Monday, July 22, 2019

Black Diamonds Bracelet - How to Make a Woven Leather Cord and Rolo Chain Bracelet

Make this really classy looking bracelet using leather cord and rolo chain. This weaving technique is really easy to do and can be as simple or as fancy as you like: Use a length of diamanté braid down the middle to add some extra sparkle (cupchain would work well, too!) or use multiple pieces of chain in place of the braid to weave through.  For added sparkle, this bracelet also has a diamanté slider as the focal so it could even be worn for a big night out.
Sparkly bracelet made by weaving leather cord through rolo chain and diamanté braid

Here's what you need to make this design:
One 34mm diamante set black metal donut slider bead (with two loops) – available from
Two 6mm gold jump rings

Tools: chain nose pliers, flat nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors, ruler

Cut two 16cm (6 ¼”) lengths from the chain. Set aside the remaining links to finish the bracelet.

Fold the cord in half to find centre and thread on the first link of each chain, sliding it to the centre.

Threading leather cord through the end links of rolo chain

Thread the right hand cord through the third link on both the right and left hand chains.
Weaving the leather cord through the second set of links on the chain

Thread the left hand cord through the third link of the left hand chain and across to the third link of the right hand chain so that each cord has now passed through both the third links.
Weaving the other cord end through the second set of chain links.

Cut a strip of imitation rhinestone ribbon braid two cups wide and then insert it so that it is sandwiched between the two cords. Leave an end of at least 2.5cm (1”). At this stage, your work will be a little messy but it will sort itself out as the weaving progresses.

Take the right hand cord and pass it through the fifth link on the right hand chain, under the imitation braid, and through the fifth link of the left hand chain.
Adding the diamanté braid inbetween the chains.

Take the left hand cord and pass it through the fifth link of the left hand chain, positioning it on top of the first cord. Pass it over the braid and through the fifth link on the right hand chain. Adjust the cords so that the chain and braid sit nicely between the cords.
Weaving the two cord ends over and under the braid

Continue weaving the cord in this manner until you have made seven complete loops. On the eighth loop insert the right hand cord through the right hand loop of the diamante set slider (from the outside) and then through the chain link.
Stringing the focal onto the cord and through the chain

Then continue to weave the cord as before. Repeat on the left hand side with the left hand cord but instead of passing the cord over the imitation braid, pass it underneath the braid.
Stringing the second side of the focal onto the leather cord

 On the back it should look like the photo below.
Back of the weaving showing how the focal is secured.

Continue weaving until the bracelet is the same length on both sides of the diamante donut slider. Adjust the cords along the length of the bracelet until you are happy with how it is sitting.

To finish the bracelet you will need five chain links at the beginning of the bracelet and either 3 or 5 chain links at the end. If you cut your 16cm (6 ¼”) chain lengths with an odd number of links, you will need 5 links. If you cut them with an even number of links, you will need 3 links. To open and close rolo chain links, you will need to work with flat nose pliers and grip the links with the length of the pliers to prevent them from sliding around on the link. Once you have removed the links attach them to the beginning of the bracelet: attach the first link of the 5-link chain to the first chain link in the bracelet. Open the last link of the 5-link chain and connect it to the first link on the other side of the bracelet. Repeat for the other end of the bracelet where you will use either 3 or 5 links.
Bracelet with 5 extra links attached at one end

Insert the two cord ends through the next hole in the chain to the back of the bracelet, tie the two cords into separate knots close to the last link on each side of the bracelet. Place a dab of adhesive on the knot to secure it and then trim away the excess cord.

Apply adhesive to the cut ends of the imitation braid and fold it over the last full loop.
Folding over the excess braid.

Feed it under the loops on the back to secure it and then trim away the excess. Repeat on the other end.
Cord ends knoted and trimmed close to the end of the bracelet.

Open the two jump rings and hook one through the center link at each end of the bracelet and hook on one half of the magnetic clasp before closing it again.
Attaching the clasp.

Now that you've attached the magnetic clasp, you can easily put on and take off the bracelet without any help!

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How to weave leather cord through rolo chain 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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Using Glow in the Dark Powder in a Wood and Resin Crucifix

My Dad and I have been doing some collaborative wood and resin pieces recently. We love spending time together in his shed and apart from enjoying each other's company, we love watching each other's skills in action. For this project, he carved some hand-sized crucifixes from wood. He makes them for his local Church and school community but for this project he also carved a slot from front to back with the scroll saw to represent Jesus. Pretty impressive! 

Then it was over to me to add the resin and I decided to use Glow in the Dark powder so you could see the crucifix even when the lights are out.

Large and small wooden crucifix coated with resin

Resin and wood crucifix glowing in the dark

Here's what I used:
Packing tape
Disposable gloves
Utility knife
I also worked on a non stick craft sheet in case I had any leakage.

Before mixing any resin, I taped up the back of the cross with the packing tape. It's important to burnish the tape well to prevent the resin seeping out. As it turned out, there was still some seepage (as you'll see later) because the crucifix is made of rubber wood and it's very porous.
Applying tape to the back of the wooden crucifix.

I measured out the resin and hardener in equal quantities. I didn't need much for this project but I mixed extra so I could do some other projects afterwards.
Pouring out the resin.

It's important to mix the resin according to the manufacturer's instructions, no matter which resin you use. For EasyCast, you mix it for two minutes in one cup and then pour it into a second cup and mix it for another minute to make sure that it's chemically combined. This two step process really does work.
Mixing the resin with a wooden stir stick.

To get a good result, you need to add the GITD powder at either a 1:4 or 1:5 ratio with the resin so that you get a good glow. I used a 1:4 ratio so it would be brighter and mixed it through the resin. It doesn't dissolve in the resin and it's quite heavy so it settles in the cup to start with but I found that as the resin thickened, it stayed suspended.
Pouring the GITD powder into the cup.

Because the opening in this piece is very narrow, I found the best way to get the resin into the slot is with a pipette.
Drawing the resin into the pipette.

It was a slow process to carefully transfer the resin into the opening of the crucifix because I wanted to make sure that the resin ran down the walls and didn't create air pockets. Any spills on the wood can easily be wiped off because the powder hasn't dissolved. Once I'd filled the opening to the top, I left the resin to cure for 24 hours.
Transferring the resin from the pipette into the slot on the crucifix.

Next day, I peeled away the tape from the back of the crucifix.
Peeling the tape off the back of the crucifix.

You can see how the resin has seeped into the wood in a few places. Once the resin is fully cured, clean it up with a utility knife so that only the body will glow.
Shaving away the excess resin from the wood.

Despite how carefully I applied the resin to the slot, it bled onto the surface of the wood so I decided to coat the whole crucifix with resin. For this process, I'm using a UV resin so that I can cure it instantly with the UV light before it has a chance to run over the carved edges. I'm using a toothpick to spread it thinly.

Safety First! It's important when you're working with the thin hard type of  UV resin that you have good ventilation or wear a respirator. AND I should be wearing gloves! Be sensible when working with resin... protect your eyes and your skin.
Spreading the UV resin with a toothpick

And now it's time to charge it under the light - it glows so brightly and looks fabulous.

Wooden crosses with glow in the dark resin representing Jesus.

Don't expect it to hold its glow for very long though. What I found is that in such a thin slot, it won't hold the charge very long, even though Strontium Aluminate powder has the brightest glow you can get. But it's still a really cool way to use GITD powder.

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Glow in the Dark crucifix 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