Monday, October 15, 2018

Bountiful Harvest Necklace

When summer comes to an end, the leaves begin to fall and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air, our thoughts turn to how thankful we are for the many blessings we have.

For jewellery makers, our colour palette takes on a change as the sun drenched shades of summer make way for the softer orange, brown and gold tones that radiate feelings of warmth and comfort.
Bountiful Harvest necklace made with seed bead corn cobs and gold acorn charms

This necklace is inspired by the bountiful harvest of late summer and early autumn, featuring beaded cobs of corn in autumnal colours and spicy pumpkin-shaped beads. No need to hide the beautiful leaf clasp at the back.... it deserves to be noticed and sits off to the side where it becomes part of this harvest-inspired design. Strung on soft brown velour tubing and with a collection of warm gold and copper charms to complement the autumnal colours, this is the perfect necklace to wear for Thanksgiving.
Velour necklace strung with seed bead corn cobs.

Here's what you'll need to make this design:
Seed beads in transparent gold, pumpkin, orange, green and aubergine - a rich mix of harvest colours.
Tools: Memory Wire shears, flush cutters, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers

Make the Corn Cobs

To make a corn cob, string two size 11 beads, two size 8 beads, 3 size 6, two size 8 and one or two size 11 beads on each of six eye pins.  Each one should measure 2.2cm (7/8”).

Turn a simple loop on each eye pin.

Open a 6mm jump ring and hook on the six eye pins.

Open another 6mm jump ring and hook on three eye pins.  Close the jump ring.  For the remaining three, you will need to open the eye pins one at a time and hook them on individually.  Tilt the jump ring upward to help slide the eye pins underneath. Make 3 more cobs of corn.
Fall coloured seed bead corn cob.

Cut a piece of velour tubing the same length as the corn cob.  String a gold spacer bead and a piece of tubing on an eye pin.

String a corn cob over the tubing and add another spacer bead.  Turn a simple loop.

Create one more velour corn cob component. You'll use the other two in the following steps.
Finished seed bead corn cob.

Make the Centre Section of the Necklace

Cut 12cm (4.75”) of memory wire using the memory wire shears. Turn an outward facing loop at one end of the wire using round nose pliers.

Cut a 10cm (4”) length of velour tubing and thread it on the memory wire.

Turn a loop at the other end of the wire.

String the two remaining cobs of corn 6mm (¼”) from each end of the velour tubing.  Hook a quick link on the centre of the velour tubing and gently squeeze it until it's secure but so that it doesn’t squash the tubing.  Hook a copper ring on the other loop of the quick link and close it firmly.  String an orange rondelle and a bead cap on the head pin and turn a loop.  Connect the rondelle to the quick link with a 4mm jump ring (see photo below).

Make the Acorn Charm Dangle

Acorns and autumn leaf dangles.

Make a chain of six 4mm jump rings. On the bottom link, attach an acorn connector. Connect the bottom loop of the acorn and a copper leaf together with a 6mm jump ring.

Connect five jump rings together and attach a gold leaf charm.

Create a chain of a jump ring, an acorn connector, a jump ring and a copper leaf.

Make a chain of ten jump rings and then hook on a double acorn charm.

Connect a gold leaf charm to a jump ring.

Hook all these components onto a 6mm jump ring and attach it to the metal ring.

Assemble the Necklace Components

String the four rondelles and bead caps onto the remaining eye pins and turn a simple loop.

Cut 12.5cm (5”) velour tubing.  Cut 14.5cm (5.75”) memory wire with the memory wire shears.  Turn a loop at one end and thread on the tubing.  Turn a loop on the other end.

Connect a rondelle to each end of the tubing with a jump ring.  Connect a corn cob to each rondelle with a jump ring.

On one side of the velour tubing, attach the metal ring with a quick link.  Add another quick link to the other side of the metal ring and attach another rondelle. Connect this to the centre section of the necklace with a jump ring.

On the other side, link together three jump rings and connect the corn cob to the toggle bar.

Attach the remaining rondelle to the other end of the center piece with a jump ring.  Connect the rondelle to the leaf part of the toggle clasp with two jump rings.

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How to make colourful corn cob beads.

Seed bead corn cob necklace with acorn and leaf charm dangles.

'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

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Christmas Tree Memory Wire Cuff

Festive Christmas tree bracelet in traditional red, green and gold.

It's never too early to get ready for Christmas and to help get you organised ahead of time this year, I've put together an easy bracelet project that will really put you in the festive mood. This bright and cheery Christmas Tree cuff in traditional red, green and gold is easy to put together and easy to wear. Just slide the memory wire cuff onto your wrist and you'll be set to rock this festive season!

Here's what you'll need to make a bracelet of your own:

12 Emerald and gold wave shaped beads 15x12mm
Red electroplated Christmas Tree bead 22x23mm
4 8mm gold stardust metal beads
10 6mm gold stardust metal beads
5 4mm gold stardust metal beads
8 18mm gold rhinestone semi-circle moon spacers: 3-hole
4 25mm twisted gold curved hollow tubes
Gold eye pin
Gold bracelet memory wire

Tools: memory wire shears, flush cutters, flat nose pliers, round nose pliers

Memory wire is made from steel so make sure you always use memory wire shears for cutting it. Regular flush cutters/side cutters are designed for aluminium and copper wire and their blades will be severely damaged if you try to cut memory wire with them.

String a 4mm bead and the Christmas tree onto the eye pin and bend the eye pin at a 90° angle just above the top of the tree. Trim the eye pin to 10mm (3/8") and turn a simple loop.
Bending the eye pin just above the top of the Christmas tree at a 90° angle.

Cut two 1 1/2 coil pieces of memory wire using the memory wire shears. Turn an outward facing loop at one end of each coil using the round nose pliers.

Place the two loops together and string a 6mm bead. Next, separate the two coils and string a curved tube on each one. Then string a 4mm, 6mm and 8mm bead on each one.
Stringing hollow tubes and beads onto the two memory wire coils.

String on a green wave bead, a semi-circle spacer, a wave bead, a spacer, a wave bead, and a 6mm bead on each coil. You may need to gently flatten out the curve of the wire whilst you slide on the wave beads.
Stringing the memory wire alternately with green wave beads and crystal spacers.

Thread the top loop of the Christmas tree component onto one coil and the bottom loop onto the other.
String the bottom loop of the Christmas tree component onto the memory wire.

Then finish stringing the other half of the bracelet in reverse order.

Push all the beads along the wire, making sure there are no gaps. Trim the wires with the memory wire shears to 10mm (3/8").
Trimming the two memory wire coils with the memory wire shears.

Turn an outward facing loop on each wire.
Turning an outward facing loop on the coils using round nose pliers.

Now you're ready to rock Christmas!

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DIY Christmas Tree 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

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Bejewelled Leather Cuff

Leather has really come into it's own as a jewellery style in recent times. I just love the way that it works equally as well for the country girl as it does for the city girl. Today I'm dressing up a simple strip of metallic leather with acrylic pearls and rhinestones to give it an urban chic look. Don't you love how well pearls and crystals go with leather?
Metallic bronze leather cuff studded with teardrop pearls and rhinestones.
Finished length: 9” (23cm)

Here's what you'll need:

Silver snap setter kit (includes setting tool)
Beacon 527 Adhesive

Ruler and pencil

Decide on the layout of the rhinestones and pearls for the cuff according to your assortment. Download this placement guide to help you. The guide will help you work out how wide your leather strip needs to be. Place the components directly on the guide ready to transfer to the leather when the time comes.
Crystal and Pearl Placement guide

Trim the width of the Metallic Bronze Leather Trim piece so that it's wide enough to accommodate your pattern. I've cut mine 2” (5cm) wide but cut yours to suit the pattern you've laid out on the placement guide.
Placing a mark for the width of the bracelet.

Place the leather strip on your wrist to determine how long you need to make it. You need to allow for an overlap of approximately 26mm (1") at the ends where the studs will be. That's 13mm (½”) extra on each end. Round the corners with scissors.

Place the leather strip on your work space in the landscape position. Measure in 13mm (½”) from the top and right hand edges and place a mark. Do the same at the bottom edge of the cuff. Repeat at the left hand end of the cuff.
Marking the position for the snap studs.

Punch a hole at each of the marks that is slightly smaller than the shank of the studs.
Punching the holes for the press studs.

Following the package instructions, set a snap at each of the holes on the right hand side (wrong side of the bracelet facing up with the cap on the metallic side of the leather) .....
Setting the snap studs in position.

.....and a snap base at each of the holes on the left hand side (right side facing up with the post sitting in the anvil). Double check before you set them that each component is facing the correct direction.
Setting the snap stud base

Find the center of the leather and transfer all the rhinestones and pearls from the template onto the leather. Once you're happy with the positioning, attach each flat back, one at a time with a small amount of adhesive and place them back into position.
Attaching the pearls and rhinestones to the cuff with adhesive.

Leave the adhesive to dry overnight before wearing your new bejewelled cuff!

Here's a neon bright version using the same idea!
Pewter coloured leather cuff featuring neon bright and crystal rhinestones
Close up of the neon bright crystals on a flat metallic leather cuff.

If you liked this post, you might also find this one helpful:
Neat finishes for leather bracelet ends

Pin this Project!
Boho style leather cuff inspiration sheet.

Urban Chic leather cuff 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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

"Shadows" Daisy Spacer Earrings

Today I'm sharing an earring project from my book Fabulous Jewelry from Findings. If you haven't heard about this book, then you're in for a surprise. There's something very unique about the jewellery designs in the book... there's not a single bead in it!
Fabulous Jewelry from Findings book cover

Every piece is made solely from jewellery findings and to show you how versatile findings are, this earrings project is made entirely of daisy spacers!
Olive shaped silver earrings made with stacked daisy spacers
Finished length: 1½"(4cm)
Daisy Spacers come in a vast array of sizes, so you can piece them together in various ways to create bead-like shapes, as with these Shadows earrings.


Twelve 3mm bright silver daisy spacers
Four 4mm bright silver daisy spacers
Four 5mm bright silver daisy spacers
Four 5.5mm silver daisy spacers
Four 6mm silver daisy spacers
Six 7mm silver daisy spacers
Two silver ball head pins
Two silver ball end earring wires

TOOLS: chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, flush cutters

String three 3mm, one 4mm, and one 5mm bright silver daisy spacers onto a head pin. Then string on one 5.5mm, one 6mm, and three 7mm silver spacers. The second 7mm spacer is the center point of the earring.
A stack of silver daisy spacers in graduating sizes strung on a head pin.

String the second half of the earring in reverse to match the first half.

Make sure all the spacers are pushed firmly together. Then, create a wrapped loop after the last daisy spacer. You can see how to do that here.

Slip the loop onto the earring wire and gently close the hook.
Attaching the daisy spacer component onto the earring wire.

Make a second earring to match.

If you'd like to see more clever and inspiring ways to create jewellery using nothing but jewellery findings, take a look at Fabulous Jewelry from Findings. You'll find it on Amazon or you can purchase a signed copy here.

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DIY daisy spacer 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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Jewellery Know How - How to Make a Wrapped Loop

For a neat and secure way of linking components together, the wrapped loop will give your handmade jewellery a professional finish. Wrapped loops are especially useful when using heavier beads such as lampwork beads. For a more organic look or homespun feel, you can make the wraps a little messy to add some visual interest.
A rainbow of wire bird's nests bracelets with secure wire wrapped loops.

You'll need the following tools:
flat nose pliers
round nose pliers
flush cutters
crimping tool or chain nose pliers

Cut a piece of wire measuring 7.5cm (3"). Grip the wire with flat nose pliers at the 3cm (1 1/4") mark.
Gripping the wire at the 1 1/4" mark with flat nose pliers

Bend the wire at a 90° angle.
Bending the wire at a 90° angle with flat nose pliers

Remove the flat nose pliers and place round nose pliers in the neck of the bend. Grip the tail of the wire with your fingers and wrap it around the top jaw of the pliers to form a loop.
Wrapping the wire around the jaws of the round nose pliers

Keep wrapping the wire around the jaws until the loop is complete. The wire should now cross in front of the neck and sit perpendicular to it.
Crossing the wire across the neck of the loop to complete it

Remove the round nose pliers and hold the loop in the jaws of the flat nose pliers. Using your fingers, wrap the tail neatly around the neck of the wire two or three times. If you find it too difficult with your fingers, use a pair of chain nose pliers.
Wrapping the wire around the neck of the loop neatly

Trim  the tail away as close to the neck as you can.
Trimming away the excess wire as close to the neck as possible

Place the wrapped neck in the top hole of the crimping pliers and gently press the cut edge of the wire against the neck. Chain nose pliers can be used to do this but crimping pliers will round the cut wire better.
Using a crimping tool to press the cut wire tail into the neck

The finished wrapped loop should look something like this.
The completed wire wrapped loop

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How to master the wrapped loop 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, August 17, 2018

Resin Space Invaders Coaster

The Perfect Handmade Gift for the Geek in Your Life

Remember that iconic 70s and 80s arcade game, Space Invaders? For those of us old enough to remember, this project is a fun throwback to your teenage years. This resin Space Invaders coaster would make a great gift for the geeky person on your gift list.

This project is a variation of the Tetris coaster tutorial at Resin Obsession
Space Invaders Resin coaster with green alien on black background

Supply list 
Work out the volume of your mould by filling it with rice and tipping it into a measuring cup.

Mix enough resin to two thirds fill the mould. Mix it well and then divide it between two cups. Colour one green and the other black. Pour the black resin into the bottom of the coaster mould and set it aside to cure.
Pouring black resin into the base of the square silicone coaster mould.

Spoon the green resin into the trivet in the shape of a Space Invader. You can find pixelated pictures for this online. Make sure the Space Invader will fit inside your coaster mould. Use the toothpick to push the resin into every corner of the pixels, pop the bubbles and set the resin aside to cure. 
Pouring bright green resin into the squares of the silicone trivet in the shape of a space invader

Place packing tape across the back of the Space Invader and peel the Space Invader out of the trivet. 
Applying packing tape across the back of the cured resin space invader and peeling it out from the trivet

Trim the tape close to the resin. The unattached pixels can be repositioned when you place the Space Invader into the mould. 
Trimming away the packing tape close to the space invader with scissors.

Mix enough resin to fill the mould. Pour a thin layer on the black and place the Space Invader on top. Top up the mould and then tease out any bubbles. Leave the resin to cure.

Gently peel away the silicone from the resin and pull the coaster out. 
Peeling the resin coaster out of the silicone mould.

And your new coaster is ready to use!

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DIY Space invaders resin coaster inspiration sheet

If you enjoyed this project, you might also like this one:
Tetris Resin Coaster Tutorial

'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, August 6, 2018

How to Correctly Mix 5-minute Epoxy Adhesive

Pink and grey striped bubble ring on a table top

One of the easiest ways to turn your resin castings into jewellery is to attach them to jewellery blanks. You'll need to use a strong adhesive for a permanent bond. A lot of people recommend E-6000 but I've had only limited success with it, especially on bracelets and rings that get knocked around a lot when you wear them. I've found I get a much stronger and more secure bond with 5-minute epoxy adhesive. It comes in two parts, just like resin, because it IS resin and that's why it's such a strong adhesive. But to make sure that you get the best results with it, you need to mix it properly.

Start by dispensing equal amounts of each part from the tubes or syringe onto a plastic surface. I use an ice cream lid because the cured adhesive can easily be removed and the lid reused.
Dispensing equal parts of the 5-minute epoxy adhesive onto a plastic lid

Take a paddle pop stick and begin mixing the two parts together. It's important that you scrape all the adhesive from the edges into the middle so it can be mixed in thoroughly.
Mixing the 5-minute epoxy with a paddle pop stick

Now keep mixing it with the paddle pop stick and you will notice it takes on a milky white appearance as you mix and the tendency is to think that it's going off and that you should use it at this stage. But not so... this is just part of the mixing process. Keep mixing! Mixing a small amount like this will take around 2 minutes.
5-minute epoxy adhesive has turned milky white during mixing

It will become clear again and that's when you know it's ready to use.
The epoxy adhesive has turned clear again after being mixed thoroughly

Now apply it to the surface of the jewellery blank. You don't need to apply it too thickly or to spread it all the way out to the edges as it may ooze out in the next step.
Applying epoxy adhesive to the ring pad blank with a paddle pop stick

Position the cabochon onto the adhesive.   
Placing the striped resin cabochon onto the adhesive on the ring blank

Then flip the piece over and make sure the jewellery blank is centred on the back of the cabochon. Hold it for a couple of minutes until the adhesive has grabbed. If you set it down too soon, the cabochon may slide off centre.
Centring the ring pad blank on the back of the resin cabochon.

I like to leave pieces for several hours before wearing them to give the adhesive a chance to cure. But refer to the directions on your adhesive which will tell you how long it takes until the bond reaches full strength.
Pink and Grey Striped bubble ring worn on the ring finger

Pin these tips for later!
Step-by-step project sheet for how to glue resin cabochons onto flat pad jewellery blanks

How to mix 5-minute epoxy adhesive project 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