Monday, April 30, 2018

Rose Cluster Faux Perfume Bottle Necklace

Every Mum deserves a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day. But why not go one step further and make her a pendant with a beautiful rose cluster bead that will live on long beyond a bunch of flowers. Make it yourself with love and show her how much she means to you. 
Rose bottle pendant featuring a red rose cluster bead, bead caps and silver Swarovski crystals

This stunning bottle-style pendant is surprisingly easy to make. You just need an assortment of bead caps and a couple of crystals to add some sparkle to this special rose cluster bead.

Here's a shopping list to help you out:
Beads and findings required for the Rose Bottle Pendant
Tools: 2 pairs chain nose pliers; Round nose pliers; Flat nose pliers; Flush cutters;  Bead mat

Work Out Your Design

To design your bottle pendant, you'll need to sort through your bead cap mix and find combinations that work well together. Starting with the base, string on a 3mm bead cap (or a round spacer bead). This will act as a stopper and make sure that the first bead cap doesn't fall off if it has a large hole.

Now, create the base and stem. 

Try different combinations of bead caps: some bell shaped, some flat, some cupped. Place multiple pieces together to create fancy shapes, or string some upside down to give them a different look. 

Include the 6mm Swarovski crystal in the stem and add the feature bead so you get a really good idea of how it will look. Just keep trying the bead caps in different combinations until you like what you see. I eventually went with number 2 because I liked its balance.
3 different bead cap combinations for the base of the rose bottle

Now do the same thing with the top. String different combinations of bead caps to create a fancy-shaped top for your faux perfume bottle. Include the 4mm Swarovski crystal in the top as part of the "cap". This time I went with the third combination.
Three different combinations of beads and crystals to make up a "lid" for the bottle.

Once you're happy with the design, firm all the bead caps into position so they nestle inside each other and there's no play in them. Grip the head pin above the last bead/bead cap with chain nose pliers and bend it at a 90° angle above the pliers.
Use chain nose pliers to bend the head pin at a 45° angle

With round nose pliers, create a loop large enough to string your chain through. Finish with the tail of the head pin on the side so that you have a complete loop.
Using round nose pliers to form a loop at the top of the neck of the head pin.

Hold the loop with one pair of pliers and grip the tail with the other pair. Wrap the tail neatly around the neck as many times as you need to. This will keep the components firmly in position so that there is no wiggle room. Two to three wraps is a good balance. If you need more than this, then make the neck shorter next time.
Wrapping the wire around the neck of the head pin

Trim away the excess tail close to the neck.
Trimming the tail of the head pin flush with the wire wrapping using flush cutters.

Make the Chain

Decide how long you'd like the pendant to be and take away the clasp length from this measurement. I cut my chain to 50cm (19.75") and with the clasp and jump rings added, it measures 52cm (20.5") long.
Cutting the snake chain to the desired length for the necklace, using flush cutters.

Place one end of the chain into the chain end. You can glue it into position if you wish, but this is optional. Suitable adhesives would be GS-Hypo Cement or super glue. Grip the loop and the very tip of the chain with the chain nose pliers. With flat nose pliers in your other hand, press one flap of the chain end over the chain. Do the same to the other side. Give it a gentle tug to make sure it's secure. If not, press the flaps down more firmly and then tug again.
Crimping the cord end onto the snake chain with chain nose pliers.

String the other end of the chain through the loop of the pendant. Attach a chain end to this end of the chain in the same way.
Threading the snake chain through the wrapped loop of the rose bottle pendant

Connect the ends of the chain to the clasp with jump rings.
Attaching the clasp to each end of the chain with jump rings using chain nose pliers.

And that's it. Your Mum will love receiving such a beautiful handmade gift. And every time she wears it, she will remember how much you mean to her.

Pin this project for later!
DIY Rose Cluster Bottle Necklace inspiration sheet.

For Mum, Rose Bottle Necklace tip sheet with step out photos.

'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

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blush Memory Wire Bracelet

Blush memory wire bracelet

Show Mum how much she means to you this Mother's Day by making her this beautiful Peach Blush Wrap Bracelet. It's a really simple design, but the delicate colour combination of peach and blush, combined with a variety of textures and shapes, makes this a very classy and elegant bracelet. And although it looks complex, it's an easy project, even for a beginner jewellery maker. You can put this bracelet together in an hour or so! This project first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Craft Ideas.
Memory wire bracelet strung with Czech glass rondelles, rose gold curved hollow tubes, freshwater rice pearls and a strand of Jesse James beads in shades of delicate dogwood, blush and peach.

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

Jesse James Design Elements Pale Dogwood Strand #1
6mm Peach freshwater rice pearls, angle-drilled (or top-drilled), Peach, 16” strand
Czech rondelle, 4mm x 2mm, peach and silver, four 4.5” strands
Curved hollow tubes, 40mm x 2.5mm, rose gold, ten (substitute these shorter tubes if you can't find longer ones)
Bracelet memory wire, gold

Round nose pliers
Memory wire shears - these are essential for cutting memory wire.

How to make a Memory Wire Bracelet

Cut a 9-ring coil of memory wire using memory wire shears. Turn an outward facing loop on one end.
Turning an outside loop on the end of the gold memory wire using round nose pliers

String the Apollo Gold rondelles onto the memory wire. To save time, transfer them to the memory wire by inserting the end into the rondelles whilst they are still on the strand. Once you have strung one full coil, check it for length by wrapping the beaded section of the memory wire around your wrist. It should be long enough to go around your wrist completely. Add more beads if needed. Slide all the beads down to the loop.
Transferring the Apollo Gold Czech glass rondelles onto the memory wire from the bead strand

String five hollow tubes onto the memory wire. If you've used shorter tubes, then string enough to measure 20cm (8"). Check the length on your wrist again to make sure that there are enough tubes to wrap around your wrist once.
Stringing the rose gold curved hollow tubes onto the memory wire

String the rice pearls onto the wire. If you are using angle-drilled pearls, always stringing from the hole on top of the pearl and out through the hole on the side. Once you have strung one full coil, test the bracelet on your wrist to check that you have added enough for one full wrap around your wrist.
Stringing the pearls onto the memory wire so that they lie in a wheatsheaf pattern.

Keeping the same order as on the strand, string the Jesse James beads onto the memory wire. This is the centre of the bracelet. String the other half of the bracelet to match, in reverse order.
Stringing the Jesse James focal beads onto the memory wire

Slide all the beads up to the loop, removing all the gaps. If you've use angle-drilled pearls, they should be sitting in a wheatsheaf pattern.
Sliding all the beads along the memory wire to remove any gaps between the beads.

Hold the beads firmly in place and trim the wire to 10mm (3/8”).
Trimming the memory wire with memory wire shears for the finishing loop.

Turn an outward facing loop to finish the bracelet.
Turning an outward facing loop to finish the bracelet

To wear your wrap bracelet, wind it around your wrist and adjust the wrapping until the focal beads sit across the front of your wrist.

Your Mum will love this bracelet. And she'll love it even more when she knows you made it especially for her.... that is, if you can bear to part with it!

Pin this project for later!
Delicate and elegant blush memory wire bracelet inspiration sheet.

Tutorial sheet with step outs for how to make the Blush Memory Wire Bracelet

'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, April 6, 2018

How to Clean Your Resin Mixing Cups

I'm an advocate for always using clean, NEW cups and utensils when working with resin. It helps eliminate a possible source of contamination that could ruin a resin pour.

But if your budget is tight, or you're running low on cups, you might decide you need to re-use your measuring cups. And if that's the case, then here are the steps you'll need to take to clean them so that they can be re-used. N.B. This will only work if you use Polyethylene or Polypropylene plastic cups (because resin doesn't stick to these kinds of plastics). 

If you're curious, these are the three types of measuring cups I use all the time in the studio: 
1oz (30ml) cups
8oz (250ml) cups;
100ml silicone cups

And here's what you'll need to clean them:
Toilet tissue

How to Clean Cured Resin from your Cups

Make sure that the resin has cured to the point where it is solid. I find it easier to remove once it has hardened but it doesn't have to be completely cured. Soft resin can still be removed as long as it is past the gel stage. If you leave the stir stick in, that can make it easier to get started.
Graduated plastic measuring cup with leftover pink resin

Pull the stick away from the wall. My pipette removed completely because resin doesn't stick to it, but if you've used a wooden stir stick, it will be stuck in the resin. Grip the resin (or the stick) and remove the resin shell from the cup. It should come away completely.
Pulling the leftover cured resin away from the walls of the plastic measuring cup.

Although the resin shell has been removed, there is still resin inside the cup that needs to be removed. Sometimes, you'll find that there is some unmixed resin where the walls meet the bottom of the cup.
Empty graduated measuring cup alongside cured shell of resin removed from the cup

Pour some acetone onto the tissue and wipe the inside of the cup, making sure that you remove any cured resin that's still on the walls of the cup. Pay particular attention to the bottom of the cup where the unmixed resin might be. If you leave any behind, it WILL cause problems with the next batch of resin you mix. Take a clean piece of tissue and clean it a second time.
Cleaning the walls of the measuring cup with a wad of soft tissue

And that's it. Now your cup is ready for re-use.
Plastic measuring cup ready for re-use.

You can see how to do it in action in this video:

Pin this tip for later!
How to Save Money by cleaning and re-using your resin measuring cups tutorial sheet

How to Clean your resin cups for re-use tutorial sheet

Resin Tip No. 3 - "Cleaning your graduated resin measuring cups for re-use" tip 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