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.....








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Friday, December 7, 2018

Glowing Red and Gold Christmas Tree Cuff

Add some Christmas cheer to your holiday outfits with this glowing red, gold and silver cuff. Would you believe me if I told you it is made on memory wire? 
Red and Gold Christmas Tree memory wire cuff
Finished size: Internal diameter 2 11/16” (67mm)
Memory wire is such an under utilised stringing material. It's a great place for beginner jewellery-makers to start, but there's so much more that you can do with it when you get creative, making it an ideal stringing material for advanced jewellery-makers too! This Christmas cuff shows how it can be used to create sculptural pieces that will belie it's humble status as a beginner's stringing material. But the clever thing is, it uses just one technique: hot to turn loops. Read on to see how to make it.

Here's what you'll need:

3 50mm silver eye pins

Tools: Memory Wire shears, Flush cutters, Chain nose pliers, Round nose pliers

Cut two 2” lengths of wire.  Create a loop on one end of each wire.  String on a red bicone and a curved tube, making sure that the eye of the pin is sideways to the tube.  String a second red bicone and turn another loop in the same direction.
Eye pin strung with twisted silver tube and red bicone.

String a Christmas tree and a star on each eye pin and turn a loop.

Cut two coils measuring 1¼ rings from the memory wire using the memory wire shears.  Turn an outward facing loop at one end of each coil using the round nose pliers.
Turning a loop on the memory wire with round nose pliers.

With the loops of the two coils together string on a red rondelle.

Separate the wires and string two curved tubes and 3 glass pearls on each one.

String on a Christmas tree component upside down.
Pearl beads and Christmas tree bead strung on memory wire

On the top coil, string six glass pearls.  On the bottom row, string two glass pearls.

Double memory wire coils strung with pearl beads and a Christmas Tree

String a curved tube component with the outside of the curve facing towards the center of the bracelet.

On the top coil, string two glass pearls and on the bottom coil, string six pearls.
Two coils of memory wire strung with a hollow tube component and glass pearls.

String a Christmas tree right way up.

On the top coil string two glass pearls and on the bottom coil string six glass pearls.

String the second curved tube component with the outside curve facing towards the centre of the bracelet.
Stringing a hollow tube component between the memory wire coils.

On the top coil, string six pearls and the bottom loop of the third Christmas tree.  On the bottom coil, string two pearls and the top loop of the Christmas tree.
Upside down Christmas tree bead strung between two memory wire coils.

String three pearls and two curved tubes on to each wire and then bring them back together.  String on a red rondelle.
Adding glass pearls after the Christmas Tree bead to finish the stringing pattern

Push all the beads along the wire so that there are no gaps between them.  Trim the wire using memory wire shears to 3/8” (10mm).  Turn a loop on each wire.
Using memory wire shears to trim the memory wire

Techniques used in this project:
Turning loops on memory wire
Turning simple loops


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Glowing Christmas Tree bracelet Inspiration Sheet


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Friday, November 30, 2018

How to Make Pendants from Resin Art Overflow

three marbled resin pendants

If you've ever created a resin painting, you'll have noticed that the resin flows over the edge of the canvas and onto the table below. As it drips, it pools and creates incredible marbled eddies and flows. Most resin artists just leave it to cure and then discard it.
Collection of marbled resin overflow pieces

But some of the prettiest pieces of marbled resin jewellery I've made have come from this resin waste. The way the resin drips and flows is unpredictable and the patterns are much more intricate than you could ever create in a bezel so I save any of the larger pieces that I think I can use for other projects. Read on to see how easy it is to turn that waste into some unique pendants.

To start with, you'll need some cured resin overflow from a resin project. The overflow I'm using here is from a marbled cheese board.
Drips of resin below a marbled cheese board

You'll also need some bezels. They come as a variety of different jewellery components: pendants, bracelets, rings.... just choose whatever takes your fancy.

Start by cutting a template from a piece of scrap acetate. The easiest way to create a template is to place the acetate on the top of the bezel you'd like to use and trace just inside the rim with a permanent marker. Because you can see through the acetate, it makes it easy to create the template,  plus it's also easy to see the patterns in the resin.
Using a permanent marker to trace an outline of the bezel on a transparency sheet

Now cut it out on the line, trying to leave both the "frame" and the template intact because sometimes it's easier to use the frame to trace around than the template.

Once you have your template or frame, place it onto the resin waste and move it around until you like what you see within the frame.
Positioning the template over the patterned resin

Next, trace it with the permanent marker and cut it out with scissors. I use Tonic Studios scissors because they cut through thick materials like resin as if it was butter!

But even then, sometimes the resin is too thick to cut through, so try this tip... it will work a treat!

Test the resin for fit in the bezel. You'll no doubt need to do some fine tuning on the edges to get a perfect fit. I've found an emery board is perfect for fine sanding work like this. It gives you better control of what you're sanding than a piece of sandpaper because it's firm and you're less likely to accidentally scratch the front. Resin dust is very fine and it floats around. You don't want to breathe those fine particles in so make sure you're wearing a dust mask.
Using an emery board to sand the resin edges

Keep test fitting it until it fits comfortably in the bezel.
Test-fitting the cut resin piece in the bezel

Next, mix up some 5-minute epoxy and apply a thin layer to both the bezel AND the back of the resin. For the strongest bond, you need to mix the epoxy adhesive correctly. It's easy to do, but if you've never used 5-minute epoxy before, here's a tutorial on how to mix it properly.

Applying 5-minute epoxy to the resin

Position the resin into the bezel and you're done!
Placing the marbled resin in the bezel.

If you've been a little too generous with the adhesive and it has oozed out, clean up with methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) and a cotton bud.

Depending on whether you've chosen a deep or a shallow bezel, you can dome a layer of resin over the top but this bezel is a little too shallow for that. Besides, I like the way the resin is sitting flush with the rim of the bezel.

Here's some other pieces I made up from my overpour.

Trio of black, brown, gold and white marbled resin pendants
Trio of pink, navy and blue resin pendants

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DIY resin overflow pendants project sheet

How to make pendants from marbled resin art overflow project sheet

'Til next time.....








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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Jewellery-Making Basics - How to Turn a PERFECT Loop on Memory Wire

There are a few basic jewellery-making skills that every jewellery maker should master and turning a loop on memory wire is one of them.
How to make a perfect loop in memory wire.

It seems quite straight forward... until you actually go to do it and end up with a lopsided, half-open loop that small beads slide around or catches on your clothes.

But this simple trick will change all that and make your memory wire jewellery look really professional. Read on....

You'll need:
Round nose pliers - this is the style I use.
Memory wire shears. These are absolutely essential. Memory wire is made of steel and trying to cut it with your regular jewellery wire cutters will destroy the cutting blades. I know this from first hand experience! 

Cut the memory wire long enough to go around your wrist PLUS 5cm (2"). This will give you a little more than you need but it's better to have a little extra than not enough.
Using memory wire shears to cut a coil of memory wire.

Grip the very tip of the wire in the jaws of the round nose pliers. How far along the pliers you place the wire will determine the size of the loop. For loops in memory wire, I like to make my loop about 1/3 of the way down from the tip, but how far you choose will depend on the diameter of the jaws of your pliers.
Holding the tip of the memory wire in the round nose pliers.

In this example, I'm showing you how to turn an inward facing loop. With the thumb of your non-dominant hand pressing on the outside of the wire, rotate the pliers inwards to turn a loop. To turn an outward facing loop, you'll rotate the pliers in the opposite direction.
Turning a loop in the memory wire using round nose pliers.

Your loop will still be partially open but this is where my little tip comes in. Instead of trying to rotate the pliers again to close the loop, use the thumb of your non-dominant hand to wrap the memory wire around the jaws of the pliers until it meets the end of the wire.
Pressing your thumb against the wire to finish turning the loop.

It should look like this!
The completed memory wire loop.

You will have formed a perfect loop, with no gap to catch on your clothes or space for little beads to slide around.
Perfectly formed inward facing loop on memory wire.

Now that you know how to make perfect loops in memory wire, go make some wonderful jewellery.

Here's some designs to get you started:
Blush Memory Wire Bracelet
Christmas Tree Memory Wire Cuff
Scalloped Christmas Choker Necklace

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Jewelry technique project sheet - How to turn a loop on memory wire


'Til next time.....








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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Scalloped Christmas Choker Necklace

Red, green and gold might be the traditional colours at Christmas but why not shake things up and put a modern spin on them? Here, I've swapped the usual emerald green out for a more muted olive tone which works really well with the soft gold dagger beads. The combination of textures, colours and finishes make this Christmas choker a stand out!

Christmas choker featuring red drop beads on gold scallops with olivine accents.


Here's a shopping list of what you'll need:

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

Cut the 26g wire into one 30cm (12”) length and two 15cm (6”) lengths. String the pointed oval dagger bead on the 30cm (12”) length, approximately 30mm (1 ¼”) from one end. Bend the wire on either side of the bead holes and then bend the wires upwards at the point of the bead.

Wire strung through a top-drilled red dagger bead.

Wrap the short wire around the longer wire two or three times to create a neck. Trim the short wire close to the wraps.
Wrapping the wire in neat coils around the neck just above the dagger bead.

Place the round nose pliers just above the wire wrapping and wrap the long wire around the jaw to create a loop.
Using round nose pliers to form a loop for hanging the dagger bead.

Remove the round nose pliers and grip the loop with the chain nose pliers whilst you continue wrapping the wire down the neck until you reach the top of the bead.
Wrapping the wire back down the neck of the wrapped loop.

Hold the bead with one hand and continue wrapping the wire down the bead until you have covered the bead holes.
Wrapping the wire neatly around the top of the bead.

Bring the wire back up to the neck of the wire and wrap it two or three times around the neck.
Wrapping the wire neatly around the top of the wrapped loop.

Trim away the excess wire. Wire wrap the top of the two faceted tear drops in the same way using the 15cm (6”) wires.
Using flush cutters to cut the wire close to the neck of the loop.

String each of the olive beads on a head pin and bend them at 90° just above the bead.
Using flat nose pliers to bend a head pin at right angles above the bead.

Trim the head pins to 3/8” and turn a simple loop on each one.
Forming a simple loop on an olivine bead dangle using round nose pliers.

Cut five 7.5cm(3”) lengths of 22g wire. Turn a loop on one end of one wire.
A piece of wire with a loop formed on the end

String five gold tube beads on the wire, the loop of the pointed dagger and five more tube beads. Turn a simple loop.
Length of wire strung with gold tube beads and red dagger drop.

Shape it into a curve and then use the flat nose pliers to grip the loops and bend them up and to the side so that they can be strung on the choker in a later step.
A beaded scallop component with a red dangle drop.

Repeat steps 12 and 13 but string four tubes on each side of the tear drops and three beads on each side of the Czech daggers.
Five scalloped drop components

Use the memory wire shears to cut 1 ½ coils of memory wire. Turn an outward facing loop on one end and string 31 tube beads. String the first loop of the Czech dagger component, three tube beads, a 6mm olive bead, and three tubes.
Stringing the first scalloped component

Hook on the second loop of the Czech dagger component.
Stringing pattern for the scalloped necklace.

String on a gold dagger and the first loop of a tear drop component.
Two scalloped components being strung on the memory wire.

String on three tubes, the tri-cut round, three tubes, the second loop of the tear drop component and a gold dagger. Hook on the first loop of the pointed dagger component, three tubes and the helix bead. This is the center of the necklace. Complete the other side of the necklace to match the first.
Two beaded scallops strung on the memory wire.

Trim the memory wire to 3/8” and turn an outward facing loop.
Turning an outward facing loop on the end of the memory wire.


Scalloped Christmas Choker displayed on a jewellery bust.
Finished Length: 42cm (16 ½”)

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Scalloped Christmas Choker inspiration sheet

'Til next time....









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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