Monday, July 22, 2019

Black Diamonds Bracelet - How to Make a Woven Leather Cord and Rolo Chain Bracelet

Make this really classy looking bracelet using leather cord and rolo chain. This weaving technique is really easy to do and can be as simple or as fancy as you like: Use a length of diamanté braid down the middle to add some extra sparkle (cupchain would work well, too!) or use multiple pieces of chain in place of the braid to weave through.  For added sparkle, this bracelet also has a diamanté slider as the focal so it could even be worn for a big night out.
Sparkly bracelet made by weaving leather cord through rolo chain and diamanté braid

Here's what you need to make this design:
One 34mm diamante set black metal donut slider bead (with two loops) – available from
Two 6mm gold jump rings

Tools: chain nose pliers, flat nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors, ruler

Cut two 16cm (6 ¼”) lengths from the chain. Set aside the remaining links to finish the bracelet.

Fold the cord in half to find centre and thread on the first link of each chain, sliding it to the centre.

Threading leather cord through the end links of rolo chain

Thread the right hand cord through the third link on both the right and left hand chains.
Weaving the leather cord through the second set of links on the chain

Thread the left hand cord through the third link of the left hand chain and across to the third link of the right hand chain so that each cord has now passed through both the third links.
Weaving the other cord end through the second set of chain links.

Cut a strip of imitation rhinestone ribbon braid two cups wide and then insert it so that it is sandwiched between the two cords. Leave an end of at least 2.5cm (1”). At this stage, your work will be a little messy but it will sort itself out as the weaving progresses.

Take the right hand cord and pass it through the fifth link on the right hand chain, under the imitation braid, and through the fifth link of the left hand chain.
Adding the diamanté braid inbetween the chains.

Take the left hand cord and pass it through the fifth link of the left hand chain, positioning it on top of the first cord. Pass it over the braid and through the fifth link on the right hand chain. Adjust the cords so that the chain and braid sit nicely between the cords.
Weaving the two cord ends over and under the braid

Continue weaving the cord in this manner until you have made seven complete loops. On the eighth loop insert the right hand cord through the right hand loop of the diamante set slider (from the outside) and then through the chain link.
Stringing the focal onto the cord and through the chain

Then continue to weave the cord as before. Repeat on the left hand side with the left hand cord but instead of passing the cord over the imitation braid, pass it underneath the braid.
Stringing the second side of the focal onto the leather cord

 On the back it should look like the photo below.
Back of the weaving showing how the focal is secured.

Continue weaving until the bracelet is the same length on both sides of the diamante donut slider. Adjust the cords along the length of the bracelet until you are happy with how it is sitting.

To finish the bracelet you will need five chain links at the beginning of the bracelet and either 3 or 5 chain links at the end. If you cut your 16cm (6 ¼”) chain lengths with an odd number of links, you will need 5 links. If you cut them with an even number of links, you will need 3 links. To open and close rolo chain links, you will need to work with flat nose pliers and grip the links with the length of the pliers to prevent them from sliding around on the link. Once you have removed the links attach them to the beginning of the bracelet: attach the first link of the 5-link chain to the first chain link in the bracelet. Open the last link of the 5-link chain and connect it to the first link on the other side of the bracelet. Repeat for the other end of the bracelet where you will use either 3 or 5 links.
Bracelet with 5 extra links attached at one end

Insert the two cord ends through the next hole in the chain to the back of the bracelet, tie the two cords into separate knots close to the last link on each side of the bracelet. Place a dab of adhesive on the knot to secure it and then trim away the excess cord.

Apply adhesive to the cut ends of the imitation braid and fold it over the last full loop.
Folding over the excess braid.

Feed it under the loops on the back to secure it and then trim away the excess. Repeat on the other end.
Cord ends knoted and trimmed close to the end of the bracelet.

Open the two jump rings and hook one through the center link at each end of the bracelet and hook on one half of the magnetic clasp before closing it again.
Attaching the clasp.

Now that you've attached the magnetic clasp, you can easily put on and take off the bracelet without any help!

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How to weave leather cord through rolo chain 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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Using Glow in the Dark Powder in a Wood and Resin Crucifix

My Dad and I have been doing some collaborative wood and resin pieces recently. We love spending time together in his shed and apart from enjoying each other's company, we love watching each other's skills in action. For this project, he carved some hand-sized crucifixes from wood. He makes them for his local Church and school community but for this project he also carved a slot from front to back with the scroll saw to represent Jesus. Pretty impressive! 

Then it was over to me to add the resin and I decided to use Glow in the Dark powder so you could see the crucifix even when the lights are out.

Large and small wooden crucifix coated with resin

Resin and wood crucifix glowing in the dark

Here's what I used:
Packing tape
Disposable gloves
Utility knife
I also worked on a non stick craft sheet in case I had any leakage.

Before mixing any resin, I taped up the back of the cross with the packing tape. It's important to burnish the tape well to prevent the resin seeping out. As it turned out, there was still some seepage (as you'll see later) because the crucifix is made of rubber wood and it's very porous.
Applying tape to the back of the wooden crucifix.

I measured out the resin and hardener in equal quantities. I didn't need much for this project but I mixed extra so I could do some other projects afterwards.
Pouring out the resin.

It's important to mix the resin according to the manufacturer's instructions, no matter which resin you use. For EasyCast, you mix it for two minutes in one cup and then pour it into a second cup and mix it for another minute to make sure that it's chemically combined. This two step process really does work.
Mixing the resin with a wooden stir stick.

To get a good result, you need to add the GITD powder at either a 1:4 or 1:5 ratio with the resin so that you get a good glow. I used a 1:4 ratio so it would be brighter and mixed it through the resin. It doesn't dissolve in the resin and it's quite heavy so it settles in the cup to start with but I found that as the resin thickened, it stayed suspended.
Pouring the GITD powder into the cup.

Because the opening in this piece is very narrow, I found the best way to get the resin into the slot is with a pipette.
Drawing the resin into the pipette.

It was a slow process to carefully transfer the resin into the opening of the crucifix because I wanted to make sure that the resin ran down the walls and didn't create air pockets. Any spills on the wood can easily be wiped off because the powder hasn't dissolved. Once I'd filled the opening to the top, I left the resin to cure for 24 hours.
Transferring the resin from the pipette into the slot on the crucifix.

Next day, I peeled away the tape from the back of the crucifix.
Peeling the tape off the back of the crucifix.

You can see how the resin has seeped into the wood in a few places. Once the resin is fully cured, clean it up with a utility knife so that only the body will glow.
Shaving away the excess resin from the wood.

Despite how carefully I applied the resin to the slot, it bled onto the surface of the wood so I decided to coat the whole crucifix with resin. For this process, I'm using a UV resin so that I can cure it instantly with the UV light before it has a chance to run over the carved edges. I'm using a toothpick to spread it thinly.

Safety First! It's important when you're working with the thin hard type of  UV resin that you have good ventilation or wear a respirator. AND I should be wearing gloves! Be sensible when working with resin... protect your eyes and your skin.
Spreading the UV resin with a toothpick

And now it's time to charge it under the light - it glows so brightly and looks fabulous.

Wooden crosses with glow in the dark resin representing Jesus.

Don't expect it to hold its glow for very long though. What I found is that in such a thin slot, it won't hold the charge very long, even though Strontium Aluminate powder has the brightest glow you can get. But it's still a really cool way to use GITD powder.

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Glow in the Dark crucifix 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, June 28, 2019

More Resin Art Overflow Jewellery Idea - Daisy Chain Earrings

For anyone who has made a few pieces of resin art, you'll have seen the intricate patterns that collect on the table below your canvas as the resin drips over the edge. You just couldn't replicate such gorgeous marbling if you tried! It's probably crossed your mind that you could turn it into jewellery and this post shows you one way that you can. You'll need a die cut machine like a Sizzix Big Shot and steel rule die to cut the resin - plus my special tip which you can see in the video further down the page.

Orange and Blue Daisy Chain earrings

Here's what you need:
Resin Art overflow (or skin) no thicker than 1.5mm (1/16")
Drill with 1mm drill bit
Sizzix Big Shot
Sizzix die - I used Flowers #4 (657011) which has been retired. Try this one instead: 660659 or hunt around for a second hand one on your favourite pre-loved goods site.
2 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals (I used Montana)
2 silver ball head pins
Fine cable chain
6 x 4mm silver jump rings
2 oval jump rings
2 earring wires

Tools: chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, flush cutters
You'll also need a craft heat tool or a flat container filled with warm water.

N.B. This project works best with resins skins that are slightly flexible when cured. If the resin you try to die cut snaps, then you will have to use those skins in a different project. Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts featuring other ways you can use up resin art overflow that don't require die cutting.

To make it easier to cut, soften the sheet of resin by passing the craft heat tool over it a few times. If you're using warm water, place the resin into the water bath for a few minutes and then dry it off. When the resin is as flexible as shown in this photo, it will be much easier for the Big Shot to cut it.
Pliable resin skin

Whilst the resin is still pliable, position it face down on the die. Cutting this way will give you a nice rounded edge on the front of the daisies so you won't have to sand rough edges (Bonus!!)
Marbled resin skin in position on the die cutting plate.

Sandwich the die between the plates with the dye facing up (resin on top). You need to position it in the centre of the plates. this allows the leading edges to flex as they begin to draw through the machine. If you place the die hard up against the leading edge, you won't be able to draw the plates through.
Turning the handle of the Big Shot to draw the plates through.

Slowly crank the handle. If the Big Shot feels like it's struggling, then the resin is too thick. Stop and choose a thinner skin to work with.

Remove the die from the plate sandwich and remove the die cuts. Sometimes, they'll be firmly stuck below the steel cutting frame and you'll have to pry them out with a needle tool.
Using a needle tool to remove a stuck die cut from the die.

Drill a hole in the top of each flower.
Drilling a hole in the tips of the resin petal

Drill one in between the two bottom petals of each flower also.
Marbled resin daisy with holes drilled at the top and bottom

Cut two 3-link pieces of chain for each earring.
Cutting links from the chain with flush cutters

Open a jump ring and hook on one set of links. Hook another jump ring on the other end,
Open jump ring with 3 chain links attached.

Whilst the jump ring is still open, insert it through the bottom hole of the larger flower.
Inserting the jump ring through the petal

Open the jump ring on the other end of the chain and hook it through the top hole of the smaller flower.
Connecting the top daisy to the bottom daisy

String a bicone onto a head pin and bend it at a right angle.
Bending the head pin above the bead at a right angle.

Trim it to 8mm (3/8").
Trimming the head pin with the flush cutters

Turn a simple loop.
Making a simple loop on the round nose pliers.

Hook another chain onto a jump ring and insert it through the hole on the bottom of the smaller flower.
Attaching the chain links and the petal together with a jump ring

Open the loop of the crystal and hook it through the bottom chain link.
Hooking the beaded dangle onto the chain.

Open an oval jump ring and insert it through the top hole of the large flower.
Inserting a jump ring through the top hole of the top daisy

Connect the oval jump to the earring wire with a jump ring.
Connecting the earring wire to the daisy chain with a jump ring.

Now make a matching earring!

Got more resin art overflow? Well here are more ideas for how to use it:
Resin Art Overflow Pendants
Resin Orb Beads
How to make pendants from Resin Art Overflow

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Daisy Chain earrings 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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

How to Turn Resin Art Overflow into Marbled Pendants

One of the things I've come to know about myself over the years is that I can't bear to throw anything away. Even the tiniest piece of left over scrapbook paper or short length of beading wire would be saved in case it could be used some time in the future. It's a lesson taught to me by my parents who grew up in the Depression where nothing went to waste.
Cured, marbled resin oval being inserted into an ornate silver bezel.

Of course, my need to keep things has also transferred to the resin overflow that drips over the edge of my resin art pieces and onto the table below, where the resin forms beautifully patterned puddles. You couldn't recreate these intricate patterns if you tried and yet gravity can do it all on its own! So I keep all the pieces that are a usable size and this is one way I use them. See the end of the post for links to even more ideas on how you can use up your resin skins.
Burgundy, orange and white marbled resin pendants
What you'll need is:
Some resin art overflow (or skins)
Bezel of your choice
Scrap of paper to create a template from
5-minute epoxy adhesive
Wooden stir stick and disposable plastic lid to mix the adhesive on
Tonic Studio Micro Serrated Scissors
Emery board (100/180 grit are ideal)
Permanent Marker
Methylated spirits (denatured alcohol)
Cotton bud (Q tip)

Start by creating a template from the paper. Place the paper over the bezel and press it onto the rim to make an impression. Then cut it out. Now you have an outer frame that you can move around the marbled resin to help you select the patterned area you like and a template that you can trace around. Test the template inside the bezel to see how it fits. You usually need to trim away a little bit more so that it fits neatly inside.
Ornate silver bezel and paper template sized to fit

Once you've decided on the area you like, place the template back inside the frame, remove the frame and trace around the template with the permanent marker.
Cured marbled resin overflow alongside the paper template.

Cut it out just so you can just see the permanent marker line.
Cutting out the resin to fit the bezel.

Use the emery board to sand the resin edges. Emery boards come in different grades and the speed at which you remove material will depend on whether you have a coarse or a fine emery board. You don't want to file away too much resin so check from time to time how the resin is fitting inside the bezel. If the resin is too thick for the depth of the bezel, you can also file it to make it thinner.
Filing the edges with an emery board.

Once you've shaped the resin to fit the bezel, cut the rounded edge off the stir stick. This makes it much easier to mix the 5-minute epoxy. Dispense equal quantities of the adhesive and mix until it's completely combined. If you're not sure how to do that, see this post.

Apply the adhesive in the middle of the bezel and then spread it out to the edges. You want a thin coat of adhesive across the whole bezel but you don't want too much or it will ooze out the sides and you'll have a mess to clean up. If that happens, use some methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) and a cotton bud (Q tip) to clean it up.
Applying the adhesive to the inside of the bezel.

Place the resin inside the bezel and press it down lightly.
Placing the resin inside the bezel.

If you have any permanent marker still showing, wipe it off with a cotton bud dipped in methylated spirits. String your pendant on a chain and it's ready to wear in a few minutes.
Burgundy and orange marbled resin pendant.

If you're like me and have a collection of resin overflow that you can't bear to throw away, then check out these other related posts:

Make Orb Beads from Resin Art Overflow
Make Pendants from Marbled Resin
A trick for How to Cut Thick Resin Overflow
How to Mix 5-Minute Epoxy

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Resin Art Jewellery 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