Monday, 28 February 2011

Tutorial: Tassel Necklace

Tassels are on necklaces everywhere at the moment, particularly on necklaces that will set you back anything between a few pounds and a few thousand pounds!

Normally found on curtain ties, cushions and lampshades, tassels can become a quirky fashion statement (though I advise against running out to buy a pair of curtain tie-backs!)

This tasselled necklace is chic and modern--and can be made for just a few pounds.

Follow this tutorial to find out how to make your own tasselled necklace.

Time needed: 45-60 minutes

You’ll need:
1 skein embroidery floss
16" chain
6 beads (for chain)
1 bell cap (for tassel)
1 bead (for tassel)
Jewellery wire
1 split ring
1 jump ring
6 eye pins
1 clasp
Scrap of card
Pliers (round nose, flat nose, side cutters)

1. Cut a rectangle of card and fold in half.  Cut a slot across the card approximately 1 cm from the top. 

2. Starting from the bottom, wind the embroidery floss loosely around the card until you have approximately 3-4 inches left (cut off at the bottom of the card).

3. Wrap the left over piece of floss around the top part of the tassel, through the slot you cut out in step 1, and tie a secure knot at the back.

4. Slide your scissors between the two sides of card at the bottom and carefully cut through the embroidery floss. Slide your tassel off the card.

5. Cut around 4 inches of jewellery wire. Slide partway through the loop at the top of the tassel so approx. 1 inch sticks out on one side of the tassel. Using the pliers, bend the two sides of wire up around the head of the tassel and wrap the shorter end around the longer end.

6. Thread the bell cap onto the wire, over the top of the tassel. Add whichever bead you want on top of the tassel and bend the remaining wire into a loop with the round-nose pliers, cutting off any excess with side-cutters.

7. Attach the tassel to the centre of your chain using a jump ring.

8.  Thread a bead onto an eye pin. Bend the straight piece of wire over round-nose pliers to make a loop and cut away any leftover wire. Repeat for the other five beads.

9. Fix the beads to the chain at equally-spaced intervals of 1.5". To do this, open a chain link using round-nose pliers and thread on the factory-made loop of the eye pin. Close the link using flat-nose pliers. Now open the other loop on the eye pin and attach to the other end of chain, joining it up. Close the loop with round-nose pliers.

10. To finish, attach a clasp and split ring to the ends of the necklace.

Linking up at:

Monday, 21 February 2011


Making these ‘Monstar’ monsters has been a hobby of mine for a few years. Now I’ve made a whole heap of them!

It began with Percy (above, far right). I made him to kill some time and use up a few fabric scraps (and also some of the soft toy eyes I bought in a closing down sale).

After Percy came others; I experimented a little to make monsters with different shaped heads, ears, and three legs!

These are so simple and fast to make that I moved on from making them just for myself, and made a bunch for friends, too!

Whilst some went to parts of the UK, others went further afield:

Jasmonster went to live in Finland. He wears a rose-and-feather headpiece and has a toy dinosaur all of his own.

This monster, inspired by the song ‘MOnsTar eAT CanDy & cHocOLaTo’ by Japanese band the fool, went to live with a fan of said band in Tokyo. His chocolate and candy are movable.

MiMo went to live in Canada. His zippered mouth can be unzipped and his clock counts up to 13. MiMo is inspired by MiMi, vocalist of Japanese band THE VELVET.
(Picture has been swiped shamelessly from the blog of MiMo’s owner.)

This vinyl-and-polkadot monster sports a cute red bow and lives in the UK--but watch out for those sharp teeth!

Another UK resident, this piratey guy loves to wear an eye patch, even though he has two eyes.

With a ton of fabric scraps, embellishments and plastic eyes still waiting to be used, these are far from being the last Monstars.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Music: David Mead

When I started this blog, I didn't intend on writing about music--lord knows I talk enough on the subject as it is!

But when it comes to things I enjoy, my resolve has never been too strong, and when I saw that David Mead was offering a free download, 'Live At Eddie's Attic 2/4/09' my resolve completely crumbled!

I saw David Mead back in 2004 as a support act on Bic Runga's UK tour (the tickets were a birthday present from a friend) and was really impressed. Enough so that I bought a CD!

The lyrics are intelligent and poetic; each song paints its own vivid picture through its harmony and David's smooth, melodic voice. 

A fantastic and severely underrated pop act, David Mead is well worth a listen.

Official Site: /
Official Blog:

His web site also has links to iTunes, or if you're old-fashioned like me, there are plenty of CDs on Amazon!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Valentine's Recap

With Valentine’s Day mere hours away, here’s a recap of this year’s Valentine-related posts on Unfortunately Oh!

These ‘hanging hearts’ are a cheap, quick way to finish off Valentine’s décor. All seven of these could easily be made inside a day with time to spare.

This button badge heart picture is a remake of a fantastic picture selling online at £175. The original 'Button Badge Heart Picture' by Brigitte Herod costs far more than I can afford, so I made my own--and explained the process in this handy how-to.

Another heart for hanging on display was this heart-shaped wreath, made using wire, a florist’s decoration, and some ruffled trim. Again, this was posted on Unfortunately Oh!: Ruffled Heart Wreath Tutorial

To all the jewellery lovers out there, this Key To Your Heart necklace tutorial is for you!

And of course, where would we all be without a little shopping?  In ‘Valentine’s Décor’ I looked at what’s on offer at three stylish online shops. Pictured above: Heart bowl and nibble dish set, £33 (includes a bowl, 3 dip dishes & spoons plus a tray) and Gingham heart tea cosy, £30 (various colours).

Whether you're attached or single, I hope you all have a fabulous valentine's day! 

Friday, 11 February 2011

Tutorial: Messy Metal Wire Hanging Heart

Here’s the last one of these hanging heart tutorials! This heart steps away from the cliché reds, pinks, and softness associated with Valentine’s day in favour of a more industrial inspired style.

Time needed: approx 1 hour

You’ll need:
Various gauges of wire
Pliers (heavy duty and jewellery pliers)
Bead stringing wire
Cord or ribbon for hanging

1. As with the heart dream-catcher tutorial, make a circle with your thickest gauge wire (an old coat hanger is good) and form a loop by bending one end of the wire and wrapping the other end around the loop.

2. Reshape into a heart and wrap 2-3 other lengths of wire around that shape.

3. Wrap 2-3 lengths of finer wire (I used jewellery wire) around the heart, being sure to wrap it several times around each end of the wire left sticking out in step 2.  Also wrap a length of wire around the hook you created in step 1.

4. Use a crimp to attach the end of a length of bead-stringing wire to the top centre of the heart, closing the crimp with flat nosed pliers.
Thread on another crimp, then your bead(s) and two more crimps. Don’t close the crimps yet.
Fix the end of the wire to the bottom point of the heart with the lowermost crimp on the wire and cut off any excess wire.
Position the beads on the wire and close the crimps to set in place.

5. Add a piece of cord or ribbon to hang. 

I hope you guys have enjoyed and been inspired by these heart tutorials! I've had fun making them and experimenting with different materials!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Tutorial: Engraved Wooden Hanging Heart

Today’s heart how-to is the second to last, and uses thin plywood to create this lightly engraved wooden hanging heart.

I used birch plywood for this little project; it’s thin enough to cut with scissors. Plywood can be bought from good model shops.

Time needed: approx 1 hour

You’ll need:
Thin plywood
Heart template
Hole punch
Fine sandpaper
Clear varnish (I used spray varnish)

1. Draw a heart on the plywood using the heart template and cut out with scissors.

2. Use sandpaper to smooth around the edges.

3. Make a mark on the heart with pencil where you want to thread the ribbon through. Take the bottom off your hole punch.

4. Turn the hole punch upside down and slide in the heart until the mark you made in step 3 is visible through the punching hole at the bottom of the hole punch. Once aligned, punch out a hole on the heart.

5. Use a pencil to draw the pattern you want to engrave on the heart, but take care not to press too hard. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake as it can be erased.

6. Engrave the pattern into the wood with the point of one blade of the scissors. This might take some time! If you’re using birch plywood as I did, scraping away the top layer of wood will reveal a reddish shade underneath.

7. Once you’re happy with your engraving, spray the heart with clear varnish. Once dry, add ribbon or twine of your choice to hang.
Painting: If you wish to paint your heart, use some acrylic, poster paint or wood stain to decorate it before varnishing.

Come back tomorrow for the final instalment of these hanging heart tutorials!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tutorial: 'Heartcatcher' - dream-catcher hanging heart

For the fifth instalment of my hanging heart tutorials, I decided to do something a little different.
I have seen plenty of circular dream catchers, but this one is shaped like a heart--a heart-catcher!

This particular mini-project is fiddlier than some others, but has a good-looking result.

Time needed: approx. 1 hour

You’ll need:
Bead stringing wire
A few beads
Flat nose and round nose pliers

1. Form a circle with the wire and create a hook at the top by bending over one end of the wire and wrapping the other end around it, using the pliers.

2. Bend the circle into a heart shape.

3. Cut a length of bead stringing wire (I used around 120cm) and use a crimp to attach the end to the top of the heart, by the hook. Close the crimp with the flat nose pliers.
Thread on another crimp and wind the bead stringing wire around the frame of the heart leaving a loop. Thread back through the crimp and close the crimp to secure.
Continue this all the way around the heart-shaped frame.

4. Now add a second row of slightly smaller loops, using crimps, but this time looping the wire around the centre of the first set of loops. The outer loops will slip around a little as you work.

5. Begin the third row of loops again making them smaller than on the previous row. At this stage you can start to add the occasional bead on the loops.

6. Add more rows of loops making each row smaller than the other. As you reach the centre of the heart you might find you need to skip some loops. To finish, use a crimp to attach the end of the bead stringing wire to the final loop and cut off the excess.

7. Add a length of ribbon and hang.
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