Jewelry box

Since I barely managed to finish my quota of last month’s PCA courses, I decided to start early this time. 😀

Jewelry box - after

Jewelry box

Jewelry box - before

Jewelry box (before)
Image used from the online store’s website since I forgot to click a picture before I started. 😀

Teresa’s course is about beautifying a wooden jewelry box using painting, silkscreening, decoupage and resin. Amongst all PCA projects I’ve worked on so far, the lack of materials where I live is most evident in this one.

For the painting — the acrylics that are available here are kinda tacky, and they dry quickly to a rubbery texture; I find they’re unsuitable for a large variety of ‘advanced’ projects that interest my sis or me. Silkscreens are not available locally at all, and as for the resin, I was going to buy it only if I could come up with a layer that’s worth the gloss. So I set to work on the project with whatever I could use. (I was actually surprised I could find a jewelry box to work on. 🙂 )

I had to first flip the lid of the box inside out, since it originally had a flat outside and an inset on the inside. However, the reverse is what works for this project.

I managed to paint the box fine — a red-brown base layer, and then some white and brown lightly distressed texture over it. I toyed around with the idea of an image transfer onto the surfaces. (Looks like my latest project is still on my mind! 🙂 ) But I’m still not sure that the transfer will turn out 100% alright. If it turns out patchy, that’ll be the end of this box, since I won’t be able to cleanly wipe the ink away. Instead, I tried using a texture stamp to imprint some nice patterns on the box, but it turned out pretty bad. In the end, I just used the texture stamp on a sheet of clay, and lightly ‘antiqued’ it with white paint post-bake. I also added a clay border to the inset since the textured sheet didn’t really warrant using resin. I finished with a thin layer of Mod podge instead.

My project is nowhere like Teresa’s, but I still like it since it turned out perfect to store our antique jewelry. 🙂 My sis wants to decorate it even more, and I can’t wait to see how she’ll enhance it!

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! 🙂

Paper bead bunch keychain

Yay, paper beads are back in my jewelry-making!

Paper bead bunch keychainI spent some time recently making paper beads. I used some junk-mail paper for these. I didn’t really have any sizes in mind, I just wanted to make two sets of beads — one set smaller than the other.

I cut rectangles from the paper, 4 of the same dimensions, and 2 of smaller dimensions. I folded each rectangle diagonally and cut it along the diagonal, giving me 8 large and 4 small right-angled triangles. I rolled them up into simple tapered beads, applying glue at regular intervals to keep the rolls snug.

When the bead bases were made, I painted gradients of acrylic colors onto them. Mod podge followed when the paint dried. The beads were now ready!

I then strung these paper beads and various seed beads through head pins, making eye loops at the top of the headpins. These formed individual units of the bead-bunch.

Finally, for the trunk of the bunch that extends into a chain, I joined small jump rings. While I was adding each link, I also added the bead-bunch units, larger ones at the beginning / bottom. That went — open jump ring, insert it into the topmost jump ring of the chain-in-progress, insert bead-bunch unit #1 from one end of the open jump ring, insert bead-bunch unit #2 from the other end of the open jump ring, close jump ring, repeat.

I just love this keychain! It’s so fun-looking and so light! Needless to say, I’ve already swapped out the earlier chain in my car keys for this one. 🙂

A makeover

I had these two large beads with various etched amorphous patterns on them, which I’d set aside to make simple earrings — by which I mean just stringing a head-pin through each of them, making eye-loops at the top, and attaching findings. I set to work on the first one. Just when I finished making the eye-loop from the head-pin, the bead chipped. Gasp! 😮

The chip was visible, but hadn’t damaged the bead itself much, so my sister and I thought I could use one of her metallic paints to completely re-coat both beads. (I am so glad she has loads of painterly stuff for her cardmaking!) So I used a gold paint, painted one side of each bead, let them dry, and painted the other side. After both beads were fully dry, I added a coating of mod podge to both of them in the same manner. Beads ready post-makeover and reporting for duty again! 😎

This time, I was more careful while working with the wire, and here are the resulting beauties!

Earrings from a makeover