Thursday, February 2, 2017

Float Like A Butterfly Earrings - Tutorial!

Hi, all!  Check out these flittery, fluttery butterfly earrings.

This design is really at its best when worn - the true effect is a little hard to capture in a photo.  That's because they have lots of movement and, when hanging free, tend to cascade in almost a spiral.  This pic shows it a bit better:

I know it looks complex, but it's not really so difficult, I promise.  Tutorial begins now!

Put four butterfly beads on headpins, with one pin a little shorter than the other three.  Turn a loop at the top of each one.  You will end up with four butterfly dangles, with empty lengths of pin exposed.  Like this:

Swivel open the loop on one of the long dangles, and add it to the empty section of the short dangle.  Close the loop.  It should look like this.

Do the same with the next two dangles, adding each butterfly to the empty pin section of the one above it.  You will end up with this interesting geometry:

Now add an earring finding to the loop at the top of the cascade (the short butterfly dangle).

If you have two ears, make a second earring.  And you're done!

Aren't they fun?  I used some little polymer clay butterflies from a bracelet I took apart, and some carved beads in a stone called strawberry quartz.  There are so many cute butterfly beads out there, I bet you find just the thing to make your heart flutter.

In a good way.  Not in a tachycardic kind of way.

Hope some of you decide to give it a try!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Sweet Earring Display Frame Made From A Recycled Tissue Box

Hey, here's something I've been meaning to show you for a while.  I have a lot of these ranged around my studio.  Penny-pinching, earth friendly, practical jewelry displays...and they do brighten everything up!

Can you picture the top of the tissue box and how I used it?  Got 5 minutes, scissors and a stapler?  Here's the ridiculously simple DIY.

Cut the top and sides from a square tissue box, like so:

Cut a piece of scrap cardboard to cover the opening.

Glue or tape the cardboard to the inside; I use packing tape because it's a strong hold.  Then poke a couple of holes near the top.  Here's how it will look when flipped right-side-up:

Now staple together the two sides - one staple at the top, one at the bottom.  And that's it!  Here's your 3-D frame seen from the back:

Hang earrings inside and stand it up.  So darn cute!  And it's fun to match the earrings to the frame.

Tissue boxes are so pretty nowadays.  Find one you like and give it a second life.

Later, gators.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Five Minute Scrappy Fleece Flower Ring

Today's craft: a DIY ring made from scraps of fleece and felt.

A five minute craft for any age and skill level.  I like it plain...

And I like it patterned.

Aw heck, I just like it.

The How-To is particularly fun, and involves a dog biscuit.  So now you have to try it, right?  Ready?  Here goes!

You will need some floppy scrap fleece (the green stuff) and some slightly-stiffer felt. You will also need scissors and a tiny piece of string.

Cut a fleece leaf and a felt petal.  (The petal can be a simple circle or a more flowery shape if you like.)  Poke a hole in each as shown here:

Now make a dog biscuit out of fleece, like so:

Fold the biscuit in half and insert the string at the fold.

Stack the leaf and petal, then use the string to pull the folded biscuit through the holes.

Pull until the biscuit ends are bunched in the center of the flower and you can't go any further.

Done and done.

For the fancy version, I just Sharpied the heck out of both the felt petal and the fleece leaf (or leaves).  Here you can see some potential different shapes for both elements:

And that, you guys, is my Scrappy Fleece Flower Ring.  Sure hope you like it!  

Oops, gotta go, someone has been waiting patiently while I wrote this post.

Thank you for coming by!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tiny Succulent Planter - Made From A Jingle Bell

Somewhere out there exists a Scrooge or Grinch who would not think this is cute.  All I can say to that person: Bah humbug.  And I hope you are remembering to feed Max.

For the rest of us, here's my little idea for the world's tiniest flower bud succulent planters.

They are made from jingle bells.  (Cheap dollar store ones, preferably!)

Wanna make this?  Here comes the DIY!

Begin by turning a jingle bell into a little flower.  Go here to follow my easy tute - and see a few fun examples of jingle bud jewelry like these earrings.

Once you have a flower, fill it with a dollop of soil.

Grab some metal washers.  (Glue is optional.)

Plant a scrap of succulent inside the flower, then balance on a washer (or two or three) so it has a stable base.  All done!

Keep it for yourself, or give it away.  A pair of them in an anchovy tin makes a darling hostess or neighbor gift.

I also envision these on the tables at a wedding or other celebration - wouldn't it be a sweet party favor to take home? 

Tips Tips We Got Tips:

*If you are giving it as a gift, you might choose to glue the metal washers to the bottom of the jingle bud so they don't tip over en route.  For the ones on my own windowsill, I don't bother to do this step.

*Water sparingly!  1/2 teaspoon of water once a week should do it.  The bottom will leak, so place it on a plate or paper towel until the water is absorbed.

*After a few months, some rust might form on the petals.  Try to think of it as patina. ;)

I sure hope you guys enjoyed this one!  Thanks a bunch for coming by.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Jingle Bud Tutorial! Make Little Flowers From Jingle Bells

It's the most wonderful time of the year: that month when you can buy jingle bells at the dollar store!  (Okay, you can buy them other places too.  So I'm told.)

Why is this wonderful?  Well, duh, they make everything more jingly.  But even more significantly -

You can turn them into flower buds.

They are awfully fun to use in crafting.  Delightful for jewelry...

I love to use them in home decor projects (more about that in another post), and for cute flower gifts like these key rings.

If you try, bet you'll come up with all kinds of cool things to use them for.

The DIY is easy - you can probably figure it out without a tutorial.  But I have a neat little trick to show you, so bear with me all the way to the end - you might decide to do it my way.  Ready?  Here we go.

First the basic technique - this is how I used to make them before figuring out my super secret maneuver.  And it's a perfectly fine way to do it.

1. Use a fingernail or pliers to open out the petals just far enough to jettison the jingler.

2. Grab a petal between pliers and bend it over - as little or as much as you like.

Do it with all four petals and - yep, that's it!  Flower done!

But here comes my awesome trick.  Watch carefully now.

Pop a round plastic bead onto one tip of the pliers.

Now grab your petals (with the plastic bead on the outside) and bend.

The round bead will protect the metal and make a prettier, unmarked petal!  This photo shows what I mean:

A tiny - but interesting - difference, is it not?

I hope you enjoyed this idea!  Perhaps there's a trip to the jingle bell store in your future?

P.S. check my next post for another awesomely adorable idea for the jingle buds!