Thursday, August 12, 2010
A tennis bracelet.
A few posts back, I made jewelry from the rubber tips of badminton birdies, and by some miracle they turned out kinda cool. In a moment of unfortunate hubris, I declared that anything could become jewelry - and asked my readers to challenge me. Oopsie!
One of them challenged me to make jewelry from a worn out tennis ball. (Her actual comment: "I dare you!")
So I went and found one. Behold:
Using a serrated steak knife, I sawed it in half along the contour lines. Inside was a layer of tough rubber, glued to the fuzzy outer fabric with some kind of powerful, possibly extraterrestrial super-adhesive.
I muscled the fabric off the rubber, huffing and panting like Godzilla's asthmatic auntie...
Getting just one piece free took about ten minutes! Seriously. Afterward, I had to take a nap. When I woke up I stood back and pondered my material...
What I loved was the subtle, curvy shape. And I thought: cuff bracelet! So here's what I did.
First, I painted the fuzzy surface.
I used latex, but acrylic or fabric paint would work, too. I did one in chocolate, one in vanilla; each took several coats.
Now to figure out a clasp. I came up with two styles. For the first, I spread fabric glue on the center section of a length of ribbon...
Glued the ribbon to the cuff and let it dry. The ribbon ends become a self-tie fastener. Check them out:
They work on a little teeny wrist -
And on a large wrist, too.
For a different style of clasp, I poked a hole in each end...
Added jump rings, some chain, and a small lobster clasp. Now I had an adjustable lobster closure, like this:
Okay, the basic cuff was done. Now came the fun part: embellishment! These cuffs are a blank slate. Here are just a few ideas.
Big brooches (just pin them on):
Polymer clay flowers and butterflies (hot glue):
A beaded wire spiral (sewn on from underneath).
Here's my favorite. Chocolate & vanilla bracelets...
...shown here on Kim and Jane, my wondrous, patient, chocolate & vanilla BFFs. Thanks for modeling, you guys!
So that's my tennis bracelet. It was a lot of hard physical labor, but I'm very happy because I rose to the challenge, and because I discovered this great shape. In a future post, I think I'll do a little tutorial on replicating this cuff - except without the tennis ball.
Or the nap.
P.S.: Thanks to Rose, from Fine Craft Guild, for the suggestion. Didja think I couldn't do it?