Monday, March 18, 2013

Wood Chevron Necklace

I know I just did a post with wood skewers and leather rope, but I have so much of it, and it's so cheap!  Anyway, I saw a really cute set of metal chevron necklaces on Project Runway.  It's a very inspiring show!  I don't have a way to cast metal, but I do have a lot of cheap wood skewers.  So there you are!

SO take your skewers, and cut them into pieces.  For every chevron section, you will need 6 even sized pieces.  You may have to adjust size a bit later.

Then, use a hot glue gun to glue them together into a chevron shape like the one below.  The easiest way to do this is by making two Vs, then connecting them.

I made two of these, but you can do any number.  In the picture below I have an extra V shape just so you can see that as an option.

Then, just use hot glue to glue a little bit of leather cording to connect the pieces you have.

Just glue on some jump-rings at the top of the necklace.  Add some chain.

And there you are!  Super trendy chevron necklace, at your service!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Plastic Rope Teardrop Necklace

You know how people alway say not to play with fire?  Well guess what we're doing today?  Okay, what I'm writing to tell you how to do today....  Anyway, my point is, we're playing with... wait for it.... FIRE!  What a shocker!  You had no idea, right? So I bought a big thing of that crappy plastic rope at a junk store.  I'm not insulting the store.  It was a store that was full of bins of junk.  Anyway, this big thing of rope cost like two dollars, so I decided to make a necklace.  I grabbed a hot glue gun, a candle, and some blue ribbon (not in the picture below, sorry, I know you're disappointed in me!)

Anyhoo, I first cut the length of rope I wanted.

Next, I lit the candle and put one end of the rope over the flame.  Make sure not to put it right into the flame, cuz it will burn.  If it catches on fire, just blow it out.  Let the plastic rope melt a bit.  Then, roll it on some glass, and then along your finger once it has cooled down.  Then, just heat the other side, and press it onto the first end to make a loop.

Then, do the same thing over again with different lengths or rope to make different sized loops.

Next, use a hot glue gun to attach the loops to each other.

Then, take some ribbon or cloth.  I used a nice blue ribbon.

Then I sewed my ribbons together.  Of course, you may not need to do this, but I did.  I used black thread for stylistic reasons, but you can do whatever you want with the backing.  Next, use a hot glue gun to glue the rope onto the backing.

Then, cut out the charm.  If you had stitches in the backing, make sure to go over the end of the stitches with hot glue so they don't unravel.  I also frayed the edges on mine, but what you should do depends on your fabric.

Then just add a loop of wire at the top and glue it on!

And there we are.  I used the same ribbon from the backing as my chain.

So despite some minor burns, I think playing with fire worked out okay.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

SImple Rustic Skewer Necklace

So I just went to Blick art store, and I got some thin basswood skewery things.  I liked them a lot.  I had this idea for a cool negative space, rustic modern necklace.  I took them home, all excited about my cool necklace, and opened a kitchen drawer, and what do I see?  Skewers.  Okay, so they're round, and the ones I got are more rectangular, but still.  Anyway, what's done is done.

So first, I grabbed some of my fancy rectangular skewers.

Next, I cut one of them into four pieces about the size I wanted (only 3 of them are below, deal with it.)

Next, I took one of them and painted just one side of it silver with nail polish.

I really like it because it's a bit sparkly, and not just silver.  I'm not really a glitter girl, but with the rustic vibe I think it balances out.  Then, I just took my four pieces of wood and used a hot glue gun to glue them together.

I like the arrow shape, and the asymmetrical part.  It's a little Katniss, right?  So, next I just cut off the ends where they went on too long, and pulled off the extra glue bits.

Finally, I just added two jump-rings and put it on some cute leather cord I bought.  I also made another charm like this one out of the normal skewers.

I really like them, even though they are a bit different from my normal funky style.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Aluminum Can Jewel Earrings

So, yes, I am doing another pair of soda can earrings.  They are different from the other earrings  but yes, in name at least, they are similar.  Anyway, I drink one or two sodas everyday, so I decided that I should try using the cans for a pair of earrings.  I love how Coke changes their cans around a lot, so I took one of the Diet Coke winter cans and earring-ized them!

That's the can I chose.  I like how it has these nice silver and gold colors (I think it's actually the caffeine free Diet winter Coke) but keeps the classic Coke red.  Anyway, so first I cut around the top and bottom of the can with a mat knife, and up and down the can.

Then, cut the can into three sections.  I made sure that my shape (you'll see it in a second) fit into the sections I chose in a way I liked.

Next, I traced my pattern onto a piece of paper.  I chose a simple jewel design.  I then placed the pattern where I liked it on the can.  I cut two of the shape.

Next, I used a black sharpie to draw the jewel lines onto the two charms.

Then I used a pin to put a hole through the top of each of the charms and put two jump-rings in each hole, one through the other.

Finally, I just added two earring backs.

And there you have the cheapest pair of diamond earrings ever!  Also, as you can see, I made a pair of simple circular earrings.  They are actually signed by Brandon Statnon, the creator of the popular blog Humans Of New York.  I met him as part of the prize for winning a competition he ran.  Anyway, super cool, under 5 dollar earrings!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Thrifting Guide

So I have spent a lot of time, and shockingly little money thrifting, and I love it.  It may be the best thing, right after my readers (awww, aren't I sweet) and right before food.  Yep, I said it.  Before food.  I know!  It's that good!  Anyway, I have picked up  few tips, and I think that you guys should be able to share my glorious mis-mash of knowledge from around the internet, my friends, and even a few strategies from me!

Okay, so I have a few basic rules to help your thrifting experience be as amazing as it should be.

  1. Set an item price limit!  I find that I get the best (and most!) stuff when I just go for the things that are 3 bucks instead of 8.  It may seem trivial, but I always walk out a lot happier when I have a couple of great shirts and not just one pair of shoes.
  2. Buy cozy things!  Don't be afraid to buy something just because you want to wear it around the house on a rainy Sunday.  You need to get that giant sweater from somewhere, and thrift shops are just about the right place to do it. 
  3. Go by section!  Choose what you want most, and just move through that section.  For example, if I want a skirt, I'll find where the skirts are and just move along that rack until I'm done.  THen, I move on to the next section.  Thrift shops can be intimidating, and you have to take it bit by bit.
  4. Skip over things!  If there is a section that is all yellow, and you absolutely can't STAND yellow, than skip it.  You probably won't find anything, and your thrifting time is precious.
  5. Don't be afraid to give up! I know that sounds weird and a bit backwards, but if you aren't enjoying it, than it isn't worth your time!  Just take a breath, and come back some other day. 
  6. Try on at the end!  It is exhausting to try and keep stopping and trying on each piece you find, and it blocks the aisles.  So grab all the stuff you even remotely like, and when you've scoured the store clean, then find a quiet corner with a mirror and try on EVERYTHING. This also helps you keep track of your budget and compare your pieces. 
So that is my very limited and simplified thrifting guide.  There is an awesome one on my favorite thing ever, Rookie.  So go and thrift, my minions!