Paper button

Wow, it’s been a month since my last post! I’ve not been making much jewelry these days, so the pause in my jewelry blogging is inevitable. 🙂 I’ve mostly been working on one or two personal programming projects, and on my knitting.

One piece of jewelry I did make recently was a paper button for a short jacket that I knit for my sis. The jacket is light-and-dark gray, and I wanted to make a button that matches those tones. I decided to make a spiral disc bead, and add some wirework in the end, both as embellishment and as the loop through which I can thread the ‘button’ onto the jacket.

Paper button

I made the bead by winding many thin, long, slowly-tapering strips of newspaper one after another. This way, the bead ends up wider than it is long. Of course, plenty of glue is needed from time to time to prevent unwinding of this ‘super-long strip.’ After the glue dried, I painted the bead with a rough ombré effect of black and silver acrylic colors in the front, and fully black at the back. I waited for the paint to dry fully before applying multiple coatings of mod podge, letting the piece air-dry between coatings.

The finished bead is pretty sturdy, and is about 0.5cm thick and 2cm wide.

We eventually found a different button for my sister’s jacket, and I didn’t get a chance to add the wire embellishments to this button. I’ve to find some other use for it now! 🙂

Scrappy earrings

Scrappy because they are made of fabric scraps and look disorganized as well.

Scrappy earringsI tore out strips from unused brown/black fabric, and cut some pieces of leftover brown yarn from my old knitting projects. I made two hoops from silver-colored wire. I created each hoop this way — first, I made a loop about 1cm in diameter; then an eye loop from one end such that it circles around the other end; finally an eye loop from the other end just below the first eye loop. The second eye loop will turn out perpendicular to the first. (Wish I’d clicked photos of the steps, but it was a random experiment.) I made sure the second eye loop was large enough to fit in it a bunch of the fabric strips and yarn.

So you now know what the next step is. 🙂 I took a bunch of the strips and yarn and ran them through the second eye loop. I checked that both ‘arms’ of the bunch hanging from the eye loop were similar in length. I gathered both arms together, smoothed them out and made a knot (not too tight right now, though!) right where the second loop is. There, that hid both eye loops because of the thickness of the fabric bunch.

Before tightening the knot, I moved around the strips and yarn slightly so they look haphazard but not too much.

To finish the earrings, I added a finding to each hoop.

Torus pendant

I have a few of these metallic-silver tori in my stash, and had a few ideas on using them. This is the first of the ideas brought to fruition —

Torus pendant

Torus pendant

I used a 22-gauge black wire for the embellishment, simply wrapping it around the surface of the torus. Every 4 turns, I added a blue seed bead to the wire, fitting the bead at the outer circumference of the torus. I’d originally planned to cover about half the surface of the torus, but I miscalculated the length of the wire needed, and it came to a little more than a quarter of the torus. But no worries, I like how it looks. 🙂

The torus is large and does not have any clasp of its own, so I made one — I added four more wraps on the opposite corner using the same wire, looping the centermost wraps through a jump ring.

The pendant is neither too light nor too heavy, and it works well with short chains, or longer ones that already contain some embellishments. I clicked only one picture, though —
Torus pendantI’ve been trying to banish this insistent idea of making earrings with these, because they’re going to be just too large. Making a couple of them a part of a long chain is another idea I have. Which jewelry item pops into your mind for a torus like this?

My very own asymmetric long chain necklace

Oh yay! My first attempt at an asymmetric necklace is successful, I must say.

Asymmetric Long Chain Necklace

Asymmetric Long Chain Necklace

The necklace is 90cm (36″) long overall. I started out wanting to make something just like this, and this is one of the few times the result of my work resembles whatever is in my head when I begin.

How I made this

I cut out 5 lengths of copper-colored flexible wire, each measuring about 25cm (10″.) I gathered them into a bunch and secured one end of it using a crimp end. Then I started working with each wire individually, adding beads and securing them. I used a whole lot of assorted beads for this — seed beads, bugle beads, glass beads — of different colors. I strung one or more beads into the wire, and added a simple knot. I repeated the stringing and knotting until about 3-4cm (1.5″) was left in each wire. To make it look more random, I crisscrossed the wires, and loosely plaited them, and wound some wires around some others — anything that would make the piece look unstructured. I then picked up the free ends of all those wires, strung more beads into each — no knots this time — and carefully secured this bunch again using a crimp end. There weren’t any extras for me to snip off, but you could do that now if you have wires showing. This completed the assorted-beads portion of the necklace.Asymmetric Long Chain NecklaceNext was the jump rings section. I connected medium-sized jump rings into a chain until I was happy with its length, and connected one end to the crimp end of the beads segment that I just completed.

For the long chain, I used some shiny black yarn from my stash, and strung some brown flat beads and black spherical beads at some distance from their neighbors. To secure the beads, I added simple knots around them. The knots kinda show because the yarn stretched when I finally wore the necklace; the stretching tightened the knots, pushing them away from the beads. But I don’t mind that very much this time. 🙂

I used crimp ends again to secure the ends of the long chain. I attached the earlier jump ring section to one of the crimp ends, and used a small jump ring to connect the other end to the one from the assorted beads segment. (Remember, only one end of the assorted-beads segment was connected to something else. Yes, to the jump rings section, see, I knew you’d remember! 🙂 )

That completed the chain. I tried wearing it a number of different ways, and I like how it looks…

Asymmetric Long Chain NecklaceAnd here’s a (post-processing-effects-added) photo of a happy me wearing it –Asymmetric Long Chain NecklaceSooo… what do you think of the chain?

Beaded bracelet

I’m back to using paper beads! I didn’t make new ones for this bracelet that I cobbled together, instead I reused some beads from a set that I’d made years ago. They’d been a part of some jewelry piece for a long time, but have been back in my stash for a while now.

Beaded bracelet

Beaded bracelet

I just love the shocking pink on the paper beads! It goes really well with the black and white. To make the rest of the bracelet look compatible, I used white, black / hematite and red seed beads.

To start with, I cut 4 lengths of about 20cm (8″) flexible copper wire. I crimped one end of the bunch, and strung seed beads through two of the wires. (Using all four wires for beading was overkill, but using just two wires made the structure not strong enough.) After around 1/5 of the wires was threaded, I added a paper bead, passing all four wires through it. More seed beads and paper beads followed. Finally, I crimped the other end of the wires and snipped off the extra. A small jump ring through both crimp tubes was enough to make the bracelet slide on and off my hand without requiring a clasp.

Beaded braceletNow I’m back to pondering about what I can do with the rest of the paper bead set…

Swirly flowers on rocks

No, that’s not some kind of drink, it’s what I call these dangle earrings that I made.

Swirly flowers on rocks

Swirly flowers on rocks

I used 22-gauge dead soft wire for these earrings, and faceted black-gray granite beads. This how-to has been late in the making so I don’t really remember how long I cut the wire 😦 but I think some details are better than none at all, so here goes…

I ensured that for the ‘stalk’ of the flower, I also left enough wire free to go through the bead and to then make an eye loop. I then set up my wire jig to help create the ‘leaves’ of the flower, and started shaping them:

Wire jig instructionsI ended the shaping with a spiral that is the flower, which I used my round-nose pliers to make.

Then I strung the bottom of the bead into the stalk of the flower, pressing the flower against the bead with the right amount of stalk showing. I made an eye loop at the top, and snipped off the extra. I then added an earring finding to it.

For the other earring of the pair, I rotated the jig instructions to mirror the one shown in the picture, and made the flower spiral in the reverse direction too.

That’s it! How do you like these?

Brown beaded macramé bracelet. With a button!

Macrame Bracelet

Macrame Bracelet

It’s been a long, long time since I used Macramé to make things, so I thought I’d make a beaded bracelet. I had some strong cotton yarn lying around from an old knitting project that I could use for my cords. As for beads to add, my stash had these round, brown wooden beads with splashes of green and blue, and they were perfect for this project.

The bracelet would be about 7″ long, so I cut a 16″ cord for the filler cord, and about 25″ for the working cord. Folding the filler cord, I strung 10 beads in it and knotted the ends of the cord together to prevent the beads from falling off. Securing the top part of the folded cord (where the ‘loop’ appears), I made simple alternating square knots using the working cord. I started knotting about 3/4″ from the filler cord’s top, made 4 square knots, pulled up one bead along the filler cord, and made the next square knot by wrapping the working cords along the side of the bead. Then 4 knots again and pull up another bead, and then again…

The bracelet was almost 7″ by the time the last bead was used, and I made 4 more square knots. I then borrowed a translucent violet button from my sister’s stash. I fastened this button by stringing both working cords through it and tying up the working cords and filler cords below the button. Finally, I snipped off the extra yarn from the cords.

Here’s how the bracelet looks on my hand (ta-da!) —

Macrame Bracelet