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.

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. See the bottom of this post for some pixelated alien characters

Make sure the Space Invader will fit inside your coaster mould. My mould can fit a maximum of 11 pixels from this trivet. Check how many squares from your trivet will fit inside your 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!

If you prefer to cast a square of resin pixels rather than the shape of the alien, then follow these steps instead:

Pour the resin in a square or rectangular shape. Make sure you fill enough pixels for the width and height of the alien.
Bright pink resin poured in the shape of a square on a pixel trivet

Once the resin is cured, use scissors or a craft knife to cut the alien to shape. You will need to cut some individual pixels too, as not all the pieces will stay attached.
Square of pink pixels being trimmed with a craft knife to the shape of a space invader

Measure, mix and pour the black resin into the coaster mould as before. Allow it to cure, then place the alien into a thin layer of clear resin. Position individual pixels as needed to complete the alien.
Using a needle tool to position the individual pixels for the legs of the jellyfish space invader

Once the resin has gelled, you can top up the mould with clear resin.
Hand holding the finished bright pink and black jellyfish space invader resin coaster

Here are some other pixelated alien characters you might like to try. Click here to download them.
Graph paper printed with colourful pixelated Space Invaders aliens

And here's how they turned out:
Set of 4 square resin space invaders coasters with pink, green, blue and yellow pixelated aliens on a black background

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 Resin 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