Check out my new range of colourful, sparkly resin bracelets

Check out my new range of colourful, sparkly resin bracelets
These stylish bracelets feature a selection of crystal focals and silver beads and have a strong, crystal-encrusted magnetic clasp, making them perfect for the girl who can't get a regular bangle over her knuckles. They also come in larges sizes for girls with bigger wrists.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Shorten a Kilt Pin

In my last post, I shared a project using an unbent kilt pin. These are sometimes called hat pins or safety pins. With an unbent pin, you're able to string beads directly onto the shaft where they will be secured by turning a safety pin loop. The hard part is judging how many beads to string before creating the double loop. Sometimes, you don't get it quite right, like the pin below. After turning the loop, the pin was way too long to slide under the clasp.

But no need to despair..... it's fixable!

Read on to see how I do it.

You'll need a couple of tools to rectify the problem: memory wire shears and a drill with grinding bits. I like Her Embosser battery-operated drill because it's so portable and lightweight but a Dremel is good too.

Begin by trimming away the excess pin. It needs to be long enough to catch under the clasp.

I've trimmed this one just shorter than the beginning of the curve of the clasp. This is a steel pin so it's essential you don't use your wire cutting pliers or you'll damage the blades irreparably. Memory wire shears are designed to cut through steel, so use those instead.

Now that it's the right length, it just needs reshaping using the drill. I've selected the barrel-shaped grinding bit for this job. The idea is to remove the bluntness from the cut end of the pin.

Keep grinding it away on all sides until you create a point again.

Now it's just a matter of grinding the shaft below the tip until it comes to a gradual point.

Compare the piece that I trimmed off from the pin with the newly ground point. You can see how similar they are.

Now the pin is sharp enough (and smooth enough) to pass through fabric again.

There are many little jobs I use Her Embosser for when I'm making jewellery. Look out for a future post on all the different ways I use this marvellous tool.

'Til next time....





            




If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Friday, March 10, 2017

A Garden Inspired Shawl Pin for St Patrick's Day

When there's a little chill in the air, a shawl or a scarf is a great accessory to add to your outfit. Even with your neck covered, you can still accessorise your outfit with jewellery - it just won't be around your neck. Try a pretty and practical shawl pin instead. Just drape a warm shawl over your shoulders, gather the folds and pin the two sides together in the front with this garden inspired shawl pin. Because you form this straight pin into a kilt pin after you've strung the beads and components, they will be secure and not fall off when you unclip the brooch.

Here's what you'll need to make your own shawl pin:

Straight hat pin with hook - 5 1/2"
Swarovski bicones - 5 x 6mm Emerald; 4 x 4mm Erinite
Swarovski briolette - 3 x Erinite
8 x 3mm silver spacers
Curved silver flower connector 34mm x 17mm
5 x 6mm silver jump rings
4 silver head pins

Tools: flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, memory wire shears

String the Erinite bicones on head pins and bend each one at a 90° angle.

Turn a simple loop.

Hook a jump ring through the central loop of the flower connector and slip on a briolette. Close the jump ring. Attach a jump ring and briolette to the lowest loop of each of the two outer flowers.

Open the loop on each of the bicones. Attach one on either side of the central briolette. Hook the other two through the middle loop of the second and fourth flowers.

Hook a jump ring through the outermost loop of each of the first and fifth flowers and close them.

String two spacer beads, an Emerald bicone and the jump ring on one end of the connector. Then string two spacer beads, three bicones and two more spacers.

Slide the jump ring on the connector along with the beads close to the end of the pin so that you can hook on the second jump ring on the connector.

String a bicone and two more spacers.

Now it's time to turn the straight pin into a kilt pin. In the next few steps, you'll create the loop in the pin. The trick here is to make sure that you have enough length left in your pin to be able to close the catch. Mine only just closed which means I made my loop just a fraction too large. To make sure yours catches easily, grip the wire in the jaws of the pliers just a little higher than the photo below shows so that your loop will be smaller. 

With the hook of the hat pin facing upwards, grip the hat pin next to the last bead.

Wrap the wire over the top jaw of the pliers back towards the hook.

Remove the pliers and reposition them so that you are now gripping the wire above the bend you just made. Wrap the wire around the bottom jaw of the pliers so that you have formed a complete loop. The wire will now be pointing away from the hook.

Remove the pliers again and insert the top jaw of the pliers into the loop. Bend the wire back over the jaw towards the hook to complete the pin.

Pin it to your favourite scarf or shawl and step out in style - it's just the thing for St Patrick's Day!

'Til next time....



            




If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Resin Tip - Demoulding Silicone Moulds the Easy Way!

Geometric patterns are having a strong influence on fashion and home décor at present and they're showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. As is often the case, this trend has filtered its way through to jewellery and accessories too - those pretty geometric wand-shaped healing crystal pendants have become a mainstream jewellery item - it's a natural progression from the druzy stones that have been all the rage in recent times. Even in the resin world there is a selection of sleek hexagonal, square and round cylinder moulds available now. Their long, slender shapes making them very appealing as pendants, particularly with whispy colour or delicate florals suspended in them.



But this elegant, slender shape presents a problem. It is extremely difficult to get the casting out of the mould once it's cured. So what do you do when the resin is stuck and you just can't budge it?

Well, take a look at the video below for a surefire way to EASILY remove your resin casting from the silicone mould. I think you'll be amazed at how quickly it all happens!


For more great tips and tricks like this one, subscribe to my social channels. Just click the icons at the top of the page.

'Til next time.....



            




If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Friday, January 13, 2017

Sunshine and Happiness in a Bracelet

No colour says happy quite the way that yellow does. It's like a ray of sunshine that brightens up your day. Throw a daisy in to the mix and it's sure to make you smile.

This cheery yellow bracelet is happiness personified: a crisp yellow daisy and a chain of golden yellow dangles that dance playfully against your wrist - it's like a breath of fresh air.

It looks time consuming to make all those bead charms, right? Wrong! This bracelet is actually quite quick to put together. By using a pre-strung strand of beaded chain, you don't have to prepare the charm dangles - all the hard work has already been done for you.

Here's what you'll need:
5cm (2") curved floral tube bead
Traditions Shell and Leaf Drop strand (Hobby Lobby)
2 15mm yellow lampwork flower beads (use a substitute if you can't find these)
22g gunmetal Artistic Wire
2 10x12mm brass cone bead caps
2 brass head pins
5 4mm brass jump rings
Velour tubing (to fit inside tube bead)

You'll also need flush cutters, flat nose pliers, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers and scissors.

Insert the velour tubing into the tube bead. Leave an overhang of 10mm (3/8") at one end and then cut the other end with a 10mm overhang. Remove the tubing from the tube bead.

Cut an 11cm (4.5") piece of wire. Insert it into the velour tubing, allowing it to extend beyond the tubing 10mm (3/8"). String a cone bead cap on the wire.

Bend the wire at a 90° angle.

Turn a simple loop.

String the tube bead back on the velour tubing.

String the second cone bead cap. Check that it sits firmly down on the tube bead without any movement. If necessary, trim the tubing to fit. Bend the wire at a 90° angle, trim to 10mm (3/8") and turn a simple loop.

Open the loop and string on one end of the bead strand.

Place the bracelet on your wrist and check for fit, taking into account the length the toggle clasp will take up. Once you have determined the length you need to trim the strand to, trim it and then separate it into two equal lengths. Attach the ring of the toggle clasp to the last link of the strand by opening the last link as you would a jump ring. Close it again securely.

Open the other loop of the tube bead and attach the other piece of the bead strand. Connect three jump rings together and attach them to the last link of the strand, then attach the bar part of the clasp to the last jump ring.

If you have enough of the strand left over, use it to make a pair of matching earrings.

String a flower bead on a head pin and bend it at a 90° angle.

Trim the end to 10mm (3/8") and turn a simple loop.

Open the centre link of the remaining piece of the bead strand and separate the strand into two equal lengths. Set one aside for the second earring. Open a jump ring and hook on the end link of the strands and the loop of the flower bead.

Open the loop of the earring wire and attach the top link of the bead strand.

Make a second earring with the remaining components.

Now you've made your bracelet (and matching earrings!), go out into the world and spread sunshine and happiness!

'Til next time.........




            




If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs



Friday, December 30, 2016

5 Sparkly Thoughts to Kick Off the New Year

This year, just like every other year in recent memory, has flown past. There's not too much time to look back and reflect on the year gone by or to look ahead to what the New Year might bring, so no New Year's resolutions for me. But I have put together some words to live by to help get the New Year off to a sparkly start.

Sparkle is the new black!


Never let your tiara slip.


Because it's what's on the inside that matters.


Bloom and be the very best you, you can be.


And remember, you can never have enough jewellery..... especially when it's handmade!

May your New Year be shiny and bright! See you in 2017.




            




If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs







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