I love trying new (or new-to-me) jewelry and craft products. I'm always hopeful that there will be something new that will solve a problem or just delight me with its beauty. Here are four items related to metals that I recently purchased on my own:
1. Wax Polish for Metals by The Patina Queen
If you've ever bought something made with copper from me (a bookmark, keychain, pair of earrings), chances are that before I sent it to you I put a light coat of wax polish on the metal. Copper naturally darkens over time and having a light coat of polish helps slow down (but not stop) this process. It also gives the metal a very subtle sheen. I've been using Renaissance Wax, but once I used up my last container, I looked around for other options. I was intrigued by this odor-free option from Patina Queen since Renaissance Wax smells like gasoline to me. So far it works great! There is no scent at all and it seems to work in a similar way.
2. Metal Charms from Spare Parts by The Paper Studio
I bought these small gold-colored charm from Hobby Lobby in the scrapbooking section. The placement in the store suggests that they're not intended for jewelry, but I can never resist experimenting. On the plus side, these discs were inexpensive. (I bought them at $3.99 for 8, but the new package has 6. This is something I've noticed in this line of items; they are being repackaged with fewer items for the same price.) On the negative side, I used one as a zipper pull for a few months and you can see that the shiny gold color wears off from repeated use. I won't be using them for anything in my shop, but they might still be a good choice for you if you're making something that won't be touched constantly or if you like the weathered look. (I didn't try sealing the original metal with an acrylic sealant or paint, but that might be another option for some projects.)
3. 1928 Line from B'Sue Boutiques
These new pieces from the 1928 line at B'Sue Boutiques have a lot of amazing detail. The bezels look just as beautiful from the back as the front, which is definitely a great selling point for jewelry. They also have a nice heavy feel to them, not cheap or flimsy like other ornate pieces I've seen elsewhere. The look of the pieces is very romantic with lots of hearts, flowers, locks, keys, birds, and butterflies. Pictured here are my two of favorite metal finishes, raw pewter and rusted iron pewter. Old silver pewter and gingerbread pewter are also available.
4. Silver Embroidery Floss
I had a customer request a silver tassel for one of my custom bookmarks late last year. I bought a couple different silver threads to see what would work best. The metallic one in the front definitely photographs as more silvery, but it has a very rough, stiff texture that makes it stick out at odd angles when knotted. I'm using the remainder of the thread for my wholesale packaging since the stiffness seems to be a plus rather than a minus in that situation. The one in the back has a nice shine to it and feels silky soft, but it does not have the same silver look. It seems to be a common dilemma for me to find two similar products that only partially meet my needs. If you design metallic threads, there's room in the market for something that's both soft and sparkly!
What new products have you tried lately?