Monday, February 4, 2019

Hearts and Barbed Wire Leather Bracelet

How to make faux barbed wire from leather cord project header

Not all heart jewellery has to be girly-girl. For those girls who prefer their jewellery to have a little attitude, this faux barbed wire leather bracelet strung with a variety of heart beads is edgy, yet comfortable to wear. The barbs, made from pearl white leather cord, look sharp but feel soft against your skin.

Here's what you'll need to make your own:
1mm pearl white leather cord hank
Assorted glass heart beads and crystals. I used 2 Lt Siam Swarovski Wild Hearts, 2 Blue Moon dotty hearts and 3 white foil puffy hearts
2 silver plated Beadalon 1.5mm cord ends with loop
2 4mm silver jump rings
silver ball and socket clasp
5-minute epoxy adhesive
scissors
toothpick

You'll also need chain nose pliers to connect the clasp at the end.

How to Make Faux Barbed Wire from Leather Cord

Cut a 12" length of leather cord for the bracelet.
Measuring the leather cord for the bracelet.

Whilst holding the bracelet cord between your thumb and finger, place the end of the hank of the leather cord alongside the bracelet cord and hold it approximately 3cm (1-3/16") from the end (shown here in my right hand).
Holding both the bracelet cord and the working cord in one hand.

Transfer the two cords to your non-dominant hand and wrap the hank around your finger and the two cords three times (starting from the finger tip and working back towards your palm).
Creating the coil of leather that makes the "barb"

Take the tip of the hank cord and insert it in between your finger and the coils you've just formed.
Inserting the tail of the working cord through the coils of the sliding knot.

Pull the cord all the way through. Make sure you keep the coil shape as you pull.

N.B If you find it difficult to pull the whole hank through, cut the cord shorter before inserting it through the coils.

Slide the knot to 2.5cm (1") from the end of the bracelet cord and then tighten the knot by pulling on the two sides.
Pulling the two tails of the leather cord to form a slding knot.

Trim the tails at a sharp angle to form the "barbs".
Using scissors to trim the cord tails at an angle.

String the beads onto the cord following the stringing pattern below with all the hearts pointing in the same direction. Form a sliding knot between each bead, spacing them approximately 20mm (3/4") apart for a 20cm (8") bracelet. Adjust the distance between the sliding knots for a smaller or larger bracelet. Alternatively, add or take away beads to increase or decrease the length of the bracelet.
Stringing pattern for the heart beads

Test the bracelet for fit, allowing for the clasp, and trim the ends of the cord so that they are even. Mix the 5-minute epoxy and apply it to the inside of the cord ends with a tooth pick. Insert the cords. Once the adhesive has set, attach a jump ring and one half of the clasp to each end of the bracelet.
Inserting the bracelet ends intio the cord ends to finish the bracelet.

If you prefer to see the knot tying in action, watch this short video to see how to do it!

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Faux Barbed Wire Leather Cord Bracelet inspiration sheet


'Til next time.....








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Monday, January 28, 2019

Epoxy Resin Clay Heart Necklace with Swarovski Crystals

If you've ever gazed longingly in the window of a jewellery store at the sparkly pavé jewellery and wished that you could own one of those exquisite pieces then you'll love this jewellery-making project. Using epoxy resin clay and a selection of sparkly Swarovski crystals, you can make your own look-alike piece of pavé-style jewellery.
Black epoxy clay heart and donut studded with red and clear Swarovski crystals

Here's a shopping list to help you find the materials you'll need:

EnviroTex Jewelry Clay or EasySculpt
Swarovski Chatons: 11 x Light Siam PP24 (3mm); 84 x Clear (2mm)
Talcum powder
Disposable gloves

Note: Epoxy Resin clay is really sticky which is perfect for permanently adhering crystals, but not so great on your hands. Make sure you wear gloves at all times when mixing and working with the clay. I usually powder my gloves lightly so the clay doesn't stick quick so much. The powder won't hurt the clay but it will dry it out faster so only apply powder if the clay is really sticky.

Measure out Parts A and B of the Jewelry Clay in equal quantities, enough to fill the mould of your choice. The easiest way to do this is to roll each piece into a ball and compare them in size.
Part A and Part B of EnviroTex Jewelry Clay measured out in two equal sized balls

Place the two balls together and begin mixing them.
Beginning the mixing process of the epoxy resin clay.

Keep blending the resin clay until there are no streaks of unmixed clay.
Mixing the epoxy resin clay with gloves on

It should be uniform in colour.
A ball of mixed epoxy resin clay

Flatten the clay into a disk and add two drops of the colourant you've chosen.
Dripping the colourant onto a flattened disk of epoxy clay

Mix it through the resin clay thoroughly. This is a messy process and powdering your gloves lightly can help minimise how much the clay and the colourant stick to you.
Mixing the pigment through the resin clay until it is evenly coloured

Once the clay is even in colour, you can additional additional drops, one by one, until the clay is solid black.
Adding drops of colourant to the resin clay, one at a time.

Roll the clay into a ball and push it into the heart mould.
Pressing the coloured epoxy resin clay into the heart shaped mould

Flatten the back by pressing it onto the craft sheet to give it an even surface that you can attach a flatback finding to.
The back of the heart can be smoothed out by pressing it into your work surface

Gently remove the heart from the mould whilst the epoxy resin clay is still soft.
Pulling back the silicone mould from the epoxy clay

Pick up the Light Siam crystal chatons with the Crystal Katana and place them one by one on the heart. Once you've placed the red crystals, fill in the spaces in between with the clear chatons.
Picking up the crystals with the crystal Katana and pressing them into the clay surface

Leave the heart to cure and harden for several hours.
Black resin clay heart studded with Light Siam and clear crystals.

Once the clay has cured, you'll want to turn it into a piece of jewellery. Here's what you'll need:

bolo slide
Faceted black beads: 4 x 10mm; 2 x 8mm
12 x 4mm black Swarovski bicones
28 x 4mm clear Swarovski bicones
silver toggle clasp
1 10mm silver ring
4 x #2 silver crimp tubes
4 silver wire guardians
Beadalon 19 strand silver beading wire: 0.015"
12 x 4mm black Swarovski crystal bicones
28 x 4mm clear Swarovski crystal bicones
8mm flat oval silver chain
5 minute epoxy adhesive

Tools: flush cutters, crimping pliers, chain nose pliers

Mix the 5-minute epoxy adhesive and apply it to the face of the bolo slide. Attach it to the back of the heart, positioning it towards the top of the heart so that it doesn't flop forward when worn.

The back of the studded heart showing the bolo slide glued into position

Cut a 25cm (10") length of beading wire. On one end, string a crimp tube, the wire guardian and then thread the wire back through the crimp tube. Crimp it securely.
Using crimping pliers to crimp the wire guardian on the beading wire

String three clear and two black bicones and one more clear bicone. String an 8mm faceted bead. String three clear, one black and one clear bicone, followed by a 10mm bead. String two clear, two black and two clear bicones and a 10mm bead. String one black and two clear bicones. String a crimp tube and a wire guardian and then thread the beading wire back through the crimp. Crimp it securely and trim away the excess wire. String another length of beading wire following the same stringing pattern.
Stringing pattern for the beaded necklace

Cut the silver ring and open it as you would a jump ring. Hook it through the two loops of the bolo slide.
Using pliers to feed the textured ring through the loops of the bolo slide

Hook on a wire guardian from each of the two beaded lengths.
Attach the ends of the two beaded lengths to the twisted ring.

Cut two 10cm (4") pieces of chain. Open the last link of each chain and hook on the wire guardian on the other end of the two beaded lengths. Close the links as you would a jump ring.
Hooking on the other end of the beaded length onto the end of the chain

Open the last link on each of the two chain lengths and hook the toggle on one side and the bar on the other. Close the two links and your sparkly resin clay heart necklace is ready to wear!

Crystal-studded Epoxy Resin Clay Heart Necklace
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DIY Epoxy Resin Clay heart necklace studded with Swarovski crystals inspiration sheet


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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Pretty Pastel Memory Wire Cuff-Style Bracelet

Once you've begun your journey as a jewellery-maker, you're always looking for something that will put your new skills to use but that you can confidently complete successfully. This cuff-style memory wire bracelet is sure to fit the bill. It's a simple strung design but with the addition of some spacer bars and a flower slider focal, so it will challenge you a little without being overwhelming. And with the long hot days of summer ahead of us, this pretty pastel cuff-style bracelet is sure to become a favourite piece you'll wear all summer long.
Pastel memory wire cuff project header
The bracelet is made with five individual coils of memory wire that are connected with spacer bars for stability. You'll need a couple of hours to string the design but it's easy enough for a beginner to tackle. In fact, you only need to know one technique - how to turn a loop on memory wire - making this a great place for a beginner jewellery maker to start. And, if you're new to jewellery making (or just need a refresher), you can see how to turn memory wire loops here.

Here's a shopping list of what you'll need to make the memory wire cuff. If you can't get the exact items, look for similar items:

Silver bracelet memory wire (gold bracelet memory wire)
4mm x 3mm faceted rondelles: 48 each of Lake Blue, Green, Rose, PinkLight Pink
4 x spacer bars with five holes (try these silver spacers or these gold spacers if you can't get the ones I used)
1 x silver flower metal slider with 3 loops (here's a gold one)
Tools: round nose pliers, memory wire shears, chain nose pliers

Note: Memory wire is made of steel that will damage your good wire cutters so make sure you always use memory wire shears to cut it!

Use the memory wire shears to cut five pieces of memory wire. To make a standard size bracelet, each one should be one full coil plus 1" (2.5cm). If needed, cut the coils a little longer.

Turn an inward loop on one end of each coil. String 3 turquoise beads on one coil.

String the outside hole of a spacer bar onto the memory wire.
Starting the stringing with the first bead colour on the memory wire.

String fifteen Lake Blue rondelles.
Continuing with the stringing pattern for the Blue Lake beads

Insert the wire through the outside hole of a second spacer bar.
Stringing the second spacer bar onto the memory wire.

String six Lake Blue rondelles.
Half the bracelet is strung on the memory wire.

Insert the memory wire through the outside hole of the flower slider.
Adding the flower slider to the bracelet design.

String six Lake Blue rondelles, then thread the wire through the outside hole of a third spacer bar. String fifteen Lake Blue rondelles and the outside hole of the fourth spacer bar. String three more rondelles.
The first coil of memory wire is strung

Move all the beads along the memory wire to remove any excess space but don't make them too tight on the wire. Trim the wire to 11mm (7/16") with the memory wire shears.
Using memory wire shears to trim the wire.

The memory wire has been trimmed to about 11mm.
Turn an inward facing loop.

Using round nose pliers to turn an inward facing loop.

Take a second piece of memory wire. String three Green beads and then pass the memory wire through the second hole of the spacer bar. Continue stringing Green beads following the same pattern as the turquoise beads. Pass the memory wire through the same loop of the flower as the Lake Blue beads. You may need to adjust the number of beads used on either side of the flower to make the slider sit nicely. Finish stringing the Green beads and then turn an inward loop.

Stringing the second coil of memory wire with the faceted green rondelles.

String the Rose, Pink and Light Pink beads in the same way with the following variations:

Rose row: thread the wire through the middle hole of the flower slider.

Pink and Light Pink Rows: thread the wires through the remaining outside loop of the flower slider. You may need to adjust the number of beads to make the flower sit properly. To thread the Light Pink row of memory wire through the flower slider, you will need to use pliers to draw it through.
Using pliers to draw the last memory wire coil through the flower slider.

Use pliers to feed the wire through the top hole of the spacer bar. If necessary, bend the end of the memory wire down a little to help you feed it through. Finish stringing the beads and turn an inward loop to complete your bracelet.
Pulling the last wire through the flower spacer with pliers.

And there you have it - a pretty, cuff-style bracelet that doesn't require a clasp, making it a breeze to put on and take off!

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How to make a memory wire bracelet inspiration sheet.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Embossed Leather Cuff with Concho Focal

Get the traditional look of tooled leather even if you don't have any leather crafting skills. Tooling leather is the traditional leather technique where you "sculpt" the leather to create patterns. But you can replicate the look even when you don't have any leather crafting skills. And it's as easy as 1,2,3! All you need is an embossing folder and die cutting machine. Team the patterned leather with a concho, filigree and charms and you have a very chic, bohemian leather cuff.
DIY Boho chic embossed leather cuff

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

SS 1504202 Realeather leather strip Brown 1.5x42”
BC786 Realeather Rope Edge Concho
T3630-20 20L Snap Setter Kit
Embossing folder: Leaves and branches
DecoArt Metallic Lustre: Brilliant Turquoise; Copper Kettle; Burnished Brass
48mm ornate round brass or antique gold filigree
3 assorted leaf charms in brass and silver
Two 4mm brass jump rings
One 4mm Silver jump ring
Beacon Power Grip Adhesive
Tools: Sizzix Big Shot, chain nose pliers, screwdriver, 4mm hole punch, 2mm hole punch, hammer, scissors, ruler, permanent marker

Measure your wrist and add 6mm (¼”) for comfort and 12mm (½”) for the closure. Cut a strip of leather to this length.
Using scissors to cut the leather belt to size

Place one end of the leather strip in the embossing folder and run it half way through the die cutting machine to emboss it. Remove the leather from the embossing folder and place the other end of the leather strip in the folder and emboss it.
Embossing the leather strip by running it through the Big Shot machine

Using your finger, lightly rub the turquoise metallic wax over the embossed pattern. Highlight the texture with the brass and copper metallic waxes.
Applying the metallic wax to the embossed detail of the leather

Punch a 4mm hole in the middle of the bracelet.
Using a hole punch to cut a hole in the leather

Apply adhesive to the inner opening of the brass stamping.
Using a toothpick to apply the adhesive to the fine detail of the filigree

Center it over the hole and allow the adhesive to dry before proceeding.
Centering the filigree on the leather strip

Insert the shaft of the concho screw through the hole, place the concho on top and tighten it.
Placing the concho onto the thread of the base screw

Open two brass and one silver jump ring. Place a charm on each and insert through the loop of the brass stamping.
Using pliers to attach the charms to the filigree

Mark the positions for the snaps at either end of the bracelet. Position them approximately 3/8” from the ends and the sides of the leather. Punch a 2mm hole at each mark.
Using a Crop-o-Dile to punch the holes for the snaps

Follow the instructions included in the Snap Setter kit to attach the snaps.
Using a rivet setting tool to set the snaps in the leather

And now you can wear your "tooled" leather cuff!

Here are some other leather projects you might like:
Crystal embellished leather cuffs
How to set snaps in leather

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How to fake the look of tooled leather 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