This is the #1 question I'm asked:
“Where do you get your open bezels from?!”
They're also known as open frame or open back, and they make for beautiful resin jewelry.
But people's biggest problem in making open bezel resin jewelry is in just FINDING them. When I first started looking, there was even less options. These days, while more options are available, they can still be a bit tricky to search for (when you spend a lot of time looking, you realize there's tons of options!).
With the right tactics, finding open bezels can be simplified. After all my research, I've discovered tips and tricks to find what you're looking for.
Also from that research, I created the Open Bezel Directory. More on that in a minute, let's get started with a few tips that will change everything.
First Things First
Open back bezels are not all made equal. As you can see in the picture above, some are made and sold with a way to connect the charm to earrings, necklaces, and so on. Or they're hoop earrings. BUT, others don't have that, so what do we do then?
We drill, folks. It sounds complicated, but it's not too bad--I promise. A small drill bit will work, and there's some special things that need to be done, which we'll cover another time.
The main thing is, what's a good drill to use? I use Little Windows spring drill and recommend it highly.
NOTE: I notice open links, which will have to be drilled to be turned into jewelry, tend to be cheaper. Over time, this will offsets the $15 you'll put into a spring drill. Worth it, definitely.
Okay, now let's get into it . . .
Search for different terms
Just searching “open bezel” doesn't cut it.
Think about it—an open bezel is just a frame without backing. When it comes to finding them, you need to get a little creative. Could a thin ring work as a small open bezel? Yup, it could. What about links, connectors?
Yes and yes.
Play with terms like, “open link,” “open frame,” “connector,” and “connector link.” Think about rings, hoops—anything similar to open bezels and see it in a new light.
However, be warned that getting creative can lead to mishaps. I once used open bezels use for getting stones, thinking the resin would hold it together (it wasn't sealed shut, since there was no gem inside them). Only one turned out, and while it made a cute necklace it was a waste of the rest. Not worth revisiting. A close frame/bezel/ link will give you an easier time.
Don't feel like bothering with search terms and browsing the web for hours? Scroll to the bottom of this post for an easier alternative.
Search on these sites/brands
Where do you search these terms? Google brings up a couple things, but it's helpful to go to specific website and use their searches.
I often use:
I love getting links from Art Beads, because they have quite a few sizes and they have 14k gold-fill and sterling silver options. “Open links” is the thing to search.
Art Beads also sells Nunn Design, a company that's rolling out more and more open bezel options (even rings!). Searching “open bezel” can bring up some options, or you can just look through Nunn Design products on the website.
Another great option, Fire Mountain Gems has options if you take the time to look through various search terms. “Links” and “connectors” are my favorites to search.
Search all possible terms using Etsy—you'll eventually find some great stuff. Open links and connectors are again great ones to look under. Etsy is a great place to be creative with what could work as an “open bezel.”
Etsy is also where I tend to find the cheapest options (while, also, the most expensive).
I find a lot of unique open bezel shapes (birds sitting on a bench, gem-shaped, etc).
Search in the Open Bezel Directory
While the tips above should save you some time, I also created the Open Bezel Directory to make it even easier.
Wading through allll the options can be overwhelming and it can take a long time to find what you're looking for. With collective weeks of research I wanted to create something to save everyone else time.
It's free and has over 100 open bezel options (and it's growing) from all over the internet.
They're searchable, too. You can search for these things within the directory for metal type and shape, like star, gold, hexagon, etc. Or you can just look through to see what you like (it's visual, with pictures).
All the options have prices within the Directory and links to purchase--and I receive no affiliate income. I created the Directory to just share what I've found.
Want access to the Open Bezel Directory? Please come join and save yourself the headache. You get access right away.
Once you access the Open Bezel Directory, make sure to bookmark the page so you can find it again.