Thursday, August 13, 2015

Victorian Mod

Hiya!  Have a look at this necklace...doesn't it have a bit of a Victorian feel to it?  But with a mod kind of twist, thanks to the distinctly non-Victorian fused glass cabochon focal.

I thought you guys might enjoy seeing where this concept came from.  I took a class on fused glass cabochon making, and here's some of what I created.

So yummy.  There's just something about glass.

A few of the cabs ended up super simple - just little square puddles of crystal-clear glass, with a bubble or two of color trapped inside.  (In the pic above, they are near the upper left corner.)

I wasn't sure how to use them; gluing on a bail would be weird, you would see the shape through the glass.  Then I got the idea to glue a large filigree finding across the entire back of the cabochon.

I used the corner holes of the filigree to add chains in a draped design, like so:

I just love how the filigree shows through and becomes an integral part of the necklaces.

Although you probably don't have a clear glass cabochon handy, I was thinking you could make this using the larger-size glass pebbles found at crafts stores or dollar stores.  I used E-6000 adhesive.

That's the story behind the jewel.  Hope you enjoyed it!   See you later, gators.

Pssst!  I have an article in Stampington's GreenCraft Magazine this month!  I'm excited, it's my first published jewelry project.  If you are into repurposed, recycled, eco-friendly crafts, I bet you'd love it.  It's the Autumn 2015 issue, and it's packed with wonderful stuff.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Old Drawer Becomes A Starry Side Table

Hi, guys!  Here's a cute little furniture upcycle to try.  A starry, starry side table, made from an old unwanted drawer.

The backstory: I saved a bunch of naked vintage drawers from the demolished kitchen of my old adobe fixer-upper.

I've been daydreaming for a year about ways to use them, and these little side tables are the first project I've actually completed.

My favorite thing about them is the reverse-stencil effect, which shows some of the natural wood.  The circles on the large drawer, and the stars on the skinny drawer, were created in the same way.

The DIY: find some big paper stencils, and pop out the center shapes.  (Of course, you could easily make your own  templates from cardstock.  I just happened to have these big stencils handy.)  Stick them to the natural wood surface, and spray paint around them.  Here are my circles on the natural wood drawer back:

To adhere my shapes to the drawer backs, I used just a few bits of double-sided tape to loosely stick  them down.  Caveat: that wasn't a perfect method - some paint did get in around the edges.  For these rustic l'il tables, I didn't mind!  But for a crisper edge, I'd make sure to tape all the way along every edge.  You could also use removable spray adhesive.

Then spray paint like mad, covering everything that isn't a paper stencil shape.  For the little white table, that's all you need to do!  Adorable, no?

For the two-tone blue table, there's one more step.  I popped the stars out of a bunch more stencils, and laid them out on the surface to decide on placement.

After I marked the locations, I just used my star stencils and a pouncer (well, a piece of kitchen sponge, 'cause I couldn't find my official pouncer) to stencil my stars in blue.

Hope you enjoyed this one, let me know what you think!

I have seven drawers left, and a couple more ideas for later.  Maybe, in a year or so, I will get around to one of 'em.  For now, I must really try to talk myself into thinking about attending that meeting of Procrastinators Anonymous I've been putting off.

See ya!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Miniature Craft With Drinking Straws

Hey, hey, hey!  I have a little tiny craft for you guys.  It's my first ever attempt at something miniature, and it's a cutie.  Beaded flower pots!

Sorry, I forgot to put something in the picture for scale - the littlest one is only an inch tall.  Each 'vase' is just an extra-large bead.  I'm always so excited to find a use for random honking big beads that are too bulky, ugly or weirdo for jewelry.

This is the latest in a series using upcycled Starbucks cups.  Right now I'm working with those unlovely green straws - you know the ones.

Today's tute features the opposite-pointing leaf sets on these pretty darlings:

Ready?  Let us DIY!

Take a short segment of drinking straw and make a diagonal cut on one end.

On the other end, make two two very tiny cuts, like so:

Create two leaves of approximately the same length.  Here's how they should look.

Use a pin to poke a hole in each double-snipped end.  On a headpin, thread a "flower" bead and a couple of green seed beads. Now here's the important bit: when adding the leaf segments, flip one leaf over, so the two pieces nest back-to-back.

String a few more seed beads and finish with a wrapped loop.  Like so:

Then simply place the stem into a random honking big bead.

Make sure the bead is heavy enough that it won't tip over from the weight of your flower.  Permanence is optional: if you like, add a drop of glue inside the vase bead.


For the ones with long swordlike leaves, I just cut scraps of straw and poked them into the hole after placing the bare flower stem. 

So what say ye?  I'm not experienced with miniatures, but I kinda think these bitty things would make adorable dollhouse decor.  Let's see, what else could you do...

How about tiny party favors or place card weights?
With a rustic terracotta bead vase, use it in a fairy garden.
Pink ones for Valentine's day - ooOOooh, I'm totally doing that next year!
Tiny gift toppers?
Reverse the headpin so the loop's on top = necklaces or ornaments.

Let me know if you have any other ideas!

To see all the ways I've recycled the dreaded Starbucks cup in its various parts, here are some links:

Long chandy earrings
Floofy cup lid flowers
Delicate leaf earrings
Magical jewelry storage system
Posy necklaces

Saturday, July 4, 2015

More Upcycled Drinking Straw Jewelry: Make A Posy Necklace

Here is my latest upcycled jewelry idea, featuring a flower in a little nest of green leaves:

If you've popped in recently, you've seen some of my efforts to upcycle every part of the nefarious Starbucks cup. 
So far I've turned them into awesome jewelry storage, cool beaded earrings, some wild chandy earrings, and some big floofy  flowers.

Today, the super easy DIY for another way to use those green plastic straws!

Create several short lengths of straw with diagonal cuts on both ends.

Poke holes through the centers with a pin.

On a long headpin, thread a flower bead and the straw segments.

Now add a bunch of little green seed beads.  Cinch everything up nice and tight - this will squish the straws flat so they look more leafy.  Finish with a wrapped loop to hold everything together.

Adjust the shape so the flower faces forward and the stem is a bit bendy.  Add a cord, neckwire or chain.

Done and done.  How cute is that?

Here's another version.  In place of the seed bead stem, make a big wrapped loop.  Then squoosh it semi-flat with a bend in the middle.  This pic shows how it should look:

Slide it onto a leather bracelet band.  Use pliers to gently crimp it against the band.  Voila!  A sweet little flower bracelet.

As you can probably tell, for the bracelet I used single-ended leaf segments instead of the double-ended ones, for a three-leaf effect.  Play around with the number of leaf points, until you get the right look to complement your flower bead.

I am having soooo much fun with these Starbucks straws!  Another idea for them coming soon - and it's not jewelry.  See you then! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Upcycled Drinking Straw Jewelry: Tiny Leaves Of Green

Today, a fun tutorial for you.  Please to peep these itty bitty earrings, which are just an inch long:

Cute, no?  Here's a yellow pair.

The flowers are pressed glass; the stems are your basic seed beads.  Now for the cool upcycled bit: those darling tiny leaves.  Yep, you may have already guessed.

A green plastic straw from the Starbucks!  Just the latest in my series of ideas for upcycling these dastardly iced drink cups - which have an unfortunate tendency to collect in my car, my trash and my life.  (Click here to check out some of the other projects.)

So here's the DIY.

Cut a thin slice of straw.  Smash it flat and poke a hole in the middle.  Hey presto!  The double-leaf shape forms automatically!

On a long headpin, thread a pretty bead for the flower.  Then intersperse the leaves with seed beads, like so:

Cinch everything up tight, and create a wrapped loop at the top.  First make a complete circle of wire:

Then use flat pliers (called chain-nose pliers) to make a couple of wire wraps beneath the loop.

Snip off the excess wire.  If there's a sharp bit poking out, carefully tuck it in with the chain-nose pliers.

That's your flower stem done!  If you have two ears, make a second one.  Then just add earwires, and that's all she wrote.

I sure hope you liked this one.  I have a couple more drinking straw ideas, hope to share them in a bit.  Later, dearies!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Invisible Upcycled Necklace Display

Oooh, check out this eerie phenomenon...

A wall of jewelry, displayed on invisible necks!

How'd I do it?  I think you're gonna love this.  It's a crazy easy eco-craft project, starting with some plastic cups (not easily recyclable) that were destined for the trash.

The DIY takes about 30 seconds.  Half a minute, people!  Just think how quickly you could fill up a wall with phantom throats.

Here's all you do.  A couple of inches from the rim, trim nearly all the way around.  Before you cut it completely off the cup, jog your scissors to leave a little tab attached, like so:

Then just bend the tab up and affix it to the wall with a clear thumbtack.

That's it!

At first I thought my invisible necks would be a bit flimsy, so I started with one necklace each...

But it turns out they are surprisingly sturdy.  I piled on more weight and they didn't even flinch.  I might go for three per neck...wish me luck.

This is a big deal for me, as I'm deeply in the throes of creating a new craft studio in a loft room of my desert Southwest adobe fixer house.  I sorely needed an unobtrusive way to show off lots of necklaces.  The recycled element is just a wonderful bonus. 

I'm having a great time finding ways to repurpose these iced coffee cups.  To see what else I've come up with, check out these earrings:

And these awesomely fancy fleurs:

I may not be done some more ideas up my sleeve that I hope to share soon.  See ya!