Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fabulous Extra Long Filigree Earrings

Hi!  Okay, this'll be a quickie.  Lately I have been wearing these earrings, and have been taken aback by the number of compliments they're getting.

They are so simple, but they sure seem to get people excited!  I thought I'd show you the DIY, in case you want to make your own.  Five minutes to make - and really REALLY easy.  Ready?  Here goes.

Start with two of these long skinny filigree components:


You can find them at most bead shops or craft stores.  They are typically used as toe rings, ring findings or pendant wraps.

On one end of each filigree, use hefty wire cutters to snip off the teeny tiny tip.

Attach each cut end to an earring finding, like so:

That's done it!

I wear mine on ear cuffs, as in the photo at the top of the post.  So I added a couple of extra jump rings to make them hang straight:

For the Two Minute Ear Cuff tutorial (one of my most popular posts evah!) CLICK HERE

Hope you enjoy...later, alligators!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guess The Mystery Thing: Beaded Tiger Vase

Here's a different one!  Let's play a round of Guess The Mystery Thing with a home decor twist.  Take a look at the world's cutest little baby tiger vase:

And yes, he is a fully functional, water filled flower vase.

Now where on earth did that tiger originate?

Instead of waiting for another post to reveal the answer, I'll do a scrolldown.  Everybody mentally guess...no peeking until you think you know.  Ready?  Set?  Guess the Mystery Thing!

(Cartoon sound of musical ticking clock.)

Here comes the reveal, scroll on down and find it...






A kid's mini collapsible water bottle!  How sweet is this leetle tigre?  It also comes in Beagle, Owl and Monkey.  I have seen similar ones for grownups, but these small kid versions are so adorable they make me weep.

The key to using any collapsible bottle as a vase: when filled with water, it stands up on its own!  

Now the DIY, which is all about the beaded neck of the vase.

For me, the only ugly part of a water bottle is the threaded neck.  If it weren't for that, I'd decorate my whole house with every beverage container in sight!  So here is a clever disguise that will hide the threads and fancy up any bottle in your recycling bin.

String some beads on craft wire, to form a circle big enough to cover the bottleneck.

Twist the wire ends together and trim.

Another method: string your beads on elastic, tie a knot and trim.

Simple!  Now make several bead circles and drop them onto the bottle neck, stacked up like a fancy collar.

Woot!  You're done.

Sure looks better than those naked threads, eh?  I hope you give this beaded bottleneck a try, either with everyday thread-neck bottles, or the decorative collapsible ones.  Look for the collapsibles at dollar stores, toy stores, department stores and maybe even camping stores.  I found the tiger at a CVS pharmacy.

That's it for now, my dearies.  Thanks for coming by!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Jewelry Before And After: Leafy Linkers

Hi hi!  Here's another Before and After, this time with an interesting type of vintage bracelet from the 1930's.

Have you seen this style before?  It's all links that clip together with little built-in hooks.

The bracelet was beautiful (if a little bit granny), but one of the links was broken.  I arranged them in line for the 'before' pic, but the poor thing wasn't fixable.  So I took it all apart with a simple lift of the linker hooks.

I used four individual leaves to make a bold pair of earrings.

They're a bit strange, but I like 'em.  Instead of leaves, now they remind me of metal flames or claws.  From granny to rebel in one quick refashion!

A single 'claw' makes quite a beautiful pendant bail, too:

So next time you find a linker bracelet that's broken (or not exactly your style), consider taking it apart, why doncha?  See what you can do with the individual components.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Corncob Holder Starburst

Check out this little starburst trivet.

Made from dollar store corncob holders!

Mine are small ones, but these can be made in any size - even huge!  I love it with a teeny succulent set in the middle.

Tons of ways to use it.  Maybe jolly up your summer barbecue table, with a starburst dish for candy, condiments or fixin's:

It would also be cute as a candle holder or a kinda kitschy, mini starburst mirror.
The DIY?  Two steps, two minutes, no tools needed.  Ready?  Here we go.

Step One - cut a circle out of foam core board.

Step Two - poke the aforementioned dollar store corncob holders into the foam core circle.

Um...that's it, people!  Your trivet-thing is done!

Just add stuff to the middle, set on a table and bask in the cute.

Note: I'm calling it a trivet, for lack of a better descriptive word, but it would not take heat well.  So don't set any hot pans on top!

Hmm, I am also thinking about making a great big one to hang up, with either a mirror or a photo in the center.  If I painted the corncob rays silver, I'd have metallic starburst wall decor.

What say ye, does anyone think they'd try it?  What would you do with yours?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Spiky Wrought Iron Necklace

Hi, everybody!  Take a peek at my new upcycled necklace.

It's actually a double upcycled design.  The oval wrought iron links came from a length of ornamental garden chain:

It's easy to harvest big chain links for jewelry making.  You  just need two pairs of pliers, and a bit of gentle force in a twisting motion.

But how about those dainty Gothic black spikes?  Look where they came from!

A plastic, super realistic "wrought iron" garden fence.  From the dollar store!  Specifically, the 99 Cents Only store.  Run out and get yourself a fabulous fake fence, because here comes the DIY.

Begin with the large oval chain links.  Use a jump ring to connect a little tassel to each link.

Use another jump ring to attach the link/tassel combo to the center of a necklace chain.  I chose a chain with a dark gunmetal finish.

Now on to the spikes!  Use wire cutters to snip the pointy bits from the garden fence.

If needed, take little snips to make them all the same length.

With a push pin, poke a starter hole near the top of the spike.  Then enlarge the hole a bit, using small scissors or a skewer.  It just needs to be wide enough to admit a jump ring.

Add the jump ring and connect your spike to the chain.

Now just continue building the necklace, with evenly spaced links and spikes.  I used a chain long enough to go over my head, so I didn't bother with a clasp.  (If you prefer a shorter look, add a clasp at the back.)

And that, my fiends, is that.

It is surprisingly light and fun to wear - heck, I'm wearing it right now.  And it's not even close to Halloween.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sneaky Cheater's No-Sew Upholstered Headboard

Are you as lazy as I am?  Are you a total fraud when it comes to crafty decorating?  Would you rather listen to 1,000 vuvuzelas playing an off-key rendition of Paula Abdul's Straight Up than thread a needle or a fire up a sewing machine?  Then boy, have I got a home decor tip for you!

Here's my bedroom before.  No headboard at all.

Five minutes later...

That right there is a super poofy, lean-back-and-relax-upon-it, fully upholstered headboard.  How'd I do it, you ask?

Well, 'tis a funny story.  I have this husband, see, who built me a set of amazing couches.  Southwest style, solid wood, coolest cutout silhouettes...here they are in progress.

We had cushions custom made for them - seat bottom cushions AND seat back cushions.  But when we put it all together, the seat back cushions made the couches look too formal.  We decided we liked them better with a random mix of throw pillows for the back:

Which left me with four of these perfectly good seat back cushions.

So I tucked two of them between my bed and the wall.  How easy was that?

They're supported on the edge of my wooden bed platform.  But even if you have a traditional bedframe, I bet it'd be pretty simple to rig up a skinny platform to tuck up against the wall.  Maybe a 2x6 or a strip of plywood, placed across a couple of concrete blocks?

I know, I know, it's a dirty rotten cheat.  I am so ashamed...

But I do so love my cushy new headboard!   Anyone else out there shameless enough to try it?  Maybe you'll keep it in mind, next time the opportunity to rescue some couch cushions comes your way.