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!

Pin this Project!
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)

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.
Head pin strung with stacked daisy spacers.

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.

Pin this project!
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

Pin this technique!
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!

Pin this Project!
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

Friday, July 20, 2018

How to Create Cells in a Resin Art Masterpiece

Black and White resin art cell painting with gold veins.

Resin art is a fun way to create a piece of contemporary art that you can proudly display in your home. And it's not difficult to get started with pouring resin. If you've been admiring all the incredible fluid art pieces on Pinterest and want to know how it's done, then this tutorial is for you. It shows you a simple technique for creating resin cells in your artwork. The black and white colour scheme makes the cells even more dramatic!

Black and white resin art panel featuring cells and veining.

I've put together a shopping list of all the supplies you'll need to make your own piece of resin art:

Shopping List:

EnviroTex Lite pour-on epoxy resin
Castin'Craft Pigments: Black; White
18" x 18" primed canvas art panel OR cradled painting panel (wood needs to be sealed with acrylic paint or gesso before using)
Dispersion media (aka silicone oil or treadmill oil - look for dimethicone)
Silver powder
Gold Powder
3M painter's tape
8oz graduated plastic measuring cups
Small plastic cups
Disposable acid brushes
Wooden stir sticks
Gloves and safety glasses/goggles
Butane Torch

Prepping your Work Space

Before you get underway, protect your work surface with a plastic painter's drop sheet. Resin is really sticky stuff and you don't want to get it on you. Wear goggles and gloves at all times and work in a well ventilated area.

Elevate the art panel on some cups and then level the canvas. Resin will always find the low point so if your canvas is not level, the resin will flow in that direction, which can spoil your artwork.

Before you begin, tape the back of the art panel or painting panel with painter's tape and burnish the edges. This will make it easier to remove any resin that overflows.

Mixing and Colouring the Resin

Measure out 125mls (4oz) of Part A and 125mls (4oz) of Part B of EnviroTex Lite in the same cup. Mix the resin thoroughly, following the mixing instructions included in the resin kit.
Pouring resin and hardener into a graduated plastic measuring cup.

Pour 30mls (1oz) of resin into each of two small cups. Colour one with silver and one with gold. Use enough powder to make them opaque.
Pouring some silver powder into mixed resin.

Colour the remaining resin with enough black pigment to make it opaque.
Pouring black resin pigment into a cup of mixed resin.

Pour the black resin across the art panel in large bands of colour. Keep some large open spaces for the white resin.
Pouring black resin onto the canvas

Mix another 250ml (8oz) batch of resin. Pour half into another cup and colour it with enough white pigment to make it opaque. Set the rest aside. (It can be coloured later with either black or white to fill any gaps as needed.)
Pouring white resin pigment into clear resin.

Creating Resin Cells

The magic ingredient for creating cells is demethicone. It behaves like a repellent and disperses the resin. Add 5 drops of the dispersion media into the white resin and stir through very lightly. The amount of stirring you do actually determines the size of the cells.
Dropping the silicone oil into the white resin

Pour the white resin in the open spaces on the canvas alongside the black. You will see cells developing where the two colours meet. If the cells don't begin to form, pick up the painting with your gloved hands and tilt the panel just enough so that the resin begins to move. This should open up the cells.
Pouring white resin onto the canvas so that the black and white resin can react.

Drizzle the thickened silver resin along some of the edges where the black and white meet. You don't need to add too much, just to add some highlights.
Drizzling silver resin onto the black and white resin.

Learning when to STOP!

Use the heat gun to move the resin out towards the edges of the canvas. As the white resin moves across the surface of the black, even more cells will open up. Pushing the resin around is fun to do but it's easy to get carried away and you need to STOP!!  If you overdo the heat gun, the colours will mix too much making the patterns overly busy. You really want to keep some solid bands of colour. If you still have gaps around the edges, pour more resin from the cups to fill them in.
Pushing the resin around the canvas with the air from a heat gun.

Drizzle some thickened gold resin wherever you would like gold highlights.
Drizzling gold resin alongside the black and white edges for highlights.

Use the heatgun to soften and spread out the gold a little. Keep the heatgun moving at all times and take care not to over heat or burn the resin.
Feathering the edges of the gold resin with the heat gun.

Brush the sides of the canvas with the resin that has fallen onto the dropsheet.

Now your canvas is finished... but the resin will keep moving until it reaches gel stage. Once you're happy with how the canvas looks, pass the butane torch across the canvas to pop any bubbles. You may need to do this again a couple of hours later. Leave the canvas to cure overnight.
Passing a flame across the surface of the resin canvas to pop any bubbles.

Clean off any residue from the dispersion media thoroughly with a soft, dry cloth. If any silicone oil remains on the surface of the resin, it will repel the resin top coat.

Mix approximately 375mls (12oz) of EnviroTex Lite (do this in two batches) and pour it across the art panel. Pop the bubbles and leave the resin to cure 24 hours.
Applying a top coat of clear resin to the canvas.

It's almost time to hang your masterpiece. But wait.... there's still tape and resin drips on the back to remove. You can see how to do that in this short video:

Pin this project!
Resin Art with cells inspiration sheet.

Now that you've removed the tape, go ahead and hang your masterpiece. 

'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