Sunday, July 25, 2010

Free Demo Sunday! Bottle Cap Pendants!

Love personalized bottle cap or metal frame jewelry?
Afraid to try it?
Fear no more!
Here is a basic project even the kids could do that will get you started in this fun side of the jewelry world.

Bottle Cap Pendants!

Materials needed:
Bottle caps
Pictures or small objects to put inside
Diamond Glaze
Glue-on bails or magnets
E6000 glue (or E600 if you live in California)

Select a bottle cap that has a nice looking image on the back.

Clean the bottle caps with soap and water and make sure they are completely dry.

Trace around the image you would like to use.  This will just give you a general idea of where to cut.  Your image will actually be cut smaller to fall into the center of the bottle cap.

Trim around the outside of the circle so that it fits just right in the center of the bottle cap.

Remove the seal from the inside of the Diamond Glaze bottle and trim the tip off of the nozzle.

Squirt a small layer of Diamond Glaze into the bottle cap.  This will help the picture adhere to the bottom of the cap so that it does not float up when more is put in.  Make sure that the layer of Diamond Glaze is high enough that it covers all of the little ridges that may be in the bottom of the cap.

Put the picture into the bottom of the bottle cap.  Make sure that the picture is even on all sides by pressing it with your fingers.  Let this completely dry before putting more Diamond Glaze over the top to prevent teh picture from rising to the surface.

Once it has dried, squirt more diamond glaze into the cap until it is almost filled.

Pop all the bubbles with a pen or a needle.  It might be a hard at first, but if you let it solidify slightly, the bubbles will move around less which makes it easier to pop them.

Allow your pendant to dry completely.

Here's another fun project with Diamond Glaze and bottle caps!  Fill the cap COMPLETELY with different sizes and colors of beads!  Make sure that you can't see the bottom of the cap anywhere.  If you're having a hard time positioning the beads so that you can't see the bottom, sprinkle some size 15 seed beads or glitter over the top.

Fill the cap with Diamond Glaze SLOWLY, starting with the outsides first, then SLOWLY fill in the middle.  Make sure that you fill the holes of some of the larger beads.

It can look great if you leave some beads sticking out of the Diamond Glaze.  Just make sure that you have most of the bead coated with just the tips sticking out.

Allow your pendant to dry COMPLETELY, then use E6000 glue to adhere a bail or magnet to the back of the bottle cap.  Make sure you are in a well ventilated area and try not to breathe in the fumes.  Let it dry for at least 24 hours, then enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Free Demo Sunday! Soda Bottle Cuffs!

You can make any or ALL of these awesome cuff bracelets out of this:

Materials List:
Plastic 20oz bottle with a smooth middle section
Sharpie or permanent markers
Sharp Scissors
Ribbon, yarn, or white gauze
White or clear tape
Misc. embellishing objects such as beads to sew on or grommets, studs, eyelets, etc.
ink pads
Microwave (...I know, right?)

Cut the top and bottom off of the soda bottle leaving just the smooth middle section.  An easy way to get started is the pinch one spot together like you're folding paper in half and start the cut.  Insert one blade of the scissors through the hole and cut along the line in the plastic.

Peel off as much of the label as you can.  If you are planning on covering your cuff with ribbon, yarn, or any other material, this part doesn't matter too much.  If you are planning on doing the mock stained glass design, it is pretty important to get almost all of the label off.

 Cut the tube into the widths of your desired cuffs.  Depending on the style of the bottle, you should be able to get at least two cuffs out of the tube.  I cut three, but would have been able to cut four if I would have made them smaller.  

Cut through the cuff to open it and round the edges like shown.  If you have a smaller wrist, you may want to cut a small section out of the cuff to make sure the sides don't overlap on your wrist.  If you are wrapping something around the cuff, make sure you leave it a little longer because the material around the cuff will make it fit a little tighter on your wrist.

If you are wrapping ribbon or yarn around the cuff, start with a little bit of tape and tightly spiral your material around the cuff.  Don't wrap too tight otherwise your cuff will become warped and may not stay curved around your wrist.  Don't wrap all the way to the ends because the loops would slip off of the rounded edge
Knot the tail end of the ribbon securely to the underside of the cuff and then cut the tail end off.

You could leave the ends clear, or color them with a permanent marker that matches your color scheme.  If you color them, pop the whole cuff in the microwave for about 2 minutes (depending on your microwave strength) to set the color into the plastic so it won't wear or scratch off.

If you have another cuff to work with, or if the first option isn't your style, try this easy and fun cuff.  Tape one end of a roll of white gauze to the underside of your cuff.  Wrap longways around the cuff first to make sure the sides get covered, then wrap from top to bottom until the cuff has been covered in several layers.

Use a white fabric tape to secure the other end to the underside of your cuff.  From here, there are a few options.

You could leave your beautiful white cuff as is, if you'd like.  I think it looks like an expensive linen cuff at this stage.  You could also have some fun and embellish it.

Stick some grommets, eyelets, or studs into it.  Sew beads on it.  Glue flat back crystals onto it.  Do whatever you'd like with it!

If you're a scrapbooker, or if you're into stamping, I'm sure you have some ink pads at home.  You could try these fun effects!  Roll the cuff lightly across an ink pad.

 Add another color on top of it for a little more dimension.

Slide some of the gauze layers over for a zebra stripe effect.  (Be careful to not smear color onto the white parts!  It's probably not dry yet!)

...Or... Rough the gauze up a little to get a fun earthy look.  This is my favorite style.  Use your imagination.  There are really no limitations.  These are all household items that don't cost much so don't be afraid to try what you're thinking. 

If you have some different colors of permanent markers around your house, DEFINITELY try this one.  It's the perfect lightweight summer accessory to add a pop of color to your outfit.

Outline the cuff in black.

Draw straight lines across the whole cuff to mimic the look of stained glass.

Starting with one color, fill in a few spaces that are not next to one another.

Color in the other spaces with different colors.  Make sure that you don't have the same colors touching one another.

Crumple a paper towel and put the cuff over it so that the sides don't overlap.  Put it in your microwave for about 2 minutes.  This will set the color into the plastic so that it won't scratch off.   

Depending on your markers, the microwave might also concentrate the colors and make them appear darker!  So there you have it.  A beautiful mock stained glass bracelet!

Thanks for checking out my Free Sunday Demo!  Subscribe and leave a comment telling (or showing) me what you did with your soda bottle cuff!
Check back every Sunday for more awesome tutorials!

While making these cuffs, little Sara became very interested in bracelets.  She especially liked the ribbon yarn used in the first cuff.  She wanted to make a bracelet, too. :)  We decided to make a Dora the Explorer style bracelet with a big flower in the middle.  Here is a picture of Sara with her bracelet.

This cute little kiddy bracelet is easy enough to make for anyone who has worked with wire before.

Just some doubled 18g copper wire wrapped in ribbon yarn to make it pretty and soft.

...and a simple hook & eye clasp, easy enough for a two year old.
She also kind of confiscated the stained glass bracelet from me as well...  Get 'em while they're young. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Free Demo Sunday! How to Crochet a Necklace! Part 2!

Here is Part 2 of last week's How to Crochet a Necklace!
If you have not completed last week's project, refer to the last blog entry for instructions on how to create the crocheted necklace.  In this entry, we are embellishing with crystals and wire.

Cut at least 3 lengths of 26 or 28 gauge artistic wire at various measurements ranging from 2 feet to 4 feet.
(If you have made your crochet necklace longer, adjust your measurements.  Tack on the amount you added to your necklace.)

Make a loop 6 inches down the artistic wire to start your slip knot to crochet.

Wire onto your crochet hook.

Add about 15 beads to the bottom of your wire that you will crochet, then bend the end up to stop them from falling off.  You will be adding more as you crochet, so don't make too harsh of a bend.

Bring two beads up towards the hook.

Complete one chain stitch around the beads.  Watch the opening video if you're having trouble with this technique.

Continue to crochet in this manner.  Try just pulling up one bead every other chain stitch.  You could also crochet all of the different wires with different numbers of beads in each stitch.

As you crochet, begin to pull on the chained section to elongate the loops.

You could also try untwisting the chains to make the beads look more at random.

Once you are about 6 inches from the other end of the wire, pull the tail end through the last chain loop to end your chain.  Lay the chain on your necklace to make sure that it is at the length you want it.  Each of your strands of wire that you will complete will look best at a different length, so your shorter cut wire should be the highest on the necklace.

Poke the end of the wire up through the knot that is 3 inches from your yarn chains.  Make sure that you have at least an inch pulled through.

Spiral the inch of wire around the top of the knot so that it is secure.

Do the same to the other side of the chain.

Complete the other strands in the same manner and arrange them however you'd like on the necklace!