Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tiny Copper Mold Necklaces

Oh, look, you guys!  I found the prettiest, teensiest, vintage copper molds!

They were absolutely meant to be pendants, don't you agree?  And the DIY is as simple as pie.  (Not the kind you make from scratch.  The kind you snatch outta the freezer, pop in the oven and eat standing around the kitchen counter, with one fork per person and no plates or even napkins.  That kind of simple pie.)

Just use pliers to lift the little tab holding the ring.  Be gentle so as not to dent the copper.

Remove the ring.  In its place, insert a cord, or a chain, or even (as shown here) a skinny strung necklace strand.  Then  gently squish the tab back into place.

Bing, you're done!  I love my cute copper pendant on its long, long strand of copper-colored crystals.

Instead of adding a clasp, I finished the strand by tying a knot; the two tails are meant to dangle down the back of the wearer's neck.  This design looks so pretty on a plain, no-collar neckline, like a basic black tee.  My friend Judy suggested wearing it with a backless dress - I can totally see that, too. 

Here's a different version - this time, keeping the original ring that came with the mold.  Some coppery-pink pearls and little spears of picture jasper compliment the pendant's tone.

Sure hope you enjoyed this quickie repurpose!  I think one of these would make a cool gift for someone who loves to cook.  Now I am on the hunt for some more tiny molds.  Where are you, cuties?  Come to me, please!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jewelry Before And After: Too Many Cats

Hello again!  Today I have another quickie makeover to show you.  I'll often buy a less-than-stellar jewel, just because I adore one thing about it.  Definitely the case with this six-cat necklace:

I looove that three-cat focal - so graceful and detailed!  But as for the rest of the necklace...ahem.

My jewelry rule of thumb is identical to my rule of thumb for pet ownership.  Three cats is perfectly fine.  Four cats?  Okay, I can see it.  Five is pushing it, people.  And six is too many cats.*

So for my makeover, I removed three dangling cat charms and the black tassel.  Changed out the chain (and used some of the rejected chain to make a new, color-matched tassel).  Added some carved turquoise leaves.  Here's the after:

Isn't that better?  What do you guys think?  Okie dokie, my dears, thanks so much for popping in.  See you next time!

*Unless they are rescues.  Then all rules fly out the window and unlimited kitties allowed!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DIY Beaded Water Bottle Strap

Hi, guys!  Here's a tutorial for something a bit different.  Something utterly practical, simple and good.

What is it?  Why, a fancy water bottle strap.  One you can customize with any beads to suit your taste.  Look:

Perfect for walks in the forest, strolls in the city, fashion-forward day hikes, lost weekends at Comic Con.  Here's one modeled by my impossibly cute friend Jane.

A stellar handmade gift for those hard-to-bead-for people!  Also a terrific way to use up some of your beady stash.

So let's make one!  Find a rubber O-ring, a tiny bit tighter than the neck of a water bottle.  (Mine are 15/16" in diameter, 1/8" thick.)

Cut two pieces of skinny cord.  Make each piece long enough to go around your chest (like the strap of a cross-body bag).  Double each cord around the O-ring like this:

Now thread a whole lotta beads over the doubled cords, as pictured:

Lightweight, large-hole beads work best.  If you have trouble stringing your beads over the doubled cord, try my favorite trick in the whole world: those little blue flossers.  Use them to pull the cord through, it really works!

Once both sides are strung, tie a knot to join the two halves.  Trim the extra.


To add a water bottle, just slip the O-ring down past the cap.  It grips and stays like a champ.

 Then sling it over your shoulder and go.  See Jane go.

Go, Jane, go!

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Future Repurposed Entryway: In Search Of Ideas!

Hi, guys!  I haven't said much about this, but I am working on a very cool house renovation project IRL.  (IRL = In Real Life.  You're welcome, mom!)

It's an old adobe house in the desert Southwest (just outside Tucson).  You might call it a mini-mini-ranch.  A mini slice of cactus-studded ranch land, where the original owner raised miniature horses.

We have finally gotten all the beautiful adobe walls painted a nice creamy white, so at last it's time to decorate!  Here's the inside of the foyer, showing the decor so far:

Yep, one rug and a hat rack.  About that hat rack...want a closer look?

It's made from a fireplace-tool caddy I found on the curb, and a tree branch from the yard.  Total cost: $0.00

I want everything in my entry to be repurposed, upcycled, rustic and funky.  I assembled a clipboard of ideas from Hometalk, which is sort of like Pinterest but more project-oriented, and exclusively for house and home.  (It's also a fun forum where you can pose technical or design questions, and get lots of friendly advice.)

Just click on the graphic to check out some great upcycles that caught my eye.  Let me know your thoughts, 'cause I am open to ideas!  If you were me, how would you furnish the entry?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Easy Vintage Brooch Ornaments

Hello, my dears!  Today I want to show you these dee-lightfully fancy ornaments.

Pretty, eh?

What if I told you they cost practically nothing, and took about sixty seconds to make?  Uh-huh, I knew you'd appreciate that.

You know those cheap plastic table runners and placemats, that look like elaborate metallic lace?

Sometimes you can find them at the dollar store.  Sometimes they come as tablecloths or fabric you can buy by the foot.  I grab them whenever I see them!   True, there is nothing tackier in life.  But those big crazy flowers are so durn craftable!  (Check out this tutorial for turning them into jewelry.)

To make the ornament, cut out a metallic lace flower as a simple circle, like so:

(If you want to spend a little more time, you can cut around each petal.  Moi?  Totally fine with the shortcut version.)

Grab a grandma-looking brooch.  An old one that's been hiding in your jewelry box, or a thrift store find.

Pin the brooch to the flower.

Add an ornament hanger - just poke it right into plastic.

Ooh, ah!

Aren't they nice?  I love how a vintage brooch will class the whole joint up.

Now say you can't find a brooch, but fer sure you have some fugly old earrings you would never wear in a million years.

Like this one, mebbe.

So attach the earring to the plastic flower, simply using its own earnut.  Like so:

And pow, another beautiful ornament.


One tip about the placement of the wire ornament hanger.   You know how most earring posts and pin backs are usually off center?  After adding your jewel to the flower, do a little swing test to see how the jewel is balanced.  Then attach the hanger at whichever spot will best allow it to hang correctly and not flop forward.

That's the idea...I do hope you like it!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Guess The Mystery Thing: Five Petal Flowers

Heya!  Let's do a scroll-down version of the Guess The Mystery Thing game!  I'll show you some upcycled jewelry.  You'll try to guess the mysterious secret ingredient.  No peeking until you think you know the answer!

Ready?  Check out the pretty red bauble...

The Mystery Thing is that five-petal, open-edge flower.  Hmm, yes...gosh, it does look familiar.  What is that thing?

Got your guess in mind?  Great.  Now scroll down to see the answer.





Keep scrolling...





Here it comes...






A trumpet flower from a broken hummingbird feeder!  Found it in the 'free' box at a yard sale.  I love the free box.  There's often something wonderful to be transformed or repurposed.

For the bracelet above, I cut off part of the flower to create a low-profile focal piece.  Here's an alternate style, using the full length of the trumpet:

Pretty cute, eh?  I shall wear it in the garden.  I fully expect to attract hummingbirds.

So.  Did you guess right - or were you way off base?  Do tell!