Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Tie a Sliding Knot

With leather jewellery being so popular at the moment, there is now a plethora of cord ends on the market to neatly finish off your jewellery. But sometimes, the best way to finish leather jewellery is not with a cord end at all. Sometimes, the best way is with a sliding knot. The beauty of this knot is that it's adjustable to fit the wearer and there is no clasp required. So let's take a look at how to make it.
Just pull the ends of this adjustable sliding knot leather bracelet to tighten it.

I've already made my bracelet and knotted off the cord ends to keep them in a neat bundle. Form the bracelet into a circle with the ends overlapping. Take a length of cord about 20cm (8") long and hold it about 4cm (1 1/2") from one end. Place this along the bundle of cords.
Begin tying the sliding knot by crossing cords from each side over each other.

Hold it under the thumb of your non-dominant hand and with your other hand, begin to wrap it around the bundle of cords including the cord you laid down in the previous step.
Hold the bracelet in your hand place a wrapping cord under the thumb of your non-dominant hand.

Continue wrapping the cord around the bundle loosely, working back towards the cut end of the wrapping cord. Make about 4 or 5 wraps.
Wrap the cord around the bundle of leather cords loosely

Thread the tail back through the coil you've just created....
Thread the tail of the cord back through the coil you just created.

and pull it back out at the first coil.

Pull the cord back out at the first coil.

Next, adjust the coil so it sits neatly and pull both ends of the cord in opposite directions so that the knot is secure.
Tighten the sliding knot by pulling the two cord ends in opposite directions.

Trim away the excess cord close to the coil.
Trim away the excess cord close to the coil.

To tighten the bracelet, just pull the two knotted bracelet ends in opposite directions.
To tighten the bracelet, just pull the two knotted bracelet ends in opposite directions.

To loosen the bracelet, grip the bracelet cords (not the knotted ends, but the bracelet itself) next to the coil and pull them - they will slide through the knot making the bracelet larger.

And there you have it! A really neat way to finish a bracelet with no cord ends and no clasp!

See this related post:
Beaded Kumhimo Bracelet with Sliding Knot

Pin it for later!
Mastering the Sliding Knot project sheet.

How to Tie and Adjustable Sliding Knot project sheet with close up detail of the sliding leather knot.

Tying Basic Knots in leather jewellery - the adjustable sliding knot project sheet

How to tie an adjustable sliding knot on a leather bracelet inspiration sheet
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'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, November 7, 2014

Mill Lane Studio Earns Nomination for "Kochie's Business Builders"

Yesterday, Mill Lane Studio was nominated in "Kochies Business Builders" rescue-my-website competition for "Doing Great Things in the Community". I didn't know whether to jump for joy or to cry!

So I put it out there to my Facebook friends for their thoughts on whether I should accept the nomination or not and I got a resounding "You deserve it, so go for it" response. With so much enthusiasm behind me, I accepted!

But now I need to turn all that enthusiasm into votes to get to the second stage of the competition. And this is where I need your help. Please show your support for my nomination by clicking the link below and voting. And if you click the FB link on the voting page and share to your timeline, you give my nomination an extra vote whilst spreading the word even further! (sorry.... voting has now closed)

So if you think I do great things in our jewellery-making/craft community, vote and tell the whole world about it and help me get me one step closer to a brand new, professionally designed and very spiffy website. I would really appreciate your help in getting the word out there!

'Til next time....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Create your own Pavé Jewellery and Feel Like a Princess!

You don't need to be a master jeweller to create expensive looking sparkly jewellery like the exquisite pieces you see at the jewellers. You can easily create the look of pavé-set jewellery with just a few simple materials and tools.
Sapphire and Clear Swarovski crystal pavé-style earrings. Perfect bridal or special occasion jewellery

Firstly, you'll need a bezel suitable for your design, ETI's EnviroTex Jewelry Clay and some pointy back crystals or chatons. I've used Swarovski crystals for a super sparkly finish.

Here's a shopping list of the supplies you'll need:
EnviroTex Jewelry Clay
Pewter Perfect Pearls or Pearl Ex Antique Silver
Swarovski pointy back crystals: Chaton Mix Blue; 48 Clear 2mm chatons (2 packs)
2 9x6mm crystal teardrops
2 14mm or 16mm silver bezels with loop (choose a 2 loop bezel if using earring wires)
Soft brush
Krystal Katana or other gem placing tool
Earring studs, earring wires or earring backs for non-pierced ears
5-minute epoxy (for studs on earring backs)

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing the epoxy resin clay and most importantly, don't forget to wear the gloves that come in the kit. In its uncured form, it's really sticky. 
Measure, mix and press the epoxy resin clay into the bezel
Click the image to open it in a new window to read the steps.
Once you've mixed the resin clay, place it in your bezel and work it gently out to the edges. (Side note: You might notice that the photo above uses a different bezel to the photos below. Sorry about that but I forgot to photograph this step so I've used a photo from a previous project.). If you're making a pair of earrings, divide the mixed clay into two and make both earrings at the same time.

Place the feature crystal into the centre of the clay and then create your design around it. Use a silicone tipped tool to help you place the crystals. I've used the 5.5mm large sapphire crystal surrounded by a row of dainty clear crystals.
Press the Swarovski crystals into the resin clay

My second row of clear crystals is placed in between the spaces below the first row. If symmetry is not your thing, try placing them randomly and in different colours for a fun look!
Press the Swarovski crystals into the epoxy resin clay

Once all the crystals are positioned you can use a toothpick to gently press them into the clay surface. The girdle of each crystal should sit flush with the surface of the clay. The arrows show a couple which need to be pushed in a little further yet.
Press the crystals up to their hips into the clay

Looking much better!
 Pavé-style earring component made with Swarovski crystals and resin clay

If you make both earring components at the same time they'll be more symmetrical.
Pavé-style earring component made with Swarovski crystals and resin clay

Now you'll need a fine soft brush and mica powder in your choice of colour. Dip the brush into the powder and dust it over the exposed clay. Don't worry too much if you dust the crystals too - that can be cleaned off later. I've used Pewter Perfect Pearls but Pearl-Ex is a great choice too!
Dust Pearl Ex powder onto the resin clay to fill the gaps around the crystals

You have to look closely to see the difference but the component on the right is dusted with mica whilst the component on the left is the natural resin clay colour. Adding the mica powder gives a nice polished sheen to the clay.
Brush the Pearl Ex powder onto the resin clay surface around the crystals

Gently brush away the excess powder and set the components aside to cure for 24 hours.
Brush off excess Pearl Ex powder off the resin clay trying to avoid the crystals.

Once the clay has cured, you can assemble your earrings. I attached the earring findings with 5-minute epoxy for permanent adhesion - I find this to be the adhesive that works best for me. These earrings were made for unpierced ears so I've used a clip on earring blank but a stud setting would give you the same look. And as a finishing touch, I attached a simple pear-shaped crystal dangle to the loop on my bezel for some extra elegance.

In real life, these earrings are just stunning but I couldn't capture that dazzling brilliance in the photo. But take my word for it, if you want the look of expensive, fine jewellery (at a fraction of the cost), then this is the project for you!

Pin this project for later!
Princess Diana inspired pavé crystal earrings 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