is known as the self esteem gemstone because it is such a powerful motivator. It helps you to overcome the various parts of your personality that may be holding you back, allowing you to claim your destiny.

LabradoriteIt gets its name from where it was first found: Labrador, Canada. Can also be found in Africa, Australia, Finland, India, Madagascar, Newfoundland, New South Wales, Romania, Russia and Scandinavia.
Labradorite helps to remove negativity for people and their immediate environment. It helps you to find the ability to think clearly in any situation, and teaches you the ability to work in balance and harmony with others.

LapisAfghanistan, The Andes, Canada, Chile, India, Pakistan and Russia. In the USA, the most prolific mines are found in California & Colorado.
For people around the world, lapis lazuli is considered a stone of truth and friendship. The blue stone is reputed to promote harmony in relationships. Also, if you need help in finding a career or life path, try mediating with a lapis stone, or wear jewelry with lapis lazuli in it.

Rose Quartz – Brazil
Probably the most widely believed rose quartz property is that it is the stone of love and marriage. Keep your marriage spicy by keeping a rose quartz gemstone under your pillow.
During times of stress or any time emotions get out of control, use a rose quartz stone to bring calm and peaceful energies to the situation. Makes a great stone to be kept in businesses where there tends to be a lot of stress, such as the doctor’s or dentist’s office where its soothing energies can help ease patients’ tensions.

Smoky Quartz – Scotland
Smoky Quartz helps to calm behavior that others would categorize as headstrong or willful. It gently balances and brings harmony into one’s life and is the perfect gemstone to help calm the thinking mind that tends to interfere with meditation.

Strands of all of these gemstone beads are available at Blue Door Beads, so come on by today to make your own custom-designed earrings, necklace, or bracelet and bring a bit more healing energy into your life!

Information courtesy of http://gemstone-dictionary.com
Photos 1-3 and 7 courtesy of rocktumbler.com
Photo 4 courtesy of geology.com
Photo 5 courtesy of mineraltreasures.com
Photo 6 courtesy of gemselect.com

The Seasons, They Are A-Changing

In case you didn’t know, Blue Door Beads shares a building and storefront with a great book store called Spectator Books. (Can you think of a more perfect combination?! It’s a match made in heaven!) Needless to say, it’s easy to spend many a lunch break perusing the shelves at Spectator, and it was during one of our more recent perusals through the DIY/craft/sewing/fashion section we were reminded of this gem:

We know what you’re probably thinking: color analysis is a bit, well…dated. True, this puppy was published back in 1987, and the hairstyles alone will make you feel as though you’ve entered a time warp (Dorothy Hamill hairdo, anyone?). However, the core message of this tome was enough to give us pause. Since summer is gradually coming to a close, we thought it would be interesting to explore color “seasons” as it relates to jewelry.

If you are not familiar with the concept of color analysis, here is a simple explanation: using a color guide, an individual can determine what “season” best fits their skintone and hair color. Once he or she has determined whether they are a Fall, Spring, Summer or Winter, they can then build their wardrobe and beauty regimen around their seasonal assignment so as to “look great and feel fabulous” (as Color Me Beautiful proudly declares on its cover). While we wouldn’t go so far as to say you need a wardrobe overhaul, it probably couldn’t hurt to spice up your jewelry a bit, right?

The Chic Fashionista is a fun website that outlines a wide range of features (hair color, eye color, skintone, etc.) to consider when determining your “season.” It may take a while for you to read through all of the different possibilities and profiles, but once you have, it’s fairly easy to narrow your “season” down.

We took a bit to determine our “seasons,” as well as those of some popular celebrities (who may end up working here on the weekends, you never know!), and created the following jewelry designs based on the colors within our “seasonal” profiles.

Sara: Warm Clear Spring

Sara’s golden hair and light hazel eyes, combined with the warm undertones to her skin, are brought out best by a Spring palette. The royal blue of the shirt she is wearing in this photo, as well as the bright turquoise, red-orange and lime green beads she used in her necklace, are all beautifully vibrant hues that complement her coloring.

Lydia: Cool Deep Winter

Lydia’s dark brown hair, dark hazel eyes, and pale ivory skin puts her in the Winter season. Vibrant, cheerful colors (lemon yellow, cherry red, kelly green) brighten up her skin tone, but deep jewel tones (amethyst purple, forest green, and medium-to-dark blue, as in the necklace pictured below) are the colors that make the most elegant contrast with her fair complexion.

Briana: Cool Medium Summer

Briana has cool coloring both in her eyes (gray blue) and in her hair (medium ash brown), which puts her in the Summer season. Variations of blue and purple, such as periwinkle, bring out the blue in Briana’s eyes, and shades of green, such as the tumbled sea glass in Briana’s necklace, or the aqua-colored chrysoprase in the earrings pictured, are a nice contrast to both her skin tone and hair color.

Michelle Obama (First Lady of the United States): Warm Deep Autumn

Michelle has a beautiful chocolate skin tone, which contrasts nicely with her jet black hair and her deep, dark eyes, placing her in the Autumn season. Earth tones look great on Michelle, but so do bright colors, such as lime green, sky blue, or the bright yellow of her blouse. During her down time, we like to think she might enjoy wearing the earthtone-colored “Summer Roadtrip” necklace from Vintaj, a perfect homage to her travels worldwide as the FLOTUS!

Sofia Vergara (Columbian actress, stars in “Modern Family”): Warm Deep Autumn

Although Sofia’s coloring is different from Gabby’s, she, too, is a Warm Deep Autumn thanks to her dark brown hair and the golden undertones to her skin. Sofia knows what colors look best on her, and has worn many gorgeous gowns in a variety of colors, including pale peach, dark green, and royal blue, all of which give her amazing golden skin a healthy glow. We believe the “Storybook” necklace from Vintaj would look great on her, thanks to the deep purples, fun splashes of yellow, and its overall bold design, which suits her personality!

Zhang Ziyi (Chinese actress, stars in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”): Cool Deep Winter

If you do a Google search for images of Zhang Ziyi, you will find many pictures of her in black. A true jet black looks amazing on Zhang, since it not only matches her rich black hair, but also plays up her porcelain skin, a lovely combination that is typical of a Cool Deep Winter. However, we also enjoyed the pictures we found of her in fuschia, cherry red, and bright blue. Perhaps she’d enjoy wearing the brightly-hued “Woodland Faerie” necklace from Vintaj, which would give her a chance to play with a cheerful & vibrant color palette.

We hope you have enjoyed our journey through the “seasons,” and we also hope this blog inspires you to explore new color options with your jewelry! Colors are great mood-boosters, and whether the change is big or small, it’s amazing what a splash of a different color can do for your outfit, your attitude, and your outlook on life. Bead boldly!