Wednesday

An Open Invitation...

I don't get too personal on this blog. It's usually all earrings, all the time. My tutorial posts rarely have introductions. I'm quite terrible at this.

But I wanted to propose something, to gauge a bit of interest. 

I've recently returned to America from spending three months traveling in Korea. I left for a perfect storm of reasons--and while I was there, I discovered a community of amazing women that I am hungry to discover again.

None of my friends craft. I would love to find/create/carve a space for crafty ladies to meet up & shop for beads and bounce ideas and foster creativity and gush over instagram craft crushes.

If you're in the NYC area, and are interested, let me know. You can email me at hellowhimsyblog@gmail.com 

xo Alyssa

Monday

TUTORIAL: BEAD AND PARACORD BRACELETS

 




These bracelets are super simple to make.


MATERIALS NEEDED:



I'm using plastic beads because the holes are large enough to string paracord through. Instead of claw end clasps, you can also use round caps.

The charms are also just an extra touch for the ends and are totally optional!

Tool wise, you will need pliers and scissors.







First, trim your paracord. I snipped a piece just slightly larger than my wrist. The end clasps + chain length will also add length, so keep that in mind. I kept the piece a little longer because we will continuously have to trim it.



Add one of your end caps/claw ends. I pressed the claw onto the paracord. If you're using claw end clasps like me, you can slightly singe the cord ends for a tighter seal.


Start adding your beads!






This is what I mean by you will have to continuously trim. There will be fraying due to the beads, especially smaller ones and you will be left with fluff balls.








When you're done adding your beads, clamp on your other end.








Almost done!








Add a jumpring, then your clasps. I'm using a claw. If you want, add a charm to the chain.


 


All done!



  



  



 



Thanks for reading & happy making!





Thursday

APPLYING GOLD LEAF ON BEADS





So I consider myself a pretty serious crafter, but I have never used mod podge before. I actually bought it for the sole purpose of applying gold leaf onto beads. I feel like I hit a rite of passage. I have no idea what else to do with it. Any suggestions?






For the beads, I dipped a tiny paintbrush into the podge then applied it to the skull bead.










Then, I look some gold leaf flakes and pressed them down. I also used a tweezer for more strategic placing.


To seal the leaf, I applied another layer of the podge.









And that's it! Keep a look out in my coming posts for some gold leaf-ed beads.



Friday

TUTORIAL: SIMPLE BEAD AND WIRE RINGS






So these rings are super simple to make!





MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Beads: I used a variety, they can be stones, rondelles, anything you want!
  • Charms: These are optional. If you don't have charms, you can use tiny seed beads to accentuate.
  • Wire

Your wire can be as thick or thin as you want it. I bought this wire at Flying Tiger for like 2 bucks. I have no idea what mm it is, but it's thicker than the wire I usually use for earrings.

I don't have a ring mandrel. If you have one, you can skip these beginning steps.



To start, cut off a bit of wire, enough to fit around your finger with about an 1 1/2 inches of excess on either side. Cross the ends to form a 'o' shape.





At the cross, take your pliers & bend on of the ends to 90 degrees. This makes measuring your finger width easier.

Slip the wire around your finger. Wrap the other tail end around the bent angle.






This is roughly the shape you will end up with. The 90 degree bent piece will be where you string your bead.








I'm using this pink rondelle.








We're going to make a loop. Snip off the excess amount.









I made my loop, then added a star charm before finishing.








Now to deal with the other tail end of wire. Grip your ring base with your pliers, then using your fingers, take the tail and wrap it around the base of your bead as many times are you want. Snip off the rest.









Then you're all finished!










In lieu of charms, you can use a tiny seed bead for a similar effect. The smaller bead will dangle around.







Some different combinations:
  • coral flower + leaf
  • black & white round jade bead + gold charm
  • pearl bird + flat star
  • pyrite chunk + star
  • pink rondelle + star
  • gold wings + star




 




Monday

THREE SIMPLE WAYS TO WRAP GEMSTONE STICKS





I recently purchased different strands of gemstone sticks from a couple local bead stores in NYC. The sticks are varied in size, shape & color, but are all side drilled through the top. My absolute favorite is the piece in the middle - I love the speckled black!






Since they're all drilled, I wanted to show you guys three ways to wrap these beads.

Also, this strand of pink stones wasn't labeled, can anyone help me identify what kind of gems they are?









For these three ways, you will only need a handful of items.


  • WIRE
  • GEM STICKS
  • PLIERS
  • WIRE CUTTERS
  • 1 CHARM (optional)






1.

This one is super simple.


I like using wire. (You can also use eye pins) 


Thread your stick & leave enough room on either side to make a loop.




Make a loop on either side!








2.


This one makes a loop at the top, skewed to one side.






String your stick & trim a generous amount of wire on either side.







Press down on both wire tails to the stick. Cross them at one of the top corners, then grab the junction with your pliers. Twist. Grip the loop, then with your fingers, grab one of the wire ends and wrap it along the base. Trim the excess.











3.



This one takes the most wire.








Snip enough to wrap around the stick multiple times.








String your gemstone stick.






Take both ends and wrap them closely around the top of the stick. I'm adding a charm so I only wrapped each side about once.








I slipped on my charm. If you don't have one, just continue wrapping.








When you're done, it's time to make close & make your loop.






Cross your wire ends, and grip with your pliers. Twist until you have enough length to make a loop.







Make your loop, then trim, leaving enough on the ends that you can tuck into the wire.








Tuck the ends underneath your wrapping.














Now you're ready to make your gemstone sticks into pendants!












Thank you for reading!





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