September 9, 2014

Find Your Muse : Fall Colors Delight

Each time the seasons shift, the need for fresh inspiration is necessary; whether that comes from the change in outdoor scenery, or the glamorous pages of fall fashion magazines, fall is a time to feel inspired! I feel lucky to work for a jewelry supply company that carriers such a wide variety of leather for jewelry, gemstones, silk cord, tassels for jewelry and silver charms. With so  many versatile jewelry supplies at my fingertips, adding my latest inspiration into my jewelry designs is a breeze!


Top image: Gunmetal Pig Suede Leather (UL502), Cobalt 1 cm Deer Hide Leather (UL811), Wine 1 cm Deer Hide Leather (UL812). Cotton tassels in Paprika (D700), Heather Ochre (D707) and Olive (D706).
Bottom Left: Assorted Bundle of Silk Cord in Twilight (SK107).
Bottom Right:   3 mm Carnelian Faceted Gemstone Beads (K280CA), 4 mm Pyrite Faceted Gemstone Beads (K281PY) and 3 mm Blue Apatite Faceted Gemstone Beads (K284AE)

Each year Pantone releases their color choices for every season. This Fall’s color report does not disappoint. A delicate mix of pinks, yellow, cool neutrals and rich blues. These colors are easy to introduce into your fall wardrobe and jewelry.

Pantone’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, had this to say about the fall palette: “This is a season of untypical colors—more reflective of the imagination and ingenuity, which makes for an artful collection of colors and combinations not bound by the usual hues for fall. There is a feminine mystique that is reflected throughout the palette, inspired by the increasing need for women everywhere to create an individual imprint.”


Feeling inspired yet?  If your fashion sense isn’t as bold as some of these colors you can always add a pop of color to your existing jewelry or clothing. Introducing silk, leather, tassels or glittery gemstones to any look is a sure way to up the wow factor.

We offer many colorful products to help you achieve as bold of a look as you want. Let the autumn sky be your road map when making color choices this fall.


Top left image: Wine 1 cm Deer Hide Leather (UL812), 4 mm Pyrite Faceted Gemstone Beads (K282PY),  3 mm Blue Apatite Faceted Gemstone Beads (K284AE), 3 mm Carnelian Faceted Gemstone Beads (K280CA), 4 mm Pyrite Faceted Gemstone Beads (K281PY),  9 mm Labradorite Faceted Gemstone Beads (K279LT) and  Cobalt 1 cm Deer Hide Leather (UL811).
Top right image: Cotton tassels in Olive (D706), Heather Teal (D704), Paprika (D700), Cobalt (D705), Heather Ochre (D707) and Heather Rose (D702). 
Bottom left image: 3 mm Deer Hide Leather in Sand (UL705), Gray (UL708), Rose (UL738) and Hot Pink (UL714). 
Bottom right image: Assorted Bundle of Silk Cord in Twilight (SK107).

September 4, 2014

Back to School : Jewelry 101

It’s back to school season and for the entire month of September we are sharing 30 Jewelry Making Tips with our followers on social media. Even if you are an experienced jewelry designer, brushing up on basic techniques like wire wrapping gemstones or opening and closing jump rings can help solidify your skills. Have you ever wanted to make a leather wrap bracelet? We’ve got you covered!

New to jewelry? No problem! We have How-to Videos for any skill level. Our Classroom is an amazing resource for step-by-step instructions for jewelry projects. We also have you covered when it comes to finished jewelry designs. Browse our Design Ideas and find a project to make your own!


Follow us on social media to see our contests and giveaways. This month, we are giving away the basic supplies you need to start creating beautiful jewelry.

Find Nina Designs on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. We look forward to helping you create beautiful jewelry!


August 27, 2014

Beautiful Jewelry is as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Our wide variety of silver, gold, and bronze charms, links, and jewelry findings leave you with endless opportunities to create your own jewelry, personalized keepsakes, and gifts for friends and loved ones. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to pick just one favorite, or how to pull everything together for do-it-yourself jewelry, but simple, finished jewelry designs are quick and easy to assemble and complete.

Unique and elegant jewelry can be as simple as hanging a charm or jewelry link from an earring top. Adding a single wire wrapped gemstone can dress the look up with a colorful touch of sparkle. Mix and match any findings to fit your taste, and as soon as you see how quickly you can make beautiful jewelry, you will surely be hooked on making more and more! Don’t fret, if you having jewelry-block, we have tons of jewelry design ideas on our website with parts lists and tips for making the designs to get you started. We also have a classroom, and handfuls of how-to videos to teach you everything you need to know to make your own collection of jewelry!


Simple necklaces make great gifts for friends or to yourself, and personalized keepsakes can be as easy as picking your favorite charms, and sliding them onto a finished chain! Our jewelry links, some even equipped with jump rings, can quickly be turned necklace or bracelet by adding chain, silk, or leather to either end. A piece of cake! Watch this free and quick how-to video for tips on how to make quick charm necklaces to impress.

earrings bracelets

Use similar techniques for bracelets as you do for necklaces. Make multiple bracelets to create a trendy, stacked look, add color with leather cord or silk, and personalize a bracelet stack with our adorable initial charm bracelet links! Create stunning earrings too by choosing an earring top, and hanging a charm or unique jewelry link, and you’ll have a lovely pair in no time. If you want a slightly dressier feel, adding pearls or gemstones to your duo is just as quick and easy. Watch this quick how-to video on how to wire wrap a gemstone, and you’ll be on your way to embellishing all of your jewelry creations.

Here are some resources for you to get inspired, and become a jewelry guru:

Have fun, experiment with new ideas, and enjoy wearing something you made yourself. Happy jewelry making!

August 20, 2014

Explore the Trend :: Celestial Jewelry

Channel the heavens by bringing the Celestial Jewelry trend to life in your own finished jewelry designs. Mixing supple leather, star charms, moon charms, birthstone charms and glittering gemstones will help you make this dreamy jewelry trend your own.

Feel inspired by our Celestial finished jewelry designs and discover the techniques that will help you be a part of the trend.



Explore our specially curated collection to find all the jewelry supplies you’ll need to create Celestial jewelry.

Follow these basic tips to make the look your own:

Celestial Jewelry Tips

  • Map the Stars with Birthstone & Constellation Charms
  • Chase Dreamy Color Palettes Through The Milky Way
  • Follow the Patterns of the Nights Sky
  • Feel the Warmth of the Sun with Gold and Gemstones
  • Shimmer like the Moonlight with Silver Lunar Accents

August 14, 2014

Paris Afternoon: Inspiration Around Every Corner

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: , @ 10:00 am

What is it about Paris on a sunny afternoon? From the neighborhood gardens to the public art and timeless architecture, inspiration almost shimmers in the air. In just a few hours, on my layover to Spain, I walked around the city feasting on the sights, sounds and smells (that pain au chocolat had my name on it!) of a magical city.


At the Musee de Cluny, I marveled at the opulent ‘Lady with a Unicorn’ tapestries whose rich jeweled tones were shining bright after their first cleaning in centuries. A small monkey in the foreground caught my eye, reminding me of all the attempts we have made over the years to design the perfect Monkey Charm ourselves. The exuberant flowers surrounding the tender fountain Saint Julien le Pauvre made the statue come to life and the jangle of locks on Lovers Bridge created a wonderful texture that I am still trying to capture for future designs.


To cap off the afternoon, I stumbled upon a pop up store full of young, French, Etsy-style artists selling their wares, from jewelry to ceramics and textiles. One particularly stunning scarf insisted on coming home with me.  Toward the end of the afternoon, wandering past Notre Dame in a jet lagged haze, I realized I would have to return again soon. So much to see, so little time! What is your favorite place in Paris?


August 7, 2014

New Jewelry Supplies Inspire!

Every week we release new jewelry supplies and components to inspire our amazing customers. Our designers strive to design and produce high quality jewelry supplies that are classic and also fit modern jewelry trends.

Our new, handmade silver festoons are light weight, delicate and lend themselves perfectly to simple necklace designs. You could easily add these festoons to a lovely beaded necklace or simply slide one or more of these festoons onto a finished chain for a simple stunner.


We are also thrilled to have two new styles of silver head pins that are long and elegant. These head pins are perfect for adding gemstones or beads for quick and stylish wire wraps. Use our new open silver links to add a light and beautiful touch to necklaces or earrings. We love the fluid and organic shape of our new silver links.


We love to hear our customer’s suggestions, and enjoy being able to design pieces to fit exactly what you are in search of. If there is something you would like to see, we’re eager to hear. We love to make your ideas a reality!

Get inspired and enjoy shopping all of our new styles today!

Need more jewelry inspiration? Check out our finished jewelry designs to see finished jewelry inspiration.

July 31, 2014

Say it With Charms!

Alphabet letter charms are an easy way to add a touch of personality to finished jewelry designs. We love using them in charm cluster necklaces mixed with birthstone charms, constellation charms and charms that represent family or children.


We offer a variety of letter charms in a wide selection of finishes; sterling silver, gold plated sterling silver, natural bronze, silver plated bronze and gold plated bronze. You are sure to find the perfect finish to complete any gift or finished jewelry design. Check out our of selection of letter charms and say it with charms!


Wondering which letters are the most popular? We have an informative blog on that very subject!  Read “Letter Charms for Jewelry :: Which letters should I buy?”

July 24, 2014

A New Appreciation for Handmade Jewelry

Nina Designs carries an extensive variety of sterling silver, bronze, and gold charms, pendants, and findings. The majority of our jewelry making supplies are made by skilled silversmiths in both Bali and Thailand, and are either handmade or cast and finished by hand. Every piece has a great deal of work put into it, and production is at a very large volume to keep up with demand. Staff members at Nina Designs were given the opportunity to take a metals class at a local art studio in Oakland, California, Studio One, to see what the process was all about, and to try and re-create some of the same techniques used to make our jewelry components.

All of the Nina Designs employees have a love for either making jewelry, or wearing it, so an opportunity to get our hands dirty and create our own pieces from start to finish was quite appealing! The metal-smith class many of us enrolled in covered all the basics in how to work with metal and make jewelry; soldering, sawing, stone-setting, etching, polishing, and more. Within the first hour of our first class, I remember getting familiar with a jeweler’s saw when cutting out ring bands, and also breaking handfuls of blades before making a single, straight cut. Our teacher, Anthony, said it was normal, and an initiation of sorts, to break and re-string blade after blade your first time. It didn’t make it any easier, but once your first piece was done, your pride showed when you could sport your new ring.

As the weeks pass, you feel more comfortable, and the skill sets you gain stack up, as well as your collection of new things to wear! You do run over quite a few speed bumps along the way, and it can get discouraging when a vision in your head doesn’t make it’s way into a finished physical piece, but when you problem solve, practice, and learn from mishaps, you can make some beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry!

Here are some of the techniques worked on in class, and the beautiful pieces produced as a result of gaining new jewelry-making skills:

In-class action shots from the metal lab at Studio One


After lots of practice with saws and saw blades, the cutting possibilities are endless!

saw cutting

Adding texture with different sized and shaped hammers: loud, but beautiful!

hammer finish

Making and adding rivets is functional while adding interest and detail


Setting beautiful stones to make stunning, one of a kind rings!

stone setting

More creative work from the ladies at Nina Designs


Marcy, one of our designers, even made her own wedding bands in the class!


Our staff is so creative, and I’m so impressed with everyone’s eye for detail, and making their jewelry dreams a reality! Along with gaining new skills, the class gave us all a new perspective on the time and effort that it takes to make beautiful jewelery, and even more so, a serious appreciation for our talented silversmiths in Bali and Thailand. They produce consistent, high quality work, and in large volume. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand, or make two pieces that looked identical! Here is what some of the Nina Designs ladies had to say in regards to what they took away from the class:

“After cutting out and filing my small oval silver button, I grabbed a torch to heat it up and soften the metal before hammering.  Lo and behold, my button turned into a small puddle of silver right before my eyes!  This class increased the huge amount of respect I have for our skilled silversmiths, and I can finally appreciate why the smaller version of an item often costs more than the original larger version!” – Leah, Vice President

“Taking the metal-smith class has given me a deep appreciation of the work our silver smiths put into all of our Nina Designs components.  I have a lot of fun cutting, filing, soldering, setting and polishing, but I easily spent three hours or more on one piece of jewelry.  I now see what our silver smiths go through, and it takes a lot of skill to assemble little components.  Seeing Nina Designs’ consistency from piece to piece is amazing!” – Veronica, Customer Service Manager

“While taking the metal jewelry class at Studio One in Berkeley, it became abundantly clear how difficult the metalworking process is and how incredibly skilled our metal-smiths are at Nina Designs. After the experience, I have an even greater respect for their work and process.” – Signe, Customer Service

All of us encourage you to take a class at a local studio if you haven’t tried your hand at it already, and broaden your creative horizon with new and fun ways to make jewelry. Who knows, you may find yourself addicted to metals, and wanting to take your career in a entirely new direction! Have you ever taken a class? What have you learned from working as a metal-smith? Share with us your experience!

July 17, 2014

Explore the Trend :: Talisman Jewelry

Bring the magic and mystical Talisman jewelry trend to life with our selection of gold and silver charms and jewelry findings.  Finished jewelry design inspiration and a specially curated collection of Talisman jewelry supplies will help you create pieces to fit this popular jewelry trend!

Get inspired by some of our Talisman Jewelry Design Ideas, and be a part of the trend!

talisman trend blog

Talisman Jewelry Tips:

  • Meld Rustic Finishes
  • Amalgamate Earth Tones & Textures
  • Embrace Your Inner Goddess
  • Covet Earthly, Celestial, & Animal Elements
  • Choose Protective or Mystical Talisman

Browse and shop our specially curated Talisman Collection now!

July 9, 2014

Designs to Inspire : Bronze Spike Charms

Add a little modern edge to your jewelry designs with our selection of bronze, gold, and silver charms and jewelry findings.  Finished jewelry design inspiration and fun, sleek, and modern jewelry supplies will have you wearing this fashionable jewelry trend all the time!

spikesOur spike collection, sold exclusively in bronze, is both affordable, and sure to make a statement. These contemporary spike accents can easily be strung onto chain or earring wires on their own for a simple and clean look, or stack and string multiples for an edgy statement piece.



Have fun mixing and matching these spike charms and dangles, in multiple finishes, and create your own fashionable and trendy jewelry designs. Shop this collection now!

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