Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Best Upcycled Rubber Grape Jewelry Tutorial I've Ever Written.



Say you have some rubber grapes.  Say you feel like wearing them.  You could go this route...


Or you could make jewelry.  My mom gave me the idea at an estate sale.  I was tossing aside a big buncha purple grapes as useless, when she said, "Could you use them as beads?"  Oh, brilliant!

You can easily use them 'fresh' off the vine - just treat them like any regular bead.







But I had even more fun with a little shape-shifting.  One simple cut, and look what you get: a cute, tulip-shaped bead cap!







Right now I'm going to show you how to make this pretty, vine-y, silver wirework pendant.




It's easy, adorable, and I am quite sure you will have fun!  Ready?


First, pluck thyself a grape.


Squish it between thumb and finger, and follow the curve of your finger to cut off the tip of the grape.






You now have a little Pac Man shape.  You can use it as is, or flip it inside-out for a different silhouette.  Both ways are cute...see the subtle difference?




Next, cut about 6 inches of craft wire.  Make a swirly at one end.



Stack a big bead, your Pac Man, and a spacer bead onto the wire.


With round nose pliers, grab the wire above the spacer bead, and use your free hand to spin the wire all the way around in a circle, to form the first 'leaf.'  (You'll need to reposition the pliers partway through this step.)  Then make another leaf a bit higher up.




Trim off the wire to leave about 3/4 inch.


Finally, make a simple loop, and try to orient it opposite the plane of your leaves.  (Does that make sense?  All I mean is, your top loop curves front-to-back, so when it's hanging, the leaves will poke out side-to side.)  If it doesn't want to orient that way, use your pliers to jigger it around if necessary.




Lookie there!  Your pendant is done!







Now say this ten times fast: rubbergrapeybuggybumper, rubbergrapeybuggybumper, rubbergrapey...arrrgh...bleah.



Oh, heck, just go make some jewelry!











29 comments:

  1. Waooo..Super Nice Post..& i love the cute earrings plus bracelet :) totally amazing!
    Nobody can imagine that these are from fake grapes,very clever,actually you have done it smartly that's why :)
    thanks for the how-to

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  2. Genius! I did a little dance when I saw your results. So creative! Thank you for sharing this!

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  3. wow, I'd never think I will regret not to have some rubber grapes! :)))

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  4. You did it again. Rubber grape earrings, a bracelet, a pendant...too cool! You need to write a book!! I'll be waiting for you to make wine next time.

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  5. Rubbergrapeybuggybumpers rubbergrapeybuggybumpers
    rubbergrapeybuggybumpers
    rubbergrapeybuggybumpers
    rubbergrapeybuggybumpers

    See? Easy peasy...

    The grapey jewelry looks good enough to eat... :)

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  6. Es super fantastico, la pulsera y los pendientes morados estan super chic, el pendiente naranja y negro me encanta!!!!
    eres un genio!!!!

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  7. Lovely!! truly the best ever !!
    and I said rubbergrapeybuggybumper, rubbergrapey 10 times...it was a great stress buster :)love the earrings

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  8. No words can describe how excited I am to see your new 'invention' and how much it inspired to 'craft' some more! love love love - pc

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  9. This is so cool. I'll never look at rubber grapes the same way again. :)

    BTW, the red grape bracelet and earring set are the loveliest color! Wouldn't know they were rubber with out feeling them, huh.

    Mieljolie

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  10. Hi, Mich! Yes, I did send a reply to the giveaway! Please check your spam folder. I seem to get stranded in those frequently.

    Mieljolie

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  11. Only you can make rubber grapes look awesome!!

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  12. How cool is that!? The craftsmanship--geez! Who would think it all started with plastic grapes?

    PS: I'm going to need my hat back.

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  13. I will never look at a rubber grape the same way - without thinking about plucking it and cutting it up! How cool!!!! LOVE IT! And everything else you do....

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  14. Geez you never cease to amaze. I completely agree with the title!

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  16. Rubber grape..i couldn't guess.Next time i will not regret to get a rubber grape. You are awesome and very inspiring. Speechless about upcycling - keep doing more. Love to see them and thanks for sharing.

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  17. Wow, very awesome! I have never seen anything like this! Love your humor as well ;)


    Desperate Houselife

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  18. No sour grapes here..only winners. great stuff!

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  19. That is just awesome. I've got some of those in my living room! Don't ask. :)

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  20. Oh my, I am wordless, not at all what I expected.

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  21. You must hear this often, but I love your writing style! How often does one jump from post to post just to see the interesting comments about off-the-cuff creations like yours? Im sure everyone does when they are reading your blog for the first time. You are blessed with a special and most enjoyable writing skill, and I'll be listening. :)

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  22. Love that rubbergrapey jewelry. Your mom was so creative to see the potential in them.....sometimes you just have to look at objects from a different point of view (as you know so well how to do!!).

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  23. That.Is.AWESOME. Can you open up a shop with just these? You could call it "the rubbergrapery". Or "plastic vinyard". Or... "Grapelaces" instead of necklaces...

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  24. truly amazing, an idea only you could come up with! thanks so much for sharing on Craft schooling Sunday!

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  25. That necklace is gorgeous, you are so incredibly talented, I'd never in a million years think of this!
    www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

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  26. Hi Michelle! I found your blog via Diane's post over on Craftypod. I just wanted to pop by and say that the way you use your materials is so clever! Rubber grapes? Who'd have thought?! Cheers!

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  27. Michelle, I've been glued to your blog all day, reading through your archive. You're not only crafty, you're witty— a damn lethal combination, woman.

    I have a challenge: What can you make with those 70s glass grape bunches? I have one in purple, blue, green and amber.

    I await with bated breath.

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Why not leave me a little comment? It is great Karma - and every single one is my favorite comment EVER.