Friday, August 23, 2019

Lustrous Pearl and Crystal Earrings

A sparkly necklace can make your special occasion outfit look stunning. But when you add some coordinating earrings, it can bring your whole look together! These elegant pearl and crystal earrings go perfectly with the sophisticated and sparkly Mother of the Bride Necklace. The lustre of both the real and the faux pearls plays beautifully against the sparkle of the crystal. These are truly elegant earrings, perfect for any Mother of the Bride or Groom. And with their neutral tones, they could easily be worn at less formal occasions.
Silver, crystal and pearl drop earrings in neutral shades of grey and cream.

But not all is as it seems to be: there's something a little bit unusual about these earrings. The flower component with the inset crystal is actually a box clasp! With one loop at the top and one loop at the bottom of the clasp, it is ready-made to be connected to the other components. I just love it when components can be used in different ways!
Box clasp earrings inspiration sheet.

But back to the jewellery. This is the coordinating set: sparkly, elegant and perfect for Mother of the Bride or Groom. With its subtle colour, this set would even be lovely for a bride.
Pearl drop and crystal necklace and earrings set in neutral tones of grey.

How to Make the Lustrous Pearl and Crystal Earrings

Here's what you'll need to recreate these easy earrings:
2 11x8mm Lt Grey Swarovski glass pearl teardrops
4 5mm white Keshi pearls - centre drilled
2 Clear 8mm Swarovski crystal rondelles
2 10-12mm Flower-shaped silver box clasps with inset crystal (these are similar)
2 Crystal encrusted silver earring wires
2 Beadalon silver plated ball head pins

Tools: flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, flush cutters.

String a teardrop, rondelle and two Keshi pearls on a head pin.
Head pin strung with teardrop pearl, rondelle and Keshi pearls

Bend the head pin just above the pearls using flat nose pliers.
Bending the head pin at a 90° angle above the pearls.

Trim the head pin to 8mm (5/16").
Trimming the excess head pin with flush cutters.

Turn a simple loop with round nose pliers.
A simple loop turned on the round nose pliers.

Open the loop sideways with chain nose pliers and hook on the box clasp. Close the loop.
Hooking the box clasp onto the loop of the beaded component

If your earring wire has a closed loop, use flush cutters to cut the loop of the earring wire open.
Using flush cutters to cut open the loop of the earring wire.

Open the loop sideways and hook on the other end of the box clasp.
Hooking the earring wire loop through the loop of the box clasp.

Close it again with chain nose pliers.
Closing the loop of the earring wire with chain nose pliers.

 Now make a matching earring with the remaining components.

As you can see, this is a quick design to put together, and yet the end result is a stunning pair of earrings that will add a touch of glamour to any special occasion. But why not also make the coordinating and very glamourous crystal and pearl necklace? It's an absolute show-stopper!

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Pearl and Crystal drop 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, August 16, 2019

Coloured Pencil Resin Stretch Bracelet

Do you love to colour within the lines? Or are you one of those carefree souls who likes to colour wildly, taking no care about the lines? No matter which you are, this quirky coloured pencil and resin bracelet would make a fun accessory for anyone who is into adult colouring.
Colourful pencils embedded in a resin bracelet

This stretch bracelet would make an A+ gift for a teacher too! It's a great way to use up your child's coloured pencil stubs at the end of the school year. Or you can just buy a cheap set of children's  pencils from the dollar store.

You'll need two pencils for each bar of the bracelet. I made eight bars for this one, which makes a small bangle when strung with 5mm beads. For a larger bracelet, make extra bars or add more beads in between. If you only have one of these jewellery moulds, you'll need to make the bars over several days. But if you're impatient like me, buy some extra moulds so you can make all of them at once!

Here's what you'll need to make the Coloured Pencil Resin Bracelet:

Castin'Craft EasyCast Epoxy resin
Castin'Craft Mold Release and Conditioner
ETI Plastic Jewelry Mold - 11 shapes (buy extra moulds to make casting faster!)
Coloured Pencils
BBQ torch
Drill with 1mm drill bit
Coping Saw
Utility knife
Pencil sharpener (to sharpen pre-loved pencils)
Graduated plastic measuring cups
Wooden stir sticks
Disposable gloves
Permanent marker
Adhesive tape

You'll also need:
1mm Stretch Magic Beading Elastic
Coloured beads of your choice (1mm hole or larger)
G-S Hypo Cement
Scissors or wire cutters

Prepare the Pencils and the Mould

Place a mark on each of the coloured pencils 1-5/8" from the tip. Tape the two pencils together with their marks lined up.
Pro tip: Centre the mark you made on the pencils on the tape. This will help prevent the pencils from chipping or splintering as you cut them.
Placing a mark on the pencil for cutting.

Cut them on the line with the coping saw. Take your time and cut through them slowly.
Using the coping saw to cut through the pencils.

Pro Tip: Place the pencils on a block of wood with a non-slip shelf liner underneath them. This will help stabilise them so they don't roll around as you cut them. 

Pencils sitting on a non slip shelf liner so they don't move around whilst cutting.

Spray the mould with Mold Release. I like to give it a much heavier spray than what is suggested on the bottle and I use a tissue to mop up the excess liquid and then wipe that all the way around the inside of the cavity. I really want to make sure these pop out easily. And then leave the mold to dry completely.
Spraying the mould with Mold Release.

Mixing and Pouring the Resin

Measure out equal quantities of the resin in one cup. (I used 7.5mls (1/4oz) of each part for the first layer of resin.)
Measuring the resin.

Mix the resin following the instructions included in the package for the best results.
Mixing the resin.

Then spoon enough resin into the bar cavities to just cover the bottom of the mould. This layer will stop the pencils from sitting right on the front of the mould.
Spooning the resin into the mould.

Pop the bubbles and leave the resin to cure overnight.
Using a flame to pop the bubbles in the resin.

Mix another small batch of resin and half fill each cavity. Insert the pencils into the resin. Check for bubbles trapped under the pencils by lifting up the mold. If there are any, carefully pry them out and pop them. Leave the resin to cure several hours.
Placing the blue pencils into the resin.

Mix another batch of resin and cover the pencils completely. Try not to over fill the mould so you won't have too much finishing to do.
Filling the moulds with resin.

Pop the bubbles and then leave the resin to cure for 24 hours.
Passing a BBQ lighter across the surface of the resin.

Making the Bracelet

Once it's fully cured, you should be able to pop them out by pressing on the back of the cavity or giving it a little twist.
Pushing the cured resin pieces out of the mould.

If you've overfilled your mould like I did with this yellow pencil, you'll need to trim away the edges to make them flush with the bar.
Trimming the sharp edges of the resin with a utility knife.

Place a mark 15mm (5/8") from the top and the bottom of each piece. You need to do this on both sides of the bars.
Marking the position of the holes with a permanent marker.

Now it's time to drill the holes. If you have a drill press and a long enough drill bit, this will be easy. But if you don't, drilling the hole is a bit tricky. You have to do it from both sides of each piece so the holes join up in the middle. This is why you've marked the bars on both sides - it will give you something to aim at as you drill!

N.B. Take extreme care when drilling without a drill press.... Keep your fingers well away from the drill.

With the bar on its long side, hold both the bar and the drill vertically and align them so you can see both the top and the bottom holes. Now drill through to the centre. It's a good idea to stop and check from both above and side on that you are drilling straight. Take the drill bit out and drill the other side in the same way. If you've aligned your drill holes properly, they will meet in the middle.
Drilling holes in the resin cabochon.

Once you've drilled all the resin, cut two 30cm (12") lengths of Stretch Magic. It's a good idea to pre-stretch the elastic so that the bracelet doesn't become overstretched with wear.
Pre-stretching the beading elastic.

String the bars on one length of elastic at a time with your chosen beads in between.
Stringing the resin bars onto the beading elastic through the top row of holes.

Once you've strung the top holes, string all the pieces through the bottom holes.
Beading elastic strung through the top and bottom holes of the resin and colourful spacer beads.

To tie the bracelet off, cross both ends of one elastic over each other in a half knot.
Tying a half knot in the elastic.

Now tie a surgeon's knot. That is, cross them over each other but before pulling the knot up tightly, cross them over again. It will look like the photo below. Pull up the knot, then pull on both the cords before the knot and both cords after the knot to tighten it.
Tying a surgeon's knot in the beading elastic.

For an extra secure bracelet, apply a dab of G-S Hypo Cement on each knot.
Applying adhesive to the knots.

On the adhesive is dry, trim both cords to 6mm (1/4"). If the holes in your beads are large enough, then slide the knot inside the bead.
Trimming away the excess beading elastic.

Give this fun piece of jewellery to your adult colouring book lovers and attach a note: "In case of emergency, break glass". I'm sure they'll love it!

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Coloured Pencil and resin bracelet 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, August 6, 2019

15-Minute Studded Leather Bracelet - Easy Peasy Braiding

Just because you're short on time, doesn't mean you can't make jewellery. This smart bracelet proves that even the most time-poor among us can still find time to craft! It uses pre-studded faux leather lace and the simplest and easiest weaving technique so you can whip up the braid in no time. Add some ribbon crimps and a clasp to the ends and you can be wearing this bracelet in around 15 minutes! You can buy studded faux suede in a large selection of colours so you can make up lots of these bracelets to suit all the outfits in your wardrobe.
Braided bracelet stack made with studded faux suede lace

Here are the materials you'll need:

Faux Suede Studded Lace in your choice of colours (I used 2 dark purple with white)

Tools: Fold over clip, nylon jaw pliers, chain nose pliers, scissors

Prepare the Laces

Cut three 23cm (9") lengths of faux suede lace in your choice of colours. Align the ends and clamp them in the fold over clip.
Three laces secured in fold over clip

Anchor the fold over clip. I used a giant spring peg memo holder because it is quite heavy. A drawer handle or door knob would also work.
Fold over clip anchored in a giant peg memo holder

How to Weave a Flat, 3-Cord Braid

The flat 3 cord braid has just two simple movements: Right lace over centre, followed by left lace over centre. This simple weave moves the laces from right, to centre, to left, and then back to centre and finally to it's starting position. This is the set up of the laces. The numbers should help you follow the pattern.
The 3 laces lined up in a foldover clip. Photo shows them numbered 1, 2 and 3

Begin by crossing lace 3 (on the right) over lace 2 so that it now sits in the centre. Lace 1 is still on the left hand side.
Crossing the right hand lace over the middle lace.

Cross lace 1 over lace 3 so it sits in the centre. Lace 2 has now become the lace on the right hand side.
Passing the left hand lace over the middle lace.

Pass lace 2 over lace 1 so it sits in the centre. Lace 3 is now on the left hand side with lace 1 on the right hand side.
Crossing lace 2 over lace 1

Keeping your tension even, continue the pattern: passing right to centre, left to centre until you reach the end of your cords.
The finished braid

Assemble the Bracelet

Trim the end laces so that they are even.
Trimming the ends of the laces with scissors

Place a ribbon crimp over the end of the laces.
Positioning the ribbon crimp over the end of the braiding

Use the nylon jaw pliers to close the crimp firmly over the three laces.
Clamping the ribbon crimp with nylon jaw pliers.

Place the bracelet around your wrist to check for length.
Measuring the bracelet on your wrist

Cut it 2.5cm (1") shorter than your wrist measurement. This will be taken up by the clasp and findings.
Cutting the bracelet to length with scissors

Clamp another ribbon crimp over the cut ends of the laces.
Clamping a second ribbon crimp over the cut laces

Open a jump ring and connect the loop on the ribbon crimp to the lobster clasp.
Placing the lobster clasp on the jump ring

Attach the extension chain to the other end of the bracelet with another jump ring.
Attaching the extension chain to the bracelet

Now, make them up in all sorts of different colours and stack them on your wrist!

Pin the Project!
Dark purple and white studded faux suede bracelet 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