Jersey Cotton Necklace

Well I am having a fabulous weekend with some of my craftiest friends! B Head and Egan are here and in between our bouts of “hoarders” marathons (which also brought on a few cleaning binges for me) we decided to get a little crafty!
After creating a few foam coozies… (which were def not blog-worthy) we moved on to greater things. B Head showed me an amazing necklace she made out of an old t-shirt. Because it’s made of jersey cotton, it is remarkably light-weight for large necklace. The best part is, of course, if you have an old t-shirt to re-purpose, the cost is FREE!

But mom! I just want to help!

Dislaimer: Tucker reallywanted to be our little “helper” for this project and pretty much attempted to chew everything we were working on, so he’ll be making quite a few guest appearances because we could not get him OUT OF THE WAY!

Ok back to the craft! First, find an old t-shirt. I used a plain one but you could try a patterned one as well. Lay the tee out on the floor. Cut off the hemmed edge on the bottom. Then, begin cutting 1-inch strips straight across. Do not cut the side seams– you’ll want to end up with loops of fabric.

Taking the loops in both hands, stretch out the strips of fabric, like so. Place the strips around your neck and arrange them how you’d like them to be. You can keep some longer and some shorter for variety or keep them the same length. Once you’ve got it figured out, wrap your fist around all of the pieces and take it off of your head to hold it in place. Using another strip of fabric, wrap it around the strips and tie it to secure. Then you’re done!

Here is B Head’s… in turquoise… which is awesome.
This project takes about 10 minutes and makes an eye-catching accessory. Save it for a rainy day or whip one up on your lunch break! Happy Crafting!

the not-so-dainty jewelry holder

If you are anything like me, you like your jewelry over-sized. I have quite the jewelry collection these days, and sadly, no where to hang them up where they are free from tangles and easily displayed for my perusal. What I needed was a jewelry holder as big and as bold as my favorite Anthro necklaces. Voila!

After dreaming up a number of different ideas for a jewelry holder that would be both stylish and capable of holding at least 10 lbs, I went to the thrift store for a scouting trip.
 At the store, I found this used picture. The frame measures just under 3’x3′, so I thought it could be big enough to handle my project. I bought the picture for $5 and brought it to the hardware store. The frame was a little dinged up, and I would have considered refinishing, but once I discovered it was actually particle board, painting became the necessary step.

At the hardware store, I found these molding strips. You could just use a thin plywood, but the molding had a nice beveled edge. I measured the inside of the frame, and cut the strips accordingly. (Did you know they have stations with saws where you can cut the wood yourself in the store! Awesome!)

I picked my color scheme to match my room. Since the piece is so big, I figured it could double as wall art (which my bedroom desperately needs… more on that later. I found a patterned wrapping paper I really enjoyed at a local shop called the Paper Merchant that sells specialty papers, then took the paper to Joanns for a perfect color match in an acrylic paint. I went with a matte finish, but you could go for gloss if you wanted to!

Once the frame and molding strips were painted blue, I measured and cut my wrapping paper to fit inside the frame. I also decided what heights to put the molding strips at and marked the spots on the picture with a pencil. I decided (after some epic failing) to cut the paper into 3 pieces and put each in separately. There was some slight gaping between the existing picture and the frame under which I was able to slide the wrapping paper for a more secure fit and total coverage.

I decided to use an acid-free double stick tape (after staring at the adhesive aisle for about 20 minutes). Because wrapping paper is so thin, I knew that any sort of glue would result in wrinkles in the paper. Placing some tape on the picture, I put the wrapping on in strips, tucking the edges under the frame. I used the pencil markers to make sure the seams in the paper were hidden under the molding.

After deciding how far apart to space the hooks for the jewelry, I marked every 3″ on the strips, staggering the middle strip by 1.5″. I made holes over the marks with a nail. If you try to screw the hooks straight in, you risk splitting the wood *no good.


The hooks I found at the hardware store were simple 5/8″ hooks, which was appropriate for the width of the wood. I screwed each one into the holes in the wood. (Please note: this is much easier to do with pliers, which we did not have and ended up with red, aching fingers.)

Once all of the hooks were good to go, I glued the strips to the edges of the frame with liquid nails. You’ll definitely want to use a similar product for this step to avoid the strips crashing down and breaking your project. Let the project sit and dry for at least an hour, and definitely over night before hanging anything from it. Once everything has set, mount it on your wall and fill it with your loveliest jewelry!

To make this project at home, you’ll need:
Old picture frame
Strips of plywood/molding cut to fit just inside the frame
Hooks
Paper for the background
Acrylic paint
Double stick tape
Liquid nails
Nail/Hammer
Pliers

You could try making this with a different frame shapes and color schemes. You could also opt to paint the background, rather than use patterned paper. Make sure to send a picture my way if you make your own!

Happy Crafting!

long overdue…

Dear friends and readers,
Hello! I’m back!
I apologize for the unforgivably lengthy hiatus on this poor blog. I suppose I can sort it blame it on Tucker.

Yes, that’s right! We are now proud puppy parents and this our darling little boy. He is just over 3 months old and we’ve had him for about a month. He’s fabulous and we love him. However, I will never downplay the amount of work a new puppy requires! Here he is having his first bath.

Anyway, enough about the pup and on to craftier things!
While I’ve been gone, I’ve still been working on a project or two! Here is a gift I made for my friends for our trip to D.C. (which was fabulous of course).

I bought some little metal jewelry pieces from the hobs lobs for a buck thirty-four for a two-pack! Unbelievable! There were varying sizes, but I chose the 12mm to start because I think that small things are cute. So basically these little metal pieces have a pushed in center that is ready to be decorated with whatever you find and like the look of!

The cardboard that the piece came attached to had an “actual size” square printed on it, which served as a perfect template. I traced the template onto the background patterned paper. Then I cut teeny animals out of an old anthro catalog I had lying around. Using Mod Podge, Dimensional magic, I glued the animal to the background, initial stamped it and then pasted it into the metal piece. I filled in the rest with more dimensional magic, which looks cloudy while its drying.**Note: if you have bubbles in the glue, use a toothpick to drag them to the edge and then pop them.

This one actually had a small bubble, but since its above the mouth of the fish, I still thought it was slightly appropriate! I put a pearl on this one using my jewelry making tools. I think these square ones can also be turned sideways to make a bracelet. I prefer the necklaces myself, but there’s always room to experiment.

  If you want to try this at home, you’ll need:
Jewelry pieces found at hobs lobs
Old magazines or any sort of miniature pictures
Alphabet stamps, or even chopped up letters from magazines
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
A little imagination!

All in all, I really liked the way these turned out, and proceeded to make quite a few more in different styles. I’m still trying to find a way to print high resolution animal pictures on such a teeny scale, but it’s proving to be difficult with my resources thus far. If you find a way, don’t hesitate to share with the rest of us!

I will take this moment to say I am rededicating myself to this blog and there will not be such a long wait for more splendid things in the future! I’m sorry and I love you all.

Happy crafting!

chiffon flowers

Welcome to the flowery goodness how-to! 
 

Fabric flowers are everywhere and that is because they are so darn cute. Whether you put them on a hair clip, headband or tank, they seem to automatically spruce up any outfit with their garden party charm. There are plenty of ways to make flowers, but I’m going to include instructions for what I consider to be the easiest! 
You can use any variety of materials for these, from standard cotton to chiffon to thick silk dupioni. I used chiffon this time, because I think that the flimsier fabrics add a bit of whimsy and character to the flowers.

 Find a perfect circle (a lid of any variety will work just fine) and use that as a tracing pattern. I usually fold my material in half and cut through 2 layers at once. You’ll want to put a straight pin through the pieces of material so they don’t slip and slide whilst you cut!
Cut a number of circles in the fabric (the amount varies based on how the petals expand/how full the petals ought to look). You will use one circle as the base for your flower.

Lay one circle down flat. Take another and fold it into quarters. Put a drop of hot glue in at the point and glue the folded chiffon to the center of the circle. Glue another folded chiffon quarter next to the first, and so on until you have four petals. 

Repeat this process again, staggering the petals slightly. 

 Once your flower is looking full and fluffy, take one more circle and fold it into eighths. Put hot glue in the corner of the fold and stick it in the center. This should, hopefully, complete the look of a full flower.
A note of caution: please be careful using hot glue with chiffon. The fabric is very thin and you can pretty easily burn your hand pressing the petals in. I suggest using a low intensity hot glue gun.

If you want to make this at home, you’ll need:
fabric (very little is needed to make just one flower, so a half yard makes quite a few)
fabric scissors (any sharp scissor should work- just remember the duller the scissor the more fraying! uneven cutting will definitely show on these)
hot glue sticks and a hot glue gun
fray check/ no sew glue if you concerned about the edges fraying
Variations: 
Instead of cutting circles, cut a 5-petal flowered shape
Try using 2 different colors, incorporating circles of both into the flower
Use buttons or beads for center decorations
The sky is the limit! Be creative!

gold beads and grosgrain

So hobbs lobbs was having a huge 50% off jewelry supplies sale so I definitely stocked up. A few weeks ago I invested in some jewelry making tools and started looping and twirling again, and was dying for more supplies. After my bridesmaids necklaces turned out so awesome (if I do say so myself) I wanted to try the same concept but with something other than pearls.

 

 The bridesmaids necklaces (pictured left on E Elizabeth) had individual pearls wired together with vintage seam binding. I buy mine from thisgoodday (awesome seller on Etsy) and have always loved the work she does. I strung the ribbon through the jump ring, and had them tie in the back because I wanted the length to vary according to the different dresses. However, for style purposes, I think it looks a little cuter to have a bow in the front of the necklace. I did modify E’s with tea-stained ribbon tied in the front post-wedding and it def achieved the look we were going for.

Unfortunately, there really is no way for me to explain via blog how to bead using wires and loops… so I’ll just show you what I made. Maybe someday I’ll start making charming videos! 🙂

I strung gold beads with turquoise-ish center beads and wired them together. I liked how the look of the links between spacer beads turned out. I found a grosgrain ribbon that was gold, but not metallic (not an easy task… people are too obsessed with metallics these days).

The nice thing about using the grosgrain ribbon is it was really easy to melt the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying.

This is my final creation. I’m considering posting it to Etsy to see if I get any bites… but that seems a little optimistic. For now, I’ll just enjoy learning how to use the tools and coming up with new ideas!