Sep 212015
 

jungle charm bracelet

This bracelet is one I have been wanting to make ever since I saw all these adorable ceramic animal beads in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog. I’m still waiting for the lion, who was backordered, but I’ll add him in when he arrives.

I thought the addition of some leaves made it look especially jungle-like. So, the leaves are acrylic, the animals are ceramic, and the metals are all base metal and I think this just goes to show that you don’t have to use a lot of expensive materials to make something really nice.

Here are the links for the ceramic animal beads in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog. (No they are not a¬†sponsor of mine but I kind of wish they were. ūüôā )

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Jungle Cuties Charm Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

  • 5¬†or 6¬†ceramic animal beads
  • 12 to 14 acrylic leaves
  • 5¬†headpins
  • jump rings and 20 gauge wire to hang your acrylic leaves
  • seed beads
  • a 6 to 7 inch length of chunky chain
  • lobster clasp
  • split ring

Tools

  • chain nose pliers
  • round the nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • split ring pliers

Directions

  1. Slide the head pins onto the ceramic charms and add seed beads as needed for filler.
  2. Arrange charms along length of chain and make wire wrapped loops attaching them to links evenly spaced along the chain.
  3. Use jump rings or 20 gauge wire to attach acrylic leaves to chain in alternate links of the chain, making wire wrapped loops as needed.
  4. Use split ring to attach lobster clasp to one end of the chain.
Aug 172015
 

rainbow hearts bracelet

Today’s bracelet goes together very quickly. The pearls are wire wrapped on, but the crystals are attached with jump rings. I got the idea when looking through my stash of Swarovski crystal hearts and realizing I had all the colors of the rainbow, and them some, so I made one!

I didn’t¬†expect to love this bracelet as much as I do. Rainbows aren’t usually my thing but something about all those colors¬†of¬†crystal hearts just makes me happy. ūüôā

And there’s the fact¬†that it goes with anything you’re¬†wearing.

The colors the Swarovski colors that I used from the lightest blue around counterclockwise are:

Aquamarine > Sapphire > Emerald > Fern Green > Topaz > Astral Pink > Rose > Siam > Amethyst > Cyclamen Opal

Of course, you can make this bracelet using any colors you like.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Rainbow Hearts Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6-7 inch length chain
  • toggle clasp
  • 10 10mm Swarovski Crystal Hearts¬†in¬†colors of your choice
  • 11 6mm pearls
  • 11 head pins
  • 11 bead¬†caps
  • 10 8mm jump rings

Tools:

Directions:

  1. First, count the links on your chain and determine the spacing of your beads. (See the video for how I figured out the spacing on my bracelet.)
  2. Onto each headpin slide a pearl and a bead cap.¬†Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop.¬† Slightly twist loop open and insert a¬†link of your bracelet chain. Close loop and hold with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  3. Use two pairs of chain nose pliers to open each jump ring wide enough to slide on a 10mm Swarovski crystal heart. Slide jump ring onto a link of your bracelet chain and close securely.
  4. Add clasp to end links of your bracelet chain.
Oct 202014
 

citrine nuggets bracelet

Consider this bracelet excellent practice for making wire wrapped loops. You’ll need at least 40 to make it so¬†full.

Other than the time it takes to make all your bead dangles, this is a fairly simple bracelet. The truly fun part is shopping and digging in your stash to choose the assortment of beads.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Citrine Nugget Bracelet Video Tutorial over at Youtube.

Materials:

  • 12 12-16mm citrine nuggets
  • 12 small metal bird shaped beads
  • 16 other beads
  • assorted seed beads and spacer beads
  • 40 head pins
  • 22 gauge wire (if you have any top drilled beads)
  • 7 inches seed beads or small beads (less than 3mm)
  • 8 6mm bicone beads
  • 10 inches bead stringing wire
  • 2 crimps
  • 2 crimp covers
  • 2 wire protectors
  • clasp
  • jump ring
  • 2-inch piece chain

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping pliers
  • fine point sharpie
  • sliding gauge
  1. Use sliding gauge to determine size of your seed beads or small beads. Slide gauge out to slightly larger measurement and mark that point on your round nose pliers with a sharpie.
  2. Slide citrine nuggets, bird beads and other beads onto head pins along with assorted seed and spacer beads to make 40 bead dangles.
  3. For each bead dangle use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers at sharpie marked point and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop. Hold loop with chain nose pliers. Use another pair of chain nose to wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers to tuck in end.
  4. If you have any top drilled beads ¬†cut a 3-inch piece of 22 gauge wire.¬†Slide wire into hole of bead, leaving ¬Ĺ inch sticking out on one side. Bend both wire ends up at 90-degree angle to hole of bead. Bend wires over top of bead, making a triangle shape. Bend remaining ends of wire up, perpendicular to bead hole. Trim shorter wire to 1/8 inch from bend. Bend longer remaining wire at 90¬į angle. Use round nose pliers to make a loop at sharpie marked point. Wrap remaining wire around bends and down to cover bead hole. This can be done with neat, tight wraps, or in ‚Äúmessy wraps.‚ÄĚ
  5. Sort your bead dangles into seven approximately equal piles.
  6. Onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your chain to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp and squeeze ends of wire protector together. Test to make sure crimp is holding and trim excess stringing wire. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  7. Slide onto stringing wire a 6mm bicone bead, enough seed beads to equal 1-inch with the bicone and one pile of wire wrapped bead dangles. Repeat until you have added 7 sections of beads & bead dangles. Finish with another 6mm bicone.
  8. Repeat step 6 to add a crimp and wire protector to the end of stringing wire.
  9. Use a jump ring to attach clasp to the wire protector.
Oct 132014
 

Braided Suede Charm Bracelet (2)

This is a quick fun project and a great one to do with kids. I chose bright, happy colors and sunflower charms, as this is a gift for my granddaughter, but as always with making your own jewelry, the possibilities are limitless!

Braided Suede Charm Bracelet (1)

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

You can watch the Braided Suede Charm Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • three 9-inch lengths suede cord
  • 2 cord ends
  • lobster clasp
  • metal charms
  • jump rings

Tools:

  • scissors
  • flat nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • small amount of white glue

Instructions:

  1. Place a tiny dab of glue on one end of each of the suede cords and place in cord end. Use flat nose or chain nose pliers to flatten side tabs around ends of cord.
  2. Braid together the three lengths of cord until bracelet is 1/2-inch shorter than desired finished size. Trim cords  and repeat step 1 to add a cord end.
  3. Use chain nose pliers to attach a jump ring to one cord end and lobster clasp with a jump ring to the other cord end.
  4. Use jump rings to attach charms to suede braid.
Mar 272013
 

Those of you who follow my Facebook page may remember a post from last week where I shared a fun use of shrink plastic: Victorian Farmhouse Inspired Shrink Plastic Necklace. Utterly adorable!

steampunk-dragon-necklace-1

With that wonderful inspiration, and these great instructions for sanding shrink plastic I set about making my own version.  (What ever did we do before we the internet? Oh yeah, we had less information, but a lot more time, lol.)

steampunk-dragon-necklace-5

Finding just the right type of image for the shrink charms was key, I discovered.  As I mention in the video, if you want to be able to tell what it is, you need to have an image with a clear silhouette and lots of white space in the background.

steampunk-dragon-necklace-6

If you want images with other stuff in the background, perhaps the white shrink plastic would work better. ¬†If you try it, let me know, I’m curious.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

steampunk-dragon-necklace-4

This is going to be a fun one to wear!

Enjoy the video and happy creating. ¬†ūüôā

Go here to watch it on YouTube: Steampunk Dragon Charm Necklace Video Tutorial

Materials for charms:

To make your shrink plastic charms:

  1. Print your images onto plain white paper, checking that images are complete, the size is about 2 ¬Ĺ times larger than you want the finished charms to be and there is enough space around each image for cutting out.
  2. Use the 400 grit sandpaper to sand one side of a sheet of shrink plastic, first from top to bottom, then from side to side, creating a cross hatch pattern. Thoroughly wipe off all sanding dust. (If your shrink plastic specifies that it’s for ink jet printing, then you¬†do not need to do the sanding step.)
  3. Print your images on the shrink plastic, making sure to print on the sanded side. Use die cutters or scissors to cut out each image. Use the ¬ľ-inch hole punch to punch a hole for hanging your charms.
  4. To shrink your charms you can, a) use the shrink plastic manufacturer’s instructions to shrink them in your home oven, b) use a heat embossing gun, or c) follow the below instructions for coating with UTEE and shrinking in a melt pot.

To shrink your charms in a melt pot:

  1. Place your melt pot on a non-stick craft sheet and pour in Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel powder. Move the switch to UTEE setting and put on the lid. Once Ultra Thick is melted you can place your shrink plastic into it, pushing to the back of the pot with the cool tool.
  2. Your charms will quickly shrink, first curling up and then flattening out. Use the cool tool to nudge the charm to the front of the pot where you can pick it up with metal tweezers and place it on the craft sheet to cool. Pull the charm slightly along the craft sheet to wipe off excess UTEE. Use an awl to open hole for hanging.
  3. Once all charms are shrunk and coated, peel up cooled bits of UTEE and remelt in the pot. Clean excess UTEE off edges of charms with scissors, being careful not to cut into shrink plastic.

Materials for necklace:

  • 26 inches chain
  • lobster clasp
  • jump rings
  • head pins
  • decorative charms to match your theme
  • beads to match your colors
  • small accent beads
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • crimping pliers (helpful, but optional)

To make necklace:

  1. Arrange your charms in the order you’d like them to be on your necklace. Find the center of the chain and use a jump ring to attach a charm that you’d like on the end 3 inches from the center of the chain. Attach your other end charm 3 inches to the other side of center. Attach your remaining charms evenly spaced between these two.
  2. To make a wire wrapped bead dangle arrange beads in order of your choosing on a headpin. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits last bead. ¬†Bend wire at 90¬į angle. ¬†Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.¬† Reposition pliers to finish loop.¬† Wrap remaining wire around wire below 90¬į bend. Use wire cutters to trim, if necessary. Use chain nose pliers or crimping pliers to tuck in end.
  3. Make as many bead dangles as you like. I used about ten in my necklace.
  4. Use jump rings to fill in the remaining spaces between your charms with decorative charms and bead dangles.
  5. Use a jump ring to attach the clasp to one end of the chain.

Enjoy wearing your totally unique new necklace!

Jan 092013
 

It’s always fun to find new and different ways of using your supplies. ¬†This bracelet uses eye pins, with an extra twist, to make the links of a charm bracelet.

no-chain-charm-bracelet-still

 

The best part of making your own jewelry is that you make it with your choice of metal finishes, beads, charms and, of course, any and all colors you desire!

Happy creating. ¬†ūüôā

Materials:

  • seven eye pins
  • seven head pins
  • seven beads
  • clasp
  • two jump rings
  • 1-inch piece chain (optional)
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Grasp eye of eye pin in flat part of round nose pliers; bend remaining wire into 90-degree angle. Position eye of eye pin between jaws of round nose pliers; wrap wire around one round jaw to create a second loop at a 90-degree angle to first loop.
  2. Trim wire to 1 inch long from loops.
  3. Bend cut end of each eye pin to 90 degrees ¬ľ-inch from end. Use round nose pliers to create loop with ¬ľ inch of wire. Repeat to make total of seven links.
  4. Slide a bead onto a head pin. To make head pin into a dangle, grasp wire with chain nose pliers just where it exits bead and bend wire end at 90-degree angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and begin to form a loop. Reposition round nose pliers and complete loop. Trim wire where wires cross with wire cutters. Repeat to make seven bead dangles.
  5. Connect single loop of an eye pin to top of double loop of another. Repeat to connect all eye pins together.
  6. Connect each bead dangle to a remaining loop of each eye pin link.
  7. Use jump rings to attach lobster clasp to one end and chain to other end to complete bracelet.

 

Sep 062012
 

I’ve been eyeballing the Swarovski crystal hearts at my local craft store for quite some time now. After trying to figure out the most tasteful, subtle way of using them I finally decided to just go all out and go over the top.

crytal-heart-charm-bracelet

It turned out the be the perfect approach, as I’m so in love I haven’t worn another bracelet since this one was completed.

crystal-heart-charm-bracelet-18mm

Honestly, my favorite part is that honkin’ big 18mm crystal heart. ¬†It just makes me happy to look at it. ¬†I don’t know why.

crystal-heart-charm-bracelet-close

I’ve actually added five more charms since I finished the video. ¬†More is, well, more, right? ¬†So now there are five clear 10mm hearts, five clear 10mm aurora borealis hearts¬†and five pink 10mm hearts, plus the clear 18mm heart. ¬†Oh, and the incidental crystal beads and silver hearts.

I wonder if there’s room for more….

Materials:

  • 7 inches of chain for bracelet (or length needed to fit wrist)
  • toggle clasp
  • assortment of 10-15 10mm heart crystals
  • assortment of 5-10 metal charms
  • one 18mm crystal heart
  • 6mm jump rings
  • 3-inch piece of 22-gauge wire
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Optional:

  • crystal beads
  • head pins for each crystal bead

Instructions:

  1. Thread 3-inch piece of wire through hole in 18mm crystal heart. Leave one end 1 inch long and bend ends up at a 90-degree angle from hole. Press wires together above heart. Use round nose pliers to start a loop with longer piece of wire. Slip loop onto bracelet chain and complete loop, wrapping around both wires that came out of the heart. Trim wire if necessary and tuck in end.
  2. Attach charms and crystal hearts to bracelet chain using jump rings. If using crystal beads, thread onto head pins and wrap in the same way as for 18mm heart.
  3. Attach toggle clasp bar to one end of bracelet chain with jump ring. Use jump ring to attach other piece of toggle clasp to opposite end of bracelet.

Happy creating and sparkling!

 

Mar 012012
 

Finally!

It’s only two months late, but I have managed to complete a project inspired by each of Tim Holtz’s 2011 12 Tags of Christmas. ¬†Done is good!

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

12-tags-of-christmass-2011-day-11-charm-bracelet-006

On day 11 he gave us a video showing how to use Shrink Plastic in the Melting Pot with UTEE Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

12-tags-of-christmass-2011-day-11-charm-bracelet-005

While it was highly entertaining to watch his video, it was even more fun to make my own pieces. I thought they would make wonderful little charms for a bracelet.

12-tags-of-christmass-2011-day-11-charm-bracelet-004

I used a whole bunch of different dies to cut the plastic, and also hand cut some purposely wonky hearts with scraps.

To make your own charms you’ll need to use a¬†Crop-A-Dile¬†or other hole punch to make a 1/4 -inch hole in each piece before shrinking. ¬†This is so you can hang your charms with jump rings. ¬†While the plastic is still a bit warm, use a an awl to poke the hole out. ¬†This is easiest if you poke into something squishy, like an old mousepad.

12-tags-of-christmass-2011-day-11-charm-bracelet-002

It was hard to know from the start just which sizes were going to work out well for charms on a bracelet. That’s fine, because now I have a whole box of pieces that were either too large or too small that will be used on future projects.

12-tags-of-christmass-2011-day-11-charm-bracelet-001

I’d thought the birdcage and bird from the¬†Caged Bird¬†die would be cool, but the birdcage was a little too big. ¬†I did use the bird though, he was just right.

12-tags-of-christmass-2011-day-11-charm-bracelet-007

The dress form from the Sewing Room Die was too big, but the thread spool was just perfect.

I also used the Tattered Florals Die, the Tattered Leaves die, as well as some older Sizzis dies.

All the pieces were colored on the back with alcohol inks, some got Snow Cap mixative on the back to create contrast.

This was a fun project, and I’m so happy to have completed a project with techniques from each of Tim’s 12 Tags. Now that he’s doing just one per month, it should be easy to keep up!

Happy creating. ūüôā