Thursday, February 28, 2013

Something made from something made...

Well, I have been kinda slacking on posting once a week as was my goal. This jewelry tutorial should make up for it. :) It is a simple little thing, but turned out oh-so-cute.

 I hate having things laying around the house that I do not use (trust me, we have plenty of stuff like that around here). I loved these very imperfect gold freshwater pearls when I bought them. Who doesn't have a thing for pearls? I love them. I made this necklace about a year ago, because I loved the pearls and the middle glass bead and thought they went together perfectly:

... But when I put it on, it just didn't look right to me. Maybe it was the length, maybe it was something else. I don't know. I just did not like it, so I did not wear it. I got sick of having it sitting there in my jewelry display, so today I decided I would do something about it and use those pearls to make something I really wanted to wear!

I have had a thing for copper and brass tones lately and have been loving mixing metallic shades, so I went and bought some copper-toned chain at Wal Mart. I would usually go to a craft store for things like this, but since I was there already, and so was the copper chain... I bought it. Here it is:

I bought two of these, and there was tons of length. I also bought some gold eyelet and pin-head things (why do I not know what these are called?) to link the pearls to the chain.

So during my recorded episode of Catfish, I just separated the links to the chains, removed the bent link, then replaced it with a gold pin-thing with a pearl on it!

After this, of course I closed it off by cutting it, inserting the other link and bending a loop like the first one to connect them. I did this at random spots on the chain so there would be no set pattern when all of the chains (I cut the long chains into 4 smaller ones to make the necklace with) were together and I was wearing the necklace. After that, I attached a clasp. You do not have to, if you do not want. You can simply separate the links like the above picture, and then hook them back together to make continuous chains, as long as they fit over your head! :)

Here is the finished product:

I will try to get a picture of myself wearing the necklace. Normally I would have my husband do it, but he is very far away right now, so when I get one, I will update it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Spring cleaning for the creative person, part one of many

Happy February, everyone!

It is warm (well, to a Northern girl at least) here in Georgia, and the sun is shining. This makes me want to get into gear and start organizing the house for the spring. There will be several posts about organizing, especially as I get into the thick of it.. This is just part one, and I am starting small.

Like many women I know who enjoy pretty, sparkly things, I feel like I can never have too much jewelry. For the longest time, I was just keeping it all in the most organized (huge) pile in and on top of my jewelry box. This got messy and tangled, and was very frustrating. It was also really ugly and on the rare occasion that our room did end up clean (I am a terrible housekeeper, I will admit), the jewelry was still a problem!

My sweet husband, M, does not care what the decor in our house looks like, and he is generally pretty excited to see what I come up with. He definitely loves to see the house organized and clean.We have plenty of wall space in our bedroom, so I decided that I would use some of it to create some decorative and very functional jewelry displays.

For this one, I bought a decorative wood sign (unfinished) from Michael's for $7.99 and I used a hook and some used drawer pulls (one of my best friends calls these drawer-knobs, which I love) I found at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store for about 50 cents apiece. I also used spray paint in raspberry, pistachio and metallic brass colors. If you want it to be cheaper (and it might also look cooler, but I was impatient and did not want to go looking), you could use a piece of old wood.

The raspberry-colored one is the first that I finished and here is what I did:

1. I painted the board the color I wanted it.
2. I set the knobs on the board where I wanted them, then marked the spots with a pencil.
3. I drilled holes in the board where I marked it, and then put the knobs/hooks on. (It was a lot easier to drill holes in the board once I stopped accidentally using the drill on reverse. woops!)
4. Voila. :) 

 Here is the finished product on my wall:

The next project I will show you, I did about six months ago (so I apologize for the lack of instructional pictures) when my jewelry had just started getting out of control. I like to make jewelry, so I have quite a bit more since then. :)

I found this shadow box at Michael's for about $9.99. You could use a different kind of box, maybe one without a little glass door on it, if you want. Again, I just used this one because it was easy to find. For the hooks, instead of drilling something into the wood (because it is thin and I did not want to worry about screws sticking out) I bought some command hooks and attached them to the top. They are the kind with a hook that moves.

What I did:

1. Used painter's tape to tape up all of the places that I did not want to get paint on
2. I used a stencil I bought and stenciled a design on the back wall of the box. I used a bird, you could use whatever you want, or just freehand it.
3. I stuck the command hooks on the inside top wall of the box, taking care that when necklaces were hung on it, they would be far enough away from the back to hang naturally.
4. I hung it on my wall
5. Voila!

Since this was the first jewelry organizer I made, I feel like I should share the things I would have done differently. I used acrylic paint for this project, but I think if I were to do it again, I would have used either different paint, or a coat of mod podge or clear top coat at the end. I don't like the matte look of this as much as I thought I would. I can still do this, though. I think I will also add a little knob on the front for easier opening.

These two projects cost me about $45. Pretty great! You could even do these projects for cheaper than I did.

Happy organizing!