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Posts Tagged ‘earrings’

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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Welcome back!  Well, my hubby is off to his brother’s wedding in Seattle, leaving me with a sick toddler and doctor ordered “bed-rest”.  Of course.  Not his fault though, just one of those things, but I am feeling much more positive after putting my son down for his nap and getting my hands on some feathers for this next tutorial.

Today I will be showing you how to make a vintage inspired feather hair clip for under $5.  If you have gone shopping, picked up a magazine, or turned on the TV in the past several months you may have noticed this trend of feathers in fashion.  You may have also noticed the steep prices of some of these feathered accessories (remember I’m cheap, so even $15 seems like a lot to me).  As I mentioned in a previous post, I love vintage fashion and started making feathered and flowered accessories for myself (and several friends and family members who saw mine) almost 2 years ago after looking up “pin up hair and makeup” on google.  (P.S. If you want to know how to do pin up hair and makeup check out my last few posts).  Since then, I have made hundreds and have sold quite a few at craft fairs and such.  But, I have a little secret, although I sold my accessories for a relatively low price (keep in mind, handmade is always better than mass produced so higher prices are to be expected), I really only spent about $3-$5 making each one.  And sometimes even less than that due to my dollar store finds and thrift store shopping.  Even my most “expensive” (if you want to call it that) custom piece only probably cost me around $10 to make.  So, now that you know you can have an expensive looking accessory for less than $5 aren’t you excited to find out how to do it yourself?!  Actually, I think you’ll be surprised at how EASY it is to make these and how little time it takes.  Yet, without fail, I guarantee that they will always IMPRESS.  So lets get started.  Heres the breakdown:

  • Cost: Between $3-$5 or so depending on what you already have on-hand.
  • Supplies: Felt (about $0.32 a sheet at Walmart or your local hobby store.), Feathers (about $2.00 for a bag of multi-colored feathers at Walmart), Peacock Feather (I get mine when they go half off at Hobby Lobby, a pack of 3 is about $4 or $2 on sale), Alligator Clip (beauty supplies stores sell these for less than $3 for a bag of 20 or so; I find this is a better deal than to buy them at the craft store), Vintage Looking Earring (I get a lot of mine at the Dollar Store or at thrift stores where they will sometimes have bags of old earrings or jewelry you can re-purpose), Hot Glue Gun (and hot glue).

This hair clip took me only 15 minutes to throw together so you can see with all the extra supplies you can crank out several in a couple of hours and give them out to your friends (since they’re bound to have “feather envy” once they see yours).  Alright then.  Lets do this.

  1. First off you want to pick out what feathers you’d like to use for your clip.  I usually base this decision on the type of earring that I’m using for my clip.  In this case I chose really bright green feathers to match the bright green colors in my earring.
  2. Next cut out a round piece of felt (try to match the felt color to your feather colors to make it cohesive looking and “polished”), a little bigger than the size of a silver dollar.  If you’re a real perfectionist you can trace a circle onto your felt and then cut.  But I’m a “get-her-done” kinda girl so I just eye-ball it since it will be the backing and no one will be able to tell if its not perfect.
  3. With the same felt, cut a small rectangular piece to use later when you need to adhere the alligator clip to the back of your feather pad.
  4. Lay out your pieces so you see what you’re working with.  I used 3 green fluffy feathers, and 1 peacock feather that I trimmed up a bit.  Have fun with yours!  Layer those feathers on anyway that seems appealing to you.
  5. Next, break the back off your earring.  This earring was a clip on and pretty easy to manipulate with just my hands, but you may need some pliers to get the back off of yours.
  6. Now you just need to layer your feathers on your round piece of felt to create your feather pad.  I usually start with the shortest feathers on either side of the pad and then layer the longer ones in toward the center to give your hair clip an oval shape.  But you can fan them out, make them go all the way around, there is really no right or wrong way.  So take your hot glue gun and put a thin line up the felt circle to and attach your first feather.  Keep in mind, these are feathers folks, so less is more with the glue.  If you get too much glue on there then your feather will become saturated and…not pretty.
  7. Continue this way until your base feathers have covered the felt.  Try to hide as much of the glued parts as possible by layering feathers from the outsides inward.
  8. Next, run a small line of glue about 1/2 the way up the center of your feather pad and attach your “fancy feather” (in my case its going to be a peacock feather).
  9. Now you’re almost done!  Put a pretty generous glob of hot glue at the base of your feather pad (but not TOO generous so where it seeps out around the edges of your earring).  Now firmly press and hold your earring into place until the glue sets up a bit.  Wait a minute or so before moving on to step 10.
  10. Once you feel like you can move your hair clip without the earring sliding off, flip your feather pad over and grab your alligator clip and little rectangular piece of felt.
  11. Pinch open the clip and slide the felt in between the prongs.
  12. Apply hot glue to one side of the felt while in between the prongs.
  13. Press the clip and felt (glue side down) to the back of your feather pad.

All done!! Isn’t she pretty!?  Just give it a couple of cool-down minutes before you clip it up into your hair and go to show it off.

Feather Hair Clip Tips and Suggestions:

  • Use buttons, beads, lace, ribbon, netting, scrap fabric, or anything else you can think of to create something fabulous!
  • Instead of an alligator clip, attach a pin back and use it as a brooch on a cute sweater, blouse, dress, or jacket.
  • Visit store sites like Anthropologie, ModCloth, and Etsy for inspiration.
  • If you’d like to purchase one of my feather pieces or order a custom piece for a special occasion, please visit my online shop BareBirdie.

Thats it!  Hope you had fun!  Come back for “Home Makeover Mondays” where I will be teaching you “How to Make Fabric Wall Art for a Hip Baby Room”.  Have a great weekend!

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