Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Rising Popularity of Unique Men’s Bracelets

Fashion has always been known to transcend boundaries and jewelry trends are following right in its chic footsteps. Gone are the days when jewelry was reserved for women and young girls. From pendants and earrings to watches and bracelets, men’s jewelry has come a long way.

Originally, men’s jewelry was used to represent religious beliefs, social positions or cultural passions. Now, the popularity of men’s jewelry, especially bracelets, has skyrocketed. Not only are men wearing bracelets on the runway and in magazines, real men have begun to accessorize with leather wrap bracelets, beaded bangles and more!

Design Do’s and Don’ts for Men’s Bracelets

Say “Yes” to Natural Materials – Many men still prefer a more rustic, natural look when it comes to jewelry. Dark wood beads or leather strapping is popular as it adds a glimmer of ruggedness to any look. Our Bulahan wood beads and Lillypilly Bayong wood sliders make great accents or focal points for any men’s bracelet. Combined with our flat or round braided cord, you can create a stylish men’s leather bracelet that can be worn every day with jeans or even with a nice suit. Leather is also durable and can withstand long-term wear, making it a perfect option for the practical, yet stylish, man.

Don’t Go Overboard with Beading – Beads can add beautiful texture to a bracelet, but it’s important not to overdo it. Bracelets with bead accents should remain tasteful and subdued. Bright colors should be used minimally. Instead, opt for wood beads or clay beads in earthy tones as these colors tend to be more popular among men.

Use Metal Minimally – If you followed our last blog, you’d know that minimalist designs are becoming increasingly popular for women. Simple, minimal designs for men are also soaring in popularity. Metal is a perfect material for creating minimalist-style men’s bracelets. Geometric or tribal metal sliders in antique brass, silver or copper look great against snakeskin or leather cords! These simple, yet stylish designs are extremely popular with younger men, but that doesn’t mean more mature men can’t jump on the bandwagon!

Now that the holidays are right around the corner, you can give the perfect gift by purchasing one of our premade designs or creating a custom bracelet of your own. Check out some of our men’s design ideas to find out how to make one for the man in your life. Our tutorials are very easy to follow and can help you design something amazing!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trend Report: Delicate and Minimalist Jewelry

Delicate jewelry first hit the fashion world over two years ago, but shows no signs of slowing down!  Seen in stores from Nordstrom to Urban Outfitters, delicate jewelry designs can be simple and elegant, worn alone, or layered with other complementary pieces.

But what defines “delicate jewelry” and how is it different than “minimalist jewelry?” Delicate jewelry is frequently minimalist, using simple, small focal points and fine lines. For instance, the leather necklace shown here, “Turtle Voice,” is certainly a minimalist design, but not necessarily delicate.  On the other hand, the “All the Angles” is both minimalist and delicate necklace with its simple geometric lines and fine chain.

As far as trends go, delicate designs can be adapted for everyday wear with fine chains and a small pendant or charm.  Bars worn horizontally continue to be popular, along with geometric focal points. Short necklaces like this make great pieces that can be worn with any outfit.
If you’re looking for something that makes more of a statement, long pendants or geometry necklaces are the way to go. Long necklaces can be worn singly or in multiples for a beautiful layered look. However, be careful how you mix longer necklaces! You don’t want to over-complicate the look. Instead, try creating a tiered effect by selecting necklaces at different lengths. If this is too much effort, look for one necklace with individual strands from 18 to 30+ inches that are already connected – this takes all the guesswork out of layering!

The trends for delicate earrings and bracelets align similarly with necklaces. Most earring or bracelet designs are made from a few fine-lined components and thin chains or strands of leather. Quite often, long earrings will be comprised of one or two components.  Bracelets will typically be designed using a single strand of chain and maybe incorporate a single link, bead, gem or charm.

Delicate geometry earringsWhile these trendy designs can come at a hefty price, making your own delicate jewelry can be more affordable and customizable. All you have to do is add the components you like and tailor the length to your size and taste.  Antelope Beads has a great assortment of components for creating your own jewelry, including our new Designer Components series in brushed gold and silver. Combined with fine chains, leather options (including our new 3mm flat leather!) and delicate charms, the possibilities are limitless!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Hottest Jewelry Trends for Fall 2016

Hooray for fall! Now that summer is gone, it’s time to break out the flannel, warm blankets, boots and, of course, your fall jewelry. The beauty and colors of fall have influenced some new trends this season. From pearls and dangling, duster earrings to boho necklaces, we’ll reveal the most popular jewelry trends this fall!

Pearls are back in a big way.
For many years, pearls remained a staple for conservative fashion enthusiasts and young girls, but much has changed. As Jackie Kennedy once said, “Pearls are always appropriate.” And let’s face it, she’s right. Pearls are gorgeous and versatile because they can be worn every day or saved for dressier occasions. With our Kazuri Round Mother of Pearl beads, you can create gorgeous, pearly pieces in a variety of colors that will last a lifetime.

Antelope Beads Convertible Boho Dreamcatcher Anklet or Bracelet
Earthy, boho designs are still staples. Jewelry with Earthy tones and Bohemian style accents are still popular for fall. Tassels, leather cords and wood beads in deep red, green, brown and orange hues complement the colors of the season perfectly. If you know someone with a free spirit or you define your style as fun, flirty and carefree, boho jewelry is the way to go.

Long dangle earrings are IN. When we say long earrings are in, we mean earrings that hang long enough to nearly brush your shoulders. Also called “duster earrings,” these dangle earrings are designed to be a bit more elegant. With a nice up do, these earrings can make beautiful statement pieces that attract the eye. Want to make one of your own? Try adding some tassels or drop pendants to add some length to your earring design.

Antelope Beads Charm Tassel NecklaceCharming designs are widely desired. Who doesn’t love charms? At Antelope Beads, we use charms in a wide variety of our jewelry creations. From different animals and symbols to letters, numbers and birthstones, charms are a decorative way of expressing yourself. Not to mention, they look amazing on bracelets, necklaces, anklets and earrings. This fall, don’t be afraid to flaunt your charm jewelry. The best thing about charms is that they can also be worn during holidays! Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas, charms can be used to create beautiful conversation pieces.

Step aside lariats, chokers are making a comeback. Choker necklaces were very popular in the 90s, but have recently made a triumphant return. The great thing about chokers is that they can be layered with longer necklaces to add depth to a particular look. They can be designed more simply or more ornate depending on the look you want to achieve. Making a custom choker can be easy! All you need is some round leather cord or a short chain to create a trendy necklace that can be worn daily.

Which trend will you be wearing this fall? With these five, it’s hard to pick our favorite trend for the season! No matter what you want to make, Antelope Beads is happy to provide all of your components on our site. Happy designing!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Enter Our $75 Giveaway - Nunn Design Findings

Giveaway winner will be announced on Tues, Oct. 11th
Click Pics Below To Shop The New Decorative Nunn Design Products
Nunn Mini Charms
Nunn Toggles

Nunn Jump Rings

Monday, September 12, 2016

BOHO Body Jewelry - Be On Trend With Your Jewelry Designs!

BOHO Traveler designed by Melody & Elaine

Body Jewelry – literally means anything that is worn on or adorns the body, right? It can also mean any jewelry physically attached to a body part, like a belly ring.  Most of us think of jewelry as falling into four major categories – necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings.  Therefore, we will take the liberty of defining  “body jewelry” loosely as any jewelry that does not fall into these three standard categories.

The BOHO Traveler Can be worn as a Anklet or Necklace

Many cultures across the world would not find these to be standard categories at all. Women and girls in India commonly wear ankle bracelets with or without toe rings (footless sandals) – these are also known as “payal,” a term for an Indian anklet.  Egyptian women also frequently wore ankle bracelets. 

Arm cuffs have made appearances in Asia, Africa, and across the Americas.  A cuff is often thought of a rigid band fitting over the wrist or arm.  Both men and women in ancient cultures wore cuffs of a wide variety of designs and widths.  


They might have social significance – in some cultures, only royalty, warriors, or other important people might be able to wear them.  In any case, a wide cuff bracelet or an arm cuff is most definitely a statement piece – plan your outfit around the cuff rather than seeing it as a mere accessory!

The history of thong bracelets is more obscure, possibly Indian.  These are also known as “slave bracelets” (possibly going back to jewelry work by Byzantine harem slaves) but terms like “handflowers” or “Hath Panja” bracelets (meaning hand and grouping of five) are better terms in our thinking!  These can be elegant, funky, or boho in design and is a fun alternative to traditional bracelets.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summery Sea Glass Creations

The temperatures are going up around the United States, which means we’re right in the thick of summer! It’s the perfect time of the year to cool off, relax and get a little bit of sun in the process. A new beaded necklace completes the package, and our sea glass beads are just the trick.

While our new sea glass beads section includes organic-shaped pieces that go well with any design, we’re particularly fond of our ocean-themed beads. Sea shells and sand dollars remind us of sticking our toes in the cool sand, and their sea glass counterparts come in so many fun colors and sizes. The great thing about sea glass is its opaque look stands out perfectly against metals and white pieces. Imagine adding a sea foam sea glass bead to a pendant of white pearls. Beautiful! Our starfish necklace borrows from that idea but bunches sea foam beads around the point of an antique-silver-finish starfish component from Dorabeth Designs. It’s just the right touch of summer color that invokes a shimmering, shallow beachfront.

Whether you’re designing something ocean- and beach-themed or just looking for a few splashes of bright color to welcome in the warm weather, cultured sea glass beads fit the bill. What will you design this summer?

With us, you’ll find one of the largest selections of sea glass available online. With over 60 styles, 40 colors and 1,000 beads to choose from, you’re bound to find that perfect piece to complete your design. Take a look at our selection of sea glass beads here and pick some ocean-themed beads from this list. If you want some beautiful inspiration for your summery sea glass creations, be sure to head over to our Pinterest page and look at some of the beautiful designs people have created.

Ready to show off one of your summer bead necklaces? Share a photo with us on social media or attach it in a comment below! If you need more encouragement to start that sea glass necklace project, we’ve got a great discount code to save 10% off a $25+ order for the summer! Start saving and creating today!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Introducing Claycult Cambodia Beads

We’ve always supported organizations that align with our Women Helping Women mission, and we’re excited to highlight another company! Claycult Cambodia’s objective is to provide sustainable, long-term employment in a safe working environment while also providing education and training to its staff members and their families. Similar to other companies such as Kazuri, Claycult Cambodia employs mostly women and caters to its staff’s family and educational obligations. It even outsources materials to employees who can’t come to the workshop, builds its weekly hours schedule around what’s most flexible for the staff, and offers a free home-cooked lunch every day. Not only do staff members have a comfortable and supportive working environment, but they are taught every aspect of the business from production to painting to finishing to sales.

Tree of Serenity necklace
These clay beads from Cambodia are unlike anything we’ve offered at Antelope Beads before. Every step of the bead-making process is done by hand, even the collection and production of the clay! All of the bead designs are inspired by Cambodia’s rich Khmer culture and history, including imagery pulled directly from the Angkor temples. It’s a unique way for the young staff members to connect to their past and respect their roots while tapping into a creative side of themselves they may have never known before.

We’re so excited and proud to be able to offer these beautiful Claycult Cambodia beads alongside products from our other socially responsible vendors, and we just know you’ll love including these bright and colorful designs in your next piece of jewelry. You can learn more about Claycult Cambodia and its mission by watching a video here, and don’t forget to share some of your designs with us that feature Claycult!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Our 10th Anniversary: How We Got Here & Why

May marks Antelope Beads’ 10th anniversary! While we’re excited to celebrate this milestone with all of our friends and customers, we thought it an appropriate time to look back at how we got started and why we do what we do.

"The Bracelet"
Just looking for something to do on a day off in 2005, founder Laura Bittner made a trip to a bead store with family. On that day in 2005, she left the store having fallen in love with beads and jewelry making. She began taking jewelry making classes and experimenting with materials such as wire. Her large gauge wire creations required large-holed beads, and that’s when Laura discovered Kazuri beads and created “The Bracelet” that got her started with artisan beads. Small and colorful, Kazuri beads are created by mostly single mothers in Kenya who sustain and provide for their families through their jobs. It was the powerful story of Kazuri that gave Laura an idea.

She began seeking out artisan, handmade beads for her projects that had a story and a purpose behind them. Antelope Beads is now built around the idea of ethically and responsibly sourced beads that provide communities and individuals with a source of creativity, independence and income. What started with Kazuri expanded to other bead groups such as Samunnat, which offers beads made by Nepalese women who have escaped domestic violence as well as Golem Design Studios from Bulgaria and their newest artisan find, Claycult from Cambodia, launching in late May. The selection of handmade beads has now extended to include several U.S. based independent artists like Dorabeth Designs, C-Koop, Clay River Designs, Urban Raku and many more. “I love beads that have a story and have been created and shaped by hand,” says Laura. “I view Antelope Beads as part of a ‘global circle’ of women empowering women and artists supporting one another’s art. When you buy from us, you also help support the artists who create those beads. Their beautiful products help you to explore and develop your own creative talents, as do the videos we create to pass along the gift of beading knowledge and techniques.”

Some of Antelope Beads' inventory!
What started as a small business crammed into her 10’x10’ office in her house has expanded to a 1,400-square foot space filled with all sorts of beads and jewelry components. Laura’s enlisted the help of family and friends to expand Antelope Beads’ reach, with her parents (Bob and Carolyn) being a big part of the business since the beginning doing just about anything to help the business grow, her brother, Brian, handling marketing efforts and sister-in-law Jill working shows and spreading the word with her fun jewelry parties. The extended “work family” includes Elaine Teevens who passionately creates all sorts of beautiful jewelry samples and video tutorials and has a deep knowledge and limitless creativity when it comes to all things beads.  Rounding out the team are long time members Kathy Siddall and Carrie Walker who do an amazing job keeping orders filled,  inventory under control, and providing outstanding customer support.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped make Antelope Beads what it is today, from the artists who make beautiful products that inspire us all, to all our customers whose continued support enables us to bring these beautiful beads to market. To everyone who has played a role in helping us in our first decade in business: Thank you!” - Laura

Laura, Antelope Beads' founder

Friday, April 8, 2016

How to Make an Infinity Coil Knot Bracelet

A handmade bracelet is a great look on anyone, especially when you can make it yourself. A stylish Infinity Bracelet uses a simple coil knot for design and it’s easy enough to make on your own. First, however, you must know how to make the coil knot itself. Follow our simple instructions below to get started!

The Coil Knot

Using a 10mm flat leather strip, a 2mm rounded leather strip, scissors and glue, we will practice making the coil knot which is essential in creating a trendy Infinity Bracelet.

  1. Using the 2mm strip, fold the end towards the back to make a little loop at the top about 1.5 inches long. 
  2. Lay this loop across the back of the base piece, which is your 10mm strip.
  3. Holding the loop in place, take the longer end of the 2mm strip and begin coiling around both pieces of leather. 
  4. Work your way up the loop, hiding it behind the coil (be sure the coils are touching each other and are not too spaced out).
  5. When you have about two inches left, thread the tail of the 2mm strip through the loop.
  6. Grab both tails of the strip and pull, tightening the loop altogether. 
  7. Use the scissors the cut the end pieces off the knot, shove the nub underneath the coil and glue it closed.

Great! Now you know how to perform the coil knot. This is essential is creating a handcrafted Infinity Bracelet, so take your time and practice.

The Infinity Bracelet

To complete this bracelet, you’ll need:

  • 14 inches of 5mm suede 
  • 14-inch pieces of 1.5mm natural leather (2) 
  • Bracelet clasps (2)
  • 8mm jump rings (2)
  • Bracelet slide
  • Optional: charms and beads

     suede coil knot bracelet
  1. Add the 8mm jump rings to your bracelet clasps and set one aside. 
  2. Attach one of the clasps to the suede about 1/3 of the way down.
  3. Grab both ends of the suede, hold them together and add the slide to both ends. Move the slide down to the middle so that it creates an even amount of loop and loose ends on both sides. 
  4. Take one loose end and apply the second bracelet clasp, moving it down about 2 inches. 
  5. Next, hold both loose ends and glue to the two together at their tips. After you have applied the glue, hold tightly for a few seconds.  
  6. Glue that section to the adjacent strip of leather, leaving the bracelet clasp in a tiny loop at the end by itself. 

Great! You have completed the first part of the Infinity Bracelet. Next, you will use the coil knot from earlier. If you need a refresher, check out this helpful video.

  1. Take one of your natural leather strips and begin the coil knot technique. Make a loop at the top of the strip, lay it across the base (the double loop of suede) and begin coiling.
  2. While you’re wrapping, be sure to completely cover the glued section.
  3. Put the tail through the loop, pull until the knot tightens and push the knot underneath the wrap.
  4. Once completed, push the other bracelet clasp up so that it is on the opposite side of the one you’ve been working next to. 
  5. Coil wrap the other side of the main bracelet now (be sure to coil the same number of times as you did on the first side).
  6. Loop, cut and tuck in this side as well, covering any glued suede. 
  7. Glue the tucked knots and be careful not to get any glue on the suede bracelet. 
  8. Finally, adjust the slide to the middle of the bracelet and add any charms you’d like!

After you connect both bracelet claps together, you have yourself a one-of-a-kind Infinity Bracelet! For more practice, watch our instructional video here and reach out to Antelope Beads with any other questions. Want to make the suede bracelet shown above? Click here to buy all the components for it!

Do you have tips or tricks for using coil knots? Share them with us below!

Monday, March 14, 2016

DIY Bracelets for Father's Day

It can be hard to know what to give the man in your life when it comes to birthdays or holidays. Some people are so particular about what they wear and what they like! It can be especially tricky when shopping for your dad. If you’re stumped when it comes to Father’s Day gift ideas, we have you covered! Here are just a few ideas for homemade men’s leather bracelets that he’s sure to love.

Lots of the designs we’ve put together focus on more neutral and natural colors so they don’t draw a lot of attention away from the outfit. This basic bracelet, for example, includes just one brass slider and a brass clasp on a length of Greek Regaliz™ oval cord. It’s a great design for anyone who is into a minimalist, modern look. You could even take the slider off and just use the clasps for a really basic style! This is a great design option if you’re just getting started with beading and you’re not comfortable trying some more advanced, difficult techniques.

Minimalist design is nice for the more conservative dresser, but what if you want to try something a bit more visually striking? Try attaching wooden beads vertically throughout your creation! This woven wrap bracelet strings Bayong block beads in a row between a length of cord so the bracelet has more texture and a unique style. You can replace the block beads with any style of bead in any color, but keep in mind that the larger the bead, the more wax cord you’ll need to loop through the beads. This one takes a little bit of patience and practice, but once you get the hang of the technique, it opens up a door to all sorts of new jewelry designs. Be sure to check out our YouTube video on making woven bracelets for some pointers.

For the guy that likes flashy, eye-catching accessories, our Elephant Walk bracelet would be a great design to mimic. A great design for young dads and free spirits, the style basically combines multiple bracelet styles into one piece that combines different cords, textures and colors. This type of design definitely takes some practice, so we recommend clicking the image to review all the various steps and links to associated videos.

There are plenty of gifts for Father’s Day available online, but why not give him something more personal? Using one of our templates as a guide, you’ll be making fun and unique men’s leather bracelets he’ll want to wear with every outfit! Check out our men's jewelry inspirations section for some great designs, and be sure to share your ideas and comments with us below!

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Spotlight on Jackfruit Wood Beads

Jackfruit trees are native to areas in South and Southeast Asia and are also known as Nangka. Their beautiful wood is a warm, bright shade of yellow that is used for everything from beads to furniture. We've ethically sourced and harvested this beautiful wood to give you some more natural options for your designs. Its bright, natural shade makes it an especially popular choice for beading enthusiasts and crafters, and we definitely agree!
 jackfruit bead earrings

One thing we love about the different Jackfruit beads we have available is their versatility to be incorporated into different styles of jewelry. Take these earrings, for example. The elongated design of the beads makes them a perfect choice as the focal point of dangle earrings. They could also be used to space out smaller components on a bracelet and save some money in the process.

Beads made of Jackfruit work well for simple, rustic bracelet designs as well. In this cork cord bracelet, you can see how a flat cord Jackfruit bead has been used with round cord to act as the centerpiece for the design. To help offset the slider bead and draw the eye to it, a few tube beads have been added on either side with O-rings to keep them in place.

 jackfruit bead bracelet
Both of these designs are great for accenting a colorful outfit, but they’re just the beginning of what you can do with Jackfruit beads. If you’re looking to welcome warmer weather with some bright, natural colors in your designs, head on over to Antelope Beads for all of your wooden Jackfruit beading supplies! Don’t forget to share your creations with us on Facebook. We love seeing what you come up with!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Spotlight on Tiger Ebony Wood Beads

Found in several different types of Filipino trees, Tiger Ebony is a dense, hard bead that’s very dark in color. We love it because it has a polished finish, can be black, brown or a mixture of both and it’s a great choice for adding a dark, earthy element to your design. If you’re struggling to figure out how to incorporate Bulahan Tiger Ebony beads into your bracelet or necklace, we’ve got some ideas for you!

tiger ebony necklaceUse Tiger Ebony beads to break up sections of brighter color as we’ve done with this You Love This Wood Heishi bead necklace. The rich brown tones of the Tiger Ebony aren’t meant to overpower or draw attention, they simply act as a means of drawing attention to the brighter brown accents and flattering the neckline. Neutral colors are great at doing that!

Wooden Tiger Ebony beads are so striking they can be the focal point of a design, as shown here in the Night Leopard suede bracelet design we’ve created. Just one large-holed tube slider bead breaks up the pattern of the leopard cord and adds a touch of simplistic design to the bracelet. Quick and easy!
tiger ebony bracelet
They’re also a great bead choice when you want a design that resembles a charm bracelet with standard metal charms. Our Chocolate Drops cork cord bracelet features riveted Tiger Ebony beads spaced evenly throughout the design and smaller round beads bunched together on jump rings to get that dangling effect. Pair it with an autumn-colored outfit that’s orange, green or brown and you’ve got a great accent piece that’s one of a kind.
tiger ebony charm bracelet
Tiger Ebony wooden beads add that rich, dark color to a design while maintaining a natural feel and look to them. These are just a few ways to use them, but the options are almost limitless. What sort of uses have you found for Tiger Ebony wood beads? Let us know in the comments below or share your creations with us on Facebook!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Spotlight on Bleached White Wood Beads

These beautiful White Wood beads are ethically harvested from wild trees in the Philippines. Naturally an off-white color, they’ve been bleached to a pristine, bright white using a pickling or vinegar solution. They have an almost matte white finish but the natural imperfections and patterns in the wood can still be seen if you look closely. The end result of the bleaching process is a beautiful Bulahan White Wood bead that’s perfect for designing a clean and elegant piece of jewelry.

bleached round white wood beadsOur 12mm round beads are perfect for mimicking a strand of pearls without the cost. One strand is plenty of beads for a simple bracelet or a small necklace, but you can break the pattern up a bit with tube beads. Each tube is 4x4mm in size and will contour nicely against the smooth, round finish of the spherical white beads. These White Wood beads are also great for breaking up sets of more colorful beads. Our Mandala Sand Painting bracelet is a great example of injecting some pure, classic white into a cool blue design piece.

bleached white wood tube beadsEach cut of bleached white wooden beads is available in a 16” strand which is perfect for most jewelry projects on its own, but also provides you with enough material to incorporate into other pieces. The gauge of the bead holes ranges from 0.5mm up to around 3mm in size, giving you plenty of options to match these beautiful White Wood beads with different cord styles. With strands costing $15 or less, adding Bulahan White Wood to your design doesn’t break the bank, either!

What sort of designs have you been creating with our bleached White Wood beads? Share your pieces in the comments below or on our social media channels!