Mother's Day Gift Idea!

Mother's Day Gift Idea!
Spoil your Mum (or yourself!) with a colourful resin bangle with a sparkly magnetic clasp. Wear one on it's own, wear a stack of monochromatic bangles or really let her personality show and wear a stack of different colours together. Peronalised sizing available so no matter what size wrist she has, there is a bangle to fit! Available at the Mill Lane Studio Resin Jewellery Shop

Thursday, May 3, 2018

9 Fabulous Handmade Jewellery Gifts for Mother's Day

There's no doubting the importance of your Mum. She nurtured you through your childhood years, loved you unconditionally as you navigated the teenage years and helped shape the person you have become today as an adult. Now, she's a confidante, an adviser, your biggest fan and your cheerleader. What an amazing woman she is! One thing is for sure - no matter how grown up you are, your Mum never stops being your Mum! So this Mother's Day, show her just how much she means to you with a gift that not only comes from your heart, but that was handmade with love.

To help you, I've rounded up some of my most popular jewellery making projects that she is sure to love.

Egyptian Perfume Bottle Pendant:
So this is not actually a bottle but it does look like one. This exotic pendant will take you less than an hour to put together.
Bottle shaped pendant made with hollow turquoise glass heart bead and bead caps

Rose Cluster Bottle Pendant:
Another bottle pendant that isn't actually a bottle. This tutorial also includes step-by-step instructions for making a snake chain to hang the bottle on. This project will take you a little over an hour.
Bottle necklace made with a red rose cluster bead and bead caps.

Ice Crystal Earrings:
Give your Mum some sparkly earrings! If she's not into blue, then make them with her favourite colours!
Silver teardrop chandelier finding draped with icy blue Swarovski bicone crystals

Fiesta Sunset Earrings:
For the Mum who likes her jewellery to have a more Southwestern influence, make these leather lace earrings in earthy tones. These just make you want to party!
Teardrop earrings made with orange, turquoise and rust suede lace with a marbled bead dangle.

Kashmiri Stretch Bracelet:
This is an easy project for a beginner to tackle. Using exotic beads like these Kashmiri beads is what makes it so special.
Stretch bracelet made with purple Kashmiri clay beads

Candy Coloured Kumihimo Bracelet:
This basic Kumihimo braid is much simpler than it looks. Once you get the hang of how to do it, you can make the bracelet whilst you're watching TV.
8-strand basic Kumihimo braid worked in candy colours and made into a bracelet

Beaded Leather Kumihimo Bracelet with Sliding Knot:
For something just a little more challenging than the basic Kumihimo braid, add some beads to the braid and then finish the bracelet with an adjustable sliding knot. Your Mum will love that she can do this bracelet up on her own!
Leather cord Kumihimo bracelet with pearlised focal bead and seed beads worked into the braid,  finished with an adjustable sliding knot.

Marbled and Textured Resin Bracelet:
You'll need a bit more time to complete this resin bracelet, but the time spent will be well worth it! Your Mum will love the marbled and the textured pieces in the shiny silver settings. It will become one of her favourite pieces in no time!
Pink and purple marbled and textured resin slices set in an oval bracelet setting
And if after all those ideas, you really don't have the time to make a piece of jewellery for your Mum, then why not choose a stack of colourful handmade resin bangles in her favourite colour. These bangles have magnetic closures that are encrusted with sparkly crystals and they come in whatever length you need. I make them for Mums with bigger wrists, Mums with smaller wrists and Mums with average size wrists. No matter what size you need, I can make one to suit. Or, buy one ready-made. See the full range here: Mill Lane Studio Jewellery Shop.

Stack of 4 resin bangles in shades of green, embellished with crystals and silver beads, finished with a sparkly magnetic clasp.

I hope these ideas help you find just the right gift to show your Mum just how much she means to you.
Pin for later!
Make your Mum one of these 9 beautiful pieces of jewellery for Mother's Day

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Monday, April 30, 2018

Rose Cluster Faux Perfume Bottle Necklace

Every Mum deserves a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day. But why not go one step further and make her a pendant with a beautiful rose cluster bead that will live on long beyond a bunch of flowers. Make it yourself with love and show her how much she means to you. 
Rose bottle pendant featuring a red rose cluster bead, bead caps and silver Swarovski crystals

This stunning bottle-style pendant is surprisingly easy to make. You just need an assortment of bead caps and a couple of crystals to add some sparkle to this special rose cluster bead.

Here's a shopping list to help you out:
Beads and findings required for the Rose Bottle Pendant
Tools: 2 pairs chain nose pliers; Round nose pliers; Flat nose pliers; Flush cutters;  Bead mat

Work Out Your Design

To design your bottle pendant, you'll need to sort through your bead cap mix and find combinations that work well together. Starting with the base, string on a 3mm bead cap (or a round spacer bead). This will act as a stopper and make sure that the first bead cap doesn't fall off if it has a large hole.

Now, create the base and stem. 

Try different combinations of bead caps: some bell shaped, some flat, some cupped. Place multiple pieces together to create fancy shapes, or string some upside down to give them a different look. 

Include the 6mm Swarovski crystal in the stem and add the feature bead so you get a really good idea of how it will look. Just keep trying the bead caps in different combinations until you like what you see. I eventually went with number 2 because I liked its balance.
3 different bead cap combinations for the base of the rose bottle

Now do the same thing with the top. String different combinations of bead caps to create a fancy-shaped top for your faux perfume bottle. Include the 4mm Swarovski crystal in the top as part of the "cap". This time I went with the third combination.
Three different combinations of beads and crystals to make up a "lid" for the bottle.

Once you're happy with the design, firm all the bead caps into position so they nestle inside each other and there's no play in them. Grip the head pin above the last bead/bead cap with chain nose pliers and bend it at a 90° angle above the pliers.
Use chain nose pliers to bend the head pin at a 45° angle

With round nose pliers, create a loop large enough to string your chain through. Finish with the tail of the head pin on the side so that you have a complete loop.
Using round nose pliers to form a loop at the top of the neck of the head pin.

Hold the loop with one pair of pliers and grip the tail with the other pair. Wrap the tail neatly around the neck as many times as you need to. This will keep the components firmly in position so that there is no wiggle room. Two to three wraps is a good balance. If you need more than this, then make the neck shorter next time.
Wrapping the wire around the neck of the head pin

Trim away the excess tail close to the neck.
Trimming the tail of the head pin flush with the wire wrapping using flush cutters.

Make the Chain

Decide how long you'd like the pendant to be and take away the clasp length from this measurement. I cut my chain to 50cm (19.75") and with the clasp and jump rings added, it measures 52cm (20.5") long.
Cutting the snake chain to the desired length for the necklace, using flush cutters.

Place one end of the chain into the chain end. You can glue it into position if you wish, but this is optional. Suitable adhesives would be GS-Hypo Cement or super glue. Grip the loop and the very tip of the chain with the chain nose pliers. With flat nose pliers in your other hand, press one flap of the chain end over the chain. Do the same to the other side. Give it a gentle tug to make sure it's secure. If not, press the flaps down more firmly and then tug again.
Crimping the cord end onto the snake chain with chain nose pliers.

String the other end of the chain through the loop of the pendant. Attach a chain end to this end of the chain in the same way.
Threading the snake chain through the wrapped loop of the rose bottle pendant

Connect the ends of the chain to the clasp with jump rings.
Attaching the clasp to each end of the chain with jump rings using chain nose pliers.

And that's it. Your Mum will love receiving such a beautiful handmade gift. And every time she wears it, she will remember how much you mean to her.

Pin this project for later!
DIY Rose Cluster Bottle Necklace inspiration sheet.

For Mum, Rose Bottle Necklace tip sheet with step out photos.

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blush Memory Wire Bracelet

Show Mum how much she means to you this Mother's Day by making her this beautiful Peach Blush Wrap Bracelet. It's a really simple design, but the delicate colour combination of peach and blush, combined with a variety of textures and shapes, makes this a very classy and elegant bracelet. And although it looks complex, it's an easy project, even for a beginner jewellery maker. You can put this bracelet together in an hour or so! This project first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Craft Ideas.
Memory wire bracelet strung with Czech glass rondelles, rose gold curved hollow tubes, freshwater rice pearls and a strand of Jesse James beads in shades of delicate dogwood, blush and peach.

Here's a shopping list of the supplies you'll need:

Jesse James Design Elements Pale Dogwood Strand #1
6mm Peach freshwater rice pearls, angle-drilled (or top-drilled), Peach, 16” strand
Czech rondelle, 4mm x 2mm, peach and silver, four 4.5” strands
Curved hollow tubes, 40mm x 2.5mm, rose gold, ten (substitute these shorter tubes if you can't find longer ones)
Braceletmemory wire, gold

Round nose pliers
Memorywire shears - these are essential for cutting memory wire.

How to make a Memory Wire Bracelet

Cut a 9-ring coil of memory wire using memory wire shears. Turn an outward facing loop on one end.
Turning an outside loop on the end of the gold memory wire using round nose pliers

String the Apollo Gold rondelles onto the memory wire. To save time, transfer them to the memory wire by inserting the end into the rondelles whilst they are still on the strand. Once you have strung one full coil, check it for length by wrapping the beaded section of the memory wire around your wrist. It should be long enough to go around your wrist completely. Add more beads if needed. Slide all the beads down to the loop.
Transferring the Apollo Gold Czech glass rondelles onto the memory wire from the bead strand

String five hollow tubes onto the memory wire. If you've used shorter tubes, then string enough to measure 20cm (8"). Check the length on your wrist again to make sure that there are enough tubes to wrap around your wrist once.
Stringing the rose gold curved hollow tubes onto the memory wire

String the rice pearls onto the wire. If you are using angle-drilled pearls, always stringing from the hole on top of the pearl and out through the hole on the side. Once you have strung one full coil, test the bracelet on your wrist to check that you have added enough for one full wrap around your wrist.
Stringing the pearls onto the memory wire so that they lie in a wheatsheaf pattern.

Keeping the same order as on the strand, string the Jesse James beads onto the memory wire. This is the centre of the bracelet. String the other half of the bracelet to match, in reverse order.
Stringing the Jesse James focal beads onto the memory wire

Slide all the beads up to the loop, removing all the gaps. If you've use angle-drilled pearls, they should be sitting in a wheatsheaf pattern.
Sliding all the beads along the memory wire to remove any gaps between the beads.

Hold the beads firmly in place and trim the wire to 10mm (3/8”).
Trimming the memory wire with memory wire shears for the finishing loop.

Turn an outward facing loop to finish the bracelet.
Turning an outward facing loop to finish the bracelet

To wear your wrap bracelet, wind it around your wrist and adjust the wrapping until the focal beads sit across the front of your wrist.

Your Mum will love this bracelet. And she'll love it even more when she knows you made it especially for her.... that is, if you can bear to part with it!

Pin this project for later!
Tutorial sheet with step outs for how to make the Blush Memory Wire Bracelet

Delicate and elegant blush memory wire bracelet inspiration sheet.

'Til next time....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Friday, April 6, 2018

How to Clean Your Resin Mixing Cups

I'm an advocate for always using clean, NEW cups and utensils when working with resin. It helps eliminate a possible source of contamination that could ruin a resin pour.

But if your budget is tight, or you're running low on cups, you might decide you need to re-use your measuring cups. And if that's the case, then here are the steps you'll need to take to clean them so that they can be re-used. N.B. This will only work if you use Polyethylene or Polypropylene plastic cups (because resin doesn't stick to these kinds of plastics). 

If you're curious, these are the three types of measuring cups I use all the time in the studio: 
1oz (30ml) cups
8oz (250ml) cups;
100ml silicone cups

And here's what you'll need to clean them:
Toilet tissue

How to Clean Cured Resin from your Cups

Make sure that the resin has cured to the point where it is solid. I find it easier to remove once it has hardened but it doesn't have to be completely cured. Soft resin can still be removed as long as it is past the gel stage. If you leave the stir stick in, that can make it easier to get started.
Graduated plastic measuring cup with leftover pink resin

Pull the stick away from the wall. My pipette removed completely because resin doesn't stick to it, but if you've used a wooden stir stick, it will be stuck in the resin. Grip the resin (or the stick) and remove the resin shell from the cup. It should come away completely.
Pulling the leftover cured resin away from the walls of the plastic measuring cup.

Although the resin shell has been removed, there is still resin inside the cup that needs to be removed. Sometimes, you'll find that there is some unmixed resin where the walls meet the bottom of the cup.
Empty graduated measuring cup alongside cured shell of resin removed from the cup

Pour some acetone onto the tissue and wipe the inside of the cup, making sure that you remove any cured resin that's still on the walls of the cup. Pay particular attention to the bottom of the cup where the unmixed resin might be. If you leave any behind, it WILL cause problems with the next batch of resin you mix. Take a clean piece of tissue and clean it a second time.
Cleaning the walls of the measuring cup with a wad of soft tissue

And that's it. Now your cup is ready for re-use.
Plastic measuring cup ready for re-use.

You can see how to do it in action in this video:

Pin this tip for later!
How to Save Money by cleaning and re-using your resin measuring cups tutorial sheet

How to Clean your resin cups for re-use tutorial sheet

Resin Tip No. 3 - "Cleaning your graduated resin measuring cups for re-use" tip sheet

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Friday, March 23, 2018

DIY Resin Jewelled Mirror

When you think of EasyCast resin, you normally think of it as a casting resin. But in this jewelled mirror project, I'm going to show you how EasyCast can also be used as coating resin, making it a very versatile epoxy. The mirror will make the resin bubbles glow like jewels thanks to the reflective surface.
Resin jewelled mirror displayed with an assortment of Friendly Plastic mosaic pens


Here's a shopping list of what you'll need to make this project:

EasyCast epoxy resin
Castin'Craft Transparent Dyes: Red; Green and Blue; Amber
Setasilk Pearl Silver White Gutta
Ikea Lots 30cm square mirror 4 pack
Graduated plastic measuring cups
Wooden Stir sticks
Gas BBQ torch

Create the Bubble Outlines

Draw a group of circles of varying sizes in the top corner of the mirror with the Gutta. Make sure that each outline is perfectly closed and completely touching the mirror's surface all the way around so that the resin can't leak out. Repeat in the opposite corner. Leave the gutta to completely dry before continuing.
Draw circles with the Gutta in the corner of the mirror.

Once you start working with the resin, put on the gloves. Mix a small batch of EasyCast, following the instructions included in the resin kit carefully.
Mix a small batch of epoxy resin.

Divide the resin into four cups and colour each one a different colour with the transparent resin dyes.
Cups of resin coloured green, amber, blue and red

Carefully drip a different coloured resin into each circle.
Resin being dripped into gutta circles

Try not to have two circles of the same colour next to each other.
Filling the gutta circles with different coloured resins

Once all the circles are filled, pass the flame briefly across the resin to pop any bubbles. Make sure you keep the flame moving at all times.
Popping bubbles by passing a flame across the resin.

Leave the mirror to cure for 24 hours before moving it. Then place it in a stand or attach to the wall and admire it.

Like this project? Pin it for later!
Collage image of resin-jewelled mirror on stand with a collection of colourful pens

Square mirror decorated with colourful resin circles in a plate stand

Square mirror decorated with jewel-coloured resin circles

Inspiration sheet for how to make a decorative mirror with jewel-coloured resin bubbles

'Til next time.......

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fabergé-Inspired Eggs for Easter

Decorative eggs made with epoxy resin clay and Swarovski resin crystals
Make a set of decorative eggs that not only represents their importance as symbols of new life for Easter but that can also be displayed throughout the year as a decor item in their own right. These jewelled eggs are inspired by the opulent Faberge eggs commissioned by the Russian Tsars. In place of the precious metal, enamel and jewels, these are made with EasySculpt epoxy resin clay and sparkly Swarovski crystals. This project also appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Crafts Ideas Magazine.

Shopping List:

EnviroTex EasySculpt Epoxy Resin Clay
Colourants: Castin'Craft Resin Pigments and alcohol inks
2" polystyrene eggs
Embellie Gellie or Krystal Katana
2 x Swarovski flatback rivoli 2006 in colour of your choice
Swarovski flatback crystals SS8 in colours of your choice
G-S Hypo Cement
Talcum powder
Tissues and Methylated Spirits (denatured alcohol) or baby wipes
Teflon craft sheet

Tools: clay blade, needle tool, timer,

How to Make Decorative Resin Clay Eggs

Tip: Before beginning to work with EasySculpt, put on a pair of close fitting gloves because resin clay is quite sticky when it's first mixed. It will be helpful to dust your gloves whenever the clay begins to stick to them.

Cover the Egg

Measure out and mix together equal parts of EasySculpt Clay following the manufacturer’s instructions. Set a timer for 25 minutes and leave the mixed clay to firm up because initially, it will be too sticky and stretchy to cover the egg.

Dust your gloves with powder and then flatten the clay into a circle. Place the center of the circle over the top of the egg. Work the clay down towards the bottom of the egg. Smooth out any folds that form and try to keep the clay an even thickness all the way around. Smooth out all the creases. There will probably be some pockets of air trapped under the clay. These can be pierced with the toothpick or needle tool. Smooth the clay with your finger until the hole disappears. Dust the Teflon sheet with a light sprinkling of powder. Balance the egg upright on the sheet and set the timer to 30 minutes. The clay will continue to firm up during this time.

The clay will still be quite soft and because it has some stretch in it, wrinkles will form in the bottom section of the egg. Use your gloved hand to smooth out the clay and set it aside. Set the timer for 10 minutes and then smooth again. Repeat again at 10 minute intervals until the egg is smooth. Roll the egg in your palms to give it a smooth all over finish.

Decorate the Egg

Apply a small amount of GS-Hypo Cement to the middle of the egg and attach a flat back Rivoli. Adhere another Rivoli on the opposite side of the egg in a slightly lower position.
Epoxy clay egg with Heliotrope Swarovski flatback rivoli.

Mix a small amount of EasySculpt. Roll it into three different sized balls. 
Different sized balls of mixed epoxy resin clay

Flatten one piece into a circle and add 2 drops of your choice of colour to the clay. Mix it in well. This will make the clay sticky and soft so powder your gloves as needed whilst you work the colour in. Clean your gloves with rubbing alcohol and a tissue to remove any residue. 
Epoxy Resin Clay being coloured with purple alcohol ink

Colour the other two balls with the other colourants you’ve chosen. Set the timer for 10 minutes to allow the clay to firm up a little before continuing. 
Note: You will notice that some of the alcohol ink colours will fade as they cure.
Balls of epoxy resin clay coloured with alcohol inks

Dust the Teflon sheet lightly with powder. Pull a small amount from one ball of clay and roll it on the sheet to form a snake 3mm (1/8”) thick and approximately 11.5cm (4 ½”) long.
Thin log of epoxy resin clay

Begin coiling the clay around the rivoli and then create an “S” curve down the side of the egg, finishing in an open circle. 
Epoxy resin clay coiled in a "S" shape around a Swarovski crystal on a clay covered egg

Make additional coils in the other colours and place them alongside the first coil, following the same curve. Create another “S” curves around the other rivoli.
Two colours of epoxy resin clay coiled around a Swarovski crystal in an "S" shape

Form a piece of clay into a small log about ¼” wide. Cut it into pieces 6mm (¼”) long.
Epoxy resin clay log being cut into small blocks

Cut some of these pieces in halves, some into quarters and some into smaller pieces.
Epoxy resin clay cut into small chunks

Roll each one into a ball so that you have a variety of graduating sizes. Set these aside to firm up.
Coloured epoxy resin clay rolled into graduating sized balls

Roll out another ¼” wide log and cut it into 6mm (¼”) lengths. Roll each into a ball and then taper one end to form a teardrop shape. Press the tip of the needle tool into the middle of each teardrop.

Coloured epoxy resin clay being formed into teardrop shapes
Teardrop shaped pieces of purple epoxy resin clay with an indentation down the centre.

Position these at an angle around the outside curves of the coils with the points facing in. Use adhesive to secure them if they have begun to cure. On some coils, attach graduating sized balls along the curve with the adhesive.

Epoxy resin clay teardrops along a coloured resin clay swirl

Position crystals along the middle coil in some of the “S” curves. If the clay is no longer sticky, use G-S Hypo Cement to attach them.
Epoxy resin clay covered egg being decorated with Swarovski crystals

Now that you've finished your decorative Easter egg, make a few in different colour combinations. They look stunning displayed in ornate egg stands. Or place them in a bowl on your coffee table and admire them all year 'round.

Like this project? Pin it for later.
Faberge inspired eggs covered with epoxy resin clay and decorated with Swarovski crystals

'Til next time.......

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs