Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Craft Tutorial: DIY Beaded Hoop Earrings

It’s still summer weather around here, and these beaded hoop earrings are so very summery with their turquoise beads. But you could totally adapt these to the fall and winter season by using darker, richer colored beads.

DIY Beaded Hoop Earrings by The Silly Pearl

Materials:

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  • A variety of beads, depending on the look you’re going for. I have a large focal bead in the middle, so I have two of those. Then I have three other types of beads, symmetrically strung on either side. I got all my beads at a local bead store, but you can find similar beads at Michaels or Jo-Ann.
  • Two pieces of jewelry wire cut to 6 inches each. I used Beadalon 24-gauge round wire, available at Jo-Ann. I would not go any thinner than 26 gauge or thicker than 22 gauge (too thin…it might break with wear, and too thick…too hard to work with).
  • A cylindrical shape, like a spool. This will be your template for bending the wire into a round shape. The finished diameter of the earrings is about 1.5 inches, so if you want bigger/smaller, then use a bigger/smaller template.
  • A pair of ear wires.
  • Jewelry making tools. I used Flat nose pliers, Round nose pliers, and Wire cutters.



Directions:

1. To form the hoop, wrap one piece of wire around the spool, so that there is an equal amount of length sticking out. Then 2. Pinch the wire together so it’s the same circumference as the spool. You’ll be left with a little less than 1 inch of both the ends.

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So when you remove the wire from the spool, it will look like this, with two kinks in the wire.

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3. Now it’s time to start threading on the beads. By hand, gently straighten one of the kinks, enough to allow the beads to thread on. If you’re using a focal bead in the middle, thread that on first. Then 4. Thread on the small beads on one side of the focal bead, until there are enough beads to reach the kink. Next, 5. Repeat the same pattern on the other side, again straightening out the kink a little bit so you are able to thread on the beads.

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So when you have all your beads threaded on, it will look like this. For the next few steps, get your round-nose pliers ready…now I’ll teach you how to wire wrap, but you’ll be wrapping both those end strands (instead of just one strand as usual).

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6. Grasp both strands with the round-nose pliers. Then 7. Twist your wrist to one side, bending both wires at 90 degrees.

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8. Using your fingers, grab both the ends, and loop it around the top of the round-nose pliers. Then, 9. Wrap the wire under the round-nose pliers, remove your pliers from the loop, and insert only the bottom point of the round-nose pliers into the loop.

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10. Now start wrapping the ends around the base of the loop to secure the loop. Grasp both ends with flat-nose pliers while you still have the round-nose pliers inside the loop, as described in step 9.

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11. Wrap the wire around the base of the loop (there should be a teeny length of vertical wire at the base of the loop, where you formed the kinks earlier, which is where the wire will wrap around).

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12. Keep wrapping a few more times until…

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13. You are left with a short length of the wire ends. Next you’ll use your wire cutters…

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14. …to cut off these ends as close to the base of the loop (i.e. where your wrapped wire is) as possible, without snipping anything else!

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15. Then use your flat-nose pliers to flatten and tuck in those ends so you don’t have anything scratchy or pointy sticking out. 16. You can also use the flat-nose pliers to neaten-up the loops, which you want to try to make as uniform as possible but it doesn’t always happen! It’s ok…it looks rustic, right?

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16. Finally, take your earring wires. On the left in the picture below is a closed one. Usually with ear wires, you can open the loop to slide on your finished piece. Slide open the loop with your flat-nose pliers.

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Repeat for the 2nd earring, and you’re done.

Beaded Hoop Earring DIY by The Silly Pearl

You could also make a pendant…instead of using earwires, just thread a chain through the loop.

Beaded Hoop Necklace

Thank you to Johnnie @ Saved by Love Creations for posting this as a guest tutorial on your blog a few weeks ago!

Steph

Linking:   Creative Jewish Mom :: Carolyn’s Homework :: Mad in Crafts :: Tip Junkie:: Fine Craft Guild :: The Trendy Treehouse :: A Glimpse Inside :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: Whipperberry :: Tatertots and Jello :: Homemaker on a Dime ::Serenity Now :: Mine for the Making

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Time to Plant Fall Bulbs

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So this summer, I planted my first container garden, and I'm continuing my gardening adventures (and battling my black thumb of death) into Fall. Now's the time to plant bulbs for springtime. I remember planting irises and gladiolus in the fall when I was a kid. It was such a wonderful surprise when they popped up! But fast forward today...I need some bulb planting advice!

I had heard of Curbside Chaos from another blog when they hosted a $5000 yard makeover giveaway. I would have loved to give our home (a rental) a yard makeover as thanks to our fabulous landlords (more like landparents!). But alas, I didn't win...check out this video with Taniya Nayak (I love her on Restaurant Impossible) as she helps the winner choose bulbs and put together a lovely new yard.

I also consulted Curbside Chaos' Garden Guru (click the above link, then look to the bottom left), to tell me what kind of bulbs I should buy at this time of year for spring. First, I selected my zone and which month I'd like my bulbs to bloom. The website suggested four types of bulbs for me. Clicking on each type of bulb gives further planting advice. 

With this info in my head, I went to my local nursery and found a huge display of bulbs. Yay!

I found this bag of mixed bulbs, which included hyacinths, muscari, and narcissus, and I went for it.

I noticed on the packaging, there was a picture of the flowers blooming along with pansies. Now I'm not sure if the pansies will last all the way til spring, but I picked up some anyways, to decorate the pot while the bulbs are still underground. I loved these velvety purple ones! 

The girls dropped what they were doing once they knew I was going outside to plant. They got started filling up a pot with soil. 

We may or may not have followed the exact directions on spacing and depth. I had gone inside to refill a watering can, and they had already planted half the bulbs! So we will be really surprised as to what bulbs were planted where, in the spring.

They did save these bulbs for me...twins! 

We covered the bulbs with more soil, and then I put the pansies on top. 

We made one more for grandma to take home when she visits this week.

If you'd like more information on bulbs, please visit www.digdropdone.com to learn more. This was a super fun and informative website on bulbs, from basics to crafty ideas on displaying bulbs. I love the wheelbarrel idea!

You can also meet the Dig Drop Done Ladies, three ladies in different stages of life (single, married with kids, and an empty nester) who love bulbs because they are so easy to work with and give great results, perfect for their individual lifestyles. I of course relate to Marcy the most...she wants a way to have a beautiful garden but at the same time, still have time for her children as well as other things that interest her.

One more thing...Tweet about Dig Drop Done with the hashtag #CurbsideChaos and $1 will be donated to Rebuilding TogetherRebuilding together is the nation's leading nonprofit organization, working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities.

Feel free to ReTweet my tweet here:

https://twitter.com/Steph2Pigs/status/250793607131443201

Do you think you'll plant bulbs this Fall? Click the orange button below to take you to lots of helpful info.

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, September 21, 2012

Craft Tutorial: Pumpkin Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath

You know me and embroidery hoops. I love them. I love finding them at thrift stores. My collection was building up so it was time to use them! This time I used a big one, a small one, and an oval one to create a rustic-meets-modern interpretation of pumpkins to form a wreath for our front door.

Pumpkin Embroidery Hoop Wreath - The Silly Pearl

 

I was inspired by the twine striped pumpkins on my front porch.

Twine Striped Pumpkin Tutorial and Fall Front Porch

Here’s how I made my Pumpkin Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath!

Materials:

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  • Embroidery hoops in different shapes and sizes. Use a large one as the “anchor”, plus two smaller ones to layer on top. I’ve already wrapped one of them, which I will show you below.
  • Yarn and twine. I used jute twine in natural and in green (you could use green yarn), butcher’s twine, and orange yarn.
  • Glue gun
  • Whoa, is that all the supplies I used? Usually there’s so much more!

Directions:

Basically you will wrap all three embroidery hoops completely, embellish them with a contrasting yarn or twine, and then add the green up top as the stem. You secure the yarn/twine simply by tying knots. At the end, you use hot glue to layer the embroidery hoops together. If you’d like more details, here you go!

First, I’ll go over how I cover the embroidery hoop completely with twine. Separate the two rings from each other, and tie one end around one of the rings. Leave a length of about 2 inches at the end. You’ll tie the other end to this when you finish.

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Then put them back together, and start wrapping. The twine ball was pretty small, so I could fit it through the inside of the hoop as I wrapped.

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When you have wrapped it all, tie that end to the original end, and trim. Try to put the knot towards the back (so just pick a side and call that the back).

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Then to embellish this hoop, I took some yarn and tied it to the screw up top.

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Then I wrapped it around at sort of a diagonal, about 1 inch or so apart. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Then when you reach the top, go around the other way, so the diagonals are in the opposite direction. And finish by tying a knot to the first end.

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For the “stem”, start by again tying the green twine around the screw. Then start wrapping around and around horizontally.

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Then when you’ve wrapped enough twine around that it’s the same length as the screw, start wrapping over the screw, up and down. This will form the stem and cover the screw, plus the ends of the orange yarn.

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As you wrap, make sure the length is sticking out, to which you will tie another knot. Trim the ends.

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All done with the first pumpkin.

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For the oval pumpkin, I wrapped it in white butcher’s twine, then I thought I’d add orange stripes all around it. So I started on the side of the oval, and tied a knot, leaving a length again.

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I then wrapped 1 inch or so of orange yarn, then I tucked the end into the last wrap, and pulled it over to tie the knot with the original length from the first knot. Then I made the green stem in the same manner as the first pumpkin.

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I hope that all made sense! Second pumpkin done. My girls said he looks like he’s wearing a sweater.

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For the big pumpkin, I covered it with orange yarn. To make things easier, I pulled out a bunch of yarn from my big skein, enough to make a ball about the size of my palm. I didn’t even use half of that, by the way. Then wrapped it with jute twine in just one direction, and made another green stem.

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Ready to glue everything together. I layered the two small pumpkins on top of the big one.

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First I glued the small pumpkin and the oval pumpkin together where they meet in the middle. To support the glue while it dried, I stuck a roll of tape underneath. Then I carefully lifted up the parts of the small pumpkins that touch the big pumpkin and applied more hot glue. While I had the hot glue out, I glued down some of the knotted ends of the yarn and twine to neaten things up.

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All done.

Pumpkin Embroidery Hoop Wreath by The Silly Pearl

This look may not be for everyone, but I love the abstract nature of the wreath, with a little bit of shabby cozy thrown in by the twine and yarn. And I love crafts with minimal supplies that I had at home already, and that I can do while lounging on the couch.

Steph

Linking:   Creative Jewish Mom :: Carolyn’s Homework :: Mad in Crafts :: Tip Junkie:: Fine Craft Guild :: The Trendy Treehouse :: A Glimpse Inside :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: Whipperberry :: Tatertots and Jello :: Homemaker on a Dime ::Serenity NowSouthern Hospitality Fall Linky

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