Friday, December 20, 2019

How to Make a Resin Bangle Without Using a Bangle Mould

If you're new to resin and don't really know where to start, then these easy textured bracelets are a great project for a beginner to tackle. This simple project is a teaser for what you'll learn in Resin Made Simple online resin classes.
Stack of 3 textured bangles in shades of pink-orange and purple-blue.

The beauty of these bracelets is that you don't need a bangle mould to make them. They're cast in a silicone cake decorating mould which you can find on Amazon or at big box craft stores. 

These pretty bracelets are made with FastCast, a quick-curing white polyurethane resin that will give you speedy results so you won't have to wait around for 24 hours to demould your piece. You can measure, mix, pour and demould in under half an hour. So the trick to working with FastCast is to have everything ready at hand and to work quickly.

Here's what you'll need:
Pearl Ex powders: Pink Gold; Pumpkin Orange
Bracelet form (use one of your own bangles or cuffs)
Soft paintbrush
Wooden stir sticks
Permanent Marker
Elastic bands
Nitrile gloves

Prepare the mould

Keep in mind that once you pour resin into your food moulds, they should not be used for food again.

Break off several small pieces of gold leaf and gently push them into the mould randomly, using the brush to press it against the surface. Try not to fiddle with it too much or it will lift off the surface and then float in the resin.
Using a soft paint brush to place gold leaf fragments into a long wavy silicone mould.

Gently dust the two Pearl Ex powders randomly in the mould. Take care not to dislodge the flakes of metal leaf. (I use pink and orange to dust the mould but I forgot to photograph this step so here it is in a different mould)
Using a soft paint brush to dust Blue-Green Pearl Ex powder around the gold leaf in the mould.

Mix and Colour the Resin

Place a mark at 15ml (1/2oz) and another at 30ml (1oz) on the measuring cup using the permanent marker. This will be enough to fill several other smaller pieces on the mould as well.
Using a permanent marker to place marks at the measurements required for the resin

Measure out Part A of the resin to the first line.
Pouring FastCast Part A into the measuring cup.

Scoop out a generous amount of Pink Gold Pearl Ex using a stir stick.
Placing a rounded scoop of Pink Gold Pearl Ex powder into Part A of the resin.

Mix it thoroughly through Part A until there are no lumps. At this point, you can take your time mixing the colour into Part A. It won't begin to cure until you add Part B.
Stirring the Pearl Ex powder through the resin

Measure out Part B of the resin into the same cup. Now the clock is ticking and you need to work quickly so that the resin doesn't cure before you finish filling the moulds.
Measuring Part B of the resin into the measuring cup

Mix the two parts together THOROUGHLY for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom and sides of the cup. Pour the resin into a second cup and mix for another 30 seconds. You'll notice that the cup begins to warm up and this is an indication that the resin is already beginning to cure, so don't delay in pouring.
Mixing the resin with a wooden stir stick

Pour the Resin into the Mould

If you're able to, pinch the lip of the cup. This will make pouring into the narrow mould easier. If you can't, then keep a square of toilet tissue handy to wipe up the resin if it dribbles down the outside of the cup. Pour the resin into the wavy strip first. Then pour the rest into the remaining cavities.
Pouring resin into the long wavy shape of the silicone mould.

You'll notice that the pearly look of the resin changes to a solid opaque finish as the resin cures.
The resin is changing from translucent to opaque as it cures

Demoulding and Finishing the Bracelet

After about 15 minutes, you'll be able to demould the pieces. You need to do this whilst the resin is still flexible. You'll know if it's ready because it will easily peel away from the silicone. If it doesn't, leave it for a few more minutes and test again.
Demoulding the long wavy strip from the mould whilst it is still flexible.

There is no trimming or sanding required when you make a bangle using this method (unless you've had a spill whilst pouring).

To turn the strip of resin into a bangle, place it around the bracelet form and secure it with an elastic band. Leave it for several hours to harden (I like to leave it overnight).
Shaping the resin around a bracelet form and securing it with an elastic band.

Once the resin has hardened, you can remove the elastic band and the bracelet will stay in this shape. And now, your bangle is ready to wear!
Pink and orange wavy resin bracelet with gold leaf flecks throughout.

Learn how to make resin jewellery like a PRO. Come on over to Resin Made Simple and see all the classes you can take online to increase your skills and gain confidence in working with resin. Get expert tips from a resin master who's been working with resin for more than 12 years.

Pin this Resin Project!
Pouring resin into a flat silicone mould and the finished demoulded bangle 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

Monday, November 4, 2019

DIY Trend Alert! Geometric Leather Earrings That You'll Want to Wear

This post is sponsored by Realeather®
Brown and black geometric earrings blog post header

It's hard to miss the surge in popularity of the leather leaf earrings that Joanna Gaines sported in Fixer Upper. It’s made leather earrings HOT, HOT, HOT and they’re now a staple in any savvy fashionista’s jewellery collection.

Then there’s the geometric trend - the trend that never really goes away. It's simple, classic and timeless. And right now, geometric earrings are popping up everywhere and in such a diverse range of materials like polymer clay, wood and resin. So it stands to reason that if you were to marry leather with geometric shapes that they would be a match made in heaven!

Read on and I'll show you how to take these two on-trend elements and turn them into a pair of bold but classy statement earrings that will glam up any outfit instantly and that you'll LOVE wearing again and again. As you can see below, my daughter loves them so much she has already snagged them!
The most essential ingredient of these earrings is without doubt, the Realeather® Round Shapes.
Realeather Round Jewelry Shapes in packaging
These new leather jewellery shapes come in a range of different colour combinations and finishes. But for this project, I've chosen the Black and Medium Brown combination pack, C4809-28.

Here's a shopping list to help you gather all the materials you need: 
(You can find all these supplies at Hobby Lobby.)

  • Realeather Circle Shapes C4809-28
  • 1-1/2” black tassels
  • 4mm (outer diameter) gold eyelets
  • 6mm gold jump rings
  • Fine necklace chain
  • 20gauge non-tarnish wire
  • Gold earring wires
You'll also need some tools to help you make this project: 
  • Combination eyelet setting pliers and hole punch
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Flush cutters
  • Nylon jaw pliers

So let's get started!

Prepare the Leather Circles

These circles already come with a hole punched in them but this project calls for two holes, so fold the brown suede circle in half with the hole centred.
Brown suede circle folded in half

Line up the punch with the hole. The top edge of the punch should be positioned at the top of the existing hole. This will give you the perfect distance from the edge to attach the 6mm jump ring that will connect the next piece in the design. Punch through both layers.
Punching a hole through both sides of the folded brown suede circle
Brown suede circle with holes punched on opposite sides

With the circle folded, align the holes and insert an eyelet through both layers. Position the circle on the eyelet setting platform and squeeze the handles to set it. You may need to give it another squeeze to make sure that the eyelet has gone through both layers but try not to over squeeze it or it will distort the eyelet.
Setting the eyelet through both layers of the brown circle
Brown suedehalf circle folded with eyelet set in position

Repunch the hole on the black circle so that it fits an eyelet shaft and then punch a hole on the opposite side of the circle.
Black suede circle being punched in hole punch

Place an eyelet in one of the holes and position it on the setting platform. Squeeze the handles to set it. Set an eyelet in the hole on the other side too.
Leather circle with holes punched on opposite sides

Put the leather pieces aside for the time being whilst you work on the triangle charm.

Make the Spiral Triangle

Cut an 8” piece of wire from the spool and then run it through the nylon jaw pliers a few times to straighten out the curves.

Place the end of the wire in the middle of the tip of the flat nose pliers and bend the wire at a 60° angle.
End of the wire positioned in the flat nose pliers

Switch to chain nose pliers to make the rest of the bends. Make another bend in the wire so that the first two sides are about the same length.
Forming the third side of the triangle

Bend the wire again to make the third side of the triangle.
Beginning to form the second triangle layer.

Once you’ve made the base triangle, continue making bends in the wire so that each successive triangle is larger than the one inside it.
Using chain nose pliers to bend the wire at a 60° angle.

Keep going until the triangle measures about 7/8” wide.

Grip the wire above the last point of the triangle and bend it sideways.
Using flat nose pliers to bend the wire sideways

Trim the end to about 3/8” (10mm) with flush cutters.
Using flush cutters to trim the wire to 10mm

Switch to round nose pliers and turn a simple loop.
Using round nose pliers to turn a loop

Make a second triangle using the first one as a guide for shape and size. Keep checking it as you go along.
Lining up the two triangles as they are being made to check for size and shape.

It's OK if the triangles are a little different - it won't be noticeable when they're on opposite sides of your face!
Two wire spiral triangles, approximately the same shape and size.

Assemble the Earrings

Open a jump ring and hook on the black circle and the tassel and then close the jump ring again.
Closing the jump ring connecting the black tassel and the leather circle ith pliers

Open another jump ring and hook on the top hole of the circle, the wire triangle and the folded brown circle.
Hooking the wire spiral triangle onto the two leather circle pieces

Then close the jump ring to secure all the pieces together.
Closing the jump ring with two pairs of chain nose pliers

Drop the chain through the folded circle and pull it through the other side.
Feeding the necklace chain through the folded circle

Then hook a jump ring through the end link. Pull the chain up to remove the slack and then hook it through one of the links of the chain. It should form a very shallow triangle.
Using pliers to closing the jump ring with the chain connected

Add the earring wire and close the jump ring.
Closing the jump ring

Carefully cut away the excess chain with wire cutters. Then, make up the second earring.
Using flush cutters to trim away the excess chain

Whether you need to dress up a plain "T", add a touch of drama to your business wear or sophistication to a dinner date outfit, your geometric leather earrings are the perfect accent for your outfit. So wear them.... and show them off!

And then make yourself some more fabulous leather earrings using the other new shapes in the Realeather Jewelry Shape range. See the Realeather website for more tutorials.

Pin this Project!
DIY Geometric Leather 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

Friday, October 4, 2019

How to Separate Chain Links

Sometimes, jewellery instructions call for you to cut a length of chain. It's a simple thing to do: all you need is a pair of wire/side/flush cutters to cut through the link.

If you're working with a soldered chain like this one, cutting them is the only way you can separate the chain links.

But if it's not a soldered chain, then you don't have to CUT the chain. You can often separate the chain by opening and closing the links, much in the same way you would a jump ring.

This is especially useful when your design includes a fancy chain like this crystal channel chain.
Crystal channel chain with oval jump rings connecting the crystals

Or if you have a fancy chain with a repeating pattern like this one, and you need to keep every link so the pattern is preserved.
Fancy chain with repeating pattern

Although the links in the pattern set of this fancy chain are soldered, the sets are connected together with oval jump rings that can be opened, so whole sets can be removed to lengthen or shorten the chain whilst preserving the pattern.

Other reasons you might choose to open and close chain links rather than cut them are because you're short of chain and need every link or if you need to add some links to a chain to make it longer but you want the chain to look continuous.

How to Open and Close Chain Links

So to open and close chain links, you'll need two pairs of chain nose pliers.

With a pair of pliers in your dominant hand, grip one side of the chain at about 3 o'clock.

Grip the opposite side of the link with a second pair of pliers in your other hand.

Pull your dominant hand towards you and your other hand away from you until the link opens. Moving the two sides of the link in this direction will maintain the shape of the link so it doesn't become distorted.

Remove the length of chain you require.

Now, close the link by doing the opposite - pull your non-dominant hand towards you and your dominant hand away from you.

Move the two pliers back and forth past centre until the cut edges align in the middle and there is no gap.

So next time you need to join chain links together, give this a try rather than connecting lengths of chain together with a jump ring.
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How to separate chain links 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