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Archive for April, 2010

I made two at the same time to show you different options for the same necklace.Aren’t they PURTY!!! ¬†And oh-sew-easy to make! ūüėČ ¬†(I know…that was cheesy.)

Well I hope you had fun making my last two spring projects and that you’re now in the mood to dress yourself in the latest spring accessories and colors! ¬†Bib necklaces are insanely popular right now which is fabulous for us DIY’ers since they’re so easy to make with so many different ways to make them. ¬†My favorite part about this trend is that the “handmade looking” bib necklace is what is most desired right now and that the more custom and handmade yours look, the more chic and fabulous they are! ¬†You can make yourself a bib necklace with just about any craft items you have around the house; scrap fabric, old t-shirts, lace, buttons, old jewelry, felt, leather, ribbon, etc…just about ANYTHING can be fashioned into a statement bib necklace. ¬†For this tutorial I really wanted to create something fun and bright and elegant to bring some sunshine and flowers into my wardrobe. ¬†I made two necklaces at the same time using basically the same technique ¬†for each with just a few differences to show you some variations of the same necklace. ¬†FYI: ¬†A lot of these tutorials document my FIRST ATTEMPT on the projects I want to do so they are very much open to your own inspiration and tweaking. ¬†I have an entire photo file on my computer that I add pics to that I like and think that I could make or create a similar version/idea of. ¬†So I’m learning as I go, just like you! ūüôā ¬†Ok then, are you ready!?

Cost: $0-$5 (Like I said, this project can be done with just about anything that you have around the house already which makes it a great recycling/upcycling DIY project for old clothing, jewelry, or craft items).

Supplies:

  • Ribbon. You’ll use about 2 feet or so per necklace depending on how long you’d like yours to hang. ¬†I used green grosgrain ribbon I had on hand.
  • Cotton (frayable…I just made that word up) Fabric. I used a couple shades of pink and green linen that I picked up a long time ago at a thrift store. ¬†Yes, thrift stores often sell fabric remnants for SUPER cheap! ¬†They’re a great place to look, especially if you’re looking for vintage/retro fabrics and prints.
  • Beads. I had an old bracelet with small green glass beads (I’m pretty sure I bought it from the $Dollar Store a while back) that I just took apart and used the beads from. ¬†Any beads, jewels, or buttons, would work for the center of your flowers.
  • Needle and thread in coordinating/matching colors as your fabric.
  • Sharp scizzors.

Thats all you need to make these lovely little bib necklaces! ¬†This takes minimal sewing skills (I didn’t use a machine at all) and about 1 hour or so to make two. ¬†Lets get started!

  1. Get your supplies ready to go. ¬†Cut your ribbon pieces (2 per necklace) to the length that you’d like (I think it looks great to have the bib part of the necklace sitting along or just below your collar bone). ¬†Pick out your beads (I did 3 beads per flower). ¬†And cut out your flower fabric(s) into a long strip about 6 inches or so wide. ¬†
  2. Take the “backing” fabric (in this case I used the green linen as my backing/leaf fabric), fold it in half. ¬†Cut a moon (or smile) shape out of that fabric to use as your bib backing.If you are making 2 necklaces at a time, cut 2. ¬†Below is about what yours should look like. ¬†You can adjust the size,length, and width of the bib backing to your liking depending on how big you’d like your flowers to be.
  3. Set that piece aside and grab your strip of flower fabric(s). ¬†Fold that strip in half or thirds (depending on how much fabric you have and how many layers you want in your flowers). ¬†Begin cutting that strip into rectangular strips getting smaller as you get to the end of the fabric. ¬†This is hard to explain but basically you’re cutting out stacked pieces of fabric from biggest to smallest to cut your various sized circles from that will be making up the layers to each of your flowers. ¬†Does that make sense? ¬†Heres an example.
  4. Once you have your fabric stacks ready to go, cut circles out of each stack, big, less big, medium, and small or however you see fit. ¬†You can make as many circles in as many different sizes as you’d like. ¬†The idea is just that you want to get a pretty full flower once you stack the different sized circles on top of each other from biggest to smallest.
  5. And thats exactly what we’re going to do now. ¬†Stack your circles on top of each other from biggest to smallest. ¬†I cut both my flower fabrics together so I¬†separated¬†them by color and make 3 flowers out of each fabric for my two necklaces. ¬†I also made stacked leaves to use (I only ended up using them on one of the necklaces) and I layed out my necklaces to see what I liked best before I started stitching everything together.
  6. Once you get a plan in place you can begin stitching your stacks together to form your flowers. ¬†This is where my light pink bib necklace and my dark pink bib necklace differ somewhat. ¬†For my light pink flowers I simply stitched the circles together directly through the center of each stack and to the backing fabric to give my bib a flatter flower look. ¬†For the dark pink flowers I “gathered” the circles together by stitching a lose circle (wide stitch) through all the layers at once and then pulling the thread tight to make them gather and ruffle a bit. ¬†Then I stitched them to the backing fabric. I love them both but I have to say I like the texture to the ruffled looking bib. ¬†Above is a look at the light pink version. ¬†Below is a look at the dark pink version.Above is a look at how I did the loose gather stitch to my dark pink version. ¬†And below you can see what it looks like once I pulled the thread tight and knotted it off.
  7. Either way you choose to go, sew your flowers to the bib backing fabric you had set aside.
  8. Now, sew your beads into the centers.  You will be sewing through all your layers now including the backing layer.
  9. If you’d like (as I show here above) you can pull at the edges of your fabric flowers to make them fray a bit. ¬†I did this heavily on the light pink necklace but I left the dark pink necklace alone for it to fray as it will on its own.
  10. Now, sew your ribbon pieces to the ends of the bib backing.
  11. If you’d like, you can sew a loose gather stitch along the top of the bib backing and pull slightly to get the bib to curve and ruffle a bit more. ¬†I did this only on my dark pink bib.
  12. Make any adjustments as needed.  You can tack the edges of your flowers together or down to the bib backing if you are using floppier fabric, or you can lengthen/shorten the ribbon.

Thats it! ¬†Doesn’t it just make you feel like going on a¬†pick-nick! ¬†Heres a few tips of other things you can do with this DIY design:

  • Lengthen the ribbon and straighten the backing piece to make a cute springtime sash belt.
  • Tie it up around your neck like a chocker. ¬†(I love this if you’re wearing your hair up).
  • Make your flowers smaller and create a springtime fabric wrist corsage.
  • Leave the ribbon out completely and attach a pin to the back for a sweet bouquet brooch.
  • Straighten the backing piece, and make a sweet ribbon hair band for your little girl or you.

So many things you can do with this tutorial!! I’m excited to see your ideas! ¬†Stay tuned for my next tutorial, “How to Make a Vintage Inspired Birdcage Veil”! ¬†Happy crafting! ūüôā

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I’m so excited to see that this blog has gained a little following! ¬†I’m thrilled that I can share all my crazy projects with you and I love the comments and feedback as well as the ideas that you all are having for your own projects! ¬†I would LOVE to see your versions these projects and would love to post them on here for others to become inspired! ¬†If you have a completed project from one of these diy craft tutorials and would like to share it for us to see please shoot me an email with a pic of your project at catcart2@hotmail.com.

As for today’s project, I think you’re going to love it! ¬†Especially if you liked the rose necklace tutorial a while back since this is more flower art with clay. ¬†The difference is this is to adorn your walls!¬† A great way to add some springtime decorating to your home.¬† I had this idea when I walked through my entry way the other day and thought to myself how I’d like to spruce up my tree mural (if you’d like to learn how to do a simple wall mural you can find that tutorial under the decorating tab) for spring. ¬†Here is a pic of my entry way with my tree mural:

I knew I wanted something 3-dimensional and temporary that I could easily “hang” on the branches for spring. ¬†After hitting up the $Dollar Store I was inspired by thumb tacks and lightweight clay thinking I could easily configure those two things into some fun and colorful flowers for my tree. ¬†But, if you don’t have a giant tree mural in your entry, you can still use these cute flower push-pins in a cluster around a mirror, scattered between springtime family photos, or year-round as a cute wall accent in a little-girls room. ¬†Okay then, heres the breakdown:

Cost: $2-$10 depending on if you’re lucky enough to find the clay in the $Dollar Store or at the craft store (its about $6.50).

Supplies:

  • Sculpey Ultra Light clay. I only found it in white, which worked great for my since I ended up watercoloring it at the end anyway.
  • Thumb tacks. ¬†I used white headed tacks.
  • Toothpick.
  • Oven.
  • Baking sheet.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Tin foil.
  • Flower cookie cutter. ¬†I got mine at the $Dollar Store in a pack of 5 different cookie cutter designs.
  • Acrylic craft paint in desired color (optional).
  • Paint brush and water cup.

Most of this stuff you most likely have in your kitchen besides the clay. ¬†I believe that Walmart also carries this clay in their craft section so check that out if you don’t have a craft store nearby. ¬†Are you ready? ¬†Lets make some flowers!

  1. Lay a couple feet of tin foil out onto a table.
  2. Knead the clay in your hands to soften it and make it pliable.  I only used less than 1/2 of the clay in the package to make 9 flowers.  Use as much as you want!  You can even vary the flowers shape and size if you have more than one flower cookie cutter.  Get creative and explore your options!
  3. Form the clay into a ball and roll it out with a rolling pin (I have a¬†silicone¬†rolling pin that didn’t have a problem sticking but I’m not sure if the clay would stick to a wood one. ¬†If so, you can spread the clay out with your hands) to about 1/4 inch or so. ¬†It doesn’t have to be consistently a 1/4 inch, but try to make it somewhat even.
  4. Grab your flower cookie cutter and begin cutting out your flowers like you would with sugar cookie dough.
  5. Peel away the extra clay and carefully transfer your clay flowers to your baking sheet.
  6. Take a toothpick and press lines halfway into the clay where the petals would be¬†separated.You just want to make indentions with the toothpick, not¬†separate¬†petals. ¬† This way the flower stays sturdy but you’re able to shape it a bit easier.
  7. Pull the petals upward and gently pinch along the indentions to create a 3-d more realistic looking flower.  Pull and curl the petals this way and that to make each one unique and more flower-like.Heres a look at all of mine after I shaped the petals:
  8. Poke a hole through the center of each flower with your toothpick. ¬†This is where the push-pin will go when they’re done and ready to be hung up. ¬†I also made small dots around the center of my flower but found later that the push-pin covers most of this detail, but you can add it if you’d like.
  9. Bake your pan of flowers in your oven according to the clay package recommendations.
  10. Once the flowers have baked and cooled you can do lots of different things. ¬†Here are some ideas: You can leave them alone and white and hang them up; you can spray them with a high-gloss spray enamel to make them more modern and chic; you can spray paint them a color to match your decor; you can use glitter-glue to highlight the petals for a cute little girl’s room; you can “dye” them with a tea-bag dye to make them old and weathered looking; OR you can do what I did and use your acrylic craft paint and water to give them a watercolored look. ¬†If you’re going to do the last option, READ ON! ¬†If not, have fun creating your own flower pins anyway you’d like!
  11. Make a “paint pallet” by covering a plate in foil and¬†squirting your paint color onto it.
  12. Dip your brush in water and water down your acrylic paint to the desired consistency.
  13. Paint your entire flower with your watery paint.
  14. With a paper towel, blot and wipe the flower from the center out a bit to remove some of the paint toward the center.  Leave a generous amount of the paint in pools along the edges of your petals.
  15. Touch up the edges by adding paint if needed.
  16. Let your flowers dry.
  17. Insert the push-pins through the hole in the flowers center (NOTE:  When rolling out your clay for your flowers, be sure to measure how thin to roll it out against your push-pin as you will need for a good portion of the pin to be coming through the back of your dry flower in order to adhere it to the wall).
  18. Stick your new flower push-pins into your walls however you feel so inclined! ¬†How pretty!Yay! ¬†That was FUN! ¬†And now I have a million more ideas for this kind of project running through my head!! ¬†I hope you liked this tutorial! ¬†Check back soon for some spring FASHION tutorials like: ¬†“How to Make an Elegant Spring Fabric Bouquet Necklace”, and “How to Make a Vintage Inspired Birdcage Veil”! ¬†Happy crafting everyone!

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Hi everyone!! I know its been a while and I’m so excited to get some new tutorials up for spring! ¬†I have been feeling “bluesy” (blame it on the medication and the weekly injections I have to take for my high-risk pregnancy) and so I thought I’d spruce up my house (and myself) for spring to get my mood up and creativity flowing again. ¬†I made a trip to one of my favorite $Dollar Stores and found some great stuff that has inspired some new springtime projects. ¬†I could hardly wait to make this easy DIY pillow and I’m SO loving the way it turned out! ¬†Hope you do too! ¬†I thought since my last tutorial was on applique that this would be a nice follow up now that you’ve had a chance to discover the world of transfer webbing! ¬†Heres the breakdown for this simple and inexpensive spring throw pillow:

Cost: $2-$8 depending on what you have on-hand.

Supplies:

  • 2 cloth¬†place-mats in the same color (or coordinating colors if you want a different color on the back). ¬†I got my pink place-mats at the $Dollar Store. ¬†They have tons to choose from usually and I LOVED the bright colors that are there right now! ¬†Perfect for spring!
  • Scrap fabric or quilting fat quarters in coordinating colors/designs. ¬†I used 3 fabrics for my pillow making the bird out of the busiest fabric.
  • Coordinating or contrasting thread.
  • Pillow batting or poly-fill. ¬†I took apart an old pillow I didn’t like anymore and used the batting.
  • Transfer webbing. ¬†This is the iron-on adhesive that allows you to stick your applique to your pillow before you stitch. ¬†I LOVE this stuff and use it ALL THE TIME. ¬†You can sometimes find it (or versions of it) at Walmart in rolls or you can buy it at the craft/fabric store by the yard for about $2 a yard. ¬†You barely use any of it for these little applique projects so even 1 yard will go a long way.
  • A dry iron.
  • A sewing machine with a simple straight stitch.
  • Scizzors and a needle and thread.
  • The bird and branch template from this tutorial (if you’re not feeling confident in freehanding it).

Ok! Thats it!  Ready to go?

  1. If you’d like, print off these bird and branch templates I made from my own pillow design to use as a stencil for your pillow. ¬†Or, you can find an image online, or freehand draw your own quirky version of a bird and a branch.
  2. Choose your fabrics for the bird and the branch and cut out rectangles large enough to use as those elements.
  3. Roll out some transfer webbing and lay your cut pieces down onto the nubby side of the trans web.  Cut around the fabric making the trans web pieces as close to the same size as your fabric pieces as you can.
  4. Keeping your nubby trans web sides inline with your fabric pieces, adhere the trans web to the fabric with a hot dry iron (or as instructed on trans web packaging).
  5. When both your branch fabric and your bird fabric pieces are cool, flip them over and trace your template image (or freehand draw an image) onto the paper side of your fabric with a marker. ¬†Its okay if you have to redraw again until you get the desired look you’d like in the appropriate size etc. ¬†It doesn’t have to be perfect! ¬†Nothing I make ever is!
  6. With your sharp scizzors, cut out your design elements.
  7. Carefully remove the trans web paper backing from your fabric pieces.
  8. Grab one of your¬†place-mats¬†and¬†arrange¬†your bird and branch onto the front of it how you’d like it.
  9. With a hot iron (some trans web requires steam at this point), iron your applique to your place-mat.
  10. Once your place-mat and applique has cooled, take it over to your sewing machine and stitch the edges of the applique down. ¬†If you’d like you can actually skip this step since its not too likely that you’ll be washing this pillow too often and the trans web will adhere it fine temporarily. ¬†But, I like to stitch around all my appliques with contrasting thread just to secure it a bit more and give it some more character. ¬†And don’t worry about it looking a bit “messy”! ¬†It just adds to that character!
  11. Set your appliqued place-mat aside for a minute and grab your third fabric for your flowers.
  12. Cut your flower fabric into roughly a 1&1/2″ strip. ¬†
  13. Fold your fabric strip over and over itself into a square.
  14. Cut the stack into rough circles.
  15. Stack circles by twos to use as your flowers.
  16. Take one of your double stacked circles and scrunch it together in the middle to make it ruffley.  Using a needle and thread stitch through the base of your ruffle flower a couple of times to secure the folds.
  17. Sew your little flower bud onto your tree branch applique.  I sewed mine through the center of each flower to open them up a bit more and to make them lie somewhat flat.
  18. Try to place your flowers randomly using as many as you’d like.
  19. Once your place-mat front is complete and all your flowers are securely sewn into place, take your other place-mat and line it up under the top one (wrong sides together if your place-mat has “wrong” sides).
  20. If you’d like you can pin your sides together for more stability while you sew. ¬†Head over to your sewing machine again and sew both top and bottom place-mats together with a topstitch and about a 1/4 allowance. ¬†BUT leave a section unstitched so that you can add your batting here in a minute. ¬†TIP: ¬†when going around the corners, reverse stitch a few times to secure the corners and keep them from pulling when you stuff the pillow.
  21. Grab your pillow batting and begin stuffing your place-mat pillow paying special attention to the corners and stuffing it as full as you’d like.
  22. Topstitch your stuffing opening closed and YOU’RE DONE!! Now find a cute place to showcase your new cheery pillow!

How fun was that!?  So easy and cute it just makes me SMILE!

Hope you enjoyed this springtime tutorial!  Please remember to share this blog with your friends and family and keep coming back to see more!  Next:  How to Make Easy 3-D Flower Push-pins for your Walls!See you soon!  Have fun crafting!

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Happy Easter everyone! ¬†I meant to post this yesterday but I just didn’t have the time. ¬†I made this for my son for Easter this year and I thought I’d teach you a’ll how to make it for yourself or your little ones. ¬†I don’t have much time to write this post so I’m just going to jump right into it! ¬†Have fun!

Cost: Around $8-$12 depending on what you have on hand.

Supplies:

  • A blank T-shirt in a bright color. ¬†I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $3 but I also find that the Garanimals brand at Walmart goes on sale alot and has good quality blank shirts for appliqueing.
  • Felt: ¬†White, pink, and brown. ¬†I buy my felt sheets for $0.37 at Hobby Lobby.
  • Two buttons in odd sizes.
  • Fabric paint or ink. ¬†I used a “TeeJuice” pen in brown for my letters. ¬†You can find them at the craft store for around $3.50.
  • Foam letter stamps. ¬†(If you did the Alphabet Pillow tutorial then you now own a set or know where you can borrow some.)
  • A sewing machine and contrasting thread.
  • Transfer webbing. ¬†You’ll only need a little bit for this project but I always have some on hand to do my appliques. ¬†You can buy it in yardage for about $2 per yard at the fabric/craft stores. ¬†I LOVE this stuff and use it ALL the time so if you’re going to follow these tutorials, you’ll see me using it a lot I’m sure. ¬†Basically all it is is a fusible backing that you iron on to your appliques which allows you to iron your appliques on to your t-shirt (or other item) before you stitch. ¬†It makes the applique stable so that it is easy to stitch on with your machine and it makes the overall image more durable for future washing. ¬†Great stuff. ¬†I couldn’t craft without it.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • A hot iron, no steam.
  • An ironing board.

Ok, thats your list of supplies. ¬†Gather it up and meet me back here for your instructions…

Ready?  Lets make this thing.

  1. Wash and dry your t-shirt to avoid shrinking after the applique is on.
  2. Lay your shirt out flat and create your design by laying a piece of paper onto the shirt where you’d like the applique to go and then drawing your design onto the paper based on how big you’d like it to be on the shirt. ¬†I like to freehand draw my designs since I like them to look kind of unkempt and messy (like kids art) but if you have no confidence in your artisitc abilities you could google a bunny head image and print it off and use it as your design. ¬†Heres what I did on mine:
  3. The design is just a rough sketch of what you’re trying to accomplish. ¬†You basically just need the design to ensure that the applique isn’t too big or too small for your t-shirt. ¬†After you have it drawn out, cut out the main pieces; like the head and the ears.
  4. Now, lay your main pieces (head and ears) onto your white felt and cut around them (I cut mine a rectangular or square around my design pieces).
  5. Do the same with your other design elements; pink bunny ears parts, pink bunny nose, brown chocolate messy mouth part. ¬†I don’t really make “patterns” for these elements, I just eyeball it. ¬†Anyway, the main thing to understand is that you just want big enough felt squares/rectangles cut out to fit your design pieces.
  6. Once you’ve got all those felt pieces cut out. ¬†Lay them out on your transfer webbing (trans web rough side toward the felt), and cut your trans web out in the same size pieces as your felt pieces.
  7. Next, take your felt pieces with their trans web backing pieces and with a hot, dry iron, iron the trans web onto the felt pieces one by one.  (If these instructions are a little foggy to you, refer to the instructions  on your trans web).
  8. Once you have adhered all the trans web pieces to their coordinating felt pieces you can use the paper backing side of the felt pieces to draw out your design elements. ¬†Below I have drawn out my inside bunny ears, my bunny nose, and my chocolate mouth piece, as well as my extra candy bar piece (you can leave out the candy bar if you’d like). ¬†Ignore the little slivered piece. ¬†I didn’t use it in my design.
  9. Now that you have your pieces drawn out on your felt, use your sharp scizzors and cut them out into their individual design elements.
  10. On your t-shirt, lay out all your design pieces to be sure that you like them and to get an idea for what order to iron them onto your shirt.
  11. Once you have a plan of action, remove your pieces from your shirt and then carefully peel away the paper backing to expose the rubbery trans web side of your felt pieces.
  12. Lay your t-shirt flat on your ironing board and place your first piece where you’d like and then set it to your shirt with a hot iron pressing firmly (trans web side to the shirt) and moving slowly over your felt piece.
  13. Continue layering your pieces on this way until your design elements are iron securely in place. ¬†I ironed my bunny ears first since I knew they’d be somewhat tucked under the head and then continued with the rest of the elements from bottom to top.
  14. Once you have all the elements on there, get out your alphabet stamps and find the letters that spell “hopped up”.
  15. Using the same fabric stamping technique as you learned from the “Alphabet Pillow Tutorial” spell out “hopped up” on your t-shirt. ¬†TIP: ¬†Start with the middle letters first and work out so you can center the words under your design.
  16. Once you’ve got your phrase on there and the ink/paint has dried, heat set your letters with a dry iron.
  17. At this point you can simply sew on your button eyes and be done if you’d like. ¬†The trans web won’t hold up but for just a few washes, but if you just want something quick and cute for your little one to wear for one day, it would work fine. ¬†But, I really like to finish my appliques with a contrasting stitch that not only secures the design to the shirt more permanently but also gives more detail and quirkiness to the design.
  18. So grab your machine and stitch down your applique at the edges of the design, being sure to stitch over each of the design elements and add special detail where you’d like. ¬†I am NOT by any means a great seamstress so I work kinda slow and my lines are NEVER straight, but once again, I like things a little “messy” looking and I think that it adds to the feel and look of the design. ¬†So don’t be afraid if you “screw up”. ¬†It will just add to the character of the shirt.
  19. Hand sew your mismatched button eyes onto your bunny. ¬†If you’re making this for a girl, it would be super cute I think to make a ribbon hair bow and tack that onto the bunny’s head.

And there you go! ¬†Hope you like it! ¬†The perfect shirt for your little Easter bunny who maybe has had a little too much candy today! ūüôā

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I know I said I’d show you guys how to do this so I finally am! ¬†Sorry about the wait, but I think you’ll find it was worth it! ¬†This is a BEAUTIFUL and easy DIY accessorie project that will “wow” everyone who sees you wear it. ¬†This necklace is especially befitting for the spring (I LOVE SPRING!!) and I figured since it is Easter this weekend it will be the perfect compliment to your Easter ensemble. ¬†The thing I like most about this project is that it is cheap (of course) and unique in that each rose turns out a bit different and you can customize the colors to any you’d like. ¬†So lets just jump into it then shall we!

Cost: $0 for me (since I had everything on hand) but about $8-$15 depending on what you already have

Supplies:

  • A set of jewelry making tools (round nose pliers, wire cutters, flat nosed pliers). ¬†I got mine at Walmart in a set of 3 for about $7.
  • Sculpey Clay. ¬†Or other polymer clay of your choice. ¬†They have a huge variety of colors for about $2 per block. ¬†I usually stock up when they go on sale for half off. ¬†I typically get the primary colors plus black, white, and brown and then mix them myself to whatever I need.
  • Acrylic craft paint. ¬†I like to use brown, and sometimes metallic gold and silver to get the vintage/antique look to my roses.
  • A craft knife or utility knife.
  • A bead reamer or a¬†skewer.
  • A medium paint brush.
  • Paper towels.
  • A water dish.
  • A palette. ¬†I use a plate covered in tin foil.
  • A glass baking pan.
  • An oven.
  • 5-9 medium to large size beads in a coordinating color to your rose color pick.
  • Jewelry chain, jump rings, clasps, and eye pins.

If you’re serious about making jewelry its worth it to get familiar with the basic techniques to jewelry making. ¬†I am honestly not a pro at all but found that a lot can be done with my cheap supplies and tools and some basic techniques. ¬†Also, on a side note, I get a lot of my jewelry findings at The Dollar Store, Walmart, and my local craft store when they’re half off so its really not that expensive a hobby to have. ¬†And its nice to have some supplies on hand to whip up last minute gifts for friends and family that are classy and handmade and look way more expensive than they actually were to make.

To help you out on this front, heres a link to a great site that will teach you the basics you’ll need to complete this project as well as help you with future jewelry making¬†endeavors. ¬†And if you need a little more to get you started, heres a couple more sites I found that I thought were clear and concise: http://www.jewelry-making- instructions.com/beaded-links.html ,http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/jewelry-making-instructions.html . ¬†There, seriously easy huh? ¬†With just those simple skills and your Walmart tools you can make literally hundreds of amazing pieces of jewelry. ¬†Now to the part I’m going to really teach today. ¬†How to make the vintage inspired clay rose bead that is going to completely MAKE this necklace. ¬†Ready? ¬†Here we go.

  1. Decide what color(s) you’d like to make your rose. ¬†When I do this project I usually make a few different color options and do them at the same time just to make it worth the effort and to use as “give-aways” to my friends (cuz you know they’re going to want what you’ve got when they see your awesome necklace).
  2. If needed, mix your clay to get your desired color. ¬†If for some reason you missed kindergarten and first grade and never learned how to “mix” colors, refer to a color chart. ¬†I mixed red, blue, and white to get my pastel purple colored clay, green, yellow, blue, and white to get my turquoise colored clay, and white and yellow to get my pastel yellow clay. ¬†Or you could just take the easy road and buy the exact color you’d like since they have plenty of color options at the craft stores to suit your needs. ¬†Although if you¬†forgo¬†the color mixing, you still might want to work and knead your clay to make it a little softer and more pliable to work with.
  3. Once you’re clay feels pliable enough and is the desired color, pull off a small section and roll it into a ball (about the size of a pea). ¬†Then using your fingers, smoosh that ball of clay flat and smooth (but not too thin since you want your rose petals to be durable after baking) to form a small disk of clay.
  4. Next, roll one of the edges of that clay disk in towards the other edge to form your rose center. ¬†Don’t smoosh it together too much since you want the edges somewhat loose to peel down and turn a bit to make them look a bit more realistic. ¬†Heres what you should be aiming for:
  5. Don’t worry if its not perfect. ¬†If you don’t like your rose center, just reform it into a disk and start again. ¬†You’ll get the hang of it soon and then you can set your center aside and work on the outer petals by using the same idea; start with a portion of clay (a bit larger than pea sized now), roll it into a ball, and smoosh it into a disk.
  6. Now we form the rest of the rose by taking these disk-like “petals” and wrapping them around the rose, overlapping the rose center’s seam like so:
  7. See how it is already starting to look like a rose? ¬†To make the petals more “real”, pinch, pull, and bend the edges of the petals up and/or down to get that life-like effect.
  8. Now continue making your petal disks and wrapping them around the center being sure to somewhat overlap them and being careful to make larger petals as the rose grows outward.Don’t worry about the excess clay that is underneath. ¬†I use it to hold on to as I work and then cut it off with a utility knife before I bake it.
  9. Continue working your clay petals around the rose until it is the desired size and fullness that you like.
  10. What do you think? ¬†Aren’t you amazed at how easy that was! ¬†Now take out your utility knife or craft knife and gently carve off the clay “stem” that you’re holding on to. ¬†I try to make my roses pretty flat in the back so that they aren’t too bulky on the necklace and have less of a¬†tendency to flip around while wearing it.
  11. Try not to handle the rose too much on top since you want to maintain the look of your petals and not accidentally squish your pretty flower too much.
  12. Next, take your bead reamer or your skewer (toothpick or needle works too), and create a hole through the base of your rose from one end to the next to allow it to be strung onto an eye pin later.
  13. Lay your little rose bud beads out on a glass cooking dish and heat your home oven to 275 degrees (or whatever the clay package suggests).
  14. Bake your clay roses according to the time suggested on the clay packaging. ¬†I use Sculpey clay and usually bake around 6-12 roses at once at 275 degrees for about 12 minutes. ¬†The package says 15 minutes for 1/4 inch clay but I like to somewhat “under-cook” my clay roses so that they are a tiny bit rubbery and not too brittle when they’re cool. ¬†I just have found that it makes them a little bit more durable and lets face it, you are not going to want your new work of art to fall apart on your neck later!
  15. Let your clay roses cool completely.You can see I made some smaller roses to use as rings later if I feel like it.
  16. At this point you can use your rose as a bead and wire it to a necklace, you can coat it with a glossy finishing spray, or you can continue on to find out how to antique it a bit (which is what I prefer.  I think it just gives it a little something extra and makes it more unique).
  17. Prepare your antiquing supplies. ¬†Heres how I set mine up:You can see I have my coordinating beads picked out (this helps me decide what colors, and how much, “antiquing” I want to do), my water glass to dilute my paint and rinse my brush in, my painting palette with squirts of my “antiquing” colors on it, another foil wrapped plate to set my wet roses on to dry, and my paper towels to wipe off the excess paint.
  18. For these three colors of roses I chose to use a goldy-brown metallic craft paint and a darker brown flat craft paint to give my roses the vintage look I wanted.  To do this, wet your brush and generously dilute your metallic color and simply wash it over the entire rose, being sure to get it into every nook and cranny, and then while the paint is still wet, use your paper towel to rub off the excess.  This will just ever so slightly tinge the petals a shimmery gold with a heavier application in the crevices.
  19. Once that first coat of paint has dried somewhat, do the same technique using the darker brown. ¬†This will allow the paint to seep into the crevices of the petals and give the flower dimension and depth as well as slightly stain the rose an antique-brown tone. ¬†You can do this multiple times if you’d like, applying your diluted brown paint with the paint brush to the entire rose and then wiping off the excess to allow the original color to come through and leaving a brown paint deposit in the crevices. ¬†Heres a look at what I did with the brown and the gold paint:After it was covered in the diluted paint I wiped off the excess to get this result:Not a HUGE difference but it actually adds a lot of character to the once flat looking rose.
  20. Once you get the desired antiqued effect you’re going for you can just let your pretty roses dry while you work on assembling your necklace using the basic techniques you learned from the links at the¬†beginning¬†of this tutorial. ¬†Oh and just so you can see the difference, heres a look at what the “antiqued” roses look like compared to the non-painted roses:And heres a look at how I assembled my necklace:
  21. Basically what you want to do is pick out an odd number of coordinating beads (an odd number so that a middle bead falls in the middle of the necklace instead of a space), and link them together using eye pins and the wire looping technique you now know.  This will be the center of your necklace.  The rose will be asymmetrical when alls said and done.
  22. Then, using an eye pin and the same looping technique, slide the eye pin through the roses beading hole you gave it and attach it to one end of your beaded chain. For this necklace I used large brown pearls and antiqued brass eye pins and chain to play off the turquoise antiqued rose.
  23. Finally, finish off your necklace by measuring out your chain, attaching the clasp to the center to get the thing on and off, and attaching the chain to your beaded chain and rose.  TIP:  I think this necklace looks the most flattering when the rose sits right along or right under your collar-bone, so adjust the length of your chain accordingly.

There you go folks!! Are you amazed by the beautiful thing you’ve just created?! Believe me, you won’t be the only one! ¬†Be sure to make extras since I guarantee there will be some jealous friends wanting a look-a-like asap! ¬†I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and had fun making this awesome necklace! ¬†Play around a bit and create some more wonderful pieces…maybe earrings or a ring to match? ¬†And definitely take the time to learn those basics. ¬†I use those simple techniques a lot when I make jewelry and they’re sure to show up in later tutorials! ¬†Alright then! ¬†Have fun crafting and stay tuned for my next special holiday tutorial; “How to Make a “Hopped Up” Easter T-shirt for You or Your Little Ones”!

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