Saturday, 23 April 2011

Tutorial: Wire-Wrapped Crystals - Decorative Techniques

Following my agate necklace post, here are some decorative methods for making your wire-wrapped crystal pendant that little bit extra special!

For all of these you’ll need:
Jewellery wire
Flat nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Side cutters
Wire Spirals

This is time consuming and fiddly, but looks good once you’re finished!

1. Using flat nose pliers, bend the end of your jewellery wire over on itself, squeezing between the pliers to close any small gaps.

2. Repeat step 1 until your spiral starts to get bigger. Then you can hold it flat with the pliers and bend the wire around with your fingers.

3. Once the spiral is done, the crystal-wrapping method is similar to the way I explained in my agate necklace tutorial, only this time you start with the spiral (rather than the bail!)

4. Place the spiral where you want it to go, wrap the crystal as described previously. At the back of this crystal, I looped the wire around itself a couple of times so it holds better.

5. Cut off the end and make the bail as described in my previous wire-wrapped agate crystal necklace tutorial.

Wire Coils

This one isn’t quite as fiddly as the spirals!

1. Bend the end of your jewellery wire around the end of the round nose pliers to create a tiny loop and repeat a few times.

2. Every few bends of the wire, change the grip of your pliers on the wire so that only their tip is gripping hold of your half-formed coil. This way, the coil ends up an even size. (Alternatively you can wind the wire all the way around the pliers to create a coiled cone)
3. Wrap the wire around your crystal, starting with the coil and ending with the bail.

Beaded Wire-Wrapping

A simple method to add extra colours or enhance the overall look of your pendant.

1. Slide a bead onto the wire, leaving several inches at the end of the wire.
2. Bend the wire back around the bead.
3. Use flat nose pliers to bend the wire around itself to create a coiled effect. Cut off any excess with side cutters.

4. Wrap the crystal. With this particular pendant, I created the bail half-way through wrapping in order to use both ends of the wire for beads.

Linking up at:

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Tutorial: Chicken and the Egg Necklace

Ages ago, I found some cute chick motifs when clearing out a cupboard. I put them aside in the hope of thinking of a use for them.

Today, I made this ‘Chicken and the Egg’ necklace:

chicken and egg easter necklace tutorial

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make one for yourself!

easter necklace tutorial

Time needed: 30~60 minutes

You’ll need:
Chick motif
Egg-shaped bead or similar (I used a stone)
1 m ribbon (approx)
Bead-stringing wire
Jewellery wire
Needle & thread
1 split ring
Pliers (flat nose, round nose and side cutters)

easter necklace

1. First off, wrap your ‘egg’ with wire (see my agate necklace tutorial). Start by making the bails for the top and bottom of the egg...

chick necklace

2. ...then wrap it. At the back, I bent the end of the wire underneath itself so it won’t catch on anything.
egg necklace

beaded easter necklace

3. Cut a piece of wire longer than you want the beaded section to be:

 (height of motif x2) + (length of beaded section) + 1~2 inches

Attach the split ring to the end of the bead-stringing wire with two crimps, spacing the crimps out. The distance between the bottom crimp and the top of the split ring should be slightly smaller than the height of your chick motif. 

necklace with sew on motif

4. Thread on your beads. I went for a mixture of modern wooden beads, old green beads, plus a couple of gold ones to balance out the yellow of the chick.

necklace with chick

5. Use a crimp to fix the other end of the bead-stringing wire to the bottom of your wire-wrapped ‘egg’.  Cut off any excess wire. 

chicken and egg necklace

6. Thread your ribbon through the split ring...

spring necklace

7. ...and the top bail of the ‘egg’, leaving enough ribbon in between to slip your head through.

seasonal necklace

8. Tie the ends of the ribbon together in a bow.

handmade necklace

9. Sew your motif onto the exposed section of bead-stringing wire and the split ring. 

easter chick and ribbon necklace

cute easter necklace
 And you’re done!

Linking up at:

Tutorial: Wire-Wrapped Agate Crystal Necklace

Being a frequent reader of fashion magazines, recently I’ve noticed a lot of crystal jewellery popping up here and there.
Agate in particular has appeared a number of times, and why not? It looks great, is cheaply bought and comes in a variety of colours!

I love the patterns found in agate and always like an excuse to make some more jewellery, so I sat down with my supplies and made this:

agate necklace

Rather than drill through the crystal as in a lot of the necklaces available (sacrilege!) I decided to wrap it in jewellery wire.

Here’s how you can make your own. You can use this wire-wrapping technique to create pendants with any other crystals.

wire-wrapped crystal

Time needed: 30~60 minutes (depending on dexterity!)

You’ll need:
A crystal
Jewellery wire
Flat nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Side cutters

Note: If doing this for the first time, try a textured crystal (e.g. in its natural state) rather than one with a smooth, polished appearance (a tumbled crystal). Whilst it’s possible to wire-wrap smooth crystals, it’s a more fiddly since the wire slips across the crystal’s surface.

Anyway. On with the tutorial!

wire-wrapped crystal necklace

1. Bend the wire around the round nose pliers with 1.5-2 inches to spare on the end.

wire-wrapped agate crystal necklace

2. Using flat nose pliers, wrap the end around the rest of the wire to create a bail.

agate slice necklace

3. Start wrapping the wire around the crystal. Hold the bail in place at the back of the crystal and carefully bend the wire around to the front.

agate necklace

4. Bend the wire around to the back of the crystal again. You’ll need to hold the wire and crystal tightly to ensure it doesn’t slip out before you’re finished!

agate necklace

5. As you continue to bend the wire around the crystal, change the angle of the wire so that you catch different edges and corners e.g. so it can’t slip out of the wire.

agate necklace

6. Once you the crystal is secure and your pendant has its desired look, bend the wire to the back again and wind the wire around itself at the bail. Cut off the excess and bend the end down with the flat nose pliers.

agate necklace

7. Thread onto a chain and go show off your fashionable new necklace to all your friends!

Check back soon for a post on decorative wire-wrapping techniques--easy ways to make your crystal pendant look extra special!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Tutorial: Key Necklace

I have a small obsession with jewellery and after seeing a cute key necklace in a magazine, decided to make my own.

Here’s the one I put together:

key necklace

And this is the Black Key necklace by AnnaLou of London (£20):

Read on for an easy-peasy way to make your own!

key necklace tutorial

Time needed: 10-15 minutes (excluding paint drying time)

You’ll need:
An old key
Two jump rings
Paint suitable for use on metals (I used spray enamel)

Eye pins

key necklace tutorial

1. Clean the key to remove any excess grease that might affect the paint, then paint and leave to dry. If spray-painting, try hanging the key on a length of bent wire--you can spray the entire key in one go, and hang it up somewhere safe to dry.

key necklace tutorial

2. If you want to add beads, 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. Slip the next eye pin onto the loop before closing it and repeat this step for the rest of the beads. (Picture here is recycled from my Tassel Necklace tutorial because I didn’t take a photo this time around!)

3. Connect a piece of chain to the end of your line of beads. (Do this for both sides of the necklace, if putting beads on both sides)

key necklace

4. Attach the other end of the line of beads to the key, using jump rings.
If you don’t want to add beads, simply use jump rings to attach the chain to the key.

key necklace tutorial

5. Add a clasp to the top of the chain.

key necklace

6. Enjoy this stylishly cute new addition to your jewellery box!

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Printable: Easter Egg Hunt Signs

As a child, I loved going on Easter Egg Hunts!
My mother would hide little foil-wrapped eggs around the garden (or if it was raining, around the house) and give clues to my sisters and I as to how close we were to finding one!

I'm far from organising or participating in any egg hunts this year (sob) but here's a printable for anyone planning to organise an easter egg hunt of their own!

easter egg hunt signs 

As with my Mother's Day Voucher printable, these should print off on standard A4 paper/card.

Simply print, cut out, and tape to sticks or hang up with string!

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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Partial Room Makeover

Over the past couple of weeks, I've made a few changes to my room!
My desk/dressing table was a mess and more of a place to dump things than to use as intended. There was a pretty big dent in the wall above it from where I took down a TV stand (which subsequently pulled plaster off the wall, eek!)

I don't have any 'before' pictures, but here is how it looks now, after spending a little money, utilising Dad's DIY expertise, and doing some serious tidying!

Here is the wall--after it was repainted at the top, I added a floating shelf and reorganised the pictures that have been prettying up my room for years!

And the desk! The two little Rococo-style drawers were bought from ebay; I use them to house jewellery and makeup!

I made the jewellery board. Here's a better picture, taken before I hung it up and began piling more necklaces on!

I won't write a proper tutorial for this, because there are already a lot in blogland.
However, they are really easy to make, so here is a short explanation:

Basically, I took the glass out of a frame and marked on the backboard where I wanted the knobs and hooks to go. Then I sweet-talked my fabulous Dad into drilling the holes for me!
Next, I glued some wadding to the back board. Once the glue had dried, I stretched some fabric over the board and secured at the back with duck tape. I was going to use glue, but I ran out!
I then used the holes in the backboard as a guide and made holes through the wadding/fabric for the knobs/hooks.
I screwed everything on, and again took advantage of Dad DIY Services (I highly recommend it!) to cut off the excess screw at the back with an angle grinder (a handsaw works too).

I'm pleased with how this display board turned out. Having seen so many of them online, I wondered if I could make something anywhere near as good!
Overall, this display board cost me around £10, the most expensive part being the £7 frame. Excepting the butterfly knob (42p from Habitat), all the other knobs and hooks came from charity shops. Everything else was already in the house, left over from various projects!

Moving on, here are the gorgeous bird hooks I bought for my longer necklaces:

I bought these from BHS for £10 and £6 respectively. I have very little pale pink in my room, but they were the perfect size and style!

They also co-ordinate well with my light fitting:


I made this years ago--the petals were in the January sale at BHS (I threaded them onto jewellery wire), whilst the butterflies and humming birds came from The Famous Little Store in Padstow, Cornwall.

On the opposite wall, I changed the poster and put it in a frame:

I wanted to mirror the gold-framed pictures across the room. This frame is the same type as the one I used for my necklace display board, but customised:


This is how the frame originally looked (as on the display board)...

...and this is how the poster frame looks.
The customisation was cheap and simple: I glued lace trim around the centre section of the frame and gave it a few coats of gold spray-paint!

And now? Now I'll stop bragging about my room!
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