Hi, all!   This week I made two jewels from hardware store ball chain.  I did it using a fun trick with a finding meant for a different purpose.

First the jewels, then the trick!

I started with this beautiful multicolored ball chain, isn't it the prettiest stuff?

I found it at a local Ace Hardware.  (If anybody knows an online source, leave it for us in the comments, eh?)

The finding in question is a type of bead tip (typically used for adding clasps to ball chain or strung beads).  This is the kind that closes sideways instead of folding in half.

Now for the big trick.  I clamped a bead tip onto the end of a short length of ball chain, like so:

And...welp, that's it!  Simple, yes?  And there are tons of ways to create jewelry from this interesting component.

Well hi!  Today I thought I'd show you the quickest, simplest beaded home decor project evah.  It's practical, it's pretty, it's economical - heck, there's even a little element of upcycling in there for good measure.

It's a scarf hanger system, for storage and display.

The DIY takes about a minute.  You will need:

-a buncha big beads

-an old shoelace

Ready?  Go!

Thread 16-20 inches of big beads onto an old shoelace (or any bit of cord or ribbon you happen to have handy).

Hello again!  I used some kids' air dry clay (mine was Crayola brand from the drugstore) to make a fun and weird little creature skull pendant.  Take a look!

Want to try something like this?  Well, here's what I did.  First, using my nearly-non-existent sculpting skillz, I molded the plain white clay into these vaguely reptilian skull beads...

I'm still not sure if they are tiny dragons, baby gators, or lizards of an identified species.  As you can see, pretty much anyone could whip these up.

Hi!  Today I have a frugal and easy makeover for you.  First let me show you the end result: these pearly, coppery little necklaces.

I've been wearing them a lot lately - they are subtle, so simple and go with everything.

Here's another design, this one a bit more shmancy:

The makeover began with this (sorta, maybe, kinda) cute elastic bracelet...

...which I probably would never wear in real life.  Not that it was awful, just not my personal style.   But I do love the individual segments.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What do you get when you combine an off-the-shelf bracelet kit, a miniature silicone flamingo and a not-very-mysterious Mystery Thing?

Can anyone guess the Mystery Thing?  It's the little silver flower bud in the center:

Gosh, I know it's a tricky one...okay, not so much.  Have you figured it out?  Get ready to scroll down for the answer.





Keep scrollin'...





And here's the reveal!

Yes indeed, it's a jingle bell!

I bet you guessed it.