December 3, 2012

From Hemp to Suede...

In continuation of my crafting with suede string, I made this bracelet over the weekend:

When I showed my friends the bracelet, most were immediately reminded of the hemp bracelets popular at summer camps.
There's a reason for this recollection... it's the same stitch!  I believe it is called the square knot..

- 4 pieces suede string (2 long and 2 bracelet length)
- 2 end closing pieces
- 32 jump rings, plus a few extra for bracelet closure
- clasp
- pliers
The Square Knot Stitch

Enclose the 4 pieces of string in one of the closing pieces.  Use pliers to tightly close the end piece around the 4 strings.

Begin the square knot (as shown in picture above).  I did 12 or so square knots before I started adding the rings, and the bracelet is a little large on me, but I also have slim wrists.

Add 1 ring to each outer string, and tie the knot.  Tie a second knot after that.  For the third knot, put the strings back through the rings and add another ring on top.  Tie a knot.  Repeat the steps.  I used 16 rings on each side (a total of 32).

After, do the same amount of knots that the bracelet started with, before the rings were added.

Close off the end with another end piece and pliers - make sure it is very tight.  Add the additional rings and the clasp.  

I'm thinking of making this with gold fixtures next.. and maybe black suede?

December 2, 2012

The First Post in a New Place: Suede Tassle Earrings

I'm back!

After 3 months settling into this new place, I have returned to my crafting ways.
With a holiday gift exchange tomorrow - it gave me the perfect excuse to visit the local craft store.  Of course, I bought much more than needed in anticipation of other crafting projects!

I found suede string in a multitude of colors, and for a little less than fifty cents a piece.  Most things are more expensive here; it is always exciting when I come across cheap finds.  So, I bought a bunch of strings, a variety of other trinkets (clasps, earring hooks, elastic, jump rings,...), and set to work.

- suede string (cut into 12 pieces, about 2 inches each)
- 2 cylinder cones
- 2 Earring loops
- Industrial strength glue
- pliers
- scissors

Once the suede string is cut into 12 pieces, separate 6 and 6 for each earring.

Gather the bunch of 6 pieces.  Squeeze the glue into one cylinder cone.  Then, push the bunch of suede string into the cylinder cone.  Repeat for the second earring.  Let them sit for a few minutes.

Use the pliers to attach the earring loops to the top of the cylinder cones.
Trim the ends of the suede so they are all the same length.

That's all!

I ended up making 2 pairs - now which color do I keep and which do I give?!

August 15, 2012

In time for a Photoshoot

On a recent trip, I had a few different special occasions to attend.  The first occasion was a photo shoot with the entire family - we haven't done one of these in years!
Once I picked the outfit and coordinated the color scheme with the rest of the family, I went to look for jewelry to pair with it.  But I couldn't find anything that I liked with the outfit.

So, what else to do, but make a new pair of earrings to match!

I spotted these earrings, the 'Bombay Hoops,' in the Perfect Match book we own and have been meaning to make them for a long time.  This was the perfect occasion.

The gold with the black beads was a good match for my coral and black outfit.  And since it hardly took any time to make, I made a second pair of gold with gold translucent beads for my mom!

It was really simple- all you need are:
- a pair of hoops (you can make your own if you want!)
- a thin wire in the same color as the hoops (24 or 26 gauge)
- 14 glass beads (7 for each earring)
- pliers
- wire cutters

First, cut a piece of thin wire, about 14 inches long.  Fold one end over the hoop and use the pliers to wrap it around the hoop tightly.  I wrapped it 3 times here.  Put a bead onto the wire and loop it through, then loop the wire another 3 times to keep with the pattern.  Continue this process until 7 beads are on hoop, with 3 wire wraps in between.  Wrap the wire the last 3 times after the final bead.  Cut both ends with the wire cutters and use the pliers to wrap the remaining bit around the hoop.
Repeat these steps for the second earring.
This all took me around 20 minutes per pair!

August 8, 2012

Reminiscent of a Dreamcatcher..

While crafting with my mom in our 'crafting room' (we took over the family room!), we realized we didn't have enough jewelry in neutral colors.  As I love color, I tend to drift towards colorful beads/ribbons/chains...  Recently, I've been obsessed with a dark teal green color.

I spotted the earrings on the right awhile ago and have been meaning to make them for some time now.  Figuring this was my chance to apply my need for neutrals, I made a pair for myself in silver and black!

  My DIY:                                                                          Inspiration:

I used larger seed beads in my DIY than shown in the original.  Also, I did not make them as long... the original pair are 6 inches! Despite being shorter, I think they still have a nice effect and my younger sister called them 'party earrings'!

-2 earring hoops
-small silver seed beads
-small black seed beads
-30 silver crimp beads
-30 12inch pieces of black string

Like most projects, the most time consuming part was stringing all the beads.

On the hoop, I initially slid on 3 silver seed beads.
Before putting the needle on the string, I slid one black bead onto one string.  Then I folded the string in half (so the one bead was at the bottom) and put it through the needle.  I then strung 24 more black beads (25 total).  Since this is the first string, I add 6 silver beads, then the crimp bead.
Position the string on the hoop, swing the needle through so that it is attached to the hoop, and back through the crimp bead and all the way down to the black beads.
Used the pliers to crimp the crimp bead.  Make sure the crimp bead is secure and the string cannot slip through it whatsoever.
Repeat this process.  Here is an image to better show the number of beads I used:

I only had time to draw out half the earring.  But, the silver beads increase and then decrease in (from left to right) as follows:
6 --> 7 --> 8 --> 9 --> 10 --> 11 --> 12 --> 13 --> 12 --> 11 --> 10 --> 9 --> 8 --> 7 --> 6

The black beads remain at a constant 25.

Once all 15 strands are on and the crimp beads are pressed tightly, add 3 silver beads to the end, like at the beginning.

Cut the remaining string close to the bead so that it cannot be seen.

That's all!

I made 3 more pairs of earrings this week, but posts for those will have to wait until after vacation.
Now, off to Vancouver!

August 5, 2012

Who Doesn't Like Braids?

I've seen this braided bead necklace on tons of Pinterest boards!
Of course, I had to make it!

The DIY Inspiration
The most time consuming aspect of this necklace was stringing 6 strands of beads (2 for each piece of the braid).

- a lot of 1 bead type
- string
- 6 crimping clasps (also called bead tips?)
- 2 jump rings
- chain
- closing clasp

For photo instructions, check out this image.

I went to ACMoore and bought a pack of reddish coral beads for this.  I cut 6 pieces of string, and tied them 2, 2, and 2 (so three strands).  Once I beaded to the desired length, I closed the knots of each 3 strands to separate crimping clasps, on each side (so 6 clasps total). Close the crimping clasps.  Then, braid!!
Once the beads are neatly braided, I combined the 3 closing clasps on the left onto one jump ring, and the 3 clasps on the right onto a second jump ring.
Then, attach the chain to the jump rings on each side.  Open the chain at the top to put on a closing clasp.  All done!

I made a second one in white with gold chain for my mom.  But, it looked great on my sister, so we gave it to her!

Bauble Bead Necklace, Part II

My first post on this blog shared a pink beaded cluster chain necklace I made, inspired by this necklace.  It's one of my favorite necklaces, I wear it all the time!
My mom, a stellar crafter - (I always ask her advice when I make things!), asked me to make one for her also!

I made this one with gold chain instead of silver.  Rather than pink beads again, I used purple and gold beads, on gold head pins, with a gold spacer bead at the base.  I thought this color scheme would look good on her olive skin tone.

For some instructions on how to make this necklace, check out this post!


Which color do you like better??

July 31, 2012

Chain Tassel Earrings, Part 2

Tassels have been of much inspiration to me this past spring.  While home over break from university, I made two pairs of earrings with chain tassels.

Pair 1
The first were inspired by a pair of earrings I had bought previously.  They were super easy to make and I always get compliments on these earrings when I wear them!

-Pair of earring hooks
-head pins with loop at bottom
-2 medium glass beads
-2 large decorative beads
-2 spacer beads
-chain (I used 3 pieces of chain per earring)

On each head pin I put a large bead, a spacer, a glass bead, then closed the top into a loop.
For basic instructions on how to do this, look here.

I then opened the loop at the bottom of the head pin, and slid on 3 pieces of chain of equal length.  Close the loop tightly so to prevent the chains from falling off.

Add earring hooks to loop above glass bead.  All done!

Pair 2
The second pair took a little bit more time, but were not much more difficult.

- pair of earring hooks
- 2 cylinder shaped glass beads
- 10 small glass beads in various colors & shapes
- 10 normal head pins
- 2 head pins with looped bottom
- chain (I used 5 pieces of chain for each earring)
-wire cutters

First, take the head pins with the looped bottoms and put a cylinder shaped bead on each.
Loop the top closed.

Put each of the small glass beads on a normal head pin (1 per pin).

Place 5 pieces of equal length chain to loop under the cylinder bead.  Do this for each earring.  Close the loop tightly afterwards so the chains do not slip off.

Once the chains are in place, add 1 bead on head pin to the end of each chain.  Loop the tops of the head pins closed.  Trim off any extra head pin with wire cutters.

The only step left is to attach the earring hooks to the top loop of the earring!

Here is some inspiration for tassel earrings.  I can't wait to make more of these!

                       Chain Tassel

                 String Tassel

These are more of a variation on the basic tassel earring:

                  Chan Luu earrings, $75.
Hoops with beaded tassels

July 29, 2012

In honor of the Olympics...

Rings necklaces have been all over Pinterest this summer!  The multiple rings linked together, sometimes in various sizes, remind me of the 5 overlapping Olympic rings.  Incidentally, I've been crafting lots while watching the Olympics.
Here are a few of the necklaces I have spotted:

I found some large silver rings at home and the small pieces to attach the rings together.  Technically, the rings could also be attached using very small jump rings. 
I set up the rings in the pattern I wanted for the necklace.  Carefully, I attached the rings to each other.

While abroad, I bought a bundle of suede strings in a bunch of colors for dirt cheap!  I used the taupe/grey colored suede string to turn the linked together rings into a necklace.  I looped the suede string through a few of the smaller rings and then using the same small attaching pieces to connect it to the top of the larger rings.  Ta da! My very own ring necklace!

Better pictures to come soon!

July 23, 2012

Chain + Jump Rings + Beads!

The top, left picture is of an Ann Taylor Loft necklace, priced at $39.95, the photo on the right is the Flamingo Toes DIY of the loft necklace, and the last picture is my own DIY!!

What you need:
- Jump rings in 4 different sizes (for example: extra small, small, medium, large)
- a piece of chain to attach beads (4 to 6 inches)
- a second piece of nicer chain to hang around neck
- 25 or so glass beads in an assortment of colors
- one head pin per bead
- closure and jump rings (to adjust length of necklace)

First, put each glass bead being used on a head pin and close it.  For instructions on doing this, look here.

Then, slide the jump rings into the chain in size order.  I did 15 xsmall --> 20 small --> 25 medium --> 30 large --> 25 medium --> 20 small --> 15 xsmall.  When changing between the sizes, link one jump ring of the larger size into the appropriate place in the chain.  By doing this, the jump rings will stay in place on the chain and won't slide over each other.

With the rings in place, attach the beads on their head pins to the large jump rings in the middle of the necklace.  I didn't attach more than one bead to a jump ring, but I didn't put a bead on every jump ring.  Play around and see what looks nice.. it's easy enough to open the jump ring and move the bead somewhere else!  

If this is confusing, Flamingo Toes has a great tutorial for this necklace here.  It took me about and hour and a half to make this.

I used larger jump rings and larger glass beads in clear and a range of shades of turquoise than other necklaces.  My necklace has a bit more of an African-y feel to it and definitely more of a statement piece, while the original necklace is smaller and more delicate.  The necklace goes really nicely with my tribal print black & white maxi dress.  Also, I just bought teal colored jeans and I can't wait to pair this necklace with them!

July 21, 2012

Chain Tassel Earrings

I keep seeing tassel earrings everywhere this summer!
I spotted these earrings, left, on the Nordstrom website.  I really like the idea of using chain as the tassel instead of string.  On the right, the pair that I made for myself!!
Nordstrom earrings, $38

Making these earrings was super simple!  I found the four silver decorative pieces at the top while scavenging through my bead & sewing collection.  At ACMoore, I picked out the colored chain.  They had a variety of colors, but I picked the blue because it has a little bit of a silver shine on the sides!

First, I attached the top pieces with jump rings.  I used six jump rings initially on each earring, 2 at the top   of the first piece, 2 between the two pieces, and 2 at the bottom of the second piece.  I looped one jump ring through the two at the top of the first piece, and attached the earring hook to it.  With the two jump rings at the bottom of the second piece, I attached two more, but so that the 'o' faced forward instead of sideways.

I then decided on the length of the tassel I wanted and cut 10 pieces of equal length (5 for each earring).  After, I simply attached the chains to the bottom-most double jump rings and closed the rings tightly.  Ta da! My very own pair of chain tassel earrings!

Now, I'm looking for inspiration for some cute string tassel earrings.  My sister wants a pair too!
Here are some great ideas!

Mixing string and chain!

July 20, 2012

Oh, the Possibilities!

Earlier this year, I bought a pack of plain wire hoops from ACMoore.  It took some brainstorming and playing around, but I ended up making three different pairs of beaded hoops for myself.

You can buy a pack of hoops like this, or make your own from a thicker wire.
Pick out some pretty glass beads - ideally that stick out from your hair color! - and some plain spacer beads (in gold, silver, clear, or any other color, really!).
Put the beads you want to hang from the hoop on head pins.  For a tutorial on how to do this, look here.

I made two styles of earrings from the wire hoops. For the first, i put the hoop itself directly into my ears.  This way the hoop itself is parallel to my face.  On the second style, I attached an earring hook to the top of the hoop. By adding the earring hook, the hoop now sits perpendicular to my face - it faces forward instead of sideways.

Check out the three pairs that I made: Which do you like best?