Seed Bead Bracelet

I made a bracelet to match a pair of chandelier earrings I made for a friend. I used purple seed beads, a ribbon charm, and butterfly charms for lupus awareness. Butterflies and the color purple are also used for domestic violence awareness, which is appropriate since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Seed Bead BraceletMaterials:

Fine Jewelry Wire

2 Jump Rings

Clasp

2 Butterfly Charms

1 Ribbon Charm

Purple Seed Beads

Bead Tip

Jewelry Pliers

Crimp Pliers

 

Step 1

Cut a length of wire double the length you will need.  It’s always better to cut the wire too long than too short. You can always trim excess when you are finished. Thread a jump ring on the wire and place it at the halfway point. Then thread a crimp over both strands of wire, and close the crimp near enough to the jump ring to form a small loop.

Place First CrimpStep 2

Thread 5 seed beads on each side of the wire. Next, thread one seed bead so that the wires criss-cross going opposite directions through the bead. This should form a small circle.

Form a Small CircleContinue this pattern. I made 7 small circles this way before continuing to the next step.

Make Several CirclesStep 3

Depending on what type of butterfly charm you are using, you may have to modify this pattern. The hole for my charms when vertically through the butterfly’s body. Instead of criss-crossing the wire like I had been doing with the seed beads, I threaded both wires the same direction through the charm. After the butterfly charm, I made one more circle with 5 seed beads and a criss-crossed seed bead. The next circle was similar, but on one side of the wire, instead of 5 seed beads I used 2 seed beads, followed by my ribbon charm, followed by two more seed beads. This was the center of my bracelet, so I continued the pattern on the other half until both sides matched.

Step 4

When you reach the end, thread both wires the same direction through a crimp. Tighten the crimp, then trim the excess. Cover the crimp with a bead tip. Place a jump ring through the end of the bead tip, and attach each end of the clasp to each end of the bracelet.

Place the Final CrimpStep 5

Wear it!

Seed Bead Jewelry Set

What’s Next?

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays…that’s your only hint!!

Chandelier Earrings

I made these earrings for a friend to wear to a Walk to End Lupus, but they can be customized with different charms and colors.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the purple and ribbons would be appropriate for that or for many other social and health issues.finished earrings

 

Materials:

Jewelry Wire

2 Fish Hook Earrings

Crimps

Crimp Pliers

Seed Beads

2 Charms

2 Jump Rings

Jewelry Pliers/Cutters

 

Step 1

Start by cutting a length of wire.  I like to cut my wire a little long, because I can always trim it down later.  I started with about 6-8 inches.  Use a wire that is thin and fine.  I used 0.46mm.  It was a little thick for my taste, but it was all my local craft store had without being ultra-fine.

Place a crimp on the wire, and then a jump ring.  Then thread the end of the wire back through the crimp so the jump ring is in the middle of the loop.

crimp and jump ringWith the crimp pushed up near the jump ring, use crimp pliers to tighten the crimp.

tighten the crimp

Step 2

Thread seed beads on the wire, making sure to include the tail of the wire in the first few beads.  If necessary, trim the tail of the wire.  Continue threading beads until you reach the desired length.

 

Step 3

Thread a crimp on the wire.  Loop the wire through the jump ring, back through the crimp, and through the last few beads.  Tighten the crimp with the crimp pliers.  Trim any excess wire, and make sure the tip of the wire is tucked into the beads.

finish the loop

Step 4

Use the jewelry pliers to open the jump ring so the space between the two wire loops is open.  Slide the charm onto the jump ring, and close the ring tightly.  Then open the end of the fish hook earring and place the jump ring on the loop.  Close the space in the earring.

chandelier earring

What’s Next?

I made a matching bracelet for these earrings! Come back soon to find out how!

Pinterest Picks–Vol. 2

I’ve been in the car a lot this summer, and since I’ve mostly been a rider rather than a driver, I’ve had a lot of time to spend on Pinterest.  Here are some of my finds!

How to Tie a Scarf

My aunt loved scarves, and I’ve started wearing them more.  They’re very trendy right now, and this is a good chart showing how to tie a scarf several different ways.

 

Mod Podge Glass Tray

This is a nice way to customize a glass tray.  Keep an eye out at yard sales and thrift stores for inexpensive trays.  I would probably use maps like in the photo.

 

Painted Vases

This is another good way to use thrift store finds.  Just paint the inside of a glass vase!

 

Mod Podge Leaf Jars

The leaves will be changing colors soon (some have started already!) and this is a cute way to bring the pretty fall colors inside.

 

Placemat Purse Organizer

This is a purse organizer made from a fabric placemat that has been folded and stitched to make pockets.  My purse is the size of a small suitcase, so I will be trying this pattern out soon!

 

What’s Next?

I made some more jewelry for lupus awareness.  I have a very easy pattern for teardrop chandelier earrings.

Beaded Earrings

I’ve been making a lot of jewelry recently for lupus awareness.  I have several friends who have lupus, but this jewelry could be made with any color of beads or charms.  I chose purple, butterflies, and ribbons because I’m making jewelry for my friends to use as prizes as they fundraise for the Walk to End Lupus Now in Indianapolis in September.

Lupus Awareness Earrings

These earrings are similar to a pair I’ve made before, only bigger.

Materials:

4 eye pins

8 seed beads

2 small beads

2 larger beads

2 charms

Round-nosed jewelry pliers

Wire cutters (I have a pair of 2-in-1 round-nosed/wire cutter pliers)

Two earring bases (I chose fishhook earrings)

 

Getting Started

Start by choosing which beads and charms you would like to use.  I’ve always heard that odd numbers are pleasing to the eye, so I chose three items for my earrings–one bead, one butterfly charm, and one ribbon charm for each earring for a total of six items.  The butterfly charm is more like a bead, which is why this earring can be made with two charms.  Do not choose two charms that only have one ring to attach it to the jewelry.

I think it’s easiest to start with the bottom of the earring.

Open the eye pinStep One

With the jewelry pliers, gently pull the eye of the pin open a small amount.  Slide the charm into the opening of the pin.  Using the pliers, gently close the pin again so the charm is firmly attached.

Step Two

SCreate an eyelide a seed bead, the middle bead, and another seed bead onto the straight part of the pin attached to the charm.  Cut off any excess, leaving enough to make an eye at the end.  Slide a new eye pin onto the pin with beads and use the round-nosed pliers to create an eye around the eye of the next pin.  The two pins should now be attached.

Finished earringStep Three

Slide a seed bead, the final bead, and another seed bead onto the straight part of the pin, and cut off any excess.  Slide the eye of the earring onto the final pin, and use the pliers to create an eye around the eye of the earring.  All of the pieces should now be firmly attached.

All you have to do now is wear your finished earrings!

 

What’s next?

I’ll be making a couple bracelets and some more earrings, all for lupus awareness!

Pinterest Picks–Vol. 1

I’ve been on the road a lot this past month, and haven’t had much time outside of the car for crafting.  Time in the car can be a great time for crafting…but it’s also a great time for napping!  I had planned to crochet, but instead I spent most of the time on Pinterest.  Here are some of my favorite crochet pins I found.

 

One of my trips this month was to wine country up in the Finger Lakes of New York.  So what better way to start this list than with a free crochet pattern for a wine tote?  This is a great way to give a bottle of wine as a gift.

I’ve been driving my mom’s old car recently, and the seat belt is itchy and scratches my neck.  I’ve adjusted it as much as I can, but I’m going to make this seat belt cover to make it more comfortable.

This scarf looks really easy.  There’s no pattern with the link, but all you need to do is crochet circles and stitch them together.  Then stitch an M on them all.  This looks like a good way to use up scraps.

Another way to use up scraps–a reusable Swiffer!  I have some leftover Pipsqueak yarn from a baby blanket that I think would catch dust well.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t start your Christmas crafts until it’s too late to finish them by December.  Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas crafts if you want to finish them before you have to start thinking about all the shopping, baking, and decorating.

Happy pinning!

How to Sew a Tanning Organizer

When I go outside to soak up the sun, I never know what to do with all the stuff I want to have with me.  My cat likes to tan with me, and she also likes to chew on corners of things (like my phone), so I want to keep things out of her reach.  I used three towels to make an organizer that can drape over a chair.getting a tan

Materials Needed:

1 bath towel

2 hand towels

matching thread

pins

sewing machine

What To Do:

Buy towels with edges that match or nearly match.  My hand towels were about 2 inches shorter than the bath towel was wide.  I decided that was close enough, and just made sure to center the hand towels as I pinned them on.  Another thing to keep in mind as you purchase the towels:  Kohl’s had some very nice plush towels on sale, so I bought those.  In hindsight, such thick towels were hard for my sewing machine to handle.  Using thin towels will make this project much easier.  You could also buy some terry cloth at a fabric store and cut the right size pieces, but if you use towels you won’t have to hem anything!towels

Pin one hand towel at each end, then sew along the bottom (the short side of the bath towel matched to the long side of the hand towel).  Remove the pins as you go.  Some machines have a pressure foot that can be raised a bit more than the standard “up” position, but mine is not one of those machines.  If you have a machine like mine, carefully wiggle the fabric into place as close to the edges of the towel as you can get.  You may not be able to sew all the way to an edge or into a corner, but don’t worry–your seams will hold.

After you sew along the bottom, sew up the short sides of the hand towels.  Again, just get as close to the edges as your machine allows.  Sew bottom and sides

I had to adjust the length on mine a little.  When I laid it out on the chair, the part that went over the seat was the perfect size, but the sides hung too low.  I pinned up the edges to the right length and created a row of small pockets in front of the main pockets.Front pocket

Next, sew the seams that will divide the hand towels into pockets.  I put two pockets on one side by sewing one seam down the middle.  On the other side, I sewed two seams to create three pockets.  If you are folding up the edges like I did, sew these seams with the edge folded up.  I sewed from the top of the pocket down, because that was the way my machine fed the fabric through the feed dogs the best.  Sew from the middle

Finally, sew up the sides of the short row of pockets in front, and trim any loose threads.

Load up the pockets with all your essentials, and catch some rays!Tanning Organizer

What’s Next?

I’m going on a long car ride, and I’m taking my yarn with me.  You never know what might happen!

4th of July Tablecloth

Inspiration

I found this pin on Pinterest, and thought I’d modify it a bit to make it my own.  Instead of bandanas, I bought pre-cut packages of patriotic fabric.  There were five pieces of fabric in each package.  The benefit to using regular fabric is that you can tailor the tablecloth to any occasion.  The benefit to using bandanas is that you don’t have to hem it.folded fabric

How to Make the Tablecoth

I ironed all of the fabric pieces first.  They were deeply creased from the packaging, and smooth fabric is so much easier to work with.  If the fabric is wrinkled when you start sewing, the finished product will probably always be a little wrinkled or lopsided.Iron the fabric

Then I laid out the pieces in the order I wanted and pinned them together to make two strips.Pin the pieces together

I used red thread and a 5/8 seam.5/8 seam

When you have the two strips sewn together, iron the seams so they are all going in the same direction.iron the seams

Pin the two strips together and sew them using a 5/8 seam.  Then iron the seam to one side.sew two strips together

If you’re not using bandanas, you will need to hem the edges.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to press the edge over a certain amount (using a hem gauge if you like) then double the pressed edge over on itself.  This creates a double-fold hem with no raw edges.hem gauge

I pressed and sewed the long sides first, then pressed and sewed the short sides.  I didn’t use pins because I like to live dangerously.  Seriously, if you have a nice crisp line from the iron, you can probably manage without pins.  However, if this is your first sewing project ever, use pins!double fold hem

 

Now all you have to do is throw a party to show off your creation!finished tablecloth

What’s Next?

Kohl’s had towels on sale, so I bought some supplies to make a tanning organizer.